Saturday, December 17, 2011

TSP 10: Are the Gospel Stories About Jesus' Birth Historical?

I've been swamped over the last few weeks finishing up the quarter and so I've been behind in posting the latest podcasts of The Sacred Page program. Now I'm going to get you all caught up.

Over the last couple weeks we've been focusing on the readings for Christmas, i.e., the "infancy narratives" of Christ. We've been looking at their historical value and meaning.

This show explores some of the broad issues, although a lot more will be discussed in upcoming podcasts. Here, among other things, we look at the reason many scholars have been skeptical about the Gospels' historical worth. In particular, we look at the impact of Bultmann and other earlier "form-critical" scholars who viewed the Gospels in terms of "folklore". We then look at more recent discoveries that call their approach to the Gospels into question. We also explore the claim that the Gospel stories about Jesus' birth were invented to parallel myths about pagan gods.

I'd love to get your comments! Sound off in the box below!

Podcast: Are the Gospel Stories About Jesus' Birth Historical? 

For more on the theory that Christian "prophets" were the origin of some of the material in the Gospel tradition and other elements of this podcast--with specific references to academic works on the topics--go to earlier posts on here and here.

1 comment:

  1. What amazes me about the Christian Prophet theory (at least regarding the teachings of Jesus) is the absolute wall up against which it runs against vis-a-vis Occam's Razor--I mean, what's simpler, that a bunch of concocted stories were gathered together during the years in some kind of a "traditioning" process then written down OR that Jesus actually said these things and someone wrote them down?

    I know that Occam's Razor is not a proof, but I think my reasoning (as a non-scholar) is sound on this point.