Goulder once again
- Goulder notes that one of the fundamental assumptions of "the accepted
history" of the LP is that it was something that Jesus composed and
taught to his disciples. His reason for questioning the validity of
this assumption is that it is then:
"... the only thing of the kind he ever did. Jesus did not commit
his teaching to writing because he believed that his disciples were,
like St. Paul's, his epistle written in fleshy tables of the heart,
and that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth. To teach
something by heart is the same in principle as to write it down, and
there is no statement in the gospels that Jesus ever taught his
disciples by heart any other thing than the Lord's Prayer. Jesus
might have made an exception in favour of a single prayer, but there
is no very obvious reason why he should so have done.
Some bold assertions, I think.
Is it really the the case that Jesus "believed that his disciples were,
like St. Paul's, his epistle written in fleshy tables of the heart, and
that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth". To paraphrase
Goulder, do we find any statement in the Synoptics that verifies this
And is it really the case, even IF there is no direct statement in the
Gospels to this effect (is this true?), that Jesus would never have
taught his disciples by heart? Given what seem to have been standard
Jewish pedagogical practices employed by teachers of the sort that Jesus
is depicted by the evangelists as being, wouldn't teaching by heart be
assumed by the evangelists to be the method Jesus ordinarily employed
with the disciples?
Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
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