2007-04-03

Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 18a . . .

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by Neil Godfrey

This chapter is still coming . . . . not forgotten — main reason for the delay is that Bauckham relies most heavily on C. A. J. Coady’s book, Testimony: A Philosophical Study (1992), so I am enjoying reading Coady (along with some of the scholarly discussion circulating about his book) at the moment — hopefully to better position me to discuss Bauckham’s argument.


2007-03-22

Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 18a

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by Neil Godfrey

This is going to be a multi-part reply to a most extraordinary chapter. In a bizarre way that Bauckham would not appreciate, B will find himself in league with his post-modernist devil against the intellectual values of the Enlightenment. The main differences between the two are firstly that B will often be arguing against a straw-man Enlightenment, and secondly that he will subtly shift definitions and contextual meanings of his terms as he proceeds. Continue reading “Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 18a”


2007-03-18

Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 17

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by Neil Godfrey

17. Polycrates and Irenaeus on John

Polycrates on John

Bauckham proceeds to show that Polycrates knew that John the author of the Gospel was not the Son of Zebedee, member of the Twelve, John. He begins with his letter to the bishop of Rome over the ‘correct’ date on which to observe ‘Easter’ (or the ‘Passover/Last Supper’). The extract is from the ccel site (Eusebius, H.E. 5.24.2-7): Continue reading “Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 17”


Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 16:Appendix

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by Neil Godfrey

Appendix: Papias as Eusebius’s Source in Hist. Eccl. 3.24.5-13?

At the end of chapter 16 Bauckham addresses the argument of Charles Hill that Eusebius paraphrased a section of Papias that discussed the gospels of John and Luke.

Hill’s argument contradicts Bauckham’s by implication: Continue reading “Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 16:Appendix”


2007-03-17

Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 16

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by Neil Godfrey

16. Papias on John

A second (hitherto unknown) inner circle
In this chapter Bauckham argues that the author of the Gospel of John was John the Elder, and that it was this John who was the Beloved Disciple (BD). He begins by comparing the Synoptic “sources” with John’s. He reminds us that it was Peter, James and John (the Sons of Zebedee) who were the inner circle in the Synoptic Gospels, and that it was the Twelve who were the eyewitness authorities behind Mark’s gospel, first of the Synoptics. In the Gospel of John, on the other hand, we find that the synoptic trio of Peter, James and John, no longer occupy such a privileged place. They have been replaced, argues B, by the BD. But the BD is not alone. He is part of another circle, Continue reading “Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 16”


2007-03-10

Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 15b

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by Neil Godfrey

(forgive tardy responses to some comments on earlier entries — will get there soon)

A Comparison with Luke-Acts
Bauckham continues to search for ways to treat the Gospel of John’s witness motif as something other than a metaphor:

  1. He interprets the reference to “from the beginning” in Luke’s Prologue to eyewitnesses being “with Jesus” from the beginning of his ministry, and relates this to the first speech of Peter in Acts that announced a replacement for Judas had to have been with Jesus from the time of the baptism of John. Both Luke and Acts clearly speak historically. Bauckham concludes that it follows that the author of the Gospel of John must therefore have had a similar historiographic intent with reference to “from the beginning”. Of course there is no logical reason why one author’s historiography should be vicariously implanted into another author’s metaphor. Continue reading “Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 15b”

2007-03-04

Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 15a

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by Neil Godfrey

15. The Witness of the Beloved Disciple

Bauckham opens this chapter with:

In the last chapter we demonstrated that, according to John 21:24, the Beloved Disciple was both the primary witness on whose testimony the Gospel is based and also himself the author of the Gospel. (p.384) Continue reading “Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 15a”


Papias: theologian or historian?

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by Neil Godfrey

Richard Bauckham places critical importance on the way Papias expresses his preference for a “living voice” over “books”, and argues that here Papias is informing readers that he follows “best historical practice” according to standards of antiquity.

Thanks to my life-long habit of frequenting second hand bookstores I have just come across my old 1965 Penguin paperback of G. A. Williamson translation of Eusebius and notice a small print footnote on these words of Papias: Continue reading “Papias: theologian or historian?”


2007-03-03

Bauckham’s eyewitnesses vs Petersen’s narrator

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by Neil Godfrey

Is there any evidence in Mark’s narratives that the author is reporting the point of view of anyone other than his own? Is there any indication that he is relaying a third party’s “eyewitness” testimony?

Do we ever catch the author stepping outside his own perspective for a moment and finding himself reliant on the testimony of an “eyewitness” in the telling of a story? Continue reading “Bauckham’s eyewitnesses vs Petersen’s narrator”


Bauckham versus Elisha on Jairus’ daughter

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by Neil Godfrey

Have just put up another detailed comparison of Mark’s narrative of the raising of Jairus’s daughter with its literary antecedent in 2 Kings 4, the story of Elisha’s raising of the son of the Shunammite woman. Again, what is the more reasonable? To think that a person can be raised from the dead or to think that an author draws on a similar well-known story to describe a raising from the dead?


2007-03-02

Bauckham versus Elisha on the 5000

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by Neil Godfrey

I have made all too passing references to a feature that deserves the most attention of all in any serious thought about Richard Bauckham’s eyewitness hypothesis — the alternative hypothesis, the literary-borrowing hypothesis. Continue reading “Bauckham versus Elisha on the 5000”


2007-02-27

Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 14/WIFTA

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by Neil Godfrey

6am Thursday 1st Mar 07:

Yes miracles of healing and exorcism would be memorable but what is important in the context of the gospels is that these were unlike the ‘normal’ works of healers and exorcists in the ancient world (1.27; 2.12; 3.22). Continue reading “Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 14/WIFTA”


Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 14

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by Neil Godfrey

Meanwhile, have made a few minor changes/additions to points 3 and 6 (’emotional involvement’ and ‘point of view’) in my previous chapter 13 discussion since originally posting it.

14. The Gospel of John as Eyewitness Testimony

This chapter attempts to establish three points:

  1. that the author of the gospel of John identifies himself as “the Beloved Disciple” (– but exactly who that was B reserves for a future chapter)
  2. that the original ending of the gospel was 21:24-25
  3. that significant “we” references testify to an “authoritative we”

On these three points I found Bauckham’s conclusions (although not all his arguments) refreshingly persuasive. Continue reading “Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 14”


2007-02-26

Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 13

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by Neil Godfrey

13. Eyewitness memory

Richard Bauckham uses this chapter to relate modern studies in memory psychology “to gospel traditions in a systematic way”. RB acknowledges that others like Crossan have addressed memory studies before but B is attempting to apply them more specifically in a range of cases of eyewitness recall and as the sources of gospel episodes. B’s purpose for this study is once again to attest to the “authority” of the Jesus traditions in our canonical gospels:

How are we to gauge the reliability or otherwise of the gospel traditions? How far would they have been accurately preserved even within the memories of the eyewitnesses themselves? (p.319) Continue reading “Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 13”

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