Bible Review 12:1, February 1996

Readers Reply

Bible Review

Professor Jesus?

Almost all the people who write for BR live their lives as academics (should it be called The Bible as Reviewed by Professors?). They are products of the American educational establishment, all conditioned by the narrow, sometimes claustrophobic limitations of the university culture with its special styles, conventions, pressures and expectations. And as productive scholars pounding the same old historical-critical beat, they have learned to adjust to the needs of America’s prestigious publishers, such as their lust after “cutting-edge” scholarship, particularly if it can be touted as new and original or sure to upset conventional thinking.

None of this is ever mentioned, much less considered. It is simply assumed that your writers are uniquely free of context, breathing a purer air of personal disinterest, high impartiality and scholarly objectivity, virtues that they oddly but routinely deny to early churchmen, most of whom are described as religious enthusiasts, amateur theologians, irresponsible visionaries, myth-makers, power-seekers, anti-Semites, male chauvinists, mystery-cultists and nervous co-conspirators. Yes, those post-Easter folks had their confining contexts and their hidden agendas—but not our friends and colleagues who write for BR.

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