Criteria of Authenticity as the Methodology for Assessing Historical Reliability of a Gospel Text
The article deals with the criteria of authenticity developed by New Testament scholars as a basic methodology for assessing historical authenticity of a gospel text. These criteria were developed in order to bring biblical studies to the positivistic ideals of scientific knowledge, since it is assumed that any researcher can use them regardless of their worldview or academic position, while the results of applying these criteria should strive for unambiguity, verification, and uniformity. The article analyzes the most applicable criteria, namely: the criterion of double dissimilarity, coherence, multiple attestation, consistency with the historical context, “embarrassment”, as well as traces of Aramaic and Hebrew. The article briefly describes the history of each of the criteria; general formulation and the principle of assessing historical reliability of the text have been proposed. The article also outlines the most significant difficulties related to the application of these criteria. The problems of using the criterion of double dissimilarity have been considered in more detail, since it is the basic method for assessing historical authenticity that the results of application of other criteria largely depend on. In the conclusion it has been noted that the criteria of authenticity developed by biblical scholars can be applied to other areas of religious studies.
Andreev Alexey Vasil’yevich, Master of Theology, Lecturer, Department of Biblical Studies, Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University, 6-1, Lihov ln., Moscow, 127051, Russian Federation, tel.: 8(495)1145080, e-mail: email@example.com
Andeev A.V. Criteria of Authenticity as the Methodology for Assessing Historical Reliability of a Gospel Text. The Bulletin of Irkutsk State University. Series Political Science and Religion Studies, 2019, vol. 29, pp. 91-100. https://doi.org/10.26516/2073-3380.2019.29.91 (in Russian)
- Andreev A. Predposylki vozniknoveniya akademicheskoj bibleistiki: Bibliya i ee issledovaniya v epohu Renessansa [Predictors of academic biblical studies: The Bible and its studies in the Renaissance]. Church and Time, 2014, no. 3(68), pp. 65-95. (in Russian)
- Brown R. Vvedenie v Novyj Zavet. Vol. 2 [Introduction to the New Testament. Vol. 2]. Moscow, Publishing House of Biblical and Theological Institute of St. Apostle Andrew, 2007, 561 р. (in Russian)
- Grilihes L. Arheologiya teksta. Sravnitelnyj analiz Evangelij ot Matfeya i Marka v svete semitskoj rekonstrukcii [Archeology of the text. A comparative analysis of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark in the light of Semitic reconstruction]. Moscow, Publishing House of the St. Vladimir Brotherhood, 1999, 89 р. (in Russian)
- Dunn J. Novyj vzglyad na Iisusa: chto upustil poisk istoricheskogo Iisusa [A new look at Jesus: what missed the Quest for the historical Jesus]. Moscow, Publishing House of Biblical and Theological Institute of St. Apostle Andrew, 2009, 244 р. (in Russian)
- Jeremias J. Bogoslovie Novogo Zaveta. CHast pervaya: Provozvestie Iisusa [New Testament Theology. Part One: The Proclamation of Jesus]. Moscow, Eastern literature, 1999, 368 р. (in Russian)
- Carmignac J. Rozhdenie sinopticheskih Evangelij [The Birth of the Synoptic Gospels]. Moscow, Publishing House of the St. Vladimir Brotherhood, 2005, 160 р. (in Russian)
- Wright N.T. Iisus i pobeda Boga [Jesus and the victory of God]. Moscow, Publishing House of Biblical and Theological Institute of St. Apostle Andrew, 2004, 688 р. (in Russian)
- Sanders E.P. Iisus i iudaizm [Jesus and Judaism]. Moscow, Thought, 2012, 610 р. (in Russian)
- CHernyavskij A.L. Istoricheskij Iisus i hristianskoe bogoslovie [Historical Jesus and Christian theology] in Sanders E.P. Iisus i iudaizm [Jesus and Judaism]. Moscow, Thought, 2012, pp. 584-609. (in Russian)
- Bultmann R. Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition. Göttingen. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht , 1921, 463 р.
- Carlston C. A Positive Criterion of Authenticity? Biblical Research, 1962, no. 7, pp. 33-44.
- Ehrman B. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. NY, Oxford University Press, 1999, 288 р.
- Funk R., Hoover R. and Jesus Seminar. The Five Gospels: The Search of Authentic Words of Jesus. San Francisco, Harper, 1993, 551 р.
- Goguel M. Jesus and the Origins of Christianity. Vol. 1. Prolegomena to the Life of Jesus. San Francisco, Harper Torchbooks, 1960, 225 р.
- Ludemann G. Jesus after 2000 Years: What He Really Said and Did. NY, Prometheus Books, 2001, 707 р.
- McArthur H. Basic Issues, A Survey of Recent Gospel Research. Interpretation, 1964, no. 18, pp. 39 – 55.
- Meier J. Basic Methodology in the Quest for the Historical Jesus. Holmén T., Porter S. (eds.). Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus. Boston, Brill, 2011, pp. 291-331.
- Meier J.A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. Vol. 1. The Roots of the Problem and the Person. NY, Yale University Press, 1991, 496 р.
- Montefiore C.G. The Synoptic Gospels. London, Allen & Unwin, 1909, 512 р.
- Perrin N. Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus. NY, Harper & Row, 1967, 272 р.
- Porter S. The Criteria of Authenticity. Holmén T., Porter S. (eds.). Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus. Boston, Brill, 2011, pp. 695-714.
- Swales J. Historical Jesus: Quest, Methods and Criteria. Bristol, Trinity College, 2006, 47 р.
- Theissen G., Winter D. The Quest for Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criterion. Louisville, Westminster John Knox Press, 2002, 368 р.