Friday, February 02, 2007

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses

Since I'm not a New Testament scholar, it is probably presumptuous of me to say that Richard Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses is an "important" contribution to the field, but I'll go ahead and say it, it is important.

How so? Well, it presents in convincing detail why the four Gospels are closely based on eyewitness testimony of those who knew Jesus. That sentence alone should send you to the book itself. Read it. It is important.

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading Luke Timothy Johnson's The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels. In it, he laments that "history" and "original sources" have taken a priority over "faith," "church," and "tradition," in Biblical interpretation. He notes that even in the church we no longer depend on faith or tradition or the Spirit as the foundation of our interpretation as much as we do on historicity and historical criticism. We've succumbed to the idea that history and the academy gets us closer to the truth of Jesus than does faith and the church.

    From your few sentences here, it sounds like Baukman uses a similar method - using historical research to say why the Gospels are indeed authentic (Gospels which have been debunked by others using historical research). This is not necessarily bad, but it just highlights how the debate has become about historicity. History, it seems, is the altar at which we worship these days.