Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tyndale Bulletin for Free

I've just spent the last 1.5 hours downloading free articles out of the archives of Tyndale Bulletin.

Go here to join in on the early Christmas present.

(HT: Michael Barber)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What a loss

I just heard that Cardinal Avery Dulles went home to the Lord yesterday. What a great loss to the Church.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What does this say about form criticism?

I was reading through Stephen Carlson's post about the Secret Mark session and I noticed this little section. Carlson was summarizing Helmut Koester's defense of Secret Mark (and Morton Smith):

First, it was most like the material unique to Mark (in Mark's disagreements against Matthew and Luke). Second, Secret Mark's account of the youth in the tomb is form-critically more primitive than John's Lazarus account, and Smith was no good at form criticism.

I wondered when I read this - if Secret Mark is ever put to rest as a hoax (and I think it is), what does this say about form criticism? If someone who is no good at form criticism can just happen to create something that, form critically, looks earlier than our canonical account in John, what does that say about form criticism's ability to date texts? If it could be shown definitively that S Mark is a hoax(and I think it has already), then I think the academy should re-evaluate how it uses form criticism to date texts.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Secret Mark Session at SBL

Tony Chartrand-Burke has written a blog post on the Secret Mark session at SBL. Though he claims to "remain an agnostic" on the matter, I think it's apparent from his comments that he considers the dissenting voices' arguments less than compelling. He states:

The two main writers against the authenticity of the text, Carlson and Jeffery, are not biblical scholars. Their arguments are not based on the methodology used by biblical scholars.

I've not read Jeffery's book, but as far as Carlson goes - this is poppycock. This seems to be ivory tower snobbery and not really dealing with the issue at hand. Arguments stand or fall based upon the evidence, not someone's supposed credentials. Secondly, Carlson didn't decide to go do doctoral work in New Testament on a lark - it wasn't as if he, one day in the courtroom (I know he wasn't a trial lawyer), thought, "You know what? I really fancy the New Testament. I'll see you folks later" and walked into Duke. As Mark Goodacre points out, Carlson had already published in New Testament Studies.

Third - both Carlson's NTS article and his book utilize "methodology used by biblical scholars." I've had the chance to talk with Carlson at length about things related to the Synoptic Problem and he was incredibly well-informed. I think pointing out that he's a lawyer in order to derail any of his arguments is a weak line to take - but I suppose we should just leave the logic up to the lawyers.

**Edit 12/7/08**
I read over Jeffery's response to Scott Brown's review of his book. Anyone who cites Schillebeeckx, Bouyer, Joel Marcus, and April DeConick is very very okay in my book.

Monday, December 1, 2008

April DeConick's SBL Paper on Judas

April DeConick gives a summary of her paper delivered in the Judas section at SBL. This was one of my favorite papers (my favorite being Brant Pitre's paper in the Historical Jesus section on Monday). At any rate, as I mentioned earlier -her paper completely blew everyone out of the water...or atleast those paying attention.