Books


Defining Jesus is about the semantic content of the name Jesus. To what does the name refer, especially when modifying adjectives are attached, such as “the historical Jesus,” “the Jesus of history,” “the earthly Jesus,” “the biblical Jesus,” “the real Jesus”? Problems arise when commercial writers and scholars, without the necessary caveat, equate their hypothetical portrait of “the historical Jesus” with “the real Jesus”–none other than the Jesus of the first century “as he actually was.” To disabuse scholarship of this hubris, the author carefully delineates the diverse settings in which the name Jesus appears in the ongoing dialogue about Jesus of Nazareth. Its approach is apologetic: it defends the traditional language of Christian faith, arguing with Martin Kähler in the nineteenth century that the only Jesus Christians have ever known, or can know, is the Christ of faith.

The fourth edition of this best-selling textbook continues to be a valuable resource for the beginning student in the critical study of the Bible. Thoroughly revised to include the newest methods, recent discoveries, and developments in the field of biblical criticism over the past decade, the Handbook of Biblical Criticism is designed to be a starting point for understanding the vast array of methods, approaches and technical terms employed in this field. Updates in this edition also include an expanded dictionary of terms, phrases, names, and frequently used abbreviations, as well as a bibliography that includes the most up-to-date date publications.The Handbook of Biblical Criticism is a valuable introductory textbook and a reliable guide for pastors, laypersons, and scholars whose expertise lies in other fields

How did the Bible’s sixty-six books become sacred Scripture? How have they been understood and interpreted over the last two thousand years? What was it that led to our acceptance of the Bible as the true word of God? For two millennia, Christians have accepted the importance of the Bible as sacred Scripture, and for as many years they have struggled to comprehend its meaning. Over the centuries the church has expressed the centrality of Scripture in numerous ways, and Christians have studied and interpreted the Bible in a wide variety of faithful approaches. Understanding that process is critical to our ability–and our willingness–to accept the Bible as sacred and true. To that end, Richard Soulen leads us through the history of how Christian understandings of the Bible have changed and developed throughout history.

Few things are so vital to Christian life yet so mired in controversy as the language we use to name the mystery of the Trinity. This project offers a fresh map of Trinitarian language that is simple, yet profound in its implications for theology and practice. Soulen proposes that sacred scripture gifts us with three patterns of naming the persons of the Trinity: a theo-logical pattern characterized by oblique reference to the Tetragrammaton (the divine name); a christo-logical pattern characterized by the kinship vocabulary of Father, Son, and Spirit; and a pneumato-logical pattern, characterized by the open-ended multiplicity of divine names. These patterns relate in a Trinitarian way: they are distinct, interconnected, and, above all, equally important. The significance of this thesis resides in its power to map the terrain of Trinitarian discourse in a way that is faithful to scripture, critically respectful of tradition, and fruitfully relevant to a broad range of contemporary concerns.