Friday, September 16, 2011

Michael Licona, the resurrection of Jesus and biblical inerrancy

Michael Licona's book, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach is causing something of a stir due to his exegesis of Matthew 27:51-53. The scholar argues that these verses take the form of a "poetic device", rather than reportage of an historical event (p. 552-53). Some Evangelical scholars have accused Licona of compromising biblical inerrancy because of his handling of this text.  

Michel Bird gives us the low down, on the controversy, including links to Al Mohler and Norman Geisler's response to Licona and Licona's reply to Geisler. Bird backs up Licona on his understanding of this segment of Matthew's resurrection narrative. It comes down to the issue of the literary genre of the verses in question. It seems that some conservative scholars are using genre identification as a way of skirting round what they regard as historical difficulties in Scripture. This matter is ably addressed as far as the Old Testament is concerned in Lost in the Old Testament? Literary Genres and Evangelical Hermeneutics by Peter Naylor in Foundations

I posted a largely appreciative review of The Resurrection of Jesus back in March. But in my appraisal I flag up my concern regarding Licona's general approach to Scripture as he seeks to construct a persuasive argument for the historicity of Jesus' resurrection, see here

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