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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Jesus Christ Today: The Historical Shaping of Jesus for the Twenty-First Century
McKnight, Edgar V.

Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2009 pp. xiv + 161. $32.00


Description: This is a twenty-first century postmodern approach to interpreting Jesus Christ. Jesus' identity is not simply 'out there' to be discovered scientifically. Jesus' identity is shaped historically in believers' experience with him. Interpretation of Jesus of Nazareth, the significance of Jesus Christ, and Christian identity operate and interact in the same fashion as the hermeneutical circle. These elements simultaneously call forth and justify themselves and each other. This book addresses twenty-first-century Christians who are challenged intellectually and spiritually to read the Gospels' story of Jesus in light of what contemporary scholarship offers for understanding the first-century prophet from Nazareth. The invaluable move from precritical and dogmatic readings to rigorous historical-critical readings is applauded. But contemporary Christians are not convinced by approaches that begin with negative assumptions about the suitability of Christian sources for construction of the story of Jesus because of the bias of those sources. In a postmodern epoch, our critical reductionist approach to history is absorbed in a more satisfying and comprehensive approach. The data and relational sequences discovered by 'modern' categories of historiography are enriched by a higher ordering, a mentality that includes but is not limited to our usual charting.

Subjects: Methods, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology, New Testament Theology

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Review by Roy W. Hoover
Published 6/20/2010
Citation: Roy W. Hoover, review of Edgar V. Mcknight, Jesus Christ Today: The Historical Shaping of Jesus for the Twenty-First Century, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2010).


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