Deconstruction and Religious Studies Blogging

What I tried to do with the previous Christian Origins posts was what Nietzsche called spurs or traces, the idea that “a little something” is found whereby if you pull on it enough it can unravel the sweater of the popular interpretation.  For instance, it is generally agreed Mark’s crucifixion account is creatively retelling Isaiah and Psalms, so the account of Jesus’s passion built out of those scriptures in Mark may be completely fictional.  However, it is still held (with the exception of some Muslim scholars) that it is still historical bedrock that Jesus was crucified, either on earth (via historicists) or in the celestial realm (via mythicists).  What problematizes this fork in the road is that Paul says he understands Christ crucified “according to the scriptures,” not simply Isaiah and Psalms as with Mark, but in Galatians as hung on a tree and seen as a curse via Deuteronomy.  This Galatians reference to Deuteronomy should send up a whole army of red flags as to the historical truth of the crucifixion itself, and open possible paths as to whether Jesus might have died another way or went into hiding.  No matter how pervasive and conspicuous Jesus’s crucifixion may be in the evidence, if we follow the sign posts here everything becomes problematic. If the presence of exegetical work on Isaiah and Psalms in Mark calls into question the details of the passion, the presence of Deuteronomy in Paul calls into question the historical truth of the crucifixion itself, and so the “being in history” of the crucifixion must be decided on other grounds. It’s in exploring these paths against the dominant interpretive paradigms I’ve tried to do a deconstructive reading of Christian origins.  The index of blog posts are here: