Saturday, January 19, 2008

When asked ...

about whether certain historical events in the life of Jesus actually happened ...

Bultmann: 'We can't possibly know whether that bit happened or not, and the other bit?!!?! Of course it didn't really happen you twit! Light-bulbs etc. It really means something else, as you see when you demythologise it, and then discover the Christ-event addressing you'

Wright: 'Well yes it did happen, but it didn't mean what you think it meant. Rather, you have to see it in terms of the controlling story of the exile and restoration'

Borg: '1) Resistance is futile. 2) whether it happened or not is unimportant. What is important is the spiritual context in which you live and how this tradition nourishes you.'

Westerholm: 'What did Luther say about it? That's what happened'

Brian McLaren: 'Postmodernism. Not modernity. It's a conversation. Let me light a candle and give you and your environment a hug!'

Benedikt XVI: 'Ich verstehe Sie nicht. Sprechen Sie Latein?'

Bauckham: 'Eyewitnesses saw it. Even if their eyewitness memory is fallible, it is the theologically as well as historically appropriate witness to those events and their significance'

Greg Boyd: 'Well, it was the devil that done it, but Jesus defeated it in cosmic battle'

Jesus seminar: 'black, grey, pink'

Crossan: 'It might of happened in a peasant, cynic sort of way'

Perriman: 'I think it may have happened. But it was part of an eschatological drama that is not ours'

Crossley: 'Something happened: In a socially-scientific explainable sort of way'

Esler: 'Honour shame. Patronage. Limited good'

Dan Wallace: 'avmh.n le,gw u`mi/n'

Peter Enns: 'What the text says is entirely true as Christ is divine, and is entirely a human account in a "Word became flesh" type of way'

Carson: 'YES'

Hurtado: 'Yes, it happened. Then they worshiped Christ'

Gathercole: 'Dito'

Bauckham: '... and they included him in the divine identity'

Dawkins: 'OF COURSE NOT IDIOTS. Flying spaghetti plate, Zeus atheist, hell is an evil doctrine, child abuse etc.'

Francis Watson: 'It happened as a scriptural argument. It was a specific hermeneutical argument in dialogue with the scriptures and other interpretative traditions'

Miroslav Volf: 'Let me give you an embracing hug'

Benny Hinn: *Screams "TOUCH!" into a microphone* I fall over.

Ehrman: 'The truth got lost in the scribal tradition and in all of the many variations'

Martyn: 'It happened, but not like you think: It happened in a world invading apocalyptic kind of way'

Bird: 'Yes, with a restored Israel around Christ it was an anticipation of God's salvation as it would then reach the rest of the (Gentile) world'

Dan Brown: 'It didn't happen like that. That is part of a global conspiracy to keep you in ignorance. Davinci left hints'

Gorman: 'In a participatory, cruciform, anti-empire, non violent type of way, it happened'.

Michael Jackson: '*grabs groin and moonwalks. Grunts EH!*'

Bockmuehl: 'What is its Wirkungsgeschichte?'

Jim West: *Quickly puts on a T-Shirt with "I'm a card carrying minimalist" written on it* 'NO! And what is more, if you insist it did and think you can prove it, that is nothing but unbelief!'

Chris Tilling: 'For any of the named above who happen to read my blog from time to time, apologies for my insolence. The devil made me do it'


Hordes of systematic theologians: "We will give the whole question a half-hearted nod, then pretend it doesn't really matter and carry on talking about abstractions like zim zum and such like"

Barth: Cheerfully adds "Welcome to the strange new world of the Bible!"

Witherington: Writes a book about it in 3 days.

and McLaren: Endorses it.

The Welsh: Speak in a funny language about it.

Wright (again): 'I forgot to add: Jesus is Lord, and Caesar isn't. As this dovetails nicely, in a pincer movement, with precisely the point Bird made in the comments.'


At 1/19/2008 9:05 PM, Anonymous Jim said...

Well what can one say except- I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head. Except you forgot to give one to 'anonymous' - who would doubtless oping-

"I'd agree with you if I knew what you were talking about but since I don't know so much as 2+2 I have to just say something negative about West."

At 1/19/2008 9:20 PM, Anonymous Jason Goroncy said...

Very funny. Someone has way too much spare time on their hands ...

And Forsyth said: 'Yes it happened, but it cannot explain itself. For if it could it could explain Christ who is part of it. And if it could explain Christ then this would reduce him to no more than history's product'.

At 1/19/2008 9:36 PM, Anonymous dan said...

I was hoping McLaren, and the reference to postmodernism, was going to lead us into the crisis of subjectivity, and the trauma of the Real (and hence our inability to truly experience the Real, let alone know if anything 'Real' is happening, or has ever happened) but damn good stuff all the same!

At 1/19/2008 10:02 PM, Anonymous J. B. Hood said...

Chris Tuckett: No, it's from Q2, not Q1.

Goodacre: I'm not sure, but I can tell you it had nothing to do with whether or not it was in Q. Also, I'll happily address the issue on radio or TV.

Witherington redux: Writes a book on it in three days, somehow giving the issue a previously unknown socio-rhetorical perspective.

Craig A. Evans: edits a book or dictionary on it in four days.

April DeConick: The real question, did it happen for the community who understood the event as an aeon emanating from...

Elain Pagels: How does this event make women feel?

Joel Osteen: Yes, it happened, and as a result Jesus helped that poor man marry the girl with the best smile in Galilee and add three fishing boats to his fleet.

At 1/20/2008 1:07 AM, Anonymous Naomi said...

Chris, very amusing my friend! You could go on and on about this.

Ludemann: No, and only a stupid Christian would believe it.

Piper: Yes, and it was glorious to see and savour the saviour.

Head: First tell me what manuscript you're using as your A-text.

Torrance: And exactly how does such a question like this help us to understand Barth better?

Wright: Precisely - Jesus - End of Exile - Precisely - God's risky rescue plan - Precisely.

At 1/20/2008 1:49 AM, Anonymous steph said...


I'm gonna write five books on the truth, this month, after breakfasts and prayers, using what everyone else has written on it mixed up in my own misunderstanding which I'll justify as you misunderstanding me, mate.


It's true, I was there.


Think on these things.

At 1/20/2008 3:06 AM, Anonymous W. Travis McMaken said...

The Benny Hinn response was right on, Chris, but they are all exceptionally well done.

In the comments, the Osteen response hits the nail on the head. The Torrance, however, is poor. Here is better:

Torrance: We must not neglect the empirical correlates of God's action in the world of space and time.

At 1/20/2008 3:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why people who know Jesus tend to ignore what the "wise ones"'s pretty obvious with that many thoughts on the subject of the historical events of Jesus, you guys have no clue what to believe or who to believe in. Yes, it was funny to read, but so sad a commentary on the foolishness of man.

At 1/20/2008 3:15 PM, Anonymous Doug Chaplin said...

I think that last quote by anonymous was better than Jim's quote by anonymous. It sounds just like the sort of thing anonymous says.

At 1/20/2008 5:18 PM, Anonymous rtb said...

What, no Sanders?

Sanders: Why are we still talking about this? Didn't you read my book?

At 1/20/2008 6:22 PM, Anonymous James Crossley said...

I like 'something happened' so much so I'm going to steal it. And you can't complain cos I can prove it was attributed to me. Beat that.

At 1/20/2008 9:22 PM, Anonymous Dr. Suess said...

Cat in the Hat - "I do not like green eggs and ham Sam I AM..."

At 1/20/2008 11:05 PM, Anonymous Stephen (aka Q) said...

I am reminded of Father Guido Sarducci's "five minute university" sketch.

"The idea is that, in five minutes, you learn what the average college graduate remembers five years after he or she is out of the school."

At 1/21/2008 3:20 AM, Anonymous jonhenry said...

Saint Thomas "Doctor" Aquinas: It happened. But not as that which happened when things happen. That would be much too simple, and would not involve my need to waste paper. Thus, first was the divine volition of the deed, then the doing of it. There are thirty-two stupid, stupid objections to this, all of which I will dismiss here with copious reference to the fathers.

Martin Luther: I know not the issue too clearly, but I do know that I am about to damn someone as a heretic today. The only question is, will it be a Jew, a Turk, or a Papist?

Jean Calvin: Augustine hath said that the Lord did this particular thing, and that it certainly occurred as Matthew, Mark, and Luke have laid it out, and so far we agree. However, the hellish papists would have us believe that Peter had something to do with it, which causes our bile to steam with a righteous thirst for blood.

Abraham Calovius: He who cheweth gum on Sunday is guilty of the blood of Christ. He who believeth not that the vowel-points are inspired, he shall not be too happy when he gets to heck [edited to clean up his vile language]. He who even discusses the theories of those who say that this happened not, this one shall be afflicted with such a multitude of imitative comments that his blog will rot under the weight of them.

D.Min.: Can't we just say it happened and move on to some leadership management techniques?

At 1/21/2008 7:04 AM, Anonymous Charles Augustine Rivera said...

Docetism: It only looked like it was happening.

At 1/21/2008 5:06 PM, Anonymous John C. Poirier said...

You forgot Hans Frei: "The question as to whether anything happens is based on a category error. People didn't care if things really happened until the seventeenth century"

At 1/21/2008 10:56 PM, Anonymous Jason Pratt said...

Except for the Boyd comment (which while satirical isn't satirical on topic--bad form!), I smiled through the whole routine. (And the comments, too.)

Suggest on-topic rewrite for Boyd: Yes. {appending one hundred twenty pages of 4-point-font endnotes on sources disputing all angles of the argument, with occasionally prescient commentary}

Hengel: Yes. And my endnotes are more humorous than Boyd's! {translated from German}

JATRobertson: Honest to God, I doubt a lot of it happened. But the texts were apparently written a lot earlier than I was expecting.

Hemer: After meticulously researching the content of Acts, my conclusion is... ACCKK! {drops dead}

Gempf: Herr Hemer died before completing his conclusion, but it looks like we should consider the bulk of Acts to be historical. Ach, wait, that doesn't have anything to do with the question of what Jesus did...


At 1/22/2008 10:26 AM, Anonymous Yeshua said...


This is NOT funny!

I'm just kidding my's freaking hilarious. "Benny Hinn: Screams 'TOUCH!' into a microphone. I fall over."

Sheer Brilliance.

I can't stand that guy.

At 1/22/2008 11:52 AM, Anonymous steph said...

Anonymous says:

I know but I'm not telling you because I'm so clever and you aren't - although I never make alot of sense and don't seem to know what I'm talking about (which is why I'm too scared to let you know who I am)

At 1/22/2008 12:38 PM, Anonymous Kevin D. said...


Thanks for reminding me why I chose systematic theology. Dogma trumps history! Now we can move on.

At 1/22/2008 1:26 PM, Anonymous Phil Sumpter said...

You're funny, Chris.

At 1/22/2008 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

steph said...

Anonymous says:

I know but I'm not telling you because I'm so clever and you aren't - although I never make alot of sense and don't seem to know what I'm talking about (which is why I'm too scared to let you know who I am)

I know many Steph's.....or Stephen(s)...or Stephenson...or Stephans...I guess when you choose to link your name to uncover your anon...the world will be blessed.

At 1/23/2008 12:25 AM, Anonymous steph said...

oh but I was linked to a profile and if you weren't around to see it, tough. When blogger changed I lost it. People know who I am - you just haven't been round long enough - and you are nobody anyway.

At 1/23/2008 1:24 AM, Anonymous Ross said...

Very amusing.

What would Tillich or Spong say?

At 1/23/2008 3:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


How nice to have such a gracious and righteous man/women ...acknowledge a nobody like me. Thank you for your kindness. This has been a true blessing to know that someone cares for the anons in the world. I will be forever grateful.

And yes, I am and will always be anonymous so that you can make fun of me and the other anons that post here...which seem to be quite a few, so that you can feel superior in you knowledge to those of us who are nobodies in this world of pure wisdom that you have expounded in these particular posts. I am truly enlightened now to my stupidity. Oh how stupid of me for coming into the presence of such greatness! The next time an anon posts (which may or may not be me), I pray the Lord gives you more wonderful words to show us how truly wise and gracious you are.

Thank you,


At 1/23/2008 7:35 AM, Anonymous steph said...


when asked, everybody else says ... but what would Tilling say?!

At 1/24/2008 6:47 PM, Anonymous Flint Cowboy said...

Just wondering if you have every googled your buddy Jim West and then gone to the Wikipedia article?

Tillich would say, Have you ever noticed that the theology of the second century is so much better than modern theology? Of course, we don't worry about what happened to the molecules of the body of Jesus. That would be preposterous. But it is our ultimate concern in the meaning of the resurrection that matters.

At 1/24/2008 7:09 PM, Anonymous Eric W said...

Your Own Historical Jesus (with suitable apologies to Depeche Mode)

At 1/26/2008 3:51 AM, Anonymous Celucien L. Joseph said...


This post is outstanding! Very thoughtful.

At 1/30/2008 7:58 PM, Anonymous Jim said...

Anyone who uses Wiki can't be trusted and anyone who recommends Wiki must be presumed quite mad.

At 4/12/2008 8:09 AM, Anonymous Sanjay said...

This story is very emlishing well wat can one say except good luck.

At 1/28/2014 6:40 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Sh*t, you're asking the wrong questions again, what's important is how the actions of Jesus shape us into a new people who aren't too patriotic.

At 2/02/2014 3:56 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Ralph Wiggum: "My cat's breath smells like cat food."


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