Important milestones in biblical scholarship

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rgprice
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Important milestones in biblical scholarship

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What are the main important milestones in biblical scholarship starting with the Protestant Reformation? There is of course the Protestant challenges to Peterine primacy, there is the theory of Markan priority, the identification of the Synoptic problem, the acknowledgement that the Gospels are not first and second hand accounts, the recognition that the Pauline letters are not all authentic.

What other big milestones are there, including more recent stuff?
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Ken Olson
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Re: Important milestones in biblical scholarship

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rgprice wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:14 pm What are the main important milestones in biblical scholarship starting with the Protestant Reformation? There is of course the Protestant challenges to Peterine primacy, there is the theory of Markan priority, the identification of the Synoptic problem, the acknowledgement that the Gospels are not first and second hand accounts, the recognition that the Pauline letters are not all authentic.

What other big milestones are there, including more recent stuff?
In Old Testament scholarship, Wilhelm de Wette's argument that the book discovered in the temple in 2 Kings 22 was the book of Deuteronomy:

In his 1805 doctoral dissertation, de Wette proposed that the "book of law" discovered in the temple by the priest Hilkiah as described in 2 Kings 22 was the Book of Deuteronomy.[2] The suggestion has been described by Julius Wellhausen as "the epoch-making opener of the historical criticism of the Pentateuch" which prepared the way for the Supplementary hypothesis.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_M ... t_de_Wette

The subsequent development of the Documentary Hypothesis/Supplementary Hypothesis and later theories of the development of the five books of the Torah (as opposed to the understanding that Moses wrote them all at once) stem from his insight.

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Ken
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Peter Kirby
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Re: Important milestones in biblical scholarship

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David Friedrich Strauss, The Life of Jesus: Critically Examined.
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Peter Kirby
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Re: Important milestones in biblical scholarship

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More recent milestones include:

Ken Olson, Eusebius and the Testimonium Flavianum.

Mark Goodacre, The Case against Q.

With respect to the TF and the synoptic problem.

Not for being the first to suggest the ideas but for putting them firmly at the center of the conversation in scholarship.
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GMark Parallels Best With The Genre Of Greek Tragedy

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JW:

Wrestling With Greco Tragedy. Reversal From Behind. Is GMark Greek Tragedy?

The Liberated Gospel by Gilbert Bilezikian


Joseph
MODERATOR, n. A person who combines the judicial functions of Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus, but is placable with an obolus; a severely virtuous censor, but so charitable withal that he tolerates the virtues of others and the vices of himself; who flings about him the splintering lightning and sturdy thunders of admonition till he resembles a bunch of firecrackers petulantly uttering his mind at the tail of a dog; then straightway murmurs a mild, melodious lay, soft as the cooing of a donkey intoning its prayer to the evening star. Master of mysteries and lord of law, high-pinnacled upon the throne of thought, his face suffused with the dim splendors of the Transfiguration, his legs intertwisted and his tongue a-cheek, the editor spills his will along the paper and cuts it off in lengths to suit. And at intervals from behind the veil of the temple is heard the voice of the foreman demanding three inches of wit and six lines of religious meditation, or bidding him turn off the wisdom and whack up some pathos.
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MrMacSon
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Re: Important milestones in biblical scholarship

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The discovery and exegesis of the Nag Hammadi Library

The dicovery and exegesis of the Dead Sea Scrolls (and comparisons & contrast of some of it texts to other Jewish literature and to Christian doctrines (see viewtopic.php?p=168647#p168647 and following))
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MrMacSon
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Re: Important milestones in biblical scholarship

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Intertextual scholarship, such as Thomas L Brodies, eg.

The Crucible Bridge
and Adam Winn's follow-up, Mark and the Elisha-Elijah Narrative
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Peter Kirby
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Re: Important milestones in biblical scholarship

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There was a turn of emphasis in the majority of NT scholarship after the two world wars to situate early Christianity more firmly within Judaism, typically through an analysis of the Pauline letters. Whether viewed positively or negatively, I would suppose that it counts as a milestone.

Marcel Simon, "The Religionsgeschichtliche Schule, Fifty Years Later," in Rel. Stud. (1975 June), 11, pp. 135-144.

Alfred Loisy's Les Mysteres paiens et le mystere chretien, first published in 1919 and reedited in 1930, represents one of its most significant and also one of its last productions. ... the relationship between Paul and the pagan mystery religions, which was one of the favourite topics of the school: witness, amongst others, R. Reitzenstein's Die hellenistischen Mysterienreligionen (1910) and A. Loisy's above-mentioned book. ... Early Christianity which, considered in the teaching of Jesus and of his first disciples, was but a Jewish messianic sect, was transmuted, once St Paul established it on Graeco-Roman ground, into a salvation religion, the exact counterpart of the pagan mystery religions.

...

Secondly, we realise better than the previous generation how deeply Paul himself was rooted in Jewish categories of thought. Already Albert Schweitzer, in Die Mystik des Apostels Paulus (1930), attempted to explain Paul, as he had explained Jesus, from the background of Jewish eschatology and apocalyptics, and thus minimised the alleged Hellenistic influences on the Apostle's message. More recently, W. D. Davies' purpose, in his Paul and Rabbinic Judaism (1948), was to replace Paul in the main stream of Jewish thought. Likewise, H. J. Schoeps in his Paulus (1959) endeavoured to explain the Apostle's theology, as indicated by the subtitle of the book, im Lichte der jiidischen Religionsgeschichte, taking into account the whole variety and complexity of tendencies which obtained in Judaism at the beginning of the Christian era. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has added a new element and disclosed remarkable and very precise affinities between early Christianity, including its Pauline variety, and the Essene movement. All these factors have reminded us of something which the religionsgeschichtliche Schule had often lost sight of and which appears to us as a matter of course: Christianity is a product of Judaism. Whoever attempts to understand its emergence and early developments must first of all investigate its Jewish context. A book like R. Reitzenstein's Vorgeschichte der christlichen Taufe (1929) which, in order to explain Christian Baptism, resorts essentially to the risky Mandaean thesis, provides a striking example of what is no longer possible nowadays. Influences from outside are to be sought for only when an explanation through Judaism, all varieties of Judaism, has proved insufficient.

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Ken Olson
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Re: Important milestones in biblical scholarship

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Peter Kirby wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:30 pm More recent milestones include:

Ken Olson, Eusebius and the Testimonium Flavianum.

Mark Goodacre, The Case against Q.

With respect to the TF and the synoptic problem.

Not for being the first to suggest the ideas but for putting them firmly at the center of the conversation in scholarship.
:D

Well, I think Farrer "On Dispensing with Q' and Goulder's Luke are the groundbreaking works there.

Yes, David Friedrich Strauss, The Life of Jesus: Critically Examined is definitely a milestone for parting with previous efforts to rationalize the miracle stories (Jesus did things that appeared to be miracles to the eyewitnesses that were there) and suggest instead they were not reports of events that happened in Jesus lifetime by fictions added later by believers (translated into English by Mary Ann Evans AKA George Eliot).

Wiliiam Wrede, The Messianic Secret (1901) Mark was not just retelling stories that came to him as he received them. He was trying to explain why Jesus had not been known as the Christ during his lifetime, even though he really was. Mark's purpose governed the way he used the material he had. More broadly, Mark (and hence the other evangelists) was an author with a thesis, not an anthropologist writing down stories told to him by other people in order to preserve them faithfully for posterity.

E. P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1977) covenantal nomism - Jews were not pretentious legalists who were either boastful about keeping the law or depressed because they could not. They Jewish people believed they were chosen by God as an act of unmerited grace and kept his laws out of gratitude that they had been chosen out of all the peoples in the world to be his people and they wished to maintain their status as God's chosen people. (Others had argued similarly before - Sanders was writing after the holocaust when Christian scholars were more sympathetic to what he was saying).

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Ken
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Re: Important milestones in biblical scholarship

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Another development to come after the two world wars was a focus on redaction criticism of the gospels, often contrasted with the concept of form criticism (which was an emphasis of Bultmann earlier for example) even though it's possible to attempt to do both. This focused on reading the gospel texts for the signs of the author's own theology and hand, which was not a new idea in itself but was a distinct emphasis compared to prior work.

https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/nt-i ... nti_11.pdf
Redaction criticism came to the fore after the second world war, and is associated in the first place with the names of three prominent German New Testament scholars: Gunther Bornkamm, Hans Conzelmann and Willi Marxsen. These critics worked independently of each other on the three synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Luke and Mark respectively. It was Marxsen who gave the common approach which resulted from these studies the German name of Redaktionsgeschichte.

Gunther Bornkamm's work on the Gospel of Matthew marks the rise of redaction criticism. As a pupil of Rudolf Bultmann, he proceeded from form-critical assumptions to the further stage of analyzing Matthew's own theological outlook and intention as this is to be discerned in his handling of traditional material. ...

Hans Conzelmann's work as a redaction critic has been concerned mainly with Luke-Acts. His book Die Mitte der Zeit, first published in 1954, and translated into English as The Theology of St. Luke, marks a watershed in Gospel studies and an important advance in the method of redaction criticism itself; for it is an analysis of Luke's unique role as a theologian. Perhaps Dr. Norman Perrin goes too far when he concludes that as a result of Conzelmann's work, "Luke the historian becomes a self-conscious theologian, and the details of his composition can be shown convincingly to have been theologically motivated." ...

The third redaction critic in chronological order whose pioneering work in this field must be mentioned is Dr. Willi Marxsen, whose book Der Evangelist Markus (1959) contains four studies of the second Gospel which use the redaction-critical method. Like Bornkamm, and indeed Conzelmann, Marxsen accepts the method and conclusions of form criticism as a basis for his work. But once more, like them, he goes beyond this to emphasize the important contribution made by Mark himself when he collected together the independent units of the evangelic tradition and wrote them up into a Gospel as such, characterized by his own theological outlook. ...

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