After speaking this weekend at VCC for the second week of Reset I had more requests than normal for the resources that I mentioned in my lesson. We give away free New Testaments at The Vineyard and many people took those this weekend. Our bookstore also let me know that we nearly sold out of Bibles. They've never had such a "run" on people coming in buying a Bible for the first time. I took this as a positive sign since I didn't suggest that people immediately go Bible shopping in the bookstore. It seemed to be a natural reaction to the challenge to look at the gospels as the earliest and most reliable manuscripts recording the life and message of Jesus.
I use the website http://www.biblegateway.com daily. It contains several free versions of the Bible online. I tend to default to the New International Version in part because I've always used it and in part because I find it a fair balance between conversational writing and accurate scholarship. Of late, I have also been drawn to the English Standard Version for the same reasons. I do, unlike many theologians, recommend reading The Message or The New Living Bible along with the other versions. These are paraphrased versions written with a strong desire to be culturally relevant. The good thing about them is that they are easier for most people to understand. The dangerous part is that they are paraphrases of an author or collection of authors, not necessarily direct translations of the ancient texts. It's sort of like watching the Coen Brohters' Oh Brother, Where art Thou? to learn about Homer's The Odyssey, on which it was based. It's good to get the feel for what is going on, but if you want to know Homer you should read a direct translations. (And if you really want to know Homer you should learn to read ancient Greek...)
Beyond the Bible itself many people asked about Dr. Greg Boyd's books after seeing him speak on the video. I have read many of his articles and listened to his podcasts, but haven't read many of his books. To learn more from Boyd on the subject matter of belief in Jesus I would recommend one of these two books: Lord or Legend?: Wrestling with the Jesus Dilemma or Letters from a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles With His Father's Questions About Christianity
Other people asked how to learn more about the historical background of the New Testament as they read the book of Luke. There are, of course, countless commentaries on Luke written from every point of view imaginable. Many times having a commentary can distract us from the text itself. That said, I think without someone challenging our modern assumptions we can read things into the Biblical text that are not there at all. My current favorite commentaries for non-academicians are N.T. Wright's "For Everyone" series. I'd recommend picking up Wright's Luke for Everyone
I've been devouring Wright this year...I've either read or started reading five of his books. I loved Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. He was recently interviewed on The Colbert Report: