Exploring Our Matrix
The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis
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Three blogs that I know of have blogged about the TV documentary Jesus: The Cold Case. Here they are:
Remnant of Giants
Say Hello To My Little Friend
They represent very different reactions. Did any readers of this blog see it? If so, what did you make of it?
It looks like Gavin had a very similar reaction to me. However, Glenn Peoples (Say Hello To My Little Friend) is, as usual, coming from the extreme-right very conservative evangelical angle.
Even though I know his perspective, I still was taken aback when he listed the scholars interviewed, asked whether that was an appropriate group to get a representative range of scholarly views, and then indicated that his answer was no!
It’s a very knee-jerk sort of reaction from Glenn. I suspect for him a “balanced” view would involve some overtly apologetic works or apologetic parts culled from conservative scholars, which offer harmonizations of every possible element of fiction in the Gospels.
And where was McGrath in the list? Nowhere to be found!
From the list, they were carefully chosen to ALL give a similar perspective that is NOT representative of the divergent views to be found amongst scholarship in general.
Spong, really? What exactly are Spong’s qualifications over against, say, Larry Hurtado’s, then James?
Glenn is perfectly correct.
I meant the scholars are fairly representative, not that Spong is a scholar or representative of anyone or anything other than his own idiosyncratic views.
Spong is presented as one of the scholars. Any documentary with him in it and you immediately know it is working towards a predetermined conclusion. Just like the mythicists.
Deane, as I did expect, you seem to think that the only representative sample that I would find reasonable is a group of people picked out to offer an apologetic for biblical inerrancy or some such thing.
But your response shows that you just haven’t read my comments at all. I did not object at all that these scholars were chosen. My response was essentially “OK, so there are your scholars who represent one slice of the spectrum of opinion…. but what about the others?” Sure, have Spong and Crossan and their rather predictable comments, and then also balance it out with the likes of Evans, Wright or Johnson. I don’t think that’s a knee-jerk reaction, nor do I even think it’s a “extreme-right very conservative evangelical angle.” In fact I think the fact that you would call it such is much more of a knee-jerk reaction than anything I have offered.
Maybe the call for a balanced assessment, being willing to hear more than one perspective, seems like a right wing conservative move in your books. I think that just tells us what sort of books you prefer, Deane.
Dr. McGrath, would you agree that the gospels contain more fiction than fact?
Reasonable doubt?? Was that Bryan’s agenda? I thought it was meant to be an investigative documentary but instead Bryan acted as a lawyer trying to convince the jury that his client (supposedly Hitler was innocent) and that in actual fact it was the Christians of the first century who were responsible for the Holocaust. Wow! In the last fifty years I have heard much about the Holocaust, but never such a quirky twist. Hilter hated also Gypsies, homosexuals and the disabled. Were they also to blame for Jesus death?? Yes, i know crazy thinking. I also enjoyed Bryan’s investigation of the Bain murders and felt he was a clever man but as others above I now have to doubt his integrity in investigating anything. Was he as biased with this as well?? Really Bryan, why would you put your professional credibility on the line for such a badly researched piece of rubbish
Pagels has been making a fine living for several decades from talking-up the gnostic writings. Paul Mankowski calls her “a very naughty historian.” (http://curiouspresbyterian.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/elaine-pagels-a-very-naughty-historian/).
As for Lloyd Geering, he’s so mainstream that he’s been tried for heresy.
Spong . . . even you will not try to defend him.
Yes, a wonderfully fair and representative selection of experts, James. NOT!
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