New Testament Studies was not my major in grad school, but you might
William R. Farmer, _The Gospel of Jesus: The Pastoral Relevance of the
Synoptic Problem_. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994,
ISBN 0-664-25514-0, and:
John Wenham, _Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke: A Fresh Assault on the
Synoptic problem_. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992, ISBN
Several years ago, Christianity Today magazine ran an article critiquing
the Jesus Seminar, a group of scholars who critiqued the biblical view
of Christ. CT is available at www.ChristianityToday.com/ctmag/ and
through AmericaOnline (keyword: ChristianityToday). Otherwise, call
1-800-999-1704 for subscription information.
For a couple of years I was mostly a lurker on a listserv called
Synoptic-L, which would generally be categorized with the Jesus Seminar
and with the skeptical authors you mentioned. One point that was helpful
to me was that if one or more of the Gospel writers drew on Paul for
some of their Christology, that Christology would be supported by the
fact that Paul's conversion was probably in 34 or 35 AD, not long after
the crucifixion of Christ. I'll be interested in what other listmembers
have to say.
Regarding the pagan and mythical analogies to Christianity, see Don
Richardson, _Eternity in Their Hearts_. Ventura, CA: Regal/Gospel Light,
1981, rev. 1984, ISBN 0-8307-0925-8.
I know you're looking for serious research, but perhaps you'll pardon my
including a little parody I wrote after putting up with the Synoptic-L
folks for quite a while:
THE SADDUCEES’ CHRISTMAS CAROL
“Discovered and Translated” by
Dan Eumurian, B. Mus. in Mus. Ed., Kent State University, 1974
M. A. in Theological Studies, Theology Concentration,
Wheaton College Graduate School, 1978
Joy to the world, but not to us.
We’re much too smart to pray.
We’ve analyzed the facts, and with our holy axe,
Explained them all away,…
[Manuscript becomes illegible. Unknown dialect.
Cannot be discerned.]
No more let sin, the concept, grow,
Nor thorns infest our side.
We come to make the season go
With intellectual pride,…
[Question of authorship allows us to disregard any personal implications
of remainder of verse.]
We rid the world of truth and grace,
And steer them off the path.
They’ve nothing left but doubt, because we’re throwing out
The Baby with the bath,…
[High Christology makes next lines an obvious late recension.]
“Joy to the earth!” Creation cries.
The prophecies will win.
True faith will heal the schism with higher criticism.
Ye must be born again.…
[Remaining material deemed not germane to scholarly colloquy.]
[May be copied as a whole. Attribution appreciated. Discussion
© 1998, Come Thru Music Co., BMI
1634 Barlow St., La Crosse, WI 54601
Tel. (608) 788-8637
Charles Carrigan wrote:
> This is probably not the most appropriate forum for this question, but
> I can't think of a better place. So here goes......
> A very good friend of mine has recently rejected his Christian faith.
> He has done this, so he says (and I have no reason to doubt him),
> because after researching the historicity of Christ and the gospels
> and Paul, he can no longer believe that the person of Jesus Christ as
> proclaimed by traditional Christianity was an historical figure.
> Instead, he now believes that Christianity has its roots in pagan and
> mythical cultures, combined with neo-Platonism and Judaism of the
> time. I'm not an apologist, nor am I a scholar of biblical literature
> or history or whatever else that might be appropriate. He has given
> me a laundry list of literature on the subject, which I have neither
> the time nor the energy to pursue. (He has mentioned writings by
> Robert M. Price, Charles Templeton, and many others). So I'm looking
> for someone who has seriously researched these issues and can perhaps
> provide some information for me to pass along.
> Charles W. Carrigan
> Univ. of Michigan - Department of Geological Sciences
> 2534 C.C. Little Bldg.
> 425 E. University Ave.
> Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1063
> "The point of having an open mind, like an open mouth,
> is to close it on something solid."
> -G.K. Chesterton
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