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July 26, 2014

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The result of all these years of study is a private manuscript...

!!

Is there a list anywhere of all these scholars who accept the minimal facts?

John F,

Presumably that would be in Habermas's 'private manuscript'.

I can't imagine a journal would want to publish the entire list. Anyway, see the next sentence:

The result of all these years of study is a private manuscript of more than 600 pages that simply does little more than line up the scholarly positions and details on these 140 key questions, without additional interaction or critique. Most of this material is unpublished, though I have released some of the results in essays that specifically attempt to provide overviews of some of these current academic positions.

And here's the footnote: Habermas, “Resurrection Research from 1975 to the Present,” 135-53; “Experiences of the Risen Jesus: The Foundational Historical Issue in the Early Proclamation of the Resurrection,” Dialog: A Journal of Theology, 45/3 (2006): 288-97; “Mapping the Recent Trend toward the Bodily Resurrection Appearances of Jesus in Light of Other Prominent Critical Positions” in John Dominic Crossan and N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of Jesus: John Dominic Crossan and N.T. . . .

So you're welcome, Ron, to review the articles that were published on this.

John F asked for ' a list of all of these scholars'.

So I think my answer to him is good.

Thank you for your invitation (to review...), but I'll pass.

Even if the whole 'private manuscript' were released tomorrow, I'd still pass.

Why would I spend my time on this survey when I could/have looked directly at the actual arguments?

Come to think of it, why did Habermas spend his time this way?

He cannot contribute to our knowledge of history this way; he can only contribute to our knowledge of his selected 'scholars'.

Why would I spend my time on this survey when I could/have looked directly at the actual arguments?

Why would you post comment about his list being private - as if to suggest something is fishy - when you really aren't interested in the list at all?

SteveK,

Why would you post comment about his list being private - as if to suggest something is fishy - when you really aren't interested in the list at all?

Even if I had the list, I would still be far better off studying directly the arguments and evidence than studying the list.

But that doesn't make the 'private manuscript' ok.

In other words, the 'privacy' of the 'manuscript' is only one of two sufficient reasons I have already given for ignoring Habermas - the other reason being I'd be better of spending my time directly on the arguments and evidence.

Note: I'm not implying that I think there are only two good reasons to ignore him. ;)
___________________

I advance no theory about 'privacy' of the 'private manuscript' - fishy or otherwise.

I only point out that while it's private the work is rightly ignored.

Forget Habermas then. Just a cursory read through of Luke-Acts is more than enough evidence that at least Jesus existed and was crucified/buried. In Acts the author of Luke (probably Luke because no one ever suggests anyone else in antiquity). starts saying "we" because he accompanied Paul for half the book. We also see from his document that Luke would have known Peter personally, etc. You can say he made 100 percent of that up I guess. What for though? Luke says at the beginning of his book that he consulted eyewitnesses and tradition keepers (eretes) to write his 2 volume story. You can have a philosophy that the amazing things that happen in the gospels and acts are not possible I guess, but to then say that Jesus didn't exist? These is a biography written by a doctor that travelled around with Paul and knew and interviewed all the personal actors in the story! Do you really think he would have gotten crucifixion wrong?

I don't mind Habermas's approach, and in fact I am appreciative for the work he has done in assessing the scholarly position.

It's a little strange to me that he has not released his "private manuscript" by now, but not overly bothersome. I don't want to release my work either, until it has been well-polished. The only thing that makes it strange is the fact that he should have had plenty of time by now to prepare it for publication. But, again, I am not overly bothered by it. I trust that he has been fair.

This is not to say I buy his minimal facts argument. But, I do not disagree that the minimal facts he gives are really facts. It's too bad others (namely WL Craig, who appeals to non-facts) aren't as careful as Habermas.

Ben,

Interesting...

What do you mean by Habermas's approach? Approach to polling or to history?

Keeping in mind that this work is intended and used as an apologetic (It's meant to establish the Resurrection as a historical fact not just to find out what some unspecified scholars think.), did he evaluate relevant evidence and argument?

On what basis do you say his fact are facts? Is it on the basis of his work?

What do you mean by 'the scholarly position'? Who are the scholars?

Why don't you buy the mfa?

did he evaluate relevant evidence and argument?

Ron, I'm just curious...the post above addresses both the reason why he would want to count the positions of scholars and the fact that he said "evaluating relevant evidence and argument," as you say, was more important than counting scholars. Did you read the post?

Ron,

When I say that I don't mind Habermas's approach, I mean I agree that it is sometimes nice to look at scholarship to see what it says, and accept their word on the subject. In other words, I think the near-unanimity of scholarship is sufficient for a layperson to agree to the minimal facts.

On what basis? I trust Habermas's judgment here. He seems to recognize his bias and attempt to fight against it. And, it's hard to fudge facts accidentally. If a scholar or historian says he believes something, probably Habermas has the reading comprehension skills to understand what was said ;) Maybe I am being too credulous, but yes, I do trust in Habermas's honesty and his competency to survey the opinions of scholars and historians.

As for who the scholars are, I'm not sure exactly but I assume they are New Testament historians and, in particular, scholars who have written peer-reviewed research on the historical Jesus.

Finally, why don't I buy the minimal facts argument? Because it's absurd. There is no way in a million years that the best explanation for some historical facts is that God exists and performed a bunch of miracles. It's ridiculous on its face. But, that doesn't mean I reject the minimal facts themselves.

Ben,

Aren't you basically saying "I can't believe it because I can't believe it."?

Phil,

No. I'm saying I don't accept the argument because I don't believe that the existence of an invisible miracle-performing entity is the best explanation for some basic historical facts.

Phil,

Ben asserts that the ontological regressions within the arena of God are irrational, unreasonable, or anti-reason, and so on. Such an assertion on his end suffers from many internal problems - but such is not the topic of this OP. This is merely an explanation of what must be Ben's interpretation of any/all evidence which may be forthcoming, particularly if such fails the sniff test of the Timeless / Immaterial. We all have our various metaphysical presuppositions.

Amy,

Sorry about the delay. Lots of work. Halfway through a 3 day power outage at home. Will get back to you soon.

Amy,

I said

Keeping in mind that this work is intended and used as an apologetic (It's meant to establish the Resurrection as a historical fact not just to find out what some unspecified scholars think.), did he evaluate relevant evidence and argument?

Lets unpack.

* Intent

In the OP, you quote Habermas saying the scholar statistics are intended as an apologetic.

But it should always be remembered that this is an apologetic strategy.
'Strategy' implies intent.

* Use

Also in the OP, you use those statistics as an apologetic.

The use of the scholars to show that “even by skeptical approaches, the resurrection can be established historically,” is merely used as a kind of shorthand in an apologetic approach (as well as being evidence for the strength of the evidence).
Saying the scholar statistics are 'evidence for the strength of the evidence' reduces to using the scholar statistics as an apologetic for the historicity of the Resurrection.

* Did he...?

Also in the OP, you quote Habermas...

The result of all these years of study is a private manuscript of more than 600 pages that simply does little more than line up the scholarly positions and details on these 140 key questions, without additional interaction or critique.
...supplying the answer to my question: Did he evaluate relevant evidence and argument?

The answer is...

No, he didn't evaluate relevant evidence and argument.

Are you still wondering if I read the OP?

If so, please explain.

I do recognize that you said some nice things in the OP about argument and evidence.

But those statements don't erase your use of 'this work' as an apologetic in the OP.

Nor do they erase such use made by others.

I also recognize that, in the OP, you quoted Habermas saying some nice things about evidence and argument.

But those statements don't cancel his intent that 'this work' be used as an apologetic.

Nor do they cancel the fact that 'this work' doesn't 'interact or critique' argument or evidence.

So, they don't change the answer to my question: No, in 'this work', Habermas didn't evaluate relevant evidence and argument.

Ron, of course he evaluates the evidences and arguments. Have you read any of his books?

This particular paper is about the part of his work that examined the positions of scholars. But that's only part, of course. It's the list of scholars and their positions that doesn't include interaction or critique, not his work as a whole. And even as part of his explanation of this part of his work, he says that the evidences for the facts are more important. Come on, Ron.

Amy,

You said Habermas's scholar count is 'evidence for the strength of the evidence'.

You were using 'this work' as he intended - as an apologetic for the Resurrection.

I object to that specific intent and use regardless of 'his work as a whole' and regardless of the content of 'his books'.

That Brazil lost to Germany 7-1 is not changed by the fact that Brazil has a great team (supposing they do).

RonH

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