This is what I’ve been able to gather, so far, about Scholars. Aside from generalizing, please tell me to what extent any of this is actually wrong. I hope it’s at least a little wrong. This is one time I would especially LOVE to be wrong. (NOTE: I wrote this some days ago.)
Christian Bible Scholars don’t want to blend the Gospels into one story. They prefer to see Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as individual documents with their own unique “theological” message. They say things like, “The Bible is not a History Text.” Basically, Christian Bible Scholars view the New Testament as a Sourcebook of information we can study, from which we can build teachings about God, faith and how Christians should live.
Non-Christian Bible Scholars don’t believe the Gospels tell one true story. They prefer to see Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as religious propaganda that was sprinkled with non-credible events to create an elaborate picture of who they (wish) Jesus of Nazareth truly was. They say things like, “How can we find the historical Jesus?” Basically, Secular Bible Scholars view the New Testament as a Religious-Dogma Sourcebook, which needs to be discredited and exposed as a fraud, for the good of all mankind.
Christian Bible Scholars believe Jesus rose from the dead. They know the Gospels don’t perfectly agree with each other. They prefer to keep these facts under control so they can protect the innocent minds of poor, simple believers.
Non-Christian Bible Scholars believe Jesus just lived and died. They deny any possibility that miracles might have actually happened. They like to say the imperfections and oddities of the Gospel texts are evidence that the whole thing is full of made-up lies.
Christian Bible Scholars engage their opponents on their opponents’ ground. Here they can do little more than criticize and attack. Arguments and discussions go in circles. The two sides do no better than agree to disagree.
Non-Christian Bible Scholars refuse to assume any tenants of faith for the sake of argument. They hold the high ground in University Departments on the political principles of “Separation of Church and State”.
Non-Christian Bible Scholars are trying to reconstruct (or re-invent) “The Historical Jesus”. Christian Bible Scholars are left with having to speak about “the Christ of Faith”.
And now for my favorite:
Classical Scholars (both Christian and Non) avoid study of the Bible for its own sake. Classical Scholars write about every other text from the ancient world, except the Bible. WHY IS THIS, REALLY?
To Sum Up: Christian B.S. avoids Historical thinking. Non-Christian B.S. denies the whole truth about Jesus. Ancient Historians avoid the Bible altogether.
And me? I’m trying to put the True Jesus in Historical Context.
Sometimes it feels like I’m very alone in this quest. I sure hope that’s not true.
So who else is with me on this?