Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bauckham responds IV

Richard Bauckham has written to me concerning the debate generated in this post (part 17 of my series on Jesus and the Eyewitnesses) to clarify his position with regard to identifying the naked youth with Lazarus.

‘“Unfortunately, in the nature of the case, no degree of certainty is possible” [citing his words in J&TE, p. 200]. It’s just an unverifiable suggestion, and meant as such. Not everything I suggest in the book is supposed to have the same degree of probability. I see no harm in throwing out some mere possibilities provided one makes it clear that they are. Someone else might always be able to do something more convincing with them. The trouble with much NT scholarship is that people put their conjectures on the same level with pretty much certain fact. I’m well aware that some arguments in the book are stronger than others - though there is also a good deal of subjectivity in people’s assessment, such that I’m sure there are arguments I think are among the strongest that others think weak, and perhaps vice versa. I think the novelty of many of the arguments means there needs to be a good deal of discussion before it becomes clear which prove the most widely convincing’.



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