Jesus Seminar

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Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2007 08:47 pm
Jesus Seminar
This is an interesting article: Jesus Seminar
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Fri 26 Oct, 2007 03:11 pm
Thorwald,

Thanks for posting the link. I think the traditional complaint about the Jesus Seminar that has the most resonance with me is that they basically call their own biases "historical research." One of their number claimed that Jesus' body was eaten by dogs, thus the resurrection "myth" was born. Huh? Where's the evidence for that bit of "history"? Hehehehe.

One progressive Christian scholar who appreciates the Jesus Seminar folks but also forthrightly disagrees with them on a number of points is N. T. Wright (he's a High Church Brit, so doesn't have the flaming approach of much American evangelical critique of the Jesus Seminar folks). I recommend Wright's work if anyone here has a yen to interact with a highly intellectual treatment of the gospels, Paul's writings, and Jesus himself. Wright has many books out there, from his intellectually demanding ones to a set of bible commentaries which are intentionally written for "everyman" (thus their moniker, "The Bible for Everyone" or something like that.

Blessings.
Jon Trott
 
m 2
 
Reply Fri 26 Oct, 2007 03:29 pm
Anonymous wrote:
One of their number claimed that Jesus' body was eaten by dogs, thus the resurrection "myth" was born. Huh? Where's the evidence for that bit of "history"? Hehehehe.

Where's the evidence for the resurrection?

Even without any evidence for either, Occam's razor would suggest that the dog scenario is the more likely of the two.
 
slacker75
 
Reply Mon 29 Oct, 2007 09:35 am
m wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
One of their number claimed that Jesus' body was eaten by dogs, thus the resurrection "myth" was born. Huh? Where's the evidence for that bit of "history"? Hehehehe.

Where's the evidence for the resurrection?

Even without any evidence for either, Occam's razor would suggest that the dog scenario is the more likely of the two.


Sorry I posted that as "anonymous" -- I was using a different computer (my work one) and forgot to log on first.

Re Occam's razor, a few thoughts...

Occam's razor is not a black and white, all or nothing principle. It has to do with probability. When taking into account a set of events which happened 2000 years ago, then leaping to a conclusion which no historical document even so much as suggests, I think the Jesus Seminar folk are overstepping the bounds of scholarship; it sells books but it doesn't follow logic.

In order for Occam's Razor to actually work, it has to have available to it all or most of the essential data. For instance, if Christ were the Unique Son of God, all that happens afterward in the gospel accounts would be completely in keeping with Occam's idea: finding the simplest, plainest explanation for the events in question. If Christ were the God/Man, his resurrection rather than decay or being eaten by dogs, bats, or the boogey man would be most consistent with the data.

This is not, of course, a "proof" for Jesus' resurrection! As someone who himself went through agony in my own search for such proofs, all I can tell you is that the word "probable" rather than absolute is always going to be involved.

One web link (there are many more) where the business of Jesus' resurrection vs. being eaten by dogs is treated from a Christian (not fundamentalist) point of view:

http://www.dogstreetjournal.com/story/2484

What is interesting about the above link is that the writer does consider about five or six major theories as to what might have happened to Jesus' body after the crucifixion, and the final two left standing are (1) the resurrection, and (2) his body really was eaten by dogs. It's a thoughtful read, and helps explain why we often, if only for historical purposes, are forced back to the gospel accounts as primary resources on Jesus...

A FEW PERSONAL NOTES

A French existentialist named Gabriel Marcel once said that the difference between belief and opinion is that belief involves the investment of one's very self, via action and commitment, while opinioni is merely a set of words emanating from one's mouth. For me, the limit of intellect was reached when I actually became convinced that God existed and that Christ was truly His Son, but was not at all sure I either wanted Him or -- even if I did -- could actually know Him. How does a creature birthed in complete contingency (that is, with his breath of a life depending upon all sorts of external factors beyond his control) expect the Author of all that is throughout eternity to care one whit about either his fears or his hunger for love?

One difference between my story and the story of many here is that I was incredibly fortunate in my parents and my experiences of growing up. I knew security, stability, and kindness without any sort of perversion or being used. So my intellectual angst, though very real to me, was also not rooted in my own actual suffering at the hands of so-called "Christians." Many of you have been "burned" in a way I cannot existentially imagine, though I do try. I hope and pray nothing I've said here has been insensitive or arrogant toward your own journeys.

Most sincerely,
Jon Trott
 
 

 
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