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Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  52 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
In Scripting Jesus, Michael White, famed scholar of early Christian history, reveals how the gospel stories of Jesus were never meant to be straightforward historical accounts, but rather were scripted and honed as performance pieces for four different audiences with four different theological agendas. As he did as a featured presenter in two award-winning PBS Frontline do ...more
ebook, 528 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2010)
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David
May 04, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bible
I could file this under "books I found for dirt cheap that I wasn't too excited to read, so I skimmed." Overall this is a book packed full of information on how the gospels came to be written, with a heavy emphasis on oral tradition. Most valuable, the author argues that the gospels were written to be performed before an audience and many of the differences between them, which we deem contradictions, were no big deal. The question of whether some of the things really happened, the line between f ...more
Robert
Aug 02, 2015 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book that picked up cheap at my college's bookstore last year, but through various reasons it's taken me until now to actually finish it. The topic of the book is very interesting to me, as it deals with Biblical literature from a literary perspective, although theology does factor into their creation. In particular, this book goes into the Gospels' differing portrayals of Jesus and how these were determined by the intended audience and overall intent. The idea that they weren't meant ...more
Michael Brady
Oct 15, 2012 Michael Brady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, religion
Fiction is Not the Same as Falsehood*

Were the gospels "performed stories of faith rather than factual histories?"

Makes sense to me, especially after reading Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite, by L. Michael White.

White also wrote From Jesus to Christianity: How Four Generations of Visionaries & Storytellers Created the New Testament and Christian Faith - which is now on my too read list, and a PBS Frontline documentary on the topic of early Christianity.

White's detailed examination of t
...more
Mike
Aug 06, 2015 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure I'm going to make it through this one (I'm a little past the half-way point, I think). The author has expert-level knowledge of the bible, and apparently reads Greek and Hebrew so he can offer his own translation. He also has thorough knowledge of mythology, so his analysis is insightful and illuminating.

However, he has a blind spot a mile wide when it comes to his mythology of choice. He is a Christian and as such cannot take the logical step from explaining how other mythological figu
...more
Ken
Jul 30, 2015 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book provides outstanding background and context for the development of the New Testament. White provides historical, literary, philosophical and theological material in a readable style. Highly recommended.
Randy Reed
Jan 08, 2011 Randy Reed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because I was thinking of using it in my Jesus class. However, its not really about the historical Jesus, it is more about the development of the Jesus tradition through the gospels. It was however a really interesting book and I got a lot out of it that I will integrate into my Intro to N.T. class. It might even work as a text book for intro to NT though pretty much it stops with Acts.
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L. Michael White is Ronald Nelson Smith Chair in Classics and Christian Origins and is the director of the Institute for the Study of Antiquity and Christian Origins at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of From Jesus to Christianity and was featured in two award-winning PBS Frontline documentaries, "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians" and "Apocalypse!," for which he also ...more
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