The historicity of Jesus is now widely accepted and hardly questioned by most scholars. But this assumption disarms biblical texts of much of their power by privileging an historical interpretation which effectively sweeps aside much theological speculation and allusion. Furthermore, the assumption of historicity gathers further assumptions to it, shaping the interpretation of texts, both denying and adding subtext. Scholars are now faced with an endless array of works on the historical Jesus and few question what has been lost through this wide-spread assumption of historicity. Is This Not the Carpenter? presents a very valuable corrective: a literary rereading of the New Testament.
Thomas L. Thompson is Professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen. Thomas S. Verenna is an independent researcher and student at Rutgers University.
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 Muller 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 Isa Narrative in the Qur'an: The Making of a Prophet, Joshua Sabih 13. Investigating Earliest Christianity without Jesus, K. L. Noll