Saturday, April 22, 2006
Liberal Scholarship On Jesus As Dead and Buried As The Jesus It Preaches
I just read an amazing article by Craig Evans, which recently appeared in the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus [4 (2006): 35-54]. It has been republished on Mark Goodacre's website.
The article, “Assessing Progress in the Third Quest of the Historical Jesus," is probably the best overview of Jesus scholarship I have read (and I read a lot of them!). Evans shows that the Gospel portraits of Jesus make good historical sense - the radical reconstructions of Crossan, Mack and others simply do not hold up. In fact, the more scholarship progresses, the more they are left in the dust with the thoroughly discredited portraits of other attempts of the past.
The Davinci Code book and movie will undoubtedly make a lot of money. Sensationalist authors like Crossan will continue to make Television appearances on hyped up television specials. Ridiculous claims will be made about findings like Gospel of Judas Iscariot. But in the end, let's be clear: honest scholarship reveals the historical reliability of the Gospels. Though it may make people more money to say otherwise, the evidence to support their claims is simply not there - and more and more scholars recognize that.