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Baker Academic Jesus Studies (11 vols.)

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The Baker Academic Jesus Studies collection contains twelve key volumes on the life, thought, and works of Jesus Christ. The collection provides outstanding, recent scholarship from respected contemporary scholars and theologians, among them Michael F. Bird, Darrell L. Bock, Gregory Boyd, and others. It addresses the cultural, historical, and literal contexts surrounding the Jesus of the Gospels. Cemented in Scripture, this collection is perfect if you’re interested in Christology.

Key Features

  • Provides insight on a variety of Christological topics
  • Includes works from some of today’s leading scholars
  • Thoughtful analysis of the Jesus' life, words, and actions in the Gospels

Product Details

  • Title: Baker Academic Jesus Studies
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Volumes: 11
  • Pages: 4,056
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The Logos Bible Software edition of the Baker Academic Jesus Studies collection is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Jesus Christ. Scripture passages link directly to your English translations and to the original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about Jesus.

Jesus among Friends and Enemies: A Historical and Literary Introduction to Jesus in the Gospels

  • Editors: Chris Keith and Larry W. Hurtado
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 352

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This engaging text offers a fresh alternative to standard introductions to Jesus. Combining literary and socio-historical approaches and offering a tightly integrated treatment, a team of highly respected scholars examines how Jesus’ friends and enemies respond to him in the Gospel narratives. This is the first book to introduce readers to the Gospel’s rich portraits of Jesus by surveying the characters who surround him in those texts—from John the Baptist, the disciples, and the family of Jesus to Satan, Pontius Pilate, and Judas Iscariot (among others).

Approaching the Jesus question from the outside in, the contributors reflect both on what can be known historically about the figures who surround him in the Gospels and on how these figures function within the respective narratives as foils to create distinct portraits of Christ. . . . The content of the discussion will be of interest to scholars while the accessible presentation will make this book a valuable resource for students.

—Tom Thatcher, professor of New Testament, Cincinnati Christian University

It is innovative to ask historical questions about Jesus and the Gospels without getting caught up in the quagmire of the authenticity criteria, and this book is innovative because different authors bring different methods to the texts. And what better topic—asking what Jesus’ friends and enemies thought of him! Time and time again we are taken to the Gospels themselves to see how the narratives shape our understanding of Jesus. It is the breadth of the testimony of these narratives that makes this book sparkle.

Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

Chris Keith is an assistant professor of New Testament and Christian origins at Lincoln Christian University. He was the 2010 recipient of the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise for The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John, and the Literacy of Jesus.

Larry W. Hurtado is a New Testament and Christian origins scholar. He was a professor of New Testament language, literature, and theology and director of the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland until his retirement in 2011. An internationally respected New Testament scholar, he is an expert on the Gospels, the apostle Paul, early Christology, the Jewish background of the New Testament, and New Testament textual criticism.

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus: Reading the Gospels on the Ground

  • Author: Bruce N. Fisk
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 320

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This book offers a fresh and imaginative approach to Jesus studies and biblical criticism by providing a gripping fictional account of one student’s journey to the Middle East to investigate the New Testament and Jesus’ life for himself.

Norm, a fictional college graduate, undertakes this journey to discover if he can study Jesus and follow him at the same time and if curiosity will make him a better disciple—or no disciple at all. As Norm hitchhikes simultaneously across the Gospels and the land, readers follow his faith journey as well and wonder if he will be able to reconcile his Christian faith with current critical scholarship. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus offers readers a creative and engaging way to explore many of the major questions surrounding Jesus studies today and affirms the importance of asking probing questions about Jesus and the Gospels.

The book features maps, photos, doodles, sketches, and email exchanges between Norm and his professor. Its classroom-tested material will appeal to professors and students in Jesus, Gospels, New Testament, and religion courses. Thoughtful lay readers will enjoy this book.

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus is a wonderful travel guide for pilgrims perplexed by the multiple maps hawked by recent scholarship. But it is also an invitation for homebound believers to join a journey of discovery to the mysterious places where history meets hope. Bruce Fisk is a wise and imaginative tour guide, and this book will open new angles of vision for readers seeking to investigate the path of Jesus.

Richard B. Hays, George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament and Dean of the Divinity School, Duke University Divinity School

Bruce Fisk has possibly written the most creative, fascinating, and informed book on the Gospels in a generation. My students will love this book. Think Gerd Theissen’s Shadow of the Galilean, but in this case the narrator isn’t a first-century grain merchant but a hookah-smoking college student named Norm. Norm is an honest inquirer who goes in search of the realities behind the Gospels and all along trades correspondence with his liberal professor. The crisp narrative and the theological points Fisk scores are delicately and effectively knit together. In countless cases, I found myself amused and impressed with how Fisk could illustrate things. ‘Genius’ could well describe many of the pages in the book. Fisk is a first-rate scholar as well as a brilliant communicator. Every New Testament teacher owes it to his or her students to consider this as a fresh new text on the Gospels.

Gary M. Burge, professor of New Testament, Wheaton College

Bruce N. Fisk is a professor of religious studies at Westmont College. He is the author of Do You Not Remember? Scripture, Story, and Exegesis in the Rewritten Bible of Pseudo-Philo and Interpretation Bible Studies: 1 Corinthians. A fresh voice in New Testament scholarship, he often travels with students throughout the world of the earliest Christians—Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy.

Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History

  • Author: Dale C. Allison Jr.
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 624

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What did Jesus think of himself? How did he face death? What were his expectations of the future? And can we answer questions like these on the basis of the Gospels? In Constructing Jesus, internationally-renowned Jesus scholar Dale Allison addresses such perennially fascinating questions about Jesus.

Allison presents the fruit of several decades of research and contends that the standard criteria most scholars have employed—and continue to employ—for constructing the historical Jesus are of little value. His pioneering alternative applies recent cognitive science findings about human memory to our reading of the Gospels in order to “construct Jesus” more soundly.

All New Testament and Jesus scholars and students will want to interact with the data and conclusions of this significant work.

Dale Allison has written another brilliant book. He manages to dissect technical, complicated subjects and then present them to his readers with remarkable clarity and simplicity. Constructing Jesus will be read with great benefit by scholars, pastors, students, and laity. Readers will find everywhere in this book mastery of the topic, judicious assessment of the options, and invariably sensible and compelling conclusions. If you are interested in learning more about the historical Jesus, then you must read this book.

Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia

In Constructing Jesus, Dale Allison’s erudite historical acumen is matched by the simple elegance of his compelling case. Rarely has reasoned judgment sounded so commonsensical. This book deserves to be one of the few to set the course for the next generation of historical-Jesus scholarship.

Bruce W. Longenecker, W. W. Melton Chair of Religion, Baylor University

Dale C. Allison Jr. is the Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Early Christianity at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is counted among the top Jesus scholars working today. He is the author of numerous books, including The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus, Studies in Matthew, Resurrecting Jesus, The Intertextual Jesus: Scripture in Q, and Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet. He is also coeditor of The Historical Jesus in Context and co-author of a three-volume commentary on Matthew in the International Critical Commentary series.

Discovering Jesus in the New Testament

  • Author: Keith Warrington
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 240

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Nearly everyone knows something about Jesus. But how much of what we “know” really comes from the Bible? In this thoroughly insightful book, we find the full portrait of Jesus as described in the New Testament—one that is complex yet rich, one that is diverse yet unified, one that explains who Jesus was and how he continues to speak to our world.

The shelves are full of books, written at all levels, on Jesus. Nevertheless, Keith Warrington has discerned an unresolved need of mid-range readers and addressed it commendably. Discovering Jesus in the New Testament charts the course of reflection on Jesus—his life, works, identity, and theological significance—through the whole of the New Testament writings and does so in a way that is eminently readable and accessible. What emerges is a carefully conceived description of Jesus that embraces both the rich diversity of first-century articulation and the profound common threads of Christology that assure us of a single (though marvelously complex) conversation.

Philip H. Towner, dean, The Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship, American Bible Society

Keith Warrington is the vice principal and director of doctoral studies at Regents Theological College in Cheshire, England. He is the author of 10 books, including Discovering the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. His areas of expertise are New Testament and Pentecostal/Charismatic studies.

Are You the One Who Is to Come?: The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question

  • Author: Michael F. Bird
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 208

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“Jesus understood himself as designated by God as the Messiah of Israel.” This thesis may strike many historical-Jesus scholars as dangerously bold. But through careful study of the Gospels, Second Temple literature, and other period texts, scholar Michael Bird makes a persuasive argument that Jesus saw himself as performing the role attributed to the messiah—in the Scriptures of Israel—and believed that Israel’s restoration hinged on the outcome of his ministry.

Bird begins by exploring messianic expectations in the Old Testament and in Second Temple Judaism. In them he finds in them an evolving messianism that provides historical context for Jesus’ life and teaching. He examines the prevailing contention that the messianic claim originated not with Jesus himself, but in the preaching of the early church. Bird argues that such contentions lack cogency and often skew the evidence. Examining the Gospels and related literature, he shows that what Jesus said and did demonstrates that he believed he was Israel’s messiah. His career was “performatively messianic” in a way that shows continuity in eschatological terms between Israel and the church.

Michael Bird tackles a question central to historical Jesus research and to understanding the development of the Christian confession: Who did Jesus say that he was? Thoroughly conversant with the extensive history of scholarship, Bird applies a rigorous critique to the dominant arguments used against attributing a messianic self-understanding to Jesus. He builds a substantial case for Jesus’ messianic self-understanding by analyzing the words explicitly spoken on this topic by or about Jesus during his earthly ministry and by examining the deeds Jesus chose to enact and the roles he would have been understood-—and would have understood himself—to embody by these deeds. Bird brings a fresh perspective and keen mind to this debate, painting a historically plausible picture of a Judean well versed in current messianic paradigms who crafted a ministry that reflected both an awareness of acting as God’s end-time agent and a particular understanding of what that agent was to accomplish.

David A. deSilva, Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek, Ashland Theological Seminary

Michael F. Bird is a lecturer in theology at Crossway College and an honorary research associate at the University of Queensland. He is the author of Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission and The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification, and the New Perspective.

The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition

  • Authors: Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 480

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Much New Testament scholarship from the last two hundred years has seen fit, to one degree or another, to relegate the Jesus tradition as recorded in the Gospels to the realm of legend. But is this really what the evidence points to? By drawing together recent scholarship from a variety of fields, including history, anthropology, ethnography, folklore, and New Testament studies, Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd show that the evidence actually supports—rather than refutes—the historical reliability of the Gospels and the existence of Jesus.

Eddy and Boyd present the cumulative case argument for the “legendary Jesus” thesis and proceed to put it under the microscope—and seriously bring into question its viability. In the process, they range through issues such as the historical-critical method, form criticism, oral tradition, the use of non-Christian sources, the writings of Paul, and the Hellenization of Judaism. They come to the conclusion that the view of Jesus embraced by the early church was “substantially rooted in history.” Here is an important book in the field of Jesus studies, with potential use in New Testament and apologetics courses.

Eddy and Boyd provide a clearly written, carefully researched, and powerfully argued defense of the historical reliability of the Synoptic Gospels. What makes this book noteworthy is the careful treatment of underlying issues in historical methodology and philosophy. A pleasure to read and a wonderful resource for those who have encountered troubling skeptical claims about the Gospels.

C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University

I am gratified that my friends and colleagues Paul Eddy and Greg Boyd have taken my work as seriously as they have in this comprehensively researched book. Bravo for their repudiation of any bias of philosophical naturalism! Amen to their urging that the burden of proof is on whomever would reject any bit of gospel tradition as unhistorical. Other than this, I would dispute almost every one of their assertions—but that is why I recommend the book! What can you learn if you only reinforce your own viewpoint? I urge any reader of my books to read this one alongside them!

—Robert M. Price, professor of theology and scriptural studies, Colemon Theological Seminary

Paul R. Eddy is a professor of biblical and theological studies at Bethel University. He has coedited four successful volumes and is the author or editor of numerous books.

Gregory A. Boyd is the senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was formerly a professor of theology at Bethel University. Boyd is the author of many books, including the critically acclaimed Seeing Is Believing and the best-selling Gold Medallion Award–winner Letters from a Skeptic.

Jesus according to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels

  • Author: Darrell L. Bock
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 704

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In recent years, historians and biblical scholars have been in active pursuit of the historical Jesus. The Jesus Seminar and similar efforts to place Jesus within his historical context have relied heavily on extra-biblical documents, since many historians consider the Bible propagandistic and biased. Darrell Bock, however, believes that the Gospels’ account of Jesus deserves further examination. Bock argues that when read together, the Gospels provide a clear picture of Jesus and his unique claims to authority. To demonstrate this claim, he offers Jesus according to Scripture.

While it notes how details of the canonical presentation of Jesus relate to first-century Palestinian culture, Jesus according to Scripture is not a historical study of Jesus. Instead, it’s an attempt to show the coherent portrait of Jesus that emerges from the Gospels—a portrait rooted in history and that’s produced its own historical and cultural impact.

Bock begins his work with a brief overview of each Gospel; he surveys its structure, themes, authorship, setting, and date. He then offers an examination of Jesus as portrayed in the Synoptic Gospels—however, he does not attempt to harmonize them, but leaves their narrative lines intact. Readers are invited to appreciate the contribution of each event internally to that Gospel as well as to its parallels. Next, Bock provides a detailed analysis of the Fourth Gospel’s portrayal of Jesus. He finishes with a summary of the main theological themes found throughout the Gospels, thus unifying them into a cohesive portrait of Jesus.

Jesus according to Scripture is an excellent textbook for advanced-college- and seminary-level courses on the life of Jesus. Additionally, pastors, teachers, and those interested in Jesus and the Gospels will enjoy this scholarly yet accessible book.

Darrell Bock is a well-known expert in the Gospels, and in Jesus according to Scripture he provides a detailed analysis of the portrait of Jesus from each Gospel as well as a theological synthesis of Jesus’ message and import as the Gospels portray him. Here we have a much more fulsome and helpful portrait of Jesus than is offered in many recent treatments of the historical Jesus. Highly recommended.

Ben Witherington III, Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary

After writing three entire commentaries on Luke, Darrell Bock naturally turns his attention to all four Gospels. Neither a contribution to historical-Jesus research nor a conventional textbook on the Gospels, this is a common-sense yet academically informed commentary—first on a synopsis of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and then on John. Laypersons, theological students, and pastors needing a review course will greatly benefit from it. In many ways, Jesus according to Scripture is a successor to Dwight Pentecost’s Words and Works of Jesus, and a worthy one indeed!

Craig L. Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

Darrell L. Bock is a research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of many books, including Studying the Historical Jesus and the two-volume commentary on Luke in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series.

Recovering Jesus: The Witness of the New Testament

  • Author: Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld
  • Publisher: Brazos Press
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 336

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Who is the real Jesus, and why does he matter? In Recovering Jesus: The Witness of the New Testament, respected New Testament scholar Thomas Yoder Neufeld offers an accessible and thorough introduction to Jesus’ life. Neufeld starts with the Jesus revealed in the Gospels. He covers Jesus’ birth, teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection. Then he builds on this account and assesses recent scholarly and popular studies, like the argument that the historical Jesus is revealed in the Gnostic gospels and other noncanonical texts. The result is a useful guide into the morass of current scholarship.

In a true teaching spirit, Neufeld provides a comprehensive approach that doesn’t overwhelm the introductory reader or student. He clearly explains the nuances of complex issues without oversimplification. Recovering Jesus is thus an invaluable text for undergraduate and seminary students and a helpful resource in nonacademic settings. In the end, readers will come to a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and why he matters.

Thomas Yoder Neufeld has provided readers with ‘the raw material and some of the skill with which to jump into the fray’ of the debates about Jesus. This highly readable book has been carefully honed through years of undergraduate teaching by a scholar who often preaches and teaches in church settings. Well informed and with enviable clarity, Neufeld presents the fruit of the best critical Jesus scholarship—hospitable for students in the pluralistic context of the university classroom. Anyone interested in the Jesus we encounter in the New Testament will turn these pages with great interest and profit.

Graham H. Twelftree, distinguished professor of New Testament, Regent University School of Divinity

Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld is the professor of religious studies (New Testament) at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. He is the author of numerous articles and several books, including a commentary on Ephesians in the Believers Church Bible Commentary series.

The Story of Jesus in History and Faith

  • Author: Lee Martin McDonald
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 416

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The Story of Jesus in History and Faith is a comprehensive introduction to the study of the historical Jesus—one that takes both scholarship and Christian faith seriously. Leading New Testament scholar Lee Martin McDonald brings together two critically important dimensions of the story of Jesus: what we can know about him in his historical context, and what we can responsibly claim about his significance for faith today. McDonald examines the most important aspects of the story of Jesus, from his birth to his resurrection, and introduces key issues and approaches in the study of the historical Jesus. He also considers faith issues, taking account of theological perspectives that secular historiography cannot address. The book incorporates excerpts from primary sources and includes a map and tables.

Lee McDonald has provided a wide-ranging compendium of useful information on the study of the historical Jesus, including an account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that engages the major critical issues. This material will be well suited to students at various levels of engagement. This is vintage McDonald.

—Stanley E. Porter president, dean, and professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Lee Martin McDonald earned his PhD from the University of Edinburgh and was professor of New Testament studies and president of Acadia Divinity College. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Biblical Canon, and coeditor of The Canon Debate and The World of the New Testament.

Studying the Historical Jesus: A Guide to Sources and Methods

  • Author: Darrell L. Bock
  • Publisher: Baker
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 240

Interest in the historical Jesus continues to occupy much of today’s discussion of the Bible. The vexing question is how the Jesus presented in the Gospels relates to the Jesus that actually walked this earth.

Studying the Historical Jesus is an introductory guide to how one might go about answering that question by doing historical inquiry into the material found in the Gospels. Darrell Bock introduces the sources of our knowledge about Jesus, both biblical and extra-biblical. He then surveys the history and culture of the world of Jesus. The final chapters introduce some of the methods used to study the Gospels, including historical, redaction, and narrative criticisms.

Bock, a well respected author, provides an informed evangelical alternative to radical projects like the Jesus Seminar. His audience, however, is not limited only to evangelicals. This book, written for college and seminary courses, offers an informed scholarly approach that takes the Gospels seriously as a source of historical information.

The book is an extremely readable volume, and provides very good coverage of the considerable ground that it surveys. Students will find all the chapters in the book to be a very good combination of readability and density of material.

—Simon Gathercole, Themelios

Darrell L. Bock (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of many books, including the volumes on Luke in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (8 Vols.) and the IVP New Testament Commentary Series (18 Vols.).

A New Perspective on Jesus: What the Quest for the Historical Jesus Missed

  • Author: James D. G. Dunn
  • Publisher: Baker
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 136

In A New Perspective on Jesus, renowned author James D. G. Dunn critiques the quest for the historical Jesus. He claims that the quest has been largely unsuccessful because it started from the wrong place, began with the wrong assumptions, and viewed the evidence from the wrong perspective.

Dunn’s study offers three criticisms of questers’ methods. First, Dunn contends that scholars have failed to see how the disciples’ pre-Easter faith shaped the Gospel traditions. Second, he claims that a focus on literary transmission has led scholars to ignore the fact that the Gospel traditions arose in an oral culture, which shaped the way the stories of Jesus were told and passed on. Third, Dunn challenges scholars’ preoccupation with finding what is distinctive about Jesus and rejecting portions of the tradition portraying Jesus as characteristically Jewish. Dunn concludes by rethinking accepted views of Synoptic relationships in light of the oral nature of the Jesus tradition.

This work offers a compelling critique of the presuppositions that inform much of contemporary Gospel study, and the alternatives Dunn proposes are sure to stimulate scholarly debate. It will interest students and scholars of the Bible, pastors and church leaders, and anyone wanting a fresh perspective on Jesus studies.

Although this is a small book, the issues are large, and Dunn’s critique of so much that historians of Jesus still take for granted is salutary. He thoughtfully asks the hard questions, and his informed answers not only orient us in the right direction but outline further paths for research.

—Dale Allison, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

James D. G. Dunn (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham. He is the author of numerous books, including The Theology of Paul the Apostle, Jesus Remembered, the commentary on Romans in the Word Biblical Commentary, the commentary on Colossians and Philemon in the New International Greek Testament Commentary, and the commentary on Galatians in Black's New Testament Commentary.


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