Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The great thing about not studying in North America is....

...that I can tell the world how ridiculous I find the cynic and non-apocalyptic Jesus hypotheses and have academic faculty agree with me. Just as I was about to post this I remembered that Australia's most popular 'historical' Jesus scholar is most likely Barbara Thiering so I guess the joke really is on me.

*Hangs my head in shame*

Edit: For those of you who are not aware of Barbara Thiering, this is her in a nutshell according to Geza Vermes:

Professor Barbara Thiering's reinterpretation of the New Testament, in which the married, divorced, and remarried Jesus, father of four, becomes the "Wicked Priest" of the Dead Sea Scrolls, has made no impact on learned opinion. Scroll scholars and New Testament experts alike have found the basis of the new theory, Thiering's use of the so-called "pesher technique," without substance. The Qumran pesher—the word itself means "interpretation"—is a form of Bible exegesis which seeks to determine the significance of an already existing prophetic text by pointing to its fulfillment in persons and events belonging to the age of the interpreter. Professor Thiering, by contrast, turns the sequence upside down, and claims that the authors of the New Testament composed the Gospel story so that pesher technique could subsequently be fastened to it. If so, the clue must have been quickly lost, but now for the first time after nineteen centuries of universal misunderstanding it is revealed afresh in Jesus and the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls
One of my past lecturers was actually taught by Thiering back in the day. In fact he now teaches both Historical Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls and I am glad to say he doesn't follow her...unique...ideas.


  1. There are certainly academic faculty who would agree with you in North America!

  2. I am glad there are! My exaggeration betrays my frustration at the state of play among the 'louder' voices. Interestingly enough, I just came across this: