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Whose Historical Jesus?

Edited by William E. Arnal & Michel Desjardins
Subjects Religion
Series Studies in Christianity and Judaism Hide Details
Paperback : 9780889202955, 352 pages, May 1997
Ebook (EPUB) : 9780889203846, 352 pages, October 2010

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Whose Historical Jesus? edited by William E. Arnal and Michel Desjardins
Preface | Michel Desjardins, Wilfrid Laurier University
Part One: Recent Concerns
The Mediterranean Jesus
1. The Mediterranean Jesus: Context | William Klassen, Emmanuel College
2. Itinerants and Householders in the Earliest Jesus Movement | John Dominic Crossan, De Paul University
3. Q and a Cynic-Like Jesus | Burton L. Mack, Claremont Graduate School
4. The Gospel of Thomas and the Cynic Jesus | John W. Marshall, Princeton University
The Galilean Jewish Jesus
5. The Galilean Jewish Jesus: Context | William E. Arnal, University of Toronto
6. Galilean Questions to Crossan’s Meditteranean Jesus | Seán Freyne, Trinity College
Socio-Rhetorical Interests
7. Socio-Rhetorical Interests: Context | Willi Braun, Bishop’s University
8. The Rhetoric of the Historical Jesus | L. Gregory Bloomquist, Université St. Paul
9. Cosmology and the Jesus Miracles | Wendy Cotter, Loyola University of Chicago
10. The Theological Importance of the “Third Quest” for the Historical Jesus | Halvor Moxnes, University of Oslo
Academic Engagement
11. Academic Engagement: Context | Sandra Walker-Ramisch, Carleton University
12. A Feminist Experience of Historical-Jesus Scholarship | Jane Schaberg, University of Detroit Mercy
13. The Historical Jesus and African New Testament Scholarship | Grant LeMarquand, Wycliffe College
Recent Concerns: Closing Thoughts
Recent Concerns: The Scholar as Engagé | Leif E. Vaage, Emmanuel College
Part Two: Enduring Concerns
Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls
15. Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls: Context | Terence L. Donaldson, College of Emmanuel and St. Cloud
16. The Historical Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls | Wayne O. McCready, University of Calgary
17. Apocalypticism: Context | Dietmar Neufeld, University of British Columbia
18. Will the Reader Understand? Apocalypse as Veil or Vision in Recent Historical-Jesus Research | Edith M. Humphrey, McGill University
The Christ of Faith
19. The Christ of Faith: Context | Stephen Westerholm, McMaster University
20. Is the “Historical Jesus” a Christological Construct? | Barry W. Henaut, University of Toronto
Continuing Historical-Jesus Studies
21. Continuing Historical-Jesus Studies: Context | Robert L. Webb, Campion College
22. A Taxonomy of Recent Historical-Jesus Work | Larry W. Hurtado, New College
Enduring Concerns: Closing Thoughts
Enduring Concerns: Desiderata for Future Historical-Jesus Research | Paul Richardson, University of Toronto
Making and Re-Making the Jesus Sign: Contemporary Markings on the Body of Christ | William E. Arnal, University of Toronto
Subject Index
Modern Authors Index
Ancient Sources Index


The figure of Jesus has fascinated Western civilization for centuries. As the year 2000 approaches, eliciting connections with Jesus’ birth and return, excitement grows — as does the number of studies about Jesus. Cutting through this mass of material, Whose Historical Jesus? provides a collection of penetrating, jargon-free, intelligently organized essays that convey well both the centrality and the complexity of deciphering the historical Jesus.
Contributors include such eminent scholars as John Dominic Crossan, Burton L. Mack, Seán Freyne and Peter Richardson. Essays range from traditional to modern and postmodern and address both recent and enduring concerns. Introductions and reflections augment these lucid essays, provide context and help the reader focus on the issues at stake. Whose Historical Jesus? will be of interest to all who wish to understand the current controversies and historical debates, who want insightful critiques of those views or who would like guidance on the direction of future studies.

Reviews collection of thought-provoking and at times amusing essays....

- Matt Davis, Books in Canada

The strength of this volume is its diversity of voice, topic and form which allows it to be at once representative and venturesome, accessible and learned, Canadian and international, etc. I have used many of the essays successfully with both graduate and undergraduate students, either as representative samples of Historical Jesus Research or as welcome challenges to the usual fare. Warmly recommended.

- Ian H. Henderson, McGill University, ARC

What distinguishes Whose Historical Jesus? is not only its reliable and nuanced map of the avalanche area, but the remarkable level of theoretical sophistication of its analysis -- not only describing the various differences that exist, but trying to give an account of those differences that show what is at stake for humanistic scholarship. It is also a mark of distinction that the essays are edited so that they engage in a genuine internal conversation rather than talking past each other, a feature that is partly due to labour of the editors, Arnal and Desjardins, and partly to the collegial atmosphere cultivated in the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies in its 1993 and 1994 meetings, where most of these papers were first presented....Arnal's retrospective (`Contemporary markings on the body of Christ') is practically worth the cost of the book itself....Throughout there is an effort to engage the best of Jesus scholarship with care and generosity and without the rancour that sometimes infects this field.

- John S. Kloppenborg, Studies in Religion

William E. Arnal and Michel Desjardins have put together a valuable and substantive collection, providing essays from leading Canadian scholars, along with those from the U.S., Ireland, Scotland and Norway. It should be in every college, university and seminary library; anyone doing Jesus research needs to engage these fine contributions. I would also recommend it as a supplementary reader for advanced undergraduates, seminary and graduate courses on the 'Historical Jesus.'

- K.C. Hanson, St. Olaf College, Toronto Journal of Theology

The volume deserves careful reading by all Jesus scholars.

- Scot McKnight, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

There is hardly an unworthy essay in the lot and I should expect that Whose Historical Jesus? will soon win a place of distinction in the bibliography of historical Jesus scholarship. It is to the credit of the editors and contributors that the essays form a genuine conversation that is courteous, learned, and unmarked by the rancour that sometimes infects this field.

- James H. Olthuis, University of Toronto Quarterly