In my previous post I misdirected anyone interested in following up where I posted on Dale Allison’s discussion of circularity in historical Jesus studies. I have since corrected that link. Here it is again:
The point being that Hobsbawm’s insistence on the need for independent evidence is designed to avoid just this circularity that is at the core of historical Jesus studies. His attempt to equate Hobsbawm’s historical concerns with those of Allison curiously manages to avoid this central point and difference between the two approaches to history.
It does not do to try to change the rules and say we have to work without independent evidence in the case of the gospels because it doesn’t exist. If it doesn’t exist then we need to ask questions of the evidence that will allow us to work within the norms of a valid logic that avoids circularity.