Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fiction is Not the Same as Falsehood

Were the gospels "performed stories of faith rather than factual histories?"


Makes sense to me, especially after reading Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite, by L. Michael White

White's detailed examination of the cultural, religious, and literary traditions that gave rise to Christian bible is similar to work done by the better known Bart Ehrman.  A full appreciation for the intricate details of his arguments call for a fine-grained knowledge of scripture I have not developed.  There are deep layers of Dr. White's analysis that are lost on me, but the notion that oral traditions evolved over time, that early authors rearranged and edited earlier texts to suit changing audiences, and that the movements' theologies became more sophisticated iteration after iteration, is communicated in a compelling manner.

Whether you are a believer or not, the early history of Christianity is fascinating stuff and L. Michael White illuminates a very interesting portion of the path.

The title of this post is taken from White's quote of David Kanstan (pg. 418)