Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jesus the Temple by Nicholas Perrin

When I saw that the author was a former research assistant to N.T. Wright, I was anticipating greatness.

Not taking anything away from Perrin - the material is discussion worthy: Did Jesus see himself as a replacement for the Jewish Temple? He has filled this book with so much information, it would take at least three semesters to adequately cover the ideas. And therein lies part of the problem.

Reading this I felt like I was reading a report by a student who had so many pages to fill and decided to use as many words as possible. There are simply too many words! Repeatedly I found myself thinking, "just get to the point!" I would skip ahead to the "Conclusion" segment of each chapter and think, well why didn't you just write that??

Perrin explores about all the conclusions each theologian has come to when it revolves around Jesus' actions with the Temple in Jerusalem. Every. Single. Conclusion. (probably not every single one but it felt like it)

His own conclusions are fantastic and worth the book but I imagine I would have enjoyed this book more if he just got to the point.

The later third of this book explores how Jesus' words and actions give proof to how he viewed himself in relation to the Temple and creating a counter-temple movement. It is this section that I really digested with delight. I just can't get enough of cultural/contextual information about Jesus and First Century Israel.

This is absolutely a book for higher education. It is full of footnotes and examples of resources for further study.

I hope Perrin writes more books and that he follows N.T. Wright's example by streamlining thoughts. (even early Wright was heavy on the word-usage)

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