This series explores key questions concerning the historical Jesus within recent scholarly discussion. Written by authors who have already made important contributions to the study of Jesus, Studying the Historical Jesus (4 Vols.) presents sound scholarship in accessible, creative, and interesting ways. This undertaking is a fantastic companion to the library of any biblical scholar, theologian, or layperson hoping to come to a better understanding of the life of Jesus through a historical lens.
All who desire to better understand the question "Who is Jesus?" will appreciate these four engaging volumes. And, the writings contained in Studying the Historical Jesus (4 Vols.) are now even more accessible in digital format. The historical content can be searched easily, providing hundreds of search results at the click of a mouse. All scripture references are highly accessible with a quick hover-over.
Four volumes on the historical account of Jesus
Clear and interesting writings from contemporary biblical scholars
Perfect for students, laity, pastors, and professors
Title: Studying the Historical Jesus Series (4 vols.)
This provocative study offers the first new model for understanding the meaning of the “kingdom of God” since the appearance of Albert Schweitzer's seminal work. In Pure Kingdom, Bruce Chilton advances the discussion beyond Schweitzer by offering a new theory of Jesus' preaching based on the Judaic context of his ministry and the subsequent generation of Christian theology. After first covering the scholarly state of the question, Chilton explores the meaning of the “kingdom of God” within the Judaism of Jesus' day, particularly as it developed on the basis of the most significant ancient source—the book of Psalms. Chilton then analyzes Jesus' individual sayings about the kingdom, giving careful attention to Jesus' own meaning and the extent to which that meaning was changed by those who passed on his teaching. Special focus is also devoted to what Jesus did in the name of the kingdom. Finally, the ways in which Jesus' followers interpreted the ultimate significance of the kingdom is explored, because their conceptions shaped the Gospels as they stand today.
The study overall is to be warmly commended as a fitting inauguration of a series that promises to be fully critical and scholarly and yet avoids the excesses of the skepticism that claims we can know little about the historical Jesus, a skepticism based more on philosophical and methodological idiosyncracies than on bona fide historical research.
—Craig L. Blomberg, The Review of Biblical Literature
Bruce Chilton was the Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College in Annandale, New York, and rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist.
A New Vision For Israel: The Teachings of Jesus in National Context
Author: Scot McKnight
Publisher: W. B. Eerdmans
Publication Date: 1999
The most important development in recent historical Jesus studies is the attempt to understand the ministry of Jesus in “political” terms. In calling the nation of Israel to repentance, Jesus served as a national prophet concerned with the salvation of Israel. This new book by Scot McKnight furthers this line of inquiry by showing how Jesus' teachings are to be understood in relation to his role as a political figure. McKnight looks closely at Jesus' teachings on God, the kingdom, and ethics, demonstrating in each case how Jesus' mission to restore Israel brings his teachings into a bold new light.
. . .it synthesizes much recent scholarship without being either so creative as to be implausible or so traditional as to be redundant.
—Craig L. Blomberg, Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
Scot McKnight is the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of thirty books, including The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others, which won the Christianity Today book of the year for Christian Living.
God's Final Envoy: Early Christology and Jesus' Own View of His Mission
Author: Marinus de Jonge
Publisher: W. B. Eerdmans
Publication Date: 1998
Many have claimed to be able to present a startling new picture of Jesus. Yet, in spite of loud claims to the contrary, practically all we can know about him comes from the first three New Testament Gospels or can be inferred from statements in Paul’s letters. In this intriguing study, Marinus de Jonge canvasses these earliest Christian responses to Jesus in an attempt to discover Jesus’ own understanding of himself and his mission. Steering a middle course between skepticism and absolute confidence regarding the reliability and the usefulness of what we know about Jesus from the early Christian sources, de Jonge carefully distinguishes between what seems certain, probable, and possible, and he argues that though we cannot fill in all the details, it is possible to present a picture of what was most characteristic of Jesus.
This book does not present a startling new picture of Jesus," states the author in the preface. He considers only the evidence of the synoptics and Paul, and the conclusions that he draws—Jesus considered himself the prophet of the last days, called himself Son of Man, may have been considered Messiah, thought the Kingdom of God to be both present and future—are hardly radical. Further, de Jonge is cautious about claims for historicity and diligently notes how his hypotheses are not the only ways to read the evidence. The book is valuable, both for its unusual analyses of familiar material and for its carefully limited conclusions from the arguments.
—Richard B. Vinson, The Review of Biblical Literature
Marinus de Jonge was professor emeritus of New Testament and early Christian literature at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.
Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence
Author: Robert E. Van Voorst
Publisher: W. B. Eerdmans
Publication Date: 2000
Did Jesus actually exist? Much has been written recently on this subject, including numerous books examining the New Testament record of Jesus’ life. Now Robert Van Voorst presents and critiques the ancient evidence outside the New Testament—the Roman, Jewish, pre-New Testament, and post-New Testament writings that mention Jesus. This fascinating study of the early Christian and non-Christian record includes fresh translations of all the relevant texts. Van Voorst shows how and to what extent these ancient writings can be used to help reconstruct the historical Jesus.
The book is a marvelous achievement and deserves a wide reading even by those who are already familiar with the sources. Nuggets of insight and illuminating suggestions often appear in the details and in the footnotes. For example, Van Voorst makes the intriguing proposal that Tacitus may have learned about Christians as part of his responsibilities as a member of the priestly college of the Quindecimviri sacris faciundis (p. 52). Inevitable trivial disagreements over minor points will not prevent one from admiring the caution, sensitivity, and literary skill that Van Voorst employs in his arguments. Most scholars will not seriously dispute his conclusion that the New Testament still remains the most important collection of sources for the study of the historical Jesus.
—Allen Kerkeslager, The Review of Biblical Literature
Robert E. Van Voorst is professor of New Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan.