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Buddy Boone4 Stars Out Of 5October 17, 2001Buddy BooneHere is Ben Witherington at his best. He has poured over the pertinent literature and has critically reviewed the most popular works in this fine book. I do not understand how one could come to the conclusion that Witherington is anything other than cordial and scholarly in this book. There is no question that he has come to play, not sit on the sidelines. So, at times, his discussion is pointed and confrontational. However, his research has yielded some serious objections to the popular conclusions of the "Jesus Seminar" that must be answered. Robert Funk himself writes in a way that is designed to provoke question and comment. A good writer cannot avoid such strategies, if he/she wants their material to have an impact. Dr. Witherington's approach in this book is to critically look at the most foundational conclusions of Jesus Seminar studies (eg; Jewish or non-Jewish Jesus? Jesus the itenerant cynic philosopher?). He brilliantly interacts with the research of Funk, Crossan, Borg, etc., and then sums up his own conclusions. This edition contains a Postscript in which Witherington critically evaluates seven titles that appeared after the first publication of this work. Admittedly, one needs to be somewhat familiar with Third Quest studies to understand Witherington's work. It will be tough going for those who want to begin with this book. However, if you have some familiarity with the studies and conclusions of the Jesus Seminar, this will be a challenging and very interesting read. After you get through this one, you may want to consider purchasing Dr. Witherington's "Jesus the Sage" as well as his "Jesus the Seer" books. I recommend checking out all of Witherington's books. He is one of the finest Christian scholars of our day and I find his writing style profoundly interesting.
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