Michael Barber of Singing in the Reign has revealed the answers to his “Guess the Author” contest. He then goes on to sum up nicely some of my thoughts regarding the so-called Jesus Quest. (Which always makes me think of Don Quixote for some reason.)
As I continue to research, I grow more and more frustrated with the idea of a distinct “Third Quest” that is unlike previous approaches in being focused more on the Jewishness of Jesus. In fact, many previous scholars–Jeremias, Davies, Daube, Klausner, etc.–did just that!
Moreover, many of the scholars of the “Third Quest” use the exact same “criteria of authenticity” as those from the so-called “New Quest.” In virtually every case these scholars build their interpretations on the same unproven (in some cases, outdated!) source-critical and form-critical assumptions about the Gospels. For example, the shockingly bold assertions made about Q (i.e., its portrait of Jesus, its theology, etc.) found in the works of many contemporary writers seem not only unconvincing but actually quite similar to naïve approaches of the past.
I see two major problems here.
1. If we aren’t learning from the scholars who have gone before us, we are ignoring some very valuable resources.
2. In fact, in many ways, in neglecting these scholars of the past contemporary authors almost seem to be engaged in a subtle form of plagiarism, inasmuch as they claim as their own the insights of their mentors.
Something to ponder…
So, I think we need another new poll!
(Via Singing In The Reign.)