Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Quote of the Day

In addition to being persuaded that the standard criteria much more often than not leave us with an uncertain verdict, I am haunted by what we now know about the frequent failings of human memory. This instills modesty and reinforces my conviction that the historicity of most-not all-of the events associated with Jesus and the origin of most-not all-of the sayings attributed to him will always fall woefully short of demonstration. We see him as in a mirror darkly. The attempt to espy more, which is the quest of the historical Jesus, can deliver only this or that scholars reconstruction, which is always an inadequate cipher, constructed by inference, out of indirect knowledge. Usually, the best we can credibly do, in my judgment, is set our general impressions within the framework of facts that we can reasonably establish. (Dale Allison, Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History [Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, forthcoming; emphasis mine), 22.
This book will be sure to engender much discussion and I found myself wanting more after reading the 30 page excerpt Baker has provided here.

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