Marcus Borg wants to see the New Testament's 27 documents rearranged "based on contemporary mainstream biblical scholarship" and "scholarly consensus about the basic framework." This article is so interesting, I don't quite know where to start. For brevity's sake, I'll just cut to the chase.
If any mainstream publications start making hay with such a "chronological new testament", one based on the liberal consensus Borg recommends, then I predict one of two reactions from the conservative side (who are tragically always reactive instead of proactive about the NT historically). Either (a) a handful of contrary projects will develop, with a more scripture-affirming timeline, which might raise the concern among evangelicals that NT chronology needs more attention (thus providing us with chronology projects deeply flawed in another direction, because conservatives generally care more about shoring up doctrine than for reconstructing actual history)... Or (b) a handful of strong authority figures will simply circle the wagons around canonical sequencing by decrying once more the feasibility of knowing such dates with much confidence (as they go on passionately debating the finer points of much more knowable things, such as precisely how much God does or does not predetermine).
I don't honestly know which of those two outcomes I'd prefer less.
The major parts of Borg's rationale, I agree with. His "consensus" package of dates, not so much. Yes, it makes a huge difference in the way we see the New Testament, and yet it's for that very same reason that we certainly do ourselves more harm than good with the wrong sequence of dates.
Obviously, all this merely begs the main question once more. What are the right dates? As it so happens, a couple of Bibliobloggers were on Facebook just this week, discussing how there's so little consensus among various NT Chronologies currently 'out there', and how it's easier to just make up one's own and then look for whomever's published work most closely approximates that, to get support! (Yes, I'm pretty sure they were mostly just joking, but it's not far from the truth.)
I have so much work still cut out for me. (He said, unashamedly.) Though it is not now what it might have been in recent years. (He said, mysteriously.)
More to come on my changing objectives, anon, but unless I suddenly win the lotto (anyone want to buy me a ticket?) I'll just keep battling circumstances to carve out more significant project time. Any year now, I really ought to start hitting my groove. Until then, I'll just let these others speak for themselves, without further commentary, from me, today:
Marcus Borg: A Chronological New Testament
Aside from 347 comments at the moment (which I've not yet read more than a dozen of), the post also has over a thousand shares and 'likes', and a couple of bibliobloggers have already responded:
Phillip J. Long: Reading the New Testament, Chronological or Canonical?
Victoria Gaile Laidler: Chronological or Canonical?
Perhaps more opinions will follow. I'd love to see yours, in the comments below...