Thursday, 23 October 2014

My Review of Margaret Barker’s King of the Jews

My review of Margaret Barker’s latest book, King of the Jews, has appeared in the latest edition of Regent’s Reviews. Here’s my concluding paragraph:

King of the Jews is an original contribution to studies of John’s Gospel. Its flaws are those to be found throughout Barker’s works: Has she made too much of textual discrepancies? Is her reconstruction of pre-Josian religion too extreme to be credible? And how does this reconstruction align with creedal Christianity, which seldom accounts for the sociological development of belief? The persuasiveness of Barker’s readings of John will depend on the extent to which her readers can agree with or accommodate her presuppositions about the first temple. Those who do so will be rewarded with some challenging and refreshing angles on arguably the most mysterious of the four gospels.

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