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Re: crosstalk-digest V1 #1363

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  • Peter Thomas Chattaway
    ... [ snip ] ... I think it provides a viable alternative to the sort of homogenized presentation that we saw with the PBS special _From Jesus to Christ_,
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 2 8:44 PM
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      > From: Bob Schacht <Robert.Schacht@...>
      > Date: Sun, 02 Aug 1998 09:19:58 -0700
      > Subject: Tom Wright
      >
      > Want to check out Tom Wright's approach to the historical Jesus, but
      > don't have the time to read his books? Help is at hand! You can now buy
      > his 6 part video, Jesus: The New Way! for $60 from Christian Book
      > Distributors, at http://www.christianbook.com

      [ snip ]

      > Has anyone seen this? How helpful do you think it would be for
      > introducing a bunch of pew sitters to HJ research?

      I think it provides a viable alternative to the sort of homogenized
      presentation that we saw with the PBS special _From Jesus to Christ_,
      depending on what you make of Wright's own hypotheses.

      He glosses over some problems, though. For example, he asserts that we
      can't squeeze Jesus into a top-down theology but must, rather, begin with
      Jesus and build our theology up from there. Fair enough, but --
      considering his video targets a church-based audience for the most part --
      how do you get people with strong theological presuppositions to put those
      aside and do their history? *Should* you ask them to put those
      presuppositions aside? What about the fact that Wright's reconstruction
      of the historical Jesus is based largely on the synoptics -- a theology
      built up from the Jesus in those gospels would be quite different from a
      theology built up from the gospel of John, would it not?

      In one respect, then, Wright's video series is as flawed as the PBS
      special: it presents a more-or-less homogenized set of conclusions (more
      forgiveable in Wright's case than in the PBS case because Wright speaks
      only for himself, whereas the PBS ostensibly spoke for a plurality of
      scholars) without ever really getting into the *methods* by which those
      conclusions are reached.

      It is even *more* flawed than the PBS special on an aesthetic level, I
      would argue. It uses footage from The New Media Bible (the four-hour
      adaptations of Genesis and Luke, the latter of which was re-edited and
      partially re-shot to become the two-hour _Jesus_ film distributed by
      Campus Crusade), _The Revolutionary_ (a Trinity Broadcasting Network
      "virtual reality" production, whatever they mean by that) and at least one
      other stage performer's adaptation of Luke, and these clips aren't exactly
      woven into the video series all that seamlessly. Plus the music is really
      annoyingly churchy, perhaps pietistic in a suburban-synthesizer sort of
      way, and it sometimes threatens to drown out Wright's narration -- the
      combination of film clips, the narration, and brand-new music threatens to
      go into sensory overload, there's too much for the viewer to sort through.

      If you've ever seen Wright deliver one of his lectures, you'll recognize
      both the tone and the content of his narration (it really, really doesn't
      need the musical accompaniment -- sorry, but the music really bugs me).
      And, whatever misgivings I have about the series, it's as good a means as
      any to introduce people (who would never read Wright's books or happen to
      be around when he flies in to do one of his lectures) to Wright's stuff.

      Peter T. Chattaway | "All you touch and all you see is all your life
      16397 Glenmoor Ct. | will ever be." -- Pink Floyd
      Surrey, BC V4N 1V2 | "All is touch and vision in a passionate kiss, and
      petert@... | life's a drab curtain ready to be raised." -- Da
    • Bob Schacht
      Peter, Thanks for your informative summary! Bob ... Is it not extraordinary to the point of being a miracle, that so loose and ill-constructed a narrative in
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 2 9:09 PM
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        Peter,
        Thanks for your informative summary!
        Bob

        At 08:44 PM 8/2/98 -0700, Peter Thomas Chattaway wrote:
        >> From: Bob Schacht <Robert.Schacht@...>
        >> Date: Sun, 02 Aug 1998 09:19:58 -0700
        >> Subject: Tom Wright
        >>
        >> Want to check out Tom Wright's approach to the historical Jesus, but
        >> don't have the time to read his books? Help is at hand! You can now buy
        >> his 6 part video, Jesus: The New Way! for $60 from Christian Book
        >> Distributors, at http://www.christianbook.com
        >
        >[ snip ]
        >
        >> Has anyone seen this? How helpful do you think it would be for
        >> introducing a bunch of pew sitters to HJ research?
        >
        >I think it provides a viable alternative to the sort of homogenized
        >presentation that we saw with the PBS special _From Jesus to Christ_,
        >depending on what you make of Wright's own hypotheses.
        >
        >He glosses over some problems, though. For example, he asserts that we
        >can't squeeze Jesus into a top-down theology but must, rather, begin with
        >Jesus and build our theology up from there. Fair enough, but --
        >considering his video targets a church-based audience for the most part --
        >how do you get people with strong theological presuppositions to put those
        >aside and do their history? *Should* you ask them to put those
        >presuppositions aside? What about the fact that Wright's reconstruction
        >of the historical Jesus is based largely on the synoptics -- a theology
        >built up from the Jesus in those gospels would be quite different from a
        >theology built up from the gospel of John, would it not?
        >
        >In one respect, then, Wright's video series is as flawed as the PBS
        >special: it presents a more-or-less homogenized set of conclusions (more
        >forgiveable in Wright's case than in the PBS case because Wright speaks
        >only for himself, whereas the PBS ostensibly spoke for a plurality of
        >scholars) without ever really getting into the *methods* by which those
        >conclusions are reached.
        >
        >It is even *more* flawed than the PBS special on an aesthetic level, I
        >would argue. It uses footage from The New Media Bible (the four-hour
        >adaptations of Genesis and Luke, the latter of which was re-edited and
        >partially re-shot to become the two-hour _Jesus_ film distributed by
        >Campus Crusade), _The Revolutionary_ (a Trinity Broadcasting Network
        >"virtual reality" production, whatever they mean by that) and at least one
        >other stage performer's adaptation of Luke, and these clips aren't exactly
        >woven into the video series all that seamlessly. Plus the music is really
        >annoyingly churchy, perhaps pietistic in a suburban-synthesizer sort of
        >way, and it sometimes threatens to drown out Wright's narration -- the
        >combination of film clips, the narration, and brand-new music threatens to
        >go into sensory overload, there's too much for the viewer to sort through.
        >
        >If you've ever seen Wright deliver one of his lectures, you'll recognize
        >both the tone and the content of his narration (it really, really doesn't
        >need the musical accompaniment -- sorry, but the music really bugs me).
        >And, whatever misgivings I have about the series, it's as good a means as
        >any to introduce people (who would never read Wright's books or happen to
        >be around when he flies in to do one of his lectures) to Wright's stuff.
        >
        >Peter T. Chattaway | "All you touch and all you see is all your life
        >16397 Glenmoor Ct. | will ever be." -- Pink Floyd
        >Surrey, BC V4N 1V2 | "All is touch and vision in a passionate kiss, and
        >petert@... | life's a drab curtain ready to be raised." -- Da
        >
        >
        "Is it not extraordinary to the point of being a miracle, that so loose
        and ill-constructed a narrative in an antique translation of a dubious
        text should after so many centuries still have power to quell and
        dominate a restless, opinionated, overexercised and undernourished,
        twentieth-century mind?"
        Malcolm Muggeridge _Jesus Rediscovered_ (1969), writing about
        the KJV New Testament -
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