Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Quest for Pendlebury's

Once we were rested and recovered from our journey the first thing on my agenda was to make it to Pendlebury's book shop - which is the Mecca of second-hand theological books in the UK. I stumbled across the place by accident in 1999 and bought Vincent Taylor's 1952 Mark commentary for a bargain, unfortunately, I couldn't remember where I'd been or how to get there and I started thinking that the entire event was a mirage or a psychosomatic projection of my wish fulfillment for the perfect second-hand book store. Thanks to Sean the Baptist I was able to retrace my footsteps and find this El Dorado of theological books.

Of course my family did not like being dragged around London when it was RAM - rainy and miserable. The holes in my shoes meant my feet were soaked and we even got lost when we went to the wrong United Reformed church. Luckily the minster there, Francis, gave us directions and we set about on the right path. After leaving the family in a cafe for shelter I bolted 2 kms south to Church House and found Pendlebury's okay. There I purchased the following

Martin Hengel, Between Jesus and Paul

This is a good collection of essays that is essential reading for anyone doing Christian Origins. I interact alot with Hengel's article on the origins of the Christian mission. Hengel is great is pointing out that the bifurcation between Hellenistic and Palestinian Christianity is dubious.

I. Howard Marshall, The Origins of New Testament Christology

Marshall is now a statesman for evangelical scholarship and I enjoy everything he writes (although I've seen his book Kept by the Power of God turn many Calvinists into Arminians. So maybe he's too good an author!) The chapters on the Son of Man are good concise summaries of the problem of the debate. Though many out there will prefer Dunn or Casey, I think Marshall gets the basic gist right. Once more, he rejectiosn any absolute dichotomy of Hellenistic and Palestinian Christianities.

C.K. Barrett, Jesus and the Gospel Tradition

Short, simple and to the point. Barrett has sober and straightforward answers to the question surrounding the shape and character of the Jesus tradition and how it was used in the early church.

Leader E. Keck, Paul and His Letters

I um and ah about Keck's notion of "rectification" to describe "justification", but in any event this is a short and sharp introduction to Paul full of good insights.

If I am ever make my way back I'll probably pick up some more Moule and Hengel. Actually, if I had to be stranded on a dessert Island with three NT scholars, Hengel would definitely be one!

1 comment:

Rob Bradshaw said...

Thanks Michael, I agree with you, Pendlebury's is a superb bookshop. I have visited in person several times and always found a few treasures. They list their entire inventory on-line using Advanced Book Exchange, etc. It is well-worth checking with them if you are after a particular title.

In Christ, Rob