Helen K. Bond is on the podcast! We talk about her most recent book The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel.  Dr. Bond is the Professor of Christian Origins and Head of the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh. She is also the author of Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation, Caiaphas: High Priest and Friend of Rome?, The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed, and Jesus: A Very Brief History

In the conversation we discuss…

  • how a historian tackles a famous figure’s biography
  • why poetry and narrative is more truthful than fact
  • the limits of “historical truth” debates and why “nailing down” the truth is deadly to faith
  • what does the cross tell us about Jesus’ character?
  • how did the historical concept of the ‘good death’ compare and contrast with that of Jesus? The difference is in the telling 🙂
  • what was the Gospel of Mark up to? How does reading it as a biography help us listen to the author’s voice?
  • why are there no physical details about Jesus in the Gospels?
  • what are Helen’s power rankings of Jesus films?
  • moving beyond the historical Jesus as a scholar
  • what to do with the multiplicity of testimonies to the person of Jesus
  • how scholars of Paul can put Helen to sleep 🙂
  • the ways in which the tradition and creeds have squelched other Biblical witnesses to the person of Jesus
  • what would happen if Helen was executive producer on a Jesus film?