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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v022.n002
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 10:18:11 

On Wed, 2 Dec 1998, Kevin J. Maroney wrote:

> (For reasons that are unclear to me, I've been reading a lot of
> early-New-Testament scholarship over the last year-and-a-half. I highly
> recommend John Crossan's recent _The Birth of Christianity_ as one of the
> best scholarly works I've *ever* read--incredibly well-researched,
> wide-ranging, funny, just flat-out brilliant. You will never look at
> Christianity the same way again.)

I haven't read Crossan, but I've read some fairly compelling critiques of
his work which might interest you.

N.T. Wright's _Jesus and the Victory of God_ argues that Crossan et. al.
misread Jesus and the early church by abstracting them too much from the
context of first century Judaism.  There's a good review of it here:


Wright is very readable and also happens to be the best speaker I've ever
heard. I've never heard anyone who takes questions, really listens to
them, and responds in such a thoughtful, eloquent way, genuinely answering
the question, not just going off on some subject inspired by it. If you
can ever find tapes of his lectures, they are wonderful. 

Catholic scholar Luke Timothy Johnson's book _The Real Jesus_ also has
some interesting critiques of Crossan et. al.  The subtitle, "The
Misguided Quest for the Historical and the Truth of the Traditional
Gospels" tells you a lot about where he's coming from, but I think some of
his points about the limits of historical inquiry are telling. 

It's time for me to read some of Crossan's side of things, though.  Thanks
for the recommendation. 


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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