Archive for September, 2007

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: A Brief

September 25, 2007

Yes, this blog has been fairly lifeless lately with hardly any new posts. This, of course, is because the Fall semester has started off with quite a rush of work and assignments. Reading about 4-500 pages a week, learning and translating German, researching for papers, working two jobs, and preparing for a Sunday School lesson will cause a blog to become quickly not a top priority. I did just finish Richard Bauckham’s book entitled, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. I would highly recommend reading this book if you are interested in learning about the nature of the Four Gospels. He writes well, explains the situation at hand in New Testament scholarship, and presents his case very clearly. Scholars and pastors both would benefit from reading this book. Though I do not agree with everything he argues for, I commend his overall approach to you. I have provided you with a brief (not a book review) on his significant contribution below.

The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Bauckham, Richard. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006. 508 pp.

The post-Enlightenment embrace of the historical critical method triggered decades of NT scholarship that presupposed the Gospels portray the historical Jesus inaccurately, since the Jesus of the Christian faith as represented by the four Gospel traditions, cloaks him in the theological agendas attributed to anonymous communities separated from the eyewitness accounts by an extensive period of time. Consequently, scholars still find the Gospel writers’ theological message about Jesus antithetical to their historical preservation of him. In his Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, Richard Bauckham finds these assumptions misguided. He argues that the Gospels represent trustworthy historiography based on the authoritative testimony of real eyewitnesses that remained the primary sources for each Gospel writer’s account. Long periods of time filled with the succession of oral traditions did not delay the Gospels’ composition. Instead, their final form is “much closer to the form in which the eyewitnesses” testified, hence, Bauckham’s subtitle: the Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (6). Accepted and studied on this appropriate and more natural basis, the Gospels not only provide reliable history concerning Jesus, but also grant theological access to the meaning of his life and mission. (more…)