Hitchhiker's Guide to Jesus, A: Reading the Gospels on the Ground

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Studying the Historical Jesus on Location

"A Hitchhiker's Guide to Jesus is a wonderful travel guide for pilgrims perplexed by the multiple maps hawked by recent scholarship. But it is also an invitation for homebound believers to join a journey of discovery to the mysterious places where history meets hope. Bruce Fisk is a wise and imaginative tour guide, and this book will open new angles of vision for readers seeking to investigate the path of Jesus."
--Richard B. Hays, Duke University Divinity School

"Bruce Fisk has possibly written the most creative, fascinating, and informed book on the Gospels in a generation. . . . 'Genius' could well describe many of the pages in the book. Fisk is a first-rate scholar as well as a brilliant communicator. Every New Testament teacher owes it to his or her students to consider this as a fresh new text on the Gospels."
--Gary M. Burge, Wheaton College

"With warmth, wit, and penetrating insight, Fisk writes for all who find themselves fascinated by the enigmatic prophet from Nazareth yet unwilling to settle either for the naive certainties of 'simple faith' or for the latest 'assured results' of biblical criticism."
--Ross Wagner, Princeton Theological Seminary

"This is really three books in one. It is a (very hip) college textbook written by an expert: an introduction to New Testament criticism, including the quest for the historical Jesus, the synoptic problem, and so on. It is also a kind of handbook to travel and politics in modern Israel. And finally, it is a novel with a protagonist named Norm on a personal quest for a faith that will hold up in the face of honest questions. . . . What a satisfying read!"
--Bruce Hindmarsh, Regent College

"Students often find the academic study of the Gospels disorienting as they discover a previously unexplored world of literary, historical, and theological questions opening up before them. . . . Fisk proves himself a reliable guide--knowledgeable, candid, steady, and witty--through this territory."
--Marianne Meye Thompson, Fuller Theological Seminary

"A lively romp that combines travelogue with quest narrative. . . . Along the way, we are introduced to the key issues that occupy modern scholars, and we discover why those issues would matter to people in the world today. . . . This is definitely a creative way of granting students access to modern and postmodern fields of New Testament study."
--Mark Allan Powell, Trinity Lutheran Seminary

"I've never seen (nor imagined!) anything like this book. . . . Readers traverse the territories of biblical scholarship, Judaism, Greco-Roman religion, and the Christian tradition in a journey of personal and spiritual reflection. . . . Fisk has inaugurated a new genre in biblical studies that deftly combines academic study with the human experience."
--Kenton L. Sparks, Eastern University

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bible students have long known that there is no substitute for visiting the lands of the Bible when an in-depth knowledge of Scripture is desired. The printed page can take you only so far. Breathing the air and walking the ground serve to bring the Bible story to life. Fisk, associate professor of New Testament at Westmont College in Santa Barbara offers us a lively account of a fictitious traveler, "Norm the Younger." Norm is daring and imaginative, and knows how to make the most of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Sometimes the lovable goof but more often a serious student of Jesus' life and times, readers take a part in Norm's travels in a delightful and always enlightening way. Cleverly intertwining contemporary observation with historic reminiscence, and never failing to reflect on the entire testimony of the Bible as it relates to Jesus' Jerusalem, Norm builds a convincing case for faith not just in the story, but in Him who made that story. This is a top-notch effort by a skilled scholar and writer. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801036064
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,448,126
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce N. Fisk (PhD, Duke University) is professor of religious studies at Westmont College and the author of Do You Not Remember? Scripture, Story, and Exegesis in the Rewritten Bible of Pseudo-Philo and Interpretation Bible Studies: 1 Corinthians. A fresh voice in New Testament scholarship, he travels widely throughout the world of the earliest Christians--Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy--often with students.
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Table of Contents

Author's Preface
A Brief Word from Norm-the-Elder
1. Between Heaven and Earth
2. Ghosts at the River
3. Room at the Inn
4. Mist and Mystery
5. Time Imagined
6. Wall of Tears
7. This Side of the Tomb
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