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The Historical Character of Jesus
Canonical insights from outside the Gospels
by David M Allen
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
The four Gospels are full of detail about the life, character and personality of Jesus; the rest of the New Testament is far less so. Those books that do mention Jesus frequently often talk about Jesus Christ, the risen, ascended Lord. In this book David Allen focuses on "Jesusology" rather than Christology; he examines the non-Gospel canon of the New Testament looking for information, signposts and clues that might inform our understanding of the historical, earthly Jesus most easily found in the Gospels.
I found, perhaps unsurprisingly, there to be nothing ground breaking revealed about Jesus in David Allen's examination of the non-Gospel New Testament canon. However, his careful and thorough discussion of the ways in which information might be gleaned from writing that is far from explicit in its discussion of the "remembered Jesus" was informative, both in what could be said about Jesus and also the ways in which texts can be approached, studied and analysed.
Stepping outside the Gospel accounts with this book furthered my understanding that "the canonical Jesus is the historical Jesus remembered, followed and obeyed"; if you're looking to understand more about the "historical character of Jesus" then this book is definitely worth a read.
Reviewer: Tim Hupfield (11/06/13)