REL_112_Lecture_14 - REL 112: Introduction to the New...

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Unformatted text preview: REL 112: Introduction to the New Testament The Historical Jesus Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Assumptions: (1) The four canonical Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) contain reliable historical information about Jesus of Nazareth. (2) The four canonical Gospels present Jesus in similar and dissimilar ways. (3) The four canonical Gospels are theologically stylized narratives and not strict history or biography. Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? "Questing" For Jesus In the academic world there have been three so called "quests" for the historical Jesus. 1st Quest (1778 1906) "A critical understanding of Jesus' life leads one away from the faith of the contemporary Christian church." Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? "Questing" For Jesus In the academic world there have been three so called "quests" for the historical Jesus. The "No Quest" Period (1906 1953) During this period no serious historical Jesus research was being done. Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? "Questing" For Jesus In the academic world there have been three so called "quests" for the historical Jesus. 2nd Quest (1953 to the mid 1980's) Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? "Questing" For Jesus In the academic world there have been three so called "quests" for the historical Jesus. 2nd Quest (1953 to the mid 1980's) "Jesus must be understood apart from the interpretation of his ministry handed down by the church." Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? "Questing" For Jesus In the academic world there have been three so called "quests" for the historical Jesus. 3rd Quest (the mid1980's to the present) Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? "Questing" For Jesus In the academic world there have been three so called "quests" for the historical Jesus. 3rd Quest (the mid1980's to the present) "Jesus must be understood against the background of 1st century Judaism." Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Upon what basis do scholars "establish" the historical facts of Jesus' life? Criteria of Authenticity Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Criteria of Authenticity: (1) Multiple Attestation (2) Dissimilarity (3) Embarassment (4) Rejection and Execution (5) Coherence Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Multiple attestation: If a saying or act is attested to by more than one source or in more than one genre, it has a greater likelihood of being "historical." Examples: Jesus' exorcisms The feeding of the 5000 Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Dissimilarity: If a teaching or event is dissimilar to the Judaism of Jesus' time and to the teaching of the early church, it has a greater likelihood of being "historical." Example: Jesus' teaching on the "Kingdom of God" Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Embarassment: If an event would have been embarrassing to the early church, it is unlikely that it would have been "created" or "invented." If it can be shown that it was a source of embarrassment to the early church, it has a greater likelihood of being "historical." Examples: Jesus' Baptism by John the Baptist Female witnesses to the Resurrection Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Rejection and Execution: That which can help to explain that Jesus was killed has a greater likelihood of being "historical." Example: Jesus' hostility with the Jewish leaders Claim to Dispute: Jesus was just a good moral teacher. (Then why did he die?) Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Coherence: That which can be shown to cohere with other established "history" is likely "historical" as well. Prominent Voices in the Current Discussion: "The Jesus Seminar" Robert Funk (died 2005) John Dominic Crossan Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? "Skeptical" about the testimony of the Gospels. Prominent Voices in the Current Discussion: N.T. Wright Luke Timothy Johnson John Paul Meier Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? "Optimistic" about the testimony of the Gospels. Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Role of extracanonical gospels: especially Gospel of Thomas Nag Hammadi Library (discovered in 1945) "Multiformity" of early Christianity Most recently: Gospel of Judas Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? The Question at Hand: Is the "Historical Jesus" the same Jesus found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Some things in the Gospels cannot be historically investigated: (e.g., John 1:118) Eternality of Jesus Deity of Jesus Jesus as Creator of Universe These things must be taken by faith. Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Other things in the Gospels can be historically investigated but not "proven": Virgin Birth Ministry: teaching, miracles, death, burial Resurrection These things can and should be investigated. Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Cautionary Words: History = Faith Faith = Certainty Our faith and our confession are rooted in a HISTORICAL reality but everything we believe cannot be historically proven--and we should not insist that it does. Will the REAL Jesus Please Stand Up? Concluding Thoughts: There is no such thing as "noninterpretive" history or biography. "Historical" does not equal "real." We must avoid the fallacy of the "false choice." To deny or affirm the "supernatural" is evidence of a faith commitment. ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2012 for the course ECO/HC 561 taught by Professor Lazzale during the Spring '11 term at University of Phoenix.

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