I’ve been reading the NJBC along with an introduction to the basics Christology by one of the Editors of the NJBC. In the book on Christology, the author divides Christological interpretations into three camps.
1-Unscholarly conservatism that doesn’t see any development between the Christ of history and the Christ of the gospels and the Epistles.
2-Scholarly conservatism that does see development, but not discontinuity between the the Christ of history and the Christ of the gospels.
3-Scholarly liberalism that sees development and discontinuity between the Christ of history and the Christ of the Gospels. (I think he also has a section on unscholarly liberalism, but I forget the definition.)
Anyway, I would place the author of the book, and a lot of what I read in the NJBC in camp 2 or 3. They make arguments like, Jesus in the Gospel of Marc did not really know how he was going to die. He used vague expressions like the sign of Jonah, and sufferings that he would have to endure, but he really did not know that he was going to be crucified, etc… His saying become more explicit in Matthew and Luke, but they don’t really represent what Jesus said.
I find this kind of scriptural interpretation very hard on my faith. Either Jesus said something, or he didn’t. If he didn’t, either the Gospel writers are making it up, or they are not remembering correctly.
Does anyone know of a scholarly way to explain the discrepancies in the Gospels in a way that doesn’t make it seem like the Gospel writers are inventing a new Jesus for their individual communal needs?