Some concluding thoughts on the Jesus Criteria Conference

It is early and I am still tired, but a thought keeps coming to me. Sometime ago, I remember reading Dr. Cargill’s statement, on one post or another, about worshiping at the altar of knowledge. This is a rough, rough paraphrase to be sure, and it may just be my memory that is interpreting the statements this way. However, I marveled at the fact that I was sitting in a United Methodist Church at a pretty intense biblical studies conference on the Historical Jesus surrounded by priests, preachers, and scholars. We were there to discuss the demise of the criteria of authenticity in the Historical Jesus studies. This is the quantum superposition of Church and Academy, and I must report, Schrödinger’s cat is seen.

I have yet to see the major issue, from a conservative stand point, of the method in which Dr. Le Donne arrives at his Jesus. He is well within the line of the Patristics, in my opinion, and is more conservative in some ways than modern fundamentalists. And yet, Lincoln removed him and lost Dr. Chris Keith. I would have to agree that what Lincoln did was to remove from its future the prospect of so very much. What they are doing with social memory and the Historical Jesus is going to become very important to the continued study of the Historical Jesus, and will quite possibly make a way to search for other historical figures.

Of the most interesting to me personally was each and every essay, of course, but several stood out. First, Dr. Loren Stuckenbruck’s essay and presentation on the language is insightful and important. Dr. John Poirier’s response, given in part, is critical to dispensing with the Aramaic original. I know that this will cause some heartache, but it is what it is, I’m afraid. Dr. Mark Goodacre’s presentation about how the lack of Q comes into this is very important as well. You’ve seen the posts and tweets from me, but be sure to check out Dr. Goodacre’s page for better reporting. I really liked having Dr. Barry Schwartz there to respond, and to always have the last word. I will need to check out his books.

All in all, it was a wonderful revival, if we can have revival in an intellectual sense.

Post By Joel L. Watts (10,125 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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