September 21, 2010

Dynamic Events of the Gospels

A research proposal, subtitled:  "extracting chronological sequence from narrative"
Narrative event sequence doesn’t automatically imply chronological event sequence, but embedded causalities within narrated events often do provide grounds for extracting historical sequence from narrative.  In the four Gospels, the most obviously chronological sequence includes Jesus’ birth, baptism, ministry, arrest, execution and resurrection; none of those gets narrated 'out of order'.  Another example is John’s ministry, arrest, struggle, martyrdom and legacy; again, that particular chain of events fits sequentially into each Gospel narrative.  Similarly causal relationships also appear between less significant events – for instance, Matthew had to be called before he could be named an apostle, and so on.  By connecting multiple chains of causation, one historical sequence of events might be critically extracted from each of the four Gospels.  From there, those sequences could be analyzed for contrasts as to how much could be reasonably combined into one historical sequence of events in Christ's life.  The historicity of this final sequence would obviously depend upon multiple factors, but the final project would never once have assumed chronological order merely from narrative sequence.

Of course I have absolutely no time to even begin actually doing this... properly.  If anyone wants to grant me a fellowship or a well paying internship, I'll drop everything else and begin this.  Otherwise, some industrious scholar should feel free to start in without me.  (All I ask is that you contact me eventually, about the results.)  And for everyone else, please stay tuned...

Related posts:
Dynamic Events of Jesus' Life (June '10)
Event Sequence: Mark vs. Luke (Feb '10)
A Dynamic Event: Jesus Separates from Peter (Feb '10)
A Dynamic Event: John's Imprisonment (Feb '10)
Foundations for Gospel Chronology (Nov '09)
Event Sequencing: John's Beheading (Sept '09)
sequence, not harmony (Aug '09)
Sequence of Gospel Events (July '08)

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