- In 2009 he republished his massive commentary on Matthew (1090 pages; originally published in 1999).
- The same year he also released a comprehensive monograph on the historical Jesus, entitled, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels (only 876 pages!).
- In 2010, the next year, he published an exhaustive two-volme commentary on John (1696 pages)(the introduction alone is worth it's weight in gold!).
- In the following year, 2011, Baker Academic released his two volume magisterial treatment of miracles: Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts (Baker Academic, 2011)(1,172 pages).
- This year he is putting out the first volume of a four-volume commentary on the Book of Acts. The first volume just contains the introduction and commentary on Acts 1:1-2:47. It runs 1080 pages. And keep in mind, this is volume 1 of 4!
Frankly, in my mind, there is no scholar who can hold a candle to Keener's vast knowledge of primary sources. His knowledge of Jewish and Greco-Roman literature--I mean his ability to access important material in even the most obscure passages--is incomparable.
But Keener also writes shorter books and pieces aimed at popular audiences--including a recent article I overlooked. In connection with the publication of his set on miracles, Keener has a fantastic piece, "Are Miracles Real?" on the Huffington Post. I missed it when it came out last month, but I highly recommend it!
After discussing a plethora of documented reports of miraculous healings around the world, he writes:
What are we to make of such claims? At the very least, they testify that many people around the world today are experiencing cures in a context of deep religious faith. Numerous medical studies have shown that faith and faith communities provide a coping resource that often facilitates better health outcomes. A number of these global reports, however, exceed even our best current expectations for what "faith" can produce. In September 2010, Southern Medical Journal published an article showing that some people in Mozambique, tested before and after prayer, experienced significant recovery of hearing or eyesight. The Medical Bureau at Lourdes has long examined evidence for extraordinary recoveries.Read the whole thing here. Also, check out his website for more commentary on information on his work.
Most stunning to me on a personal level were sincere eyewitness claims from people that I or my wife have long known and trusted, including everything from cures of blindness to restoration from apparent death. Sometimes the witnesses include doctors. . . Many of these reports come from highly educated professionals.
That reports of extraordinary experiences are widespread is undeniable, but observers explain these experiences in various ways. Some reports stem from fraud or misdiagnosis, but vast numbers of cases cannot be explained this way. Some explanations may overlap; for example, most religious believers would allow that God can work through psychological causes. Some would not define such cures as miracles, however. The influential 18th-century philosopher David Hume, for example, defined miracles as "violations" of nature. Yet, this often-disputed definition cannot cover even many of the biblical miracles (for example, the Bible says that God used a strong wind to part the sea). Others define miracles simply as extraordinary divine action.
However miracles are defined, Hume's argument against them, which provides the traditional basis for skepticism about them, is now problematic. Hume questioned the possibility of having adequate testimony to affirm miracles, since virtually uniform human experience ruled them out. Today, however, when hundreds of millions of people from diverse cultures claim to have experienced miracles, it seems hardly courteous to presuppose a "uniform" human experience on the subject. If any of these experiences constituted a genuine miracle, Hume's argument against miracles, which in some circles has hardened into an uncontested consensus, would fail. Whatever one thinks about miracles, the long-held argument against them needs to be rethought.