After listening to the final lecture, I was left with the same puzzlements carried throughout the first three—what exactly is the point here, and what method are we using? However, after reflection I may have stumbled on a possible solution. (How’s that for being definitive? *grin*)
Dr. Bauckham focused the final lecture on current trends in historiography, indicating the current emphasis is on “micro-history.” The history of minor persons. The life of a baker in the 16th century sort of thing. Rather than focus on the elite, or focus on monumental characters such as military, political or social leaders and the masses’ reactions to them—the concept to see what the “common person” experience was during the time in question.
An example he utilized was the Syro-Phonecian woman in Mark 7:24-30. Although (again) the methodology was muddled in that the story was about her interaction with the Messiah, son of God, Savior of the World. She enters, performs her small part, and then exits. Not exactly sure how that was her “micro-history.”
Dr. Bauckham also mentioned the numerous pericopes, each giving their own little “micro-history” if you will.
I found the fourth lecture dry, and uninformative.
It struck me…eventually…what he may have been doing.
It would seem he was going through current trends in historiography—“history from below” and “micro-history”—and determining how the Gospels would fit within such determinations. Odd considering he started off with a qualifier regarding the use of modern techniques on ancient works, and the first lecture attempting to pigeon-hole the Gospels in ancient genres.
I find this of questionable significance. Much like my arguing the Gospels should be in the “800’s” for literature under the Dewey Decimal Classification rather than the “200’s” for religion. Or the “900’s” for history. Do you see how meaningless that is? The Gospels are what the Gospels are—the fact we have subsequently developed a library system so one can find books does NOT mean the books MUST fit the category. Placing the Bible in the Fiction section of your local bookstore does not make it fiction.
In the same way, utilizing current historical methods does not make the Bible “history from below” or “micro-history.”
The titles of this lecture looked interesting. In the end, the lectures themselves failed to deliver, in my opinion.