Jesus and the Eyewitnesses
Some great news! But first, an outrageous claim:
Richard Bauckham’s forthcoming book, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, could well end up the most important publication on the historical Jesus to be written in the last fifty years.
It is for that reasons that I am especially thrilled that Eerdmans will kindly send me a review copy, and Richard himself has agreed to a small interview with me about this volume (I believe his largest ever at over 500 pages), to be published on Chrisendom in due course.
Though I will only be asking Richard a few questions, if any of you my readers have a burning suggestion as to what to put to him, then let me know – though keep it related to the subject of the book.
The description of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses on the Eerdmans site runs as follows:
‘This fresh book argues that the four Gospels are closely based on eyewitness testimony of those who knew Jesus. Noted New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham challenges the prevailing assumption that the accounts of Jesus circulated as “anonymous community traditions”, instead asserting that they were transmitted in the name of the original eyewitness.I am personally very excited about this book, but I suspect that had anyone other than Richard written this bold thesis, it probably would not have even been given a hearing.
To drive home this controversial point, Bauckham draws on internal literary evidence, study of personal names in the first century, and recent developments in the understanding of oral traditions. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses also taps into the rich resources of modern study of memory and cognitive psychology, refuting the conclusions of the form critics and call New Testament scholarship to make a clean break with this long-dominant tradition. Finally, Bauckham challenges readers to end the classic division between the “historical Jesus” and the “Christ of faith”, proposing the “Jesus of testimony” that is actually presented by Gospels.
Sure to ignite heated debate on the precise character of the testimony about Jesus, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses will be valued by scholars, students, and all who seek to understand the origins of the Gospels.’
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