Saturday, December 17, 2011

Podcast: Are the Gospel Stories About Jesus' Birth Historical?

I've been swamped over the last few weeks finishing up the quarter and so I've been behind in posting the latest podcasts of The Sacred Page program. Now I'm going to get you all caught up.

Over the last couple weeks we've been focusing on the readings for Christmas, i.e., the "infancy narratives" of Christ. We've been looking at their historical value and meaning.

This show--the first in a series--explores some of the broad issues, although a lot more will be discussed in upcoming podcasts. Here, among other things, we look at the reason many scholars have been skeptical about the Gospels' historical worth. In particular, we look at the impact of Bultmann and other earlier "form-critical" scholars who viewed the Gospels in terms of "folklore". We then look at more recent discoveries that call their approach to the Gospels into question. We also explore the claim that the Gospel stories about Jesus' birth were invented to parallel myths about pagan gods.

I'd love to get your comments! Sound off in the box below!

Podcast: Are the Gospel Stories About Jesus' Birth Historical? 

For more on the theory that Christian "prophets" were the origin of some of the material in the Gospel tradition and other elements of this podcast--with specific references to academic works on the topics--go to earlier posts on here and here.


Anonymous said...

I am not interested in the supernaturalism of Christianity, but am very interested in the study of the early history of the group. I am always happy to talk to others that are also interested in this topic. My interest specifically is up till perhaps a generation or two after Irenaeus. But I would say I am interested in anything from the Maccabean revolt up till about 384CE when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire.

Cheers! RichGriese.NET/religion

natehardee said...

Hi Dr. Barber,
How does the fact that Gospels look like the genre of Roman Biographies mean that the stories of Jesus could not have sensational elements added to the stories.