Yesterday's Historical Jesus section about the parables was hot. First Crossan lit into Meier. Then Meier defended his use of authenticity criteria against unnamed critics (Meier suggested that no criteria is tantamount to no method at all). Then Snodgrass responded by saying that he had no confidence in the criteria method and parlayed that into a discussion about memory (citing Dunn). Then Notley observed some very useful parallels between Hebraic parables and those of the New Testament (he challenged the old consensus that Hebrew was a dead language in the first century). The Zimmermann exposed several weaknesses in Meier program by discussing the differences between the "criteria approach" and the "memory approach." Unfortunately, Annette Merz couldn't make the meeting.
Ruben Zimmermann's frontloaded his most effective criticism of Meier as he began his essay. He reminded us that (according to Meier) only four parables can be determined to be authentic using the criteria method. In short, "the historical Jesus only spoke four parables" whereas "the remembered Jesus spoke 104 parables." Zimmermann's point: the fact that Meier is only able to judge four parables as authentic exposes the failure of his method.
What followed was a clear indication that Meier and Crossan were not prepared for a discussion about memory. To his credit, Crossan seemed genuinely interested in Zimmermann's categories. Meier, disappointingly, seem altogether disinterested in the conversation.