Has Authenticity Died? “Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity”

9780567377234There’s a book you may have heard of called Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity.

Criteria of authenticity, whose roots go back to before the pioneering work of Albert Schweitzer, have become a unifying feature of the so-called Third Quest for the Historical Jesus, finding a prominent and common place in the research of otherwise differing scholars. More recently, however, scholars from different methodological frameworks have expressed discontent with this approach to the historical Jesus. In the past five years, these expressions of discontent have reached a fever pitch.

The internationally renowned authors of this book examine the nature of this new debate and present the findings in a cohesive way aimed directly at making the coalface of Historical Jesus research accessible to undergraduates and seminary students. The book’s larger ramifications as a thorough end to the Third Quest will provide a pressure valve for thousands of scholars who view historical Jesus studies as outmoded and misguided. This book has the potential to guide Jesus studies beyond the Third Quest and demand to be consulted by any scholar who discards, adopts, or adapts historical criteria.

It addresses issues central and crucial for the rediscovery or recovery of the historical Jesus, and Bloomsbury is providing several copies, gratis.  To obtain one, gratis, you simply have to tell me why you would like it.  Best answers will win.  Simple, right?

And though some of my contests can tend to be aiming for humorous submissions, this time I want folk to be serious.  Why would this book benefit you?

[NB- it will benefit you- it has me.  If a crusty curmudgeony dyed-in-the-wool Bultmannian can see things in a new way, anyone (except a mythicist of course) can].

Let the fun begin.  Answers will be accepted until March 15 and winners will be announced the 16th.

14 thoughts on “Has Authenticity Died? “Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity”

  1. I have two already, signed by the editors and some of the contributors.

    Thanks, but no thanks. It is an awesome book, however.

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  2. Am I sure what? I have both the hardcopy and an electronic copy. The hardcopy is signed just as a I said. Plus, the book is awesome.

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  3. Jim, I would like it because I finished seminary and, lo, the courses on transcripts (though the appropriate course numbers) left me unqualified for doctoral programs. Though I had long ago come to similar conclusions as the book appears to endorse, it is always fun to see if my arguments are well constructed compared to the arguments made by other scholars.

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  4. Hi there,
    I’d be interested in the book because, as a local church pastor, the historical Jesus comes up at least twice a year in the popular press and television–right before Christmas and right before Easter. Folks come to Bible Study and to worship with many questions, some of which I’ve heard before many times and, on occasion, a totally new question. And every year I need to study up on what is new in the area of Historal Jesus research so my answers are authentic, up to date, and scholarly.

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  5. I am writing two books on the parting of ways, and Jesus’ ministery is the penultimate chapter ofthe first volume. This book may be useful. I hope that’s sufficiently serious.

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  6. As a student writing his thesis primarily employing the criteria based model for constructing the historical Jesus (with much thanks to J.P. Meier’s work), it would be of great benefit to receive and read a book that is contrary to this methodology.

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  7. how would this book benefit me? in three ways.
    1) as a non-academic but NT studies fanatic, this book seems to provide the type of insight into the discipline of the Historical Jesus studies that can only be gained by years of socialization and discussion with scholars that, to be honest, not everyone can enjoy. In other words, this book will guide my personal research/studies in the future by narrowing the authors worth reading, types of books worth purchasing, and questions worth asking.
    2) Look, I’m gonna buy this book anyway so it will really help me out if I don’t have to pay for it and the postage.
    3) of all the contests I’ve entered in your blog, I haven’t won once. This might indicate some possible Americo-centrism in these contests of yours. So by sending me a copy it is both of us that benefit from it.

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  8. Jim West is the best living biblioblogger/scholar. Zwingli rules. Joel Watts is the scum of the earth.

    I would really appreciate winning a copy of this book because I’ve recently become interested in historical Jesus studies, mainly through listening to Mark Goodacre’s NT pod and reading Keith & Le Donne’s blog. I have yet to read a book on the topic (shame on me, I know), and this seems like a great place to start.

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    • Well i think it’s fair to say that Jenn will probably win one of the copies. Who will win the others???? The race is tight!!!

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  9. Look, I almost never win these things, but I have read a bit about the 3rd quest and it kinda screwed me up. So, perhaps this book will bring about some sanity.

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  10. It will benefit me because Jim West has said so.

    Aside from the above said reason, which is more than sufficient, it may also be of benefit to have a broader perspective than Meier’s criteria-centric approach to historical Jesus studies. Perhaps it will convince me to put my time and effort elsewhere than processing the gospels through the criteria of authenticity.

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