Monday, April 11, 2005

A new blog in town. Ken Olsen, a darling of the Jesus Myth tendency because he believes Eusebius forged the Testamonium Flavium, has a new blog. His theory about Josephus was badly mauled by Chris Price but he is basing his PhD on it, so we will have to wait and see what new ideas he has turned up.

His second article is supposed to be a parody of conservative scholarship: : Top 10 Reasons to Accept the Infancy Gospel of Thomas as Historically Reliable. I think he has missed the boat entirely. The fact he fails to mention is that no one has ever called the Infancy Gospel genuine. It appears in no ancient lists of canonical writings and is never referred to by the fathers. This makes all the other criteria irrelevant as we only bother apply them when we have ancient authors telling us to take a particular document seriously. Why does Olsen think all the fathers accept the four Gospels and reject any others? The reason is that they had very good reasons for trusting those four and not the others. True, liberal scholars have tried to expand the list of genuine writings to include non-canonical Gospels like Thomas's. No conservative is silly enough to do this as we realise that Thomas's Gospel was not accepted as genuine by the early church who were in a much better position to know than we are. Thus, Olsen's real target must be the Jesus Seminar rather than sensible scholars for whom the Infancy Gospel never even reaches the start line.

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