Baker Academic

Friday, October 23, 2015

Syndicate Symposium—Chris Keith

The Syndicate Theology Symposium for Jesus against the Scribal Elite has now posted all four commentaries on the book as well as my responses.  I'd like to thank Dagmar Winter, Tobias Haegerland, Christopher Skinner, and Jason Lamoreaux for their insights.  We covered quite a bit of ground, ranging from methodology in historical Jesus studies and the usefulness of class-based interpretation of the Gospel to the book's usefulness in the university classroom and the very purpose of historical Jesus studies.  If you follow this link, you can access the entire symposium.


  1. It's pretty tough being in interdisciplinary studies. In this case, history and theology and psychology. They sometimes say it takes about two decades for anyone to master that. Clearly though you've made a good start.

    1. Anonymous, I'm not sure that I follow you here. Who is working in the field of psychology in this forum?

      FWIW, if you measure by publications, Dr. Keith has published more in memory theory and NT studies than any other NT scholar. To say that he's "made a good start" is faint praise.


  2. I've just recently discovered the Jesus Blog. My college and seminary education (United, Dayton Ohio; Lutheran, Gettysburg Pa) occurred in the 1960's. I wasn't aware that the criteria of authenticity were being questioned by social memory theory on the basis that the former advocated a literal historicity of the results. For myself the authenticity criteria "point to" a "voice print or action print" with some degree of historical probability - I appreciated the Jesus Seminar because they added a "group perspective" to the traditional competitive "independent elite scholar" approach.

    Reading the material associated with Dr. Keith's research, for the first time got me to thinking about the space in which Jesus taught, why and how as an uneducated teacher he could have been a threat to the scribal elites, and how that probably impacted multiple reactions to him.

    Gene Stecher
    Chambersburg, Pa.