Wednesday, February 12, 2014

NT Pod 68: Where do we begin Historical Jesus research?

NT Pod 68 asks "Where do we begin Historical Jesus research?" and discusses the different approaches of E. P. Sanders, John Dominic Crossan and N. T. Wright.  It is twenty minutes long and was recorded on a snow day when classes at Duke University were cancelled.

NT Pod 68: Where do we begin Historical Jesus research? (mp3)

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Thanks to Ram2000, Me and You, for the opening theme, released under a Creative Commons agreement.


  1. Very interesting, and not at all too long at 20 mn.
    I have a question, which is undoubtedly naive since I'm not at all an expert in this field. So, I don't expect an answer, but here it is anyway: Since Paul is our earliest source and says virtually nothing of the miracle-worker described in the Gospels, are we not spending much time for very little result by studying the Gospels from a historical perspective? If we look at JC as an example of the messiah archetype (originating, I supose, in the Hellenistic period), it seems to me that literary criticism and comparative religion offer more avenues of research into the Gospels than history. I'm not saying that the historical approach should not be used, but that it needs to be complemented by other approaches to the texts if it is going to be useful at all. I hope scholars in different disciplines talk more to each other than in some other fields.

  2. Really enjoyed this one. Helpful and clearly presented!

  3. I had trouble with your placement of N T Wright as a "third approach" to historical Jesus studies. I can see the difference between Sanders and Crossan pretty clearly. But Wright doesn't really seem to have a defined and uniquely categorized approach worthy of being singled out. He seems to be a mildly critical churchman, who uses the data to reconstruct theology and history without much regard for source critical concerns. Perhaps this is why he has become a celebrity theological writer and speaker among Evangelicals, charging hundreds of dollars per person for admission to weekend seminars held at churches around the country.

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