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Re: [GPG] Re: [Synoptic-L] Synoptic Theory (Trajectories)

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  • Horace Jeffery Hodges
    Bruce remarks: Jesus s resurrection (please note: a miracle of God, not one performed by Jesus himself, the only Gospel material of which he is the object and
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 12, 2008
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      Bruce remarks:

      "Jesus's resurrection (please note: a miracle of God, not one performed by Jesus himself, the only Gospel material of which he is the object and not the agent)"

      Jeffery Hodges speculates:

      What about Luke 1:35? Could we take Gabriel's words to Mary as making Jesus the object of a miracle?

      "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."

      Mary would also be an object, but not the only one, right? Or do we need to understand more about how conception was understood by the writer before deciding?

      Jeffery Hodges


      E Bruce Brooks <brooks@...> wrote:
      To: Synoptic
      Cc: GPG
      In Response To: Dave G
      On: Synoptic Theory (Trajectories)
      From: Bruce

      Dave: If the miracles attributed to Jesus were actually empirical facts to
      those around him, then we might expect that belief in them would be the
      strongest among those in direct contact with him and that that belief would
      fade with distance, he would appear less miraculous and less exceptional
      with time. This turns the trajectory on its head.

      If, on the other hand, those miracles did not take place, the gradual
      emergence of more and more elaborate fictions, over time, seems likely.

      Bruce: I somehow don't think so. Following out this expectation almost makes
      of Religionsgeschichte a toggle switch, where, if the miracles were known
      firsthand by Jesus's contemporaries, they would fade out of the tradition,
      whereas if they did NOT exist, the tradition would have supplied them. My
      sense of standard model tradition evolution is that no matter where a
      movement starts, it tends to pick up aggrandization as it goes, and
      miraculous validating events are among the standard sorts of aggrandization.

      One of the seventeen things that are interesting in Mark, or in Mark and the
      Synoptics taken as a group, is to see what kind of miracles are associated
      with different points in the evolving concept of Jesus. Matthew, for
      example, likes to double them up. As it might be, the Evangelist's
      equivalent of italic type for emphasis.

      On the other hand, taking Paul as one early, if not necessarily typical,
      witness, it seems that Jesus's resurrection (please note: a miracle of God,
      not one performed by Jesus himself, the only Gospel material of which he is
      the object and not the agent) is the big fact for him, that Jesus's words
      count for very little, and then more or less in an occasional advisory
      household kind of way, and that the miracles of Jesus are conspicuous by
      their absence. The healings and exorcisms, never mind the stilling of
      various storms, count for nothing as convincement. Thus far the Pauline
      tradition.

      In the Gospel tradition, we witness a quite different situation, where
      miracles are present more or less from the first, and multiple steadily
      thereafter, both within accretional Mark and in the Gospels coming after
      Mark. There are at least three subtraditions in the NT - Gospels/Acts,
      Epistles, and Johanniniana. Each of them seems almost to be its own separate
      discourse.

      A propos, I note with interest (not that this is a point to be developed in
      any detail in this environment) that the Caesarean text tradition, at least
      for those who accept the existence of such a thing, seems to be confined to
      manuscripts which contain only the Gospels. There is apparently no such
      thing as a Caesarean reading in the Epistles. This, to me, suggests how
      durable the original discourse zones may be, apparently down to the 5th
      century (Koridethi) and beyond. And doesn't Marcion wholly ignore the
      Johannine leg of the tripod?

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst


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      University Degrees:

      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

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