Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another excellent article by Larry Hurtado

Larry Hurtado has posted another excellent literary analysis of a Gospel. It can be found here

Professor Hurtado writes 'The author’s reason for giving his account of the ministry of Jesus was entirely theological, not to serve some academic modern interest in historical exactitude, but to shape and nurture the faith of the intended readers.'

Of course, the article gives no clue as to how history can be extracted from an 'entirely theological' work.

And no attempt at showing that the disciples existed is attempted in the article. Instead, we get an analysis of how 'John' portrays them , indistinguishable from how somebody would go about analysing how Shakespeare portrayed the characters in Richard III.

Do Biblical historians use exactly the same methods as non-Biblical historians - no more and no less?

Or is one of the main tasks of a Biblical historian to do literary analysis , using the techniques people have developed to analyse novels and plays?


Blogger Phil C said...

Steven, I suspect that you are trying to make a snide comment here. But this is quite a perceptive point, for a change. History and literary style are closely entwined in most texts beyond a few hundred years ago, so it would be silly for Biblical historians not to use different disciplines in their analysis. Of course, it depends a bit on which part of the Bible they are studying.

8:32 AM  

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