- Peter Sean Bradley He is not a professor of religion.
//Aslan does have four degrees, as Joe Carter has noted: a 1995 B.A. in religion from Santa Clara University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and wrote his senior thesis on “The Messianic Secret in the Gospel of Mark”; a1999 Master of Theological Studies from Harvard; a 2002 Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from the University of Iowa; and a 2009 Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
None of these degrees is in history, so Aslan’s repeated claims that he has “a Ph.D. in the history of religions” and that he is “a historian” are false. Nor is “professor of religions” what he does “for a living.” He is an associate professor in the Creative Writing program at the University of California, Riverside, where his terminal MFA in fiction from Iowa is his relevant academic credential. It appears he has taught some courses on Islam in the past, and he may do so now, moonlighting from his creative writing duties at Riverside. Aslan has been a busy popular writer, and he is certainly a tireless self-promoter, but he is nowhere known in the academic world as a scholar of the history of religion. And a scholarly historian of early Christianity? Nope.//
So, in this area, he is an amateur who needs to inflate his credentials.
- Peter Sean Bradley @14:37 - The brilliant Aslan tells us that the "truth" is that the notion of a "God-man" is an anathema to everything that Judaism has ever taught.
And that's the curse of a shallow and selective reading ...because it makes you look like an idiot.
According to Jewish scholar Daniel Boyarin, the Jewish tradition included a germ or type of the incarnation and "trinitarianism" long before the First Century C.E., and, in a way, the answer is obvious to anyone who is familiar with the Bible.
Boyarin argues that there was a "binitarian" tradition in ancient Judaism that can be found in Daniel 7, notwithstanding the effort of the author to obscure its binitarian implications, which introduces the "Son of man" and the "Ancient of Days." Under Boyarin's guidance, it seems clear that Daniel 7 can be understood as introducing two divine beings, an older divine being who invests the younger with suzerainty over the world. Boyarin explains that there were several ways in which Israel's messiah was understood. One tradition was that the Messiah who was to be an heir of David who would institute a reign under which all nations would bow to Israel and Israel's God. This tradition - the very traditional contemporary understanding of "messiah" - was fused with that of Daniel, in which the person to whom all nations would bow was a divine being who had the form of a human being.
There was another tradition, moreover, in which a real human being became "exalted" to divine status. Boyarin points to the books of Enoch, which treat the mysterious biblical patriarch Enoch, who it was said was taken by God and was no more. Boyarin uses the books of Enoch, which are part of the Ethiopian canon, to good effect in showing that there was a Judaism that didn't hermetically seal off the spheres of humanity and the divine.
The conclusion of this slim and accessible book is that the Christian idea of the Incarnation and the Trinity was gestured at, or foreshadowed, or contained in germ form, in the Jewish writings and therefore were available for development as Jewish concepts within a Jewish framework. This conclusion answers my question; Jewish followers of Jesus accepted his incarnational and "Trinitarian" - perhaps only "binitarian" - claims because they were within the permissible options of orthodox First Century Judaism.
This insight neatly resolves other conundrums. For example, although there is tendency among most people to view the development of Christian theology from a "low Christology" to a "high Christology," there is the conundrum of the Kenosis Hymn of Philippians, which, as A Hymn of Christ: Philippians 2:5-11 in Recent Interpretation & in the Setting of Early Christian Worship documents in rigorous detail, is indisputably early, and is equally indisputably a "high Christology." A lot of scholars, such as Bart Ehrman in Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, seem eager to ignore or explain away the Kenosis Hymn because they think that the idea that Jesus was divine has to be a "myth" or post hoc belief that could only develop over an extended period. Yet, if Boyarin is right, then the idea of the incarnation was already a part of the intellectual background of the followers of Jesus, and, so, it is not surprising that a High Christology is an early development.
Boyarin's insight is consistent with that of other authors who agree that the idea of the Incarnation is not a pagan idea, no matter how many times mythicists, the History Channel or Bart Ehrman say it is. Oscar Skarsaune's excellent In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity also supports the argument that whereas pagans found the idea of a god becoming human "disgusting," Jewish Wisdom literature long carried a germ of an incarnational theology.
Long story short, contra Aslan, while the Jews had an incarnational theology, the Greeks would have found an incarnational theology repugnant...and this is according to real scholars of the subject.
What a bozo!
- Peter Sean Bradley @15:12 Aslan explains that the idea of Jesus as God occurs 3 or 4 generations down the line as movement becomes a "Roman movement."
Yeah, brilliant....except for that part where Paul in his letters recounts the "Kenosis hymn" that predates him and probably dates from a few years after the Crucifixion and clearly points to Jesus as a "God-man."
This is something that all reputable scholars of the subject agree on. Seehttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0830818944/ref=cm_cr_asin_lnk
What a bozo!
- Peter Sean Bradley @15:46 - Aslan doubles down on the claim that "the Jews would not have understood what the God-man means."
Right...because they hadn't read Daniel or Wisdom.
And Paul - a pharisee of the pharisees - clearly never read Daniel or Wisdom.
What a bozo.
Well, at least he will rack up book sales to gullible cretins like the host.
- Peter Sean Bradley Critique from a fundie isn't particularly interesting. - Gunnar Hardråde
I know, I know, too many books with big words.
If you think Skarsaune and Boyarin and Martin are "fundies" - and not, you know, historians and actual scholars in this field - please present your evidence for the same.
Good luck with that.
- Peter Sean Bradley t I think the aoplogists of atheism will love the histoprical certainty of Aslan...even when he has no evidence whatsoever for his claims and no sources quoted. - Helen Marple-Horvat
I've listened to people like Aslan. They always start with statements about "doubt" and "uncertainty" but about halfway in when they are sharing their orthodoxy all of that language and all qualifiers goes out the window and suddenly - voila - we know things for certain.
- Peter Sean Bradley Gunnar Hardråde - I've revealed my sources.
You on the other hand have shown that you can't meet my challenge.
That was to be expected.
You are clearly a - 'ow you say - "troll." Much more content free, boring trolling and you'll get blocked.
Say something with interesting content and enrich everyone's lives.