Historical Jesus Book Recommendation – Rabbi Jesus by Bruce Chilton

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15 Responses to “Historical Jesus Book Recommendation – Rabbi Jesus by Bruce Chilton”


  1. 1 jeffrey555 January 24, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    ‘meditation on the Chariot’ Purest speculation that Paul was doing this on his way to Damascus or that it was a favorite interior mind sport of John the Baptist, even if it is speculations by conservative scholars! Though perhaps Paul realized when he met Jesus that experience was like Ezekiel’s and he was meeting the same Person and helped Paul to process it – ditto for John’s vision of Christ in Revelation 1 which is even more overtly Ezekielish than the Acts description of Paul’s meeting of Jesus. Right now muslims across the world are pulling Ezekiels and meeting Jesus in dreams and visions. My nextdoor neighbor an elderly Jewish woman, grand daughter of an Orthodox rabbi was converted to Christ through a vision of him. She told me she saw him and felt his love settle along her shoulders like a stole and she exclaimed “You love me like I loved my first grand child!”
    I think the ultimate prrof that the Jesus described in the New Testament is the historical one, is when you to your shock you meet that same Person in the Spirit, present to you now! Such delicious love. power, flesh and bone Jesus of Nazareth humanity and eternal Son of God Godhood all in one extraordinary package.

  2. 2 zoecarnate January 24, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Well of course it’s speculation – that’s what history is!🙂 Does it bother you epistemologically that some people – including biblical figures – may have had particular entrees into their spiritual experience? To me, this doesn’t dilute the initiative of God, it simply shows that we can make ourselves more (or less) open to such encounters.

    Fascinating anecdotes, re: the Jesus dreams. I’ve heard about these a lot in recent years…

    • 3 jeffrey555 January 25, 2011 at 1:52 am

      I had to look up “epistemology” to make sure I understood your question. My thoughts – God makes unsolicited phone calls and he also responds to people who reach out to him. I can see both of these in the Bible, my own life and in the lives of others. What does bother me is when Christianity is presented as a form of a Buddhistic eightfold path where through application of a set of spiritual methodologies and behaviors – unlike Buddhism the number varies – you become spiritual, cleansed,enlightened.
      Jesus said “the work (the real spiritual discipline?) is to believe (trust in , rely on, adhere to-according to my Young’s Concordance, a definition of the Greek for ‘believe”) in the one God sent” Paul said – “I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me” I think Jesus is to become ever more real – history right now, and more and more the life giver – this is our lifelong discipline and means of access, the Living Son of God.

  3. 4 Perry-McCormick January 24, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Hi Mike… thanks for the post. “Rabbi Jesus” has been on my list for a bit … now I want it sooner! The book by Bart Ehrman, “Misquoting Jesus” was a good read. I think some are turned off because Ehrman lost his faith but to me it was really affirming … because I could hear Jesus’ voice in what was presented in the book. I always take writers’ speculations with that ‘grain of salt’ and read for what truth is there in spite of the author’s biases. Another such book is “Keys to the Kingdom” (about Jesus and Kaballah), very informative, even if you have to do a good bit of wading.

  4. 5 David D. Flowers January 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    N.T. Wright’s books are worth reading:
    – “Who Was Jesus?” – “Challenge of Jesus” & – “Jesus & the Victory of God” –

  5. 6 Travis Mamone January 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Yeah, I like N.T. Wright, too. Marcus Borg is interesting, but I’d take his stuff with a grain of salt.

  6. 7 Chilly January 28, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes” by Kenneth E. Bailey is very informative & interesting. It’s a text recommended to me from a friend at Oxford.

  7. 8 zoecarnate January 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Thanks for these recommendations, everyone!

  8. 9 dave wainscott May 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    fascinating…Thanks! do you have a reference/source on Wright linking Paul to chariot meditation? Must’ve been something he said at Soularize, since that’s where you linked…i do have some video of hum there (On Acts)..

  9. 10 Ana May 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I have just finished reading the book, I found it endearing and a must to read for those who seek Jesus placed in his time.

  10. 11 mark n taylor December 30, 2011 at 3:43 am

    Michael, I just starting reading Rabbi Jesus. So far I think Chilton overplays the mamzer angle. Also, I find the usual unfortunate scholarly fudging: e.g., James did not write the epistle named for him and his depiction in Acts is a fictional construct, yet Chilton’s James nonetheless conforms to those constructs (based on, hmm, what?). Maybe I’ll have more engaging feedback once I finish.

    Can you recommend a good book that lays out a reasonable criteria or methodology for determining (albeit in a speculative way) what N. T. text may represent an authentic tradition from later interpolation? A. N. Wilson is not bad, but I feel he overplays or oversimplifies the Jew/Roman dichotomy/animosity.

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  1. 1 Send in the Clowns! « zoecarnate Trackback on May 23, 2011 at 7:07 pm

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