Daily Archives: 2010-10-15 11:17:15 GMT+0000

Vridar is not an anti-Christian blog

Someone occasionally comments on a post of mine in a way that indicates they think I have some vendetta against Christians, Christianity, or biblical scholars. A scholar in a recent exchange has shown that he has assumed I am out to attack Christianity, that I have some anti-Christian agenda in my posts relating to historical methodology and HJ studies and mythicism.

For the sake of the record, I invite anyone who thinks I have such an agenda to see if they can find room to dispel such a notion by having a look at my post “Why I am doing this” linked in my profile, and to do a search in the Search Vridar box on the name Pataki and read the first two posts that appear in the results, and maybe even have a look at where I speak of the “refreshing honesty of Jim West”.

I have also several times spoken of exchanges I have had with devout Christian friends of mine. That we are friends should also suggest that those who know me know that the idea that I have some “anti-Christian agenda” is so far from my nature or interest that any suggestion to that effect is pure fantasy.

I am certainly not wanting to imply I am pro-Christian either. I see myself as a secular humanist, and acknowledge that religions are a part of the rich tapestry of human experience. Though where there are ideas of any kind, not just religious, that do cause real harm, I will be “against” those. But I hardly see “Christianity” per se in that way.

I am fascinated by the study of Christian origins and the nature of early Christian documents for historical reasons. This is a topic that is at the heart of western culture, and still has a profound relevance today on millions. Christianity has been a major part of my life that has given me much good as well as negatives. It is gratuitous to assume that such an interest by an atheist must somehow be necessarily motived by ill-will. That’s simply nonsense.

Added post post:

As for mythicism, my interest is in Christian origins, and that is a far broader topic than the mythicist question, as I explained in another comment.

 

Scholarly attempts to “explain” historical methods for Jesus studies (1)

Scot McKnight of recent controversial article fame, devotes an entire chapter in his book Jesus and His Death to a discussion of the historiography of New Testament scholars, and writes:

In fact, the historiography of historical Jesus scholars is eclectic and often unconscious or uninformed of a specific historiography. (p.16)

Biblical scholarships’ ignorance of the significance of different types of evidence

This unfortunate state of much scholarship of Christian origins is aptly illustrated throughout many studies of the historical Jesus, but I focus in this post on statements by one such self-professing “historian” of the New Testament who makes a point of explaining what he understands by “the historical enterprise”:

I’ve long been perplexed by the frequent complaint from mythicists (i.e. those who claim that Jesus was a purely invented figure, not even based on a real historical human individual) that those working on the historical Jesus simply assume as a presupposition that Jesus existed, rather than addressing the question directly. read more »