John Meier’s Forthcoming 5th Volume of “A Marginal Jew”

For some reason I was completely unaware that John Meier was writing a 5th volume for his “Marginal Jew” series. It’s hard to believe that the first volume appeared almost 25 years ago. In Probing the Authenticity of the Parables, Meier will argue that only four of the parables in the canonical gospels are authentic – those of the Mustard Seed, the Evil Tenants, the Talents, and the Great Supper. Yale University Press indicates an expected publication date in November.

James Dunn’s 3rd Volume of “Christianity in the Making”

The third and final volume of James Dunn’s magisterial study of early Christianity will be published by Eerdmans later this year. It’s titled Neither Jew nor Greek: A Contested Identity and the publisher’s description is provided below the cover image:

The culmination of Dunn’s three-volume magnum opus, fifteen years in the making

This book brings James Dunn’s magisterial Christianity in the Making trilogy to a close. Neither Jew nor Greek covers the period following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 c.e. and running through the second century, when the still-new Jesus movement firmed up its distinctive identity markers and the structures on which it would establish its growing appeal in the following decades and centuries.

Dunn examines in depth the major factors that shaped first-generation Christianity and beyond, exploring the parting of the ways between Christianity and Judaism, the Hellenization of Christianity, and responses to Gnosticism. He mines all the first- and second-century sources, including the New Testament Gospels and such apostolic fathers as Ignatius, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus. Comprehensively covering an important, complex era in early Christianity that is often overlooked, Neither Jew nor Greek is a landmark contribution to the field.

Hollywood Is (Finally) Making a Film on the Apostle Paul

For years I’ve been saying that Hollywood should make a film on the apostle Paul, since there is ample source material with which to work. It seems that I will finally get my wish, with Hugh Jackman playing the role of the apostle to the Gentiles.

A new faith-based project with A-list stars involved is coming now from Warner Bros. The project, Apostle Paul, is being developed at the studio for Hugh Jackman to star in the role as the Jewish man of God (also known as Saul of Tarsus) who crossed over to speak to the Romans and preach the word.

Jackman would produce, along with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck under their Pearl Street banner. A screenplay is currently being penned by Matt Cook (Triple Nine, By Way Of Helena). Also producing are Jennifer Todd (Pearl Street) and Chris Clarke, who helped initiate the project.

The full story can be found here.

Mike Holmes on Publishing the Green Collection

A few months ago Mike Holmes was named executive director of the Green Scholars Initiative. In this capacity, he oversees the work on (and publication of) the many manuscripts in the Green Collection, including the much-discussed though never seen 1st-century fragment of Mark’s gospel. It was recently brought to my attention that Mike has shared some general information on the publication process. There is no earth-shattering news, but it at least lends some transparency to things. You can find his entire post here, but I’ll share this excerpt:

I would like to offer the following comments, which represent my attempt to balance the competing interests:

  • Artifacts of various sorts have been assigned to GSI scholars, who will, under the supervision of experienced editors, investigate and prepare them for publication. These artifacts include jar handles, inscribed bowls, DSS fragments, and a variety of Greek papyri, both documentary and literary (including, but not limited to, fragments of the LXX, gospels, epistles, and patristic writings).

  • For every item published under the auspices of GSI, the goal will be to give, as part of the initial publication, as much detail as necessary regarding (a) provenance, both ancient and modern (subject, of course, to any legal restrictions attached to the terms of purchase); (b) authenticity; and (c) date—along with, of course, all the other information that usually accompanies such publications.

  • Items will be published in the order that they become ready for publication—a status that is difficult to predict. (Some items, for example, are easily identified, while the identity of others can be difficult to determine. For example, the presence of canonical material in a fragment does not necessarily mean it is a copy of a canonical document; it could be a citation that is part of a patristic homily or sermon. Some items are easily read, while others require special photographic or other treatment to reveal the writing, etc., etc.) GSI will seek to move items to publication as quickly as possible—but not at the expense of dealing with critical issues as fully as necessary.