Who Killed Jesus?: Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus


John Dominic Crossan - 1995
    In his massive and highly publicized The Death of the Messiah, Raymond Brown -- while clearly rejecting anti-Semitism -- never questions the essential historicity of the passion stories. Yet it is these stories, in which the Jews decide Jesus' execution, that have fueled centuries of Christian anti-Semitism. Now, in his most controversial book, John Dominic Crossan shows that this traditional understanding of the Gospels as historical fact is not only wrong but dangerous. Drawing on the best of biblical, anthropological, sociological and historical research, he demonstrates definitively that it was the Roman government that tried and executed Jesus as a social agitator. Crossan also candidly addresses such key theological questions as "Did Jesus die for our sins?" and "Is our faith in vain if there was no bodily resurrection?"Ultimately, however, Crossan's radical reexamination shows that the belief that the Jews killed Jesus is an early Christian myth (directed against rival Jewish groups) that must be eradicated from authentic Christian faith.

Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals


John A. Buehrens - 1988
    In making accessible some of the best contemporary historical, literary, political, and feminist readings of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, it encourages all who would find in the biblical heritage an ally and not an enemy in the quest for a more just and humane world. Brief and to the point, it can easily be used to stimulate group discussions and personal reading of the biblical texts themselves, and is an excellent introduction to the Judeo-Christian tradition for those of other faiths.Understanding the Bible includes four preliminary chapters on the why, who, which, and how of biblical understanding, followed by eight brief thematic chapters covering the core of the Hebrew Bible and six covering the Christian scriptures, plus chronologies, maps, and helpful suggestions for further reading.

The Historical Figure of Jesus


E.P. Sanders - 1993
    The book studies the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, distinguishing the certain from the improbable, and assessing the historical and religious context of Christ's time. The spread of Christianity is also discussed.

Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith


Marcus J. Borg - 1994
    Now, in Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Marcus Borg addresses the yearnings of those who want a fully contemporary faith that welcomes rather than oppresses our critical intelligence and openness to the best of historical scholarship. Borg shows how a rigorous examination of historical findings can lead to a new faith in Christ, one that is critical and, at the same time, sustaining.Drawing on his own journey from a naïve, unquestioning belief in Christ through collegiate skepticism to a mature and contemporary Christian faith, Borg illustrates how an understanding of the historical Jesus can actually lead to a more authentic Christian life—one not rooted in creed or dogma, but in a life of spiritual challenge, compassion, and community.In straightforward, accessible prose, Borg looks at the major findings of modern Jesus scholarship from the perspective of faith, bringing alive the many levels of Jesus's character: spirit person, teacher of alternative wisdom, social prophet, and movement founder. He also reexamines the major stories of the Old Testament vital to an authentic understanding of Jesus, showing how an enriched understanding of these stories can uncover new truths and new pathways to faith.

The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins


Burton L. Mack - 1993
    The first book to give the full account of the lost gospel of Jesus' original followers, revealing him to be a Jewish Socrates who was mythologized into the New Testament Christ.

The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters


Elaine Pagels - 1975
    Drawing upon evidence from the gnostic exegesis of Paul, including several Nag Hammadi texts, the author examines how gnostic exegetes cite and interpret key passages in the letters they consider Pauline-1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Hebrews. Besides offering new insight into controversies over Paul in the second century, this analysis of gnostic exegesis suggests a new perspective for Pauline study, challenging students and scholars to recognize the presuppositions-hermenuetical and theological-involved in their own reading of Paul's letters. Elaine H. Pagels is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. She is the author of The Gnostic Gospels, which won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Johannie Gospel in Gnostic Exegesis, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, and the best-selling Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas.

In the Beginning: A New Interpretation of Genesis


Karen Armstrong - 1996
    N. WilsonAs the foundation stone of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, The Book of Genesis unfolds some of the most arresting stories of world literature--the Creation; Adam and Eve; Cain and Abel; the sacrifice of Isaac. Yet the meaning of Genesis remains enigmatic. In this fascinating volume, Karen Armstrong, author of the highly acclaimed bestseller A History of God, brilliantly illuminates the mysteries and profundities of this mystifying work."A lyrical chronicle of one woman's wrestling with Genesis that can serve as a guide to others . . . As notable for its scholarship as it is for its honesty and vulnerability."--Publishers Weekly "Armstrong can simplify complex ideas, but she is never simplistic."--The New York Times Book Review

The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus


Dale C. Allison Jr. - 2009
    Of two things only do I feel assured. The first is that, as unchanging things do not grow -- rocks remain rocks -- informed changes of mind should be welcomed, not feared. The second is this: the unexamined Christ is not worth having." -- from the introduction  In this book, which he describes as "my personal testimony to doubt seeking understanding," Dale Allison thoughtfully addresses ongoing historical-theological questions concerning Jesus. What should one think of the modern quest for the historical Jesus when there is such enduring discord among the experts, and when personal agendas play such a large role in the reconstructions? How much history is in the Gospels, and how much history does Christian theology require that there be? How does the quest impinge upon conventional Christian beliefs, and what might it contribute to contemporary theological reflection? The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus is the personal statement of lessons that a respected participant in the quest has learned throughout the course of his academic career.

Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews: A Jewish Life and the Emergence of Christianity


Paula Fredriksen - 1999
    To reconstruct the Jesus who provoked this punishment, Fredriksen takes us into the religious worlds, Jewish and pagan, of Mediterranean antiquity, through the labyrinth of Galilean and Judean politics, and on into the ancient narratives of Paul's letters, the gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Josephus' histories. The result is a profound contribution both to our understanding of the social and religious contexts within which Jesus of Nazareth moved, and to our appreciation of the mission and message that ended in the proclamation of Jesus as Messiah.

A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture


Scott Hahn - 1998
    Join Hahn as he follows the high adventure of God's plan for the ages, beginning with Adam and Eve and continuing down through the generations to the coming of Christ and the birth of the Church. You'll discover how the patient love of the Father revealed in the Bible is the same persistent love he has for you. A Servant Book.The audio edition of this book can be downloaded via Audible.

The Origin of the Bible


F.F. Bruce - 1992
    This volume provides a fascinating overview of how the Bible was first inspired, canonized, read as sacred literature, copied in ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, and eventually translated into the languages of the world. No other one-volume work can match this wealth of information about the historical development of the Bible.

The Face of Water: A Translator on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible


Sarah Ruden - 2017
    . . Superb" --Booklist, starred review).In The Face of Water, Sarah Ruden brilliantly and elegantly explains and celebrates the Bible's writings. Singling out the most famous passages, such as the Genesis creation story, the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Beatitudes, Ruden reexamines and retranslates from the Hebrew and Greek what has been obscured and misunderstood over time.Making clear that she is not a Biblical scholar, cleric, theologian, or philosopher, Ruden--a Quaker--speaks plainly in this illuminating and inspiring book. She writes that while the Bible has always mattered profoundly, it is a book that in modern translations often lacks vitality, and she sets out here to make it less a thing of paper and glue and ink and more a live and loving text.Ruden writes of the early evolution, literary beauty, and transcendent ideals of the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament, exploring how the Jews came to establish the greatest, most enduring book on earth as their regional strategic weakness found a paradoxical moral and spiritual strength through their writings, and how the Christians inherited and adapted this remarkable literary tradition. She writes as well about the crucial purposes of translation, not only for availability of texts but also for accountability in public life and as a reflection of society's current concerns.She shows that it is the original texts that most clearly reveal our cherished values (both religious and secular), unlike the standard English translations of the Bible that mask even the yearning for freedom from slavery. The word "redemption" translated from Hebrew and Greek, meaning mercy for the exploited and oppressed, is more abstract than its original meaning--to buy a person back from captivity or slavery or some other distress. The Face of Water is as much a book about poetry, music, drama, raw humor, and passion as it is about the idealism of the Bible. Ruden's book gives us an unprecedented, nuanced understanding of what this extraordinary document was for its earliest readers and what it can still be for us today

Temple Theology - An Introduction


Margaret Barker - 2004
    Those who perserved the ancient tradition rejected the second temple, and longed for the restoration of the original, true temple and the faith of Abraham and Melchizedek, the first priest-king. In this fascinating discussion, the author refutes the scholarly assumption that crucial Christian concepts, such as the Trinty, the earth as a reflection of heaven, and the cosmic nature of the atonement, are informed by Greek culture. Rather, she argues, they are drawn from the eclipsed faith of the first temple. '[Margaret Barker's] interpretation of temple theology should not be ignored by anyone in Judaism and the origins of Christian faith.' John McDade, Principal of Heythrop College, University of London.

Gospel Truth


Russell Shorto - 1997
    With the skill of a seasoned journalist and the passion of an amateur sleuth, he moves from scholarly conclave in California to archaeologcal digs in Israel, tracking down the story of the astounding consensus emerging from a varied group of experts.

Salvation Is from the Jews: The Role of Judaism in Salvation History from Abraham to the Second Coming


Roy H. Schoeman - 2003
    It will give Christians a deeper understanding of Judaism, both as a religion in itself and as a central component of Christian salvation.To Jews it reveals the incomprehensible importance, nobility and glory that Judaism most truly has. It examines the unique and central role Judaism plays in the destiny of the world. It documents that throughout history attacks on Jews and Judaism have been rooted not in Christianity, but in the most anti-Christian of forces.Areas addressed include: the Messianic prophecies in Jewish scripture; the anti-Christian roots of Nazi anti-Semitism; the links between Nazism and Arab anti-Semitism; the theological insights of major Jewish converts; and the role of the Jews in the Second Coming.