Interviews on My Book, Reading John (Skinner)

Reading JohnBack in November I sat down in Atlanta with the peeps from Wipf and Stock to record a long interview about my recent book, Reading John (Cascade, 2015).  Here’s a short snippet (video #1) followed by the full interview (video #2). Ultimately the interview is intended to go along with the book and also serve as part of a wider promotional campaign. If you are interested in the book or if you love hearing me talk as much as Nijay loves hearing me talk, please click and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Character Studies and the Gospel of Mark Reviewed in JETS (Skinner)

Skinner.HaugeThe book I co-edited last fall with my friend, Matt Hauge, Character Studies and the Gospel of Mark, was reviewed by D. Keith Campbell in the most recent fascicle of Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. Frankly, I was astonished to see such a positive assessment of the book. The review was one of the most glowing a book of mine has ever received. Campbell closes his review with these words:

[T]he contributors—all pacesetters in Markan narrative criticism—offer penetrating contributions to the field, contributions that NT narrative critics, who especially study characterization, will discuss for years to come. In essence, they accomplish what all researchers strive to accomplish; they advance their field, provide new methods for research, and open clear avenues for others to travel. What more could a monograph offer?

This is where I would normally encourage you to buy a copy but it costs $117!!! Let’s be honest for a second….who has that type of money? However, I am told that the paperback will be available for under $40 in just a few months. THEN you can go buy a copy. Our thanks to Dr. Campbell for both his positive assessment of the book and for his critical engagement with each chapter.

Rafael Rodriguez Reviews My Reading John (Skinner)

Reading JohnMany thanks to Rafael Rodriguez for offering such a kind review of my recent book, Reading John over at the Jesus Blog. I appreciate him taking the time to give it a fair hearing. Also, it’s always gratifying when someone ‘gets’ what you’re trying to do.

I always wanted to thank my blogmate, Nijay Gupta for naming my book the best textbook in his Best Academic Books of 2015 post. Perhaps he’s biased, but I don’t really care!

Now, go and buy a copy or six. I’m planning an addition to my house. 🙂

The Kind of Review I’ve Been Waiting For (Skinner)

Sarah HeromanBack in May my seventh book was released. It was written primarily for students and non-specialists and the goal was to take the fruits of modern scholarship and make them truly accessible to those without formal training in biblical studies. We’ve all seen those books written by scholars that are supposed to be for laypeople, but when you open them they have little chance of actually connecting with the intended audience. Since I consider myself a teacher first and foremost, I wanted to produce a book that would do for readers what I do for my students in person. So far the book has been well-received by other professors but I have yet to hear from someone in my intended target audience, until now……

This past week while vacationing with my family, I saw this review from Sarah Heroman in which she describes reading my book as “life changing.” I assume this is hyperbole, and while my writing goals are often more modest than changing someone’s life, I don’t actually mind the description of my work. 🙂  Here’s an excerpt from her review:

His writing is clear, and the use of analogies at the beginning of a new topic is helpful. Even better, once he’s done describing the analogy, whether it’s watching the movie Toy Story, or his wife’s feelings about the end of a great fiction series, his switch into academic language is not jarring. You get the sense that the author is a good classroom teacher- one who truly wants his students to get the topic and will meet them where they are without a condescending tone……

While reading, I found myself making connections and moving along a trail of thought only to find it confirmed at the end of the chapter/paragraph. That’s damn good writing right there, and it works on two levels. One, obviously- it helps guide the reader to the conclusion the author is making and two- it makes the reader believe in their ability to think/process/learn. Now I feel smart, or at the very least, not dumb. I think I can tackle Bauckham with less frustration.

I cannot tell you how encouraging it was to read this review, not just because it was so positive but mostly because it came from someone inside my intended audience. Also, if I’m being completely honest, this book is the one thing I’ve written over the past ten years that I am proudest of having written. If you know someone who wants to learn how to read the Bible with perspectives informed by the best scholarship, please consider recommending my book, Reading John. Also, many many thanks to Sarah Heroman for reading the book and taking time to review it!

Characters and Characterization in the Gospel of John Now Available in Paperback! (Skinner)

Chris 1I was delighted to find out, just now, that my book, Characters and Characterization in the Gospel of John (LNTS 461; London: Bloomsbury/T & T Clark, 2013) is now available in paperback. The best part of finding out this news was not receiving the book (which I have yet to do) but having one of my students purchase it, then show it to me! The original hardbound volume costs about $125, while the paperback is $39.95. So, if you were waiting for a more affordable copy, now is your chance! For those attending SBL, you will be able to get it even cheaper.