Your first mistake is suggesting the Gospels are Biographies

The Two Source hypothesis solution to the Syno...
This has nothing to do with the article, but it is the truth #fact #goodacrerules

We know little about Jesus’ personal life. The four canonical Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) provide few details — and they say nothing about his life between adolescence and early adulthood…..Because there are so many gaps in Jesus’ biography it is not surprising that pundits can spin almost any story about his personal life with shreds of “evidence” to support their views.

Bernard Starr: Was Jesus Gay? Unlikely. Married? Maybe. Both? Possibly.

He goes on to write about the speculation Jesus was gay. After all, Peter was explicitly stated to be married, that “begs the question about the others,” right? He concludes it is “not likely” Jesus was gay, but it doesn’t matter.

Of course, his first mistake besides raising such idle speculation to that of serious discussion is to assume the Gospels are biographical glimpses. They aren’t, of course.

Starr has written other articles I have a problem with, but I guess it comes down to the fact that Starr is not a biblical scholar, but a psychologist.


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8 Replies to “Your first mistake is suggesting the Gospels are Biographies”

  1. It depends on how you’re using the term “biography.” Are the Gospels biographies like Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs? No. But they definitely follow the basic format of Hellenistic biographies.

    If not, what genre would you say they belong to?

    1. The genre is in much question because there seems to be something of a novelty to the Gospels, meaning they are not really like other works. I would go with the untranslated bios, such as Anne O’Leary, but lean to memoirs.

  2. Two more unrelated comments:

    1) Oestreicher’s interpretation of John as the “beloved disciple” in a homosexual relationship with Jesus is highly dubious (but you knew that). Besides, everyone knows that the identity of the unnamed “disciple whom Jesus loved” is really Lazarus.

    2) Starr misuses the phrase “begs the question,” which is a type of logical fallacy. He should have said “raises the question.”

  3. One thing is apparent from the biblical accounts. Jesus was a nonconformist. He seemed to have no family life, consorted with with those at the margins of society, appears to have had so much free time and had too few possessions to have been gainfully employed, and said some very unkind things about authority figures.
    Whatever Jesus’ sexual orientation, the historical person seems to have been a very different person than he became after being remolded by Constantine. In fact, I’m not even sure that, had they had met, Constantine would have liked the pre-crusifixion Jesus. I’m not even sure that the historical Jesus and Paul would have seen eye-to-eye on some doctrinal issues.
    All of the above opens the door to speculation. How good a Jew was Jesus? How could a husband and father would he have been? How would churches treat him if he applied for membership? What would the faith healers say about his miracles? How would the televangelist community react to his never asking for a penny? What would Jesus really say from the pulpit or to those claiming to act in his name?

  4. Everything spoken to so far speaks of history’s limited mode of knowing. The resurrection of Jesus prevails and for those under the “pale of orthodoxy,” there, the notion of “historical” becomes an experience as well as an idea, and is the claim of the Church, then and today, this organizes our lives and sometimes spontaneously generates our activities. So we would have it that the resurrection has a historical dimension, as part of the resurrection then and now, (it is why we get baptized and take communion) symbols & dreams are harbingers of truth that is the Church. We have a helper in this realm that is not an academic. I must say these many notions that seem to be relevant to postmodern sensibilities are anathema then and now. It is simple you chose to believe it or not. If you believe, the abdominal notions about who Jesus said He was, are not worth discussing, if you do not believe, anything can be made up. Bible Scholars use inductive and deductive reasoning from text, reasonable hermeneutics and are left with the task of abductive reasoning for the best explanation from facts and scholarship. Speculation needs to be criticized from the point of the best explanation. Christian orthodox scholars have a good track record of this. Speculation as a bill board of curiosity amid an unbelieving world get us where?

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