Monday, August 23, 2010

Bauckham's satire on Gospel of John scholarship

HT: Steve Hays


Anonymous said...

Bob prokop writing:

But most telling of all, why does the supposed author of the Pooh stories hide behind a cowardly cloak of anonymity? A.A. Milne, indeed! Unless you can show me an account where the author reveals his full name, then we must assume that all these stories never really existed! Indeed, why are there no independent sources? The whole idea of there being any Pooh stories is a complete fabrication!

Victor Reppert said...

Bob: That's an excellent point. In fact, it happens to be the thesis of a new volume edited by J. Sutfol, entitled The Pooh Delusion.

David said...

Well Vic, if nothing else, your links are more interesting than the links I find on the Christianity is bunk side.

Edward T. Babinski said...

On Bauckham one biblical scholar/reviewer wrote:

It must be said however, that many will remain unconvinced by the alternative model of a “Formal Controlled Tradition” that Bauckham proposes in this book. It may be true that the literary features of mark show a closer connection with the testimony of Peter than is commonly assumed. But the evidence fails to sustain Bauckham’s hypothesis of a fixed body of Jesus tradition formulated by the Twelve in Jerusalem and mediated directly to the author of Mark through the apostolic preaching of Peter. Without accepting Bauckham’s dubious claim that Peter’s appearance at the beginning and end of Mark represents a literary device for identifying the work’s authoritative witness, it is very difficult to affirm the other alleged indication of the author’s reliance on Peter’s testimony, which are ambiguous at best. Equally questionable are the historical conclusions Backham draws from Paul’s Letters about the formal transmission of Jesus traditions. The level of institutionalization thus ascribed to the Jesus movement in the earliest stages of its development strains credibility. Likewise, Bauckham’s hypothesis about the Beloved Disciple as the eyewitness author of the Fourth Gospel will not convince many. Often resting on unproven assumptions, the argument frequently invokes highly conjectural explanations of textual evidence that are not easily affirmed. For examples, most will find fanciful the attempt to account for the infrequency and obscurity of references to the Beloved Disciples by appealing to the author’s need to establish his credibility as a perceptive disciple before disclosing his identity as the actual author of the Gospel. Even if we were to accept as probable many of the conclusions Bauckham draws from the Gospels, there still remains a larger question that weakens the argument of the book. If it is true that the Evangelists attached such importance to eyewitness testimony, then why are indications of this not more obvious and explicit? In response, Bauckham claims that ancient readers would have expected the Gospels to have eyewitness sources and so would have been alert to the subtle indications provided by the text. This explanation ascribes to the Evangelists and their readers a full measure of literary sophistication and an informed familiarity with the canons of Greco-Roman historiography. But this seems to far exceed what we can claim to know about the first eyewitnesses and those who listened to their testimony.
--Dean Bechard of the Pontifico Instituto Biblico, Rome--final paragraph of his review of Richard Bauckham’s, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Review published in Biblica, v.90, fasc.1, 2009, p. 126-129.

Edward T. Babinski said...

See McGrath's review of Bauckham's work:

See McGrath's third paragraph here, on why the historicity of the fourth Gospel continues to be viewed as questionable:

Edward T. Babinski said...

Articles contra Lewis' "feeling" that it "reads like history to me." Well, fine for Lewis, who has nothing to say concerning actual points made by those who have studied the Gospel of John:

The "Born Again" Dialogue In the Gospel of John

Some Reflections on C. S. Lewis’ “Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism” By Dr. A. J Mattill, Jr.

Edward T. Babinski said...

A Christian seminarian (at a Southern Baptist seminary--a conservative inerrantist institution), named Chris Petersen, has composed an article titled, "The Triumph of the Gospel of John in American Evangelicalism," that discuss questions that arise whenever students and scholars of the Bible compare the three synoptic Gospels with the Gospel of John.

For instance, professor James D. G. Dunn in his most recent monumental theological works on Jesus has acknowledged that the historical Jesus most probably didn't speak a word of what the Gospel of John portrays Jesus as having said.