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Old 10-01-2013, 03:20 AM   #1
Decypher
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Default Historical Jesus scholarship

How much is being done by people with a background more in theology or whatever, compared to people with a historian background?
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:17 AM   #2
Tom Verenna
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The answer is about 50-50. I don't think that this has that much of an impact on the findings. Everyone, regardless of background, is held up to the same standards, especially when it comes to peer review.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:58 AM   #3
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There are some scholars with a background in theology who do what is essentially secular scholarship.

Then there are others who try to use the trappings of scholarship to protect their beliefs from secular scholarship. I'm thinking of Ben Witherington, who seriously proposed doing a DNA match between blood samples taken from the Shroud of Turin and bone fragments from the James Ossuary.

Peer review only works over the long term.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tom Verenna View Post
The answer is about 50-50. I don't think that this has that much of an impact on the findings. Everyone, regardless of background, is held up to the same standards, especially when it comes to peer review.
It may be more like 95-5. [95 theology--5 history]

Based on Ehrman, the majority of his students are Bible Believing Christians who were raised in the Church and attend Sunday School.

See "Did Jesus Exist?" chapter 8

Christians are expected to claim Jesus did exist and worship him hoping he will reward them with a place in heaven.

In fact, Christians Scholars must maintain that Jesus existed if they want to be considered credible Christians.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:03 PM   #5
MrMacSon
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It might be worthwhile categorizing those involved in historical Jesus discussion:
  • those arguing there [probably] was a historical human-Jesus of Nazareth/Bethlehem
  • those agnostic to a human Jesus of Nazarreth
  • those arguing there is little to discern a historical human-Jesus of Nazareth/Bethlehem

for each category there could be sub-categories
  • education or background in christian apologetic-theology
  • education or background in history
  • education or background in other fields
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
Peter Kirby
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I don't know where the 50-50 figure comes from.

It isn't my first guess. My first guess is closer to 80-20 or even 90-10, with the minority being connected primarily to history/classics departments instead of being connected primarily to religion departments, seminaries, or faith-based institutions.

You could argue that professors teaching about religion and its history, with a teaching post that isn't general purpose ancient history, are to be lumped with historians, which would of course bring the numbers much closer to even. You could also argue that this is just a consequence of ever-increasing academic specialization, which would be a very good point.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:36 PM   #7
MrMacSon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decypher View Post
How much is being done by people with a background more in theology or whatever, compared to people with a historian background?
One has to be careful, in the current internet age, to distinguish, say, between present tense - what is being done - and the recent past (say last 3-4 yrs), versus the-more-distant past tense - what has been done.

Richard Carrier's forth-coming book On the Historicity of Jesus is due out in the next 6 months http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4090

Blogs on both sides of the argument are active.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tom Verenna View Post
The answer is about 50-50.
Where did you get that figure?
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:08 PM   #9
outhouse
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Originally Posted by Toto View Post
There are some scholars with a background in theology who do what is essentially secular scholarship.

Then there are others who try to use the trappings of scholarship to protect their beliefs from secular scholarship. I'm thinking of Ben Witherington, who seriously proposed doing a DNA match between blood samples taken from the Shroud of Turin and bone fragments from the James Ossuary.

Peer review only works over the long term.

Ive always placed Ben on the apologetic side of things.

I wouldnt discount all his work, but you need to be able to see through the apologetics to gain value.


His work appeals to the aplogetic masses
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:15 PM   #10
outhouse
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Originally Posted by Tom Verenna View Post
The answer is about 50-50. I don't think that this has that much of an impact on the findings. Everyone, regardless of background, is held up to the same standards, especially when it comes to peer review.


I would agree based on what ive studied.

Ive seen a few apologetically inclined scholars as Toto pointed out, but the rest go out on their own opinion more so then theologically biased one's.

Ive found no apologetic bias in Crossan, Reed, Meyers, Sanders, Martin, Borg.


I think the list of apologetic scholars that are seriously biased is rather small, once we get beyond personal interpretation which they all hold.
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