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Re: Tom Wright tapes

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Aug 2, 1998
      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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