Bennema’s Encountering Jesus: Second Edition with Fortress (Gupta)

BenemmaSeveral years ago I reviewed for RBL Cor Bennema’s Encountering Jesus: Character Studies in the Gospel of John (Paternoster, 2009). I thought that it was a helpful work, especially methodologically, and just needed filled out a bit. Cor does a great job in this second edition addressing concerns of reviewers and offering a stronger work overall.

One will notice two major elements of this edition – (1) Cor’s discussion is more detailed, which leads to a second edition almost double the size of the first; (2) this edition contains a study of Jesus as the main character (an omission in the first edition that I highlighted in my review, and apparently other reviewers pointed to this as well).

My blogger-comrade, Chris Skinner, happens to be highly knowledeable in Johannine studies and narrative criticism/characterization, and it was nice to see Cor interact significantly with Chris’s work. (While I am at it, I should mention Chris’ Characters and Characterization in the Gospel of John which is very affordable).

Last word: I will confess that much biblical “scholarship” is really not all that useful for everyday Christians and I am highly selective about what I choose to emphasize with my students. But narrative criticism is definitely something every seminarian should learn in a thorough way in his or her education. The kind of thing Cor is doing here is very fruitful and can furnish preachers and teachers with major insights. I look forward to reading Cor’s work again in this new edition and kudos for publishing with Fortress.


One thought on “Bennema’s Encountering Jesus: Second Edition with Fortress (Gupta)

  1. Thanks, Nijay, for the nice post. Twice the size is mainly because Fortress selected a different font, font size, and spacing! The word count only increased from about 105k to 120k. The book contains four major revisions. (1) I have added a chapter on Jesus, the protagonist in the Johannine narrative, with whom the other characters interact. (2) I have indicated the role of each character in the Johannine plot. (3) I have adapted the table of character descriptors to correspond more closely with the topoi (“topics”) found in ancient Greco-Roman rhetorical handbooks and progymnasmata. (4) I have sought to include the most significant contributions on the topic since 2007, which was essentially the terminus ad quem of the first edition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s