and so on and so on -- but I select this comment only because it is the last one I read and it is typical of so very many, perhaps even most, ways of arguing one encounters in so many aspects of biblical studies (not only the historical/mythicist Jesus question). . .Chris Hansen wrote: ↑Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:39 pm
. . . the only way to make this work is either to have some of the least parsimonious interpretations of Rom. 1:3, Gal. 1:18-19 and 4:4-5, 1 Thess. 2:14-16, and others or to adhere to unsubstantiated interpolation theories which have been thoroughly rebutted by academics of all kinds ... i.e. we cannot conclude whether the absence of a text is because Marcion omitted it himself, Marcion never had it, the Church father's omitted it, the Church father's simply didn't quote it, that it was never original, etc. All of these are possible and we have no evidence to conclude . . . . . . The 1 Thess. 2:14-16 interpolation arguments have been addressed en masse and I find no legitimate reason for considering it an interpolation. . . . The form critical argument has been met with skepticism because there is no form critical reason to consider it inconsistent with Paul, because Paul does not have an entirely consistent form of writing (see John C. Hurd's work). Next, the ending reference about the doom occurring is easily interpreted not as historical about the Temple but as apocalyptic (as Luckensmyer has shown), and even if it was historical there are numerous other events that occurred which could account for this (such as all the massacres and deportations and such which occurred during Paul's life as well).
I ultimately don't see anything about a non-historical Jesus in Paul's writings to be even remotely convincing. . . .
What it boils down to so very often is:
- They say X and list reasons a, b and c for concluding X;
- Those say Y and list reasons d, e and f for rebutting X and supporting Y.
- I find that Y is persuasive, and that X is an invalid conclusion because of d, e, and f; you, meanwhile, find d, e, and f are overturned by another way of looking at a, b and c.
It's like two sides barracking for their team at a football match.
So often the division of points of view comes down to values, tastes. When two sides get to the bottom lines of their disagreement, how often is there are serious engagements about assumptions, about background information, that might possibly lead to a resolution? I suggest that the parting of the ways comes prior to that stage and perhaps even to avoid confronting that stage of discussion.
Ultimately, so many differences appear to me to boil down to aesthetics cleverly disguised as "rigorous intellectual reasoning". Clever minds can always find good arguments to rationalize whatever they want to believe.
We see these fashion preferences in arguments over the history of certain debates: perspectives change without any change in the evidence itself and often in sync with social changes and newly emerging values. Thus we see the influence of social attitudes towards Jews and women changing and rubbing off onto new arguments in the scholarly debates.
The bottom line in so many discussions is taste, fashion, aesthetics. The intellectual scaffolding is there for show, to justify one's taste, sense of fashion, aesthetics.
Without an agreed upon method of historical verification it will always be this way. In biblical scholarship, especially with the studies of Christian origins and Jesus, I have rarely seen any application of serious historical methods that would be acknowledged as such in history departments.
Instead, we have a free for all where each person can effectively decide to follow whatever line of reasoning and "method" sounds good, has respect among insider peers, and allows us all to continue in our rationales for whatever point of view we find most pleasing.