Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Five Books of Meme

I've been tagged in Ken Brown's 5 book meme thanks to Art Boulet and James McGrath.

The rules:
1. Name the five books (or scholars) that had the most immediate and
lasting influence on how you read the Bible. Note that these need not
be your five favorite books, or even the five with which you most
strongly agree. Instead, I want to know what five books have
permenantly changed the way you think.
2. Tag five others.
Since I've been tagged twice, I guess I have to list 10 books, right? Actually, I'm going to list it by the scholars whose work has influenced my thinking the most. The one thing all of these works has in common is that they've made me more attuned to the issues in the biblical text that cry out for interpretation.

The books:

1. John Barton. Reading the Old Testament: Method in Biblical Study and The Nature of Biblical Criticism.

2. Michael Fishbane. Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel and The Exegetical Imagination.

3. Bernard Levinson. Deuteronomy and the Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation and Legal Revision and Religious Renewal in Ancient Israel.

4. James Kugel. In Potiphar's House, The Bible As It Was, and How To Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now.

5. Benjamin Sommer. A Prophet Reads Scripture: Allusion in Isaiah 40-66.

Honorable mention should be made of two works that have influenced my interest in the broader discipline of religious studies. First, Stephen Prothero's book Religious Literacy has helped me understand the importance of religious studies for making sense of modern world culture. Second, writing a critique of the book Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World by Patricia Crone and Michael Cook greatly sharpened my critical thinking skills and helped me evaluate methodological approaches to the use of sources for reconstructing the history of a religion.

The tags: John Anderson, Phil Sumpter, Scott Bailey, Chris Brady, and Alan Lenzi.


  1. I'm up to it; it'll be attended to in short order.

  2. Scott Bailey. Hot dog! I look forward to seeing his list.

  3. This is an interesting meme. Thanks to you (and John Hobbins) for tagging me. I'll get to it as soon as I can.