Yesterday I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post mocking all those who suddenly read Karl Barth as if he is the new Pope of Protestantism (see here). My professor, Marc Cortez, noted that Barth is the sort of theological giant that necessitates interaction. I can see how this would be the case but then this thought came to mind:

If A, then why not B, C, D, E….

If Barth why not Bultmann and if Bultmann why not Wright and if Wright why not Dunn and if Dunn why not Sanders and if Sanders why not Hays and if Hays why not Vanhoozer and if Vanhoozer…you get the point.

So what makes someone a bonafide “must read if you are serious about biblical/theological studies”? Who would you say is a must read, why, and what is your criteria? Also, is given “must read” always a must read (e.g. I don’t image Barth matters to those who spend their days in textual criticism or the Gospel of Thomas)? Is there anyone who is always a must read?