Greg Monette has people talking about the criteria used in the various quests for the historian’s Jesus. He wrote a post titled, “Why Jesus Scholars Should Still Use the Criteria of Embarrassment”. Rafael Rodriguez has responded with “Greg Monette on the criteria of embarrassment”. Then Christopher Skinner shared some reflections on what may or may not be an ideological shifts in historical Jesus studies in “Continuing the Re-Think the Criteria”. (Also: Earlier this month Michael Kok had some things to say about the criteria in “What the Criteria of Authenticity Can and Cannot Do” and “Integrating the Criteria with the Social Memory Approach”.)

While I won’t say anything dogmatic at this stage of my life I will say—regarding the criteria of embarrassment—that one major problem I have with it is that the examples given rarely prove that the Evangelists were “embarrassed” (see those given by Greg and my comment). I think it may have been Mark Goodacre who I once heard/read (maybe in his podcast) say something to the extent of “How do we know they were embarrassed?” Rodriguez’s post makes this same point.

Update: see James McGrath’s “Is the Criteria of Embarrassment an Embarrassment?”