Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

[XTalk] Re:Crossan vs. Wright

Expand Messages
  • Robert M Schacht
    On Sat, 01 Jan 2000 15:20:26 -0500 Brian Tucker ... Wright s critical realist method. ... Crossan (Birth of Christianity(BOC), p. 44)
    Message 1 of 20 , Jan 1, 2000
      On Sat, 01 Jan 2000 15:20:26 -0500 Brian Tucker <jbtucker@...>
      writes:

      >
      > It appears that the choices are Crossan's Interdisciplinary method or
      Wright's critical realist method.
      >

      Crossan (Birth of Christianity(BOC), p. 44) notes that "I think that we
      are in agreement on what he [Wright] calls 'critical realism' and I call
      'interactivism,' but we differ on how that concept works in practice."

      Let's stop for a moment here and review the bidding. After all, it is not
      that critical scholarship has been without methods: Text Criticism;
      Literary Criticism (including Redaction Criticism); and Historical
      Criticism (including Form Criticism) each have a set of methods, grounded
      in certain theories. Crossan reviews the principle methods (BOC, pp.96f)
      and argues that they must not be "bypassed," as Wright wants to do.

      Sanders and Davies (1989, Studying the Synoptic Gospels) include quite a
      bit on methodology, including a long section on Form Criticism (Part
      Three, pp. 123-200) and a shorter summaries of Redaction Criticism,
      Structuralism and DeConstruction; and Rhetorical Criticism ( all
      varieties of Literary Criticism, I think; pp. 201-251). They conclude
      with a section on The Quest and its Methods (pp. 301-344), which mainly
      emphasizes criteria such as those presented by Meier (1991, A Marginal
      Jew, vol.1:167-185) and recently discussed here. So it seems not quite
      fair for Crossan to bewail a paucity of methodological interest. Apart
      from his critique of Meier's Criteria, he does not proceed by reviewing
      each one of these and finding each wanting, but even though he insists
      that they not be bypassed, he seems to share with Wright some discontent
      over what traditional Biblical criticism has been able to achieve.

      > What is your opinion of Wright's description on his method in chapter
      4 of _New
      > Testament and the People of God_. He defines his method as a critical
      realist
      > position "which acknowledges that all knowledge of realities external
      to oneself
      > takes place within the framework of a world view, of which stories
      form an
      > essential part." (NTPG 45) This removes his method from a narrow
      empiricism
      > a.k.a. positivism.

      Could you describe his method in more detail, please? All I know of it is
      what I can see in Crossan's critique in BOC.
      BTW, Crossan calls positivism "the impossible delusion" (The Birth of
      Christianity, p. 41), so at least in that regard he seems to be in
      agreement with Crossan.

      >
      > Wright feels that his method has not be challenged his method, "Since
      no one has
      > yet engaged, far less attempted to refute, my arguments there, I am
      not too
      > anxious about gadfly like criticisms that sting the surface but do not
      touch the
      > substance." (1999:245)
      >

      He evidently has not read Crossan's BOC.

      > Crossan critiques his presuppositions (1998:95-99) but does not
      interact with
      > his critical realist method but does touch on his hypothesis and
      verification
      > methodology. Is there any bibliography critiquing Wright's method, or
      do you
      > have thoughts on the weaknesses of his method?
      >

      Crossan has some pretty important criticisms of Wright's approach in the
      section you cite; thanks for pointing it out.

      > As it pertains to criteria a method does not make - The survey that I
      am
      > familiar with that attempts to link the two is: Dennis Polkow, "Method
      and
      > Criteria for Historical Jesus Research," SBL Seminar Papers 26 (1987):
      336-56.
      > >From a conservative methodology, Craig Evans, "Authenticity Criteria
      in Life of
      > Jesus Research," Christian Scholar's Review 19 (1989): 6-31. It seems
      their
      > assumption is the underlying theory is called "methodological doubt."
      >

      Is this what the JSem calls "methodological skepticism"? (In T5G).

      > Methodological naturalism seems to have some potential for wide
      acceptance:
      >
      > 1. Search for common ground. A lowest common denominator that all can
      agree on
      > (i.e. your inventory with Davies). Is that inventory available,
      besides in 5G?

      Try the old CrossTalk archives, if they're still available, for 12/31/97,
      and look for 4 posts by Stevan Davies on the subject. If there is
      sufficient interest, I can re-post them.

      > 2. Strategy of hypothetical thinking. Limiting evidence to that which
      would be admissible to a naturalist.
      > 3. This method is pragmatic and heuristic.
      >
      > Crossan does mention critical realism, which he calls interactivism,
      but he
      > differs with Wright on how this concept works in practice. (1998:44)
      >

      Wait a minute. "Interactivism" is Crossan's label for his own method, not
      Wright's.

      > A chart comparing Crossan's proposed method with Wright's method would
      be
      > helpful at this point - any volunteers?
      >

      How 'bout you starting, with the main points of Wright's method?

      > It may be that there is some overlap between the two and Crossan is
      caricaturing
      > Wright's method, of course, that 's what Wright did when he was here
      in Detroit
      > in a couple months ago.
      >

      Nah. Seems to me that Crossan is finally getting what he asked for. What
      we need is for Wright and Crossan to duke these methodological issues out
      on CrossTalk. :-)

      > I agree with the point that Sukie made concerning the differing
      methods of the
      > JS. There is some benefit to that, but I wonder if things would be
      different if
      > there was an agreed upon method to use?
      >
      > Ben Meyer had written concerning the topic of methods in NT studies:
      > Critical Realism and the New Testament, Princeton Theological
      Monograph Series
      > 17 (Allison Park, PA: Pickwick, 1989)
      > Would this have anything to add to our discussion, maybe those more
      familiar
      > with this work could respond?
      >
      > I agree that this is an important topic, I feel somewhat unprepared to
      respond
      > cogently to your post. It seems to me that Crossan is on target, but
      how can we
      > move from a focus on interpretation to method and inventory?
      >

      It might help if every poster initiating a new topic would begin by
      specifying what method they will use to identify the relevant corpus, and
      then inventory the corpus according to that method. But it probably won't
      happen, because it would greatly increase the length of messages! But at
      least if we could say more about our method and inventory at the outset,
      perhaps we wouldn't be talking past each other as much?

      Seems to me you responded pretty cogently! :-)

      Bob
    • Sukie Curtis
      On Sunday, January 02, 2000 1:05 AM Bob Schacht wrote Re: Crossan vs. Wright in response to Brian Tucker s January 1, 2000 post entitled Re:Inductivism as
      Message 2 of 20 , Jan 3, 2000
        On Sunday, January 02, 2000 1:05 AM Bob Schacht wrote "Re: Crossan vs.
        Wright" in response to Brian Tucker's January 1, 2000 post entitled
        "Re:Inductivism as Inappropriate Method". I am responding to both, with
        much snipped material, in an attempt to be relatively brief, but I do quote
        extensively from some articles by Crossan and Wright, so be forewarned--it's
        not very brief!
        >>
        > On Sat, 01 Jan 2000 15:20:26 -0500 Brian Tucker <jbtucker@...>
        > writes:
        >
        >> > What is your opinion of Wright's description on his method in chapter
        > 4 of _New
        > > Testament and the People of God_. He defines his method as a critical
        > realist
        > > position "which acknowledges that all knowledge of realities external
        > to oneself
        > > takes place within the framework of a world view, of which stories
        > form an
        > > essential part." (NTPG 45) This removes his method from a narrow
        > empiricism
        > > a.k.a. positivism.
        >
        > Could you describe his method in more detail, please? All I know of it is
        > what I can see in Crossan's critique in BOC.
        > BTW, Crossan calls positivism "the impossible delusion" (The Birth of
        > Christianity, p. 41), so at least in that regard he seems to be in
        > agreement with Crossan.
        >
        > >
        > > Wright feels that his method has not be challenged his method, "Since
        > no one has
        > > yet engaged, far less attempted to refute, my arguments there, I am
        > not too
        > > anxious about gadfly like criticisms that sting the surface but do not
        > touch the
        > > substance." (1999:245)
        > >
        >
        > He evidently has not read Crossan's BOC.
        >
        > > Crossan critiques his presuppositions (1998:95-99) but does not
        > interact with
        > > his critical realist method but does touch on his hypothesis and
        > verification
        > > methodology. Is there any bibliography critiquing Wright's method, or
        > do you
        > > have thoughts on the weaknesses of his method?
        > >
        >
        > > A chart comparing Crossan's proposed method with Wright's method would
        > be
        > > helpful at this point - any volunteers?
        > >
        >
        > How 'bout you starting, with the main points of Wright's method?

        Sukie Curtis writes:

        You might be interested in a "Review Debate" between Crossan and Wright that
        appeared in the Scottish Journal of Theology, 1997, v. 50, n. 30, pp.
        345-379, in which Crossan reviewed _Jesus and the Victory of God_ and Wright
        responded. (THey have done/are doing a similar debate in reverse, with
        Wright reviewing _The Birth of Christianity_ and Crossan responding.) In
        Crossan's review he says much the same as in TBOC, pp. 96-100, about
        Wright's presuppositions and method, but it is a somehwat fuller and blunter
        critique, some of which I will quote here.

        1. On Presuppositions: "Everyone, as I understand it, must make certian
        decision about the nature and relationships of both intracanonical and
        extracanonical gospels *before* attempting to reconstruct the historical
        Jesus. Those conclusions are presuppositions for any reconstruction. . .
        .My criticism is that, first, you have not lcearly and openly expressed your
        own presuppositions but only hinted at them. And that, second, you use
        snide if not sneering dismissals instead of argued alternatives against
        opposing presuppositions. . . .All you have to do is announce your
        opposition and explain your alternative. . . .You have not earned nor even
        argued for your own presuppositions on gospel relations. You have simply
        derided the general consensus. " (347, 349).
        That "general consensus" he describes as follows: "The gospels are
        tradition, not just continuing, developing, or even agglutinative tradition,
        but, I need a special word, *absorptive tradition* in which earlier accounts
        are swallowed whole into later ones. That is the general judgment of
        tradition criticism....It is, of course, an historical reconstruction about
        gospel contents and relations and not at all about the historical Jesus.
        But it is by now for me, and I presume many others, a presupposition which
        must be *accepted, adapted, or replaced* in any future work on the the
        historical Jesus." (348-8)

        2. On Methods. Crossan quotes Wright as follows, (whose pompous language,
        IMO, is at times nearly unbearable!): "The pursuit of truth--historical
        truth--is what the Third Quest is all about. Serious historical method, as
        opposed to the pseudo-historical use of home-made 'criteria', is making a
        come-back in the Third Quest....the task before the serious historican of
        Jesus is not in the first instance conceived as the resonstruction of
        traditions about Jesus...but the advancement of serious historical
        hypostheses--that is, the telling of large-scale narratives--about Jesus
        himself, and the examination of the *prima facie* relevant data to see how
        they fit" (JVG, 87-88). And Wright goes on to give the example of "Nobody
        grumbles at a book on Alexander the Great if, in telling the story, the
        author 'harmonizes' two or three sources; this is his or her job, to advance
        hypostheses which draw together the data..." (88).
        To which Crossan responds: "Methods for historical Jesus research depend
        on gospel presuppostions.....The validity of one's Jesus-conclusions stand
        or fall with that one's gospel-presuppositoins....If, for example, the three
        synoptics are independent accounts of divergent Jesus-performances (which,
        *a priori*, is utterly possible), your method of 'coherent synthesis' is
        probably the best even only way to proceed. But if the results of tradition
        criticism are basically correct, then you have produced an elegant
        fundamentalism by taking a theology of the synoptic tradition and calling it
        a life of the historical Jesus." (351)
        To which Wright responds: "To say that one must first decide about
        tradition-hsitory before reaching a judgment about Jesus is precisely a
        renewed-new-quest ploy. It thus ineveitably comes across as a further
        attempt to rule (what I call) the 'third quest' off the map." (361) That is
        clearly a rather large methodological difference between the two.
        Later Wright states: "There is another particular reason for this
        postponement of a detailed account of gospel origins. There is actually no
        current consensus about gospel sources. ... Ever since I read Streeter and
        Farmer in the same week in 1972 I have been uncomfortably aware that the
        same data can be interpreted in at least two quite different ways. It would
        be good in theory if we could establish a theory of synoptic relationships
        once and for all, but in the light of current research I do not think that
        this is likely." (364)

        In other word, it would appear (to me anyway) that Wright's method is what
        it is or proceeds as it does at least in part because he is uncomfortable
        coming down one way or another on gospel sources and relationships.

        This post has gone on quite long enough (my apologies)--hope that you find
        plowing through it helpful in continuing this discussion of method. I agree
        with both Brian and Bob that it's important.

        Sukie Curtis
        Cumberland Foreside, Maine


        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
        > crosstalk2-subscribe@egroups.com To unsubscribe, send an e-mail
        > to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@egroups.com To contact list managers,
        > e-mail us at: crosstalk2-owners@egroups.com
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        > Want to send money instantly to anyone, anywhere, anytime? You
        > can today at X.com - and we'll give you $20 to try it! Sign up
        > today at X.com. It's quick, free, & there's no obligation!
        > http://click.egroups.com/1/332/1/_/713/_/946793272
        >
        >
        > eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2
        > http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Robert M Schacht
        On Mon, 3 Jan 2000 12:07:51 -0500 Sukie Curtis ... vs. ... with ... quote ... Sukie, ... chapter 4 of _New ... critical realist ...
        Message 3 of 20 , Jan 3, 2000
          On Mon, 3 Jan 2000 12:07:51 -0500 "Sukie Curtis" <sbcurtis@...>
          writes:
          >
          >
          > On Sunday, January 02, 2000 1:05 AM Bob Schacht wrote "Re: Crossan
          vs.
          > Wright" in response to Brian Tucker's January 1, 2000 post entitled
          > "Re:Inductivism as Inappropriate Method". I am responding to both,
          with
          > much snipped material, in an attempt to be relatively brief, but I do
          quote
          > extensively from some articles by Crossan and Wright...
          >

          Sukie,
          Thanks for another great post! More:

          >>
          > > On Sat, 01 Jan 2000 15:20:26 -0500 Brian Tucker
          <jbtucker@...> writes:
          > >
          > >> > What is your opinion of Wright's description on his method in
          chapter 4 of _New
          > > > Testament and the People of God_. He defines his method as a
          critical realist
          > > > position "which acknowledges that all knowledge of realities
          external to oneself
          > > > takes place within the framework of a world view, of which stories
          form an
          > > > essential part." (NTPG 45) ...
          > > > Wright feels that his method has not be challenged his method,
          "Since no one has
          > > > yet engaged, far less attempted to refute, my arguments there, I am
          not too
          > > > anxious about gadfly like criticisms that sting the surface but do
          not touch the
          > > > substance." (1999:245)
          > > >

          Perhaps he was refering to Jesus & the Restoration of Israel : A Critical
          Assessment of N.T. Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God, by Carey C.
          Newman (Editor) Paperback - 280 pages (November 1999) Intervarsity Pr;
          ISBN: 0830815872

          "Jesus & the Restoration of Israel is a serious attempt
          to offer a multifaceted
          and critical appreciation and assessment of Wright's
          work. Essays focus on
          Israel's continuing exile, Jesus as prophet, his
          christology, apocalyptic
          sayings, parables and ethics. The entire portrait of
          Jesus is evaluated from
          the standpoint of philosophy and systematic theology.
          Wright then responds
          to the essayists, and Marcus Borg, a prominent Jesus
          scholar and Wright's
          frequent dialogue partner, offers his critical appraisal
          of the discussion.

          Essayists are Dale C. Allison Jr., Craig L. Blomberg,
          Darrell L. Bock,
          Marcus Borg, Paul R. Eddy, Craig A. Evans, C. Stephen
          Evans, Richard B.
          Hays, Luke Timothy Johnson, Alister E. McGrath, Carey C.
          Newman,
          Klyne R. Snodgrass and N. T. Wright."

          Reviews of this book have been disappointing. Has anyone here read it?

          Brian Tucker continued:
          > > > Crossan critiques his presuppositions (1998:95-99) but does not
          interact with
          > > > his critical realist method but does touch on his hypothesis and
          verification
          > > > methodology. Is there any bibliography critiquing Wright's method,
          or do you
          > > > have thoughts on the weaknesses of his method?...

          You might try the book cited above, but I think Sukie's extracts below of
          a "dialogue" between Crossan and Wright may be more interesting.

          > Sukie Curtis writes:
          >
          > You might be interested in a "Review Debate" between Crossan and
          Wright that
          > appeared in the Scottish Journal of Theology, 1997, v. 50, n. 30, pp.
          345-379, in which Crossan reviewed
          > _Jesus and the Victory of God_ and Wright responded. (THey have
          done/are doing a similar debate in reverse,
          > with Wright reviewing _The Birth of Christianity_ and Crossan
          responding.) In
          > Crossan's review he says much the same as in TBOC, pp. 96-100, about
          > Wright's presuppositions and method, but it is a somehwat fuller and
          blunter
          > critique, some of which I will quote here.
          >
          > 1. On Presuppositions: "Everyone, as I understand it, must make
          certian
          > decision about the nature and relationships of both intracanonical and
          > extracanonical gospels *before* attempting to reconstruct the
          historical
          > Jesus. Those conclusions are presuppositions for any reconstruction.
          . .
          > .My criticism is that, first, you have not clearly and openly
          expressed your
          > own presuppositions but only hinted at them. And that, second, you
          use
          > snide if not sneering dismissals instead of argued alternatives
          against
          > opposing presuppositions. . . .All you have to do is announce your
          > opposition and explain your alternative. . . .You have not earned nor
          even
          > argued for your own presuppositions on gospel relations. You have
          simply
          > derided the general consensus. " (347, 349).
          > That "general consensus" he [i.e., Crossan?] describes as follows:
          "The gospels are
          > tradition, not just continuing, developing, or even agglutinative
          tradition,
          > but, I need a special word, *absorptive tradition* in which earlier
          accounts
          > are swallowed whole into later ones. That is the general judgment of
          > tradition criticism....It is, of course, an historical reconstruction
          about
          > gospel contents and relations and not at all about the historical
          Jesus.
          > But it is by now for me, and I presume many others, a presupposition
          which
          > must be *accepted, adapted, or replaced* in any future work on the the
          > historical Jesus." (348-8)
          >

          This "general concensus" is overstated, isn't it? I mean, Matthew and
          Luke did not just absorb Mark, but left some stuff out, and rearranged
          what was kept, no?

          > 2. On Methods. Crossan quotes Wright as follows, (whose pompous
          language,
          > IMO, is at times nearly unbearable!): "The pursuit of
          truth--historical
          > truth--is what the Third Quest is all about. Serious historical
          method, as
          > opposed to the pseudo-historical use of home-made 'criteria', is
          making a
          > come-back in the Third Quest....the task before the serious historican
          of
          > Jesus is not in the first instance conceived as the reconstruction of
          > traditions about Jesus...

          This is a slap at Crossan, TBOC, p. 44, I think.

          > but the advancement of serious historical
          > hypotheses--that is, the telling of large-scale narratives--about
          Jesus
          > himself, and the examination of the *prima facie* relevant data to see
          how
          > they fit" (JVG, 87-88).

          Wright seems to be using the word "hypotheses" in a special way here.
          Large-scale narratives make poor hypotheses, IMHO.

          > And Wright goes on to give the example of "Nobody
          > grumbles at a book on Alexander the Great if, in telling the story,
          the
          > author 'harmonizes' two or three sources; this is his or her job, to
          advance
          > hypotheses which draw together the data..." (88).

          Crossan quotes this passage in TBOC, p.98

          > To which Crossan responds: "Methods for historical Jesus research
          depend
          > on gospel presuppostions.....The validity of one's Jesus-conclusions
          stand
          > or fall with that one's gospel-presuppositoins....If, for example, the
          three
          > synoptics are independent accounts of divergent Jesus-performances
          (which,
          > *a priori*, is utterly possible), your method of 'coherent synthesis'
          is
          > probably the best even only way to proceed. But if the results of
          tradition
          > criticism are basically correct, then you have produced an elegant
          > fundamentalism by taking a theology of the synoptic tradition and
          calling it
          > a life of the historical Jesus." (351)
          > To which Wright responds: "To say that one must first decide about
          > tradition-hsitory before reaching a judgment about Jesus is precisely
          a
          > renewed-new-quest ploy. It thus ineveitably comes across as a further
          > attempt to rule (what I call) the 'third quest' off the map." (361)
          > That is clearly a rather large methodological difference between the
          two.

          Thanks for collating this dialogue for us! These are difficult questions:
          Must we decide, say, all questions of source-criticism before we go any
          further? Crossan says we must, while Wright objects. To a certain extent,
          Crossan is correct. For example, if we want to use the criterion of
          multiple attestation, we must decide in advance what counts as
          "multiple"! And this means taking a stance on Source-critical issues. For
          example, does a saying in the triple tradition count once, or 3 times? Is
          it multiply attested, or not? And it somehow does not seem legitimate to
          argue sometimes that triple source sayings are multiply attested, but
          other times that they're not. So part of constructing the corpus
          (inventory) on which any analysis is based involves these types of
          decisions. I think the thing to do is state our default stance on these
          issues at the beginning of the analysis, and then if we wish to argue
          another way, we need to provide justification for deviating from our
          default stance.
          However, if we are not relying on multliple attestation as a criterion,
          then perhaps there's no reason to force the issue of what our
          Source-critical position is.

          > Later Wright states: "There is another particular reason for this
          > postponement of a detailed account of gospel origins. There is
          actually no
          > current consensus about gospel sources. ... Ever since I read Streeter
          and
          > Farmer in the same week in 1972 I have been uncomfortably aware that
          the
          > same data can be interpreted in at least two quite different ways. It
          would
          > be good in theory if we could establish a theory of synoptic
          relationships
          > once and for all, but in the light of current research I do not think
          that
          > this is likely." (364)
          >
          > In other word, it would appear (to me anyway) that Wright's method is
          what
          > it is or proceeds as it does at least in part because he is
          uncomfortable
          > coming down one way or another on gospel sources and relationships.
          >
          > This post has gone on quite long enough (my apologies)--hope that you
          find
          > plowing through it helpful in continuing this discussion of method. I
          agree
          > with both Brian and Bob that it's important.
          >
          > Sukie Curtis

          Again, thanks a bunch, Sukie!
          It is interesting that much of their dialogue here seems to concern
          whether or not one must take a source-critical stance before analyzing
          the texts. Are they just using that as an example, or are their
          differences mostly about these source-critical issues? Is there anything
          else of interest in this debate? Do you have access to Wright's review of
          BTOC?

          Bob
        • Jacob Knee
          Yes, I have this book and like it. I m intrigued to know what points have been made criticising it in reviews. It is non partisan though not completeist
          Message 4 of 20 , Jan 3, 2000
            Yes, I have this book and like it. I'm intrigued to know what points have
            been made criticising it in reviews. It is non partisan though not
            'completeist' (there are no Jesus seminar folks, I think). The various
            papers flag up key issues in relation to Wright's overall thesis. I've
            enjoyed particularly reading the papers concerning Wright's claims about the
            Israel and exile and about the nature of apocalyptic language.

            Tell me more about the reviews...!

            Best wishes,
            Jacob Knee
            (Boston, England)

            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Robert M Schacht [mailto:bobschacht@...]
            > Sent: 03 January 2000 22:11
            > To: crosstalk2@egroups.com
            > Subject: [XTalk] Re: Re:Crossan vs. Wright
            >
            >
            > > > >
            >
            > Perhaps he was refering to Jesus & the Restoration of Israel : A Critical
            > Assessment of N.T. Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God, by Carey C.
            > Newman (Editor) Paperback - 280 pages (November 1999) Intervarsity Pr;
            > ISBN: 0830815872
            >
            > "Jesus & the Restoration of Israel is a serious attempt
            > to offer a multifaceted
            > and critical appreciation and assessment of Wright's
            > work. Essays focus on
            > Israel's continuing exile, Jesus as prophet, his
            > christology, apocalyptic
            > sayings, parables and ethics. The entire portrait of
            > Jesus is evaluated from
            > the standpoint of philosophy and systematic theology.
            > Wright then responds
            > to the essayists, and Marcus Borg, a prominent Jesus
            > scholar and Wright's
            > frequent dialogue partner, offers his critical appraisal
            > of the discussion.
            >
            > Essayists are Dale C. Allison Jr., Craig L. Blomberg,
            > Darrell L. Bock,
            > Marcus Borg, Paul R. Eddy, Craig A. Evans, C. Stephen
            > Evans, Richard B.
            > Hays, Luke Timothy Johnson, Alister E. McGrath, Carey C.
            > Newman,
            > Klyne R. Snodgrass and N. T. Wright."
            >
            > Reviews of this book have been disappointing. Has anyone here read it?
            >
            >
          • Brian Tucker
            Chart Comparing Wright and Crossan s Historical Method N.T. Wright D. Crossan Hypothesis and Verification
            Message 5 of 20 , Jan 3, 2000
              Chart Comparing Wright and Crossan's Historical Method

              N.T. Wright D. Crossan

              Hypothesis and Verification Interdisciplinary Method
              (Eclectic Method) (Interactivism)

              1. Historical Sources 1. Interdisciplinary Sources

              1.a literary 1.a literary
              criticism
              1.b archaeological 1.b lower Galilean
              archaeology
              1.c numismatic 1.c Judeo-Roman history
              1.d hypothetical statements of beliefs 1.d Cross-cultural Anthropology

              2. Induction/Abduction 2. Interactive
              (inference of best explanation) (with all the above)

              3. Re-creation of Past experiences 3. Weigh above in hierarchy
              3.a Why people behaved a certain way? 3.a Similar question
              3.b Establish causal nexus 3.b occurs in step 4 for
              Cros.
              3.b.1 Worldviews
              3.b.2 Mindsets
              3.b.3 Beliefs
              3.b.4 Aims
              3.b.5 These explain the intentional
              actions of history.

              4. Historical method is a distinct 4. Stages
              branch of how we know things. 4.a Context - Reconstruct the
              context
              4.b Text - Est.
              earliest layer of trad.
              4.c Conjunction
              - link the two.

              Side note Non-canonical sources
              don't offer much for Wright. This
              differs with 4.b of Crossan.

              Results
              1. The role of pre-sups seem to impact their final outcome because
              there are a number of similarities in their method.
              2. There are some epistemological issues in which they are at odds.
              3. This chart is only a beginning and is in need of development.
              4. The work of these two has brought out the importance of defining method.
              5. Information from: Birth of Christianity, Victory of God, Restoration of
              Israel.
              6. Agrees with Crossan that historical research is crucial (vs. Luke Johnson)
              but disagrees with Crossan in his actual use of historical methods and his
              skeptical and skewed results.

              P.S. The posts from Bob and Sukie have proven to be well worth the time to read
              on this important subject.

              Thanks
              Brian Tucker
              jbtucker@...
              Riverview, MI
            • Robert M Schacht
              ... Critical ... Darrell L. Bock, ... Evans, Richard B. ... C. Newman, ... On Tue, 4 Jan 2000 00:15:18 -0000 Jacob Knee ... have ...
              Message 6 of 20 , Jan 3, 2000
                I wrote:
                > From: Robert M Schacht [mailto:bobschacht@...]
                > Sent: 03 January 2000 22:11
                > To: crosstalk2@egroups.com
                > Subject: [XTalk] Re: Re:Crossan vs. Wright
                >
                > Perhaps he was refering to Jesus & the Restoration of Israel : A
                Critical
                > Assessment of N.T. Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God, by Carey C.
                > Newman (Editor) Paperback - 280 pages (November 1999) Intervarsity Pr;
                > ISBN: 0830815872...
                >
                > Essayists are Dale C. Allison Jr., Craig L. Blomberg,
                Darrell L. Bock,
                > Marcus Borg, Paul R. Eddy, Craig A. Evans, C. Stephen
                Evans, Richard B.
                > Hays, Luke Timothy Johnson, Alister E. McGrath, Carey
                C. Newman,
                > Klyne R. Snodgrass and N. T. Wright."
                >
                > Reviews of this book have been disappointing. Has anyone here read it?


                On Tue, 4 Jan 2000 00:15:18 -0000 "Jacob Knee" <jknee@...>
                responded:
                > Yes, I have this book and like it. I'm intrigued to know what points
                have
                > been made criticising it in reviews. It is non partisan though not
                > 'completeist' (there are no Jesus seminar folks, I think). The various
                > papers flag up key issues in relation to Wright's overall thesis. I've
                > enjoyed particularly reading the papers concerning Wright's claims
                about the
                > Israel and exile and about the nature of apocalyptic language.
                >
                > Tell me more about the reviews...!
                >
                > Best wishes,
                > Jacob Knee
                > (Boston, England)

                The only reviews I have seen are at Amazon.com, by customers. One wrote:

                "While there is some good material contained in the book, for the MOST
                part the reviews were shallow and picky. At times, you
                wondered whether
                the reviewer had really read Wright's book, or, at
                least, really tried to
                come to grips with it. Most of the responses were
                obviously emotional
                reactions to Wright's reading of apocalytic...
                In general, there was very little substantive provided by way of
                "working through" Wright's ideas. This was clearly an
                opportunity for
                many of these more "evangelical" scholars to gain
                respect for their
                scholarship, but, sadly, they showed just how their
                dominant theological
                view can be and how it can inhibit scholarly objective
                research.
                Part of the fault of the book must lie with the format of the book
                itself.
                ...It seems it would have gone very differently if some
                of the top scholars had been chosen to review his work
                (e.g., Sanders,
                Witherington), and the subject areas limited to those
                actually dealt with by
                Wright. Several of the reviewers actually stated that it
                was a bit unfair of
                them to review his work when he did not actually deal
                with the topic of
                their critique! This project thus began on the wrong
                foot and hobbled along
                the entire course. This is why, in his response to his
                reviewers, Wright had
                more than a few hard words for them. "

                Another customer wrote:

                "In his response to the various appraisals of his book,
                in a concluding
                chapter, Wright makes it clear that he thinks many of
                the reviewers have not
                thoroughly read or understood his position. At times, he
                explicitly
                communicates his impatience and is clearly irritated by
                their failure to
                understand his points.

                Most of the criticisms of Wright focus on two key
                issues--several
                reviewers think: 1) that Wright is guilty of a "realized
                eschatology," and
                reduces Jesus' eschatology to a renewal of a
                this-worldly order, thereby
                denying the destruction of this time/space continuum;
                and, in this same vein,
                2) that Wright is guilty of affirming a "physical"
                resurrection of the body,
                rather than a new "spiritual" body; and some seem unsure
                Wright even
                affirms a real resurrection of Jesus.

                Basically, Wright's response to these criticisms is: 1)
                that he is focusing
                only on Jesus' view based on the synoptic texts, and
                against the background
                of the 1st century Jewish worldview, and that his own
                view is best
                captured by the phrase "inaugurated eschatology"; and 2)
                that he does not
                deny a "real" resurrection of Jesus, but Jesus does not
                expound this topic
                himself; and he will deal with it in the next volume.

                I shared Wright's reaction. While a couple of the
                reviewers specificaly
                noted they had struggled to see things from within the
                new perspective
                offered by Wright, and had changed some of their views,
                still, most of the
                criticisms stood firm within the older perspective and
                really did not offer
                arguments to refute Wright's position--this is what
                caused Wright's
                response to be so sharp. "

                These reviews deal more with content than with method. Did you see
                anything in the book relating more to his method?

                Bob
              • Jacob Knee
                Not in the sense you re using it. Luke Johnson rather severly criticises Wright for confusing, in effect, theology with history. His is a methodological piece
                Message 7 of 20 , Jan 4, 2000
                  Not in the sense you re using it. Luke Johnson rather severly criticises
                  Wright for confusing, in effect, theology with history. His is a
                  methodological piece but written from a 'meta-perspecive' rather than the
                  knitty gritty of historiography.

                  I like the book under discussion and have found it a useful way to
                  concentrate thought about Wright's work. I am clear that whilst none of the
                  scholars is (yet) of the stature of E.P.Sanders, many of them have produced
                  very signifiant work, and for my tastes, many are at least as challenging
                  and stimulating as the work of Witherington, if not rather more so.

                  Jacob Knee
                  (Boston, England)
                  >
                  > These reviews deal more with content than with method. Did you see
                  > anything in the book relating more to his method?
                  >
                  > Bob
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@egroups.com
                  > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  > To contact list managers, e-mail us at: crosstalk2-owners@egroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  > BREAKTHROUGH ALTERNATIVE TO VIAGRA
                  > NOW AVAILABLE WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION!
                  > http://click.egroups.com/1/619/1/_/713/_/946959851
                  >
                  > eGroups.com Home: http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2/
                  > http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Ron Price
                  ... True. Moreover this decision has a strong bearing on people s reconstruction of Jesus. Thus the sort of people who keep saying: All four gospels agree
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jan 4, 2000
                    Robert Schacht wrote:

                    > To a certain extent,
                    >Crossan is correct. For example, if we want to use the criterion of
                    >multiple attestation, we must decide in advance what counts as
                    >"multiple"!

                    True. Moreover this 'decision' has a strong bearing on people's
                    reconstruction of Jesus. Thus the sort of people who keep saying: "All
                    four gospels agree that ....." end up with a very conservative picture
                    of Jesus. Those who think that Q and Thomas are the only worthwhile
                    independent sources end up (surprise, surprise) with a view of Jesus as
                    merely a benign apolitical Teacher.
                    But I would go further than your "if". Bearing in mind the
                    difficulties involved in trying to reconstruct the historical Jesus it
                    would surely be sensible to use every available tool.

                    Sukie Curtis quotes Wright as asserting:

                    >> It would be good in theory if we could establish a theory of
                    >> synoptic relationships once and for all, but in the light of
                    >> current research I do not think that this is likely.

                    We will never have confidence in a reconstruction of the
                    historical Jesus unless we can also explain how the historical
                    Jesus was transformed into the Jesus of the gospels. This
                    cannot be done without solving the synoptic problem.

                    In any case I think I **have** solved it (see my Web site)
                    and challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

                    Ron Price

                    Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

                    e-mail: ron.price@...

                    Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                  • William Arnal
                    ... This is simply not true. One might say that those who focus on Q and Thomas end up with a Jesus largely devoid of recognizable CHRISTOLOGICAL associations,
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jan 4, 2000
                      At 02:44 PM 1/4/00 +0000, Ron Price wrote:

                      >of Jesus. Those who think that Q and Thomas are the only worthwhile
                      >independent sources end up (surprise, surprise) with a view of Jesus as
                      >merely a benign apolitical Teacher.

                      This is simply not true. One might say that those who focus on Q and Thomas
                      end up with a Jesus largely devoid of recognizable CHRISTOLOGICAL
                      associations, but hardly apolitical. This doesn't do jusrtice to the work
                      that has been done in this area.

                      Bill
                      __________________________________
                      William Arnal wea1@...
                      Religion/Classics check out my web page, at:
                      New York University http://pages.nyu.edu/~wea1/
                    • Sukie Curtis
                      ... Glad you enjoyed it. ... [snipped] ... Yes, that he is Crossan. ... I suppose you could make a case for some other term, but it seems to me that Mt and Lk
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jan 4, 2000
                        Back to Bob Schacht, who wrote:
                        >
                        > Sukie,
                        > Thanks for another great post!

                        Glad you enjoyed it.

                        >More:

                        [snipped]
                        > > Sukie Curtis writes:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > That "general consensus" he [i.e., Crossan?]

                        Yes, that he is Crossan.

                        describes as follows:
                        > "The gospels are
                        > > tradition, not just continuing, developing, or even agglutinative
                        > tradition,
                        > > but, I need a special word, *absorptive tradition* in which earlier
                        > accounts
                        > > are swallowed whole into later ones. That is the general judgment of
                        > > tradition criticism....It is, of course, an historical reconstruction
                        > about
                        > > gospel contents and relations and not at all about the historical
                        > Jesus.
                        > > But it is by now for me, and I presume many others, a presupposition
                        > which
                        > > must be *accepted, adapted, or replaced* in any future work on the the
                        > > historical Jesus." (348-8)
                        > >
                        >
                        > This "general concensus" is overstated, isn't it? I mean, Matthew and
                        > Luke did not just absorb Mark, but left some stuff out, and rearranged
                        > what was kept, no?

                        I suppose you could make a case for some other term, but it seems to me that
                        Mt and Lk have first "swallowed Mark whole," then done some editing, some
                        rearranging (and some regurgitation?). The "flow" of the tradition seems
                        closer to absorptive than say, if Mk, Mt, and Lk were simply sequential
                        links in a chain, or if Mt and Lk had just borrowed ideas or themes from Mk,
                        but not copied anything outright.
                        >
                        > > 2. On Methods. Crossan quotes Wright as follows, (whose pompous
                        > language,
                        > > IMO, is at times nearly unbearable!): "The pursuit of
                        > truth--historical
                        > > truth--is what the Third Quest is all about. Serious historical
                        > method, as
                        > > opposed to the pseudo-historical use of home-made 'criteria', is
                        > making a
                        > > come-back in the Third Quest....the task before the serious historican
                        > of
                        > > Jesus is not in the first instance conceived as the reconstruction of
                        > > traditions about Jesus...
                        >
                        > This is a slap at Crossan, TBOC, p. 44, I think.
                        >
                        > > but the advancement of serious historical
                        > > hypotheses--that is, the telling of large-scale narratives--about
                        > Jesus
                        > > himself, and the examination of the *prima facie* relevant data to see
                        > how
                        > > they fit" (JVG, 87-88).
                        >
                        > Wright seems to be using the word "hypotheses" in a special way here.
                        > Large-scale narratives make poor hypotheses, IMHO.
                        >
                        > > And Wright goes on to give the example of "Nobody
                        > > grumbles at a book on Alexander the Great if, in telling the story,
                        > the
                        > > author 'harmonizes' two or three sources; this is his or her job, to
                        > advance
                        > > hypotheses which draw together the data..." (88).
                        >
                        > Crossan quotes this passage in TBOC, p.98
                        >
                        > > To which Crossan responds: "Methods for historical Jesus research
                        > depend
                        > > on gospel presuppostions.....The validity of one's Jesus-conclusions
                        > stand
                        > > or fall with that one's gospel-presuppositoins....If, for example, the
                        > three
                        > > synoptics are independent accounts of divergent Jesus-performances
                        > (which,
                        > > *a priori*, is utterly possible), your method of 'coherent synthesis'
                        > is
                        > > probably the best even only way to proceed. But if the results of
                        > tradition
                        > > criticism are basically correct, then you have produced an elegant
                        > > fundamentalism by taking a theology of the synoptic tradition and
                        > calling it
                        > > a life of the historical Jesus." (351)
                        > > To which Wright responds: "To say that one must first decide about
                        > > tradition-hsitory before reaching a judgment about Jesus is precisely
                        > a
                        > > renewed-new-quest ploy. It thus ineveitably comes across as a further
                        > > attempt to rule (what I call) the 'third quest' off the map." (361)
                        > > That is clearly a rather large methodological difference between the
                        > two.
                        >
                        > Thanks for collating this dialogue for us! These are difficult questions:
                        > Must we decide, say, all questions of source-criticism before we go any
                        > further? Crossan says we must, while Wright objects. To a certain extent,
                        > Crossan is correct. For example, if we want to use the criterion of
                        > multiple attestation, we must decide in advance what counts as
                        > "multiple"! And this means taking a stance on Source-critical issues. For
                        > example, does a saying in the triple tradition count once, or 3 times? Is
                        > it multiply attested, or not? And it somehow does not seem legitimate to
                        > argue sometimes that triple source sayings are multiply attested, but
                        > other times that they're not. So part of constructing the corpus
                        > (inventory) on which any analysis is based involves these types of
                        > decisions. I think the thing to do is state our default stance on these
                        > issues at the beginning of the analysis, and then if we wish to argue
                        > another way, we need to provide justification for deviating from our
                        > default stance.
                        > However, if we are not relying on multliple attestation as a criterion,
                        > then perhaps there's no reason to force the issue of what our
                        > Source-critical position is.
                        >
                        > > Later Wright states: "There is another particular reason for this
                        > > postponement of a detailed account of gospel origins. There is
                        > actually no
                        > > current consensus about gospel sources. ... Ever since I read Streeter
                        > and
                        > > Farmer in the same week in 1972 I have been uncomfortably aware that
                        > the
                        > > same data can be interpreted in at least two quite different ways. It
                        > would
                        > > be good in theory if we could establish a theory of synoptic
                        > relationships
                        > > once and for all, but in the light of current research I do not think
                        > that
                        > > this is likely." (364)
                        > >
                        > > In other word, it would appear (to me anyway) that Wright's method is
                        > what
                        > > it is or proceeds as it does at least in part because he is
                        > uncomfortable
                        > > coming down one way or another on gospel sources and relationships.
                        > >
                        > > This post has gone on quite long enough (my apologies)--hope that you
                        > find
                        > > plowing through it helpful in continuing this discussion of method. I
                        > agree
                        > > with both Brian and Bob that it's important.
                        > >
                        > > Sukie Curtis
                        >
                        > Again, thanks a bunch, Sukie!
                        > It is interesting that much of their dialogue here seems to concern
                        > whether or not one must take a source-critical stance before analyzing
                        > the texts. Are they just using that as an example, or are their
                        > differences mostly about these source-critical issues?

                        I think that is a (the?) major *methodical* difference, and it seems a large
                        one to me. Wright puts himself and certain others in a "Third Quest" while
                        clearly wanting to leave Crossan in the "renewed new quest" category, and it
                        seems from his comment above (about a "renewed new quest ploy") that a good
                        part of the distinction for Wright lies in one's reliance on tradition
                        criticism in its various forms.


                        Is there anything
                        > else of interest in this debate?

                        Other topics Crossan addresses are Apocalyptic, Violence, and Justice, but
                        the discussion of presuppositions and method takes up half of his review,
                        the above topics the other half.
                        Do you have access to Wright's review of
                        > BTOC?

                        I do--can't remember much about it at the moment. Any specific questions
                        you wonder about it?

                        Sukie Curtis
                        Cumberland Foreside, Maine
                        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        > BREAKTHROUGH ALTERNATIVE TO VIAGRA NOW AVAILABLE WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION!
                        > http://click.egroups.com/1/619/1/_/713/_/946937751
                        >
                        >
                        > eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2
                        > http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Mike Myers
                        Sukie wrote: In other words, it would appear (to me anyway) that Wright s method is what it is or proceeds as it does at least in part because he is
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jan 4, 2000
                          Sukie wrote:

                          "In other words, it would appear (to me anyway) that Wright's method
                          is what it is or proceeds as it does at least in part because he is
                          uncomfortable coming down one way or another on gospel sources and
                          relationships."
                          **************************************************************

                          I absolutely agree that the debate between these two is extremely
                          important. But I am even more fascinated by scholarly reaction to
                          it. Sukie, could you elaborate a little on why you've come to this
                          judgment of yours on NT Wright's alleged discomfort? I would be
                          eager to hear some more from you on your impressions. And from any
                          others too.

                          Thanksabunch,
                          Mike

                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          Michael D. A. Myers
                          Physiology and Biophysics
                          University of California, Irvine
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                          <mmyers@...>
                          01/04/2000
                          13:35:51
                        • Jacob Knee
                          It is also interesting that E.P Sanders claims that his historical Jesus work is not committed to any one solution to the question of the relationships of the
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jan 4, 2000
                            It is also interesting that E.P Sanders claims that his historical Jesus
                            work is not committed to any one solution to the question of the
                            relationships of the Gospel texts. As I remember it, he argues this is a
                            virtue of his work.

                            There's also an interesting critique by Dale Allison of Crossan's
                            methodology in his book 'Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet' - part of
                            which is a critique of his weighing of source relationships.

                            Jacob Knee
                            (Boston, England)

                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: Mike Myers [mailto:mmyers@...]
                            > Sent: 04 January 2000 21:36
                            > To: crosstalk2@egroups.com
                            > Subject: [XTalk] Re: Re:Crossan vs. Wright
                            >
                            >
                            > Sukie wrote:
                            >
                            > "In other words, it would appear (to me anyway) that Wright's method
                            > is what it is or proceeds as it does at least in part because he is
                            > uncomfortable coming down one way or another on gospel sources and
                            > relationships."
                            > **************************************************************
                            >
                            > I absolutely agree that the debate between these two is extremely
                            > important. But I am even more fascinated by scholarly reaction to
                            > it. Sukie, could you elaborate a little on why you've come to this
                            > judgment of yours on NT Wright's alleged discomfort? I would be
                            > eager to hear some more from you on your impressions. And from any
                            > others too.
                            >
                            > Thanksabunch,
                            > Mike
                            >
                            > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            > Michael D. A. Myers
                            > Physiology and Biophysics
                            > University of California, Irvine
                            > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            >
                            > <mmyers@...>
                            > 01/04/2000
                            > 13:35:51
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@egroups.com
                            > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                            > To contact list managers, e-mail us at: crosstalk2-owners@egroups.com
                            >
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            > BREAKTHROUGH ALTERNATIVE TO VIAGRA
                            > NOW AVAILABLE WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION!
                            > http://click.egroups.com/1/619/1/_/713/_/947022191
                            >
                            >
                            > eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2
                            > http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • Sukie Curtis
                            ... Jacob, Could you give us a brief sense of Allison s critique? Sukie Curtis Cumberland Foreside, Maine
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jan 4, 2000
                              Jacob Knee wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > It is also interesting that E.P Sanders claims that his historical Jesus
                              > work is not committed to any one solution to the question of the
                              > relationships of the Gospel texts. As I remember it, he argues this is a
                              > virtue of his work.
                              >
                              > There's also an interesting critique by Dale Allison of Crossan's
                              > methodology in his book 'Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet' - part of
                              > which is a critique of his weighing of source relationships.

                              Jacob, Could you give us a brief sense of Allison's critique?

                              Sukie Curtis
                              Cumberland Foreside, Maine

                              >
                              >> >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              > > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
                              > crosstalk2-subscribe@egroups.com
                              > > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                              > > To contact list managers, e-mail us at: crosstalk2-owners@egroups.com
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              > > BREAKTHROUGH ALTERNATIVE TO VIAGRA
                              > > NOW AVAILABLE WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION!
                              > > http://click.egroups.com/1/619/1/_/713/_/947022191
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2
                              > > http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
                              > crosstalk2-subscribe@egroups.com To unsubscribe, send an e-mail
                              > to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@egroups.com To contact list managers,
                              > e-mail us at: crosstalk2-owners@egroups.com
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              > BREAKTHROUGH ALTERNATIVE TO VIAGRA NOW AVAILABLE WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION!
                              > http://click.egroups.com/1/619/1/_/713/_/947023265
                              >
                              > eGroups.com Home: http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2/
                              > http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
                              >
                              >
                              >
                            • Sukie Curtis
                              ... Mike, I m afraid it was not by any critical or scientific process that I arrived at that judgment, but more, as you say, impressions. Perhaps I have
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jan 4, 2000
                                Mike Myers wrote:
                                >
                                > Sukie wrote:
                                >
                                > "In other words, it would appear (to me anyway) that Wright's method
                                > is what it is or proceeds as it does at least in part because he is
                                > uncomfortable coming down one way or another on gospel sources and
                                > relationships."
                                > **************************************************************
                                >
                                > I absolutely agree that the debate between these two is extremely
                                > important. But I am even more fascinated by scholarly reaction to
                                > it. Sukie, could you elaborate a little on why you've come to this
                                > judgment of yours on NT Wright's alleged discomfort? I would be
                                > eager to hear some more from you on your impressions. And from any
                                > others too.

                                Mike, I'm afraid it was not by any critical or scientific process that I
                                arrived at that judgment, but more, as you say, "impressions." Perhaps I
                                have given too much weight to that one personal "confession" of Wright's:
                                "Ever since I read Streeter and Farmer in the same week in 1972 I have been
                                uncomfortably aware that the same data can be interpreted in at least two
                                quite different ways. It would be good in theory if we could establish a
                                theory of synoptic relationships once and for all, but in the light of
                                current research I do not think that this is likely."

                                Since I thought that part of the job of a historian was to decide on and
                                then work with what he/she determines is the best possible hypothesis to
                                explain the available data, even when there are two (or more) strong
                                contenders for that "best hypothesis," that statement of his caught my
                                attention. Perhaps to be fair, I should continue the quote as he does: "My
                                working hypothesis is that Luke used Mark (though I know some argue the
                                opposite), and I actually think it fairly likely that Matthew used Mark
                                (though some oppose that, too). But, after twenty-five years of study and
                                teaching, I am, as a historian, nowhere near as convinced about these oints,
                                still less about all that has been built up around them, as I am that Jesus
                                of Nazareth was a Jewish eschatological prophet who believed that the climaz
                                of Israel's history was occurring in and through him, his work, and his
                                approaching fate." (364) (That latter I see as a summary of his
                                "large-scale narrative" about Jesus.)

                                So he's really not even convinced that Matthew used Mark?! From other parts
                                of Crossan's crtiques (both in the Scottish Journal article and in TBOC) I
                                take it that Wright primarily expalins the various versions of sayings, etc.
                                in the synoptics (triple tradition, I guess) as multiple oral performances.
                                (It has been a while since I read JVG and I don't own a copy, so I'm not a
                                good person to represent Wright's position.)

                                Also, as pertains to Bob Schacht's (I think) question earlier, here's a
                                statement by Wright from his Scottish Journal response to Crossan: "The
                                critical differences between the renewed new quest and the third quest have
                                to do partly with presuppositions and methods. In upbraiding me for what I
                                do at those levels, you reinforce the very differences to which I have drawn
                                attention." (360) If I remember at all well, I think in JVG he also
                                suggests that other differences between these "quests" involve the very
                                deliberate setting of Jesus in his first century Jewish context, something
                                which Crossan does every bit as much as Wright. (I remember thinking
                                Wright's attempt to distinguish himself and other "Third Questers" (among
                                whom he includes Borg) was not very convincing.

                                Sukie Curtis
                                Cumberland Foreside, Maine


                                >
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
                                > crosstalk2-subscribe@egroups.com To unsubscribe, send an e-mail
                                > to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@egroups.com To contact list managers,
                                > e-mail us at: crosstalk2-owners@egroups.com
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                > BREAKTHROUGH ALTERNATIVE TO VIAGRA NOW AVAILABLE WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION!
                                > http://click.egroups.com/1/619/1/_/713/_/947022191
                                >
                                >
                                > eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2
                                > http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                              • Ron Price
                                ... William, There is a slight inconsistency here between simply not true which declares that I am totally wrong, and hardly which seems to concede that
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jan 5, 2000
                                  Ron Price wrote:

                                  >>Those who think that Q and Thomas are the only worthwhile
                                  >>independent sources end up ....... with a view of Jesus as
                                  >>merely a benign apolitical Teacher.

                                  William Arnal replied:
                                  >
                                  >This is simply not true. One might say that those who focus on Q and Thomas
                                  >end up with a Jesus largely devoid of recognizable CHRISTOLOGICAL
                                  >associations, but hardly apolitical.

                                  William,
                                  There is a slight inconsistency here between "simply not true" which
                                  declares that I am totally wrong, and "hardly" which seems to concede
                                  that
                                  there is at least a grain of truth in what I wrote.
                                  I would have thought that if Jesus was not actively collaborating with
                                  the
                                  Romans, was not sowing the seeds of imminent rebellion, and was not
                                  otherwise involved in politics, that he could be classed as
                                  "apolitical".
                                  However, assuming that you agree that the focus on Q and Thomas
                                  results
                                  from a positive assessment of these sources relative to others, then I
                                  am
                                  quite happy with your wording. For it supports the primary point I was
                                  making, namely that scholars' attitudes to the sources and their
                                  relationships have a strong bearing on the historical conclusions which
                                  they
                                  reach. So Crossan is right and Wright is wrong (please excuse the pun!).
                                  We
                                  cannot expect to be able to find the truth about the historical Jesus
                                  without
                                  solving the basic problems of the relationships between the sources on
                                  which that truth must be based.

                                  Ron Price

                                  Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

                                  e-mail: ron.price@...

                                  Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                                • William Arnal
                                  ... No -- I was using hardly in the sense of not at all. Excuse my lack of clarity. ... If that s your definition of apolitical, then it applies to
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jan 5, 2000
                                    At 10:28 AM 1/5/00 +0000, Ron Price wrote:

                                    > There is a slight inconsistency here between "simply not true" which
                                    >declares that I am totally wrong, and "hardly" which seems to concede
                                    >that
                                    >there is at least a grain of truth in what I wrote.

                                    No -- I was using "hardly" in the sense of "not at all." Excuse my lack of
                                    clarity.

                                    > I would have thought that if Jesus was not actively collaborating with
                                    >the
                                    >Romans, was not sowing the seeds of imminent rebellion, and was not
                                    >otherwise involved in politics, that he could be classed as
                                    >"apolitical".

                                    If that's your definition of apolitical, then it applies to reconstructions
                                    of Jesus -- at least plausible ones -- that emanate from sources other than
                                    Q and Thomas too.

                                    > However, assuming that you agree that the focus on Q and Thomas
                                    >results
                                    >from a positive assessment of these sources relative to others, then I
                                    >am
                                    >quite happy with your wording. For it supports the primary point I was
                                    >making, namely that scholars' attitudes to the sources and their
                                    >relationships have a strong bearing on the historical conclusions which
                                    >they
                                    >reach. So Crossan is right and Wright is wrong (please excuse the pun!).

                                    Yes!

                                    >We
                                    >cannot expect to be able to find the truth about the historical Jesus
                                    >without
                                    >solving the basic problems of the relationships between the sources on
                                    >which that truth must be based.

                                    Quite so.

                                    Bill
                                    __________________________________
                                    William Arnal wea1@...
                                    Religion/Classics check out my web page, at:
                                    New York University http://pages.nyu.edu/~wea1/
                                  • Jacob Knee
                                    As a preface I should say that Dale Allison s book was obviously written before the publication of the Birth of Christianity and so references only Crossan s
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jan 5, 2000
                                      As a preface I should say that Dale Allison's book was obviously written
                                      before the publication of the 'Birth of Christianity' and so references only
                                      Crossan's discussions in the 'Historical Jesus'. Though he does say that he
                                      engaged in fruitful 'panel discussions' with Crossan twice in 1997.

                                      He concentrates on criticising Crossan's methods in what Crossan calls the
                                      second and third triads of his methodology (inventory, stratification,
                                      attestation and sequence of strata, hierarchy of attestation, bracketing of
                                      singularity)

                                      1. Crossan is wrong to think that stratifying _documents_ is a great help in
                                      working towards a picture of Jesus. He is also wrong in Allison's view to
                                      postulate 'that at least for the first stratum everything is original until
                                      it is argued otherwise' (HJ xxxii). In addion his four cut off points for
                                      stratification are arbitrary, as of course they must be, but to then place
                                      significant weight on these arbitrary points (in particular to so prioritise
                                      the first stratum) is unjustifiable. Thus if Q dates to the 60s rather than
                                      40s or 50s almost a third of the items in the first strata move to the
                                      second. This is a significant change. If the Gospel of Thomas dates in the
                                      same way to the 60s rather than the 50s a further 28 complexes would be
                                      removed from the first strata. Crossan, like Allison, admits that the
                                      elements of his his methodology are only formal moves and invites others to
                                      suggest better ones (HJ xxxiv). Allsion does that and suggests if we are to
                                      stratify then the natural cut off point is the fall of the Temple, which
                                      marks a major turning point in the history of Gentile and Jewish
                                      Christianity. He also suggests it is methodologically better to err on the
                                      side of caution about the dating of documents, so to say to begin with the
                                      more certain and move to the less. Thus into his first strata of documents
                                      Allison admits only Paul, Mark and Q. But in the same breath he confesses he
                                      is unsure of the value of strafiying documents at all, because even using
                                      Crossan's strata only a few years separates Q from Mark, and Mark from L and
                                      as Crossan admits (eg in analysing the J the Baptist apocalyptic sayings)
                                      secondary strata can contain reliable evidence. Thus Allison argues the task
                                      is analysis of tradition units not documents and that the same analysis
                                      should be applied to all levels of the tradition (there should be no
                                      presumption about the first stratum).

                                      2. Allison goes on to criticise Crossan's use of multiple attestation saying
                                      that it is not obvious that singly attested sayings are to be presumed to be
                                      inauthentic. Indeed multiple attestation might be thought to be good
                                      evidence that the early church found the sayings conjenial. Thus multiple
                                      attestation runs in tension with dissimilarity.

                                      He then gives some statistical analyses of Crossan's analysis of the
                                      materials in the first stratum and interestingly finds that in Q, M, L, and
                                      Thomas, the greatest proportion of material that Crossan finds to be
                                      authentic is _doubly attested_ (rather than triply or more attested). This
                                      is not what you would expect from Crossan's declared methodology (see HJ
                                      xxxii). He also notes that in this first stratum single attestation is a bad
                                      thing, except in Q, for which Crossan counts 28% of singly attested
                                      traditions authentic. Finally he argues that Crossan tends to limit multiple
                                      attestation to sayings or complexes, not ideas but very occasionally uses it
                                      to include thematic multiple attestation (eg HJ p260). Does multiple
                                      attestation include themes or not? If it does, he argues that would alter
                                      Crossan's picture of Jesus not insignificantly (eg although no apocalyptic
                                      Son of Man saying is multiply attested, the idea is multiply attested).

                                      3. Tadition history. Allison alleges that Crossan typically establishes that
                                      a complex did not originate with Jesus through tradition history. He works
                                      through one of Crossan's tradition histories on Q12. 8- 9 (HJ p248-9).
                                      Crossan's tradition history leads him to argue this saying is inauthentic
                                      even though severally attested and from the first stratum. Allison offers an
                                      alternative tradition history. He argues the case is not whether Crossan's
                                      or his alternatives are possible, the case is that equally plausible
                                      tradition histories with very different outcomes are very easy to imagine.
                                      The better way then is to move from the more certain to the less by
                                      identifying what facts and generalisations we can reasonably know about
                                      Jesus _before_ entering the conjested world of tradition history.

                                      4. Uncertainty. Allsion wants to ask where are all the question marks in
                                      Crossan's analysis. That sometimes the verdict will be 'don't know' that the
                                      evidence is equivocal and the best thing is to say so. He imagines that
                                      Crossan might reply that the 'minus' sign means only that a tradition cannot
                                      safely be attributed to Jesus (that it might come from Jesus but we can't
                                      know). However in practice these traditions are excluded from Crossan's
                                      picture of Jesus and if he were to include them it would significantly alter
                                      his overall portrait (eg turning Jesus into an apocalyptic prophet). For
                                      Crosan such units can't be authentic.

                                      Sorry to have gone on for so long - this is the thrust of Allison's
                                      argument: there is significantly more detail that I have missed out (and
                                      more statistical analysis of Crossan's use of criteria of attestation). If
                                      you made it throught all of that I hope it was helpful!

                                      Best wishes,
                                      Jacob Knee
                                      >
                                    • Robert M Schacht
                                      On Tue, 4 Jan 2000 18:44:14 -0500 Sukie Curtis ... part of ... Yes, Jacob, please do. Bob
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Jan 5, 2000
                                        On Tue, 4 Jan 2000 18:44:14 -0500 "Sukie Curtis" <sbcurtis@...>
                                        writes:
                                        >
                                        > Jacob Knee wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >...There's also an interesting critique by Dale Allison of Crossan's
                                        > > methodology in his book 'Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet' -
                                        part of
                                        > > which is a critique of his weighing of source relationships.
                                        >
                                        > Jacob, Could you give us a brief sense of Allison's critique?
                                        >
                                        > Sukie Curtis

                                        Yes, Jacob, please do.

                                        Bob
                                      • Robert M Schacht
                                        On Tue, 4 Jan 2000 16:04:53 -0500 Sukie Curtis ... questions ... Well, maybe what are Wright s primary complaints about Crossan s
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Jan 5, 2000
                                          On Tue, 4 Jan 2000 16:04:53 -0500 "Sukie Curtis" <sbcurtis@...>
                                          writes:
                                          >
                                          > Back to Bob Schacht, who wrote:
                                          > ... Do you have access to Wright's review of TBOC?
                                          >
                                          > I do--can't remember much about it at the moment. Any specific
                                          questions
                                          > you wonder about it?
                                          >
                                          > Sukie Curtis

                                          Well, maybe what are Wright's primary complaints about Crossan's methods?

                                          Thanks,
                                          Bob
                                        • Sukie Curtis
                                          Jacob, Thanks for all that work answering my question about what Allison has to say about Crossan s method. It ll take a while to read and digest, but in the
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Jan 6, 2000
                                            Jacob,
                                            Thanks for all that work answering my question about what Allison has to say
                                            about Crossan's method. It'll take a while to read and digest, but in the
                                            meantime, thank you.

                                            Sukie Curtis
                                            Cumberland Foreside, Maine

                                            > -----Original Message-----
                                            > From: Jacob Knee [mailto:jknee@...]
                                            > Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2000 6:54 PM
                                            > To: crosstalk2@egroups.com
                                            > Subject: [XTalk] Re: Re:Crossan vs. Wright
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > As a preface I should say that Dale Allison's book was obviously written
                                            > before the publication of the 'Birth of Christianity' and so
                                            > references only
                                            > Crossan's discussions in the 'Historical Jesus'. Though he does
                                            > say that he
                                            > engaged in fruitful 'panel discussions' with Crossan twice in 1997.
                                            >
                                            > He concentrates on criticising Crossan's methods in what Crossan calls the
                                            > second and third triads of his methodology (inventory, stratification,
                                            > attestation and sequence of strata, hierarchy of attestation,
                                            > bracketing of
                                            > singularity)
                                            >
                                            > 1. Crossan is wrong to think that stratifying _documents_ is a
                                            > great help in
                                            > working towards a picture of Jesus. He is also wrong in Allison's view to
                                            > postulate 'that at least for the first stratum everything is
                                            > original until
                                            > it is argued otherwise' (HJ xxxii). In addion his four cut off points for
                                            > stratification are arbitrary, as of course they must be, but to then place
                                            > significant weight on these arbitrary points (in particular to so
                                            > prioritise
                                            > the first stratum) is unjustifiable. Thus if Q dates to the 60s
                                            > rather than
                                            > 40s or 50s almost a third of the items in the first strata move to the
                                            > second. This is a significant change. If the Gospel of Thomas dates in the
                                            > same way to the 60s rather than the 50s a further 28 complexes would be
                                            > removed from the first strata. Crossan, like Allison, admits that the
                                            > elements of his his methodology are only formal moves and invites
                                            > others to
                                            > suggest better ones (HJ xxxiv). Allsion does that and suggests if
                                            > we are to
                                            > stratify then the natural cut off point is the fall of the Temple, which
                                            > marks a major turning point in the history of Gentile and Jewish
                                            > Christianity. He also suggests it is methodologically better to err on the
                                            > side of caution about the dating of documents, so to say to begin with the
                                            > more certain and move to the less. Thus into his first strata of documents
                                            > Allison admits only Paul, Mark and Q. But in the same breath he
                                            > confesses he
                                            > is unsure of the value of strafiying documents at all, because even using
                                            > Crossan's strata only a few years separates Q from Mark, and Mark
                                            > from L and
                                            > as Crossan admits (eg in analysing the J the Baptist apocalyptic sayings)
                                            > secondary strata can contain reliable evidence. Thus Allison
                                            > argues the task
                                            > is analysis of tradition units not documents and that the same analysis
                                            > should be applied to all levels of the tradition (there should be no
                                            > presumption about the first stratum).
                                            >
                                            > 2. Allison goes on to criticise Crossan's use of multiple
                                            > attestation saying
                                            > that it is not obvious that singly attested sayings are to be
                                            > presumed to be
                                            > inauthentic. Indeed multiple attestation might be thought to be good
                                            > evidence that the early church found the sayings conjenial. Thus multiple
                                            > attestation runs in tension with dissimilarity.
                                            >
                                            > He then gives some statistical analyses of Crossan's analysis of the
                                            > materials in the first stratum and interestingly finds that in Q,
                                            > M, L, and
                                            > Thomas, the greatest proportion of material that Crossan finds to be
                                            > authentic is _doubly attested_ (rather than triply or more attested). This
                                            > is not what you would expect from Crossan's declared methodology (see HJ
                                            > xxxii). He also notes that in this first stratum single
                                            > attestation is a bad
                                            > thing, except in Q, for which Crossan counts 28% of singly attested
                                            > traditions authentic. Finally he argues that Crossan tends to
                                            > limit multiple
                                            > attestation to sayings or complexes, not ideas but very
                                            > occasionally uses it
                                            > to include thematic multiple attestation (eg HJ p260). Does multiple
                                            > attestation include themes or not? If it does, he argues that would alter
                                            > Crossan's picture of Jesus not insignificantly (eg although no apocalyptic
                                            > Son of Man saying is multiply attested, the idea is multiply attested).
                                            >
                                            > 3. Tadition history. Allison alleges that Crossan typically
                                            > establishes that
                                            > a complex did not originate with Jesus through tradition history. He works
                                            > through one of Crossan's tradition histories on Q12. 8- 9 (HJ p248-9).
                                            > Crossan's tradition history leads him to argue this saying is inauthentic
                                            > even though severally attested and from the first stratum.
                                            > Allison offers an
                                            > alternative tradition history. He argues the case is not whether Crossan's
                                            > or his alternatives are possible, the case is that equally plausible
                                            > tradition histories with very different outcomes are very easy to imagine.
                                            > The better way then is to move from the more certain to the less by
                                            > identifying what facts and generalisations we can reasonably know about
                                            > Jesus _before_ entering the conjested world of tradition history.
                                            >
                                            > 4. Uncertainty. Allsion wants to ask where are all the question marks in
                                            > Crossan's analysis. That sometimes the verdict will be 'don't
                                            > know' that the
                                            > evidence is equivocal and the best thing is to say so. He imagines that
                                            > Crossan might reply that the 'minus' sign means only that a
                                            > tradition cannot
                                            > safely be attributed to Jesus (that it might come from Jesus but we can't
                                            > know). However in practice these traditions are excluded from Crossan's
                                            > picture of Jesus and if he were to include them it would
                                            > significantly alter
                                            > his overall portrait (eg turning Jesus into an apocalyptic prophet). For
                                            > Crosan such units can't be authentic.
                                            >
                                            > Sorry to have gone on for so long - this is the thrust of Allison's
                                            > argument: there is significantly more detail that I have missed out (and
                                            > more statistical analysis of Crossan's use of criteria of attestation). If
                                            > you made it throught all of that I hope it was helpful!
                                            >
                                            > Best wishes,
                                            > Jacob Knee
                                            > >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
                                            > crosstalk2-subscribe@egroups.com To unsubscribe, send an e-mail
                                            > to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@egroups.com To contact list managers,
                                            > e-mail us at: crosstalk2-owners@egroups.com
                                            >
                                            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            > Looking for educational tools for you kids? Find everything you
                                            > need at SmarterKids.com
                                            > http://click.egroups.com/1/645/1/_/713/_/947116556
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2
                                            > http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.