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Re: Wright's Jesus

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  • Antonio Jerez
    Bill Arnal wrote ... My reason for writing the short paragraph about Tom Wright was to give a short summary of my overall view on Wright´s way of doing
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29, 2000
      Bill Arnal wrote
      > Do you seriously doubt that Crossan's theology affects his work?
      Bob Schacht wrote:
      no. But here I think I see a difference between the way you use
      information and the way Antonio uses it. As I understand it,
      >>Antonio's purpose in writing what he did about Wright was to
      >>him as a historian (Antonio, please correct me if I am
      wrong.) On the
      >>other hand, you are, I think, coming from the point of
      view that everyone
      >>has biases, so what? (I oversimplify.) You do not
      intend thereby to
      >>discredit Crossan as a historian, as I understand
      your point. Is this
      My reason for writing the short paragraph about Tom Wright was to
      give a short summary of my overall view on Wright´s way of doing
      history. I do not think I have to discredit Wright as a historian since
      he is good at selfhandedly doing that in his works. I am just pointing
      out what I see as obvious. It is only in the world of exegetics that
      apologetics of the kind Wright stands for is taken as history and received
      with a reverence and seriousness that it certainly doesn't deserve. I am
      quite convinced that there is no difference between mine and Bill Arnal's
      views about Wright. We are both agreed that his theological bias sits on
      his sleeve and makes him an extremely bad historian.
      >>It is one thing to assert that someone is biased. It is another thing to
      >>*assume* that their bias invalidates their
      work as a scholar. I thought
      >>this was Antonio's point, and I assumed
      that since you seemed to be
      >>defending Antonio's claims about Wright,
      that you agreed with that point.
      >>If that is not what you were
      agreeing with Antonio about, then I have no
      >>quarrel with

      >>A scholar's bias may, as you say, involve the inaccessible
      work of the
      >>inner mind. But if that bias manifests itself in their
      scholarly work,
      >>then there is external evidence that can be evaluated
      for bias. I thought
      >>you were making the claim that Wright's bias was
      affecting his work,
      >>e.g., on the apocalypticism of Jesus. My request
      for chapter and verse
      >>was with regard to this question. If you were
      making such a claim, then
      >>my request stands: Show me the evidence (a)
      about what kind of bias you
      >>think Wright has, and (b) how that
      particular bias affects his
      >>scholarship on particular questions about
      the historical Jesus.

      >>In other questions about the historical
      Jesus, we demand to see the
      >>Why should this be
      This reminds me of the kind of problem the judge was facing in the recent
      case aginst the nazi historian David Irving. How do you prove that a historian
      is conciously or unconciously biased and that he is presenting apologetics
      (in Irvings case a whitewash of Hitler) as good history? The judge did what
      anybody should do in a case like this - took a look at Irvings texts, his way of
      presenting arguments, his OVERALL method and his omittance of material that
      would talk against his thesis despite the fact that Irving can hardly have been
      unaware of the material. Like Irving Wright shows so many strange gaps and
      omittances of discussing relevant material in his books that it is hard to see how
      this can be atributed to another factor than proving a case at whatever price. As
      I see it a scholar who claims that "all jews knew a good metaphor when they saw one"
      despite all easily visible evidence to the contrary has by that single statement shown
      that he has an ax to grind right from the start and is not out to do objective history.
      Best wishes
      Antonio Jerez

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