Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 55:3 (Sep 2012)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus. Edited by Tom Holmén and Stanley E. Porter. 4 vols. Leiden: Brill, 2011, xxi + 3652 pp., $1,329.00.

Tom Holmén is Adjunct Professor of New Testament Exegesis at Helsinki University and Åbo Akademi University. He previously edited Jesus from Judaism to Christianity: Continuum Approaches to the Historical Jesus (London: T&T Clark, 2007) and Jesus in Continuum (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012) and is the author of several other studies on the life and teachings of the historical Jesus. Stanley E. Porter is Professor of New Testament, president, and dean at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the author and editor of over 65 volumes on a range of subjects within NT studies and related fields, including The Criteria for Authenticity in Historical-Jesus Research: Previous Discussion and New Proposals (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000; rev. ed.; London: T&T Clark, 2004). The editors’ purpose in compiling these essays was to create a “summa historica” of Jesus studies through the “collaboration of a legio of the best minds from across many countries and cultures,” especially given the abundance of Jesus studies today “that displays an almost overwhelming diversity of methods, approaches, hypotheses, assumptions, and results” (p. xv). The editors draw attention to the fact that historical Jesus studies have exploded, going off in many different directions with a variety of agendas. Nevertheless, they maintain, it is “vital to genuinely retain the concepts of historical Jesus and historical Jesus research around which the variegated conversation centers and revolves” (p. xvi). The Handbook (HSHJ) was designed as a “means of handling both the growing abundance and the increasing diversity of Jesus scholarship… . The HSHJ seeks to offer a convenient, even if still circuitous, route through the maze of current historical Jesus research, so that scholars and other interested parties can appreciate the broad and diverse spectrum of current opinion” (pp. xvi–xvii). The Handbook aims to be thorough and inclusive; is international in scope; and does not side with any particular ideology.

Volume 1, “How to Study the Historical Jesus” (pp. i–xxi, 1-851 [851pp.]), includes 27 essays. Part One: “Contemporary Methodological Approaches” (pp. 1-616) features 18 essays, and Part Two: “Various Aspects of Historical Jesus Methodology” (pp. 617-851) is made up of 9 additional essays. Volume 2, “The Study of Jesus” (pp. i–xxi, 852-1817 [965pp.]), consists of 30 essays, including 8 essays in Part One: “The Ongoing Quest for the Historical Jesus” (pp. 852-1102), and 11 essays each in Part Two: “Current Questions ...

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