Richard Carrier on ‘Sources of the Jesus Tradition’

I have my own problems with this book.  Especially in light of the other superb books Joe Hoffmann has put together in the past; this one seems to have been rushed.  As someone who had been a big part of the JP for about a year, it’s a shame to see some of the interesting conversations that took place behind the scenes, as well as those papers submitted at the conference (of which, I’ve only seen a few), thrown together in this fashion.

Richard Carrier offers a rather scathing review of this collection of essays.  He writes:

Several months ago the papers of the 2008 Amherst conference finally appeared in print. Sort of. I have a lot of problems with this, and the following is a review of the successes and failures of the new book Sources of the Jesus Tradition: Separating History from Myth (Prometheus Books 2010).

I’ve been working on this review for a long time, but too many other matters kept taking precedence (especially a surprising flood of appearances I was booked for this year). This turned out to be helpful, as I had more time to reflect on what went wrong.

via Richard Carrier Blogs.

Definitely worth the read; we can only hope that the rumored second volume, if it is indeed in the works, will be better.

Then again, the volume I coedited (with Th. L. Thompson) is moving through the press quite quickly (faster, in fact, than I had anticipated).  Since it will be the first modern academically-published collection of essays on the subject, I’d recommend that everyone wait until this book appears in print sometime this year (hopefully).

A Dead Liturgical 4-day Giveaway – James R. Davila | Unsettled Christianity

I’m passing this along because I really want this book.  But you should do this anyway; promoting top notch scholarship is quite important since, as Joel notes, there are more books by Joel Olsteen than actual scholars in most public libraries.  Follow these steps to get in the lineup!

1.) Contact your local library and ask them to get a copy of this book in. Note, I cannot and will not actually check on this, so you know, send an email to them or call them or something asking them to get the book.

This is important. Look, I’ll be honest, I won’t know if you don’t, but contacting your local library helps to get scholarship into the library system replacing the likes of Joel Osteen and others whom I know you dislike as well. Putting real scholarship into local libraries is a push for me because I’ve seen what a bad religion/theology section is and I don’t like it. I would rather you contact your county library (or parish) and get them to get a few copies.

2.) Leave a comment – as many comments as you want. Each comment is an entry. That’s right. Leave as many, throughout the month, as you want. Leave one…leave one hundred. No biggie. I don’t care about the substance…

Since some had confusion last time… it could be one word or couple of words in German for all I care. The point of this is to annoy me with pithy or silly comments. You could post the Republican Party platform for all I care or the Libertarian…

3.) The point of this is to get the word out about these books, so post it on your blog for a pingback/trackback. Those count too.

4.) As a side note, if you could, once you’ve read the book, leave a review on or at the very least, your blog.

via A Dead Liturgical 4-day Giveaway – James R. Davila | Unsettled Christianity.

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