CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

The Jesus Seminar in 50 Words or Less

"They voted on it? How much more proof do you need that their findings are not based on hard data and well-defined methods?"


The Jesus Seminar is not monolithic. The professsors and associates there made their judgments individually, in response to papers that were presented on the issues they considered. The voting mechanism was, primarily (in my opinion), to get attention, secondarily to produce a color-coded book as Funk desired ('red letter edition'), and with any scholarly purpose third. To meet the second objective, the stated one, I don't see how Funk could have organized it otherwise except by letting one person do all of the decision-making--and how much more objective/hard/data-driven is that? (For both the committee and the individual, it depends on how she/he/they reached a decision.) Scholars would be advised to read the records of the seminar, including their Forum journal.

Lol, Peter, I know they're not monolithic. But if their findings were solidly supported by hard data, they wouldn't have been voting on it, that's all. C'mon, voting is the democratic political process and very chic and all that; but anyone who thinks a scholarly or historical issue is correctly decided by a vote ... ! (Whether that was the original intention is a separate question, but that's been the popular interpretation none the less.)

It's good to see you around the blog more often.

Take care & God bless

I read somewhere that some translations of the Bible are produced at least in part using this method. Voting by members of the committee on the best reading. Not sure how reliable that info was, or if historical research is the same thing.

I've never heard that but let's suppose that it's true, just to see where it goes. Language is notorious for being ambiguous. Like the old song goes, "You know sometimes words have two meanings." Sometimes it happens that the intended meaning of a phrase cannot be determined with certainty. In cases where the translators seek to be faithful to the original text, they plow forward with their best efforts -- but if they should vote, it means (at the least) that they acknowledge their findings are open to question, are not actually empirically certain. People don't vote on things that are empirically certain based on data plus methods.

Which is all I'm saying here.

Funny, and I started with 50 words or less. Go figure.

Take care & God bless

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