Just a quick update on my blogging hiatus today. We've had family come over from the other end of Canuckistan, who will be joining us for another two weeks. Once that's done, I hope to resume my usual dilettantist musings, so don't delete me from that blogroll just yet!
In the meantime, a Quote for the Day, that I think quite nicely captures one of the greater problems of Historical Jesus research--Who is really speaking, and to whom?
[R]eligious apologetics and polemics usually do not supply a sober description of either of the two parties engaged in argument. Despite the theoretical purpose of addressing and confuting one's adversaries outside, most religious apologetics and polemics are directed inward. Their real function is to give a sense of assurance and reinforcement to the group producing the polemics. Most apologetics and polemics are thus an attempt to shore up group solidarity and conviction within a community that feels insecure and under attack. . . Are we to imagine that Palestinian Pharisees actually heard and responded to such polemical traditions as Mark 2:23-26? I think, rather, that this dispute story, like most of the gospel traditions, is aimed primarily inward, addressing the Christian community that is in need of support and instruction.
John P. Meier, The Historical Jesus and the Plucking of Grain on the Sabbath, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 66.4 (Oct.2004), 581.