Back 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!
I received an email earlier today informing me that my most recent book, Reading John, is now available as a Kindle version. If you’re interested, you can find it it here.
Many 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. 🙂
Back 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!
I just happened across Joel Watts’ very sympathetic review of my recently published book, Reading John. He seems to get what I am trying to do with the book and also understands that my primary goal is to reach the non-specialist. Thanks for the kind review, Joel!
OK, if you’re on any of my social media feeds, you can feel free to ignore this blog post, as I’ve been talking about this non-stop for the past 24 hours……BUT, my latest book, Reading John, is finally available for purchase. Of course, I’m quite happy with the finished product, but I don’t expect you to take my word for it. Here are the endorsements from the back cover:
“Studying or teaching John? Reading John takes anyone interested in learning to read the Gospel of John and leads them step by step on a delightful journey into its strange and wonderful landscape, with the result that each chapter builds reading competence. Skinner is impressive as a teacher and guide, equally at home in the ancient world, the Gospel of John, and twenty-first-century culture, and he has a keen ear for the nuances of each. This guide is ideal for Bible study groups and college classes.”
–R. Alan Culpepper, Dean, McAfee School of Theology
“In this fresh introduction to John, Christopher Skinner treats readers of John to some of the most valuable of recent approaches to the Fourth Gospel clearly and succinctly. Embracing the narrative through the lens of the Prologue, appreciating the sketching of characters, understanding misunderstandings, and seeing John as a two-level drama afford new insights that would otherwise be lost. Here we see John’s theological, historical, and literary riddles addressed in helpful and compelling ways; Skinner’s readers will not be disappointed!”
–Paul N. Anderson, Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies, George Fox University
If you are a non-specialist reader who is interested in the Gospel of John, a student who wants to learn more, or a professor looking for a solid teaching tool, I would appreciate you giving this book a try.