(Added a paragraph commentary in the “proves historicity” section about half an hour after original posting.)
New Testament scholars do not speak with one voice when it comes to applying the word “midrash” to the Gospels. Some have resolutely opposed the idea; others take its justification in their stride. In this post I would like to demonstrate something of the fact of this diversity of opinion as I encountered it on a yahoo! group for informal scholarly discussion about the historical Jesus, Crosstalk (1998/9) and its successor, Crosstalk2 (current).
The last exemplar I include is one that is argued not only Jack Kilmon (and John Spong), but also by Earl Doherty — though Jack himself may not like the association. But the argument almost necessarily follows in some manner from any proposition that any of the Gospel narratives are midrash.
That the Gospels contain/consist of Midrash
Jack Kilmon: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk/message/1490
I think the virgin birth thingy got started with the Matthean scribe in his zeal for OT attestation. Not being Semitic competent, the Matthean scribe used the LXX for Isaiah which translates the ALMAH as PARTHENOS. From that point, I believe the Matthean scribe was engaging in midrash. Continue reading “Midrash and the Gospels 2: debates in the scholarly sphere”