Book Status as of 4/16/08
Well its been a year now since I first started writing with the intent to publish a book. In that year a lot of good has happened. As many of you now know, I have been submitting my book for review with the hopes of getting published by an academic press. This good fortune has been brought about with the help of a friend, and it has allowed me to refocus my book from the original 22 chapters down to 10, significantly shortening the amount of research and time I would have otherwise needed. Initially I was expecting my book to pass around 600-700 pages. Now we're looking at a length closer to 300 including notes, bibliography and appendices.
Originally, I had wanted to write a book concerning the origins of the first Christians; a large compendium of information on the subject, tackling every area that I could. This would have included who the first Christians were, what they believed, why they believed it, what the Gospels represented, the epistles, the psychological aspects of Christian belief, the nature of Jesus, etc... However, through my research my focus shifted to an important area on this quest, and this narrower subject matter will set the course for more books in the future. At the moment, my book will focus on the literary genre of the New Testament, mainly the Gospels, in an effort to show that they are not biographies as is commonly assumed, about a real individual, but rather they were written with the intent to be rad as fiction, where the authors plotted out narrative, used literary models to create scenes, and employed common literary writing techniques knowing full well they were actually writing narrative, not history.
This shift in focus has caused me a lot of rewrites, particularly the first few chapters. I had some writers block at a few occasions, and stress over my work has sometimes grounded me in place with the ideal of perfectionism hounding my every written word. But as of yesterday I am half-way done with the book. I still cannot give a date on its publication, or verify that I will definitely be published academically. (At the moment I am only being reviewed academically, and I do not want to give the impression that I am already accepted for publication - review and publication are two different parts of the process)
In the process I have also been working on an article for publication concerning the so called "early Israelites" in response to an article written in a layman's monograph on the Hebrew Bible. This is an aside, but the work will effect some of the chapters in my book. For more information on the focus of my book, the lecture I gave for FSGP gives a lot of information on it.
Anyway, here are the updates, and I can answer questions in this thread concerning progress and setbacks. Additionally, I still need resources that I cannot afford on my own. So if there are any folks willing to send me a few books on my wish list it would definitely be helpful. They are prioritized.