René Salm has been posting some interesting articles on his Mythicistpapers website lately. His most recent is Brodie, McGrath, and the increasing polarization of biblical studies—Pt. 2. James McGrath has prided himself on rarely taking a cutting edge stand but always remaining steadfast in the middle of controversial issues. He calls it The Radical Middle!
I was once asked (in a job interview for a faculty position at a seminary), because I seem to like the ‘middle of the road’ position on many things, what if anything I get excited about. I thought it was a great question, and I would still answer it the same way now as I did then: I am excited about finding and maintaining the middle ground.
The middle ground is anything but where McGrath stands in relation to mythicism. René points out in his article that McGrath “presents such a good example of the polarization in biblical studies.”
Thus, what comes screaming through, more than anything else, is the paranoia of an aging, entitled, and arrogant tradition. It all stands to reason. There’s a paycheck at stake. Reputation. Legacy. Ooh…
The article touches on a number of recent developments among biblical scholars that present challenges to their traditional assumptions. He begins with Dennis MacDonald’s studies in intertextuality and mimesis and the conclusion that the gospel authors were essentially writing fiction. I have been reading not only MacDonald’s work but also studies by a number of more conservative scholars also investigating intertextuality. They fail to draw the logical conclusions that MacDonald does, but their work is still informative and yet another topic I would like to post about one day.
Other names in the article of interest: Thomas Brodie, Tom Dykstra, Markus Vinzent. Salm is of the view that “Paul” belongs firmly in the second century. Vinzent is going so far as to argue that all four canonical gospels postdate the Marcionite heresy.
Some other recent interesting articles of interest at Mythicist Papers
- Brodie, McGrath, and the increasing polarization of biblical studies—Pt. 2
- J.P. Holding is sued for libel, and the increasing polarization of biblical studies—Pt. 1
- Part 2—Paul moves to the second century CE
- Forthcoming anthology: “Christianity in the Light of Science”
- Part 1—“Paul,” the improbable phantom
- NazarethGate available at 20–37% discount
- Mythicism on the cusp of history–Pt. 2
- Mythicism on the cusp of history–Pt. 1
- NazarethGate now available
- Book Review: “Mark, Canonizer of Paul” by Tom Dykstra (2012) — Pt. 4
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