Monday, February 28, 2011

"most scholars agree" (Part 2), in Biblical Proportions!

A simple search on Google Books reveals again another remarkable feature of our catch-phrase:  It appears in books about the NT more than in any other category of books!   I think this nails the 'apologetic', hyperbolic flavor of the madness.   Here are some samples, graded for extremeness and tenuous credibility:


"most biblical scholars and historians agree that
Mark was the earliest Gospel..." - M. Martin, The Case Against Christianity, (1993) p. 43

"most scholars would surely agree with me that
too often NT texts have been interpreted without controls..." - J. H. Charlesworth, Jesus and Archaeology (2006) p. 25

"Today scholars agree that 
the science of NT textual criticism is in a state of flux..." Daily Bible (2005), p. xii


"Virtually all scholars agree that 
1 Corinthians 15:3ff. records an ancient oral tradition..." G.R. Habermas, The Risen and Future Hope (2003), p.17

"most scholars would agree that 
some of these disciples, probably while still living, considered him to be the Jewish Messiah..." (- 2x)  B. Ehrman, Lost Christianities (2005) p.96 


"Scholars agree that 
Acts can and should be read as an expression of early Christian theology..." ("scholars agree.." - 5x in one paragraph!) M. Powell, What are They Saying about Acts? (1991) p. 108

"most scholars agree that 
the Pastoral Epistles (1/2 Tim, Titus) are highly unlikely to have been written by Paul.." D. Horrell, An Intro. to Study of Paul () p.125

"most scholars agree that 
 [John, 1 2 3 Jn] came from the same author..."J. Efird, The NT Writings (1980) p. 189


"most modern scholars are in substantial agreement 
as to the defects of the received text and the weight of the older authorities." - Encycl. Britt. Vol.10 (1889) p.37

"textual critics...universally acknowledge 
the supremacy of earlier manuscripts over later ones." - Tyndale Bible dictionary (2001) p. 195

"Most scholars agree that 
the book of Daniel is pseudographic...",  VanderKam, Flint, Meaning of the DSS, (2005), p. 202

"Text-critics now agree 
upon an African, a European and an Italian type of [Latin] text." - Catholic Encycl. (1934) Vol. 9, p. 632


"Most scholars agree that at some point - 
after the Gutenberg Bible was printed?  after the Renaisance? -  believers started taking the Bible as factual, literal truth, And ..this spawned the dualing worldviews of modernism and fundamentalism." A. Jacobs, The Year of Living Biblically (2007), p. 336

"Most scholars agree with the decision 
to leave the passages out of the Bible because they are so disturbing that they could scare many people away from reading the book."  G. Morehead, Weekly World News, Jun 3 (1997) p.

These are just samples, but instructive on the wide range of notions that writers will assign to the nebulous and perpetually unidentifiable group called "most scholars".


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