I'm happy to report that my Journal for the Study of the New Testament article, "The Narratives of the Gospels and the Historical Jesus: Current Debates, Prior Debates, and the Goal of Historical Jesus Research," is now available online here. This is an electronic version of the article that is published prior to the publication of the print version. This article was originally an invited paper that I delivered in Amsterdam at SNTS last summer. In it, I respond to criticisms of some of my work from my friend Tobias Haegerland in this article, but do so by situating our disagreements within broader trends in historical Jesus research. I then address the differing epistemological and methodological foundations of two trends in particular. Here's the abstract from my JSNT article:
The article argues that current debates over method in historical Jesus studies reveal
two competing ‘models’ for how to use the gospel tradition in order to approach the
historical Jesus. These models differ over their treatments of the narrative frameworks
of the gospels and, concomitantly, their views of the development of the Jesus tradition.
A first model, inspired by form criticism and still advocated today, attempts to attain
a historical Jesus ‘behind’ the interpretations of early Christians. A second model,
inspired by advances in historiography and memory theory, posits a historical Jesus who
is ultimately unattainable, but can be hypothesized on the basis of the interpretations
of the early Christians, and as part of a larger process of accounting for how and why
early Christians came to view Jesus in the ways that they did. Advocating the latter
approach to the historical Jesus and responding to previous criticism, this article argues
further that these two models are methodologically and epistemologically incompatible.
It therefore challenges the suggestion that one can affirm the goals of the second model
while maintaining the methods of the first model.
(If you have no institutional access to the article and want to read it for private research purposes, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)