Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kenneth Humphreys' Fairy Tales

I listened to the debate between Gary Habermas and Kenneth Humphreys on the Resurrection of Jesus. You may download the 6-part debate at Habermas' website. You can watch it at

In the debate, Humphreys equates the gospel narrative to fairy tales like Snow White. This betrays the fact that he did not read Richard Bauckham! Add to that Humphreys, contended with much skepticism, rhetorically asked, "how do we know that what were written by the gospel writers are historical?" This betrays the fact that he does not know how historical information are being retrieved and retrievable!

During the Q&A, Humphreys was asked for his opinion on the reason for the birth of Christianity if the resurrection is not a historical event. He said that Christianity was born out from the desperate situation facing the Jews in the 1st century. And obviously, on this point, he slapped his own blur-dy face! One would then ask how does he know that the Jews were in a desperate situation without the assuming that historical information is retrievable from historical writings unless other evidents show otherwise?

Overall, the debate is boring. Both sides were basically trying to justify their own sources. Habermas used his 'minimalistic approach' that uses historical-critical data in the guild (he quoted J.Crossan, R.Carrier, B.Erhman, J.Dunn, G.Vermes, P.Lapide etc) as his starting point, and proceed to argue for the resurrection from there.

Humphreys relied heavily on Robert Price's higher criticism to argue for a skeptical view of the gospel account. And Price's higher criticism is really a sort of form criticism. And Bauckham, Dunn, and others have convincingly overthrew this nonsense.

So, the more I listened to Humphreys, the more I was reminded of Black Eye Peas' hit song:

What you gon' do with all that junk?
All that junk inside your trunk?
I'ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
Get you love drunk off my Hump.
My Hump, my Hump, my Hump, my Hump, my Hump,
My Hump, my Hump, my Hump, my lovely little lumps

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