Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite

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9780061228803: 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 HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 229 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The greatest story ever told was honed like any good performance, on the road in front of audiences. Acclaimed scholar L. Michael White challenges us to read the gospels as they were intended--as performed stories of faith, not factual accounts--and illuminates the agendas that motivated each of their authors. A fresh account of the gospels that have shaped centuries of Christian belief, Scripting Jesus offers important insight into how we can understand Jesus s story today. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780061228803

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 229 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The greatest story ever told was honed like any good performance, on the road in front of audiences. Acclaimed scholar L. Michael White challenges us to read the gospels as they were intended--as performed stories of faith, not factual accounts--and illuminates the agendas that motivated each of their authors. A fresh account of the gospels that have shaped centuries of Christian belief, Scripting Jesus offers important insight into how we can understand Jesus s story today. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780061228803

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Book Description HarperOne, 2011. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: 'No one interested in the telling of a story, especially those taken by the Gospel stories of Jesus, will be able to put down Scripting Jesus.White helps the reader of the Gospels by reading carefully, closely and deeply.He draws our attention to the cast of characters in each Gospel; pulls out the ?habits? of each Gospel writer; and shows how all of them is scripted.But he doesn't leave the scripting to the canonical Gospels-- he draws the reader to the legendary Gospels.[He accomplishes] all of this with vivid awareness of the ancient story telling in the Greco-Roman world.This book will engage the listener as well as the teller of tales.' (Kent Harold Richards, Executive Director and Professor of Old Testament, Society of Biblical Literature.). Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_006122880X

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