Baker Academic

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mark Goodacre Interview (Part II)

The first part of my interview with Dr. Goodacre can be found here.

ACLD: In your essay for Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity, you talk about the possible heuristic value of the criteria for instructing students new to Gospels scholarship. Will you continue to use the traditional criteria as pedagogical avenues to larger discussions in the classroom?

MG: I think so, yes. I was lucky enough to be taught by E. P. Sanders and his approach to what are now called the criteria was exemplary. He used what he called various "tests" as a means of cross-examining the
source material, and it is an excellent way to train new students. Unfortunately, unlike Sanders, many scholars fail to distinguish between materials of pedagogical value for introductory students who are being trained and materials that scholars should be able to take for granted.

When I teach the "criteria", I introduce them and then illustrate them, discuss them, and point out the problems. I think it's a great way of learning historical method. One is aiming to discover how historians work and this means learning their methods and then exploring them and then critically interacting with them. The critical interaction is essential, but it needs to come at the right moment. Quite often amateurs make the mistake of attempting critical interaction before they have immersed themselves in the methods.

...more with Dr. Goodacre will be published tomorrow.

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