頭先喺《基督日報》見到有篇文章, 報導「大使命訓練中心」訓練中心落成, 最突出係個題目: 《華人「大使命訓練中心」賓州落成啟用》, 近年少見咁精彩, 嚴肅得嚟帶有幾分幽默感, 少少咸, 多多趣. Howtindog俾十個讚.
近日成為教會熱話o既蘇穎智, 早幾個月前喺一堂講道入面以言話詆譭崇基學院神學院, 並自吹自擂, 話自己開嗰間神學院有幾巴閉, 話本來有天主教神父教書, 後來佢掃走晒尐人, 大大提升神學院教學質素云云. 真係令人笑爆嘴, 雖然過去天主教喺聖經研究方面, 確係落後了, 但係自從40年代以來已經大有長進, 當初研究死海古卷的大佬之中, 最出名的包括有天主教神父, 我以前論文導師Eileen Schuller係個修女, 最重要的死海古卷之一Hodayot係由佢編制的, 我最鍾意的耶穌研究學者John P. Meier亦係天主教神父. 因為教師係天主教背景就掃走人, 根本就係白痴兼帶有偏見的行徑, 損失o既係自己學院同學生, 炒埋嗰尐冇晚晚靈修o既教授啦笨.
今次就趁呢個機會, 介紹另一聖經研究界很著名的天主教神父Raymond E. Brown, 當年係W.F. Albright的學生, 喺紐約Union Theological Seminary教書多年, 係首個以歷史批判學研究聖經的天主教學者之一, 最出名的著作係有關約翰福音、耶穌出生、耶穌之死等題目. 以下呢段錄音係早前唔覺意喺網上見到, 由Welcome Recordings的Paul Soffe提供, 錄自1998年三月, Raymond Brown喺Evangelical Seminary的演講: Jesus: Condemned and Crucified.
我都唔係好清楚, 似乎香港搞緊書展, 見有朋友喺facebook上載相片, show off話自己買咗乜書物書, 其中有不少係神學生去書展掃貨.
其實, 我覺得睇書係好, 無知不是好事, 但係同時亦要明白, 睇書又唔係真係極之重要, 尤其是如果睇的書唔係primary sources, 而係現代人寫的書, 睇一百本都冇用, 因為喺聖經研究的世界入面, 書就係會過時的, 而且係迅速過時. 碰巧睇Dale Allison一本書, 佢寫呢個現象寫得很到肉.
Dale C. Allison, Jr., The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus:
[Yet even if there were some sort of contemporary consensus on these more interesting and important issues, would it not be unwise to build a house of faith upon a recent academic head-count? Famous names rise and fall. Ideas come and go. Today's consensus will be tomorrow's memory. Big books on Jesus are like the clouds: no matter how large, imposing, and beautiful they may be, they never last for long. There will never be any definitive non-canonical edition of his life.
We need some perspective here, which the past supplies. Sixty years ago, an informed British theologian might well have thought it prudent, having read C. H. Dodd, T. W. Manson, and Vincent Taylor, to take their concurrence as a safe court of appeal. Those three New Testament scholars were, at the time, and at least in England, a sort of academic trinity, the big names to be reckoned with; and surely, one might have surmised with some justification, their agreement on a matter constituted the scholarly consensus about it.
Although such would indeed have been the consensus then, nothing lasts. Any theological thinking that turned Dodd, Manson, and Taylor into a collective polestar by which to navigate would have gone off course as soon as those three mortals and their commanding influence passed away. Likewise, any contemporary theology that takes its bearings from contemporary reconstructions of the historical Jesus will be defunct as soon as those reconstructions become defunct, which will not be very long.
We may, out of foolish pride, imagine that our contemporary results will somehow prove to be more important and to have a longer shelf-life than those of our scholarly ancestors; but we will become passe soon enough. Our academic descendants will look back on our writings as we look back on the works of the nineteenth century: maybe a few of our writings will be of antiquarian interest, but any authority they once had will be long gone. This is one reason why I am allergic to the phrase "assured critical result." Those three words - which too often function as a simplification for novices and as an excuse for scholars to think less - fail to resonate with my experience, which is rather that the discourse of New Testament scholars is Heraclitean: everything keeps changing. Working with "assured critical results" reminds me a bit of the old saw about shoveling frogs into a wheelbarrow: they keep coming out even as one is trying to shovel more in.]
雖然現今基督教喺一般人的心目中已經形象盡毀, 一提教會, 可能最快聯想到的詞語係"十一奉獻", "婚前性行為"或者"反同性戀", 而唔係"犧牲"或"愛". 不過可能由於最近正在搞佔領中環行動的領袖包括有教會人士, 而反對行動的又包括吳宗文等教會知名人物, 呢排耶穌成日見報, 頻率仲高過林峰同佢隻千語bb, 人人都話自己的決定同行動, 同耶穌一模一樣.
今日偶然喺網上見到有一段很有趣的文字, 係George Tyrrell (Christianity at the Crossroads ) 早在十九世紀就講呢個"想做就去做, 耶穌專為我服務"的情況, 但係雖然人人都講耶穌, 但其實講緊o既只係佢地自己的倒影. 當然, 佢文筆認真過我好多:
It was to the credit of their hearts, if to the prejudice of their scientific indifference, that these critics were more or less avowedly actuated by apologetic interests. They desired to strip Jesus of His medieval regalia, and to make Him acceptable to a generation that had lost faith in the miraculous and in any conception of another life that was not merely a complement, sanction and justification of this life. They wanted to bring Jesus into the nineteenth century as the Incarnation of its ideal of Divine Righteousness, i.e. of all the highest principles and aspirations that ensure the healthy progress of civilisation. They wanted to acquit Him of that exclusive and earth-scorning other- worldliness, which had led men to look on His religion as the foe of progress and energy, and which came from confusing the accidental form with the essential substance of His Gospel. With eyes thus preoccupied they could only find the German in the Jew ; a moralist in a visionary ; a professor in a prophet ; the nineteenth century in the first ; the natural in the supernatural. Christ was the ideal man ; the Kingdom of i Heaven, the ideal humanity. As the rationalistic presupposition had strained out, as spurious, the miraculous elements of the Gospel, so the moralistic presupposition strained out everything but modern morality. That alone was the substance, the essence, of Christianity — das Wesen des Christentuvis. If God remained, it was only the God of moralism and rationalism — the correlative of the Brotherhood of man ; not the God of Moses, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ; of David and the prophets...
舊年見Bart Ehrman出本新書叫Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, 講耶穌是歷史人物, 曾經存在. 我第一反應係好無聊, 連常識都要講, 因為我真係冇聽過學者咁樣倡議, 可能極少數有幾個學者咁講, 就正如曾經有學者John Allegro話耶穌其實係粒磨菇, 世上咩人都有, 但係明顯呢尐講法都係冇人理, 亦唔值得理的.
但後來發現, 原來Bart Ehrman都唔係無的放矢, 因為近年網上興起有Jesus mythicism, 愈來愈多人倡議耶穌並不存在. 老實講, 呢個話題冇乜特別秘密, 大家都掌握同樣的資訊, 差別在於如何運用常識同歷史研究的方法去解讀這些資訊, 係methodology的問題. 我本人係唔能夠理解Jesus mythicism的, 就正如我唔能夠理解點解有人會話耶穌係一種迷幻磨菇一樣, 理論上係可以咁倡議, 甚至乎可以好似John Allegro咁寫本書嚟談論, 不過我係唔能夠理解的. 最近喺網上見到Butler University的James F. McGrath寫咗一段文字, 就係我心裡對Jesus mythicism的想法, 歷史研究唔係護教學, 唔係要去"搵"證據支持一個自己想支持的論點, 而係觀察現有的資訊, 找出最能夠暢順解釋所有資料的scenario:
[Y]ou've just illustrated one of the key similarities between young-earth creationism and Jesus mythicism. Both think that simply by showing that an alternative scenario is possible, they have refuted mainstream scholarship. But no historian will deny that the existence of Jesus, like everything else in history, cannot be determined with absolute certainty. The question is what is more likely, and when placed in those terms, there can be no serious doubt that some sort of historical figure of Jesus (however obscured by myth) and some form of biological evolution have the weight of evidence and theory in their favor. The biggest challenge for mythicism is that it has yet to find a proponent who offers not only challenges to specific arguments by mainstream historians, but presents a scenario for the creation of a purely mythical Jesus as well as the New Testament Gospels and other writings, a scenario that is not only possible but more persuasive than ones involving an actual Jesus.
作者Joseph Atwill過去曾撰寫《Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus》, 最近又有新搞作, 發出新聞稿, 厚顏無恥地自稱為美國聖經學者 (American Biblical scholar), 並指將於10月19日喺倫敦舉辦座談會《Covert Messiah》, 將會公開佢發現的驚世發現, 足以證實耶穌係由羅馬政權創作, 鼓勵以色列的蟻民百姓順服在上掌權者, 自己被摑左面就叫人打埋右面, 準時交稅俾政權.
Atwill聲稱, 得到咁大啟發, 係由於佢閱讀Josephus的《Wars of the Jews》嗰時, 發覺耶穌生平同羅馬凱撒Titus有很多共通的地方, 證實撰寫耶穌生平的人, 就是羅馬政府.
當我睇完呢篇新聞稿之後, 首先諗起o既係吳宗文, 佢地兩個可以成為知己, 如果吳宗文想要搵一個認為新約聖經係要求信徒無條件向掌權者順服, 咁佢以後可以引用Joseph Atwill. 當你對聖經o既理解, 同一個唔識嘢的偽學者一模一樣o既時候, 你都好應該反省下自己智商係咪有問題.
Howtindog 已久未寫 blog, 但有時亦想有個地方把未成熟到足以製作成影片的想法先作個記錄.