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Seeing What is There in Spite of Ourselves: George Tyrrell, John Dominic Crossan, and Robert Frost on Faces in Deep Wells

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John Dominic Crossan recently used Robert Frost's poem ‘For Once, Then, Something’ to illustrate (and partially refute) the familiar charge that historical Jesus scholars have seen a reflection of their own faces looking down into the depths of a well rather than any sort of purchase on the historical Jesus. In so doing, Crossan has misunderstood both Frost's poem and the intention behind the original wellgazer metaphor as coined by George Tyrrell. Although there is little indication that Crossan has applied his newly honed ‘interactivism’ at any point in his work, the problems with the epistemology that he renders are too great to ignore. This article also notes problems with epistemologies advanced by other historical Jesus scholars.

Affiliations: 1: Franklin, OH, USA


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