In the Mail: Crossley's Jesus and the Chaos of History and Wink's John the Baptist in the Gospel Tradition

For the first time in my life I purchased two books which I have read already. The first I finished about a week ago. It is James G. Crossley's Jesus and the Choas of History: Redirecting the Life of the Historical Jesus

The Amazon.com blurb:

In Jesus and the Chaos of History, James Crossley looks at the way the earliest traditions about Jesus interacted with a context of social upheaval and the ways in which this historical chaos of the early first century led to a range of ideas which were taken up, modified, ignored, and reinterpreted in the movement that followed. Crossley examines how the earliest Palestinian tradition intersected with social upheaval and historical change and how accidental, purposeful, discontinuous, contradictory, and implicit meanings in the developments of ideas appeared in the movement that followed. He considers the ways seemingly egalitarian and countercultural ideas co-exist with ideas of dominance and power and how human reactions to socio-economic inequalities can end up mimicking dominant power. In this case, the book analyzes how a Galilean “protest” movement laid the foundations for its own brand of imperial rule. This evaluation is carried out in detailed studies on the kingdom of God and “Christology,” “sinners” and purity, and gender and revolution.

My response after finishing it?

I meant it, so I bought my own copy after previously reading through one loaned from a local library. The same is true of Walter Wink's John the Baptist in the Gospel Tradition, especially as I've begun to lose confidence in our ability to access the "historical" John the Baptist behind the text as if to say we can somehow subvert the very text upon which we rely to know anything about John at all. Wink's project focuses on the literary angle of the Gospel Tradition, which I think will play a far larger role in my research than I originally imagined when I read this book a couple years ago in a library.