I perfectly agree with the idea that cultural conditionning of the Gospel´s time should be known and valued, but we should also be aware of the cultural conditionning of those who live now and interpret the Gospel. Considering this unique measure, I observed a very inappropriate attitude to accept uncritically another “gospels” and writings, just because, in a Gnostic game of inverting values, these are not (yet?) the opinion of the majority. It is an obvious fact that we live in a cultural environment with a paranoid obsession of conspiracy and misinterpretation (as diseases of our nihilistic times). Am I wrong if I assume that heterodoxy and heresy are now accepted as dogma and orthodoxy not because of solid arguments, but rather for reasons related to psychopathology? Willing to believe is so easily to see even to those who define themselves as “freethinkers” and “skeptics”! A man cannot jump over his own shadow!
The need for “emancipation” has the perverse effect of overbidding to antique authors the conspiratorial genius and the perspicacity to fabricate a Gospel as complex as that Gospel it is. Seeing the combinatorial creative writing of hyper liberals (humanists, atheists and so on), seeing the conspiracies of authors our age being attributed to authors that lived thousand years ago, I think it is worth hermeneutic nihilism can count! Better no interpretation, than a glamorous one, folded on the audience’s appetite!
But, better than that, I recommend
Dethroning Jesus: Exposing Popular Culture’s Quest to Unseat the Biblical Christ (Darrell L. Bock, Daniel B. Wallace, Thomas Nelson Inc. 2007)
Misquoting Truth: A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” (Timothy Paul Jones, IVP, 2007)
The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity (Andreas J. Köstenberger & Michael J. Kruger, IVP, 2010)
and Fabricating Jesus (Craig Evans, IVP, 2006), an excellent effort to deconstruct the “modern”, “independent” and “scientifically”rewriting of the origins of Christianity. In contradistinction to the “newer, radical, minimalist, revisionist, obscurantist and faddish versions of the Jesus story,” the traditional one is both more convincing and more in tune with the historical and literary evidence.
Description: Modern historical study of the Gospels seems to give us a new portrait of Jesus every spring–just in time for Easter. The more unusual the portrait, the more it departs from the traditional view of Jesus, the more attention it gets in the popular media. Why are scholars so prone to fabricate a new Jesus? Why is the public so eager to accept such claims without question? What methods and assumptions predispose scholars to distort the record? Is there a more sober approach to finding the real Jesus? Commenting on such recent releases as Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus, James Tabor’s The Jesus Dynasty, Michael Baigent’s The Jesus Papers and The Gospel of Judas, for which he served as an advisory board member to the National Geographic Society, Craig Evans offers a sane approach to examining the sources for understanding the historical Jesus.
1. Misplaced Faith and Misguided Suspicion: Old and New School Skeptics
2. Cramped Starting Points and Overly Strict Critical Methods: The Question of Authenticity
3. Questionable Texts–Part I. The Gospel of Thomas
4. Questionable Texts–Part II. The Gospel of Peter, The Egerton Gospel, the Gospel of Mary and the Secret Gospel of Mark
5. Alien Contexts: The Case Against Jesus as Cynic
6. Skeletal Sayings: Maxims Without a Context
7.Diminished Deeds: A Fresh Look at Healings and Miracles
8. Dubious Uses of Josephus: Understanding Late Antiquity
9. Anachronisms and Exaggerated Claims: Christianities Lost and Otherwise
10. Hokum History and Bogus Findings: Jesus Between the Lines
11. Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? Unfabricating His Aims and Claims