A newly-published article gives an incisive discussion of recent publications by Bart Ehrman, Richard Bauckham, and Michael Bird on memory, tradition and the historical Jesus: Alan Kirk, “Ehrman, Bauckham and Bird on Memory and the Jesus Tradition,” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 15.1 (2017): 88-114.
Given the wide readership acquired by all three authors and their works reviewed by Kirk, this is an article that also deserves a wide reading. Kirk is both appreciative and critical of each of the scholars, his criticisms supported by what appears to me a fair citation of their works. The thrust of Kirk’s critique is that, in varying ways and degrees, all three scholars could benefit from more attention to “social memory” theory and its effects in the framing and transmitting of traditions in groups.
Kirk’s critique of Ehrman (Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and…
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