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Re: [Synoptic-L] Second edition of Burridge's "What Are the Gospels"?

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  • Karel Hanhart
    ... From: Stephen C. Carlson To: ; Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 11:46 AM Subject:
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 8, 2004
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...>
      To: <M.S.Goodacre@...>; <Synoptic-L@...>
      Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 11:46 AM
      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Second edition of Burridge's "What Are the
      Gospels"?


      >
      > Burridge ably filled in for Bauckham in a SBL 2003 session on this
      > topic. As I recall, one of his points is that the gospels are a
      > form about biography, which means that they are about its subject
      > Jesus, not about the local community from which they originated.

      The stringent remark "not about the local community" cannot be substantiated
      in my view.
      The authors are indeed writing about Jesus, Israel's Messiah. However,
      knowing full well what happened to Jesus' people in the forty years after
      the crucifixion, they are writing about Jesus' ministry looking at it, as in
      a rearview mirror. Their recent experience was the catastrophe of 70
      uppermost in their minds as any victim of disasters of that seize can tall.
      The narrative of Mark, for instance, is in the form of a tragedy. The author
      shows how later developments of the weal and woe of Jesus' own people and of
      his apostles began already in his own ministry, 'in the bud', so to speak.
      The Gospels is a 'Pass-over' story, a Christian Haggadah, cast in the annual
      tradition of Pesach and Pentecost, of Exodus and exile. Had not a definitive
      exile begun once again for your "local community"?

      This is not written to downgrade Burridge's work in comparative religion.
      All fields ought to be explored. But we should consider the main Judean
      features of the Gospels first before we compare the gospels with 'theioi
      andres' stories.

      cordially,

      Karel


      > At 09:51 AM 7/8/2004 +0100, Mark Goodacre wrote:
      > >Yes, I've seen some of the new material in draft and it represents a
      > >substantial revision, bringing the book up to date and engaging
      > >developments and reactions that have emerged since the first edition.
      > >It is apparently scheduled for release in September. See the Eerdmans
      > >site at:
      > >
      > >http://www.eerdmans.com/shop/product.asp?p_key=0802809715
      > >
      > >What Are the Gospels?: A Comparison with Graeco-Roman Biography
      > >Richard A. Burridge
      > >
      > >$34.00 Paperback
      > >
      > >Not yet in print (Expected ship date: 9/29/04)
      > >
      > >revised edition; 380 pages; dimensions (in inches): 6.25 x 9.25
      > >
      > >ISBN: 0-8028-0971-5
      > >
      > >Foreword by Graham Stanton
      > >
      > >Richard Burridge's highly acclaimed study of the Christian Gospels is
      > >substantially updated and expanded in this revised edition. Here
      > >Burridge engages the field of Gospel studies over the last hundred
      > >years, arguing convincingly for viewing the Gospels as biographical
      > >documents of the sort common throughout the Graeco-Roman world.
      > >
      > >In pursuing the question of his book's title, Burridge compares the
      > >work of the Christian evangelists with that of Graeco-Roman
      > >biographers. Drawing on insights from literary theory, Burridge
      > >demonstrates that the widespread view of the Gospels as unique is
      > >false, and he discusses what a properly "biographical" perspective
      > >means for Gospel interpretation. The book includes a long new chapter
      > >detailing the recent paradigm shift in Gospel scholarship - a shift
      > >due in large part to this very book - a new foreword by Graham
      > >Stanton, and an appendix dealing with the absence of comparable early
      > >Jewish biographies.
      > >
      > >Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      > >List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      >
      > --
      > Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
      > Weblog: http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/hypotyposeis/blogger.html
      > "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
      >
      >
      > Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      > List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      >


      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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    • Joseph Weaks
      ... Hence, the appendix explaining why the absence of Judean Biographies (I suppose Philo s work doesn t count) makes the Greco-Roman context preferred. This
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 9, 2004
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        On Jul 9, 2004, at 1:57 AM, Karel Hanhart wrote:
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...>
        >> Burridge ably filled in for Bauckham in a SBL 2003 session on this
        >> topic. As I recall, one of his points is that the gospels are a
        >> form about biography, which means that they are about its subject
        >> Jesus, not about the local community from which they originated.
        >
        > The stringent remark "not about the local community" cannot be
        > substantiated
        > in my view.
        > ...
        > This is not written to downgrade Burridge's work in comparative
        > religion.
        > All fields ought to be explored. But we should consider the main Judean
        > features of the Gospels first before we compare the gospels with
        > 'theioi
        > andres' stories.

        Hence, the appendix explaining why the absence of Judean Biographies (I
        suppose Philo's work doesn't count) makes the Greco-Roman context
        preferred. This is only one of the several holes I see in Burridge's
        seminal work, holes which a growing consensus Gospel scholars seem
        willing to overlook.
        This is why I'm anxious to see the reworking of his text, and the
        extent to which he has answered some weaknesses. Why not til September?
        Doesn't he know I have a dissertation to write!!!

        Joe Weaks


        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
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