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Whose Historical Jesus? by William E. Arnaljargon-free, organized essays that convey both the centrality and the complexity of deciphering the historical Jesus. Essays range from traditional to modern and postmodern and address both recent and enduring concerns and provide context and help the reader focus on the issues at stake.
Jesus: A Very Short Introduction by Richard Bauckhamevaluating the sources and concluding that they provide us with good historical evidence for Jesus' life and teaching. looks at Jewish religion and society in the land of Israel under Roman rule. He explores Jesus' symbolic practices as well as his teachings, looks at his public career.
: Jesus against Rome, then and nowGod and Empire by John Dominic CrossanIn contrast to the oppressive Roman military occupation of the first century, he examines the meaning of the non-violent Kingdom of God prophesied by Jesus and the equality advocated by Paul to the early Christian churches. contrasts these messages of peace with the misinterpreted apocalyptic vision from the Book of Revelation. surveys the Bible from Genesis to Apocalypse,
Jesus and Judaism by E. P. Sanderstreats Jesus intention and his relationship to his contemporaries in Judaism. also: the reason for his death and the motivating force behind the rise of Christianity. Online available.
Jesus the Magician by Morton Smithlooking closely at the descriptions of miracles and demons in the New Testament and explaining the mythology of the time, provides evidence for the case of Jesus as a magician. Online available.
Jesus the Jew by Geza VermesIn contrast to depictions of Jesus as a wandering Cynic teacher, offers a portrait based on evidence of charismatic activity in first-century Galilee. titles of Jesus: prophet, Lord, Messiah, son of man, Son of God, can be understood in this historical context.
The Historical Figure of Jesus by E. P. Sandersdistinguishing the 'certain' from the 'less certain' and the 'improbable' to present a fresh and dramatic account of Jesus as a person. proposes that we can have excellent knowledge about Jesus on a general level where he fits into the history and religious movements of first-century Palestine, the main themes of his teaching, some of his principal activities, and the people who followed him. Online available.
Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews by Paula Fredriksenan observant Jew of his time, a prophetic teacher who traveled through the villages of Galilee and frequently in and around Jerusalem. Why was crucifixion chosen as the means of execution? If Jesus was executed as a political insurrectionist, why were none of his followers executed or even arrested? Online available.
Jesus and the Village Scribes by William E. Arnal: Galilean conflicts and the setting of Qchallenges Gerd Theissen's dominant thesis of "wandering radicals" as the earliest spreaders of the Jesus tradition. the context of the Jesus movement, and of Q in particular, is the socio-economic crisis in Galilee under the Romans; the formation of Q is the product of Galilean village scribes in the Jesus movement reacting to the negative developments in Galilee that affected their social standing.