A Forthcoming Volume of Great Interest

‘Is this not the Carpenter?’ The Question of the Historicity of the Figure of Jesus, Edited by: Thomas L. Thompson, Thomas S. Verenna.

The publisher’s blurb notes

For some time, New Testament scholarship, particularly in its conservative and evangelical wings, have avoided direct questions regarding the historicity of Jesus. Many have followed Rudolf Bultmann, who had suggested that “The Jesus Christ who is God’s Son, a pre-existent divine being, is at the same time a certain historical person, Jesus of Nazareth…” (1941). This has become a mantra, which, today, is accepted and hardly questioned by most scholars, who, accordingly, have lost sight of the context of the literature of the New Testament, ignoring the theological emulations, allusions, and edifying functions of many of the Gospel narratives, the epistles, pastorals, and the book of Revelation. The presupposition of historicity supports an historical interpretation of the texts and makes alternative explanations for allegories, edifications, eponyms and allusions unnecessary. With the assumption of such figures as Jesus, Paul and the disciples as historical, significant intentions which are implicit to our texts are frequently ignored or misunderstood and whole subtexts are created which might never have existed in the past

We are faced with an endless production of works on the historical Jesus, without a clear engagement of historical methods and little discussion of the central question of the function of these texts. This study presents a dialogue, which raises the question of historicity directly, much as the so-called Copenhagen school successfully raised similar questions as to the historicity of the figures of the patriarchs and other origin traditions of the Hebrew Bible. The volume questions of the value of current trends of historical Jesus scholarship, presents a new perspective regarding the exegesis of the books of the New Testament (and primarily Paul as our “earliest testimony” to the figure of Jesus) and outlines the implications of the literary function of the rewritten Bible.

You can click on the link above for the table of contents. A stellar assembly to be sure.  With thanks to Tom Verenna for the tip.

11 thoughts on “A Forthcoming Volume of Great Interest

  1. steph 4 Nov 2010 at 7:36 pm

    I love Mogens I really do and had a wonderful time and conversations with him at the dinner last year and he’s written very very nice things elsewhere. I don’t agree with his late gospel datings and feel that his theory neglects to engage certain things – but nobody thinks that Paul was a witness of the historical Jesus – nobody at all!! You can argue (wrongly) for a Jesus as Christ but not the historical Jesus. Nevertheless I’m sure I’ll want to read his article and I already like James’ and Roland’s is sure to be good and I know I like yours … but some of the others make me even more eager for the completion of Maurice Casey’s forthcoming book (title undecided) which engages the mythicists thoroughly from Price and Thompson to Acharya, Doherty and a couple of exclusively internet based ones including other published authors, as well as previous (generally apologetic) responses to mythicist arguments… But now I must be happy to continue to pass on material and watch the manuscript grow and grow and grow and grow and grow …


  2. Tom Verenna 4 Nov 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Steph, I think you’ll enjoy the whole volume. Everyone who contributed really went out of their way to produce an excellent paper. I might be speaking from bias here, but I find this volume to be superb all the way through (excluding my own paper, which I imagine will look stale in comparison to the amazing lineup of the rest of the book).


  3. steph 4 Nov 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Dear Tom,

    Thank you. I swim every day, never miss, and clock up sometimes more than 30 kms a week. Down under many of those swims are in the sea even through the winter when the temperature drops to pretty freezing degrees. Someone once said I am a creature of habit, a slave to routine and a glutton for punishment – I don’t frequently do things by halves. Of course I will read every word, including those especially by James already read, because his words are always a joy to see, he is eminently sensible and that particular article is both timely and necessary I thought. It is right in the middle, as the whole book is, of an area of extreme interest to me. Best wishes, steph


  4. steph 4 Nov 2010 at 9:45 pm

    PS I only have one problem, just a bit pissed off …. Equinox – what’s with the blinking price?!!!! When is it coming out in paperback?


  5. steph 4 Nov 2010 at 9:46 pm

    oh and Tom, I forgot to put mr wink 😉 because I’m full of cheek! 😀


  6. […] I guess the news is out!  My forthcoming book with Thomas Thompson is nearly […]


  7. Tom Verenna 5 Nov 2010 at 8:04 am

    Yes, the book is pricey. But as I said elsewhere, the volume is so incredible I believe it to be well worth the price. Everyone who contributed wrote up such great papers for this volume, I can’t imagine a better price for it. That said, I do hope it sells enough copies that it goes to paperback and will be available for a less expensive amount for those of us (like myself) who can just barely afford the book!


  8. steph 5 Nov 2010 at 8:31 am

    Incredible? In credible 😉 I’m sure I’ll find it the most sensationally brilliant book I’ve ever read and think it completely priceless…. I’m sure I haven’t ever seen such a positive recommendation before for a book, even by another book’s co-editor. 😀


  9. Tom Verenna 5 Nov 2010 at 12:20 pm



  10. From The Notebook « Marty Andrade 28 Nov 2010 at 8:40 pm

    […] A Forthcoming Volume of Great Interest (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com) […]


  11. […] practically all-knowing Jim West (Zwinglius Redivivus) alerts us to a forthcoming collection examining the evidence for the existence of the historical (or is that enti…: Is this not the Carpenter?’ The Question of the Historicity of the Figure of Jesus (Equinox, […]


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