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Recovering Jesus: The Witness of the New Testament [Paperback]

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Item description for Recovering Jesus: The Witness of the New Testament by Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld...

Who is the real Jesus, and why does he matter? In Recovering Jesus: The Witness of the New Testament, respected New Testament scholar Thomas Yoder Neufeld offers an accessible and thorough introduction to the life of Jesus. Yoder Neufeld starts with the Jesus revealed in the Gospels, covering his birth, teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection. He builds on this account by assessing recent scholarly and popular studies, including the argument that the historical Jesus is revealed in the Gnostic gospels and other noncanonical texts. The result is a useful guide into the morass of current scholarship. In a true teaching spirit, the author provides a comprehensive approach without overwhelming the introductory reader or student. He clearly explains the nuances of complex issues without oversimplification. Recovering Jesus is thus an invaluable text for undergraduate and seminary students, as well as a helpful resource in nonacademic settings for both believers and nonbelievers. In the end, readers will come to a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and why he matters.

Publishers Description
In "Recovering Jesus," Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld leads you through an honest and careful study of the testimony of Jesus's first-century followers, as well as more recent scholarly and popular witnesses. The result is a journey that will challenge you to move beyond the Jesus you think you know to a deeper understanding of who he was and why he matters.
This text will be a valuable tool in academic settings, as well as for believers and nonbelievers alike who want to know the real Jesus.

From Publishers Weekly
Can history and theology be reconciled? The New Testament contains the story of a man, Jesus; it is a primary historical source for our knowledge of his life, death and alleged resurrection. But it also has been the basis for 2,000 years of theological speculation and doctrinal formation. As Neufeld puts it, "theology has had to contend with history," and "history has had to contend with theology." There are sources outside the Bible that inform us about the context in which Jesus was born and into which his movement blossomed into Christianity. The author, associate professor of religious studies at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, mines the depths of New Testament writings and other contemporary sources, looking to effect this reconciliation and to present Jesus as a real person in real history. His subject is complex, but he succeeds nicely in simplifying terms and explaining difficult ideas in understandable language. Describing himself as both a "believer and a scholar," Neufeld finds the real Jesus in both history and theology. Readers at all levels will enjoy this fine volume. (Aug.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Recovering Jesus: The Witness of the New Testament by Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 04/23/2007 page 46
  • Library Journal - 07/01/2007 page 97
  • Christian Century - 09/09/2008 page 45

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Brazos Press
Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.94" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.83"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2007
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  1587432021  
ISBN13  9781587432026  

Availability  0 units.

More About Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld (ThD, Harvard Divinity School) is associate professor of religious studies (New Testament) and peace and conflict studies at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. He is also director of graduate theological studies at Conrad Grebel.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > New Testament Studies > Jesus Studies

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Reviews - What do customers think about Recovering Jesus: The Witness of the New Testament?

Exceptional Introduction to Understanding Jesus -- Then and Now  Aug 4, 2008
"Recovering Jesus," by Thomas Yoder Newfeld, is a remarkable presentation not only of the New Testament as it developed in early Christian circles, but also of Christian faith as it may (even ought) be lived today.

As example, consider his treatment on the "parable of the talents" in Mathew 25. "If this parable is understood within the larger context of Jesus' teaching on wealth," Yoder Neufeld maintains, "then it becomes, ironically, the exact opposite of a lesson in capitalism. It becomes a terribly hard lesson about whether wealth has been invested to the benefit of the reign of God...The arrival of the kingdom represents not only the embrace of the wayward son and the lost sheep, but also the accounting before a demanding judge as to what was done with the treasure, whatever it may be.""

Written at an undergraduate college (or introductory seminary)-level, the individual reader will also find background sufficent to personal study.
Basic, well written, and unmemorable  Aug 2, 2008
I anticipated much more. A recent M.Div graduate, I found this book lacking in many areas, specifically in the area of originality. Perhaps Christology, the study about Jesus, has a need for this book since it has gone through a time of confusion and/or lack of traditional teachings on Jesus. As such, originality is saying what has always been the Christian faith's understanding which makes this book original by repeating what has always been the core of the Faith. I guess I just contradicted myself...
However, I found many chapters so basic that I ended up skimming over several paragraphs because they contained little more than the introductions found in many study Bibles. The only chapter that really got my attention was chapter 10 (Living the Kingdom), with the following chapters barely more interesting than the previous ones.
The book is indeed balanced, offering quotes and information from liberal and ultra-liberal scholars (such as the Jesus Seminar), while it concludes with the author giving good reasons why a more conservative/traditional approach better explains the data in the Bible.
My major gripe with this book is its use of "Wisdom" instead of "Logos", catering to a crowd of feminist leanings (p. 317). There is exceedingly little material on the second person of the Trinity as "Wisdom" in the New Testament, or Old for that matter, and yet Neufeuld uses this "Wisdom" terminology over and over again making thinly veiled suggestions on the vast landscape of uncharted but promising territory of Wisdom theology as supposed to the masculine "Logos" theology so dominant for two millenia. Why does he do this? What can be gained by it? Where is the Biblical support for using "Wisdom" as the divine person we know as God incarnate in Jesus Christ instead of Logos (John 1:1)?
Neufeld uses the apochryphal books of Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon to make his case that "Wisdom" is the grandest of all titles for Jesus Christ as the divine person. He argues that we can use "Wisdom" or "Sophia" just as well as "Logos", but he misses the point that John surely knew of these wellknown documents and chose not to write "Wisdom" but "Logos"!
This rather unnecessary foray into feminist-theology territory is unfortunate and leaves me with a bad taste as I ponder whether to keep this book on my shelf for future reading considering that great chapter on "Living the Kingdom," or if I should tear out those pages and put the book elsewhere. This book is good for a basic introduction to Jesus but there are much better books out there. A good start is the book by Pope Benedict, "Jesus of Nazareth". While I don't share his view on some things it is a really good and engaging book.
Superb ! A well rounded, mature, intelligent bullseye survey of the historical Jesus of the new testament gospel accounts.  Aug 4, 2007
this is an outstanding guide to studying Jesus. basically this book in about 330 pages, covers most aspects of Jesus study. from the issues of the gospel writings themselves, to historical methods, and to the exposition of the historical Jesus as sketched in the gospel writings, this book does a tremendous job in the wide amount of coverage it handles. the author, Thomas Yoder Neufeld, a Harvard TH.D., shows in his writings an obvious profound, deep and dedicated perspective to the person of Jesus. yet, the author is no fundamentalist. Neufeld handles the issues with sobriety and sanity, employing a conservative scholars touch in a sober, cautious fashion, yet with a realist's inquiry, yet all the while with a dedicated love and trust for the significance of the Jesus of the gospels. Neufeld lays out the issues in Jesus/gospel study, then he exposits the whole gamut of Jesus from the new test. gospel writings. He does this according to the "epochs" of Jesus life as provided by the framework inherent in the gospel writings themselves. Neufeld excels in explaining deeply, yet within grasp, the meaning of Jesus' deeds, person, teachings and significance, from the literary context of the new test. as well as the historical, cultural, theological and redemptive context. The author has done his homework, and from Neufeld's study, one will truly learn an accurate presentation of the historical Jesus according to the new testament gospel memoirs. It easily ranks right up there in quality with Blomberg, Bock, Dunn and Wright. I have read plenty on the subject of Jesus and this is possibly my new favorite. This is a must have for studying Jesus. For a top notch, well written, accurate study of Jesus and the gospels, this is a must have.

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