‘Is This Not the Carpenter?’ review (chapter 11 continued)

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by Neil Godfrey

This post continues my reading and thoughts on chapter 11 of ‘Is This Not the Carpenter? : The Question of the Historicity of the Figure of Jesus. This volume, as I understand it, was published in the hope of introducing the question of the historicity of Jesus to a scholarly audience by means of articles written by scholarly peers. That is, it was meant to be a scholarly re-opening of the question of Jesus’ historicity from among the respected scholarly ranks of biblical scholars as opposed to recent serious authors outside the guild of New Testament academia (e.g. Doherty, Wells, Ellegård, Zindler). The result is a mixed one, in my opinion. Some chapters are excellent; too many are poorly edited or scantily proof-read though with some gold nuggets nonetheless; at least one struck me as quite irrelevant to the question of Jesus’ historicity; another is mundanely argued but worthy as a testimony to the current conventional wisdom; and one is confused with respect to definitions and coherence. Additional chapters (including chapter 11 discussed here) touch obliquely on the question of historicity. I wonder if these chapters could have been made more relevant by a few touch-ups to the question of methodology. Or did the editors think that a step too far at this stage? (Maybe I’m biased, but methodology — as it relates to the question of the historicity of Jesus — seems to be more often discussed head-on here on this blog than in any other avenue I am aware of.)

But till then, here are some more of the interesting observations of Ingrid Hjelm. Continuing from my earlier post:

Up to this point we have seen Luke following the less royally-oriented David of 2 Samuel and placing his messianic Jesus in the line of the David of 1 Chronicles who is preeminently a founder of the Mosaic cult in Jerusalem. That is, as in 1 Chronicles, Luke’s David is a prophet like Moses and this is the David whose throne Jesus is given.

I attempt here to outline the way Hjelm interprets the David in 1 Chronicles as a Moses redivivus, even as a prophet like Moses, in contrast to his portrayal in 1-2 Samuel, and to review other subtle allusions to the Scriptures Luke weaves into the themes, structure and content of his Gospel. Continue reading “‘Is This Not the Carpenter?’ review (chapter 11 continued)”