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Re: Arnal's _The Symbolic Jesus_

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  • jmtait
    Hi. As this is my first (and conceivably last!) posting to this list, I ll introduce myself. I m John Tait, and I m an old Religious Studies graduate
    Message 1 of 14 , Apr 26, 2005
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      Hi. As this is my first (and conceivably last!) posting to this list, I'll
      introduce myself. I'm John Tait, and I'm an old Religious Studies graduate
      (Aberdeen, late '70s) doing a DIY refresher course as part of my mid-life
      crisis. I've been lurking around for a while trying to comprehend the
      various theories proposed by list members - so far, I must admit, with
      little success! - and wondering how much of the literature to read.
      Although it seems a bit silly to me to be discussing a book that only one
      of us seems to have read, I couldn't resist making a few comments on the
      comments on Loren's review of Bill Arnal's book - I apologise if they seem
      unduly naive to all you seasoned Xtalkers.


      > >I predict that if a Quest comes along that
      > >does *not* make Jesus into a symbol of
      > >(for?) contemporary discourse, no one will
      > >read it, and it will pass, unnoticed,
      > >from the scene. Even if Bill writes it <g>.
      >
      >Bill won't write it, because he believes that trying
      >to uncover the origins of Christianity with
      >reconstructions of Jesus is misguided from the start
      >-- not only because of the agenda issue, but because
      >he doubts that "individuals" are the root causes of
      >religious movements (see pp 76-77).

      Has he applied this theory to Buddhism? Or is there an understanding of
      Buddhist origins which explains it apart from the influence of Gautama's
      teaching? I don't know a lot about Buddhism, but when I was doing Religious
      Studies the central role of Gautama's teaching was more or less assumed -
      perhaps I didn't pursue it far enough, or perhaps views have changed. Also,
      what about movements within religious traditions or where these come into
      conflict with other traditions, such as the Prophet Harris or Wesley? If
      there hadn't been a Wovoka, would another prophet have initiated the Ghost
      Dance, and would it have had exactly the same characteristics as the
      historical Ghost Dance? Or can we argue that Wovoka's influence is entirely
      a reconstruction from Ghost Dance songs? This view seems to depend very
      much on the definition of 'root causes' (although, of course, I don't know
      if that is Arnal's phrase.) My own view would be that religious movements
      arise out of a combination of factors, and I can't see that the input of
      the founder can be isolated from the others without loading the dice.

      >[Loren]
      > >Those aggressive about Jesus' Jewishness may be
      > >driven by:
      > >
      > > (1) -- the agenda to save one's scholarly
      >soul
      > >from the legacy of German Lutherans. Sanders,
      > >Fredriksen, Vermes, etc. have paved the way to a new
      > >and distinctive Anglo-American scholarship, free of
      > >Bultmannian influence. (pp 41-47)
      > > (2) -- the intent to save one's political
      >soul
      > >from any taint of the Holocaust. The Jewish Jesus
      > >approaches a stereotype modern Jews, thereby
      > >reclaiming (or insulating) Christianity from
      > >complicity in the Shoah. (pp 47-55)
      > > (3) -- the need to keep one's religious
      > >sensibilities intact. A Jewish Jesus, ironically,
      > >helps maintain a distinctive Christian identity and
      > >can even reinforce supersessionism (in cases like
      > >Wright and Witherington). (pp 56-69)
      > > (4) -- the goal to preserve one's cultural
      > >identity in the face of postmodernism. A Jesus who
      > >believed in Torah, the temple, and purity is a
      > >formidable weapon against the erosion of social
      > >identities, in effect insisting upon cultural
      > >stability. (pp 69-72)
      > >
      > >However important these agendas are in themselves,
      > >Arnal (rightly) maintains that Jesus, as an
      >historical
      > >figure, should have nothing to do with them.
      >
      >[Bob]
      > >"Should"? On what grounds? I don't see
      > >what "as an historical figure" tells
      > >me about this at all. Please clarify.
      >
      >The point is that we shouldn't be attempting to save
      >Christianity from Bultmannian influence, or from
      >anti-Semitism, or from any other odious legacy, by
      >making Jesus into an "honorary Jew" (see p 53, for
      >instance). We should be attempting to save
      >Christianity from this nonsense regardless of whether
      >or not he was an "honorary Jew", regardless of how
      >Hellenized he was.

      There are two things I don't understand here:

      1. How can you make Jesus an honorary Jew when he was a Jew? I take it the
      inverted commas imply the more recent emphases on Jesus's Jewishness, but
      nevertheless the phrase seems question-begging. Of course, not having read
      the book, I don't know if it's Arnal's or Loren's. It seems a bit like
      making me an honorary Shetlander - even if I wasn't a typical Shetlander, I
      would still be a Shetlander. The fact that I don't believe in Up Helly Aa
      doesn't make me not one. And if Jesus was Hellenized, wouldn't it be true
      to say that many of his contemporaries were probably equally Hellenized, so
      he wouldn't have been atypical in that respect. (I've just noticed that
      someone else - Karel? - has made a similar point, but I'll leave it anyway.)

      2. Could the suspicion of an attempt to save Christianity/ones scholarly
      soul, or whatever, from Bultmannian influence or anti-Semitism be
      interpreted as a closet agenda to save a scholarly approach which likes to
      use Bultmannian methods and point out anti-Semitisms? In fact, does not
      each of the agendas which Arnal (or at least, Loren's review) lists
      potentially imply an opposite agenda? But it doesn't seem sensible for me
      to suggest this without having read the book!


      >Bill also concludes that the historical Jesus is
      >historically insignificant (p 76). I don't go this far
      >(the historical Jesus is significant like any other
      >historical figure), but I do agree with some of the
      >implications (like the above) he draws which lead him
      >to this point.
      >
      >[Loren]
      > >I'm not sure he implies anything by the
      > >above order, but my own
      > >perception is that (3) is the most
      > >serious problem, (2) and (1) close
      > >seconds, with (4) bringing up the rear.
      >
      >[Bob]
      > >I think they're all red herrings,
      > >and secondary to the methodological issue.



      >They're not red herrings, because agendas interfere
      >with, or override, methodological issues -- which is
      >precisely why they continue to be hot button items.

      Can't figure out who said this, but is it implying that methodologies exist
      which are exempt from presuppositions? Or are presuppositions and agendas
      fundamentally different in their effect?


      > >...Bill writes: ..."For some of us, there is simply no investment in
      > >Jesus, and no need to make him, in particular, 'like
      > >us'...The point is rather in the way that the
      > >conceptualizations behind constructions of Jesus
      > >accord with our own world-views [i.e. as in the four
      > >agendas above], whether Jesus **himself** is presented
      > >as attractive or unattractive." (74)

      (Karel?)


      >I'm not sure this is true. For example, Bill so believes in the tyranny of
      >the normal (my phrase), that he sees Jesus as being *totally* like us in
      >every significant way, and ruling out anything about him that may have been
      >the least bit unusual. So I think that, on the contrary, Bill *starts out*
      >with the conviction that Jesus is "like us". But perhaps I am again missing
      >the point.

      To me, the phrase 'there is simply no investment in Jesus' certainly sounds
      as if it implies the opposite. However - although that particular logion
      must be assumed to be authentic - it's possible that we're not even dealing
      with the Historical Arnal here, but only Arnal as interpreted by the Early
      Reviewers. Perhaps if he doesn't show up we could reconstruct him - or at
      least his book, to save us buying it. Or perhaps, as Loren's interpretation
      of Arnal may be as valid as Arnal himself, it doesn't matter.

      John M. Tait.



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    • Stephen Goranson
      Bill, Do you say Jesus is illuminated by comparing a cynic, but not a Jew? Stephen Goranson Prof Arnal wrote: [....]several of the scholars who are
      Message 2 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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        Bill,

        Do you say Jesus is "illuminated" by comparing a cynic, but not a Jew?

        Stephen Goranson

        Prof Arnal wrote:
        [....]several of the scholars who are associated
        with the so-called "Cynic hypothesis" have merely claimed that Jesus is
        illuminated by COMPARISON with the Cynics[....]
        Whew. Jesus can be compared to anything: Cynics,
        Luddites, Cargo cults, indigenous revivalists, kitty-cats, and umbrellas.
        The question that needs to be applied to the comparison is not that of
        identity (IS Jesus a kitty-cat?) but that of the intellectual utility of the
        comparison (does comparing Jesus to a kitty-cat generate any important
        insights?).
      • William Arnal
        ... No, I do not. And I don t know how one would *compare* Jesus to a Jew. Wouldn t that be like *comparing* him to a human being? Or are you asking if I m
        Message 3 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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          Stephen Goranson <goranson@...> writes:

          >Do you say Jesus is "illuminated" by comparing a cynic, but not a Jew?

          No, I do not. And I don't know how one would *compare* Jesus to a Jew.
          Wouldn't that be like *comparing* him to a human being? Or are you asking if
          I'm saying Jesus was not a Jew? I can't tell from the wording. If *that* is
          the question, then the answer is: No, I do not.

          later,
          Bill
          ______________________
          William Arnal
          University of Regina
        • Stephen Goranson
          I mean comparing Jesus to another Jew, to, e.g., Hanina ben Dosa, or Onias the Circle-Drawer, or Judah the Essene Teacher of Righteousness, or John the
          Message 4 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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            I mean comparing Jesus to another Jew, to, e.g., Hanina ben Dosa, or Onias the
            Circle-Drawer, or Judah the Essene Teacher of Righteousness, or John the
            Baptist, of John who wrote Apocalypse. Perhaps I misread your post, but I got
            the impression you consider using varieties within Judaism to help study
            historical Jesus not helpful, but that comparing Jesus to a cynic, you seemed
            to consider helpful or at least defendable, unlike talk of Judaism that you
            offered to be either suspect motivewise or useless historywise, though ending
            with no history from the cynic comparison, in your view, suiting your view?

            Stephen Goranson

            Quoting William Arnal <warnal@...>:

            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Stephen Goranson <goranson@...> writes:
            >
            >
            >
            > >Do you say Jesus is "illuminated" by comparing a cynic, but not a Jew?
            >
            >
            >
            > No, I do not. And I don't know how one would *compare* Jesus to a Jew.
            >
            > Wouldn't that be like *comparing* him to a human being? Or are you asking if
            >
            > I'm saying Jesus was not a Jew? I can't tell from the wording. If *that* is
            >
            > the question, then the answer is: No, I do not.
            >
            >
            >
            > later,
            >
            > Bill
            >
            > ______________________
            >
            > William Arnal
            >
            > University of Regina
            >
            >
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          • Gordon Raynal
            Hi Bill, Sorry for asking for a little clarity... but your sentence below is a negative: Or are you asking if I m saying Jesus was not a Jew? And then you
            Message 5 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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              Hi Bill,

              Sorry for asking for a little clarity... but your sentence below is a
              negative: "Or are you asking if I'm saying Jesus was not a Jew?" And
              then you answer with a negative:)!
              This all makes me a bit dizzy:)! A little clarification, please:)!
              Gordon Raynal
              Inman, SC
              On Apr 27, 2005, at 9:49 AM, William Arnal wrote:

              >
              >
              > Stephen Goranson <goranson@...> writes:
              >
              >> Do you say Jesus is "illuminated" by comparing a cynic, but not a Jew?
              >
              > No, I do not. And I don't know how one would *compare* Jesus to a Jew.
              > Wouldn't that be like *comparing* him to a human being? Or are you
              > asking if
              > I'm saying Jesus was not a Jew? I can't tell from the wording. If
              > *that* is
              > the question, then the answer is: No, I do not.
              >
              > later,
              > Bill
              > ______________________
              > William Arnal
              > University of Regina
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
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            • Lisbeth S. Fried
              Bill says that he does not say that Jesus was not a Jew. Seems clear to me. Liz Lisbeth S. Fried, Ph.D. Visiting Scholar The Frankel Center for Judaic Studies
              Message 6 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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                Bill says that he does not say that Jesus was not
                a Jew.

                Seems clear to me.

                Liz



                Lisbeth S. Fried, Ph.D.
                Visiting Scholar
                The Frankel Center for Judaic Studies
                and the Department of Near Eastern Studies
                University of Michigan
                2068 Frieze Bldg
                105 S. State St.
                Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285

                _____

                From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                Gordon Raynal
                Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 11:27 AM
                To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
                Cc: Michael Ensley
                Subject: Re: [XTalk] Arnal's _The Symbolic Jesus_



                Hi Bill,

                Sorry for asking for a little clarity... but your
                sentence below is a
                negative: "Or are you asking if I'm saying Jesus
                was not a Jew?" And
                then you answer with a negative:)!
                This all makes me a bit dizzy:)! A little
                clarification, please:)!
                Gordon Raynal
                Inman, SC
                On Apr 27, 2005, at 9:49 AM, William Arnal wrote:

                >
                >
                > Stephen Goranson <goranson@...> writes:
                >
                >> Do you say Jesus is "illuminated" by comparing
                a cynic, but not a Jew?
                >
                > No, I do not. And I don't know how one would
                *compare* Jesus to a Jew.
                > Wouldn't that be like *comparing* him to a human
                being? Or are you
                > asking if
                > I'm saying Jesus was not a Jew? I can't tell
                from the wording. If
                > *that* is
                > the question, then the answer is: No, I do not.
                >
                > later,
                > Bill
                > ______________________
                > William Arnal
                > University of Regina
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
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                http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
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                >
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                >



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              • Jim West
                If I have deconstructed this aright- it means Bill says Jesus was a Jew. I think there must surely be concensus on this one topic! ... -- Jim West Biblical
                Message 7 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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                  If I have deconstructed this aright- it means Bill says Jesus was a
                  Jew. I think there must surely be concensus on this one topic!

                  Lisbeth S Fried wrote:

                  >Bill says that he does not say that Jesus was not
                  >a Jew.
                  >
                  >Seems clear to me.
                  >
                  >

                  --
                  Jim West

                  Biblical Studies Resources - http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
                  Biblical Theology Weblog - http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com
                • SteveBlack
                  Phew, for a second there I thought that Bill was not saying Jesus was not what most scholars deny - that is, that he wasn t what they say he was not. But now
                  Message 8 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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                    Phew, for a second there I thought that Bill was not saying Jesus was
                    not what most scholars deny - that is, that he wasn't what they say he
                    was not.

                    But now its all clear...

                    Steve Black
                    Trinity College
                    The Toronto School of Theology

                    On Apr 27, 2005, at 11:34 AM, Jim West wrote:

                    >
                    > If I have deconstructed this aright- it means Bill says Jesus was a
                    > Jew. I think there must surely be concensus on this one topic!
                    >
                    > Lisbeth S Fried wrote:
                    >
                    >> Bill says that he does not say that Jesus was not
                    >> a Jew.
                    >>
                    >> Seems clear to me.
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    > --
                    > Jim West
                    >
                    > Biblical Studies Resources - http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
                    > Biblical Theology Weblog - http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Lisbeth S. Fried
                    Jim, I think you have just committed the fallacy of the excluded middle. Liz Lisbeth S. Fried, Ph.D. Visiting Scholar The Frankel Center for Judaic Studies and
                    Message 9 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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                      Jim, I think you have just committed the fallacy
                      of the excluded middle.

                      Liz



                      Lisbeth S. Fried, Ph.D.
                      Visiting Scholar
                      The Frankel Center for Judaic Studies
                      and the Department of Near Eastern Studies
                      University of Michigan
                      2068 Frieze Bldg
                      105 S. State St.
                      Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285

                      _____

                      From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
                      [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                      Jim West
                      Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 11:35 AM
                      To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [XTalk] Arnal's _The Symbolic Jesus_



                      If I have deconstructed this aright- it means Bill
                      says Jesus was a
                      Jew. I think there must surely be concensus on
                      this one topic!

                      Lisbeth S Fried wrote:

                      >Bill says that he does not say that Jesus was not
                      >a Jew.
                      >
                      >Seems clear to me.
                      >
                      >

                      --
                      Jim West

                      Biblical Studies Resources -
                      http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
                      Biblical Theology Weblog -
                      http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com



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                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • William Arnal
                      ... Given that analogical comparison is not about identity, 1) there is no reason at all to privilege Jewish and/or contemporary types over non-Jewish or
                      Message 10 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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                        Stephen:

                        >I mean comparing Jesus to another Jew, to, e.g., Hanina ben Dosa, or Onias
                        >the
                        >Circle-Drawer, or Judah the Essene Teacher of Righteousness, or John the

                        Given that analogical comparison is not about identity, 1) there is no
                        reason at all to privilege Jewish and/or contemporary "types" over
                        non-Jewish or non-contemporary ones; and 2) if indeed it is comparison that
                        is at issue, the more likely the *identity* between Jesus and the "type" to
                        which he is being compared, the less helpful the comparison is for
                        illuminating anything. It'd be sort-of like comparing Jesus to "founders of
                        Christianity" or something. There is an obvious difference between saying
                        "Jesus is like a Luddite" and "Jesus is like a Pharisee" (or whatever). The
                        latter is likely enough to slide over into meaning "Jesus WAS a Pharisee."
                        Nothing wrong with that, but then it's no longer a question of comparison
                        but one of identity.

                        >Baptist, of John who wrote Apocalypse. Perhaps I misread your post, but I
                        >got
                        >the impression you consider using varieties within Judaism to help study
                        >historical Jesus not helpful, but that comparing Jesus to a cynic, you
                        >seemed
                        >to consider helpful or at least defendable, unlike talk of Judaism that you
                        >offered to be either suspect motivewise or useless historywise, though
                        >ending

                        No, I do not say that comparisons with Jewish "types" is indefensible, or
                        that Jesus cannot be situated in terms of such types -- I am saying that the
                        excessively broad and reified category of "Judaism" is not helpful for
                        defining Jesus, or for determining which "types" are the best fit with him.

                        You know, this is actually JUST the logic I was talking about in the book,
                        and the kind of reaction that so puzzles me -- as if it's axoimatic that the
                        minute one starts talking about Jesus in terms that are not stereotypically
                        Jewish (as defined by mostly-Christian Jesus scholars), one is denying
                        Jesus' Judaism. And apparently, this is being offered as a criticism of a
                        book that the critic hasn't read! (It's not that I necessarily want list
                        members who haven't read the book to stop talking about it -- Loren posted a
                        review, so the review is fair game; but it both surprises and annoys me to
                        hear people criticizing points I am inferred to have made, not on the basis
                        of Loren's review or on the basis of having read the book, but on the basis
                        of knee-jerk reactions to the "Jew" category of the very sort that I try to
                        describe in this book! Maybe it shouldn't surprise me: there's definitely
                        some irony here.)

                        On the Cynic thing, let me say it again (I'm shouting now): I AM NOT NOR
                        HAVE EVER BEEN A MEMBER OF THE CYNIC PARTY. For a "muscular" (so
                        Kloppenborg, _Excavating Q_) critique of the Cynic comparison, see Arnal,
                        _Jesus and the Village Idiots_, pp.52-59. Just because I think that the
                        criticisms that have been offered of this hypothesis are generally misguided
                        and at times outright foolish, and wish that people would start talking
                        sensibly about this thesis, does not mean I myself support the thesis. But
                        again, it's one of those hot-botton issues that seems to make people lose
                        perspective: if you even just hint that folks who propose this comparison
                        may not actually be evil or stupid, you must be defending the comparison.
                        Uh, no.

                        cheers,
                        Bill
                        ______________________
                        William Arnal
                        University of Regina
                      • Stephen C. Carlson
                        ... Bill, I haven t read your book (yet), but it seems to be that, if you re correct in pointing out that the effort out into presenting Jesus as a Jew far
                        Message 11 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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                          At 10:07 AM 4/27/2005 -0600, William Arnal wrote:
                          >No, I do not say that comparisons with Jewish "types" is indefensible, or
                          >that Jesus cannot be situated in terms of such types -- I am saying that the
                          >excessively broad and reified category of "Judaism" is not helpful for
                          >defining Jesus, or for determining which "types" are the best fit with him.

                          Bill, I haven't read your book (yet), but it seems to be that,
                          if you're correct in pointing out that the effort out into
                          presenting Jesus as a Jew far exceeds its analytic utility,
                          then I guess it means that these various "Jesus the Jew"
                          analyses actually tell more about our culture and the scholars
                          who are making this effort than about Jesus. Is that what
                          your book gets into?

                          Stephen Carlson


                          --
                          Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                          Weblog: http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/
                          "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
                        • William Arnal
                          ... Yes, absolutely: that s the bulk (such as it is) of the book. I d say that the evidence that this is such a hot issue (i.e., fraught with subterranean
                          Message 12 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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                            Hi Stephen:

                            >Bill, I haven't read your book (yet), but it seems to be that,
                            >if you're correct in pointing out that the effort out into
                            >presenting Jesus as a Jew far exceeds its analytic utility,
                            >then I guess it means that these various "Jesus the Jew"
                            >analyses actually tell more about our culture and the scholars
                            >who are making this effort than about Jesus. Is that what
                            >your book gets into?

                            Yes, absolutely: that's the bulk (such as it is) of the book. I'd say that
                            the evidence that this is such a "hot" issue (i.e., fraught with
                            subterranean implications) is not simply that the "effort put into
                            presenting Jesus as a Jew far exceeds its analytic utility" (I quote this
                            because it's such a CLEAR and precise statement of the issue), but also that
                            the rhetoric applied to the "issue" seems to far exceed what is claimed by
                            the authors against whom that rhetoric is directed. More heat than light, as
                            the saying goes.

                            (And, for the record, I wouldn't exempt myself from that charge, and don't
                            claim to -- I actually cite myself in the book as one instance (among
                            several) of gross over-reaction to particular constructions of Jesus'
                            Judaism [a review of Fredriksen in, I think, JJS]; I could further cite my
                            own recent posts on this list [as well as the posts I *refrained* from
                            sending], in which *at the very least* I did not adequately distinguish the
                            comments of my interlocutor from the type of scholarly misconstructions of
                            the "Cynic hypothesis" that I was trying to criticize. Here *I* become my
                            own data. In any case, I wouldn't want people to think that in describing
                            what I see to be subterranean agenda behind this stuff I am somehow
                            implicitly standing outside the fray, or have no investment in it.)

                            cheers,
                            Bill
                            ______________________
                            William Arnal
                            University of Regina
                          • Bob Schacht
                            ... I think this shows how difficult it is, even in this enlightened age, not only to free oneself of one s own agendae, but to avoid writing to the agendae
                            Message 13 of 14 , Apr 27, 2005
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                              At 05:37 PM 4/27/2005, William Arnal wrote:

                              >Hi Stephen:
                              >
                              > >Bill, I haven't read your book (yet), but it seems to be that,
                              > >if you're correct in pointing out that the effort out into
                              > >presenting Jesus as a Jew far exceeds its analytic utility,
                              > >then I guess it means that these various "Jesus the Jew"
                              > >analyses actually tell more about our culture and the scholars
                              > >who are making this effort than about Jesus. Is that what
                              > >your book gets into?
                              >
                              >Yes, absolutely: that's the bulk (such as it is) of the book. I'd say that
                              >the evidence that this is such a "hot" issue ... is not simply that the
                              >"effort put into presenting Jesus as a Jew far exceeds its analytic
                              >utility" ..., but also that
                              >the rhetoric applied to the "issue" seems to far exceed what is claimed by
                              >the authors against whom that rhetoric is directed. More heat than light, as
                              >the saying goes....

                              I think this shows how difficult it is, even in "this enlightened age," not
                              only to free oneself of one's own agendae, but to avoid writing to the
                              agendae of others. Each of these writers is not only writing out of his or
                              her own issues about Jews, but writing to address what is conceived as the
                              intended audience's issues. This is what I had in mind in what I wrote to
                              Loren about his first review of this book. If an author wrote without
                              reference to any modern agendae, either his own or his audiences, why would
                              anyone read it, even if it was well written?

                              BTW, by coincidence today I received a copy of a book I ordered weeks ago:
                              _The Missing Jesus: Rabbinic Judaism and the New Testament_ (2002), by
                              Bruce Chilton, Craig Evans & Jacob Neusner. I suppose this is just the kind
                              of book that your book addresses, Bill? After the Introduction, the first
                              chapter, by Craig Evans, is titled, "The Misplaced Jesus: Interpreting
                              Jesus in a Judaic Context," with a response by Chilton on "Mapping a Place
                              for Jesus". The book consists of a series of such point and counterpoint pairs.

                              Bob



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • William Arnal
                              ... Yes, it is, very much so. cheers, Bill _____________________ William Arnal University of Regina
                              Message 14 of 14 , Apr 28, 2005
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                                Bob Schacht wrote:

                                >BTW, by coincidence today I received a copy of a book I ordered weeks ago:
                                >_The Missing Jesus: Rabbinic Judaism and the New Testament_ (2002), by
                                >Bruce Chilton, Craig Evans & Jacob Neusner. I suppose this is just the kind
                                >of book that your book addresses, Bill?

                                Yes, it is, very much so.

                                cheers,
                                Bill
                                _____________________
                                William Arnal
                                University of Regina
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