Re: [GPG] Re: [Synoptic-L] Synoptic Theory (Trajectories)
- 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?
E Bruce Brooks <brooks@...> wrote:
In Response To: Dave G
On: Synoptic Theory (Trajectories)
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
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
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?
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
GPG Archive: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gpg/messages
WS Project Website: http://www.umass.edu/wsp/Yahoo! Groups Links
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
School of English, Kyung Hee University
1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
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