Daily Archives: 2010-08-30 15:16:34 GMT+0000

Stronger evidence for Publius Vinicius the Stammerer 2000 years ago than for Jesus

Publius who? That is the point of this post. Assertions that there is as much evidence for Jesus as for any other person in ancient times, or that if we reject the historicity of Jesus then we must reject the existence of everyone else in ancient history, are based on ignorance of how we really do know about the existence of ancient persons.

This is my postscript to the previous post and suggests a case study on the relevance of literary criticism (and a few other things, like primary evidence and external controls) to historical methodology. I have argued the negative side of this in relation to Jesus many times, and won’t repeat those arguments here. Instead, I focus on one case where the methodology I discuss is used to positively establish historicity of ancient persons. read more »

Brodie (almost) versus McGrath on historical methodology in NT studies

Missed it by that much
Missed it by that much

Thomas L. Brodie has a chapter (“Towards Tracing the Gospels’ Literary Indebtedness to the Epistles” in Mimesis and Intertextuality) discussing the possibility of the Gospel authors using the NT epistles among their sources, but what I found of most interest was his discussion on methodology and criteria. The difference between Brodie’s discussion of historical methodology and that espoused by James McGrath comes close to being starkly different as day is from night. But it is not clear that Brodie is fully aware of what I think are the implications of what he writes. read more »