I just happened to see on the Society of Biblical Literature web site that Jimmy Dunn has died. We were academic “friends” and he reviewed my book Paul and Jesus, for Biblical Archaeology Review in 2013. You can read his review and my response here on the blog. We sharply disagreed, but I was honored to have his input, and I think he felt the same about mine in return. Take a look and see what you think, and if the subject pulls you in you can always read the book and form your own judgment! Anyway, here is that review: James Dunn’s Review of My Paul and Jesus Book.
SBL linked Helen Bond’s lovely tribute to Dunn below. Some of you know my given name is Jimmy, so we had that in common. I still use Dunn’s little book, The Evidence for Jesus in my “Jesus” course each year. As an introduction to a critical reading of the Synoptics and John I find it the best. He wrote it in response to Ian Wilson’s popular coffee-table book and film, but I find it serves my students, most of whom come to the Jesus course with a conservative “biblical” background, quite well. I consider his classic study, Christology in the Making so fundamental that I refuse to discuss questions like “Do you believe that Jesus was the Christ?” “Do you believe Jesus is Divine?” or “Was Jesus God?” unless the questioner has first read Dunn! Then we can have a decent conversation instead of playing roulette with New Testament quotations.
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