Thursday, August 23, 2007

Historical Jesus Scholars and their Favourite Gospels

Recent work has left me thinking about how much of the differences among Historical Jesus scholars stems from their preference or favouring of one particular Gospel. For instance:

Albert Schweitzer - Gospel of Matthew
- Schweitzer held (I am pretty sure) to Matthean priority.
- Schweitzer's key verse is Mt. 10.23 which determines the program of Jesus' ministry in Schweitzer's view.

E.P. Sanders - Gospel of Mark
- Sanders favours the Farrer-Goulder option for the Synoptic problem.
- Sanders' Jesus is very much the Jesus of the Marcan outline, and I read somewhere that he has been criticised as such.

N.T. Wright - Gospel of Luke
- Wright is deliberately ambivalent about the Synoptic problem (though he favours Marcan priority) and he supposes that a good Historical Jesus hypothesis is one that does not depend on any particular view of the Synoptic problem
- The vibe I get in reading Jesus and the Victory of God, is that Luke is Wright's default gospel which is apparent especially in his discussions on Lk. 4.16-21, 12.1-59, 13.1-5, 33; 15.1-32; 17.20-22.

John Dominic Crossan - Gospel of Thomas + Q
- Crossan's view of the sources and strata of the Gospel tradition is well-known and frequently criticised (see Dale C. Allison's criticism in particular which are most penetrating).
- Crossan's Jesus is very much derived from the purported non-eschatological layer of Q and from Thomas (see criticisms by Mike Bird "Peril of Modernizing Jesus" EQ [2006] and Gerd Theissen's apt description of the "California Jesus").

Does anyone know of a scholar who privileges the Gospel of John (Ernst Renan?)?


J. B. Hood said...

I don't think you could say he FAVORS John, but Bauckham seems to like that Gospel.

Bob MacDonald said...

Robinson, John A. T., The Priority of John

Bryan L said...

Yeah I was thinking Bauckham too.

Peter M. Head said...

Two points:
Schweitzer was solidly for Markan Priority.
Schleiermacher's Life of Jesus was based on John (this obviously is going back some!).

Brandon said...

What about Mark Goodacre's favorite Gospel being Q?

steph said...

Sanders doesn't favour Mark without Q. He expresses uncertainty about any solution. He accepts proto-gospels. He prefers Mark as the earliest gospel and allows Luke's knowledge of Matthew but accepts access to other sources although he does not favour "Q" as a single written Greek document.

steph said...

Actually he is even less certain than that - see Historical Figure of Jesus p.60. Can't accuse him of being wrong can you!

Joshua said...

Flusser (whose Jesus was just rereleased as The Sage from Galilee) favors Luke as earliest.

Matt said...

I would certainly include Raymond E. Brown in the discussion of Johannine scholarship (Anchor Bible series). Certainly his Christology reflects it.