[Synoptic-L] Re: [XTalk] revised page for Web Link to Harris Chapter 7
- Excellent idea to do this kind of thing interactively and drawing on
expertise of the various e-lists, Jeffrey; it's a great experiment in
a kind of communal building of resources, and I am watching with
interest. A couple of comments on your revised Gospels page, Jeffrey,
some from my own experience of working on similar pages.
The Charlotte Allen "no frills" article was widely linked back in
96-97 ish when there were precious few resources available on the net
on the Synoptic Problem; but that has totally changed now and this
kind of journalistic piece, though pretty good for a journalistic
piece is not ideal for beginning students who now have a real wealth
of resources available. I dropped it when it went subscription only
on Atlantic Monthly's own site. (Once upon a time I remember Atlantic
Monthly having a connected discussion forum on the article and there
was a big response from a certain Mahlon Smith, the first time I
remember coming across him).
On the NT Gateway, I also dropped all the Encyclopaedia Britannica
articles as soon as they went to subscription based. There was a
glorious period when they were free for all and I had the relevant
articles indexed, with author attributions (Stendahl, Bornkamm et al)
for each area of the NT Gateway. I'm guessing that Harris's listing
of the Britannica articles dates to that same period. There's just no
point having them there now if the aim of the Harris pages is to link
to helpful resources for students -- they won't go to a
subscription-based source when there are dozens of free for all
resources available. It was a great annoyance to me at the time to go
through and delete all the Britannica links on the NT Gateway; I
think Jenee Woodard had to do the same on Textweek.
Another reminiscence: anyone remember Tom Simms regularly saying on
the old Crosstalk that there was nothing new on the historical Jesus
since the Encyclopaedia Britannica article? (He clearly didn't rate
Vermes, Sanders, Crossan and co).
Some of the resources listed on your revised page also need their URLs
refreshing, including Mahlon's Primer, my "Mark Without Q" (now also
name changed) and Stephen's premier Synoptic Problem page. The URLs
are at least four years or so old.
In general I would also say that one ideally wants newer resources for
the beginning students; give them the New Advent resources from a
century ago and many of them (not the brightest, of course) just don't
have the necessary sense of historical perspective to be able to read
them properly. I've read student essays that lift ideas from century
old material without any realisation or understanding that they are
lifting material that is old. This is not the tyranny of the
contemporary -- we should all spend much more time reading our
forefathers' work -- but the concern of the teacher whose students can
lack the critical tools necessary to discern the historical context of
the resources being consulted.
If one is going to refer the newer students to classic Gospel
criticism, then you can't do much better than Streeter's Four Gospels
on-line edition (links on the NT Gateway).
One further thought -- I like to guide students towards good
contemporary introductory materials and have a general section on what
I would regard as good beginning points at
Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
Dept of Theology and Religion
University of Birmingham
Elmfield House, Selly Oak tel.+44 121 414 7512
Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax: +44 121 415 8376
Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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