Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Bauer thesis

mr. Hays, this does not pertain to the article that i am commenting on but it relates to the christ myth. First a statement from wikipedia:"In The Quest, Schweitzer reviewed all former work on the "historical Jesus" back to the late 18th century. He showed that the image of Jesus had changed with the times and outlooks of the various authors, and gave his own synopsis and interpretation of the previous century's findings. He maintained that the life of Jesus must be interpreted in the light of Jesus' own convictions, which reflected late Jewish eschatology. Schweitzer, however, writes: "The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the kingdom of God, who founded the kingdom of heaven upon earth and died to give his work its final consecration never existed."" next, a statement found on a blog about the religion of Georg Freidrich Hegel: "Albert Schweitzer praised (Bruno) Bauer's scholarship as world class." Would you comment on these two pieces of information in a blog post and say if they are truthful or not. I would greatly appreciate it, or please indicate that you or another member of triablogue has addressed something in the same vain.
i) It's not as if Schweitzer or Bauer discovered a smoking gun, which the church had suppressed, that disproves the depiction of Jesus in the canonical Gospels. They had no new information to counter the NT. It's not like they found the skeletal remains of Jesus in the empty tomb, or unearthed an ancient Gospel manuscript that tells the true story. This is just Schweitzer and Bauer giving their opinions.
ii) Even über skeptic Bart Ehrman has written a book debunking the mythicists: 
Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth
iii) Currently, the standard work debunking the Bauer thesis is: 
Andreas J. Köstenberger & Michael J. Kruger, The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity

iv) As a rule, unbelievers reject the historicity of the Gospels because they reject miracles. For a standard defense of Gospel miracles:

Craig S. Keener, Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts

v) There are tons of books on the historical Jesus. 

These range from popular, introductory and/or intermediate overviews like:

Craig L. Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel: Issues & Commentary

Craig A. Evans, Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels

Paul L. Maier, In the Fullness of Time: A Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter, and the Early Church

Nicholas Perrin, Lost In Transmission?: What We Can Know About the Words of Jesus

Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

Lee Strobel, The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ

To more advanced studies like:

Paul Barnett, Finding the Historical Christ (After Jesus)

Paul Barnett , Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times

Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Paul Rhodes Eddy & Gregory A. Boyd, Jesus Legend, The: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition

Craig S. Keener, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels

Finally, Jason Engwer has posted lots of stuff on the historical Jesus. And I've done some of that as well.  

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