I am preparing to teach a course on "Jesus and the Gospels" next Spring. It is a course that, in the Illinois Wesleyan Curriculum, focuses on scholarly methods. I was hoping to take a survey on the best recent books, whether for an undergraduate audience or for my own reading to make sure I am representing the latest research, on the following topics: (1) Methods and the Gospels (whether focusing on "classical" methods such as textual, form, source, etc., or contemporary methods of post-colonial, social scientific, etc.); (2) issues relating to the "historical Jesus"--recent treatments, problems, etc., including the recent spate of works on Jesus mythicism; (3) canon and extra-canonical gospels; (4) works on the perspective of particular gospels, whether canonical or extra-canonical; (5) and anything else I am missing.
What recent works are the best or most representative, in your opinion, in these categories?
If you are a reader, have a suggestion, please send it along either in the comments or to my institutional email address.