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A New Perspective on Jesus (Acacia Studies In Bible And Theology Series)

James D G Dunn
A New Perspective on Jesus (Acacia Studies In Bible And Theology Series)
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A New Perspective on Jesus (Acacia Studies In Bible And Theology Series)

James D G Dunn

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In A New Perspective on Jesus, renowned author James D. G. Dunn critiques the quest for the historical Jesus. He claims that the quest has been largely unsuccessful because it started from the wrong place, began with the wrong assumptions, and viewed the evidence from the wrong perspective.

Dunn's study offers three criticisms of questers' methods. First, Dunn contends that scholars have failed to see how the disciples' pre-Easter faith shaped the Gospel traditions. Second, he claims that a focus on literary transmission has led scholars to ignore the fact that the Gospel traditions arose in an oral culture, which shaped the way the stories of Jesus were told and passed on. Third, Dunn challenges scholars' preoccupation with finding what is distinctive about Jesus and rejecting portions of the tradition portraying Jesus as characteristically Jewish. Dunn concludes by rethinking accepted views of Synoptic relationships in light of the oral nature of the Jesus tradition.

This work offers a compelling critique of the presuppositions that inform much of contemporary Gospel study, and the alternatives Dunn proposes are sure to stimulate scholarly debate. It will interest students and scholars of the Bible, pastors and church leaders, and anyone wanting a fresh perspective on Jesus studies.
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About "A New Perspective on Jesus (Acacia Studies In Bible And Theology Series)"

In A New Perspective on Jesus, renowned author James D. G. Dunn critiques the quest for the historical Jesus. He claims that the quest has been largely unsuccessful because it started from the wrong place, began with the wrong assumptions, and viewed the evidence from the wrong perspective.

Dunn's study offers three criticisms of questers' methods. First, Dunn contends that scholars have failed to see how the disciples' pre-Easter faith shaped the Gospel traditions. Second, he claims that a focus on literary transmission has led scholars to ignore the fact that the Gospel traditions arose in an oral culture, which shaped the way the stories of Jesus were told and passed on. Third, Dunn challenges scholars' preoccupation with finding what is distinctive about Jesus and rejecting portions of the tradition portraying Jesus as characteristically Jewish. Dunn concludes by rethinking accepted views of Synoptic relationships in light of the oral nature of the Jesus tradition.

This work offers a compelling critique of the presuppositions that inform much of contemporary Gospel study, and the alternatives Dunn proposes are sure to stimulate scholarly debate. It will interest students and scholars of the Bible, pastors and church leaders, and anyone wanting a fresh perspective on Jesus studies.
- Publisher.
- Koorong

160 Pages
- Publisher

In this compelling study, renowned author James D. G. Dunn provides a critique of the quest for the historical Jesus. Dunn claims that the quest has been misguided from the start in its attempt to separate the historical Jesus from the Christ of faith. Dunn argues that Jesus scholars have consistently failed to recognize how the early disciples' pre-Easter faith and a predominantly oral culture shaped the way the stories about Jesus were told and passed on. Dunn also examines the implications of oral transmission for our understanding of Synoptic relationships. A New Perspective on Jesus proposes a change in direction for Jesus scholarship. It will be of interest to pastors, church leaders, students, and thoughtful laypersons wanting a fresh perspective on Jesus studies.
- Publisher

"Although this is a small book, the issues are large, and Dunn''s critique of so much that historians of Jesus still take for granted is salutary. He thoughtfully asks the hard questions, and his informed answers not only orient us in the right direction but outline further paths for research."--Dale Allison, Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Early Christianity, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary"At last, here is an accessible book by a noted New Testament scholar who takes seriously, and thus builds a strong case for, the role of orality/aurality among the early followers of Jesus. In so doing, Dunn also builds a strong case for the essential reliability of the Gospel materials. I am glad to commend this book as an introduction to the study of Jesus and the Gospels."--Gordon Fee, professor emeritus of New Testament studies, Regent College"What Dunn did for Pauline studies when he called for a ''post-Sanders new perspective,'' he is now doing for historical Jesus studies. Dunn''s ''new perspective'' on Jesus is post-tradition criticism and contends that the foundation of the Jesus traditions was shaped by faith. There never was a historical Jesus who could be understood apart from faith. This book summons the academy to the table and contends that it has been epistemologically irresponsible."--Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University"A New Perspective on Jesus takes a serious look at the Jesus tradition in its earliest form as oral tradition. The impact of faith, the nature of oral communication, and a focus on the ''characteristic'' Jesus are affirmed in a context where faith is often undervalued, form and redaction criticism are said to rule, and the ''dissimilar'' Jesus is treated as the authentic Jesus. This work brings needed balance to a study of Jesus that is often out of whack."--Darrell Bock, author of Jesus according to Scripture"The past twenty-five years have brought a Copernican revolution in our understanding of Jesus. We now know that Jesus was Jewish by cultural commitment as well as by birth, that his disciples conveyed this perspective in their teachings, and that his disciples taught by word of mouth--not in writing--during the earliest years of Christianity. In this accessible book, Dunn provides a lucid introduction to one of the intellectual pivots in the present generation of scholarship."--Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion, Bard College"Dunn''s call for systemic reform in the field of historical Jesus research is a must read for anyone interested in understanding Jesus'' significance and impact. Is it really possible to arrive at a credible, historical understanding of one who so quickly became the object of religious faith? Dunn says it is, but first we must ask why Jesus became the object of faith. By front-loading that question, Dunn turns the quest for the historical Jesus on its ear, providing new and potentially fruitful avenues for research. In this engaging book, Dunn maps out his plan for such study in terms that are understandable, reasonable, and accessible to all who are concerned with the intersection of faith and history."--Mark Allan Powell, author of Jesus as a Figure in History"After writing remarkable works on Christology and Paul, Dunn is turning his productive energies to the historical Jesus. In doing so, he must inevitably come to terms with contemporary research on the sayings of Jesus (Q)--in both moderate and exaggerated forms of that research--as well as with the results of the Jesus Seminar in California. In the process, Dunn has come to see that although the search for early, reliable, textually-transmitted material is preeminent in the construction of a portrait of Jesus, this material is liable to be misunderstood if the original context is ignored--namely, that of a living tradition transmitted orally by disciples who had known Jesus even before the cross and Easter. Dunn''s careful methodological ex
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Meet the Author

James D G Dunn

James D G Dunn (Ph.D., Cambridge, D.D.) is Lightfoot Professor Emeritus of Divinity in the University of Durham, England. He is the author of numerous books on the New Testament, including several important commentaries on various epistles of Paul, Romans 1-8, Romans 9-16 (Word Biblical Commentary, 2 vols.), Galatians (Black's New Testament Commentaries), and Colossians and Philemon (New International Greek Testament Commentary) and Christian Liberty: A New Testament Perspective (with Alan M. Suggate), The Justice of God: A Fresh Look at the Old Doctrine of Justification by Faith. His expertise on oral transmission is captured in the two volumes Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making, Volume 1 and Beginning from Jerusalem: Christianity in the Making, Volume 2 .

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