Rudolf Bultmann, E.P. Sanders, and Curious Legacies

In which James Crossley gives me an early birthday gift by making me sad…

Harnessing Chaos

Picking up on the evaluation of Bultmann’s legacy on the Jesus Blog and publishing some fragments I could not be bothered writing up and publishing properly…

Here are two truisms of modern historical Jesus and New Testament scholarship. 1. E.P. Sanders contributed significantly to demolishing the explicit anti-Jewish tendencies in New Testament and the over-emphasis on the Law versus Gospel distinction. 2. E.P. Sanders downplayed historicity of the conflicts between Jesus and his opponents as presented in the Gospels.

There is no need to argue with these points, even if we might fill out the details in a book, article or even blog post. However, what can be done is to look at a particularly interesting scholarly genealogy. One of the curious things about Sanders is the unexpected influence on some of his more famous ideas. For instance, on the one occasion where Sanders thinks Jesus may have overridden the…

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