I was about to post a scholar’s comment about the minimalist-maximalist debate when my attention was drawn to a classic illustration of the point I was about to make: McGrath had compared minimalists with mythicists. The comparison is instructive for the way the debate has been addressed. But before I discuss the specifics, let’s bring up front the general picture.
Biblical scholars and students who have commented publicly on the mythicist debate have brought shame upon themselves as intellectuals. They no doubt feel they have said all the right things that needed to be said, and that they speak for their colleagues and have the support of their academic peers. But while attempting to defend their profession they have not spoken as professionals. They have rather exposed themselves as intolerant, fearful and very unpleasant persons towards those who question seriously their core assumptions and methods. Their response to outside challenge has been utterly unlike the professionalism demonstrated by academics in some other disciplines (e.g. biological sciences) have responded to outsiders who have challenged them (e.g. creationists).
To see evidence supporting this claim one only has to look at a handful of responses that have been published online in the last week or so. Continue reading ““The Unhelpful Way In Which The . . . Debate Has Moved” (Or, attempting to understand why the misrepresentations from Hoffmann, McGrath, et al)”