Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gary Burge on "The View from the Mastaba"

Gary Burge, professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, has written an excellent article for "Books and Culture." For those who have had questions about the increased popularity of some of the Jewish things about Jesus this is a healthy dose of sanity. Much of what is spreading today as Jewish tidbits and helpful background material is based on inferior sources or documents that were compiled hundreds of years after the time of Christ. Burge rightly observes that caution needs to be exercised in the use of many of these materials. Burge praises the work of Kenneth Bailey and in particular his book Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels. I'm all for gaining a better understanding of Jesus in his cultural environment and his Jewish roots and I'm happy when I'm pointed to those who have worked on the subject with discretion and caution. May their tribe increase. (If you want to know what a "Mastaba" is, you'll have to read the article.)

1 comment:

inchristus said...

Thanks for pointing to this well-written article. The comment "an Aramaic story (the Jesus story) emerged onto the public stage of history in Greek dress (the gospels). And whenever a story moves from one culture frame to another, something inevitably gets lost for those who don't know both cultures" is key to appreciating the value of the anthropologists office (a.k.a. "mastaba").