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Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth
Michael J. McClymond

0802826806 Retail Price: $16.00
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Format: Paperback, 240pp.
ISBN: 0802826806
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pub. Date: April 1, 2004

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From The Publisher:

Familiar Stranger by Michael McClymond is a very readable introduction to that elusive figure known as “the historical Jesus” — his life, his world, his sayings and doings, accounts of his death and resurrection, and his followers’ efforts to understand him. Three features set Familiar Stranger apart from the many other available books on Jesus. First, it’s targeted to general readers but doesn’t dumb down in its attempt to inform them. Second, it’s ideologically balanced, exhibiting a refreshing lack of agenda or ulterior motive beyond the desire to genuinely present what we can and cannot know about Jesus today. Third, it brings together the two most fruitful models for understanding Jesus and his mission — Jesus the “moral sage” and Jesus the “eschatological prophet.” The result is a truly well-rounded picture of Jesus. Marked by concision, clarity, and thoroughness, McClymond’s Familiar Stranger is ideal for classrooms, study groups, and individuals in search of an up-to-date, trustworthy guide to the historical Jesus. Readers familiar with Jesus may well find him becoming stranger to them through these pages, and, conversely, those to whom Jesus is a stranger may well discover a growing familiarity with him.


Michael McClymond’s Familiar Stranger offers an excellent introduction to the study of the historical Jesus. Written by an “outsider” to Jesus research, this balanced, well-informed book is a pleasure to read and will make a great textbook. I highly recommend it.
—Craig A. Evans

For the past two hundred years or so, scholars, perceiving some differences between the New Testament portrayals of Jesus and Jesus as he was in “factual” history, have tried to reach behind those portrayals to the Jesus a camcorder would have captured. These attempts have produced widely, sometimes wildly, different results. Michael McClymond’s Familiar Stranger provides nonscholars with a scholarly assessment of the past and present state of research on the historical Jesus, plus his own well-considered view. Recommended for a wide reading audience.
—Robert H. Gundry

Those inspired by the particular, cinematic vision of Christ’s Passion to learn more about the person of Jesus and the passionate responses competing versions of his story continue to evoke may find this book a good first read.


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About the Author

Michael J. McClymond is Clarence Louis and Helen Irene Steber Professor of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. He is also the author of the award-winning book Encounters with God: An Approach to the Theology of Jonathan Edwards and coeditor (with David Noel Freedman) of The Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad as Religious Founders

Table of Contents

Jesus: A Thumbnail Portrait
Piles of Books: A Short History of Jesus Research
Sources and Methods: What Can We Know? How Can We Know It?
The Palestinian Context: Geography, Politics, Economy, and Religion
The Forerunner: John the Baptist
The Central Message: The Kingdom of God
The Man of Power: Healings, Exorcisms, and Other Works of Wonder
The Teacher: Sayings and Parables
The Public Figure: Career and Controversies
Approaching the End: The Final Week
A New Beginning: The Resurrection
Wisdom, Apocalypse, and the Identity of Jesus: Some Historical Reflections
Thinking Outside the Boxes: A Critique of Contemporary Images of Jesus
Index of Subjects and Names
Index of Scripture and Other Ancient Literature

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