Item description for Profiles of Jesus by Robert Walter Funk, Roy W. Hoover & Marcus J. Borg...
Can the authentic words and deed of Jesus identified by the Jesus Seminar furnish a sufficient basis for a credible profile of the Jesus of history? That is the challenge faced by the contributors to this volume. Their efforts have resulted in a unique collection of studied impressions of Jesus. Here readers will see not Jesus the icon of myth and creed, but a provocative young man of first-century Palestine whose vision and determination to live the vision gave birth to a new form of faith and changed the course of history.
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Studio: Polebridge Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.04" Width: 5.92" Height: 0.55" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Dec 2, 2002
Publisher Polebridge Press
ISBN 0944344941 ISBN13 9780944344941
Availability 0 units.
More About Robert Walter Funk, Roy W. Hoover & Marcus J. Borg
Robert W. Funk is the director of Polebridge Press.
Robert Walter Funk was born in 1926 and died in 2005.
Robert Walter Funk has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Profiles of Jesus?
An excellent compilation of Jesus Seminar opinions Jul 12, 2005
This is a very fascinating book, especially in conjunction with some of the other works by the Jesus Seminar (specifically The Acts of Jesus and The Five Gosepels: What did Jesus Really Say?). Each of the members of the Seminar present a short (perhaps 10-20 page) snippet of their own perspective on the historical "facts" of Jesus' life. The short articles are uniformly insightful and interesting, though they depend too heavily upon previous scholarship that the casual reader will not have access to unless they have happened to read some of the other Historical Jesus material available.
What is very surprising, to me at least, is that the viewpoints within the book are not uniform as some might expect. Those familiar with the work of the Seminar will know that this traces back to the manner in which the group decided on the "authority" of various biblical passages (by voting to place the passages into a variety of different "levels"), but when you first realize that each of the chapters features a slightly different portrait (even though differences may be subtle) it comes as a bit of a surprise.
The intent of the book, I suppose, is to spark the interest of its readers to do some research of their own and form their own opions of the subject material rather than take for granted yet another book at face value. In that respect, the text succeeds remarkably for the interested and avid reader. Even those who are unwilling to accept the idea that the New Testament is anything but perfectly accurate history will find a great many things that will spark their own interest, or will give them pause to reinvestigate why they believe what they do. Overall, the text is thoroughly unchallenging in terms of radical ideas and simply posits that what is written in the New Testament is religion rather than history. From there, the possibilities are endless.
However, one of it's greatest strengths is also a great weakness. While it is certainly interesting to see multiple viewpoints of the same material, often the text can feel repetitive and, if you're not reading closely, you may miss some subtle nuance. It may be best to take this book in small bites/chunks, a few chapters at a time rather than in one sitting (which you could certainly do due to it's length) and think over each portrait individualy rather than the book as a whole.
Overall, this is a great stepping stone from some of the introductory material of the Historical Jesus field of study into the more advanced readings. Serious readers should be aware, though, that they should have a copy of "The Five Gospels" and "The Acts of Jesus" both written by the Jesus Seminar and Funk before they try to wade through this text.