This week a host of people will be posting their thoughts about Bruce Fisk’s book A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus at hitchhikersblogtour.wordpress.com. I read the book this summer for a review for Expository Times, and I echo what others have said about it. It is a really creative and engaging presentation of the quest for the historical Jesus.
The book recounts the journey’s of Norm, a recent college graduate, across the Holy Land in pursuit of both Jesus and faith. Along the way he enounters some of the leading questers (Dunn, Crossan, Meyer and others), meets other students and many locals. The book is filled with quotes from the primary sources, the secondary sources and, of course the most important, Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’. The book, however, is not just a literary study. Each episode centres around a key place in the life of Jesus. The leading question throughout the book is whether one can study Jesus and believe in him.
The book is ideal for students, particularly upper-level ones who have had some exposure to the complexities of the quest for the historical Jesus. It shows that scholarship can be enjoyable and life-changing. I think it can also be useful for pastors or educated laypersons who have had encountered critical scholarship but have written off scholarship because of the negative outcomes. This book can remind them of the difficulties of doing historical research, while at the same time it can show them that not all scholarship leads to a complete rejection of the Gospels or Jesus.
For other’s thoughts about the book see:
Mike Bird at Euangelion (who will also be posting as part of the tour)
Benjamin Reyonlds at Divinity United
Ben Witherington at Bible and Culture