Item description for The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is by N. T. Wright...
Overview Out of his own commitment to both historical scholarship and Christian ministry, Wright challenges us to roll up our sleeves and take seriously the study of the historical Jesus. He writes, "Many Christians have been, frankly, sloppy in their thinking and talking about Jesus, and hence, sadly, in their praying and in their practice of discipleship. We cannot assume that by saying the word Jesus, still less the word Christ, we are automatically in touch with the real Jesus who walked and talked in first-century Palestine. . . . Only by hard, historical work can we move toward a fuller comprehension of what the Gospels themselves were trying to say."
The Challenge of Jesus poses a double-edged challenge: to grow in our understanding of the historical Jesus within the Palestinian world of the first century, and to follow Jesus more faithfully into the postmodern world of the twenty-first century.
Publishers Description Today a renewed and vigorous scholarly quest for the historical Jesus is underway. In the midst of well publicized and controversial books on Jesus, N. T. Wright's lectures and writings have been widely recognized for providing a fresh, provocative and historically credible portrait. Out of his own commitment to both historical scholarship and Christian ministry, Wright challenges us to roll up our sleeves and take seriously the study of the historical Jesus. He writes, "Many Christians have been, frankly, sloppy in their thinking and talking about Jesus, and hence, sadly, in their praying and in their practice of discipleship. We cannot assume that by saying the word Jesus, still less the word Christ, we are automatically in touch with the real Jesus who walked and talked in first-century Palestine. . . . Only by hard, historical work can we move toward a fuller comprehension of what the Gospels themselves were trying to say." The Challenge of Jesus poses a double-edged challenge: to grow in our understanding of the historical Jesus within the Palestinian world of the first century, and to follow Jesus more faithfully into the postmodern world of the twenty-first century.
From Publishers Weekly Here, prolific Anglican theologian and historical Jesus quester Wright makes
accessible to lay readers the arguments he laid out in his scholarly tome Jesus
and the Victory of God. But Wright does more than just rehash old arguments; he
adds a discussion of the resurrection, absent from Victory, and addresses the
prickly problem of relevance. In the first six chapters, Wright tackles many of
the questions of the historical Jesus debate: Did Jesus believe the Kingdom of
God was "now" or "later"? (Both, says Wright.) Did He know He was God in the
same way "that one knows one is hungry or thirsty"? ("It was not a mathematical
knowledge.... It was more like the knowledge that I have that I am loved by
those closest to me.") What exactly happened on Easter? (Jesus' body seemed
both physical and transphysical.) Wright then addresses how all these
historical-cum-theological musings are significant for Christians living in a
postmodern world. This superb addition to Wright's oeuvre will prove fruitful
reading for neophytes as well as for those already familiar with his approach.
(Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is by N. T. Wright has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 01/01/2000 page 122
Publishers Weekly - 12/13/1999 page 78
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Studio: InterVarsity Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 8.75" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2000
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN 0830822003 ISBN13 9780830822003
Availability 0 units.
More About N. T. Wright
Born in 1948 in Northumberland, England, N.T. Wright is the Bishop of Durham. He was formerly Dean of Lichfield and lecturer in New Testament studies at Oxford University as well as fellow, tutor, and chaplain of Worcester College, Oxford. He has also served as professor of New Testament language and literature in various colleges and universities. With doctorates in divinity and in philosophy from the University of Oxford, N. T. Wright is a member of the Society for New Testament Studies, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Institute for Biblical Research, the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical Research, and the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars. He has published more than 40 works at both scholarly and popular levels related to New Testament studies, especially on the origins of Christianity and Biblical Christology.
N. T. Wright has an academic affiliation as follows - Worcester College, Oxford.
N. T. Wright has published or released items in the following series...
Christian Origins and the Question of God (Paperback)
Reviews - What do customers think about The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is?
Solid scholarship and a vision of what discipleship means today Feb 15, 2007
N.T. Wright is the Anglican Bishop of Durham (England) and also a leading scriptural scholar. (By the way, for some reason he doesn't use his full name when writing and publishing - the N.T. stands for Nicholas Thomas.) I've been wanting to read a sample of his work, and "The Challenge of Jesus" was a good choice. It is an abbreviated version, with some new material on the resurrection, of his book "Jesus and the Victory of God." And that book is the second of a projected six volume series! So this book is not really designed for other scholars, but for serious amateurs!
In the preface, Wright outlines the three goals of the book: (1) maintain historical integrity, (2)examine how Christian discipleship flows from following Jesus, and (3) how we are to be for the contemporary world, what Jesus was to Israel?
There are eight chapters, with the first six taken up with Who was Jesus? (Of course this is the question, isn't it? How many books have been written addressing that question?) He looks at the historical Jesus as he would have appeared to a first century Palestinian Jew. Some of Wright's commentary looks at Jesus' understanding of his Messiahship (P. 89), Jesus Messiahship and his followers understanding of divinity (P. 110), Jesus as the new Exodus (P. 115).
In Wright's view, Jesus self-understanding and the understanding of his followers (post resurrection)is that Jesus replaces the Jewish concept of incarnation - the physical Temple and the Torah - with Jesus as the living word of God.
Chapter six is entitled "The Challenge of Easter" and here Wright defends the resurrection as an historical event - something in history, not "outside" of history, or "transcending" history, or just a psychological resurrection in the minds of Jesus' followers. Wright doesn't have much time for trendy groups like "The Jesus Seminar" who come up with brilliant insights like Jesus' body was probably eaten by wild dogs (That's former Catholic priest John Dominic Crossan's theory).
The last two chapters address the practical difficulties of trying to be a disciple in the post-modern world, where scepticism reigns supreme. He offers a wonderful interpretation of the Lucan story of the disciples on their way to Emmaus. For Wright, Jesus stands as Lord; not Marx, Freud or Nietzsche.
So this is a very good book; not a great book, but solid scholarship and thoughtful reflections on Christian discipleship in today's world.
For me, the best short, thorough study of modern scriptural views about Jesus is the late Fr. Raymond Brown's "An Introduction to New Testament Christology". Brown was a great scholar and he pours his years of study into 210 pages of solid analysis and thinking. If you are interested in this kind of academic study - designed for serious, thinking amateurs, without "The Jesus Seminar" baloney - read Brown as well as Wright.
Wow! What a book! Dec 11, 2006
Wright has outdone himself in this work that is a capsule of his work "Jesus and the Victory of God", but here has has taken that massive work and laid it out simply for everyone to enjoy and be blessed by it. Recently I was asked for the single best book that I had read outside the Bible and I wanted to recommend something that everyone could read. I responded with Desmond Tutu's "No Future Without Forgiveness", but now I have found the book that reflects succinctly who Jesus was and is and I highly recommend this work. Wright takes the scriptures very serously, especially how the New Testament writers as well as Jesus, saw God acting and bringing the story of Israel and the world to its climax in Jesus life, death, resurrection and pouring out of the Spirit and how to implement the story of Jesus in today's world. He takes the story of Israel and Israel's symbols of Torah, Temple, Feasts, and Sabbath's and interprets them in light of Jesus the New Israel, New Temple, and New Man who is bringing about a New Creation. His thoughts on the eigth day or the first day of the week as the New Creatin of God are transformative. Wow! I will say it again backwards, Wow! What a book!
Wright is a scholar of theology and history and has thought through and through the story of Jesus and has taken seriously the questions of why did Jesus die? Why did they crucify him? Why theologically did he die? What does it mean that he rose from the dead? What does Israel have to do with these questions and what if anything do the answers to these question have to do with our world today. You will not be disappointed with how Bishop Wright has worked all this out. Get this book!
The BIG Question Addressed Aug 13, 2006
The question of who Jesus was and is has been the challenge of Christian faith from the very first disciples to today. Every generation has tried to conform Jesus to their own image - and there have always been critics unwilling to accept his divinity. Wright's careful analysis faithfully brings the Gospel truth into our modern context. Excellent for anyone curious about what Christians believe and those seeking ultimate truth.
"The Challenge of Wright" 4 1/2 stars Apr 29, 2006
What a tremendous book. It should be required reading for all of my Evangelical fellows. I recommend it for most readers above the ponderous "Jesus and the Victory of God", although some wrinkles show through from where the larger work was compressed into "The Challenge of Jesus." I also recommend that the reader consider his short work on Paul (What Saint Paul Really Say) as a necessary companion work fleshing out his concept of the essential message of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Wright sheds compelling light on what the Gospel actually is and isn't, light that calls both conservative and liberal practitioners of faith into account. The one area where the book is a little soft is on the matter of operationalizing the faith in modern life. I cannot blame him--I'm a little stymied myself on this point, along with the whole Church. But this fresh look at the "author and finisher of our faith" is a great place to begin in addressing that problem.
I must add that the quality this site review by NotATameLion expresses dismay at Wright's "waffling and unsuported" view of Jesus' self-awareness of his divinity -- I would find any other iteration of opinion on this mystery to be suspect. How firmly MAY one entrench in such opinions? With what WOULD one support further opining? I think that any statement on this matter must necessarily be "waffling and unsupported."
A Must Read Mar 1, 2006
This book is a must read for any individual looking for greater meaning in their current walk with the Lord. The book is a challenge and calls us to a deeper physical relationship.