Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 14:2 (NA 2004)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Recent Work In The Historical Jesus

Caiaphas: Friend of Rome and Judge of Jesus? By Helen K. Bond. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2004. Pp. x + 220. ISBN 0-664-22332-X. $24.95.

The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary. By Arland J. Hultgren. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000. Pp. xxix + 522. ISBN 0-8028-4475-8. $30.00.

Who Is Jesus? History in Perfect Tense. Studies on Personalities of the New Testament. By Leander E. Keck. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2000. Pp. x + 207. ISBN 1-57003-338-2. $21.00.

Putting Jesus in His Place: A Radical Vision of Household and Kingdom. By Halvor Moxnes. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2003. Pp. x + 222. ISBN 0664-22310-9. $34.95.

Judas: Images of the Lost Disciple. By Kim Paffenroth. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001. Pp. xv + 207. ISBN 0-664-22424-5. $24.95.

The Quest for the Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criteria. By Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter. Translated by M. Eugene Boring. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002. Pp. xxiii + 344. ISBN,0-664-22537-3. $29.95.

The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man: How Reliable Is the Gospel Tradition? By Robert M. Price. Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2003. Pp. 389. ISBN 1-59102121-9. $26.00.

We examine here briefly an interesting array of books that make various contributions to historical Jesus research. Five of these books deal directly with Jesus, but the other two—Bond’s book on Caiaphas and Paffenroth’s book on Judas—make significant contributions to important questions of background and historical context. They also make, of course, important contributions to their respective principal topics.

Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter’s Quest for the Plausible Jesus provides the critique that the old criterion of double dissimilarity has long deserved. This criterion, especially when it is applied negatively, “programmatically marks off Jesus from both Judaism and the church” (p. xvi). For many years scholars have called into question one of the prongs of this criterion, that of dissimilarity to Jewish emphases. Not all have heeded this criticism, as is especially seen in the major works emanating from the Jesus Seminar. But Theissen and Winter also rightly challenge the second prong of the criterion, which calls into question dominical tradition that seems too at home in the post-Easter community. Instead, the authors opt for a much more-nuanced approach that asks if the material cannot plausibly be explained in a Jewish context and in a later Christian context where the material has perhaps been

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