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.
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).