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1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG On: 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios From: Bruce I have it privately that at least one Synoptic member finds that I have created an extraordinarily
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 28, 2008
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      To: Synoptic
      Cc: GPG
      On: 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios
      From: Bruce

      I have it privately that at least one Synoptic member finds that I have
      "created an extraordinarily low probability scenario; low enough that, for
      me, it is not credible." Well, you can't win them all, at least not with
      every.

      But a little more detail, whether on-list of off, from that person or
      another, would be more help to me in discovering at what point I have failed
      to present a thinkable possibility.

      GIVEN: (1) 1Th 2:15-16 seem anachronistic for the living Paul; we suspect a
      later interpolation. (2) No known manuscript omits these passages. (3) Let's
      also recognize the high probability that the original 1Th was a letter
      addressed to the church in Thessalonica and was retained by that church
      until Point P, the moment (date presently unknown, but certainly there was
      such a date) when it began to be copied for a wider public.

      TO FIND: The least incredible scenario.

      AVAILABLE SCENARIOS

      A. Home Text Interpolation (Myself). During the period of its custody in
      Thessalonica, someone made a marginal addition of 2:15-16. Then we reach
      Point P and the text began to be copied, and naturally all copies included
      that marginal addition, yielding the manuscript situation we have.

      B Later Interpolation Plus Lateral Contamination (Dave Gentile). The
      original 1Th holograph as received from Paul was kept intact in
      Thessalonica, and began to be copied in that form. Point P has been passed,
      and the text does not contain 2:15-16. One early scribe *added* 2:15-16, and
      all later copies of 1Th, in whatever text stream, east or west, adopted that
      addition (lateral corruption), also yielding the manuscript situation we
      have.

      If we reject both of these, we are left with

      C. No Interpolation. 1Th 2:15-16 is not after all an anachronism. If we
      adopt this scenario, we are then required to explain how Paul could after
      all have referred, in his lifetime, to a situation that at first glance
      seemed to have arisen only later. What did he have in mind? What event
      catastrophic for "the Jews" ("God's wrath has come upon them at last") does
      this passage after all refer to? I can easily see it being written in 72,
      but not in 42. Is there a solution? If not, and unless somebody can
      contribute a D, then I think we are reduced to choosing between A and B.

      [I repeat that I prefer to take the 1Th problem as a whole rather than in
      bits, but the conversation was about this particular bit, and I accept that
      for purposes of present discussion].

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      http://www.umass.edu/wsp
    • Karel Hanhart
      I understand the effort to regard this statement as a later interpolation. It appears to be the only outright anti-judaic text in Paul, as he cites here a
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 28, 2008
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        I understand the effort to regard this statement as a later interpolation. It appears to be the only outright anti-judaic text in Paul, as he cites here a pagan derogatory remark on the Judean people that in his days was doing the rounds.
        1. Paul was not averse to use strong language for his diatribes. 'Let them cut it off ' he wrote of those who insisted on circumcisions.
        2. Paul used here the term ioudaioi, I think, in a generalizing political sense, somewhat like a statement "the Germans bombed Rotterdam". With an abbreviation like that the German people as such are not condemned
        3. Writing to his ecclesia with a mixed membership, he was referring to bloody political events in his motherland and blamed its leadership. Gentile members in Thessalonica would not have known the ins and outs of the situation in Jerusalem.
        4. 1 Thess was written shortly after these events in 41 CE when Herod Agrippa I initiated a bloody persecution of the Christian ecclesia. Het decapitated publicly John Zebedee(!) and imprisoned Simon Peter with the intent of executing him on the day of Pesach. Such measures should not be underrated.
        5. I am not making an excuse for Paul's discriminatory remark. Its Wirkungsgeschichte shows it later wreaked untold damage. However, one must read the text in its context.
        6. Regarding a text to be a later interpolation out of embarasment, is a questionable procedure.

        Would this perhaps solve the problem?

        cordially

        Karel Hanhart


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic
        Cc: GPG
        Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 7:18 PM
        Subject: [Synoptic-L] 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios


        To: Synoptic
        Cc: GPG
        On: 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios
        From: Bruce

        I have it privately that at least one Synoptic member finds that I have
        "created an extraordinarily low probability scenario; low enough that, for
        me, it is not credible." Well, you can't win them all, at least not with
        every.

        But a little more detail, whether on-list of off, from that person or
        another, would be more help to me in discovering at what point I have failed
        to present a thinkable possibility.

        GIVEN: (1) 1Th 2:15-16 seem anachronistic for the living Paul; we suspect a
        later interpolation. (2) No known manuscript omits these passages. (3) Let's
        also recognize the high probability that the original 1Th was a letter
        addressed to the church in Thessalonica and was retained by that church
        until Point P, the moment (date presently unknown, but certainly there was
        such a date) when it began to be copied for a wider public.

        TO FIND: The least incredible scenario.

        AVAILABLE SCENARIOS

        A. Home Text Interpolation (Myself). During the period of its custody in
        Thessalonica, someone made a marginal addition of 2:15-16. Then we reach
        Point P and the text began to be copied, and naturally all copies included
        that marginal addition, yielding the manuscript situation we have.

        B Later Interpolation Plus Lateral Contamination (Dave Gentile). The
        original 1Th holograph as received from Paul was kept intact in
        Thessalonica, and began to be copied in that form. Point P has been passed,
        and the text does not contain 2:15-16. One early scribe *added* 2:15-16, and
        all later copies of 1Th, in whatever text stream, east or west, adopted that
        addition (lateral corruption), also yielding the manuscript situation we
        have.

        If we reject both of these, we are left with

        C. No Interpolation. 1Th 2:15-16 is not after all an anachronism. If we
        adopt this scenario, we are then required to explain how Paul could after
        all have referred, in his lifetime, to a situation that at first glance
        seemed to have arisen only later. What did he have in mind? What event
        catastrophic for "the Jews" ("God's wrath has come upon them at last") does
        this passage after all refer to? I can easily see it being written in 72,
        but not in 42. Is there a solution? If not, and unless somebody can
        contribute a D, then I think we are reduced to choosing between A and B.

        [I repeat that I prefer to take the 1Th problem as a whole rather than in
        bits, but the conversation was about this particular bit, and I accept that
        for purposes of present discussion].

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        http://www.umass.edu/wsp





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • fathchuck@aol.com
        In a message dated 3/28/2008 5:17:37 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, K.Hanhart@net.HCC.nl writes: . 1 Thess was written shortly after these events in 41 CE when
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 28, 2008
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          In a message dated 3/28/2008 5:17:37 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
          K.Hanhart@... writes:

          . 1 Thess was written shortly after these events in 41 CE when Herod Agrippa
          I initiated a bloody persecution of the Christian ecclesia. Het
          decapitated publicly John Zebedee(!) and imprisoned Simon Peter with the intent of
          executing him on the day of Pesach. Such measures should not be underrated
          I believe you mean JAMES not John, since tradition has it John was the last
          of the apostles to die.

          Also, Herod planned to kill Peter after the Pesach -- such activity would
          not have been allowed or accepted during a High Holy Day, even from Herod.



          Rev. Charles Schwartz
          Parochial Vicar
          Saint Joan of Arc
          Marlton, NJ




          **************Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL
          Home.
          (http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15&ncid=aolhom00030000000001)


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jack Kilmon
          ... From: To: Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 5:12 PM Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios ... When
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 28, 2008
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <fathchuck@...>
            To: <synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 5:12 PM
            Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios


            >
            >
            > In a message dated 3/28/2008 5:17:37 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
            > K.Hanhart@... writes:
            >
            > . 1 Thess was written shortly after these events in 41 CE when Herod
            > Agrippa
            > I initiated a bloody persecution of the Christian ecclesia. Het
            > decapitated publicly John Zebedee(!) and imprisoned Simon Peter with the
            > intent of
            > executing him on the day of Pesach. Such measures should not be
            > underrated
            > I believe you mean JAMES not John, since tradition has it John was the
            > last
            > of the apostles to die.
            >
            > Also, Herod planned to kill Peter after the Pesach -- such activity would
            > not have been allowed or accepted during a High Holy Day, even from Herod.
            >
            >
            >
            > Rev. Charles Schwartz
            > Parochial Vicar
            > Saint Joan of Arc
            > Marlton, NJ


            When Ananus saw his opportunity to do away with James, according to Josephus
            he brought James and his companions before the Sanhedrin tobe stoned. We
            know that his companions, the "pillars" included John Zebedee. Josephus
            states: .... so he (Ananus) assembled the Sanhedrin of Judges and brought
            before them the brother of Jesus, so-called Christ, whose name was James,
            AND SOME OTHERS, [some of his companions] and when he had formed an
            accusation against THEM as breakers of the law, he delivered THEM to be
            stoned...." A Papias quote by Philip of Side claims that John was martyred
            as was his brother. I think it is very likely that one of the companions
            stoned with James was John. I don't think John of Ephesus was John Zebedee.

            Jack Kilmon
          • E Bruce Brooks
            To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Karel Hanhart On: Originality of 1Th 2:15-16 From: Bruce Karel is with those who adopt Scenario C of the ones I originally
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 28, 2008
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              To: Synoptic
              Cc: GPG
              In Response To: Karel Hanhart
              On: Originality of 1Th 2:15-16
              From: Bruce

              Karel is with those who adopt Scenario C of the ones I originally offered as
              more or less covering the possible ground. Scenario C is the possibility
              that 1Th 2:15-16 is a remark of Paul, here assumed to be otherwise the
              author of 1Th, and that there is no anachronism involved.

              KAREL: 1 Thess was written shortly after these events in 41 CE when Herod
              Agrippa I initiated a bloody persecution of the Christian ecclesia.

              BRUCE: This important event might be referred to as a disaster falling *on
              the Christians.* I find it difficult to see it as envisioned in the words
              "as then did from the Jews, [15] who killed both the Lord Jesus and the
              Prophets, . . . But God's wrath has come *upon them [ie, the Jews]* at
              last."

              I thus can't see that it solves the problem; I would rather say that it
              underlines the problem.

              Bruce

              E Bruce Brooks
              Warring States Project
              University of Massachusetts at Amherst
              http://www.umass.edu/wsp
            • Karel Hanhart
              ... From: Karel Hanhart To: Synoptic ; E Bruce Brooks Cc: GPG Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 10:17 PM Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios I
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 28, 2008
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Karel Hanhart
                To: Synoptic ; E Bruce Brooks
                Cc: GPG
                Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 10:17 PM
                Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios


                I understand the effort to regard this statement as a later interpolation. It appears to be the only outright anti-judaic text in Paul, as he cites here a pagan derogatory remark on the Judean people that in his days was doing the rounds.
                1. Paul was not averse to use strong language for his diatribes. 'Let them cut it off ' he wrote of those who insisted on circumcisions.
                2. Paul used here the term ioudaioi, I think, in a generalizing political sense, somewhat like a statement "the Germans bombed Rotterdam". With an abbreviation like that the German people as such are not condemned
                3. Writing to his ecclesia with a mixed membership, he was referring to bloody political events in his motherland and blamed its leadership. Gentile members in Thessalonica would not have known the ins and outs of the situation in Jerusalem.
                4. 1 Thess was written shortly after these events in 41 CE when Herod Agrippa I initiated a bloody persecution of the Christian ecclesia. Het decapitated publicly John Zebedee(!) and imprisoned Simon Peter with the intent of executing him on the day of Pesach. Such measures should not be underrated.
                5. I am not making an excuse for Paul's discriminatory remark. Its Wirkungsgeschichte shows it later wreaked untold damage. However, one must read the text in its context.
                6. Regarding a text to be a later interpolation out of embarasment, is a questionable procedure.

                Would this perhaps solve the problem?

                cordially

                Karel Hanhart


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: E Bruce Brooks
                To: Synoptic
                Cc: GPG
                Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 7:18 PM
                Subject: [Synoptic-L] 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios


                To: Synoptic
                Cc: GPG
                On: 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios
                From: Bruce

                I have it privately that at least one Synoptic member finds that I have
                "created an extraordinarily low probability scenario; low enough that, for
                me, it is not credible." Well, you can't win them all, at least not with
                every.

                But a little more detail, whether on-list of off, from that person or
                another, would be more help to me in discovering at what point I have failed
                to present a thinkable possibility.

                GIVEN: (1) 1Th 2:15-16 seem anachronistic for the living Paul; we suspect a
                later interpolation. (2) No known manuscript omits these passages. (3) Let's
                also recognize the high probability that the original 1Th was a letter
                addressed to the church in Thessalonica and was retained by that church
                until Point P, the moment (date presently unknown, but certainly there was
                such a date) when it began to be copied for a wider public.

                TO FIND: The least incredible scenario.

                AVAILABLE SCENARIOS

                A. Home Text Interpolation (Myself). During the period of its custody in
                Thessalonica, someone made a marginal addition of 2:15-16. Then we reach
                Point P and the text began to be copied, and naturally all copies included
                that marginal addition, yielding the manuscript situation we have.

                B Later Interpolation Plus Lateral Contamination (Dave Gentile). The
                original 1Th holograph as received from Paul was kept intact in
                Thessalonica, and began to be copied in that form. Point P has been passed,
                and the text does not contain 2:15-16. One early scribe *added* 2:15-16, and
                all later copies of 1Th, in whatever text stream, east or west, adopted that
                addition (lateral corruption), also yielding the manuscript situation we
                have.

                If we reject both of these, we are left with

                C. No Interpolation. 1Th 2:15-16 is not after all an anachronism. If we
                adopt this scenario, we are then required to explain how Paul could after
                all have referred, in his lifetime, to a situation that at first glance
                seemed to have arisen only later. What did he have in mind? What event
                catastrophic for "the Jews" ("God's wrath has come upon them at last") does
                this passage after all refer to? I can easily see it being written in 72,
                but not in 42. Is there a solution? If not, and unless somebody can
                contribute a D, then I think we are reduced to choosing between A and B.

                [I repeat that I prefer to take the 1Th problem as a whole rather than in
                bits, but the conversation was about this particular bit, and I accept that
                for purposes of present discussion].

                Bruce

                E Bruce Brooks
                Warring States Project
                University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                http://www.umass.edu/wsp





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • E Bruce Brooks
                To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Karel Hanhart On: Paul in 1Th 2:15-16 From: Bruce Karel seems to have reposted his earlier message intact, attaching my
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 28, 2008
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                  To: Synoptic
                  Cc: GPG
                  In Response To: Karel Hanhart
                  On: Paul in 1Th 2:15-16
                  From: Bruce

                  Karel seems to have reposted his earlier message intact, attaching my
                  response, also intact. I guess the latter will still suffice me, as a
                  response to his proposal. But I noticed, this time around, this line in his
                  proposal:

                  KAREL: . . . Paul, as he cites here a pagan derogatory remark on the Judean
                  people that in his days was doing the rounds.

                  BRUCE: What evidence is there, including its internal character, that this
                  was a "pagan derogatory remark? It seems to me that we have here, not a
                  generally derogatory or anti-Jewish remark, whether pagan or Christian, but
                  a specific statement that the Jews have now received appropriate punishment
                  for their previous crimes against Jesus and his followers.

                  There has been more than one proposal to recognize interpolations or
                  partitions in 1Th. As to the specific passage 2:15-16, I notice that if we
                  remove those lines (which are grammatically a sort of appositive supplement
                  to the noun "Jews"), we get the following:

                  "2:13. And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the
                  word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men,
                  but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you
                  believers. [14]. For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God
                  in Christ Jesus which are in Judea; for you suffered the same things from
                  your own countrymen as they did from the Jews. [17] But since we are bereft
                  of you, brethren, for a short time, in person not in heart . . ."

                  In short, a parallel is made between Gentile persecutions of Gentile
                  churches and Jewish persecution of Jewish Christian churches in Judea. There
                  is symmetry, and there is no particular accusation of one group more than of
                  the other.

                  The passage 2:15-16 takes off from the noun "Jews" (a usage which to some
                  eyes might already suggest Acts more than the Paulines) to point to an
                  appropriate retribution that the Jews collectively have sustained, seemingly
                  in the recent past. Substantively, it is historical and not general.
                  Rhetorically, it is a sort of inessential update to 2:13-14. In tone, and in
                  the accusation that the Jews murdered Jesus, 2:15-16 seems to me to differ
                  little from the speeches of Peter to the Jews at the beginning of Acts,
                  though I am not at this moment suggesting an influence from one to the
                  other.

                  Bruce

                  E Bruce Brooks
                  Warring States Project
                  University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                  http://www.umass.edu/wsp
                • Karel Hanhart
                  Dear Charles, Mea culpa; it was early in the morning here in Holland. I was hasty and slothful. Indeed, it was James not John and indeed Herod Agrippa would
                  Message 8 of 13 , Mar 29, 2008
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                    Dear Charles,

                    Mea culpa; it was early in the morning here in Holland. I was hasty and slothful. Indeed, it was James not John and indeed Herod Agrippa would not have done this on the day of Pesach, even though he was a rather ruthless chap. I should have written imprisoned "during the festival of unleaved bread".
                    Thanks for the correction. Slip of the memory which I now correct.

                    cordially,

                    Karel




                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: fathchuck@...
                    To: synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 11:12 PM
                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios




                    In a message dated 3/28/2008 5:17:37 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                    K.Hanhart@... writes:

                    . 1 Thess was written shortly after these events in 41 CE when Herod Agrippa
                    I initiated a bloody persecution of the Christian ecclesia. Het
                    decapitated publicly John Zebedee(!) and imprisoned Simon Peter with the intent of
                    executing him on the day of Pesach. Such measures should not be underrated
                    I believe you mean JAMES not John, since tradition has it John was the last
                    of the apostles to die.

                    Also, Herod planned to kill Peter after the Pesach -- such activity would
                    not have been allowed or accepted during a High Holy Day, even from Herod.



                    Rev. Charles Schwartz
                    Parochial Vicar
                    Saint Joan of Arc
                    Marlton, NJ


                    **************Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL
                    Home.
                    (http://home.aol.com/diy/home-improvement-eric-stromer?video=15&ncid=aolhom00030000000001)

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Karel Hanhart
                    Bruce: What evidence is there, including its internal character, that this was a pagan derogatory remark? It seems to me that we have here, not a generally
                    Message 9 of 13 , Mar 29, 2008
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                      Bruce: What evidence is there, including its internal character, that this
                      was a "pagan derogatory remark? It seems to me that we have here, not a
                      generally derogatory or anti-Jewish remark, whether pagan or Christian,

                      Karel: The pagan remark is by Tacitus. If you insist I will look it up. Prof. Van der Horst of the U of Utrecht, expert on Hellenistic literature, has traced the remark originally launched in Egyptian circles extensively.

                      Bruce: There has been more than one proposal to recognize interpolations or
                      partitions in 1Th. As to the specific passage 2:15-16,

                      Karel: Agreed: some have made this proposal. There are, I think, two reasons why an exegete should go to the extreme of excising a text as an interpolation without manuscript backing. (a) The passage radically disagrees with its immediate context and should be regarded as a very early interpolation for whatever reason. (b) The exegete himself doesn't like the statement
                      As long as we may find a reasonable explanation of the verse, we whould shy away from the interpolation route.

                      Bruce:
                      In short, a parallel is made between Gentile persecutions of Gentile
                      churches and Jewish persecution of Jewish Christian churches in Judea.

                      Karel:
                      The theory that Thessalonica was a Gentile church was launched since Biblical criticism began in Germany. However, that Paul preached only to Gentile communities has long been questioned. The core membership of the ecclesia in Thessalonica, like Corinth consisted of Christians Judeans with a large number of baptized Gentiles.

                      Bruce:
                      a specific statement that the Jews have now received appropriate punishment
                      for their previous crimes against Jesus and his followers.

                      Karel:
                      Are you not repeating here the pre- holocaust broad charge of "the Jews" being Christ killers and that with Paul's backing? I know you are aware that since then the passage has been re-assessed.

                      cordially

                      Karel Hanhart
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: E Bruce Brooks
                      To: Synoptic
                      Cc: GPG
                      Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2008 7:41 AM
                      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios


                      To: Synoptic
                      Cc: GPG
                      In Response To: Karel Hanhart
                      On: Paul in 1Th 2:15-16
                      From: Bruce

                      Karel seems to have reposted his earlier message intact, attaching my
                      response, also intact. I guess the latter will still suffice me, as a
                      response to his proposal. But I noticed, this time around, this line in his
                      proposal:

                      KAREL: . . . Paul, as he cites here a pagan derogatory remark on the Judean
                      people that in his days was doing the rounds.

                      BRUCE: What evidence is there, including its internal character, that this
                      was a "pagan derogatory remark? It seems to me that we have here, not a
                      generally derogatory or anti-Jewish remark, whether pagan or Christian, but
                      a specific statement that the Jews have now received appropriate punishment
                      for their previous crimes against Jesus and his followers.

                      There has been more than one proposal to recognize interpolations or
                      partitions in 1Th. As to the specific passage 2:15-16, I notice that if we
                      remove those lines (which are grammatically a sort of appositive supplement
                      to the noun "Jews"), we get the following:

                      "2:13. And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the
                      word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men,
                      but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you
                      believers. [14]. For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God
                      in Christ Jesus which are in Judea; for you suffered the same things from
                      your own countrymen as they did from the Jews. [17] But since we are bereft
                      of you, brethren, for a short time, in person not in heart . . ."

                      In short, a parallel is made between Gentile persecutions of Gentile
                      churches and Jewish persecution of Jewish Christian churches in Judea. There
                      is symmetry, and there is no particular accusation of one group more than of
                      the other.

                      The passage 2:15-16 takes off from the noun "Jews" (a usage which to some
                      eyes might already suggest Acts more than the Paulines) to point to an
                      appropriate retribution that the Jews collectively have sustained, seemingly
                      in the recent past. Substantively, it is historical and not general.
                      Rhetorically, it is a sort of inessential update to 2:13-14. In tone, and in
                      the accusation that the Jews murdered Jesus, 2:15-16 seems to me to differ
                      little from the speeches of Peter to the Jews at the beginning of Acts,
                      though I am not at this moment suggesting an influence from one to the
                      other.

                      Bruce

                      E Bruce Brooks
                      Warring States Project
                      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                      http://www.umass.edu/wsp





                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • E Bruce Brooks
                      To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Karel Hanhart On: 1th 2:15-16 Scenarios From: Bruce [Through the common error of hitting REPLY instead of REPLY ALL,
                      Message 10 of 13 , Mar 29, 2008
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                        To: Synoptic
                        Cc: GPG
                        In Response To: Karel Hanhart
                        On: 1th 2:15-16 Scenarios
                        From: Bruce

                        [Through the common error of hitting REPLY instead of REPLY ALL, Karel's
                        remarks at first came to me alone. He has now reposted them to Synoptic
                        proper, and I do the same with my original responses. / Bruce]

                        Karel: The pagan remark is by Tacitus. If you insist I will look it up.
                        Prof. Van der Horst of the U of Utrecht, expert on Hellenistic literature,
                        has traced the remark originally launched in Egyptian circles extensively.

                        Bruce: I find the Jews mentioned in Tacitus (Annals) only at 12:54. That
                        passage describes some Jewish disturbances, but blames them on misgovernment
                        by Felix. Tacitus agrees with the capital punishment of Jews who in the
                        course of those disturbances killed Roman soldiers, but there is no general
                        disapprobation of Jews. If you or Prof van der Horst have other information
                        that my search has not revealed, please share it. Otherwise, I can only
                        conclude that the remark in question has no counterpart in Tacitus, and no
                        plausible source in anything which Tacitus records. This does not prove that
                        Paul either did or did not say it; it only suggests that it was not a
                        generally current saying which the writer of 1Th 2:15-16 adopted.

                        Karel: Agreed: some have made this proposal [about interpolations or
                        partitions in 1Th]. There are, I think, two reasons why an exegete should go
                        to the extreme of excising a text as an interpolation without manuscript
                        backing. (a) The passage radically disagrees with its immediate context and
                        should be regarded as a very early interpolation for whatever reason. (b)
                        The exegete himself doesn't like the statement. As long as we may find a
                        reasonable explanation of the verse, we would shy away from the
                        interpolation route.

                        Bruce: This is merely a doctrine that interpolation explanations should not
                        be invoked except in "extreme" cases. That is, it privileges exegetical
                        ingenuity over the tendency of the evidence, if the latter should suggest an
                        interpolation. Methodologically, I don't believe in any privileges
                        whatsoever. I suggest, as others before me have suggested, that 1Th 2:15-16
                        is indeed difficult in context, in the way that is commonly seen with
                        interpolations. As for "without manuscript backing," this ignores the
                        possibility (which I have recently been at pains to establish as a
                        possibility) that a text may have a history previous to its going public and
                        being copied for a wider audience. Please see again my Synoptic replies to
                        Chuck Jones.

                        1Th 2:15-16 seems to refer to a particular event that can be interpreted as
                        God's judgement on the Jews, and indeed as punishment for their execution of
                        Jesus and others. It seems to be unique in all the Pauline writings, not to
                        mention the Deuteropauline writings, and this, in addition to its seemingly
                        anachronistic character, is the trait that suggests an interpolation.

                        Karel: The theory that Thessalonica was a Gentile church was launched since
                        Biblical criticism began in Germany. However, that Paul preached only to
                        Gentile communities has long been questioned. The core membership of the
                        ecclesia in Thessalonica, like Corinth consisted of Christians Judeans with
                        a large number of baptized Gentiles.

                        Bruce: The more Jews you find in the Thessalonian church, the more
                        incongruous does Paul's supposed remark in 1Th 2:15-16 become. This seems to
                        argue against your own position, and in favor of an interpolation.

                        Karel: Are you not repeating here the pre- holocaust broad charge of "the
                        Jews" being Christ killers and that with Paul's backing?

                        Bruce: No. I don't regard the Holocaust, or any other event occurring later
                        than the 1st century, as relevant to the question of what is going on in
                        1Th. The relevant question is: Was the charge that the Jews killed the
                        Christ current in the 1st century? Answer: Yes; as you surely know, that
                        charge is made several times in Acts, not to mention the various Synoptics.
                        I forbear to quote you passages; you will already know them by heart. The
                        Synoptic literature thus abounds in this kind of indictment of the Jews. The
                        question is: Is it logical to find it also expressed in Paul's writings?

                        Given the apparent tenor of all Paul's other undoubtedly genuine writings,
                        my answer would be, No. Then we need to find why this Synoptic accusation
                        figures, and figures incongruously, in the otherwise genuine Pauline letter
                        1Th. The interpolation theory is one way of reconciling the facts with each
                        other. I can't think of a second, equally effective way.

                        Best wishes,

                        Bruce

                        E Bruce Brooks
                        Warring States Project
                        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                        http://www.umass.edu/wsp
                      • E Bruce Brooks
                        To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Supplementary Response To: Karel Hanhart On: 1Th 2:15-16 From: Bruce Nothing like the older commentaries when you really want to find
                        Message 11 of 13 , Mar 29, 2008
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                          To: Synoptic
                          Cc: GPG
                          In Supplementary Response To: Karel Hanhart
                          On: 1Th 2:15-16
                          From: Bruce

                          Nothing like the older commentaries when you really want to find something
                          out. J B Lightfoot (1828-1889, a classmate of B F Westcott) in his
                          posthumously published commentaries on Thessalonians seem to give the
                          passage(s) which Karel had in mind. I first quote and later comment.

                          "PASIN ANQRWPOIS ENANTIWN [2:14b, 'contrary to all men']. This expression at
                          once recalls the language of Tacitus (Hist v.5) speaking of the Jews
                          'adversus omnes alios hostile odium.' Nor is this a mere resemblance of
                          expression, although the two phrases are not coextensive. The spirit in
                          which Tacitus so describes them may be inferred from the account given by
                          Juvenal (xiv.103, 104) of this unfriendly race, which denied even the
                          commonest offices of hospitality to strangers - 'non monstrare vias eadem
                          nisi sacra tenenti, Quaesitum ad fontem solos deducere verpos.' [follow some
                          Greek quotations]. To Paul on the other hand views their hostility to
                          mankind as exemplified in their opposing the extension of the Gospel to the
                          Gentiles (see next note)."

                          And in the next note, Lightfoot remarks

                          "KWLUONTWN] 'in that they hinder us.' This clause is most naturally taken as
                          explanatory of PASIN ANQRWPOIS ENANTIWN, otherwise it would have been TWN
                          KWLUONTWN or KAI KWLUONTWN. This was the ground of opposition of the Jews to
                          St Paul as recorded in the Acts, elsewhere (xiii.48 sq) and at Thessalonica
                          itself (xvii.5 ZHLWSANTES DE OI IOUDAIOI K.T.L.)."

                          On the main point, namely, what event the 1Th writer is here referring to,
                          JBL, after a long page on the aorist, finally gets down to it. He says
                          (p35-36):

                          "What was this divine judgement, which the Apostle speaks of as having
                          already fallen on the Jews? We might be tempted to think that he foretold
                          the final overthrow of the nation and the destruction of their city and
                          temple. But this is an inadequate explanation. There is no sign of any kind
                          that the inspiration of the Apostle here assumes a directly predictive
                          character. There is no prophetic colouring in the passage. On the contrary,
                          he spoke of some stern reality which was already working before his eyes:
                          and even to one not gifted with an Apostle's prophetic insight, yet endowed
                          with average moral sensibilities, there was enough in the actual condition
                          of this nation to lead him to regard them as suffering under a blow of
                          divine retribution. There were the actual physical evils, under which they
                          were groaning. There was the disorganization of their internal polity. There
                          was their utter disregard of all moral distinctions, to which their own
                          historian Josephus draws attention. There was above all their infatuated
                          opposition to the Gospel, than which no more decisive proof of judicial
                          blindness, or it might be of conscious and headlong precipitation into ruin,
                          could be conceived by the Christian mind. The maxim 'Quem deus vult perdere,
                          prius dementat' is not a Christian maxim; but it has a Christian
                          counterpart, in that those who 'like not to retain God in their knowledge,
                          God gives over to a reprobate mind' (Rom. i.28). God's wrath then was no
                          longer suspended; it had already fallen on the once hallowed, but now
                          accursed, race. We may suppose moreover that the prophecies of our Lord
                          relating to the destruction of Jerusalem were floating before St Paul's
                          mind - prophecies dim and vague indeed and, we may fairly assume, not fully
                          understood even by St Paul - but sufficiently portentous to arouse fearful
                          anticipations. They would give a new meaning and importance to the actual
                          evils of which he was an eyewitness. The end was not yet, but the beginning
                          of the end was come."

                          COMMENT

                          None of this will do. It gives reasons for disapproval of the Jews (in
                          blocking the spread of the Gospel), but it does not give ground for
                          identifying a punishment which is not forthcoming, not vaguely intimated in
                          the situation of the times, but is known to the writer *and the audience* of
                          1Th 2:15-16 to have already occurred.

                          This is the crux on which noninterpolation theories founder. The only event
                          that the massively erudite Lightfoot can think of as corresponding to 2:16b
                          is the destruction of the Temple and indeed the disruption of Jewish polity,
                          such as up to then it had been. AD 70. Paul did not live to see that event.
                          He never functions as a prophet, and the writer of 2:16b is not (as
                          Lightfoot himself begins by conceding) *attempting* to function as a
                          prophet. He is pointing to an event *that has actually occurred.* The
                          passage does not "work" save on that reading of it.

                          T W Manson (1950) also runs aground at this point. "This is a difficult
                          sentence." It is indeed, and it will not serve to say, as Manson proceeds to
                          do, that "the Wrath of God . . . is already at work upon the Jews, their
                          doom is sealed."

                          No future event will satisfy the grammar. No present event within the life
                          of the Historic Paul can be discovered. Falling back on a future event
                          presently foreshadowed merely acknowledges that explanations along these
                          lines do not cover the territory. Something more, or more precisely
                          something other, seems to be required.

                          Respectfully summarized,

                          Bruce

                          E Bruce Brooks
                          Warring States Project
                          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                          http://www.umass.edu/wsp
                        • E Bruce Brooks
                          To: Synoptic From: David Hindley On: 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios Forwarded by: Bruce [Here is another message that came to me only, but was meant by its sender to go
                          Message 12 of 13 , Mar 29, 2008
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                            To: Synoptic
                            From: David Hindley
                            On: 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios
                            Forwarded by: Bruce

                            [Here is another message that came to me only, but was meant by its sender
                            to go to the list. The sender has no copy (having sent it from the web
                            interface), and has asked me to repost it for him. My reply follows
                            separately. / Bruce]

                            Assuming a date of writing around 42 CE, didn't Gaius (Caligula) only
                            recently (winter 39CE-April 41 CE) make his attempt to erect his statue (er,
                            I mean a statue of - eh - "Zeus") in the temple in Jerusalem, by force "if
                            necessary"? Perhaps, if "Jews" is taken to mean "Judeans", that might be
                            interpreted, somehow, as "getting what they (Judeans) deserve."

                            On the other hand, it is easier to understand this as an anachronism
                            referring to the defeat of Jewish rebels in the war of 66-70+ CE. The
                            collection of Pauline letters and their eventual publication as a definitive
                            corpus is likely a more complex affair than is often assumed. If the letters
                            were collected over time and copied and
                            passed around, as most folks assume, we should expect quite a bit more
                            diversity of book order in the mss than we do find. Keep to mind David
                            Trobisch's proposal for a "canonical edition" of the Pauline corpus. I don't
                            like the choice of phrase ("canonical" is I believe a technical term, not a
                            faith statement, if I understand him correctly). I think he is taking up an
                            idea first proposed by Johann Salomo Semler, who Schweitzer says was "the
                            first to point out that we do not possess the Pauline Epistles in their
                            original form, but only in the form in which they were read in the churches.
                            The canonical Epistle is therefore not, as a matter of a priori
                            certainty, identical with the historical letter." (_Paul & His Interpreters_
                            pg 6). Then this passage can be understood as an introjection of the
                            publisher/editor.

                            But as illustrative as it is, isn't this thread beginning to deviate from
                            the purpose of this list?

                            Dave Hindley
                            Warren, OH USA
                          • E Bruce Brooks
                            To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: David Hindley On: 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios From: Bruce With Dave H s comments now fairly before Synoptic, I venture to
                            Message 13 of 13 , Mar 29, 2008
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                              To: Synoptic
                              Cc: GPG
                              In Response To: David Hindley
                              On: 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios
                              From: Bruce

                              With Dave H's comments now fairly before Synoptic, I venture to respond.

                              DAVE H: Assuming a date of writing around 42 CE, didn't Gaius (Caligula)
                              only recently (winter 39CE-April 41 CE) make his attempt to erect his statue
                              (er, I mean a statue of - eh - "Zeus") in the temple in Jerusalem, by force
                              "if necessary"? Perhaps, if "Jews" is taken to mean "Judeans", that might be
                              interpreted, somehow, as "getting what they (Judeans) deserve."

                              BRUCE: Trouble with that is that it is prospective. And "prospective" is
                              exactly how it is treated in Mk 13, which seems to me to be an imminency
                              document of that period. A threatened event of which advance warning had
                              been given, so that the faithful had time to formulate a reaction to it.

                              The other trouble with the Caligula profanation it is that it never
                              happened. The 1Th 2:16b writer, to the contrary, is clearly referring (and I
                              can now cite the saner part of Lightfoot's comment in support) not to some
                              prophetically envisaged event, but to one that he and his audience know has
                              already taken place, and are interpreting as deserved revenge.

                              DAVE H: On the other hand, it is easier to understand this as an anachronism
                              referring to the defeat of Jewish rebels in the war of 66-70+ CE.

                              BRUCE: Much.

                              DAVE H: The collection of Pauline letters and their eventual publication as
                              a definitive corpus is likely a more complex affair than is often assumed.
                              If the letters were collected over time and copied and passed around, as
                              most folks assume, we should expect quite a bit more diversity of book order
                              in the mss than we do find. Keep to mind David Trobisch's proposal for a
                              "canonical edition" of the Pauline corpus. I don't like the choice of phrase
                              ("canonical" is I believe a technical term, not a faith statement, if I
                              understand him correctly). I think he is taking up an idea first proposed by
                              Johann Salomo Semler, who Schweitzer says was "the first to point out that
                              we do not possess the Pauline Epistles in their original form, but only in
                              the form in which they were read in the churches. The canonical Epistle is
                              therefore not, as a matter of a priori certainty, identical with the
                              historical letter." (_Paul & His Interpreters_ pg 6). Then this passage can
                              be understood as an introjection of the publisher/editor.

                              BRUCE: I don't think we need to get into details of how the Corpus Paulinum
                              was assembled, or what lesser process it may have been preceded by. Whatever
                              public process we envision, it seems likely to incur manuscript variation,
                              and manuscript variation is not found in this passage. If it was added by
                              the collector of the, or some, Pauline letters, necessarily after 70, and
                              long enough after it that the obvious anachronism might have become
                              functionally muted, then we still have a scenario which would explain the
                              lack of manuscript variants.

                              Let me end by noting that the theory (1) that the collector of this and
                              perhaps other Pauline letters made this upgrade, is functionally equivalent
                              to the theory (2) that the continuing possessors of 1Th at Thessalonica made
                              it. On present evidence, either action must follow 70, and most desirably
                              (pending that ever possible papyrus find) should precede the public copying
                              of the letter.

                              DAVE H: But as illustrative as it is, isn't this thread beginning to deviate
                              from the purpose of this list?

                              BRUCE: I rely on allegorical interpretation. This 1Th discussion, as I see
                              it, is merely a parable, a statement in other terms, of how one might go
                              about judging a possible interpolation in, say, Luke or another licit text.
                              A participative methodological sermonette. If at some point the list
                              proprietors feel that the allegory is wearing too thin for their comfort,
                              they will presumably so inform us.

                              Bruce

                              E Bruce Brooks
                              Warring States Project
                              University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                              http://www.umass.edu/wsp
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