Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ken Brown's 5 books

Ken Brown posted a challenge:
Name the five books (or scholars) that had the most immediate and lasting influence on how you read the Bible. Note that these need not be your five favorite books, or even the five with which you most strongly agree. Instead, I want to know what five books have permanently changed the way you think.
Here are my 5:
  1. NIV Study Bible Walked me through the bible and got me to read it.
  2. Back to the sources, by Barry Holtz. Along with other Jewish writings, taught me to read what the OT text actually says not what people tell you it says.
  3. Jesus the Magician, by Morton Smith. Presented the first plausible answer to "lord, liar, lunatic" and taught me higher criticism.
  4. Fragments of a Faith Forgotten (online free) by G.R.S. Mead. Taught me that the bible was a Greek book written by Greeks about Greek topics and that I would really understand it until I learned to think Greek. Opened my eyes wide.
  5. The Jesus Puzzle (associated website), by Earl Doherty. Well in all fairness the earlier versions of the website before the book came out. Taught me the mythicist case, which got me to understand how Christianity came from Hellenistic Judaism. That is it put me on the road to the New School.
I really should have 7.

If I could add a 6th it would be Bauer's Orthodoxy and Heresy. This book founded a whole school called the "new school" which includes Pagels, Pearson, John Turner.... This is where I currently identify.

And number 7 deserves an honorable mention. Bultmann's The Gospel of John, which taught me lower criticism.

See also:

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