Posted: Nov 30, 2015 7:44 am
by proudfootz
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Byron wrote: ...... since the rejection of Jesus' existence is also a rejection of the academic method ....

You do not seem to be aware that the acceptance of Jesus' existence has for at least a century been bolstered by a series of core criteria which are totally unsupported by the historical method. Many biblical historians and academics have used things like Criterion of embarrassment, Criterion of dissimilarity, Criterion of multiple attestation.

These criteria are not used by historians outside of the "Jesus Industry".

As a result, the academic method to which you refer above, is seriously flawed. ... arrassment

Scholars have been exploring the hypothesis that Jesus was a purely literary character for a couple of hundred years.

It's a tough sell in an industry dominated by believers in woo.

Hector Avalos has written a book all about it.

What a refreshing book! Professor Avalos questions the utility and advisability of continuing to keep the superannuated field of Biblical Studies alive in its present form: as a species of apologetics on behalf of Christianity, whether in its evangelical/apologist form or its academic/ecumenical/liberal form. Avalos urges that, minus the arbitrary partisanship for the Bible that Christian allegiance brings, there is no particular reason to keep the patient on the respirator. The period of productive scholarship (which “happened” to coincide with the shattering of the Bible’s credibility) ended a century (or even two centuries) ago. The alien, immoral, and irrelevant character of the Bible has been evident long enough for us to realize it cannot and should not be accorded status as the moral authority we have made it. What we clearly ought to do is to place the book on the shelf and devote the huge amount of resources and energy now directed to Biblical Studies to other fields of research more likely to benefit a starving and oppressed humanity. There remains a task for biblical scholars in the meantime, namely to reverse the course of mainstream (in-the-pocket-of –religion) scholarship. Whereas every issue of the JBL, every meeting of the SBL, is devoted to hiding the ancient offensiveness of the Bible, scholars ought henceforth to highlight and accentuate these features of scripture so as to dissuade the masses who still mistakenly look to the book as an authority. The discerning reader of Avalos will understand that he does not mean to vilify the Bible, only to destroy it as an idol. No one would attack the morals of the Iliad and the Odyssey unless some fanatics started litigating to have Homer made the basis of our laws and morals, as people do with the Bible.

Avalos argues in considerable detail that Biblical Studies pretty much finished its job long ago. He shows how Biblical Archaeology, once, in Albright’s day, thought to vindicate Bible accuracy, actually turns out to deprive the Bible stories of any hint of historical accuracy. Avalos is always imaginative and shows how, if one resists the conclusions of the so-called Minimalists (who are unsure even of the existence of David and Solomon), one might as well maintain the fact-character of the King Arthur legends. Similarly, he shows that any apologist who argues for a historical resurrection of Jesus had better make room in his pantheon for the Virgin Mary (the apparitions, that is), too, since the same arguments “prove” both...

Historical Jesus studies come in for Avalos’s righteous wrath, too. Has there been any advancement beyond Schweitzer? Or rather a shocking retreat, a cringing away from his insight that Jesus scholars cannot help using “Jesus” as a ventriloquist dummy for their own wise views? In a few brief strokes, Avalos lays bare criteria new and old for determining what Jesus “really” said. It can only be the will to believe that has scaled over the eyes of so-called critics who, e.g., discovering that a “tradition” that Jesus said something is attested in two sources, vote it “red,” oblivious of what ought to be obvious: groundless rumors may have any number of attestations that are “independent” in the trivial sense that one is not a direct copy of the other. ... os_end.htm

You might as well wonder why the good people at the Discovery Institute don't accept the theory of evolution.