Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite

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9780061228797: Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite

n Scripting Jesus, famed scholar of early Christianity L. Michael White challenges us to read the gospels as they were originally intended as performed stories of faith rather than factual histories. White demonstrates that each of the four gospel writers had a specific audience in mind and a specific theological agenda to push, and consequently wrote and rewrote their lives of Jesus accordingly in effect, scripting Jesus to get a particular point across and to achieve the desired audience reaction. The gospel stories have shaped the beliefs of almost two and a half billion Christians. But the gospel writers were not reporters rather, they were dramatists, and the stories they told publicly about Jesus were edited and reedited for the greatest effect. Understanding how these first-century Christians wanted to present Jesus offers us a way to make sense of the sometimes conflicting stories in the gospels. One gospel's version of events will be at odds with another. For instance, in Jesus's birth narrative, there is no mention of a stable in Matthew or Luke, but then there are no wise men in Luke and no shepherds in Matthew. Jesus has brothers in some gospel accounts, and sisters in others, and their naming is inconsistent. Depending on which gospel you are reading, the disciples shift from bumbling morons to heroes of faith. Miracles alter or disappear altogether, and whole scenes get moved around. Such changes from one gospel to the next reveal the shaping and reshaping of the basic story in the living world of the first followers of Jesus. With his usual engaging style, White helps us read the gospels with fresh eyes, giving us a clearer idea of what the gospel stories meant to people in ancient times, and offering insight for how we can understand Jesus's story today.

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Review:

Scripting Jesus combines sober analysis of a broad range of complex issues relating to Jesus and the Gospels with creative appropriation of texts, traditions, and images from the ancient Roman world. White has produced a valuable resource for teachers, rabbis, ministers, and students who want clear exposition informed by a fresh appraisal of primary sources and spirited engagement of recent scholarly debate. --Carl R. Holladay, Charles Howard Candler Professor of New Testament, Emory University

About the Author:

L. Michael White is Ronald Nelson Smith Chair in Classics and Christian Origins and is the director of the Institute for the Study of Antiquity and Christian Origins at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of From Jesus to Christianity and was featured in two award-winning PBS Frontline documentaries, From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians and Apocalypse!, for which he also served as principal historical consultant and co-writer. He also directs ongoing archaeological excavations of one of the oldest Greco-Roman synagogues at Ostia, Italy.

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Book Description HarperOne, 2010. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: In Scripting Jesus, Michael White, famed scholar of early Christian history, reveals how the gospel stories of Jesus were never meant to be straightforward historical accounts, but rather were scripted and honed as performance pieces for four different audiences with four different theological agendas. As he did as a featured presenter in two award-winning PBS Frontline documentaries ("From Jesus to Christ" and "Apocalypse!"), White engagingly explains the significance of some lesser-known aspects of The New Testament; in this case, the development of the stories of Jesusincluding how the gospel writers differed from one another on facts, points of view, and goals. Readers of Elaine Pagels, Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, and Bart Ehrman will find much to ponder in Scripting Jesus. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0061228796

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 231 x 163 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Scripting Jesus, famed scholar of early Christianity L. Michael White challenges us to read the gospels as they were originally intended--as performed stories of faith rather than factual histories. White demonstrates that each of the four gospel writers had a specific audience in mind and a specific theological agenda to push, and consequently wrote and rewrote their lives of Jesus accordingly--in effect, scripting Jesus to get a particular point across and to achieve the desired audience reaction. The gospel stories have shaped the beliefs of almost two and a half billion Christians. But the gospel writers were not reporters--rather, they were dramatists, and the stories they told publicly about Jesus were edited and reedited for the greatest effect. Understanding how these first-century Christians wanted to present Jesus offers us a way to make sense of the sometimes conflicting stories in the gospels. One gospel s version of events will be at odds with another. For instance, in Jesus s birth narrative, there is no mention of a stable in Matthew or Luke, but then there are no wise men in Luke and no shepherds in Matthew. Jesus has brothers in some gospel accounts, and sisters in others, and their naming is inconsistent. Depending on which gospel you are reading, the disciples shift from bumbling morons to heroes of faith. Miracles alter or disappear altogether, and whole scenes get moved around. Such changes from one gospel to the next reveal the shaping and reshaping of the basic story in the living world of the first followers of Jesus.With his usual engaging style, White helps us read the gospels with fresh eyes, giving us a clearer idea of what the gospel stories meant to people in ancient times, and offering insight for how we can understand Jesus s story today. Bookseller Inventory # NLF9780061228797

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 231 x 163 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Scripting Jesus, famed scholar of early Christianity L. Michael White challenges us to read the gospels as they were originally intended--as performed stories of faith rather than factual histories. White demonstrates that each of the four gospel writers had a specific audience in mind and a specific theological agenda to push, and consequently wrote and rewrote their lives of Jesus accordingly--in effect, scripting Jesus to get a particular point across and to achieve the desired audience reaction. The gospel stories have shaped the beliefs of almost two and a half billion Christians. But the gospel writers were not reporters--rather, they were dramatists, and the stories they told publicly about Jesus were edited and reedited for the greatest effect. Understanding how these first-century Christians wanted to present Jesus offers us a way to make sense of the sometimes conflicting stories in the gospels. One gospel s version of events will be at odds with another. For instance, in Jesus s birth narrative, there is no mention of a stable in Matthew or Luke, but then there are no wise men in Luke and no shepherds in Matthew. Jesus has brothers in some gospel accounts, and sisters in others, and their naming is inconsistent. Depending on which gospel you are reading, the disciples shift from bumbling morons to heroes of faith. Miracles alter or disappear altogether, and whole scenes get moved around. Such changes from one gospel to the next reveal the shaping and reshaping of the basic story in the living world of the first followers of Jesus.With his usual engaging style, White helps us read the gospels with fresh eyes, giving us a clearer idea of what the gospel stories meant to people in ancient times, and offering insight for how we can understand Jesus s story today. Bookseller Inventory # NLF9780061228797

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