Monday, December 15, 2008

'The Jesus Project'

This much talked about yet ambivalent project finally took off with its first conference last month.

R. Joseph Hoffman, the man behind this project, said that the conference is different from Jesus Seminar in the sense that, "The Jesus Seminar had difficulty separating itself from the faith commitments of its members."

Christian Post report

Religion Press report

As reported in Religion Press, some of the participating persona are:

JAMES TABOR, chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; author of "The Jesus Dynasty: A New Historical Investigation of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity."

GERD LÜDEMANN, Jesus Project co-chair; professor of New Testament, Georg-August-University, Göttingen; author of "The Resurrection of Christ: A Historical Inquiry" and "Primitive Christianity: A Survey of Recent Studies and Some New Proposals."

BRUCE CHILTON, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College; director of the Institute for Advanced Theology; author of "Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography" and the first critical commentary on the Targum of Isaiah, "The Isaiah Targum: Introduction, Translation, Apparatus, and Notes."

DENNIS R. MACDONALD, professor at Claremont School of Theology and CGU School of Religion; director of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity at Claremont; author of "Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?"

DAVID TROBISCH, professor emeritus of New Testament at Bangor Theological Seminary; author of "The First Edition of the New Testament, Paul's Letter Collection."

JUSTIN MEGGITT, senior lecturer in the Study of Religion and the Origins of Christianity, Institute of Continuing Education; fellow and director of Studies in Theology and Religious Studies, Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge; member of the Reykjavik Academy; CSER fellow.

ROBERT EISENMAN, emeritus professor, California State University Long Beach; visiting senior member of Linacre College, Oxford University; former senior fellow at the Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies; author of "The New Testament Code," "The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered," and "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians."

ROBERT M. PRICE, Jesus Project co-chair; author of "The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man"; Center for Inquiry senior research fellow.

HECTOR AVALOS, professor of religious studies, Iowa State University; author of "This Abled Body: Rethinking Disabilities in Biblical Studies," co-edited with Sarah Melcher and Jeremy Schipper; "The End of Biblical Studies."

The works of these scholars are recognizably from a certain point of view within the guild (eh... weird... suddenly I hear Kar Yong's yawning).

Daniel Wallace has posted a brief view on this.

As for me... well, I'll be excited only if there are news like Robert Price has abandoned his 'high-criticism' in this project, or James Tabor repent over his overly confident use of 2nd century source on the rape of Mary, or Robert Eisenman has finally come to his sense that the Qumran community is not related to the Jesus' movement. If not, I sincerely doubt anything new can be said. Or perhaps I should yawn together with Kar Yong until I got a copy of their articles which will be published next year by Prometheus Books. Then only should I decide continue yawning.

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