'Is This Not the Carpenter?'
The Question of the Historicity of the Figure of Jesus
Jacket image for 'Is This Not the Carpenter?'
View larger image
Series: Copenhagen International Seminar
Editor(s): Thomas L. Thompson and Thomas S. Verenna  
ISBN: 1844657299
ISBN-13: 9781844657292
Publication Date: 31 Jul 2013
Pages: 296 (234 x 156 mm)
Format: Paperback
Published Price: £19.99
Discount Price: £15.99
Add to basket
The historicity of Jesus is now widely accepted, but this assumption disarms biblical texts of much of their power by privileging an historical interpretation, effectively sweeping aside much theological speculation and allusion. The assumption of historicity gathers further assumptions to it, shaping the interpretation of texts, both denying and adding subtext. We are now faced with an endless array of works on the historical Jesus few of which question what has been lost through this wide-spread assumption of historicity.

Is This Not The Carpenter? offers readers the most up to date overview of how the historicity of Jesus is examined in contemporary scholarship. An international range of scholars – with divergent views on the historical Jesus – present a literary re-reading of the New Testament, arguing that the gospel evidence is to be discovered not in oral tradition but in the written literature of the ancient world.

“An important example of what we need more of: serious scholarly examinations and debates on the historicity of Jesus and what methods to use in resolving it. It includes papers that for specialists are required reading on this topic” – Richard Carrier, author of Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus

“Marks an important milestone in the debate concerning mythicism in New Testament scholarship.” – Thomas Bolin, St Norbert College, Wisconsin, USA

“This volume contributes to a crucial development, namely moving historical investigation beyond the usual restrictions of the historical critical method, particularly beyond reliance on the theory of oral tradition, and bringing it into new terrain, especially that of literature.” –Thomas L. Brodie, Dominican Biblical Institute, Limerick

"Will this volume have an impact on the debate or scholarship in general? It should! … If you are interested in the historical Jesus debate, this book will be of significant interest." – AaronAdair, Fleeing Nergal, Seeking Stars

"An open discussion giving a fresh examination of historicity issues surrounding Jesus without necessarily relying upon the assumption of a historical Jesus." – Kevin Brown, Diglotting

Thomas L Thompson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and author of many works including The Messiah Myth: The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David, Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham, Bible in History: How Writers Create the Past and Early History of the Israelite People: From the Written & Archaeological Sources. Thomas S. Verenna is an independent researcher and student at Rutgers University and is author of Of Men and Muses: Essays on History, Literature and Religion.

Introduction, Thomas L. Thompson and Thomas S. Verenna
Part I: Into the Well of Historical Jesus Scholarship
1. A (Very, Very) Short Introduction to Minimalism: From the Chronicler to the Present, Jim West
2. The German Pestilence: Re-assessing Feuerbach, Strauss and Bauer, Roland Boer
3. 'Jesus Who is Called Christ': References to Jesus outside Christian Sources, Lester L. Grabbe
4. The Grand Inquisitor and Christ: Why the Church Does Not Want Jesus, Niels Peter Lemche
5. Jesus and the Mythic Mind: An Epistemological Problem, Emanuel Pfoh
Part II: Paul and Early Christianity: Historical and Exegetical Investigations
6. Does the Christ Myth Theory Require an Early Date for the Pauline Epistles?, Robert M. Price
7. Paul: The Oldest Witness to the Historical Jesus, Mogens Müller
8. Born under the Law: Intertextuality and the Question of the Historicity of the Figure of Jesus in Paul's Epistles, Thomas S. Verenna
Part III: The Rewritten Bible and the Life of Jesus
9. Can John's Gospel Really Be Used to Reconstruct a Life of Jesus? An Assesment of Recent Trends and a Defence of a Traditional View, James G. Crossley
10. Psalm 72 and Mark 1:12-13: Mythic Evocation in Narratives of the Good King, Thomas L. Thompson
11. 'Who is My Neighbour?': Implicit Use of Old Testament Stories and Motifs in Luke's Gospel, Ingrid Hjelm
12. The Īsā Narrative in the Qur'an: The Making of a Prophet, Joshua Sabih
13. Investigating Earliest Christianity without Jesus, K. L. Noll

Also available in Hardback (1845539869), priced 65.00

Click here to buy the hardback edition