Keener Faith

This is a fantastic account of faith in action! I don’t wish to dilute its strength, so I’ll let Craig Keener tell it in his own words in less than two minutes:

Oh, if I could have that kind of faith and that kind of outcome!

Part of the reason I’m posting this—and I’m a bit uncomfortable stating the following—is that four different individuals have assumed that I (Craig, the writer here at CrossWise) am Craig Keener. In a way, I suppose I should take that as a compliment, for he is a scholar whom I greatly respect. (One particular insight of Keener’s was integral to help support my case in this article on Pilate’s inscription above Jesus’s cross.) But in another way I have a feeling that I’ve somehow misrepresented myself, giving readers here the wrong impression. I’m not sure how, for that was never my intention. Quite simply, I wish to retain a certain amount of anonymity. That’s all. With all this in mind, I’ve made a very small change to my CONTACT tab, adding the phrase “a self-studying layman”. To be completely clear, I have no formal seminary education or theological training. And I state nowhere on this site anything to support anything of the sort. I’m just a (kinda) regular guy on a journey seeking Christian truth—wherever that leads.

I do find this mistaken identity a bit curious though. For, besides Keener, there are other Christian scholars sharing the same first name, such as Craig A. Evans (check out his layman-friendly Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels), Craig R. Koester (see, e.g., Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel: Meaning, Mystery, Community), and Craig L. Blomberg (see, e.g., A Handbook of New Testament Exegesis).

In any case, I’ll direct you to Keener’s blog. I appreciate not just his work, but his brand of off-beat humor, as exemplified by this cartoon for a new illustrative Bible glossary.

8 Responses to Keener Faith

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow I’m not the only one confused at times with all those Craigs lol


  2. Craig says:

    Yes, it can be confusing! It’s not as though Craig is a common name (I’m used to being called Greg, or even Gray).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Craig says:

    I bought a copy of Keener’s Christobiography. Since I have other projects I’ve been working on, I only barely made it passed the introduction. Interestingly, on Keener’s site there are two recent blog posts, both of which are quoting directly from the book! Upon reading the blog posts, I recognized the verbiage straight away. Thus, if anyone wants to get an idea of what the book is about, check out these links:

    On the Existence of Jesus and Against Mythicism – Part One

    On the Existence of Jesus and Against Mythicism – Part Two

    From the 2nd link:

    On the basic outline of events, then, a wide consensus exists among scholars.[5] (I will not survey here the evidence that supports such a consensus for such claims, since I have treated them that evidence elsewhere[6] and these basic facts about Jesus are not the focus of the discussion at hand.)

    Beyond such an outline, however, even scholars disagree considerably on the details. That is partly because we differ in how we estimate the reliability of the primary sources that supply our fullest first-century information about Jesus—namely, the Gospels. Almost no scholars claim that the Gospels offer Jesus’s words verbatim; such a claim would contradict the differing wording among the Gospels themselves.[7] (Any reader who assumes that the wording must be verbatim may disabuse themselves by simply comparing enough parallel accounts; a reader who has never done this has no business pontificating about what “must” be the case.) Nor, as we shall see, did the audiences of ancient writers expect verbatim reporting. Nevertheless, most scholars accept the Gospels’ reports of more teachings of Jesus and events in his life than the few mentioned above.

    [6] Keener, Historical Jesus, 163–329, 339–44, passim.

    [7] For a quick, conspicuous example, see John 13:10–11; in the Evangelists’ Bible, see e.g., Gen 18:12–13; 39:17–19; Exod 6:12, 30; 1 Sam 15:3, 18; or Ezra 1:1-4; 5:13-15; 6:3-5.

    A week’s worth of food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Thanks for sharing that. Jesus Mythicism is such a strange view and glad Keener has written on it


  5. Craig says:

    Though I can understand some folks, in their hatred of God and Christianity, would completely disregard Scripture as ‘fake’, there’s quite enough OTHER literature about Jesus to debunk any sort of idea that Jesus never existed. That would be entirely intellectually dishonest. Yet there are folks (Richard Carrier) who do.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    I enjoyed Ehrman’s book arguing for the historicity of Jesus…Carrier hasn’t impressed me as much


  7. Craig says:

    I haven’t read that Ehrman book. Ehrman is a world-class authority on NT textual criticism; however, it’s the conclusions he draws that are questionable. He’s too much controlled by his bias.

    Liked by 1 person

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