The Baker Academic Jesus Studies collection contains eight 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.
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.
Please note that this collection is available as part of the Baker Academic New Testament Bundle (57 vols.) and the Baker Academic Biblical Studies Bundle (86 vols.).
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
The recipe for this book is brilliantly simple: get to know Jesus through those who knew him. Seek out both friends and enemies. Interview family and foreigners, disciples and detractors, men and women. Confer not only with secret allies but also with public opponents, with loyalists as well as traitors. Find out what drew each group toward Jesus or scared them away. Into this mix stir what modern scholars are saying about the impressions Jesus left on the Romans and Jews of his day and about the most responsible ways to read the Gospels. Simmer. Season with clear prose. Serve. Jesus among Friends and Enemies is a great read, a rich introduction to Jesus and his world, and a fresh addition to the often-bland menu of Jesus studies.
—Bruce Fisk, professor of religious studies, Westmont College
A fascinating concept for a collaborative book on the historical Jesus—to see him through the biblical and extrabiblical stories about his friends and enemies. This book covers it all, providing clear and robust historical and literary examinations of Jesus from our knowledge of John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, Caiaphas, Pilate, Judas Iscariot, and more. This book will inspire classes.
—April DeConick, Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University
An outstanding teaching resource, Jesus among Friends and Enemies offers a balanced and comprehensive collection of essays treating the historical contexts and narrative methods of ancient Christian and Jewish writers. Though Jesus and the New Testament Gospels are the primary focus, the Dead Sea Scrolls, non-Christian discussions of Jesus, writings associated with apocalyptic Judaism, and noncanonical Gospel traditions are also addressed, providing readers with a rich store of comparative data from which to assess canonical descriptions of Jesus, his friends, and his enemies. Keith and Hurtado are to be congratulated for this superior contribution to the study of Jesus in the Gospels.
—Jennifer Knust, assistant professor of New Testament and Christian origins, Boston University
This collaborative work of several New Testament scholars takes a novel and fruitful approach to learning about the historical Jesus and the Jesus of the gospels. . . . The goal is to help the reader cumulatively to see the full dimensions of the Jesus of the gospels through the eyes of those who surround him in the gospel dramas.
—The Bible Today
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.
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
With warmth, wit, and penetrating insight, Fisk writes for all who find themselves fascinated by the enigmatic prophet from Nazareth yet unwilling to settle either for the naive certainties of ‘simple faith’ or for the latest ‘assured results’ of biblical criticism. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus provides no pat answers, but in the spirit of faith seeking understanding, it compellingly poses all the right questions, setting the quest for Jesus in its proper context—the search for meaning in a world of beauty and strife, love and loss.
—Ross Wagner, associate professor of New Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary
Students often find the academic study of the Gospels disorienting as they discover a previously unexplored world of literary, historical, and theological questions opening up before them. In A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus, Bruce Fisk proves himself a reliable guide—knowledgeable, candid, steady, and witty—through this territory. He takes no shortcuts or easy paths as he travels with his readers in the quest to discover faith in Jesus that takes intellectual questions seriously.
—Marianne Meye Thompson, George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary
This volume introduces students to New Testament scholarship by telling them a story—a lively romp that combines travelogue with quest narrative, spun in a style sparkling with wit and replete with idioms of the Facebook generation. Along the way, we are introduced to the key issues that occupy modern scholars, and we discover why those issues would matter to people in the world today, including contemporary college students. This is definitely a creative way of granting students access to modern and postmodern fields of New Testament study.
—Mark Allan Powell, Robert and Phyllis Leatherman Professor of New Testament, Trinity Lutheran Seminary
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.
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
This is vintage Allison: masterful in his marshaling and exposition of sources, thorough in his interaction with contemporary and opposing views, and robust and persuasive in his argumentation.
—James D. G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University
Displaying jaw-dropping acquaintance with primary evidence and the oceanic body of scholarship on Jesus, a sweet reasonableness toward the complexities involved, and just plain good judgment time after time on controverted issues, Constructing Jesus is essential reading for anyone concerned with the scholarly approach to the Jesus of history.
—L. W. Hurtado, emeritus professor of New Testament language, literature, and theology, University of Edinburgh
Lucid, far-ranging, and quietly authoritative, Dale Allison’s Constructing Jesus is required reading for scholars, students, and anyone who wants to understand where this most recent phase of the Quest has led us. Once I started, I could not put it down—nor could I stop thinking about its arguments once I finished. This is an important work.
—Paula Fredriksen, William Goodwin Aurelio Chair Emerita of the Appreciation of Scripture, Boston University
This book rightly presents Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet. Elaborating this definition into a more detailed portrait, Allison pushes the envelope by exploring new methods and ideas. These detailed conclusions may be controversial, but the book is a must-read for anyone interested in the historical Jesus.
—Adela Yarbro Collins, Buckingham Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale Divinity School
With a thorough examination of all relevant texts from Jewish and early Christian sources, Allison situates Jesus firmly within first-century Judaism and presents a convincing interpretation of his life, teachings, and death.
—Biblical Archaeology Review
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.
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
With clarity and insight, Warrington takes the reader on a whirlwind journey through the multifaceted—yet complementary—presentations of Jesus found in the New Testament writings. Very few introductions to Christology can claim the balance of comprehensiveness, simplicity, and lucidity found in this volume.
—Mark L. Strauss, professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary San Diego
When preaching/teaching from a given New Testament book, consulting Warrington’s treatment provides great insights into the presentation of the Jesus story and theology. . . . Discovering Jesus in the New Testament will make a valuable addition to a pastor’s library, and one that will find repeated usage.
The book is erudite but accessible, and interaction with scholarly literature is found mostly in footnotes. . . . [Warrington] succeeds in noting particular writers’ emphases while maintaining a holistic reading of Scripture, and gives a useful amount of background information for the setting of each book without indulging in unwarranted speculation.
Simplicity of analysis, clarity of language, and straightforward descriptiveness make [this book] easy reading, and it may well serve as a good introductory book to New Testament Christology for a general confessional audience.
—Journal for the Study of the New Testament
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.
“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 Bird has written one of the clearest and most compelling treatments of Jesus and the messianic question that I have read. Ancient literature and modern literature alike are handled with great expertise and excellent judgment. Readers will find no long-winded, specious theories propounded here. On the contrary, this book lays out the evidence fairly and with economy and then consistently reaches sensible conclusions. In the end, Bird goes where the evidence takes him, concluding that Jesus understood himself as Israel’s Messiah, which explains the nature of the name of the movement that arose in the aftermath of Easter. I recommend this book highly.
—Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia
[An] excellent and important new book. . . . Bird demonstrates convincingly that Jesus spoke and acted in ways that were deliberately designed to evoke messianic expectations and hopes. . . . Bird provides a fine overview of scholarship on the varied strands of messianic hope in the period of the Second Temple. He dismantles the classic arguments against a messianic self-understanding for Jesus with surprising ease. . . . In this book we witness the triumph of a plain sense reading of the New Testament in continuity with the teachings of the early Church. . . . Bird gives us a balanced and constructive alternative to the minimalist tendencies in recent scholarship. This book is highly recommended for those seeking to understand the historical Jesus in continuity with both Old Testament expectations and the Christological proclamation of the New Testament Church.
—Letter & Spirit
Bird has written a book that is crisp and clear, provocative and challenging, but most importantly which demands careful interaction. As is the nature of such a strong challenge to a prevailing consensus, this book is unlikely to change opinion overnight, but whenever scholars consider the question of whether Jesus had any self-conception of a messianic identity, Bird’s scholarly study will be one of the contributions to the debate which will be impossible to ignore.
This monograph is an exemplary historical tracing of an exegetical issue. Bird presents his arguments clearly, and his rhetorical style easily leads readers down his hermeneutical path.
—Catholic Biblical Quarterly
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.
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
A most welcome survey and critique of modern-day imaginative reconstructions of the rise of Christianity that attempt to justify faith in the presupposition of a non-supernaturalistic Jesus. . . . Well-written and organized, containing a masterful command of the literature. Eddy and Boyd show the difference between an open historical investigation of the life of Jesus and much of today’s fictional writing that claims to be historical research concerning the origin of Christianity. A very useful introduction for college and seminary students.
—Robert H. Stein, senior professor of New Testament interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Eddy and Boyd have provided a thoroughly compelling cumulative argument—one of the very best available—for the reliability of the Synoptic Jesus tradition. Their book constitutes a superb treatment of the various issues, involving both fresh research and a brilliant synthesis of material from a variety of relevant disciplines (philosophy, anthropology, historiography, as well as New Testament, early Judaism, and Greco-Roman antiquity). It is far better argued and documented than the works of the vast majority of the skeptics it challenges.
—Craig S. Keener, professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary
Misinformation about the historical Jesus and the reliability of the New Testament Gospels runs rampant in the twenty-first century. Some of this comes from eccentric or flawed scholarship; some from purely fictitious novels. Eddy and Boyd have surveyed technical and popular writing alike, in meticulous detail, and present what can be concluded responsibly about the trustworthiness of the Synoptic Gospels and the portraits of Jesus they contain. They compile a detailed and erudite case that supports Christian faith, but without the simplistic and unwarranted generalizations that one often hears in grassroots evangelical circles. Highly recommended!
—Craig L. Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
This is one of the most important books on methodological issues in the study of Jesus and the Gospels to have appeared for a long time. It deserves to be widely read.
—Richard Bauckham, emeritus professor of New Testament studies, University of St. Andrews
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.
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
This book is a wonderful illustration of the value of canonical criticism. The author’s great knowledge of historical criticism is here employed in a study that takes the final form of the biblical texts as a literary unity. Bock’s work has a wonderful balance between a respect for the uniqueness of each Gospel and an appreciation of the overall unity in the portrait of Jesus provided for the church.
—C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University
This book drives students to the texts of the four canonical Gospels; defends their historical reliability; interpretively distinguishes the Synoptics from John in the main, but somewhat from each other as well; and harmonizes all of them as much as possible. Teachers of courses on the life of Jesus who want a textbook that blends these approaches are likely to find here just what they’re looking for.
—Robert Gundry, emeritus professor of New Testament and Greek, Westmont College
In this book Darrell Bock has accomplished for Evangelical theology what the late Raymond Brown achieved for its Catholic counterpart: a judicious synthesis of the scholarship of his colleagues with the concerns of a canonical reading of Scripture. The result is a readable textbook that respects the exegetical diversity of the Gospels while emphasizing the unity of their underlying witness.
—Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion, Bard College
Rooted in outstanding scholarship and written with exceptional clarity, Bock’s presentation of Jesus’ life and teaching will be of great help to pastors, Christian leaders, and students of Scripture. Our students have already benefited from a pre-published version of this volume and speak with enthusiasm about it.
—Clinton E. Arnold, professor of New Testament language and literature, Talbot School of Theology
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.
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
Not just another Jesus book, Thomas Yoder Neufeld’s Recovering Jesus integrates sound scholarship with a profound and reflective faith. Written with a wide spectrum of contemporary college students in mind, Yoder Neufeld’s accessible and engaging prose will also attract thoughtful laypeople as well as busy church leaders. His centering the Jesus story in the ethic and theology of the kingdom of God is not only refreshingly true to the heart of our written Gospels but will be especially helpful for those who long to follow Jesus in life. Few scholars of Yoder Neufeld’s breadth and depth write with this clarity of thought and joy on discipleship.
—Mary Schertz, professor of New Testament, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Thomas Yoder Neufeld does a good and accessible job of clearing the decks and showing the way in this introduction to Jesus and his teaching in the context of the scholarly cacophony that surrounds Jesus. Nicely done.
—Darrell L. Bock, research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
A lucid, engaging treatment of Jesus and the Gospels, attending well to sources and methods. Yoder Neufeld laudably combines faith and scholarship. His lists of reading sources at the end of each chapter are valuable for further study. This book is well designed for introducing Jesus and current scholarship to university students, and to laypeople who want to understand how we know what we know about Jesus.
—Willard M. Swartley, emeritus professor of New Testament, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
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.