Item description for Jesus Remembered (Christianity in the Making) by James D. G. Dunn...
Overview James Dunn is regarded worldwide as one of today's foremost biblical scholars. Having written groundbreaking studies of the New Testament and a standard work on Paul's theology, Dunn here turns his pen to the rise of Christianity itself. "Jesus Remembered" is the first installment in what will be a monumental three-volume history of the first 120 years of the faith. Focusing on Jesus, this first volume has several distinct features. It garners the lessons to be learned from the "quest for the historical Jesus" and meets the hermeneutical challenges to a historical and theological assessment of the Jesus tradition. It provides a fresh perspective both on the impact made by Jesus and on the traditions about Jesus as oral tradition hence the title "Jesus Remembered." And it offers a fresh analysis of the details of that tradition, emphasizing its characteristic (rather than dissimilar) features. Noteworthy too are Dunn's treatments of the source question (particularly Q and the noncanonical Gospels) and of Jesus the Jew in his Galilean context. In his detailed analysis of the Baptist tradition, the kingdom motif, the call to and character of discipleship, what Jesus' audiences thought of him, what he thought of himself, why he was crucified, and how and why belief in Jesus' resurrection began, Dunn engages wholeheartedly in the contemporary debate, providing many important insights and offering a thoroughly convincing account of how Jesus was remembered from the first, and why. Written with peerless scholarly acumen yet accessible to a wide range of readers, Dunn's "Jesus Remembered," together with its successor volumes, will be a sine qua non for all students of Christianity's beginnings.
Publishers Description James Dunn is regarded worldwide as one of today's foremost biblical scholars. Having written groundbreaking studies of the New Testament and a standard work on Paul's theology, Dunn here turns his pen to the rise of Christianity itself. "Jesus Remembered" is the first installment in what will be a monumental three-volume history of the first 120 years of the faith.Focusing on Jesus, this first volume has several distinct features. It garners the lessons to be learned from the "quest for the historical Jesus" and meets the hermeneutical challenges to a historical and theological assessment of the Jesus tradition. It provides a fresh perspective both on the impact made by Jesus and on the traditions about Jesus as oral tradition -- hence the title "Jesus Remembered." And it offers a fresh analysis of the details of that tradition, emphasizing its characteristic (rather than dissimilar) features. Noteworthy too are Dunn's treatments of the source question (particularly Q and the noncanonical Gospels) and of Jesus the Jew in his Galilean context.In his detailed analysis of the Baptist tradition, the kingdom motif, the call to and character of discipleship, what Jesus' audiences thought of him, what he thought of himself, why he was crucified, and how and why belief in Jesus' resurrection began, Dunn engages wholeheartedly in the contemporary debate, providing many important insights and offering a thoroughly convincing account of how Jesus was remembered from the first, and why.Written with peerless scholarly acumen yet accessible to a wide range of readers, Dunn's "Jesus Remembered," together with its successor volumes, will be a "sine qua non" for all students of Christianity's beginnings.
Awards and Recognitions Jesus Remembered (Christianity in the Making) by James D. G. Dunn has received the following awards and recognitions -
Book of the Year - 2004 Winner - Top 10 category
Citations And Professional Reviews Jesus Remembered (Christianity in the Making) by James D. G. Dunn has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Choice - 03/01/2004 page 1313
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.6" Width: 6.48" Height: 2.22" Weight: 3.35 lbs.
Release Date Jul 29, 2003
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Series Christianity in the Making
Series Number 1
ISBN 0802839312 ISBN13 9780802839312
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More About James D. G. Dunn
James D. G. Dunn is Lightfoot Professor Emeritus of Divinity at Durham University and one of the foremost New Testament scholars in the world today.
James D. G. Dunn currently resides in Durham. James D. G. Dunn was born in 1939 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Durham.
James D. G. Dunn has published or released items in the following series...
Christ and the Spirit
Christianity in the Making
Inquiry Into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation
Reviews - What do customers think about Jesus Remembered (Christianity in the Making)?
THE Jesus Study Book !! Superb !! Jun 10, 2007
This is a heavy duty volume on studying the Jesus of the new testament. The author, James Dunn, is a hugely respected new testament/biblical scholar, immensely learned. The 900+ page book dives into what can be known about Jesus historically. Gets into sources, methods, past historical "Jesus Quests", literary issues and also examines the events and meanings of most aspects of Jesus' life, actions and significance. A tremendous amount of research and learning undergirds the author's work in this book. Provides a richly detailed and intense exploration of Jesus studies as mentioned above. Clearly written, chapters are well laid out. Contains immense footnotes and a rich bibliography. The author is very realistic in his approach and conclusions. He doesn't come at it from a liberal stance or a conservative one. He really seems to be striving to let the evidence and sound historical investigation do the leading. In my opinion, after reading many Jesus study books, I think Dunn's work is one of the most realistic treatments of what may be known about the Jesus of the new testament gospel accounts. For a much, much smaller and more introductory taste of Dunn's work on similar topics see his little book, The Evidence For Jesus. I should like to add that Dunn's work will possibly strike a nerve here or there with conservatives/fundamentalists and also with liberals as well. Dunn just doesn't seem to be interested in pedaling either side. He doesn't even seem interested in simply playing a middle ground. He really seems to be a keen historian of the Jesus from history past. At any rate, Dunn's work must be reckoned with by anyone wanting to be well informed on Jesus studies. Serious study by a serious scholar for serious seekers. Some other top notch Jesus study books of high caliber are: Jesus and His World by Peter Walker; Jesus and The Gospels by Craig Blomberg; Familiar Stranger by Michael McClymond; Four Portraits One Jesus by Mark Strauss; Studying The Historical Jesus by Darrell Bock; The Evidence For Jesus by R.T. France; An Introduction To The Gospels by Mitchell Reddish; The Original Jesus by Tom Wright.
Detailed Discussion of Jesus as He is Remembered in Scripture Sep 1, 2006
James D.G Dunn reminds me of the apostle Paul in that he writes some things that are hard to understand. His books are almost always heavy, weighty, academic tomes.
And even though he has made his mark in recent years in Pauline scholarship, I thought he did a nice job with this study of Jesus' life. He comes through as a moderately conservative scholar. He is doubtful about the historicity of the stories surrounding the Nativity and Birth of Jesus, but he holds that most of the sayings and deeds of Jesus go back to him.
At the end of the book, he affirms his belief in the resurrection of Jesus as well.
This book is not as interesting as Ben Witherington's book "The Christology of Jesus," nor is it as engrossing as Craig Blomberg's "Jesus and the Gospels." But the book is more detailed than either of these and it gives a concentrated look at Jesus from the moderately conservative British camp. Recommended.
3.5 stars, fascinating, infuriating Oct 9, 2003
James Dunn's massively documented "Jesus Remembered" is the first of a planned trilogy on the first 120 years of Christianity. He starts off with of his discussion of the Jesus tradition, and what we can know about the historical Jesus. After his discussion of the past two centuries of Jesus research Dunn gets down to his new approach to the question. Much of the study of the historical Jesus has dealt with texts; Mark, Q, Matthew and Luke and their own unique sources. Dunn argues that the differences between these sources cannot simply be viewed as theological redactions. Instead they often relied on oral tradition. Dunn has looked at how oral traditions develop and notices that while stories passed orally often change in details ("performance variations") the essential core of the story often remains unchanged for a long time. Although Dunn says several times that the best we can hope for is what Jesus' followers remembered about him, he often believes that if a tradition fits his oral history paradigm given above it is most likely to have originated with Jesus himself.
So what does Dunn conclude from his approach? First off, Dunn himself is a Christian and on page 879 affirms the resurrection. So it is important to point out how much of Christian belief Dunn has to leave by the wayside. The Gospel of John's narrative is not reliable, nor the claims it makes for his quasi-divine status. There is little to support the infancy narratives. There is little evidence that Jesus supported a mission to the gentiles. Contrary to the gospels, there is no evidence that Jesus saw himself as any kind of messiah. (The term does not even appear in Q.) Nor is there much left of the "Son of Man," except for a few uncertain eschatological allusions. Indeed, Dunn argues, Jesus did not claim any title for himself. Jesus may have believed that he was going to die, but he did not believe he was dying to redeem the sins of the world. "If Jesus hoped for resurrection it was presumably to share in the general and final resurrection of the dead." There is astonishingly little support for what Jesus' last words were. At the same time, Dunn is sceptical of the historical value of the Gospel of Thomas and his frequent comparisons with the synoptic materials strongly suggest that it followed, not preceded them. Dunn is also properly sceptical of the Kloppenborgs' belief that one can separate Q into convenient layers. There is an especially good section that shows that the Hellenistic background of first century Galilee has been much exaggerated. There is little evidence that Sepphoris had many gentiles and plenty of evidence of the four indication of Jewish religious identity (stone vessels, absence of pork remains, Jewish burial customs and Jewish bathing customs).
There are problems with Dunn's oral tradition model. As one proceeds one wonders whether such incidents as contradictory traditions about Capernaum, the parable of the wicked tenants, Jesus' quarrels with Pharisees over eating grain on the Sabbath, the triumphant entry into Jerusalem or the claim that Jesus spoke of destroying the temple really do go back to Jesus. The possibility of a parti pris, on both the gospel authors and of Dunn himself, has to be considered. Looking back at Dunn's model of an oral tradition one notes a flawed analogy. Dunn gave an example of an Arabian peasant village, where once the community agreed on a story they stick to it. But the early Christian community were not (simply) isolated peasants. They were actively trying to convert their fellow countrymen, and ultimately with little success. In other words, unlike the Arab villagers, their story faced constant challenge from non-believers and this had to affect its development.
There are other weaknesses. There is a certain squirming as Dunn admits that Jesus believed in an imminent eschatological climax that, of course, did not happen. "Putting it bluntly, Jesus was proved wrong by the course of events." Then he goes on for four pages trying to argue that we shouldn't be too concerned about his. This is not so much a "consistent eschatology" or a "realized eschatology" as a neutered eschatology. Dunn's account of the resurrection is better in discussing the weaknesses of Christian tradition that in defending them. He argues that Jewish traditions agree on an empty tomb, without pointing out that such traditions were composed centuries afterwards, were clearly a response to the gospels, and have no independent value in themselves. Dunn also argues that the fact that Jesus' tomb was not venerated is proof that the Christians knew it was empty. But this is not convincing. Aside from the fact that there is some evidence of veneration, if Christians could honor the cross Jesus died on, they could venerate the place he was resurrected. Unless, of course, they didn't know where he was buried. Trying to argue that Jesus received a proper burial, Dunn notes that there is an example of a crucified body receiving proper burial, but forgets to add that it is the only such body found in all of Palestine. On the other hand Dunn notes all of the weaknesses of the tradition: the link of Jesus' resurrection to a falsely imminent general resurrection, confusion as to what sort of Jesus the witnesses were seeing, a persistent theme of failure of the witnesses to recognize Jesus (in Matthew 28:17 the disciples are seeing him in Galilee yet "some doubted," not just Thomas), confusion as to where they were seeing Jesus (in Jerusalem and Galilee? On earth or in heaven?) But on the whole the research is thorough, the bibliography voluminous and there is much in this book that will provoke and stimulate the reader. This is a book one should take the trouble to read.