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Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Giuseppe
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Searching for a particular quote...

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:19 am

Which living scholar wrote somewhere that the criterion of embarrassment gives the an earlier tradition and not the historical nucleus, in absence of external evidence?

I would like the quote precisely, thanks in advance.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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GakuseiDon
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Re: Searching for a particular quote...

Post by GakuseiDon » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:07 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:19 am
Which living scholar wrote somewhere that the criterion of embarrassment gives the an earlier tradition and not the historical nucleus, in absence of external evidence?

I would like the quote precisely, thanks in advance.
Maybe Mark Goodacre?
https://ntweblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/c ... sment.html

Historical Jesus scholars seldom give any thought to how the criteria work in concert with one another. As I have mentioned before, I cannot get my head around the apparent absurdity that the very traditions that are supposed to be "embarrassing" are the very same traditions that are supposed to be "multiply attested". At the very least, some thought should be given to the contrast between the criteria. One should inform and correct the other.

The point can be illustrated from the phenomenon of singly attested traditions, like the Blind Man of Bethsaida (Mark 8.22-26). Scholars commonly provide good reasons for Matthew's and Luke's omission of the story from Mark -- the use of spit, the non-immediate healing. The fact of the omission illustrates that the evangelists were not reticent about omission when they wished. If a later evangelist was really "embarrassed" by material he found in an earlier account, he simply omitted it. By analogy, one can imagine the same thing happening at different stages in the tradition, with different tradents.

It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

Giuseppe
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Re: Searching for a particular quote...

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:02 am

Thanks but I remember something of more explicit. What was precisely mentioned was "the earliest tradition", if I remember well...
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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DCHindley
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Re: Searching for a particular quote...

Post by DCHindley » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:45 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:19 am
Which living scholar wrote somewhere that the criterion of embarrassment gives the an earlier tradition and not the historical nucleus, in absence of external evidence?

I would like the quote precisely, thanks in advance.
I do think I remember a deep debate about this, probably on IIDB or FRDB. Unfortunately, Peter's query engine is not linking to the archives,. Peter says he sometimes has to "kick" (reboot) the server to get it back up, or else the Admin over there finally went totally out of business.

All kidding aside, I personally think none of the critics of this criterion actually knew what it means.

The criterion of embarrassment is saying that when an early Christian writer admits something about Jesus and proto-Christian history that would run counter to the societal norm,* the author's "explanation" is trying to "explain away" an inconvenient truth (sorry to steal your line, Al Gore). What most do not realize when they criticize this criterion, we ignore the fact that the process of explaining away something embarrassing actually tells us something about the rationalizations employed to develop their traditions and dogma. Christians came to poke their heads in public again, confident that their rationalizations have transformed the sow's ear they inherited into a true silk purse. Basically, it was making a virtue out of a necessity.

DCH

*e.g., Jesus was crucified like a robber or unauthorized claimant to royalty; Peter was a mere fisherman, Jesus's father was a craftsman - and don't even start, G :silenced: ; Jesus' followers carried swords and were not afraid to use them, etc.)

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