Sunday, November 8, 2009

Library Book Annotations

Have you ever stopped to read some of the notes that are written in library books? As in annotation notes. Sometimes they are helpful, however, other times there are people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. This really makes me wonder what is going through their head as they read the book!

Anyway, this isn't the best example but it did spark this post today. The text of the book states:
What has emerged from this plethora of research? In the main, the scholars make a point of asserting Jesus' Jewishness, as reflected in such titles as Jesus the Jew (Vermes), Jesus and Judaism (Sanders), Jesus' Jewishness (Charlesworth) and A Marginal Jew (Meir), to take a few examples. A minority of scholars, however, emphasise Jesus' Hellenistic environment above Judaic. Here Jesus emerges as a teacher in the Cynic tradition (Downing, Mack, Crossan).. (Paul W. Barnett, Jesus and the Logic of History. 16).

Now, imagine that text furiously underlined with large brackets. Next to those brackers is a note stating "not much solid evidence of him speaking Greek". The fact that this section was singled out probably indicates it is going to be a footnote in an essay somewhere. "As Barnett demonstrates in noting the minority of scholars placing Jesus within the Hellenistic cynic tradition, the evidence is not conclusive as to whether Jesus spoke Greek. The recent scholarship emphasisng Jesus' Jewishness would weigh against such a possibility." (Barnett, Jesus and the Logic of History. 16.)

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