Craig R. Koester
-- Luther Seminary
"Recent scholarship on John's Gospel has opened fresh perspectives on the book's historical context and its significance for the study of the historical Jesus. This welcome volume by Richard Horsley and Tom Thatcher invites readers to consider the Gospel in light of the socially complex world of Roman Palestine. Following an interdisciplinary approach, they engage not only the best recent literary and historical work on John but also major developments in the field of media studies. The result is a contribution that will engage the attention of scholars and students alike."
Craig S. Keener
-- Asbury Theological Seminary
"Two skilled scholars here provide a brilliant and creative synthesis of literary and social-historical-political approaches. Richard Horsley and Tom Thatcher offer fresh ideas in an area of scholarship that has sometimes become stagnant. . . . Their holistic approach to the Fourth Gospel is innovative, well-informed, and informative."
Werner H. Kelber
-- Rice University
"Challenging an established scholarly history of isolating sayings from Gospel narratives and dissecting texts into sources, Horsley and Thatcher exhibit an admirable aptitude for synthesis. Their approach combines narrative criticism, text criticism, media studies, performance criticism, and a sociology of power relations into a unified theory. Thoughtfully perceptive and genuinely innovative, this timely book may well change the way we think about the Gospels as historical narratives, the feasibility of the Jesus quest, and the conventional divide between the Gospel of John and the Synoptics."
"A provocative and thoughtful study that prompts seeing John's gospel in a new light."
"Provides an insightful introduction into the growing understanding of the oral development of the gospels and embeds this effectively in a plausible portrait of an antagonistic relationship between rural Galilee in the north and the religious establishment in Jerusalem. The book offers a filter that highlights the historical background to Jesus' ministry as this is portrayed in John's gospel. . . . If anyone is inclined to dismiss John's gospel as a valuable source of information about the historical Jesus and his mission, reading this book may make them think again."
Reviews in Religion & Theology
"This brief but challenging book will be an excellent additional textbook for an introductory Gospels or Historical Jesus course."
Theological Book Review
"Solidly makes the case for Jesus' mission involving the renewal of the people of Israel over against the corrupt Jewish rulers in Jerusalem and the brutal Roman authorities. Readers are sure to gain insights into the historical climate and many tensions among the distinct communities of Palestine. . . . A worthy contribution to helping scholars better understand the work of Jesus and his accomplishments."
"Horsley and Thatcher have produced a book that presents an effective synthesis of their understandings of Jesus and his mission in the Gospel of John. . . . The book is clear and accessible and will benefit biblical scholars, pastors, and students alike. It deserves a broad readership, especially among those with a keen interest in Johannine studies. It is a book to which I will return again and again."