Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

History or Theology?

In conversations regarding Christian origins issues of history and theology continue to surface.

A new book by Gerd Ludemann, Eyes That See Not: The Pope Looks At Jesus is a critique Pope Benedict's book on Jesus.

This is from the Jesus Seminar site regarding Ludemann's book:

"The Pope asked for this," says Arthur J. Dewey of Xavier University. "Taking up the papal invitation (of Pope Benedict XVI) to respond critically to his book Jesus of Nazareth, Gerd Lüdemann offers a meticulous and devastating critique."

"The historian," writes Lüdemann, "is obliged to present objective evidence for his or her assertions. The rules of the game do not permit one to rely on uncorroborated testimony or claims of authority." The chronicler who fails to challenge eyewitness testimony and to submit documentary sources to critical examination, Lüdemann points out, is not an historian. The so-called historical method used by the Pope, continues Lüdemann, "has the sole aim of proving the reliability of the gospels.” In fact, he concludes, the Pope “never examines their historical trustworthiness."

“Lüdemann’s brilliant, readable book dismantles the Pope’s argument and will open readers’ eyes to see who Jesus really was.” —James M. Robinson, author of The Gospel of Jesus

“Highly recommended for anyone interested in issues of who Jesus was, and why the academic portrayal of him differs from the doctrinal.” —April DeConick, author of The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says