Criticizing the "Historical Jesus"/John Dominic Crossan


#1

Hi Everyone! I knew that CAF is the best place to ask, so I thought I'd bring it to the apologetics form.

In my college "World Religions" class, we're reading the controversial John Dominic Crossan. But!, each student gets to read and discuss in class an outside reading book. I want to find something that criticizes the idea of the "historical Jesus" as merely a 1st century Jewish peasant, and shows that the authors did intend for the gospels to be truth.

Anyone got anything? Also, list everything you can. I'll be getting it from a library, so I'd like to have options.

Thanks!


#2

Check out Peter Kreeft’s The Divinity of Christ at
peterkreeft.com/topics/christ-divinity.htm

its from his book Fundamentals of the Faith: Essays in Christian Apologetics


#3

Here’s a good start:

catholic360.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/top-5-attacks-against-catholicism-you-will-hear-in-college/

I think the key point is that non-Christian writers wrote about an actual, historical Jesus.

Peace,
Ed


#4

I haven’t read it, but Pope Benedict XVI has written a book on the subject called Jesus of Nazareth.


#5

A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus by Msgr John P Meier

John Dominic Crossan was part of the radical 'Jesus seminar,' which is a liberal group: denies Jesus as God and do not think the New Testament documents are as valid as extra biblical sources which makes no sense because in the historical method the primary documents are usually the most trustworthy

Fr Barron on John Dominic Crossan

Now Crossan is a graceful writer and a careful scholar, and I’ll acknowledge gratefully that I’ve learned a great deal from him. His emphasis on Jesus’ “open table fellowship” and his readings of Jesus’ parables as subversive stories are both, I think, right on target. The problem is that he so consistently reads Jesus through a conventional political lens that effectively reduces him to the level of social reformer.

How does Crossan explain the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead? They are, he says, essentially “parables,” figurative representations of the disciples’ conviction that Jesus’ way was more powerful than the Roman way. They were never meant to be taken literally but rather as poetic inspirations for the succeeding generations of Jesus’ followers. How does he explain the church’s dogma of Jesus’ divinity? It is, essentially, a misleading overlay that effectively obscures the dangerous truth of who Jesus really was: a threat to the cultural, religious, and political status quo.

Skilled at translating academic debates into relatively accessible language and blessed with a charming Irish brogue, Crossan became a favorite of television producers and documentarians. On numerous programs and specials, Crossan has popularized his reductionistic vision of Jesus and has succeeded in convincing many that orthodox Christology is appealing only to those who haven’t taken the time to think through the historical evidence clearly. Time and again, he has argued that his version of Christianity is for those who haven’t “left their brains at the door.”

The little problem, of course, is that Crossan is compelled to ignore huge swaths of the New Testament in order to maintain his interpretation. All of the evangelists indeed present Jesus as a dangerous, even subversive figure, a threat to the conventional Jewish and Roman ways of organizing things, but they are much more interested in the utterly revolutionary fact that Jesus is the Son of God.

payingattentiontothesky.com/2012/03/09/on-john-dominic-crossan-rev-robert-barron

Dr William Lane Craig's view on John Dominic Crosson's view of the Resurrection

Fr Barron comments on John Dominic Crossan's Strange Jesus

Dr William Lane Craig on how seriously scholars take The Jesus Seminar


#6

In addition to the above suggestions I’d like to add Ben Witherington III’s The Jesus Quest, Luke Timothy Johnson’s The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels, Craig Evans’ Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels. For side reading, I’ll also add Gregory Boyd’s The Jesus Seminar and the Reliability of the Gospels and a rather amusing article by Tom Wright. I’ll dig up more later.

On a historical level, one of the problems with the Seminar’s/Crossan’s (not all of the fellows share the same image; cf. Marcus Borg) portrait of Jesus as a wandering peasant Cynic is how un-Jewish it is. Their Jesus was just someone who spouted off a nice aphorism or two but who was aloof from the real concerns of 1st-century Judaism. They so emphasize the discontinuities between Jesus and His Jewish background that they end up divorcing Him from it. It’s almost as if He was born in the wrong culture. :shrug:


#7

You guys rock! Thank you so much for the sources, and I will look into those books.

Thankfully my professor focuses himself more on legal philosophy and therefore isn't too too knowledgeable about religion. So, armed with a bible, I manage to do pretty well in class discussions.

So, if anyone has any scripture to help me...that'd be grand. :D

Also, anyone know sources that specifically justify the Gospels as written history rather than a theological narrative?


#8

[quote="Domnall, post:7, topic:314839"]
You guys rock! Thank you so much for the sources, and I will look into those books.

Thankfully my professor focuses himself more on legal philosophy and therefore isn't too too knowledgeable about religion. So, armed with a bible, I manage to do pretty well in class discussions.

So, if anyone has any scripture to help me...that'd be grand. :D

Also, anyone know sources that specifically justify the Gospels as written history rather than a theological narrative?

[/quote]

Archeological and historical evidence of Biblical accuracy

Archaeology and the Synoptic Gospels: Which way do the rocks roll?

Real people, real places - Evidence from Archaeology for the reliability of the Bible

The New Testament is Archaeologically Verifiable


#9

Richard Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony or Craig Blomberg’s The Historical Reliability of the Gospels might be of some help.


#10

Don’t forget Joseph Ratzinger’s Jesus of Nazareth trilogy :wink:


#11

Here's an article on the three quests for the historical Jesus that may be helpful.

In addition, here is overview of the various historical Jesus theories. The list is somewhat dated and does not include more recent works including those of Richard Carrier or Robert M. Price. That site is also a handy resource for general information on early Christian writings.


closed #12

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