Sunday, March 04, 2012

Thaddeus

Over on Exploring our Matrix, James McGrath asks Was Thaddaeus Jesus’ Original Drummer, or his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development?

It's nice to know that I am not the only one to use bonkers analogies in Historical Jesus classes.  The other day I was talking about the inner circle of Peter, James and John in the Synoptics (Mark 5.37, 9.2, 14.33), and comparing it with a different but overlapping inner circle of Peter, James and John in Paul (Gal. 2.9) and I found myself referring to the changing personnel of Charlie's Angels!

But James's mention of Thaddeus reminds me of one of my favourite sketches.  Sunday Heroes were short sketches that appeared on Lee and Herring's Fist of Fun (1995) with Stewart Lee playing Jesus, sometimes a little like a schoolteacher, as here:

6 comments:

Deane said...

Add Thomas Römer to your club. In his inaugural lecture at the Collège de France, he employed a nice analogy to explain the difference between the Hebrew Bible's own chronology of the episodes it narrates and the original historical dates, or original dates of literary creation, of those individual episodes. Römer does so by comparing the fictional biblical chronology to the way the film Mamma Mia integrates songs from various stages of Abba's career into a chronology artificially made to fit the narrative of the film. It was quite well done. To appreciate it fully, you need to see the animated powerpoint at 37:25-38:15 in the video.

"Pour illustrer un tel phénomène, permettez-moi d’évoquer un film qui a connu l’année dernière un certain succès et dont la banalité, si d’aventure vous l’avez vu, a dû vous effrayer. Il s’agit de Mamma Mia. Le fil narratif, donc la chronologie, de ce film, est clairement secondaire. Le seul but de l’intrigue est de permettre de regrouper et d’organiser un certain nombre de chansons du groupe suédois ABBA, qui à l’origine ne racontent pas une histoire continue et qui n’ont pas de liens thématiques entre elles. Il en va de même pour certaines « chronologies » bibliques."
http://lecons-cdf.revues.org/163

Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks, Deane. That's a fantastic analogy. Given that it involves Abba, and I have nowhere near enough Abba analogies in class at the moment, I will definitely be stealing it and adapting it.

Deane said...

I've already stolen it (including a very similar powerpoint) for an Introduction to Old Testament lecture - although naturally with attribution to TR - and in doing so I found out that almost the whole class had seen Mamma Mia. It's quite adaptable to Gospel pericopes, and one can never have enough Abba analogies.

Mark Goodacre said...

Excellent, and absolutely.

Geoff Hudson said...

What some scholars do to be popular with their US students! One wonders what thoughts they will retain! You are beginning to sound like James Mcgrath who likes to fill everyone's brains with science fiction.

Deane said...

As always, Geoff, you are the voice of reason and moderation. As the philosopher Kai Krauser once wryly cautioned, "A good analogy is like a diagonal frog." Even the best analogy has limitations.