... I suspect it may have been the second of these, which may in turn be a more general aspect of an oral culture. I ve just been reading Walter Ong s _OralityMessage 1 of 5 , Aug 2, 2004View SourceBob Schacht wrote:
> Do you think that these kinds of questions were a special attributeI suspect it may have been the second of these, which may in turn be a more
> of the historical Jesus, or an unremarkable aspect of normal adult
> male Jewish conversational style of that time and place, or an artifact
> of the author of the gospel?
general aspect of an oral culture. I've just been reading Walter Ong's
_Orality and Literacy_ (New Accents; New York: Routledge, 2002; originally
published Methuen, 1982) and came across this passage on p. 68:
"In oral cultures a request for information is commonly interpreted
interactively..., as agonistic, and instead of being really answered, is
frequently parried. An illuminating story is told of a visitor in County
Cork, Ireland, an especially oral region in a country which in every region
preserves massive residual orality. The visitor saw a Corkman leaning
against the post office wall next to the Corkman's shoulder and asked, 'Is
this the post office?' The Corkman was not taken in. He looked at his
questioner quietly and with great concern: ''Twouldn't be a postage stamp
you were lookin', for would it?' He treated the enquiry not as a request for
information but as something the enquirer was doing to him. So he did
something in turn to the enquirer to see what would happen. All natives of
Cork, according to the mythology, treat all questions this way. Always
answer a question by asking another. Never let down your oral guard."
To be sure, this may not immediately address *every* type of question you
identified from Mark 8, but my best guess is that the place to start is by
interpreting questions and responses against the background of the challenge
and response pattern in an oral, agonistic culture rather than as the
stylistic pecularity of an individual.
Harris Manchester College, Oxford
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
... I agree with Eric; various Context Group members have argued that counterquestions and rhetorical questions were part of Jesus hostile strategy in dealingMessage 1 of 5 , Aug 2, 2004View SourceBob Schacht wrote:
> > Do you think that these kinds of questionsEric Eve responded:
> > were a special attribute
> > of the historical Jesus, or an unremarkable
> > aspect of normal adult
> > male Jewish conversational style of that time
> > and place, or an artifact
> > of the author of the gospel?
> I suspect it may have been the second of these,I agree with Eric; various Context Group members have
> which may in turn be a more
> general aspect of an oral culture.
> "In oral cultures a request for information is
> commonly interpreted
> interactively..., as agonistic...
argued that counterquestions and rhetorical questions
were part of Jesus' hostile strategy in dealing with
adversaries, pursuant to the canons of honor-shame.
Consider the following catalog of challenge-riposte
scenarios (which I've used before in this list), where
questions are analogous to scriptural one-upsmanship,
backhanded compliments, and insults:
1. The scribes accuse Jesus of blasphemy (Mk.
2:1-12/Mt. 9:1-8/Lk. 5:17-26)
2. The Pharisees and scribes challenge Jesus for
eating with outcasts (Mk. 2:15-17/Mt. 9:10-13/Lk.
Jesus: RHETORICAL CLEVERNESS; BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT
3. The Pharisees challenge Jesus and the disciples for
not fasting (Mk. 2:18-22/Mt. 9:14-17/Lk. 5:33-39)
Jesus: COUNTER-QUESTION; RHETORIC; CLEVER APHORISMS
4. The Pharisees challenge Jesus and the disciples for
plucking grain on the sabbath (Mk. 2:23-28/Mt.
Jesus: COUNTER-QUESTION; CITING TRADITION AGAINST
TRADITION; CLEVER APHORISM
5. The Pharisees challenge Jesus for healing a man on
the sabbath (Mk. 3:1-6/Mt. 12:9-14/Lk. 6:6-11)
Jesus: HEALING (actions shame louder than words)
6. The scribes accuse Jesus of being demon-possessed
Jesus: COUNTER-QUESTION; RHETORIC; INSULT
7. The Pharisees and scribes challenge Jesus and the
disciples for eating with unwashed hands (Mk.
Jesus: INSULT; CITING TRADITION AGAINST TRADITION
8. The Pharisees challenge Jesus on the subject of
divorce (Mk. 10:2-12/Mt. 19:3-9)
Jesus: COUNTER-QUESTION; CITING TRADITION AGAINST
9. The temple authorities and scribes challenge Jesus
after his prophetic act in the temple (Mk.
11:27-33/Mt. 21:23-27/Lk. 20:1-8)
Jesus: COUNTER-QUESTION; BLOW-OFF
10. The Herodians and Pharisees challenge Jesus on the
subject of paying taxes to Caesar (Mk. 12:13-17/Mt.
Jesus: COUNTER-QUESTION; INSULT; DEMAND;
COUNTER-QUESTION; CLEVER APHORISM
In other words, questions like these were unremarakble
enough as part of one's shaming strategy -- staying on
top of one's opponent, refusing to concede ground by
answering questions directly, and upping the ante with
counterquestions and hostile challenges.
Loren Rosson III
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Blogger Michael Gilleland quotes Matthew 5.43-46 and then cites 16 Greek sources to support the thesis that in Greek thought it was a commonplace of morality,Message 1 of 5 , Sep 29, 2004View SourceBlogger Michael Gilleland quotes Matthew 5.43-46 and
then cites 16 Greek sources to support the thesis that
in Greek thought "it was a commonplace of morality,
indeed almost the very essence of justice, that one
should benefit one's friends and harm one's enemies."
Here's Gilleland's website:
See the entry "Loving or Hating Enemies" for Tuesday,
September 28, 2004.
I have two questions:
1. Is Gilleland correct that this was a commonplace of
Greek moral thinking?
2. If Gilleland is correct, is the passage in Matthew
5.43-46 referring to Greek moral thinking rather than
to Biblical moral thought?
Conversely, are there any passages in Greek moral
thinking that cohere with the teaching about loving
Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University
Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
Department of English Language and Literature
136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
Shin-Dong-A, Apt. 102-709
447-710 Kyunggido, Osan-City
... These are quoted via Robert Price (I don t know chapter and verse). A rather nice part of being a Cynic comes when you have to be beaten like an ass, andMessage 1 of 5 , Sep 29, 2004View SourceOn Wed, 29 Sep 2004 11:49:03 -0700 (PDT), Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:
> Conversely, are there any passages in Greek moralThese are quoted via Robert Price (I don't know chapter and verse).
> thinking that cohere with the teaching about loving
> one's enemies?
A rather nice part of being a Cynic comes when you have to be beaten
like an ass, and throughout the beating you have to love those who are
beating you as though you were father or brother to them. (Epictetus)
How shall I defend myself against my enemy? By being good and kind
towards him, replied Diogenes. (Gnomologium Vaticanum)
Someone gets angry with you. Challenge him with kindness in return.
Enmity immediately tumbles away when one side lets it fall. (Seneca)
Peter Kirby (Student at Fullerton College, CA)
Web Site: http://www.peterkirby.com/