Conclusions: Deeper Encounters With Historical Scholarship and Prospects for Apologetics

C. Stephen Evans

in The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith

Published in print April 1996 | ISBN: 9780198263975
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600579 | DOI:
 Conclusions: Deeper Encounters With Historical Scholarship and Prospects for Apologetics

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This concluding chapter continues the ‘case study’ of ‘James’, a young man raised in a non-Christian home who is converted to Christianity but subsequently exposed to sceptical claims about the incarnational narrative of the New Testament. A number of possible responses that James could make to the sceptical claims are considered, looking at the case in which James himself is able to carry out a deeper investigation of the problems by devoting some serious study to contemporary historical scholarship concerning the story of Jesus. Such an examination can be undertaken at many different levels, and at some levels, a great amount of preliminary knowledge is required in order to be competent to form critical judgements. The situation is investigated by imagining various levels of study on the part of James. These are (in order of increasing level): a review of the conclusions of important scholars; an examination of the criteria of authenticity employed by many New Testament scholars, and the uncertainty that may emerge from this; other, deeper reasons for doubts about critical historical scholarship (philosophical and literary assumptions); the problem of biblical historical critics as an interpretative (rather than an objective) community; and apologetics (old and new).

Keywords: apologetics; case studies; criteria of authenticity; historical scholarship; incarnational narrative; New Testament scholarship; New Testament; responses; sceptical claims; scepticism; uncertainty

Chapter.  13871 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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