Cover image for Jesus Christ in history and Scripture : a poetic and sectarian perspective
Title:
Jesus Christ in history and Scripture : a poetic and sectarian perspective
Author:
McKnight, Edgar V.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Macon, Ga. : Mercer University Press, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xiv, 332 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780865546530

9780865546776
Format :
Book

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Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library BT303.2 .M33 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Jesus Christ in History and Scripture highlights two related bases for the current revolution in Jesus studies: (1) a critically-chastened world view that is satisfied with provisional results and (2) a creative (or "poetic") use of the sources of study of Jesus.

The first part of the book shows that "precritical, " "critical, " and "postcritical" epochs and attitudes (all alive today) support different sorts of knowledge concerning Jesus (historical reconstructions; historic memory and appropriations; imaginative, poetic, and artistic creations; and theological formulations) and that the Gospels themselves Support different sorts of knowledge and approaches. The Gospels were composed by Christians who combined historical information and historic memory in imaginative ways to present a Jesus who was relevant to their congregations as he was to the earliest disciples. The creative contribution that readers of the Gospels make in their reconstructions of Jesus is a recapitulation of the creative activities of the earliest evangelists.

The central section of the book provides a philosophical rationale for correlating the historical-critical methods of biblical scholars and the rationalist methods of theologians and for correlating these" modern" Enlightenment modes of knowledge with feeling, lived experience, and praxis. It also traces the attempts to do justice to the historical Jesus with particular attention to the different philosophical and theological presuppositions supporting the different attempts.

A final section discusses the values of non-foundationlist hermeneutical approaches for the broader questions of the use and authority of the Bible. In the end, ecumenical ratherthan divisive approaches are advocated. Different ways of doing church and different ways of discovering and creating truth demand an ecumenical approach.


Summary

Jesus Christ in History and Scripture highlights two related bases for the current revolution in Jesus studies: (1) a critically-chastened world view that is satisfied with provisional results and (2) a creative (or "poetic") use of the sources of study of Jesus.

The first part of the book shows that "precritical, " "critical, " and "postcritical" epochs and attitudes (all alive today) support different sorts of knowledge concerning Jesus (historical reconstructions; historic memory and appropriations; imaginative, poetic, and artistic creations; and theological formulations) and that the Gospels themselves Support different sorts of knowledge and approaches. The Gospels were composed by Christians who combined historical information and historic memory in imaginative ways to present a Jesus who was relevant to their congregations as he was to the earliest disciples. The creative contribution that readers of the Gospels make in their reconstructions of Jesus is a recapitulation of the creative activities of the earliest evangelists.

The central section of the book provides a philosophical rationale for correlating the historical-critical methods of biblical scholars and the rationalist methods of theologians and for correlating these" modern" Enlightenment modes of knowledge with feeling, lived experience, and praxis. It also traces the attempts to do justice to the historical Jesus with particular attention to the different philosophical and theological presuppositions supporting the different attempts.

A final section discusses the values of non-foundationlist hermeneutical approaches for the broader questions of the use and authority of the Bible. In the end, ecumenical ratherthan divisive approaches are advocated. Different ways of doing church and different ways of discovering and creating truth demand an ecumenical approach.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

McKnight (emeritus, Furman Univ.) offers a wide-ranging examination of the scholarly quest for the historical Jesus. His own "poetic" perspective assumes that readers of the Gospels are creative in reconstructing the historical Jesus, and that the original Gospel writers were similarly creative. Even so, according to McKnight, "different images and constructions of Jesus Christ are combined in the Gospels: historical reconstructions; historic memory and appropriations; imaginative, poetic, and artistic creations; and theological formulations." This book identifies and assesses the contributions of various historical, literary, and philosophical methods in reconstructing the historical Jesus. In addition, McKnight surveys prominent contributors to Jesus studies since Reimarus and Erich Lessing, and concludes with chapters on feminist hermeneutics and Anabaptist contributions to biblical hermeneutics. Several chapters derive from previously published articles and are unified by the broad theme that the biblical sources "are to be read in light of a faith perspective and refined in a fashion consistent with scientific and poetic constraints and resources." The tone is ecumenical throughout. Recommend for libraries supporting religious studies; upper-division undergraduates through faculty. P. K. Moser; Loyola University of Chicago


Choice Review

McKnight (emeritus, Furman Univ.) offers a wide-ranging examination of the scholarly quest for the historical Jesus. His own "poetic" perspective assumes that readers of the Gospels are creative in reconstructing the historical Jesus, and that the original Gospel writers were similarly creative. Even so, according to McKnight, "different images and constructions of Jesus Christ are combined in the Gospels: historical reconstructions; historic memory and appropriations; imaginative, poetic, and artistic creations; and theological formulations." This book identifies and assesses the contributions of various historical, literary, and philosophical methods in reconstructing the historical Jesus. In addition, McKnight surveys prominent contributors to Jesus studies since Reimarus and Erich Lessing, and concludes with chapters on feminist hermeneutics and Anabaptist contributions to biblical hermeneutics. Several chapters derive from previously published articles and are unified by the broad theme that the biblical sources "are to be read in light of a faith perspective and refined in a fashion consistent with scientific and poetic constraints and resources." The tone is ecumenical throughout. Recommend for libraries supporting religious studies; upper-division undergraduates through faculty. P. K. Moser; Loyola University of Chicago


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