Who’s the Scoundrel: Pullman or Paul?

Philip Pullman’s new book ‘The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ’ is due out imminently. Just to coincide with Easter. Nice touch! Of the New Testament Pullman said,

“By the time the gospels were being written, Paul had already begun to transform the story of Jesus into something altogether new and extraordinary, and some of his version influenced what the gospel writers put in theirs”.

And so CCB and Holy Redeemer Streatham Vale are co-hosting an evening with leading New Testament scholar David Wenham to consider the issue. You can find out the details here. It’s on Sunday 9th May and will happen in place of the evening service.

Dr David Wenham is Vice Principal of Trinity College, Bristol, and is also chairman of the New Testament Group of the Tyndale Fellowship.  He is a leading scholar on the relationship between Paul and Jesus. After studying theology in Cambridge and Manchester University, he taught New Testament in India and then at Wycliffe Hall and the University of Oxford for 24 years.  He’s a really clear and engaging speaker and it’ll be a joy to welcome him to this part of south London.

11 thoughts on “Who’s the Scoundrel: Pullman or Paul?

  1. Phil C March 25, 2010 / 1:52 pm

    This is a great idea!

  2. Ben Jeapes March 26, 2010 / 7:47 am

    It’s so sad that he obviously thinks this speculation is something new! It’s like Karen Armstrong had never been born …

  3. Lauri Moyle March 29, 2010 / 11:28 am

    You really think that Ben? How bunker minded of you. Its a novel.

    • theurbanpastor March 29, 2010 / 11:46 am

      You’re in feisty mood this morning?
      Was it the bad coffee that did it?!
      perks

      • Lauri Moyle March 29, 2010 / 12:32 pm

        Well, considering that Ben is a novelist himself, I think he should know better than to dismissively slag off something he has obviously not red or (as it seems) even researched properly.

        It’s a novel. Thats the added value. Might be uncomfortable topic and heretical, blaspheming might even go on in it, but lets call it what it is, not criticizes it for what it isn’t. And even if Ms. Armstrong’s ideas where put down in a novel form, it would still be worth Pullman writing about them as he knowns how to tell a tale.

        To add insult to feistiness, perhaps Ben should consider a less slanderous approach? On his own blog he says that he dislikes “hype” and “letting dogma or convenience dictate the facts.” Well, there has been some hype about this book, but then lets not let dogma an convenience dictate the facts.

        Did you study with him?

  4. Ben Jeapes March 29, 2010 / 1:10 pm

    Lauri makes a good point and I stand partially corrected. I’m sure Pullman will be putting down these ideas in a highly readable and entertaining form. Given the choice between Pullman’s shopping list or, say, the latest Dan Brown, I know which would be better. I also note that this is part of a series of re-imagined myths, and given that he thinks this is a myth too, it’s perfectly reasonable for him to tackle it in this way.

    But other comments I have read from Mr P, including the one in the blog post above, do seem to indicate that he actually thinks he’s stumbled onto something new. He really, really hasn’t:

    – “Mission” by Patrick Tilley
    – “Behold the Man” by Michael Moorcock
    – “According to Mary Magdalene” by Marianne Fredriksson

    … even, for crying out loud, “Jesus Christ Superstar” by Rice & Lloyd Webber.

  5. Lauri Moyle March 29, 2010 / 1:17 pm

    Ben you make a good point also.

    • theurbanpastor March 30, 2010 / 8:48 am

      Great – so everyone’s friends again! It’s good to provide a virtual space for Christian reconciliation! We’re the blog that brings people together!

      • Lauri Moyle March 30, 2010 / 9:38 am

        Um?

    • theurbanpastor April 1, 2010 / 8:14 am

      Hey thanks Lauri – I’ll get to it over the Easter weekend. Keep the resource references coming!

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