FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-02-2001, 07:08 PM   #1
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post Looking for some good books

I was wondering if any of you could recommend some bible criticism books. Books describing historical and secular views of its development, the book dates, the canon decisions, the interpolations, and the historicity (sic) of the events described within.


 
Old 03-02-2001, 07:11 PM   #2
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Hubzilla:
I was wondering if any of you could recommend some bible criticism books. Books describing historical and secular views of its development, the book dates, the canon decisions, the interpolations, and the historicity (sic) of the events described within.

</font>
The most dispassionate and unbiased treatment I've seen of the Historical Jesus is John P. Meier's three volume works, "A Marginal Jew, Rethinking the Historical Jesus." Volumes 1 and 2 are out. Volume 3 is under construction. Meier is like a meat grinder applying the tools of historical criticism to filter out the most assured results of the historical Jesus.

 
Old 03-02-2001, 09:43 PM   #3
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Hi Hubzilla

If I may, what level of schollarly detail do you want to get into? JP Mieir's books for example, are about 800 pages a crack, and my own personal favorites would be Raymond Brown's astonishing works, "An Introduction to the New Testament" (covers all the books of the NT, about 900 pages), "Birth of the Messiah" (JUST Matt 1-2 and Luke 1-3 basically, and 752 pages!!!), and "Death of the Messiah, 2 Volumes" (covers only the Passion of Christ, but not the resurrection, and it's over 1500 pages including the appendices!).

If you only get one of these, go with Intro to the New Testament.

Otherwise, what is your main goal at this point? You are asking a lot in your question, and the subject is simply too vast to just pick a few books (beyond my own personal favs I suppose).

Peace, and good luck on your quest.

Nomad
 
Old 03-03-2001, 08:04 AM   #4
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Smile

Some from my Library:
The Jesus Puzzel-Earl Doherty
Canaantie Myth & Hebrew Epic- Frank Moore Cross
Egypt, Canaan & Israel in Ancient Times-Donald Redford
The Birth of Christianity- John Crossan
Isaac Assimofs Guide to the Bible vol 1 & 2
History Begins At Sumer- Noah Kramer
The Jesus Seminar and it's Critics- Robert Miller
Then there is the multi volumn set 'The Jesus Seminar itself.
 
Old 03-03-2001, 08:25 AM   #5
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

<A HREF="http://www.secweb.org/bookstore/bookdetail.asp?BookID=651" TARGET=_blank>The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts
</A> is currently available in the Secular Web Book Store, and is the II Book of the Month, and will be discussed in the II Book Club at the end of the month. I'd love to see everyone who posted to this thread involved... especially you, Nomad. I would be very interested to see what you had to say. You're a pretty smart person (nowhere near as smart as me... but ... ya know... ), and I respect your opinion (wrong though it may always be ).

Anyway, I hope to see you all at the other end of the month!
 
Old 03-03-2001, 10:22 AM   #6
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Wink

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by sentinel00:
[B]<A HREF="http://www.secweb.org/bookstore/bookdetail.asp?BookID=651" TARGET=_blank>The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts
</A> is currently available in the Secular Web Book Store, and is the II Book of the Month, and will be discussed in the II Book Club at the end of the month. I'd love to see everyone who posted to this thread involved... especially you, Nomad. I would be very interested to see what you had to say.</font>
Hmm... since I am currently HIP DEEP (sheesh) in NT studies including Ray Brown, Michael Grant and Dan Wallace, maybe you can find an extra 5 or 6 hours a day and 2 days a week for me?

Not that I wouldn't like to get into more OT Historical studies, but I just don't have very much expertise in this field to know if I can contribute much.

A quick scan through some of the reviews on Amazon.com shows me some of the common fallacies or the amateur being repeated. For example, while the book appears to say that there is no historical archeological evidence for Abraham, Moses and the 40 year wandering (one is left to wonder what kind of evidence one would find 4000 years later on nomadic peoples), more than one reviewer has concluded these people never existed at all!

It's stuff like this that drives me crazy, and is likely to prompt me to write an essay on the subject (or maybe an open letter to all the "Whoever"-Mythers that rampage across the not-ver-scholarly horizon right now...

Nomad stops his rant in mid-breath now... calms himself...

I guess what I am saying here is that I have never argued for the historicity of the Hebrew Scriptures, and certainly see no reason to believe that contemporaries of most of the characters ever wrote any of those books. On the other hand, if the recorded traditions of an admittedly ancient people are to be given short shift merely because the physical evidence of much of what they recorded is not available to us to date, should we be getting too excited and telling these people that they don't have a historical clue?

Or should we be a bit more humble? After all, the Queen of Sheba's palace showed up for archeologists when exactly? Last year?

As we can see, reliance on such an inexact and developing (not to mention very young) science as archeology can leave one on very shaky ground. Just look at the near parallel world of the paleontologist to see what I mean.

Final question, how does this book compare to Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliott Friedman? That is the next book on my "need to buy and read list".

Be well, and happy reading,

Nomad
 
Old 03-03-2001, 11:53 AM   #7
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Actually, I haven't read the book yet. Amazon is in the process of shipping it to me.

Otherwise, I can find you that extra time if you take this little white powder and...
 
Old 03-04-2001, 06:23 AM   #8
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Nomad: A quick scan through some of the reviews on Amazon.com shows me some of the common fallacies or the amateur being repeated.

Why don't you read the book BEFORE you dismiss it as the work of some "amateur who repeats common fallacies?"

 
Old 03-04-2001, 06:56 AM   #9
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by marduck:
Some from my Library:
The Jesus Puzzel-Earl Doherty
Canaantie Myth & Hebrew Epic- Frank Moore Cross
Egypt, Canaan & Israel in Ancient Times-Donald Redford
The Birth of Christianity- John Crossan
Isaac Assimofs Guide to the Bible vol 1 & 2
History Begins At Sumer- Noah Kramer
The Jesus Seminar and it's Critics- Robert Miller
Then there is the multi volumn set 'The Jesus Seminar itself.
</font>

I commend you on this selection of books.

Also, I suggest the following from my personal library:
Jesus Outside the Gospels, R. Joseph Hoffman
Jesus, Charles Guignebert
Ancient Christian Gospels, Helmut Koester
Christian Beginnings, Morton Enslin
Jesus the Magician, Morton Smith
The Complete Gospels, Robert J. Miller, ed.
Jesus, Bart D. Ehrman
The Origins of Christianity, R. Joseph Hoffman, ed.
Surpassing Wonder, Donald Harman Akenson
The Text of the New Testament, Bruce M. Metzger
Who Wrote the Gospels, Randel McCraw Helms
The Other Bible, Willis Barnstone, ed.
Understanding the New Testament, Howard Clark Kee
The Origins of Christianity, F.C. Conybeare
The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart D. Ehrman
Jesus and the World of Judaism, Geza Vermes
Introduction to the New Testament, Helmut Koester
Primitive Christianity, Rudolf Bultmann
One Jesus, Many Christs, Gregory J. Riley
Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah, George W. E. Nicklesburg

If you would like to email me, I can provide a more extensive listing of books, with some commentary on each.

Ron


 
Old 03-04-2001, 07:10 AM   #10
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

You will not do badly following Nomad's recommendations, although I recommend Crossan after Meier. Laymen is right; Meier is like a meat-grinder, making steak into sausage.

Since I see most of what I would recommend has been covered by someone...

Some from my library:

Brown's Introduction to the New Testament: Very useful, but ignores any scholarship challenging historical existence of Jesus. However, I would put it down as a must-have if only for its referential value

Crossan The Birth of Christianitya brilliant, sometimes speculative, always erudite attempt to formulate a methodology that allows one to say something intelligent about the origins and dissemination of early Xtianity. Very refreshing change from the usual "let's-assume-its-true-and-then-prove-it" attitude of lots of believing scholarship.

Spong - anything. I have Liberating the Gospels and Why Christianity Must Change or Die. Very readable, sometimes too speculative, always interesting. The contortions that Spong goes through to call himself a Christian after demonstrating that all of that religion's central beliefs are myths are entertaining enough in themselves.

Asimov's guide ot the Bible Out of date, but still fun.

Wheless' Is it God's Word A devastating attack on biblical literalism. Scholarship has superseded some of his foundations, but this book relies mainly on the Bible itself to discredit the Bible. The section on Exodus is priceless, hilariously funny. Downloadable from the II library.

I also recommend a general survey of world religious belief, such as Joseph Cambell's
work, plus a more detailed working knowledge of religion in another culture, preferably a non-western one. Comparative cross-cultural views are very useful and will serve to insulate you from the absurd claims that Christians sometimes make about their religion.

Michael
 
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:09 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.