Latest Issue of Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

The latest issue of JSHJ 14.3 (2016) is out and it has some great articles including:

Tom Holmen
Crucifixion Hermeneutics in Judaism at the Time of Jesus

This essay strongly suggests that prior to Jesus’ death and its interpretation Judaism knew no interpretative means capable of transforming the ignominious death of crucifixion into something favorable.

James McGrath
Obedient Unto Death: Philippians 2:8, Gethsemane, and the Historical Jesus

Despite the extensive attention that has been given to Philippians 2:6–11 in relation to its Christology, the possibility that v8 alludes to the story about Jesus in Gethsemane has received only cursory mention when it has been considered at all. Philippians 2:8 and the Gospel tradition converge in depicting Jesus choosing to be obedient to God even to the point of death, in the absence of an interpretation of that death as itself salvific. The historical allusion, offered in the midst of a heavily theologized Christological statement, offers an excellent test case for an approach to history which accepts that fact and interpretation are inseparable, and yet still proceeds under the conviction that critical historiography remains possible.

Stanley E. Porter and Andrew Pitts
Has Jonathan Bernier Rescued Critical Realism?

Jonathan Bernier recently responded to Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitts’ article on epistemology in JSHJ . In this rejoinder, Porter and Pitts expose Bernier’s perpetual failure to understand the central terminology in this debate. Their response to Bernier reveals his clear confusion surrounding technical (even if basic) philosophical nomenclature in contemporary epistemology. Consequently, Bernier turns out to be just as committed to internalism as those he attempts to rescue from it. Their biggest disappointment, however, turns upon Bernier’s inability to engage the central argument of their original article. Their case rested entirely upon the crippling Gettier-style counterexamples to internalism and, by extension, critical realism. Yet, Gettier never makes an appearance in Bernier’s article. One can only speculate why Bernier would write an article-length response that neglects to address this argument. Whatever the cause, this oversight deeply undermines Bernier’s entire project by leaving Porter and Pitts’ original argument unscathed and firmly intact.

Anthony Le Donne
Fake News and the Jesus Historian

This article surveys a cultural phenomenon in American popular media that complicates how the historical Jesus is received: fake news. It suggests that fake Jesus news relates to the problems we face in Donald Trump-related political discourse. Moreover, the present political climate will make it even more difficult for professional historians to be heard and trusted by the general public.

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