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"To one degree or another, we all conform Jesus to our own image." Fantastic new book out on this very topic: Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos.
Excellent. Welcome home.
Historical Jesus studies don't do it for me any more therefore the discipline must be dead?
Note: Earthly pursuits have limit, do not provide evidence for things not seen. No mystical experiences in a dusty library, absent mushrooms. Academia is academic.
Would McKnight's Christian perspective be better served if he could remove all the historical flesh he has put on the spirit of orthodox Christ?
If you think not, then should we encourage more folks to pursue the historical Jesus rather than tell them it's passe?
I'm probably missing something. Thank you for the great article, Mr. McKnight.
What a strange article. Somehow you can sidestep all of the methodological issues about knowing Jesus, simply by conceptually shifting the object of your study from the "historical Jesus" to the "canonical Jesus"? Did that solution seem a bit easy when you first thought of it?
I mean, really, did you undergraduates project their personalities onto Jesus because that's a common thing for anyone to do, or because they had read 1 & 2 Maccabees and some Josephus? How does historical study make one particularly susceptible to this temptation?
The whole enterprise hearkens back to the 19th-century biblical commentaries that Mark Noll wrote about, which bragged that the authors had had no instruction in theology and the Bible.
J the H. C
"Cheeses age!" cries Donna Post.
those with a more adventurous curiosity and intellect might find this interesting:
however, if one is unwilling or unable to move beyond the sadly circular 'believe so you can know'; one probably needn't bother ..
I can understand in some ways the conclusion Scot reaches (my first exposure to Jesus Scholarship was to Rudolf Bultmann in a college class), however, it is hard to understand why he is so negative just when Jesus scholarship is getting exciting again. Perhaps Scot's expectations are just too high, as stated in the second to last sentence: "Faith cannot be completely based on what the historian can prove." Of course the quest to base faith completely on historical studies is doomed to fail. That might have been the quest of Bultmann and his generation, but it is not that of modern Jesus scholars. I think Wright, Bock and Keener are right: Modern Jesus scholarship provides a context for faith, not a substitute for it.
As the article states we all have our presuppositions about the text and the Jesus that we want to believe in. No scholar or layman ever has the last word. However each each perspective on the 'Historical Jesus' has its strengths and weaknesses but each one will never give us the total picture. This may be because the gospels were never intended to provide a comprehensive picture of Jesus that would allow us to formulate a complete historical portrait of him. John 21:25 The questions and motives of the gospel writers were different than our own.
Well done!Do people really believe history can offer more facts than God´s word?
I think at the most it can show different or additional angles, but God`s word is not to be questioned by us - or? Who do we think we are? Thanks God for the gift of faith and trust!
A great article on how we tend to fashion the "historical Jesus" after ourselves. But when we try to find the historical Jesus, are we essentially just trying to find the human personality of Jesus Christ based on deduction from history plus the gospel accounts? If that were the case then the search could be abandoned, but I wonder if the author here is writing this as a complaint from pure exhaustion. I think the historical Jesus runs deeper than just his personality or social skills.
Scott has neither thrown out historicity nor bowed down to it. Noting supposed "contradictory proof texts" to claim a lapse of memory from the HS merely reveals a shallow reading without context which ignores historical (and grammatical) context with no consideration for the Sitz im leben. Denying the general failure of the Quest for Historical Jesus movement is like denying the general failure of Soviet communism. Truth be told, the wall has come down.
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