On October 31, Jeffrey Gibson wrote about Anne Rice's
novel of Christ:
>We've already had a preview of what her
>take on Jesus is in Memnoch the Devil.
That was then, but this is now. Evidently Rice has
become a Tom Wright fan, so the bishop's disdain for
gnosticism may have rubbed off. I still haven't read
the novel itself, but I read the afterword this
morning. Quite interesting. These are the scholars she
was inspired by when she began researching Jesus in
2002, and now recommends to her readers: John A.T.
Robinson, Richard Bauckham, Martin Hengel, Jacob
Neusner, Geza Vermes, David Flusser, Luke Timothy
Johnson, Raymond Brown, Sean Freyne, Eric M. Myers,
Larry Hurtado, Craig Blomberg, Craig S. Keener,
Kenneth L. Gentry, Mary S. Thompson, Robert Alter,
Frank Kermode, Eric Auerbach, Ellis Rivkin, Lee I.
Levine, Martin Goodman, Claude Tresmontant, Jonathan
Reed, Bruce J. Malina, Kenneth Bailey, D. Moody Smith,
C.H. Doddm D.A. Carson, Leon Morris, R. Alan
Culpepper, and "the great Joachim Jeremias" (see pp
"I learned something from every single book I
examined," she says.
Then, just love it, comes the praise for Wright:
"The scholar who has given me perhaps some of my most
important insights and who continues to do so through
his enormous output is N.T. Wright. N.T. Wright is one
of the most brilliant writers I've ever read, and his
generosity in embracing the skeptics and commenting on
their arguments is an inspiration. His faith is
immense, and his knowledge is vast. In his book, _The
Resurrection of the Son of God_, he answers solidly
the question that has haunted me all my life.
Christianity achieved what it did, according to N.T.
Wright, because Jesus rose from the dead. It was the
fact of the resurrection that sent the apostles out
into the world with the force necessary to create
Christianity. Nothing else would have done that." (pp
"Nothing else"? Religious conversions evidently stifle
the novelist's imagination. (Hope this never happens
to me. People find my fiction difficult enough to take
as it is.)
Another one of her convictions is that all gospels
were written before 70 CE. "I found it absolutely
impossible that the gospel writers could not have
included the Fall of the Temple in their work had they
written after it as critics insist. It simply didn't
and doesn't make sense." (p 315)
Then a howler:
"When Jewish and Christian scholars begin to take this
war seriously, when they begin to really study what
happened during the terrible years of the siege of
Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple, and the
revolts that continued in Palestine right up through
Bar Kokhba...Bible studies will change." (p 316)
No comment necessary. But what happened to the
scholars she recommended with such enthusaism?
I liked Rice better when she was into vampires.
Loren Rosson III
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