Monday, June 19, 2017

How New Testament Scholarship Has Changed Over Time

Scholarship is important, and there's a danger in underestimating it, as many people do. But there's also a danger in overestimating it:

"It also worth thinking about how different the world of New Testament scholarship was in Bultmann's time from what it has become. There were comparatively few scholars working in the field and relatively few significant books published. It was possible for Bultmann and a few others to exercise a dominance over the development of the subject that is scarcely conceivable today for any scholar or small group of scholars, however brilliant. In the overcrowded and methodologically pluralist world of Gospels scholarship today form criticism, were it a new approach now, would be unlikely to achieve the wide-ranging and long-lasting influence it has actually had. Realising this implies that less weight should be given to the feeling, which I am sure many scholars have, that form criticism must have got at least some essential things right because it has been so very widely accepted by scholars." (Richard Bauckham, Jesus And The Eyewitnesses [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2017], 592)

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