Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bruce Chilton on the Jesus Seminar and Jesus Project

Over at Bible Interpretation, Bruce Chilton has an interesting piece on 'Plus ça change… “The Jesus Seminar” and “The Jesus Project”'. The "Jesus Project" is a spin off from the "Jesus Seminar" in the sense of being a shift from a Jesus studied by liberals to a Jesus studied by atheists (generally speaking that is!!!). I liked Bruce Chilton's final paragraph:

The Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion has put its reputation on the line in sponsoring “The Jesus Project,” but so far amateurism, special interest advocacy, and a lack of critical focus have undermined a commendably earnest intent. Anyone who has followed the work of “The Jesus Seminar” should have learned long ago that Fundamentalists are not the only partisans who permit their wishes to cloud what they see and that it takes more than a declaration of “objectivity” to acquire the discipline of reasoning from evidence, both textual and archaeological. But I gave the Seminar time, and I can see no reason not to hope that genuine exchanges of insight and a deepening of knowledge might emerge from the so far conventional proceedings of “The Jesus Project.”

HT: Mark Goodacre

5 comments:

Ranger said...

When Dan Wallace posted about this group a couple of months ago I thought it looked rather amusing. They claim to be free of bias, yet include such fringe scholars as Bob Price and James Tabor. Price of course can't decide if Jesus ever existed and views 1st Cor. 15:3ff as a post-Pauline interpolation...Tabor can't decide whether to keep supporting the views of his Jesus Dynasty book or move on to the radically different views of the Jesus Tomb fiasco, of which he was their primary scholar.

What a mess...

I wonder if Crossley knows that their website links to his blog. I'd think he wouldn't want to be too associated with this group.

steph said...

James wouldn't care. NT Wright could link to his blog and he wouldn't care. Why should he?

Ranger said...

steph,
My thinking is that since they only link to about 10 sites or so including some of their fellows sites, it kind of makes it look as though he's a part of the project.

steph said...

James doesn't get upset by silly things like that. He gets associated with all sorts of people.

Geoff Hudson said...

If you do away with Jesus a lot of people would be out of a job, and a vast business would disappear. This is why Price finds it difficult to make his mind up about the existence of Jesus.