It is nothing to do with "21st century bias". It is about rational, dispassionate, and critical inquiry.
Oh, excuse me... YOUR version of rational, dispassionate, and critical inquiry, which just so happens to be based on 21st century bias.
Well I finished all my academic training in the mid 1980s and I can assure you we were not taught to uncritically accept our sources.
Yet somehow, Jesus has survived close to two millennia, knowing full well you'd come along, and try to disprove him.
Curious how that works.... You'll be dead and gone, and he will live on.
I would suspect that age wise you and I are not that far apart.
If you finished your academic training in the mid eighties, then yes. I'm 60. I finished high school in 1978.
That definition has been around for a lot longer than the last twenty years. Does the name David Strauss mean anything to you? One could opine that he got the ball rolling as it were in the 1830s with his Das Leben Jesu, kritisch bearbeitet [The Life of Jesus Critically Examined]. Although there are other theologians who took a more critical position that pre-date him.
I have downloaded this from Archive.org, in my kindle. Haven't gotten around to reading it yet, but I do have it.
The curious thing I find about his statement,
Wherever a religion, resting upon written records, prolongs and extends the
sphere of its dominion, accompanying its votaries through the varied and
progressive stages of mental cultivation, a discrepancy between the repre¬
sentations of those ancient records, referred to as sacred, and the notions of
more advanced periods of mental development, will inevitably sooner or later
arise. In the first instance this disagreement is felt in reference only to the
unessential—the external form : the expressions and delineations are seen to
be inappropriate; but by degrees it manifests itself also in regard to that
which is essential: the fundamental ideas and opinions in these early writings
fail to be commensurate with a more advanced civilisation. As long as this
discrepancy is either not in itself so considerable, or else is not so universally
discerned and acknowledged, as to lead to a complete renunciation of these
Scriptures as of sacred authority, so long will a system of reconciliation by
means of interpretation be adopted and pursued by those who have a more or
less distinct consciousness of the existing incongruity.
The curious thing I find myself considering here is that there arises the issue, not of the historical accuracy of the documentation. Rather, it's the call, command, or demand, if you will, Jesus' teachings place on us, as individuals, and on our lives. Indeed, the entirety of the biblical narrative, calls to us, to make us aware that there's a history, beyond our awareness.
The bible doesn't put forth an argument to convince us. It simply states--- I AM, and this is what I expect of you. If you don't want it, you are indeed free to live as you please. You will not however escape responsibility, and culpability for your actions. Indeed, when we die, we will indeed give an account of our lives, our choices, our words, and our thoughts.
Jesus says in the gospels that what was done, and said in secret, will be shouted from the rooftops.
So, that people seek to discount the narrative... I've long appreciated, and understood this.
I get that nobody wants their secrets exposed for all to see.
As the bible says that 100% of the human race are sinners, and therefore guilty, with only Jesus satisfying, and 100% fulfilling the Righteous, Just, and Moral law of God, we all will give an account before God, regardless of what we believe.
Jesus made some serious claims, which, while they could indeed be dismissed offhand, simply because we don't like them, we will one day be forced to face those claims. IF not in this life, we will in the next.
We read in both Isaiah 45:23, and again in Romans 14, and in Philippians 2:10-11,
EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, AND EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD.
In Daniel 12, we read that some will do so to their joy, and others to their everlasting shame, and contempt.
Jesus has offered himself to become our court-appointed defense attorney.
Those who come to Jesus, and follow him, will have him to stand to answer to God, with us.
As Jesus takes our case, he also takes our sin, wiping our sin debt out, entirely.
We read in Jeremiah
from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
In Psalm 32
1 Blessed is he whose
2 Blessed is
the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is
3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
In Psalm 103
God casts our sin as far as the east is from the west, and chooses to remember it no more.
Not insofar as your belief is concerned. However, if you are attempting to "validate the historicity of the bible" it is of direct import and relevance.
Who are these "old timers" and what precisely was this "consensus"?
Once again many of the biblical academics you are disparaging in a rather school-boy attempt to give your own subjective and preconceived views of these texts greater import, are long dead.
As I have pointed there is no consensus in academia about the historical figure of Jesus.
I would also remind you of the logical fallacy that longevity of tenure does not automatically prove competence.
Nor you of mine yet it does not prevent you making your puerile remarks.
What claim? That Marcan priority is generally accepted? It is, but not by everyone.
We have no original copies of any New Testament texts. Which leads to the question, if those originals were indeed "divinely inspired" as so many Christians tell me, why did those early Christian communities not take better care of them?
The Qumran community managed it as did those who hid the Nag Hammadi library.
Does he possess some arcane or occult knowledge known only to the initiated?
I would compare it to childlike naivety, but of course belief rests on trust not facts and rational evidence.
To folks who believe as you do, this makes perfect sense.
But to those who know, we have more rational evidence than you are willing to consider.