Monday, July 29, 2013

Biblical scholarship and Mary Magdalene

I have been sort of half-following the Reza Aslan affair. Aslan has indeed misrepresented his credentials as reported at GetReligion and elsewhere. This would count for something if legitimate biblical scholarship was, well, legitimate. But the fact is that current biblical scholarship is often a sad joke. Not all of it. But my point is, even though his credentials are not legitimate, Aslan's work is not all that different from what legitimate biblical scholars produce.

Aslan is quite correct to point out that the new testament sources on Jesus are not a good historical account. Where he fails is that having wiped away false assumptions from the blackboard, he is far too eager to fill it with his own speculation.

But, you know, I have just finished a book called Peter, Paul and Mary Magdalene by Bart D, Ehrman, who is not only a biblical scholar of unimpeachable credentials but is also one of most admired scholars in his field and a lot of what he writes is just silly. I'll be discussing some of it in days to come.

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