Saturday, March 28, 2009

N.T. Wright on Hyper-Scepticism

This quote got a chuckle out of me so I felt compelled to share it. Those of you not accustomed to the field of higher criticism may not understand where it is coming from - but I am sure it is something even the most Price-Deterring-esque 'scholar' would be compelled to reflect on:

The guild of New Testament studies has become so used to operating with a hermeneutic of suspicion that we find ourselves trapped in our own subtleties. If two ancient writers agree about something, that proves one got it from the other. If they seem to disagree, that proves that one or both got it wrong. If they say an event or saying fits a prophecy, they made it up to look like that. If there are two accounts of similar events, they are a "doublet" (there was only one event); but if a single account has anything odd about it, there must have been two events, which are now conflated. And so on. Anything to show how clever we are, how subtle, to have smoked out the reality behind the text...Suspicion is all very well; there is also such a thing as a hermeneutic of paranoia. Somebody says something; they must have a motive; they must have made it up.

N.T. Wright, 'The Meaning of Jesus' p.18

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