Is the Criterion of Embarrassment an Embarrassment?

Sabio Lantz blogged recently about the criterion of embarrassment, and rather than address merely conservative Evangelical misuse of it, it sounds as though he dismisses the criterion entirely. And since the question of how New Testament historical methods compare to those used in other historical areas also came up here recently, I thought I’d blog [Read More...]

Historical Jesus Lectures on YouTube

I remember just a few years ago when the number of scholarly materials on YouTube was minimal. My how that’s changed! Johnny Walker mentioned this lecture by Dale Allison on his blog today: That lecture relates to his book The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus. Below is another lecture, by John P. Meier, on [Read More...]

Sherlock and Sheldon among the Prophets

I’ve been getting caught up on shows that I ought to have been watching for a while. Both Sherlock and The Big Bang Theory feature main characters who exhibit behaviors and abilities which suggest placement on the autism spectrum – incredible genius in some respects, but also difficulties in social interactions and knowledge that most [Read More...]

Mythicism in the Arctic Vortex

Johnny Walker responded to a response to a blog post of his about mythicism. If you are experiencing yet another day disrupted by the arctic weather, and are looking for something to read, there’s that. Of related interest: Mauro Pesce shared a book chapter on Academia.edu, “The Beginning of Historical Research on Jesus in the [Read More...]

Remembering Without Recording

Judy Redman has posted a reply to my own post about memory and orality yesterday. Judy writes: I agree that having composed something doesn’t mean that you will remember it word for word. I do think, however, that when a person has composed a story to illustrate a particular point, s/he is much more likely [Read More...]

Verbatim Memory, Orality, and the Historical Jesus

Judy Redman has been offering a wonderful series on memory and the historical Jesus. In the most recent post, part 4, Judy wrote the following about verbatim memory: In addition, having been quite pessimistic about our ability to prove the authenticity of any Jesus tradition or to have the actual words of Jesus, both here [Read More...]

Memory Studies in Historical Jesus Studies

The folks at The Jesus Blog announced the good news that the exciting session on memory studies and the historical Jesus at SBL this year was recorded. Here they are: I am really sorry that more of the presenters and panelists did not follow Rafael’s lead in trying to reenact in reverse Da Vinci’s Last [Read More...]

Victor Paul Furnish on Mythicism

New Testament scholar Victor Paul Furnish wrote the following in the conclusion to his review of a volume featuring mythicist and minimalist scholars’ perspectives on Jesus: The mythicists, in particular, summarily dismiss prevailing views about Jesus and the Gospels as governed by religious interests; arbitrarily apply paradigms derived from the study of ancient Near Eastern [Read More...]

Dreaming of a White Jesus

The recent statement by a Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly illustrates well why historical Jesus research is so important. Jesus has become a powerful myth, indeed more than one, and has been coopted in the service of a great many ideologies. Nothing provides as effective a counter to the infinite range of things that Jesus [Read More...]

A Mythicist Sympathizer’s Case for a Historical Jesus

A new article in The Bible and Interpretation concludes in the following way: Precisely because I am quite aware of the extent to which the Canonical Gospels are the result of a process of doctoring the historical figure of Jesus – a process which has had wide-ranging distorting effects –, I think I can better [Read More...]

Chris Keith on Social Memory Theory and the Gospels

Chris Keith shared a link to the above lecture on social memory theory and the Gospels, his inaugural lecture at St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham. See also Chris’s own post as well as Mike Kok’s and Tyler Stewart’s posts about a session at SBL in which Chris and others addressed the same topic.   [Read more...]


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