As long as people are tossing around religious commentaries, here's my contribution: One of my favorite books is something called "Mythology's Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus," by William Harwood (Prometheus 1992). Harwood is an Aussie/Canadian who got his Ph.D. from Columbia Pacific Univ. He seems to be some sort of free-thinking liberal -- an anti-Marxist who even lets off with a few zingers at us Trots. But he's quite funny, highly erudite, and wonderfully irreverent.
Also, Karl Kautsky's "Origins of Christianity" still holds up quite nicely.
In a message dated 98-06-08 12:04:22 EDT, you write:
> I think Smith's work is a is a bit poppish. There was kind of a funny
> interview with him last year in the _East Bay Express_, in which he said
> he performs rituals from every major as well as a number of minor
> religious traditions. Jack Miles _God: A Biography_ recieved positive
> reviews when it came out in 97. Another thing you might want to look at is
> William Countryman's _Dirt, Greed, and Sex: Sexual Ethics in the New
> Testament and their Implications for Today_. Also Christopher Wright's
> _God's People in God's Land: Family, Land and Property in the Old
> I was doing research on Jewish social/economic ethics for a while, mostly
> Biblical through Talmudic, so if you're interested in any of that, I can
> send a bibliography. That would be useful if you have an interest in
> Leviticus and/or Deuteronomy.
Poppish is fine. I'm no theological rocket-scientist.
I'd rather get something I will be able to read through.
Leviticus and Deuteronomy are over my head just now,
and I am more interested in Christianity than Judaism
at the moment. Christ has many more divisions than
I did see the Miles book in the store but went for
Occhiogrosso, as my previous post indicated.
Thanks for your note.