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Re: [Synoptic-L] an addendum to my article

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Adam, Thanks for this reminder. Many years ago, Stevan Davies suggested something like this on CrossTalk, IIRC. I m copying him on this reply, so if he
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 25, 2008
      At 04:32 PM 6/25/2008, Adam Crumpton wrote:
      >it seems to me that someone should have posited the WTS as a reversal of
      >the Eden temptation story, where the wilderness is an anti-garden and
      >Christ is the new Adam who doesn't succumb to temptation. Paul seems to
      >have connected Jesus to Adam. the gospel of Luke traces Jesus genealogy
      >back to Adam. The gospel of Matthew could support this interpretation,
      >since his sojourn in Egypt was portrayed as a type of Exodus and his
      >baptism could be viewed as a type of obedient Israel crossing the
      >Jordan, entering the land.
      >
      >Anyway, with so many ties to the Pentateuch in matthew's gospel, I do
      >not see why the WTS could not serve this function all on its own even
      >as the story of the Fall of Man functions today by itself in countless
      >sunday schools around the world, in children's books, and evangelistic
      >tracts.
      >
      >Adam Crumpton

      Adam,
      Thanks for this reminder.
      Many years ago, Stevan Davies suggested something like this on CrossTalk,
      IIRC. I'm copying him on this reply, so if he recalls what I'm talking
      about, he might provide further details, or maybe just correct my memory.
      I've misconnected things before.

      Bob Schacht


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    • Chuck Jones
      Jeffrey, Both Greek and Jewish literary cultures passed on stories of the great philosophers and rabbis engaging in verbal combat with inquirers and
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 26, 2008
        Jeffrey,

        Both Greek and Jewish literary cultures passed on stories of the great philosophers and rabbis engaging in verbal combat with inquirers and adversaries. Jesus' doing so with humans is one of the primary pericope forms in the gospels (we think especially of the stories set in the temple courts during passion week).

        I would add to your list, then, that this passage demonstrates that Jesus is the ultimate rabbi, winning a scripture-quoting contest with the devil himself. (I apologize that I can't recall my sources, but I've read something like this more than once.)

        Thanks,

        Rev. Chuck Jones
        Atlanta, Georgia

        --- On Wed, 6/25/08, Jeffrey B. Gibson <jgibson000@...> wrote:
        From: Jeffrey B. Gibson <jgibson000@...>
        Subject: [Synoptic-L] an addendum to my article
        To: "Crosstalk2" <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>, "NewSynoptic" <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>, "biblical-studies" <biblical-studies@yahoogroups.com>, "Christian Origins" <christian_origins@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 10:02 PM











        I have not yet addressed in my article on the WTS the question of the

        function that the WTS might have had, particularly if was composed by

        someone other than Matthew, had pretty much the form and substance in

        which it is presented to us by Matthew and Luke, and circulated for a

        time as a free floating tradition (assumptions made by virtually all

        of those who those who speak of the stories "original" function).



        Here's a list of what to my knowledge are all of the positions that

        commentators have taken on this matter:. If you know of more, please

        let me know!



        Jeffrey



        *****



        With respect to the question of the function of the story commentators

        have given a variety of answers. It served to



        1. admonish the community by showing how Jesus withstood the human

        temptations "such as every believer knows" to succumb to gluttony, vain

        glory, and greed;



        2. show how a human being overcomes the enticements that materialism,

        thrill seeking, and power hold for human beings;



        3. demonstrate, perhaps in response to claims to the contrary, that

        Jesus was not a qeioj a0nh/r or a magician in league with dark forces;



        4. explain why Jesus refused to engage in miracles of display'



        5. denounce certain "political options" advocated in times of crises by

        anti Roman Jewish parties or by Jewish collaborators with Roman rule as

        "Satanic";



        6. promote Jesus as one who represented the true people of God;



        7. promote Jesus as one who was called to, and who could rightfully clam

        the "messianic offices" of prophet, priest, and king.



        --

        Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)

        1500 W. Pratt Blvd.

        Chicago, Illinois

        e-mail jgibson000@comcast. net



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      • Jeffrey B. Gibson
        ... This certainly seems to be the import of the WTS (as is Luke s story of Jesus in the Temple at age 12). But I m not sure that this would be the main
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 26, 2008
          Chuck Jones wrote:
          > Jeffrey,
          >
          > Both Greek and Jewish literary cultures passed on stories of the great philosophers and rabbis engaging in verbal combat with inquirers and adversaries. Jesus' doing so with humans is one of the primary pericope forms in the gospels (we think especially of the stories set in the temple courts during passion week).
          >
          > I would add to your list, then, that this passage demonstrates that Jesus is the ultimate rabbi, winning a scripture-quoting contest with the devil himself. (I apologize that I can't recall my sources, but I've read something like this more than once.)
          >
          >
          This certainly seems to be the import of the WTS (as is Luke's story of
          Jesus in the Temple at age 12). But I'm not sure that this would be the
          main reason that anyone would create the story. In any case, it
          doesn't seem to be a view that any published commentator on the WTS
          has put forward to explain the story's main function.

          BTW, in the light of a "reconsulting" of Kloppenborg's discussion of
          the WTS in his _Formation of Q_ , I've revised my list a bit. It's now
          this:

          ****
          It served to

          1. admonish the community by showing how Jesus withstood the human
          temptations "such as every believer knows" to succumb to gluttony, vain
          glory, and greed (Butlmann, History, 256; Feuillet, "Le Ricit", 613-621);

          2. show how a human being overcomes the enticements that materialism,
          thrill seeking, and power hold for human beings or the anxieties that
          desiring these things engenders (Schottroff and Stegeman, Jesus of
          Nazareth, 70)

          3 demonstrate, perhaps in response to claims to the contrary, that
          Jesus was not a qeioj anhr or a magician in league with dark forces (S.
          Schultz (Spruchquelle, 182) for the first, Eitrem (Die Versuschung
          Christi) and A. Frichson (The Problem of Miracle in Primitive
          Christianity [Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1972] 124-126) for the second of
          these);

          4. explain why Jesus refused to engage in miracles of display

          5 denounce as "Satanic" certain "political options" advocated in times
          of crises by anti Roman Jewish parties or by Jewish collaborators with
          Roman rule (Hoffman: Theissen)

          6. denounce certain "enthusiastic" tendencies present among the early
          Christian community (Jacobson,"Wisdom Christology in Q", 40, 93 ) ;

          7. promote Jesus as one who was called to, and who could rightfully
          clam the "messianic offices" of prophet, priest, and king (Freidrich,
          "Beobachungen"; Baumbach, Verstandnis,:Mankhe, Vesuschung)

          8.promote Jesus as one who represented the true people of God and to
          highlight the contrast between his notions of fidelity and obedience
          and those of others who claim to be what he is (Dupont);

          9 provide a paradigm and aetiology for the kinds of behaviour that the
          creator of the story thought were suitable for followers of Jesus

          *****

          Jeffrey



          --
          Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
          1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
          Chicago, Illinois
          e-mail jgibson000@...



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