Friday, June 02, 2006

Who do you think is the greatest living New Testament scholar, and why?

As wondered by Chris Tilling.

Like Loren Rosson III, I don't think I can narrow it down to just one, so I'll take four, in no particular order.

E P Sanders: A giant. Not always right, IMO, but always makes an impact.

Mark Goodacre and/or Michael Goulder: Do I have to pick just one of them? They may not have stopped the juggernaut just yet, but its pace has slowed and it looks to be coralled.

Paula Fredriksen: She may not be as prolific as a John Crossan, as well-published as a James H. Charlesworth, as diverse as a Joseph Fitzmyer or have made the impact of the other scholars I've mentioned, but she's right, IMHO, and that has to count for something.


Loren Rosson III said...

Welcome to the blogosphere. Those are good choices.

One of Paula Fredriksen's notable contributions is the idea that (contra Sanders) Jesus wasn't killed for his act in the temple, but rather because of Caiaphas' itchy trigger finger when dealing with popular prophets. (Of course, it could be both.)

Rick Sumner said...

Thanks for the welcome Loren!

That was actually what I had in mind both when I mentioned that Fredriksen was right, as well as one of the things that I do not think Sanders is right on--he's hinged too much on the temple. To be sure, as you note, it could be a combination of the two, but if so, I'd be inclined to view the temple incident as more a catalyst than a cause for execution.

I kind of vascillate on the temple incident in general--I'd give it a pink or grey bead, depending on a combination of what I read last and the phase of the moon.