October 28, 2010

The Gospels: Theology vs. History

TPTB all say, "Don't write narrative history of the Gospels because it might usurp the Gospels themselves."  

The same PTB say the Gospels are primarily Theological.  So if the Theological content of the Gospels is what's most important, then why is it okay to write a Theology of the Gospels?  Why don't we worry about usurping the primacy of these "Theological" Gospels with a rewritten Theology?

TPTB and their predecessors have spent centuries examining the Gospels through the lens of constructed theologies. To this very hour, they continue to write new Theology and then try that on as the context of their readings in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Furthermore, traditionally, TPTB tend to express very great confidence in their Theologies.  Apparently there's nothing to worry about in all that business.

But in History - where the uncertainty of one's conclusions is more obviously apparent - we get dire warnings about what befell Tatian and straw men arguments against Harmonies.  And on historical aspects of Gospel content, we get defense of so-called inerrancy, but virtually nothing in the way of any positive efforts towards reconstructing events for their own sake.  And on chronology, we get "Well, we just really don't know enough to be certain about that."

Oh.  But you're certain about the precise workings of how the Almighty operates from behind the curtain of Eternity.

Well, I guess.  As long as you say so.

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