Saturday, February 13, 2016

Discussion continues concerning gospel harmonization and fictionalization

My blogging time has been dominated lately by discussions generated from my post here on Mike Licona's approach to gospel difficulties. The blog thread discussion there continues and contains a huge amount of relevant material, especially in my exchanges with commentator Christopher McCartney. I strongly encourage readers interested in the subject to read those exchanges.

Meanwhile, at Triablogue, I have had interesting exchanges on the same subject in this thread and this thread.

Whatever else may come of the controversy, one good thing has been that Steve Hays has drawn my attention to (without necessarily endorsing) this article by John Warwick Montgomery. It looks like it is from 1999. I had not read it before. Montgomery, though writing in terms of inerrancy which I would not necessarily adopt, makes excellent points against the neo-inerrantists of that time. Apparently the stylish thing then in attempting to integrate redaction criticism with conservative biblical scholarship was this: Take some theological truth. Say that a later redactor added it to Jesus' words and that Jesus didn't really utter it. (For example, the Trinitarian formula in the Great Commission.) Then say that this is a version of inerrancy because the Holy Spirit guided the redactor only to attribute truths rather than falsehoods to Jesus! The small fact that the claim that Jesus said these words would be a falsehood in the biblical account seems to have been of no account to these theorists.

Montgomery is nearly tearing his hair out in the article (in a scholarly sense of "tearing his hair out") trying to deal with the illogic and poor reasoning of those making these claims, and reading him was like a breath of fresh air to me just now. It rocks. Go read it.

No comments: