Outside the Four Gospels, the New Testament yields precious little about Jesus," writes John P. Meier, a prominent Catholic biblical scholar and author of A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus.
A generation ago, Leander Keck, past dean of Yale Divinity School and Winkley Professor of Biblical Theology, emeritus, at Yale, wrote A Future for the Historical Jesus (1971), a book that proved to be prophetic. Who but Keck could have predicted our past decade's obsession with the history of Jesus?
The Jesus Seminar began making headlines in 1986 as more than 70 biblical scholars voted on which sayings attributed to Jesus in the Gospels probably derived from him and what words were more likely put in his mouth by Gospel writers or early church tradition.
My first impression of Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld’s study was that it tries to be three books in one without succeeding as any of the three, but I discovered that this apparent weakness of the book is also its greatest strength.
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