The first book was the reason why I embarked on the journey all the way to Koorong. That is, Michael F. Bird's Are You the One Who is to Come?. I would have loved to get it earlier but Koorong really did take their sweet time getting the books in.
The preface of the book is upfront and sets the scene:
This volume argues that the historical Jesus understood his mission, ministry, or vocation (or whatever we want to call it) in messianic categories. Jesus understood himself to be designated by God as the Messiah of Israel. (p.11)From what I have seen so far, the book is great! I would love to get into it a bit deeper to see how he deals with the absence of Messianic titles and affirmations in the earliest traditions. From first glance, it appears that his solution is to argue that Jesus' trajected his identity into the role of some sort of category of Messianic expectations (noting the diversity) which he sees as implicitly linked to his Messianic self-understanding, even if not explicitly admitted to. Stay tuned for a review of it once I am done.
The second book was Darrell Bock's Jesus According To Scripture. I still do not know why I wanted it (maybe Chilton's review calling it the Evangelical version of Raymond Brown?) but I saw it for only $16.95 (as hardback while it was $45 for paperback!) and decided to get it. Now the problem is setting aside time to get through it. Unlike Bird's book, I do not see myself getting through it for a long time.