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Re: [XTalk] Circularity in the Quest of the Historical Jesus

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  • forrest curo
    ... In either case, once we stopped being sure of all the quotes attributed to the person, we would need some other criteria to separate what the person
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 26, 2000
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      At 12:25 PM 9/30/00 -0700, you wrote:
      >At 12:17 PM 9/30/00, you wrote:
      >
      >>To attain the knowledge of the historical Jesus (HJ), we need to
      >>establish criteria to distinguish the HJ from the unhistorical ones.
      >>To determine whether our criteria are valid, we have to know whether
      >>the criteria really can distinguish the historical picture of Jesus
      >>from unhistorical ones. To know this, however, we need the knowledge
      >>of the HJ.

      >
      >
      >And...? How does this differ from attaining knowledge of the historical
      >(fill in the blank), Abraham Lincoln, for example? What's the point?

      In either case, once we stopped being sure of all the quotes attributed to
      the person, we would need some other criteria to separate what the person
      ACTUALLY said from what later followers wanted to attribute to him.
      In the case of Lincoln, we have ample evidence of existence of the Civil
      War and the role played by public impressions of what Lincoln stood for.
      In the case of Jesus, our written material comes from gospels, some of
      them written by people who may have been acquainted with his movement
      during his lifetime, some of it written by people who came along after it
      had grown out into rich and strange directions. And we have one possible
      independent mention by Josephus, if you leave out the parts obviously
      written by a Christian, which Josephus emphatically was not.
      The historical context is masked by the fact that our written contemporary
      sources were (of course!) members of the class least aware of and least
      interested in the situation of the poor Galileans Jesus is said to have
      worked among. Our view of these people has been sentimentalized for
      centuries by our professional historians' lack of sufficient experience of
      desperate, subsistence-minus-taxes-&-tithes poverty & destitution.
      Much of Jesus' thought can be understood from his common background in the
      raw material of religion, as the expression of a deep connection with what
      is called God, Reality, the Self, Big Mind, depending on what tradition you
      take your terminology from. And as a direct consequence of his attunement
      to That, we find a radical solidarity with all people, but particularly the
      poor and despised, as in "What you do to the least of my brothers "(etc)
      Which would have put him at odds, as the synoptics verify he was, with
      everyone who 'counted' in his time.
      The fact that he was crucified tells us something about him, particularly
      the fact that he seems to have been crucified without being accused of
      crimes other than verbal ones. Something of what he had to say was
      extremely unnerving to the authorities, both Jewish and Roman. Particularly
      a prediction he probably made of the destruction of the Temple--not made up
      after the fact by followers, as the "rational" scholars would have it, but
      made during his life, out of the same beliefs and reasoning that had led
      Jeremiah to prophesy the destruction of the previous Temple.
      All of this forms the basis of a coherent picture, in which a lot of what
      we knew but found puzzling fits and makes more sense than it had; whatever
      explanations miss that core insight end up failing to add up.

      Forrest Curo (Yes, I am working on a more detailed exposition but I am ALSO
      working on deadline, editing & laying out a monthly paper.)
    • Hyeon Woo Shin
      To attain the knowledge of the historical Jesus (HJ), we need to establish criteria to distinguish the HJ from the unhistorical ones. To determine whether our
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 30, 2000
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        To attain the knowledge of the historical Jesus (HJ), we need to
        establish criteria to distinguish the HJ from the unhistorical ones.
        To determine whether our criteria are valid, we have to know whether
        the criteria really can distinguish the historical picture of Jesus
        from unhistorical ones. To know this, however, we need the knowledge
        of the HJ.

        Hyeon Woo Shin

        shin0000@...
        http://my.dreamwiz.com/qhj99
      • Michael T. MacDonell
        ... And...? How does this differ from attaining knowledge of the historical (fill in the blank), Abraham Lincoln, for example? What s the point? Best
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 30, 2000
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          At 12:17 PM 9/30/00, you wrote:

          >To attain the knowledge of the historical Jesus (HJ), we need to
          >establish criteria to distinguish the HJ from the unhistorical ones.
          >To determine whether our criteria are valid, we have to know whether
          >the criteria really can distinguish the historical picture of Jesus
          >from unhistorical ones. To know this, however, we need the knowledge
          >of the HJ.
          >
          >Hyeon Woo Shin


          And...? How does this differ from attaining knowledge of the historical
          (fill in the blank), Abraham Lincoln, for example? What's the point?

          Best Regards,
          Mike



          _______________________________________________________________
          Michael T. MacDonell, Ph.D. (Ransom Hill Bioscience, Inc.)
          _______________________________________________________________
          Dieu mésure le froid à la brebis tondue.
          -Henri Estienne (1594): Les Prémices, etc. p. 47.
          _______________________________________________________________
        • Jack Kilmon
          ... From: Hyeon Woo Shin To: Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2000 12:17 PM Subject: [XTalk] Circularity in the Quest
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 30, 2000
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Hyeon Woo Shin" <shin0000@...>
            To: <crosstalk2@egroups.com>
            Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2000 12:17 PM
            Subject: [XTalk] Circularity in the Quest of the Historical Jesus


            >
            > To attain the knowledge of the historical Jesus (HJ), we need to
            > establish criteria to distinguish the HJ from the unhistorical ones.
            > To determine whether our criteria are valid, we have to know whether
            > the criteria really can distinguish the historical picture of Jesus
            > from unhistorical ones. To know this, however, we need the knowledge
            > of the HJ.

            This assumes that we have no knowledge of the HJ nor that historical
            material is imbedded in the accounts of the "unhistorical" Jesus. That
            assumption is flawed, hence HJ quest is not circular.....polygonal,
            labyrinthine, perhaps....but not circular <g>

            Jack


            -----
            ______________________________________________

            taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

            Jack Kilmon
            North Hollywood, Ca.
            jkilmon@...

            http://www.historian.net

            sharing a meal for free.
            http://www.thehungersite.com/
          • Steve Allison
            ... Thought this was interesting. Quite by accident I came across something in Columbia professor Andrew Delbanco s Required Reading: Why Our American
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 1, 2000
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              >Hyeon Woo Shin wrote:

              > > To attain the knowledge of the historical Jesus (HJ), we need to
              > > establish criteria to distinguish the HJ from the unhistorical ones.
              > > To determine whether our criteria are valid, we have to know whether
              > > the criteria really can distinguish the historical picture of Jesus
              > > from unhistorical ones. To know this, however, we need the knowledge
              > > of the HJ.
              >
              >This assumes that we have no knowledge of the HJ nor that historical
              >material is imbedded in the accounts of the "unhistorical" Jesus. That
              >assumption is flawed, hence HJ quest is not circular.....polygonal,
              >labyrinthine, perhaps....but not circular <g>
              >
              >Jack Kilmon

              Thought this was interesting. Quite by accident I came across something in
              Columbia professor Andrew Delbanco's "Required Reading: Why Our American
              Classics Matter Now" that might relate to this discussion. He refers to
              the Search for the Historical Abe Lincoln, my words not his. Here's a
              quote from page 68:

              "Already before the start of his presidency, he was participating in the
              construction of his own myth with carefully posed photographs, with the few
              personal words he wrote or spoke in public, and even with his choice of
              confidants. After his death the process of mythologizing continued: he was
              swiftly memorialized as a giant of ages past, and each successive future
              age has reconceived him in relation to its own preoccupations." Next,
              Delbanco describes a work titled "Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln" by
              Don and Virginia Fehrehbacher. In this work, they grade "sayings" of Abe
              from A to E where A is considered as reliably his words and E as
              apocryphal. Sounds similar to the Jesus Seminar. And this about a person
              who lived not long ago. My great-grandparents, some of whom I can
              remember, could have known people who knew and/or saw Abe.





              Steve Allison
              Knoxville, TN
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