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  • By David Buck
    Apr 6, 2010
    The I, Jesus Scrolls – a Review The Revd Dr Martin Eggleton, a retired Methodist Minister, has long taken an interest in Jesus-logy, since he did his postgraduate research in Germany on the great New Testament scholar, Rudolf Bultmann. He went on to lecture on modern German Theologians at Durham University’s Extra Mural Dept, and later lectured and organised seminars on Jesus Today at Middlesex University. Over the years scholars have elaborated on why Jesus never wrote a book. This work is an ingenious, refreshing and imaginative attempt to publish the fictional writings of Jesus of Nazareth. It combines a degree of scholarly research with imagination. At all times we have to remember that, though the Scrolls obviously depend on the Gospels, they are not simply a sequential re-interpretation of the sayings and acts of Jesus. To add authenticity to the narrative context of ‘the journal‘, a lot of painstaking work has been done on the historical, geographical and sociological... More > background. Not that this book is the polished outcome of the research of a New Testament exegete. It cannot be viewed as the outcome of, say, a German New Testament Formgeschichte thesis! ` What many of us Christians tend to forget, for all sorts of reasons, is that Jesus was a Jew. David does not let us forget this. The Jesus the author depicts is immersed in the Hebraic tradition and acutely aware of the ‘foreign’ elements both Roman and Hellenistic which influenced Palestine some 2,000 years ago By using this subjective, autobiographical method, we are presented with a very human Jesus and party to his thoughts and feelings. He remains throughout a perceptive and empathic figure. The fictional element is evident, for example, when unmarried Jesus is perceived as being thirty-six years old and helping his carpenter father still. (IJ 19) The story is moved on successfully by the introduction of certain characters who are not in the Biblical narrative but who play an important part on the developing story. Another clever ploy is to re-introduce characters and incidents in Jesus’ life, weaving them into a later story, saying or parable. The blend of historical narrative and poetic description works well in the scrolls, though occasionally the juxtaposition of more antiquated language (AV) with modern language is a little incongruous. Again, here and there anyone conversant with the Synoptic narrative might wince a little with the fictional. (Did John the Baptist last that long?) Yet all this does not detract from the credibility of Jesus’ relationships. But what of the Divine aspect of Jesus? The author demonstrates the significant use of the term Son of Man by Jesus, effectively highlighting his humanity. (The book uses ‘Mankind’). The attributed title Son of God is not to be found in the scrolls. What of his Messianic role? At one point, observing men being crucified, Jesus says ‘I would gladly take these men’s place if I could forever stop such acts of man’s humanity to mankind.’ (IJ 17) - a fascinating construct of Atonement! This Jesus, apparently, has no difficulty in accepting he has two fathers (Joseph and God); though on Mount Tabor he is torn between them. (IJ 22). Confronting his earthly parents Jesus writes ‘Could they not see that I was about my Father’s business. My Father? Well, that’s how it seemed to me.’ (IJ 1). Towards the end Jesus does indeed call on God as his Father (‘Abba’) (IJ 57). The final scrolls, put together by John Mark, convincingly show the demise of Jesus in a rather punctuated style. The fleeing young man conveniently leaves behind a linen cloth - used to write on, perhaps? The author is to be commended for this striking and refreshing book helping us to see Jesus the Man recording his personal diary and still able to move us today.< Less
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Product Details

Edition
Second Edition
Published
August 25, 2010
Language
English
Pages
276
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
1.04 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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