There is a passage in the Gospel of Thomas that would seem to encapsulate the historical methodology some scholars use to reconstruct the historical Jesus:
77 Jesus said, “I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained.
Split a piece of wood; I am there.
Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.”
Professor Bruce Chilton‘s book Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography is a classic case study of how biblical scholarship can be so consumed by its idée fixe that “the historical Jesus” will be found everywhere the faithful scholar looks:
- beneath every stone the archaeologist lifts in Galilee,
- behind the fabulous tales of miracles and supernatural characters in the canonical gospels,
- wedged within every extra-canonical text one cares to split apart. Continue reading “Finding Jesus Under the Stone: The Gospel of Thomas Guide to the Scholarly Search for the Historical Jesus”