Maurice Casey

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Philip Maurice Casey
Born(1942-10-18)18 October 1942
Sunderland, England
Died10 May 2014(2014-05-10) (aged 71)
OccupationProfessor of New Testament Languages and Literature
Academic background
EducationDurham University (BA, PhD)
ThesisThe interpretation of Daniel VII in Jewish and Patristic literature and in the New Testament: an approach to the Son of man problem
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Nottingham

Philip Maurice Casey (18 October 1942 – 10 May 2014)[1] was a British scholar of New Testament and early Christianity. He was an emeritus professor at the University of Nottingham, having served there as Professor of New Testament Languages and Literature at the Department of Theology.[2][3]

Biography[edit]

Casey was born in Sunderland. His father was the Anglican vicar of Wheatley Hill, but after his death his mother moved to Chevington and Casey to boarding school at Woodbridge School, Suffolk. He entered St Chad's College, Durham University having intended to become an Anglican priest, but changed his views in 1962 while completing his undergraduate degree in theology. Casey stated that he had not held any religious beliefs since.[4] Following his degree in theology, he took a further degree in classical and general literature.[5] He then taught classics at Spalding High School, an all-girls grammar school, from 1967 to 1971.[5]

He returned to Durham University to study for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in divinity,[6] at first intending to study the historical figure of Jesus.[5] His PhD was awarded in 1977 for a doctoral thesis titled "The interpretation of Daniel VII in Jewish and patristic literature and in the New Testament: an approach to the Son of Man problem".[7] His doctoral supervisor was C. K. Barrett.[5]

Following his PhD, Casey was a research fellow under Matthew Black at the University of St Andrews.[5] In 1979, he joined the University of Nottingham as a lecturer.[8] He delivered the Cadbury Lectures at the University of Birmingham in 1985.[5] By 1996, he was Reader in Early Jewish and Christian Studies,[9] and later promoted to Professor of New Testament Languages and Literature.[8] He retired in 2006, and was made professor emeritus.[8]

Fields of study[edit]

Aramaic sources behind the New Testament[edit]

Casey's work argued strongly for Aramaic sources behind the New Testament documents, specifically for Q and the Gospel of Mark.[10][11]

Casey's Aramaic ideas were challenged by Stanley E. Porter in Excursus: A response to Maurice Casey on the Languages of Jesus[12] citing modern scholarship,[13] that the linguistic environment of Roman Palestine was probably multilingual.

Son of Man[edit]

He also contributed works on early Christology and the use of the term Son of Man within the New Testament Gospels in reference to Jesus.

Positions about Jesus[edit]

Casey described himself as an independent scholar, who did not serve the interests of any religious faith or anti-religious group. He believed that Jesus really existed, but did not believe in his divinity. He criticized Christian fundamentalists who accept incredible miracles (such as Jesus walking on water), Christian churches that refuse to grasp the Jewishness of Jesus, mythicists who reject everything about Jesus, and even some liberal scholars, such as the Jesus Seminar, who viewed Jesus as a kind of cynical philosopher, and gave credence to some apocryphal writings that have little historical value, such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Peter. Casey believed that the documents on Jesus of greatest historical value are the Gospel of Mark and the Pauline epistles. According to Casey, Jesus would preach, heal people with psychosomatic disorders, and be crucified and buried, but would not be physically resurrected; the story of the empty tomb is, according to his views, a legend. After Jesus' death, his disciples and his brother James would have some visions of him. Casey has criticized Pope Benedict XVI for his books about Jesus (Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives and Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week), accusing the pontiff of using sources that are, in his views, unreliable, like the Gospel of John.[14]

Casey also held some unconventional views about the New Testament: for example, he believed that the Gospel of Mark was written in c. 40 AD[15] (while most scholars believe that it was written in c. 70 AD[16]) and that the Gospel of John is completely deprived of historicity[17] (whereas most scholars believe that at least some historical kernels can be found in that text as well[18]).

Works[edit]

Thesis[edit]

  • Casey, Maurice (1976). The interpretation of Daniel VII in Jewish and Patristic literature and in the New Testament: an approach to the Son of man problem (Ph.D.). London: British Library. OCLC 640114346.

Books[edit]

  • ——— (1979). Son of Man : The Interpretation and Influence of Daniel 7. London: SPCK. ISBN 9780281036974. OCLC 6338109.
  • ——— (1991). From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God: The Origins and Development of New Testament Christology. Edward Cadbury lectures, 1985-86. Cambridge, England & Louisville, KY: T&T Clark & Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 9780227679203. OCLC 24302203.
  • ——— (1996). Is John's Gospel True?. London & New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415146302. OCLC 36061908.
  • ——— (1998). Aramaic Sources of Mark's Gospel. Society for New Testament Studies - Monograph Series. Vol. 102. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780511035975. OCLC 49726109.
  • ——— (2002). An Aramaic Approach to Q : Sources for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Society for New Testament Studies - Monograph Series. Vol. 122. Cambridge, UK & New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780511061158. OCLC 57146437.
  • ——— (2007). The Solution to The "Son of Man" Problem. Library of New Testament Studies. Vol. 343. London & New York: T & T Clark. ISBN 9780567140494. OCLC 741690930.
  • ——— (2010). Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian's Account of His Life and Teaching. London & New York: T & T Clark. ISBN 9780567104083. OCLC 858048706.
  • ——— (2014). Jesus: Evidence and Argument Or Mythicist Myths?. London: T & T Clark. ISBN 9780567447623. OCLC 858358284.

Chapters[edit]

Festschrift[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ England and Wales, Death Index, 2007-2015
  2. ^ Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Arts Archived 2010-09-01 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Maurice Casey - Jesus: Evidence and Argument Or Mythicist Myths? 2014 - Page 37 "... many more details of my ordinary life here than I did in the original draft of this book. I was born in 1942, in the middle of an air raid in Sunderland. My father was the Anglican vicar of Wheatley Hill, a mining village some seven miles outside .."
  4. ^ Brian Bethune "Jesus historians get an earful from Maurice Casey" Maclean's, December 23, 2010
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Maurice Casey (Part 1 of 2): An Academic Life". Sheffield Biblical Studies. University of Sheffield. 15 May 2014. Archived from the original on 18 June 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  6. ^ "Durham University Gazette, XXIII (ns) including supplement". reed.dur.ac.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  7. ^ Casey, Philip Maurice (1976). "The interpretation of Daniel VII in Jewish and patristic literature and in the New Testament : an approach to the Son of Man problem". E-Thesis Online Service. The British Library Board. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  8. ^ a b c "Emeritus Professor Passes Away". The University of Nottingham. 15 May 2014. Archived from the original on 26 August 2022. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  9. ^ Casey, Maurice (1996). Is John's Gospel True?. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415146302.
  10. ^ Maurice Casey An Aramaic Approach to Q: Sources for the Gospels of Matthew 2002 "Sources for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke Maurice Casey. ...wrote sound Hebrew as a living literary language. They also make it probable that some Jews spoke Hebrew."
  11. ^ Maurice Casey Aramaic Sources of Mark's Gospel 1998 - Page 61 "Hebrew found in the Evan Bohan, a fourteenth-century Jewish anti-Christian treatise by Shem-Tob "
  12. ^ Porter, Stanley E. (2004). Criteria For Authenticity In Historical-jesus Research. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-567-04360-3. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
    "The linguistic environment of Roman Palestine during the first century was much more complex, and allows for the possibility that Jesus himself may well have spoken Greek on occasion." (p.164)
  13. ^ see also Stanley E. Porter, Jesus and the Use of Greek: A Response to Maurice Casey. Bulletin for Biblical Research. 10:1 (2000): 71-87.
  14. ^ Bethune, Brian (23 December 2010). "Jesus historians get an earful from Maurice Casey". Macleans.ca. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  15. ^ Casey, Maurice (30 December 2010). Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian's Account of His Life and Teaching. A&C Black. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-567-64517-3.
  16. ^ Perkins, Pheme (13 November 2009). Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8028-6553-3.
  17. ^ Casey, Maurice (1996). Is John's Gospel True?. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-14630-2.
  18. ^ Charlesworth, James H. (2010). "The Historical Jesus in the Fourth Gospel: A Paradigm Shift?". Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus. 8 (1): 3–46. doi:10.1163/174551909X12607965419559. ISSN 1476-8690.