Parallel Lives of Jesus: A Guide to the Four Gospels, by Edward Adams. Introductions to the Gospels most often underscore the individual personality of each Gospel and leave aside questions of the Gospels’ similarity. Parallel Lives of Jesus achieves both with economy and clarity.
Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle: Living Fully, Loving Dangerously, by Kent Annan. Annan's account of the work he and Shelly Satran have carried out in Haiti is not technically a work of biblical studies. It is, nevertheless, a riveting account of what it means for one deeply committed couple to attempt to follow Jesus.
Few biblical scholars at work today combine Allison’s extensive learning, personal modesty and refreshing honesty. In this study he attempts to reconcile his theological commitments and his historical reconstruction.
Laments over the current state of academic biblical study abound, but Bockmuehl moves beyond his penetrating critique of the discipline to offer constructive proposals for reorienting New Testament study around the implied readers who are members of ecclesial communities and around the apostolic memory of Jesus.
Christian Identity in the Jewish and Graeco-Roman World. Judith M. Lieu. Oxford Univ. Press, 384 pp., $99.00.
In this multifaceted and sophisticated undertaking, Lieu explores the ways in which early Christian texts depict an emerging Christian identity and reflect the embeddedness of that identity within the ancient world. For all who struggle with the question of what it means to be a Christian, Lieu presents a thoughtful guide.
Sometime in the middle of my second year at New York’s Union Seminary, I made an appointment to consult with J. Louis Martyn about my prospects for graduate work in New Testament. I gathered together my undergraduate transcript, a list of courses I had taken at Union, copies of my seminary papers in biblical studies, and all the courage I could muster.
However one assesses Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, the film has drawn attention to the death of Jesus in a way that preachers and teachers, who annually labor to place Good Friday before their people, can only envy. One could scarcely have imagined that the crucifixion would become a topic for movie reviewers and talk show hosts.
Among my friends and acquaintances, the recent made-for-television movie Mary generated little interest. Perhaps that is because I spend too much time with Protestants for whom any display of interest in Mary continues to be slightly suspect.