Baker Academic

Was Rudolf Bultmann's impact on biblical studies generally positive or generally negative?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fantasy Team for Jesus Nerds - Le Donne

Okay, this is for the Jesus studies nerds among us. If you could study under two (and only two) living historical Jesus scholars, who would they be? Would you choose two names that represent different ends along a spectrum? Would you choose two scholars with strengths that complement each other?

The rules are: (1) you must provide two names only; (2) they must be living (retired is okay); (3) you must give some rationale for your choice; (4) you may not choose "Dr. Keith" or "Dr. Le Donne" unless your name is James Crossley.

I'm very curious to hear what Dr. Keith says (and this is hypothetical, so he can't say Bond and Hurtado).... I'll provide my answer if we get over fifty comments.

have at it...

-anthony

53 comments:

  1. Sanders and Crossan. No one else has a comparable intellect, in my humble opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  2. OK. Since Krister Stendahl has passed away ...

    1. Amy-Jill Levine. Funny. Force behind the Jewish Annotated New Testament. Her talk about the parable of the prodigal had my wife and I in tears. Funny. Doesn't write as much as I wish she would, so studying with her may be the only way to get access to her. Funny. The one scholar I can think of who truly gets why a Jew like me would be interested in this area. Did I mention that she's funny?

    2. E.P. Sanders. Knows everything. Will make me feel relatively young, and I can learn to say "covenantal nomism" without feeling self-conscious. When we take breaks from studying Jesus, we can study Paul. Once I've spent all that time with A.J. Levine, it will be nice to be funnier than the person I'm studying with. The one living scholar in this area that I can think of that changed the world.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ooh. This is good, Anthony. I can't wait to see what others say. I say Jens Schroeter and Dale Allison. I've made no secret that I'm a fan of both. No one knows tradition-history like Dale, and Jens has the most comprehensive methodology for studying early Christianity in my opinion. My second-place choices are precisely the two that Mark mentioned--Sanders and Crossan. How great would it be to sit in Crossan's office and just talk about Jesus studies?

    ReplyDelete
  4. PS--We need to do a follow-up on which two dead scholars we would choose.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would choose Crossan and Meier. Their erudition is unmatched. Their impact upon present discussions has been significant. And their perspectives are so different that I will be forced to learn a great deal.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Craig A. Evans: I am studying with him and his breadth of knowledge allows him to guide students down a variety of avenues of research.

    E.P. Sanders: because he is the "godfather" of modern historical Jesus studies.

    I'd give nods to Allison and N.T. Wright as well.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I posted the answers as well on my blog, but let me post them here as well:

    I would like to name Donald Akenson, Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus as my first choice. The reason is, is that he goes after the most direct route: the letters of Paul. He is a historian first and foremost. In my opinion, Paul counts about as much as a first generation witness as anyone else we have. Although, not an eyewitness.

    The second name, like unto the first, is Shadi Bartsch, a Classics professor at the University of Chicago. Her work on the time period, especially ideology in writing, and the like, I think would help with determining certain rabbit hunts in the Gospel as historical or literary.

    Unlike Akenson, I believe Mark does provide us something of a bare-naked glimpse into the Historical Jesus. I would contend that the exorcism im Mark 9 is historical, making Jesus a ritual exorcist rather than what we would like to think we see.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wright and Meier...very different, but both good, clear thinkers.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anthony and Chris,

    Once everyone submits their answers, you should provide a breakdown with percentages. That would be an interesting way to see what others are thinking about this question. Also, Nijay Gupta is asking a similar question over on his blog, only he asks about which Pauline scholars you'd like to study with.

    ReplyDelete
  10. NT Wright in the mid-section, obviously for his passing ability and commanding contribution to the field. He also has charisma which is what you want in a mild-fielder, although some may see this as polarizing. Gerd Theissen as a manager, for his Mourinho style of thinking outside the (biblical studies) box.

    On dead scholars, Albert Schweitzer, obviously, and Rudolph Bultmann, again, no reason needed.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bryan Lewis wrote on facebook:
    E.P. Sanders because I share his views of "hope for the restoration of Israel" and "covenantal unity in the redemptive history of Israel." Amy Jill Levine because she is my current professor. She feels the HJ Studies is moving into memory studies, anthropology/shamanism [second generation studies], neurobiology, and cultural studies broadly construed. Also…Rabbinic literature is back on the table, as is archaeology of Galilee.

    ReplyDelete
  12. In my case it would have to be the remedial class, since I'm definitely not a "Jesus scholar". But what I would like is to pair a historian/NT scholar with a theologian, hoping for some interesting interaction. I'd go with James Dunn and David B. Hart.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think it would interesting to do a summer studying HJ with Tom Wright, and then a summer studying with Luke Timothy Johnson (an anti-HJ scholar?). When I was reading Helen Bond's new short intro to HJ studies (Continuum), I couldn't help but wonder, if the birth stories are early Christian fiction, what do Christians do with advent liturgy, songs, plays/pagents, etc..? Do we celebrate it anyway and temporary "suspend" our historical knowledge? Do we appreciate the theological symbolism, but accept the unhistorical basis? I think Wright and Johnson would have some answers, but they would be quite different!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fiction of folklore? they are not synonymous

    ReplyDelete
  16. I actually thought of LTJ as well, but ultimately decided he was too much Jesus not enough history.

    E.P. Sanders and James Dunn.

    ReplyDelete
  17. As a cuban charismatic it'd be

    Craig Keener
    Craig Evans

    they both are humble and personable with a good number of years ahead of them to work with students. Additionally, they both have an impressive command of a wide range of ancient source material.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would definitely take NT Wright and LT Johnson.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I would choose NT Wright and LT Johnson. For me, they approach Jesus from the perspective of transformation.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would pick Tabor and Ehrman. Tabor so I could try and convince him that the virgin birth was possible as well as the resurection of Jesus. Ehrman so i could convince him that even though the Bible was not dictated to the writers by God, the overall gist is Godly because when humans are involved perfection becomes imperfection.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Craig Keener - His depth and understanding of the sources seems to be so vast,

    N. T. Wright - His large sweeping ideas of Jesus in Second Temple Judaism are awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Goodacre and Kloppenborg

    Q− + Q+ → γ + γ + MIND=BLOWN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is my favorite comment so far.

      -anthony

      Delete
  23. Living: Craig Evans and N.T. Wright Deceased: Albert Schweitzer and Martin Hengel

    ReplyDelete
  24. Birger Gerhardsson and Richard Bauckham:
    I like the way Gerhardsson categorizes Gospel material, which I think is great for standard pericope analysis. Bauckham's psychology of memory stuff I like (there are also others who I like as well, but alas I can only choose one!) and I like his thinking as regards "Gospel communities."
    I prefer these more than usual suspects, since their emphasis is more on method, as I see it, rather than on product.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'd love to be under Justin Meggitt and Roger David Aus. Both are genuinely insightful and original.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I confess to not being widely-read enough in NT scholarship to have make an informed choice. But I have read a number of scholars and could see choosing Crossan or others mentioned. I'd likely have Burton Mack as one of my two. Justification: He is the best representative I know of using a truly interdisciplinary approach with the collaboration of Jonathan Z. Smith; and his "social interest" theory is a needed and important addition to the field. (See especially his book where he fleshes out the theory itself... title escapes me at the moment... tho it's not an NT book per se.)

    With embarrassment, I'll say I haven't read several mentioned, including Sanders, nor the unmentioned Geza Vermes (more than a chapter or so). And I DO have to wonder out loud why Vermes is never mentioned so far? Is he really not all he's cracked up to be?

    And I guess there are not a lot of females to choose from, but why no Paula Fredericksen? Or, another man, Horsely?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Dale C. Allison and James D.G. Dunn

    ReplyDelete
  28. Meier and Crossan. If I had to choose two

    ReplyDelete
  29. No E. Fiorenza or Kathleen Corely, either? Or Robert Price ;)

    Me? I'd say Crossan and Allison: erudition, creativity, and differing conclusions. Second choices might be Sanders and Fredericksen, however similar their constructions might be.

    Eric

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dale Allison and Robert Price. We could do a Lovecraftian reconstruction of the historical Jesus. You can't get more apocalyptic than that.

    I'd probably go for Allison and Meier, all things considered.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Amy-Jill Levine and Paula Frederiksen.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Allison and Crossan.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wright and Evans.

    I can't quite imagine studying under people who don't look to Jesus for life. What's the point? I guess he is arguably the most influential person to ever live, so if you didn't believe he was divine, you might still find his historical self much cooler to study than, say, Plato.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Allison and Keener.

    ReplyDelete
  35. J.P. Meier and E.P. Sanders.

    Then I'd like to go hang out with N.T. Wright for dinner or something. Hopefully we'd meet up with Umberto Eco there too. He doesn't have anything to do with the historical Jesus, but since we're dreaming I thought I'd throw him in too.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sanders and Allison. Sanders because of his clarity of thought. Allison because he grapples with what it would mean for people of faith to look to the apocalyptic Jesus.

    ReplyDelete
  37. It is tough to pick two. I would leave Jimmy Dunn out of it since I already studied with him and would not subject him to that again. I think that I'd make Rudolf Bultmann one of them, not just because I appreciate his approach to mediating Christianity to the present day, but because of his full-fledged skepticism about the Jesus tradition. Then I'd make the second one Dale Allison, who thinks that the gist of the earliest depictions of Jesus must be right or otherwise nothing else can be. Of course, I'd be able to get little done with my advisers squabbling constantly...

    I mentioned this "fantasy team" in my post today about a giveaway of theologian trading cards, so please do spread the word about that! http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2012/12/theologian-trading-cards-giveaway.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the time I finished thinking about this, I had forgotten the stipulation that they be living. I am disqualified.

      Or, for a less mature response...

      BULTMANN LIVES! :-)

      Delete
  38. Actual vote: Allison and Bauckham, because they're simply my favorites. In addition to their influence of me, over time, I'd be fascinated to see how they influenced each other.

    Fun vote: Crossan and Wright, because my public dream wish is to find one Jesus scholar that takes Wright's "starting point" and applies Crossan's practical type of historical thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Screw Jesus scholars: Nickelsburg and VanderKam!!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Allison and Dunn.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Two brilliant, fresh, and keenly insightful scholars: N. T. Wright and Richard Bauckham. Wright for the sweeping, penetrating scope of his historical and theological vision. Bauckham for his detailed, detective-like analyses, and for noticing things that others probably should have long ago.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Helmut Koester and Francois Bovon

    -wonderful former profs of mine and it would be nice to hear more about their views on the historical Jesus
    -have ecclesial commitments
    -have a long view of NT/Jesus scholarship
    -and in Koester's case (as J. McGrath noted earlier) it is good to have a skeptical voice in the mix

    ReplyDelete

  43. Craig Keener - exhaustively thorough especially in methodology and precision of definitions.

    Loveday Alexander - G-R literature, language, backgrounds, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Tom Wright for his vision of the Kingdom of God and Diarmaid MacCulloch for his work on cristian history from Christ through to today.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Luke Timothy Johnson and Frances Watson.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Paula Fredriksen and Dale Allison

    ReplyDelete

Note: all comments are moderated by an anonymous third party.