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Is Jesus the Messiah?


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#316    seanph

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 02:49 PM

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A scholar is not a theologian because that would mean that he defends a certain position instead of being impartial...


Not necessarily, J.  You have never heard the term "scholar and theologian" so and so?  Many scholar have degrees in theology.  And many theologians have embraced the HCM, such as Father Kannengiesser, Emeritus Professor at the University of Notre Dame, who states this with regards to HCM[s]:

"... works of modern textual criticism have revealed data which constitute a 'revolution in methods of Biblical exegesis' so that the facts relating to Jesus recorded in the Gospels are no longer 'to be taken literally', they are 'writings suited to an occasion' or 'combat writings'. Modern knowledge has brought to light the history of Judeo-Christianity and the rivalry between communities which accounts for the existence of facts that today's readers find disconcerting. The concept of eyewitness evangelists is no longer defensible, although numerous Christians still retain it today... It was almost obligatory to have such stories available,” the theologian says; “they were stock stories told to convert people to Jesus.”  Tales of virgin births, divine heroes, and miracles workers were relatively common 2,000 years ago and simply did not mean what they do to us today."----Kerry Temple (PhD), Editor, Notre Dame Magazine

So has Reverend Robert Krieg, Professor of Theology, who teaches Christology at Notre Dame.  And Reverend Edward Schillebeck, O.P., a top Catholic, Dutch scholar, who said, while there are limitations to HCM, this is what we know:

“... is that there are limitations to what we can know by using the historical-critical approach.  The only text that we have show Jesus already proclaimed as Christ by the church and by his first disciples.  The New Testament is the testimony of a believing people, and what they are saying is not history but expressions of their belief in Jesus as Christ.’…"--Ibid

In principle, though, I agree with your overall statement.  

Sean

Edited by seanph, 22 August 2007 - 08:45 PM.

"Any religion whose prerequisites for individual salvation donít conduce to the salvation of the whole world is a religion whose time has passed."--Robert Wright, The Evolution of God

#317    Jor-el

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 09:39 PM

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Not necessarily, J.  You have never heard the term "scholar and theologian" so and so?  Many scholar have degrees in theology.  And many theologians have embraced the HCM, such as Father Kannengiesser, Emeritus Professor at the University of Notre Dame, who states this with regards to HCM[s]:

In principle, though, I agree with your overall statement.  

Sean


Well, it is assuredly a question of outlook, I suppose, In terms of scholars I think that a pragmatic outlook on the issue is relevant, since they cannot work from a presupposition. Their arrival at a conclusion is based on available "evidence" much like a scientist who is observing an experiment. It doesn't necessarily mean that their observations are correct though, but we can say that according to evidence that can be ascertained that is the best that can be done.

Theologians, in my opinion, work on a different track, they do not observe impartially but are active participants in interpretation. A Theologian is someone who studies and interprets religious doctrine and texts. As the dictionary definition implies.

Theology:

1. The field of study and analysis that treats of God and of God's attributes and relations to the universe; study of divine things or religious truth; divinity.  
2. A particular form, system, branch, or course of this study.  


But it isn't my intention to get into specifics, so I'll just add that according to this (my) outlook, scholars and theologians are infact more times than not, at odds with one another. The fact that we have people who are termed "scholar and theologian" does not necessarily mean that they can act out with efficacy both functions at the same time. I would say that, it is rather a term applied to them due to their degrees in both fields rather than a capacity to function in both areas in any qualitative way.

Let's say I have degrees in History (Classical History) and Theology (Christian Studies and Religion), do you think I won't eventually have to opt for one or the other when  these fields clash? (and they do quite often)

If I'm a fervant christian, I might opt for giving credance to my Christian Studies and Religion training rather than to my Classical History training, but if I were primarily a rationalist who was merely brought up in christian tradition, I might opt for my Classical History knowledge over the the Theological knowledge.

I would say that very few (not to say none) people could actually incorporate both fields and balance them equally with success without giving anything up in return.

Simply put, a true theologian who is merited the title will become an apologist within the framework of his or her religion. They might offer contradicting views and stances over many issues in debate with other theologians (defense of a particular interpretation over another) but they will remain defenders of their particular faith nonetheless.

In the case of the scholars and theologians you quoted, my view is that they would fall primarily under the title of "rationalist scholar" rather than that of "believing theologian". The truth is that the diploma really doesn't give them the right to call themselves theologians if they don't actually do the work of one.

Even I, who am fairly well acquainted with the HC method and defend it to a point, cannot accept that everything these gentlemen say can be taken as "gospel". But then again, that is my opinion.

PS - Thank you for agreeing with me on this one, these times are rare, they should be treasured... happy.gif

Edited by Jor-el, 22 August 2007 - 09:42 PM.

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"Man is not the centre. God does not exist for the sake of man. Man does not exist for his own sake."

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#318    seanph

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 12:29 PM

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Thank you for agreeing with me on this one, these times are rare, they should be treasured..


Amen to that, good sir! wink2.gif

Sean

"Any religion whose prerequisites for individual salvation donít conduce to the salvation of the whole world is a religion whose time has passed."--Robert Wright, The Evolution of God




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