I just received an email that my review of Vernon K. Robbin’s Who Do People Say I Am?: Rewriting Gospel in Emerging Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013) has been published at the Review of Biblical Literature. Basically, Robbins looks at the different representations of Jesus in 11 ancient “gospels”:
- Q (*note: Robbins takes the existence of the hypothetical Q source as his starting point and, while he cites the Synoptic “double tradition” passages in Matthew and Luke, I followed the convention of Q scholars in citing this “text” according to the Lukan references in the interests of saving space. I evaluated Robbins’s proposals about Q on his terms (i.e. assuming the Two Source Theory), but I recognize the growing skepticism about Q from proponents of the Farrer, Griesbach or more chaotic theories.
- The Gospel of Mark
- The Gospel of Matthew
- The Gospel of Luke
- The Gospel of John
- The Gospel of Thomas
- The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
- The Infancy Gospel of James (or the Protevangelium of James)
- The Gospel of Mary
- The Gospel of Judas
- The Acts of John
My review attempts to cover the main points that Robbins made about each Gospel as well as offer some praise or constructive criticism on his reading of select texts. I conclude that the strength of this popular introduction to Gospel literature is that it models for students how a historian tries to empathetically enter into the worldview of another from the past and explain how he or she found meaning in a certain set of beliefs and practices. Please pass on any comments or questions about the review in the comments.
*Update: see also the recent review by Brian LePort.