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Jesus

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  • Jesus

    I found this piece by Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson interesting. Please read and comment:

    https://solzemli.wordpress.com/2010/...mothy-johnson/

  • #2
    If you want input from me you will have to post more than a link. I am not discussing with Dr. Johnson here.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
      I found this piece by Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson interesting. Please read and comment:

      https://solzemli.wordpress.com/2010/...mothy-johnson/


      Neither ignorant 'faith' nor mere historical knowledge suffices. Who knew?

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      • #4
        Do you think the historical reconstructions of Jesus offered by the likes of Ehrman, Crossan, and Borg can rightly be categorized as "distortions by the likes of those who trade on the title of historian while offering only a form of personal apocrypha"?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
          Do you think the historical reconstructions of Jesus offered by the likes of Ehrman, Crossan, and Borg can rightly be categorized as "distortions by the likes of those who trade on the title of historian while offering only a form of personal apocrypha"?
          Don't know enough about their works.

          Johnson's polemic is crappy. It attempts to be a professional critique while aiming vague barbs at ambiguous targets, all to demonstrate that he is the best or the least inaccurate. It really comes across as passive-aggressive: "I am a sidenote to the preferred menu but guess what I'm actually better than the four 'greats'"

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          • #6
            Johnsonís posting follows a line of skeptical thought that goes back to Schliermacher: We canít know enough about Jesus historically to base theology on it, so instead we base it on our own experience and that of the Church. Johnson seem to believe that because we canít know Jesus historically, we accept the whole of the Christian tradition, more or less as is.

            Letís look at the other people he cites. N T Wright doesnít agree. He maintains that we can know enough historically to form the basis for a reasonable theology, though of course he doesnít claim that Christianity is a purely historical matter. Theology is in support of the activity of the Holy Spirit, after all.

            As far as I can tell, Borg (and I guess Crossan, though I donít know his work as well) is closer to Wright, but has a different assessment of the evidence. He tends to be significantly more skeptical about the accuracy of the NT accounts. Since he still wants to build Christianity on what we know of Jesus, the resulting Christianity tends to be a bit sketchy compared with Wrightís.

            Iím closer to Wright on this. While I understand that the Gospels are not word for word transcripts of Jesusí teachings, I still think we can build Christianity on Jesusí teachings, with a nod to Paulís work in adapting them for a Gentile environment. Where I think the work of the historical Jesus people is useful is in helping us to see Jesus freshly, more in the way his disciples would have. I certainly donít want to throw away all Christian tradition. But I do think tradition has led us to read Jesus and Paul in ways that are at times fairly far from their intent.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by hedrick View Post
              Johnson’s posting follows a line of skeptical thought that goes back to Schliermacher: We can’t know enough about Jesus historically to base theology on it, so instead we base it on our own experience and that of the Church. Johnson seem to believe that because we can’t know Jesus historically, we accept the whole of the Christian tradition, more or less as is.

              Let’s look at the other people he cites. N T Wright doesn’t agree. He maintains that we can know enough historically to form the basis for a reasonable theology, though of course he doesn’t claim that Christianity is a purely historical matter. Theology is in support of the activity of the Holy Spirit, after all.

              As far as I can tell, Borg (and I guess Crossan, though I don’t know his work as well) is closer to Wright, but has a different assessment of the evidence. He tends to be significantly more skeptical about the accuracy of the NT accounts. Since he still wants to build Christianity on what we know of Jesus, the resulting Christianity tends to be a bit sketchy compared with Wright’s.

              I’m closer to Wright on this. While I understand that the Gospels are not word for word transcripts of Jesus’ teachings, I still think we can build Christianity on Jesus’ teachings, with a nod to Paul’s work in adapting them for a Gentile environment. Where I think the work of the historical Jesus people is useful is in helping us to see Jesus freshly, more in the way his disciples would have. I certainly don’t want to throw away all Christian tradition. But I do think tradition has led us to read Jesus and Paul in ways that are at times fairly far from their intent.
              When you say we can build Christianity on Jesus' teachings - would you include Jesus' proclamation to be God in the flesh (John 8:58)? Would you also include Jesus' proclamation to be the exclusive way to salvation (John 14:6)? Or would you reject these statements as inauthentic?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                When you say we can build Christianity on Jesus' teachings - would you include Jesus' proclamation to be God in the flesh (John 8:58)? Would you also include Jesus' proclamation to be the exclusive way to salvation (John 14:6)? Or would you reject these statements as inauthentic?
                In order: yes, yes, no.
                "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

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                • #9
                  John 8:58, which mirrors 8:12, is so clearly Johannine language that Jesus himself is unlikely to have said it. But does it reflect his thought? In every level of the Christian tradition, Synoptics, John, the letters, Jesus is in some way identified with God. In the Synoptics, most commonly Jesus acts as only God can act. John’s version of it is the Word made flesh.

                  John is more explicit about Jesus’ identification with God. It’s hard to believe that this is accurate at the same time as Mark’s emphasis on Jesus keeping his vocation secret. I accept the usual view that Mark and the other Synoptics is more likely to be historically accurate. But John isn’t making things up out of whole cloth. The identification with God is there in the Synoptics as well, but in less explicit terms.

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