I’ve been reading some Dale Allison lately, re-reading in fact, always good to re-read his stuff. One thing I find frustrating and yet utterly arresting bout Allison’s style is how he’ll write about something and lay out a rigorous case for scepticism and uncertainty, be entirely sympathetic, and then turn around and say words to the effect, “But actually, it can’t be that way, because …”
For case in point, in his book Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History, Allison points out how the tendency of the tradition was to Christianize Jesus, that is, to make bigger and bigger claims about him. But then he points out: “[A]ll the primary sources repeatedly purport that Jesus had astounding things to say about himself. One can dissociate him from an exalted self-conception only through multiple radical surgeries on our texts” (225). Any way, the whole chapter is well worth the read.
NB, I am in mourning, because I have misplaced or lost my copy of Dale C. Allison, The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus. Utter frustration!!! I had so much stuff underlined and marginal notes and all, gone, all gone!!! Can my catholic friends please pray to St. Anthony the patron saint of lost things so that I can find it.