Monday, April 20, 2015
An Important Overlooked/Underappreciated Historical Jesus Book—Chris Keith
the most overlooked or underrated book on the historical Jesus. I was pretty intrigued by some of the answers. As I mentioned on that post, though, I had wondered about this because of a particular book that I don't think gets the attention that it probably deserves. I confess that I'm not quite willing to say that this is the most overlooked or underrated book on the historical Jesus, but it's certainly an overlooked or underrated book on the historical Jesus. That book is Der historische Jesus, edited by Jens Schroeter and Ralph Brucker and published in 2002 in the BZNW monograph series (de Gruyter). The essays are written in English or German and come from some immediately recognizable names in the field (Werner Kelber, Michael Moxter, David du Toit, James Dunn, Jens Schroeter, Christopher Tuckett, David Aune, Joerg Frey, Hermut Loehr, Michael Wolter, Petr Pokorny, Ulrich Luz, and Andreas Lindemann). It's important, though, because this book in many ways prefigured larger shifts in Jesus research that would come after it. Especially the essays from Kelber, Moxter, Dunn, and Schroeter reveal the impact of various forms of postmodern historiography. The essay of du Toit is an overlooked critique of the criterion of dissimilarity. Kelber's essay was published in English elsewhere (initially in a book with John Dominic Crossan and Luke Timothy Johnson and now in his Imprints, Voiceprints, and Footprints of Memory [SBL]) and Schroeter's essay would go on to be included in his Von Jesus zum Neuen Testament (Mohr Siebeck), which is now, of course, thanks to Wayne Coppins, available in English as From Jesus to the New Testament (Baylor University Press). It's certainly not the case that the book was totally ignored, but especially in English-speaking scholarship I'm surprised that it's not had a bigger impact.