So the same teacher (New Testament Gospels) who is so rigid with everyone on deadlines has gone AWOL. Also, I am starting to do some research via fellow classmates and I am far from alone. No one – so far – is at all happy. Others, including actual English teachers – are being criticized for not being able to “write” and no one is getting any comments on the content of their papers. The general synopsis is beginning to become that this guy is a wingnut.
He didn’t show with this week’s question even. How hard is that – to just ask a question once you have given a reading assignment? He still has not taught us a single thing – not all semester.
I had read the textbook, a collection of scholars that are hit and miss. One writer can be amazing with new insights and much to say; the next dodgy, fearful and so full of prevarication that one wonders if they actually get out of bed in the morning or if they just phone everything in.
There is a level of utter unreality to some biblical scholarship that slips by many under the phrase “most scholars believe…” which is a giant pile of horsepucky – a game of “publish or perish” where this elitist group writes journal articles to each other in a specialized language (which they call “good writing” (it sucks big time) in an ever-tightening devolving and smaller circle (endowment monies are running out) of self-concern . True, some of these scholars actually rise above the bullshit and do great work – SAYING SOMETHING (wow), but most toe a party line and push whatever new Postmodern agenda is en vogue. Forget about exploring biblical texts at all. They are simply to be nullified. Inoculation is the order of the day.
This doesn’t bother me as the problem is self-cleaning. The seminaries these guys teach in? Dying at their own hands. Their issues? So myopic and self-referential they curl in on themselves. There is no life in any of it. “He who saves his life loses it.”
So anyway…I show up and no teacher…there is the virtual chalkboard…hmnnn…
I get up and scrawl:
“Of course we are all suitably appalled by his off-screen antics (life) but his early literary forays into farce were notable. I speak of Woody Allen and as I was reading Michal Beth Dinkler prevaricate at length on how scholars had possibly managed (behind the scenes mind you) to dismantle any sure footing for approaching the “Acts of the Apostles” with anything less than a long tentative stick I thought of his very funny essay called “The Scrolls.”
While not naming Form criticism I think we can infer some connection when he wrote “The writing is a mixture of Sumerian, Aramaic and Babylonian and seems to have been done by either one man over a long period of time, or several men who shared the same suit. The authenticity of the scrolls is currently in great doubt, particularly since the word Oldsmobile appears several times in the text…”
I always try to remind myself that much of what we call “scholarship” nowadays is the direct product of Post-Enlightenment Modernity. Even our current text is swift to try and gloss over the reality that Christianity is not “Western” at all. Oh sure, it gets corrupted and used by empires in the Wast from Constantine on— but it was, and is, decidedly Middle Eastern. Any time a current commentator attempts to place all this mess back to anything prior to say – well to be safe, 250 AD (plenty of martyrdom still going on-a sure sign that that Christian faith was not on good terms with the powerful) it is just nonsense, as is “transporting” our current issues/agendas.
We might as well put Luke’s back against the wall about carbon emissions while we are at it.