Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

an eschatological contradiction?

Expand Messages
  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    As I understand things, the thorough-going eschatologists like Weiss and Schweitzer argued that Jesus believed with absolute certainty not only in an
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 17, 2009
      As I understand things, the thorough-going eschatologists like Weiss and
      Schweitzer argued that Jesus believed with absolute certainty not only
      in an extremely imminent end of the age, but that there was nothing that
      anyone could do to hasten or prevent its arrival.

      If so, what is the sense of praying for the Kingdom of God to arrive or
      for the immediate distribution of things that properly belong to the end
      of the age, as those who believe that the Lord's Prayer is an
      "eschatological prayer" assert is the aim of the LP?

      Why pray for the arrival that which is certain to arrive or for the
      hastening of that which cannot be hastened?

      Yes, I know that Schweitzer argued that Jesus tried to force the dawning
      of the Kingdom by going to Jerusalem to "turn the wheel of history".
      But this, according to Schweitzer, is only after Jesus' certainty of a
      really imminent dawning of the KoG was called into question and
      presumably **after** Jesus gave the LP to his disciples.


      Jeffrey



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Chuck Jones
      Jeffrey,   I promised a week or so ago I d check my books on the historicity of the Lk 4 Nazareth synagogue scene.  If you ve not already looked at
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 18, 2009
        Jeffrey,
         
        I promised a week or so ago I'd check my books on the historicity of the Lk 4 Nazareth synagogue scene.  If you've not already looked at Fitzmeyer's Anchor Bible commentary, you might want to.  If nothing else, he mentions the views of several scholars on various pieces of the question.
         
        Fitzmeyer's position is:
         
        1.  Lk has moved the Mk/Mt Nazareth rejection passage to the beginning of J's ministry to set a theological/rhetorical theme.  (The passage itself admits as much in v. 23 by mentioning what Jesus had previously done in Capernaum--which isn't possible with this (re)positioning!)
         
        2.  Lk has conflated the passage by adding two separate sayings from his special L source:  v. 23 "He said to them, ‘Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, “Doctor, cure yourself!” And you will say, “Do here also in your home town the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum;” and vv. 25-27 "But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon.  There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.’"
         
        I'm not sure how this affects one's view of the passage's historicity.  I don't believe Lk's placement of the passage is relevant to the question--the synopticists routinely arranged passages to achieve literary and theological goals.  If Fitzmeyer is correct about the two additional sayings, then I don't suppose they are more or less historical than if Lk had placed them in some other context, or had dropped them into, say, the sermon on the plain, as stand-alone aphorisms.  I think their historicity must be evaluated with the same methods and criteria of any other sayings.
         
        Hope this helps.
         
        Rev. Chuck Jones
        Atlanta, Georgia

















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • David Mealand
        JBG is right that there is at least a muddle here and probably a contradiction. Suppose we deal with the contradiction first: Premiss a Jesus expected an
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 19, 2009
          JBG is right that there is at least a muddle here and probably a
          contradiction.

          Suppose we deal with the contradiction first:

          Premiss a Jesus expected an imminent end which could not be hastened
          or delayed.

          Premiss b The LP asks for the end to come or its benefits to be realised.

          It would appear that one premiss needs to be rejected as a result of the RAA,
          but those who hold views expressed in premiss b would presumably
          reject premiss a.
          It would not be incompatible to hold b, and to reject only the second
          clause of a.

          There does seem to be a problem for Weiss and Schweitzer if correctly
          characterized, and it might be an interesting historical exercise to
          see how they try to deal with the fact that b seems to contradict a,
          if they were aware of the problem.

          There seem to be those who would hold only the first clause of a and
          so the contradiction noted above would not oblige them to reject b.

          There is a further problem over the nature of the expectation of an
          "imminent end". There are plenty of people who have held a view of
          this kind over many centuries, some of them more aware than others of
          previous disappointed expectations. If we take the view that we
          should infer what people believe more from their actions than from
          what they say then we might classify people holding imminentist views
          into groups. One would be those whose actions indicate that we
          interpret their views in terms of reorganizing the state (in late
          mediaeval times sometimes that is in effect the city). Another would
          be those whose actions really do suggest that they expect an end to
          all natural life. A third would be those whose expectation is more an
          imminent transformation of the character, life, and experience of
          those they address. Norman Cohn's book of 1957 on the Pursuit of the
          Millennium, though concerned with a period long after the NT, has much
          that is instructive in his many historical case studies.

          David M.

          -----------------JBG wrote------
          As I understand things, the thorough-going eschatologists like Weiss and
          Schweitzer argued that Jesus believed with absolute certainty not only
          in an extremely imminent end of the age, but that there was nothing that
          anyone could do to hasten or prevent its arrival.

          If so, what is the sense of praying for the Kingdom of God to arrive or
          for the immediate distribution of things that properly belong to the end
          of the age, as those who believe that the Lord's Prayer is an
          "eschatological prayer" assert is the aim of the LP?
          ----------------------------------







          ---------
          David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


          --
          The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
          Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
        • Chuck Jones
          If the historical Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet (which I personally do not believe), it is still possible--I d say probable--that the community of followers
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 19, 2009
            If the historical Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet (which I personally do not believe), it is still possible--I'd say probable--that the community of followers moved away from and softened such intense expectation every day (week, year, decade) that passed without Jesus' coming on the clouds.  By the time Mt was written, after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, it's easy to imagine the community holding and expressing contradictory views about the immenent end--which would show up in Mt's gospel.
             
            Seems to me.
             
            Rev. Chuck Jones
            Atlanta, Georgia
             


            --- On Thu, 2/19/09, David Mealand <D.Mealand@...> wrote:

            From: David Mealand <D.Mealand@...>
            Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
            To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009, 6:37 AM








            JBG is right that there is at least a muddle here and probably a
            contradiction.

            Suppose we deal with the contradiction first:

            Premiss a Jesus expected an imminent end which could not be hastened
            or delayed.

            Premiss b The LP asks for the end to come or its benefits to be realised.

            It would appear that one premiss needs to be rejected as a result of the RAA,
            but those who hold views expressed in premiss b would presumably
            reject premiss a.
            It would not be incompatible to hold b, and to reject only the second
            clause of a.

            There does seem to be a problem for Weiss and Schweitzer if correctly
            characterized, and it might be an interesting historical exercise to
            see how they try to deal with the fact that b seems to contradict a,
            if they were aware of the problem.

            There seem to be those who would hold only the first clause of a and
            so the contradiction noted above would not oblige them to reject b.

            There is a further problem over the nature of the expectation of an
            "imminent end". There are plenty of people who have held a view of
            this kind over many centuries, some of them more aware than others of
            previous disappointed expectations. If we take the view that we
            should infer what people believe more from their actions than from
            what they say then we might classify people holding imminentist views
            into groups. One would be those whose actions indicate that we
            interpret their views in terms of reorganizing the state (in late
            mediaeval times sometimes that is in effect the city). Another would
            be those whose actions really do suggest that they expect an end to
            all natural life. A third would be those whose expectation is more an
            imminent transformation of the character, life, and experience of
            those they address. Norman Cohn's book of 1957 on the Pursuit of the
            Millennium, though concerned with a period long after the NT, has much
            that is instructive in his many historical case studies.

            David M.

            ------------ -----JBG wrote------
            As I understand things, the thorough-going eschatologists like Weiss and
            Schweitzer argued that Jesus believed with absolute certainty not only
            in an extremely imminent end of the age, but that there was nothing that
            anyone could do to hasten or prevent its arrival.

            If so, what is the sense of praying for the Kingdom of God to arrive or
            for the immediate distribution of things that properly belong to the end
            of the age, as those who believe that the Lord's Prayer is an
            "eschatological prayer" assert is the aim of the LP?
            ------------ --------- --------- ----

            ---------
            David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

            --
            The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
            Scotland, with registration number SC005336.



















            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Dennis Goffin
            If Jesus was not a prophet of the eschaton, what was he ? Dennis ... From: Chuck Jones To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:00 PM
            Message 5 of 17 , Feb 19, 2009
              If Jesus was not a prophet of the eschaton, what was he ?
              Dennis
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Chuck Jones
              To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:00 PM
              Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?


              If the historical Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet (which I personally do not believe), it is still possible--I'd say probable--that the community of followers moved away from and softened such intense expectation every day (week, year, decade) that passed without Jesus' coming on the clouds. By the time Mt was written, after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, it's easy to imagine the community holding and expressing contradictory views about the immenent end--which would show up in Mt's gospel.

              Seems to me.

              Rev. Chuck Jones
              Atlanta, Georgia


              --- On Thu, 2/19/09, David Mealand <D.Mealand@...> wrote:

              From: David Mealand <D.Mealand@...>
              Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
              To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009, 6:37 AM

              JBG is right that there is at least a muddle here and probably a
              contradiction.

              Suppose we deal with the contradiction first:

              Premiss a Jesus expected an imminent end which could not be hastened
              or delayed.

              Premiss b The LP asks for the end to come or its benefits to be realised.

              It would appear that one premiss needs to be rejected as a result of the RAA,
              but those who hold views expressed in premiss b would presumably
              reject premiss a.
              It would not be incompatible to hold b, and to reject only the second
              clause of a.

              There does seem to be a problem for Weiss and Schweitzer if correctly
              characterized, and it might be an interesting historical exercise to
              see how they try to deal with the fact that b seems to contradict a,
              if they were aware of the problem.

              There seem to be those who would hold only the first clause of a and
              so the contradiction noted above would not oblige them to reject b.

              There is a further problem over the nature of the expectation of an
              "imminent end". There are plenty of people who have held a view of
              this kind over many centuries, some of them more aware than others of
              previous disappointed expectations. If we take the view that we
              should infer what people believe more from their actions than from
              what they say then we might classify people holding imminentist views
              into groups. One would be those whose actions indicate that we
              interpret their views in terms of reorganizing the state (in late
              mediaeval times sometimes that is in effect the city). Another would
              be those whose actions really do suggest that they expect an end to
              all natural life. A third would be those whose expectation is more an
              imminent transformation of the character, life, and experience of
              those they address. Norman Cohn's book of 1957 on the Pursuit of the
              Millennium, though concerned with a period long after the NT, has much
              that is instructive in his many historical case studies.

              David M.

              ------------ -----JBG wrote------
              As I understand things, the thorough-going eschatologists like Weiss and
              Schweitzer argued that Jesus believed with absolute certainty not only
              in an extremely imminent end of the age, but that there was nothing that
              anyone could do to hasten or prevent its arrival.

              If so, what is the sense of praying for the Kingdom of God to arrive or
              for the immediate distribution of things that properly belong to the end
              of the age, as those who believe that the Lord's Prayer is an
              "eschatological prayer" assert is the aim of the LP?
              ------------ --------- --------- ----

              ---------
              David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

              --
              The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
              Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Chuck Jones
              Dennis,   I believe that Jesus was an iconoclast wisdom teacher, not at all unlike the writer of Ecclesiates.  I believe his followers misunderstood a good
              Message 6 of 17 , Feb 19, 2009
                Dennis,
                 
                I believe that Jesus was an iconoclast wisdom teacher, not at all unlike the writer of Ecclesiates.  I believe his followers misunderstood a good bit of what he said about the kingdom of god and transformed him into an apocalyptic prophet in the years following the death and resurrection.
                 
                I base this on this datum:  the gospels contain non-apocalyptic wisdom sayings attributed to Jesus.  There is no explanation for how they would have gotten into the gospels if both he and followers were apocalyptists.  (He wouldn't have said them and the community would not have created them.)
                 
                It does make sense, though, that his followers would have included them out of reverence for them--even though they didn't fit the program.
                 
                Rev. Chuck Jones
                Altanta, Georgia

                --- On Thu, 2/19/09, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:

                From: Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...>
                Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
                To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009, 11:48 AM






                If Jesus was not a prophet of the eschaton, what was he ?
                Dennis
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Chuck Jones
                To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com
                Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:00 PM
                Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?

                If the historical Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet (which I personally do not believe), it is still possible--I' d say probable--that the community of followers moved away from and softened such intense expectation every day (week, year, decade) that passed without Jesus' coming on the clouds. By the time Mt was written, after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, it's easy to imagine the community holding and expressing contradictory views about the immenent end--which would show up in Mt's gospel.

                Seems to me.

                Rev. Chuck Jones
                Atlanta, Georgia


                --- On Thu, 2/19/09, David Mealand <D.Mealand@ed. ac.uk> wrote:

                From: David Mealand <D.Mealand@ed. ac.uk>
                Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
                To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com
                Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009, 6:37 AM

                JBG is right that there is at least a muddle here and probably a
                contradiction.

                Suppose we deal with the contradiction first:

                Premiss a Jesus expected an imminent end which could not be hastened
                or delayed.

                Premiss b The LP asks for the end to come or its benefits to be realised.

                It would appear that one premiss needs to be rejected as a result of the RAA,
                but those who hold views expressed in premiss b would presumably
                reject premiss a.
                It would not be incompatible to hold b, and to reject only the second
                clause of a.

                There does seem to be a problem for Weiss and Schweitzer if correctly
                characterized, and it might be an interesting historical exercise to
                see how they try to deal with the fact that b seems to contradict a,
                if they were aware of the problem.

                There seem to be those who would hold only the first clause of a and
                so the contradiction noted above would not oblige them to reject b.

                There is a further problem over the nature of the expectation of an
                "imminent end". There are plenty of people who have held a view of
                this kind over many centuries, some of them more aware than others of
                previous disappointed expectations. If we take the view that we
                should infer what people believe more from their actions than from
                what they say then we might classify people holding imminentist views
                into groups. One would be those whose actions indicate that we
                interpret their views in terms of reorganizing the state (in late
                mediaeval times sometimes that is in effect the city). Another would
                be those whose actions really do suggest that they expect an end to
                all natural life. A third would be those whose expectation is more an
                imminent transformation of the character, life, and experience of
                those they address. Norman Cohn's book of 1957 on the Pursuit of the
                Millennium, though concerned with a period long after the NT, has much
                that is instructive in his many historical case studies.

                David M.

                ------------ -----JBG wrote------
                As I understand things, the thorough-going eschatologists like Weiss and
                Schweitzer argued that Jesus believed with absolute certainty not only
                in an extremely imminent end of the age, but that there was nothing that
                anyone could do to hasten or prevent its arrival.

                If so, what is the sense of praying for the Kingdom of God to arrive or
                for the immediate distribution of things that properly belong to the end
                of the age, as those who believe that the Lord's Prayer is an
                "eschatological prayer" assert is the aim of the LP?
                ------------ --------- --------- ----

                ---------
                David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

                --
                The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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

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



















                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Dennis Goffin
                Chuck, What for you would be the best example to make the point of your thesis ? Dennis ... From: Chuck Jones To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday,
                Message 7 of 17 , Feb 19, 2009
                  Chuck,
                  What for you would be the best example to make the point of your thesis ?
                  Dennis
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Chuck Jones
                  To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 6:05 PM
                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?


                  Dennis,

                  I believe that Jesus was an iconoclast wisdom teacher, not at all unlike the writer of Ecclesiates. I believe his followers misunderstood a good bit of what he said about the kingdom of god and transformed him into an apocalyptic prophet in the years following the death and resurrection.

                  I base this on this datum: the gospels contain non-apocalyptic wisdom sayings attributed to Jesus. There is no explanation for how they would have gotten into the gospels if both he and followers were apocalyptists. (He wouldn't have said them and the community would not have created them.)

                  It does make sense, though, that his followers would have included them out of reverence for them--even though they didn't fit the program.

                  Rev. Chuck Jones
                  Altanta, Georgia

                  --- On Thu, 2/19/09, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:

                  From: Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...>
                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
                  To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009, 11:48 AM

                  If Jesus was not a prophet of the eschaton, what was he ?
                  Dennis
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Chuck Jones
                  To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com
                  Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:00 PM
                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?

                  If the historical Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet (which I personally do not believe), it is still possible--I' d say probable--that the community of followers moved away from and softened such intense expectation every day (week, year, decade) that passed without Jesus' coming on the clouds. By the time Mt was written, after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, it's easy to imagine the community holding and expressing contradictory views about the immenent end--which would show up in Mt's gospel.

                  Seems to me.

                  Rev. Chuck Jones
                  Atlanta, Georgia

                  --- On Thu, 2/19/09, David Mealand <D.Mealand@ed. ac.uk> wrote:

                  From: David Mealand <D.Mealand@ed. ac.uk>
                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
                  To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com
                  Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009, 6:37 AM

                  JBG is right that there is at least a muddle here and probably a
                  contradiction.

                  Suppose we deal with the contradiction first:

                  Premiss a Jesus expected an imminent end which could not be hastened
                  or delayed.

                  Premiss b The LP asks for the end to come or its benefits to be realised.

                  It would appear that one premiss needs to be rejected as a result of the RAA,
                  but those who hold views expressed in premiss b would presumably
                  reject premiss a.
                  It would not be incompatible to hold b, and to reject only the second
                  clause of a.

                  There does seem to be a problem for Weiss and Schweitzer if correctly
                  characterized, and it might be an interesting historical exercise to
                  see how they try to deal with the fact that b seems to contradict a,
                  if they were aware of the problem.

                  There seem to be those who would hold only the first clause of a and
                  so the contradiction noted above would not oblige them to reject b.

                  There is a further problem over the nature of the expectation of an
                  "imminent end". There are plenty of people who have held a view of
                  this kind over many centuries, some of them more aware than others of
                  previous disappointed expectations. If we take the view that we
                  should infer what people believe more from their actions than from
                  what they say then we might classify people holding imminentist views
                  into groups. One would be those whose actions indicate that we
                  interpret their views in terms of reorganizing the state (in late
                  mediaeval times sometimes that is in effect the city). Another would
                  be those whose actions really do suggest that they expect an end to
                  all natural life. A third would be those whose expectation is more an
                  imminent transformation of the character, life, and experience of
                  those they address. Norman Cohn's book of 1957 on the Pursuit of the
                  Millennium, though concerned with a period long after the NT, has much
                  that is instructive in his many historical case studies.

                  David M.

                  ------------ -----JBG wrote------
                  As I understand things, the thorough-going eschatologists like Weiss and
                  Schweitzer argued that Jesus believed with absolute certainty not only
                  in an extremely imminent end of the age, but that there was nothing that
                  anyone could do to hasten or prevent its arrival.

                  If so, what is the sense of praying for the Kingdom of God to arrive or
                  for the immediate distribution of things that properly belong to the end
                  of the age, as those who believe that the Lord's Prayer is an
                  "eschatological prayer" assert is the aim of the LP?
                  ------------ --------- --------- ----

                  ---------
                  David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

                  --
                  The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                  Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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

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

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




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Matson, Mark (Academic)
                  Chuck Jones wrote, in response to Dennis Goffin s question: If Jesus was not a prophet of the eschaton, what was he ? I believe that Jesus was an iconoclast
                  Message 8 of 17 , Feb 19, 2009
                    Chuck Jones wrote,


                    in response to Dennis Goffin's question: If Jesus was not a prophet of the eschaton, what was he ?

                    I believe that Jesus was an iconoclast wisdom teacher, not at all unlike the writer of Ecclesiates. I believe his followers misunderstood a good bit of what he said about the kingdom of god and transformed him into an apocalyptic prophet in the years following the death and resurrection.

                    I base this on this datum: the gospels contain non-apocalyptic wisdom sayings attributed to Jesus. There is no explanation for how they would have gotten into the gospels if both he and followers were apocalyptists. (He wouldn't have said them and the community would not have created them.)

                    It does make sense, though, that his followers would have included them out of reverence for them--even though they didn't fit the program.


                    Mark's response:
                    Alternatively, the gospels are simply chock full of apocalyptic statements on the lips of Jesus. Which presence it seems very difficult to imagine the evangelists making up if Jesus were simply a wisdom teacher.

                    And I would suggest that the proponderance of apocalyptic statements, added to the coherence of the perspective of the earliest church argues for Jesus as an apocalyptic type prophet figure. (following, for instance, Zechariah 9-14)

                    Having said that, though, I think Jeffrey Gibson is correct in questioning whether the Lord's Prayer for "kingdom come" was an apocalyptic request. Was the "kingdom" a feature of Jesus' apocalyptic viewpoint? Must we fit everything into the apocalyptic perspective? And, alternatively, must the apocalyptic expectation have been immediately (as Schweitzer seems to presume in Jeffrey's reference)? What are Jesus' kingdom sayings but interpretations about God's role in the people's lives?

                    Mark A. Matson
                    Academic Dean
                    Milligan College
                    http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm





                    --- On Thu, 2/19/09, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:

                    From: Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...>
                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
                    To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009, 11:48 AM






                    Dennis
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Chuck Jones
                    To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com
                    Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:00 PM
                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?

                    If the historical Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet (which I personally do not believe), it is still possible--I' d say probable--that the community of followers moved away from and softened such intense expectation every day (week, year, decade) that passed without Jesus' coming on the clouds. By the time Mt was written, after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, it's easy to imagine the community holding and expressing contradictory views about the immenent end--which would show up in Mt's gospel.

                    Seems to me.

                    Rev. Chuck Jones
                    Atlanta, Georgia


                    --- On Thu, 2/19/09, David Mealand <D.Mealand@ed. ac.uk> wrote:

                    From: David Mealand <D.Mealand@ed. ac.uk>
                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
                    To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com
                    Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009, 6:37 AM

                    JBG is right that there is at least a muddle here and probably a
                    contradiction.

                    Suppose we deal with the contradiction first:

                    Premiss a Jesus expected an imminent end which could not be hastened
                    or delayed.

                    Premiss b The LP asks for the end to come or its benefits to be realised.

                    It would appear that one premiss needs to be rejected as a result of the RAA,
                    but those who hold views expressed in premiss b would presumably
                    reject premiss a.
                    It would not be incompatible to hold b, and to reject only the second
                    clause of a.

                    There does seem to be a problem for Weiss and Schweitzer if correctly
                    characterized, and it might be an interesting historical exercise to
                    see how they try to deal with the fact that b seems to contradict a,
                    if they were aware of the problem.

                    There seem to be those who would hold only the first clause of a and
                    so the contradiction noted above would not oblige them to reject b.

                    There is a further problem over the nature of the expectation of an
                    "imminent end". There are plenty of people who have held a view of
                    this kind over many centuries, some of them more aware than others of
                    previous disappointed expectations. If we take the view that we
                    should infer what people believe more from their actions than from
                    what they say then we might classify people holding imminentist views
                    into groups. One would be those whose actions indicate that we
                    interpret their views in terms of reorganizing the state (in late
                    mediaeval times sometimes that is in effect the city). Another would
                    be those whose actions really do suggest that they expect an end to
                    all natural life. A third would be those whose expectation is more an
                    imminent transformation of the character, life, and experience of
                    those they address. Norman Cohn's book of 1957 on the Pursuit of the
                    Millennium, though concerned with a period long after the NT, has much
                    that is instructive in his many historical case studies.

                    David M.

                    ------------ -----JBG wrote------
                    As I understand things, the thorough-going eschatologists like Weiss and
                    Schweitzer argued that Jesus believed with absolute certainty not only
                    in an extremely imminent end of the age, but that there was nothing that
                    anyone could do to hasten or prevent its arrival.

                    If so, what is the sense of praying for the Kingdom of God to arrive or
                    for the immediate distribution of things that properly belong to the end
                    of the age, as those who believe that the Lord's Prayer is an
                    "eschatological prayer" assert is the aim of the LP?
                    ------------ --------- --------- ----

                    ---------
                    David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

                    --
                    The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                    Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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

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



















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



                    ------------------------------------

                    Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links







                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • David Mealand
                    One of the severe problems with NT studies is that people use terms like eschaton and apocalyptic prophet as though we have clear and definite understandings
                    Message 9 of 17 , Feb 20, 2009
                      One of the severe problems with NT studies is that
                      people use terms like eschaton
                      and apocalyptic prophet as though we have clear
                      and definite understandings of their sense and reference.

                      If we look at historical studies of groups of
                      people who have expresssed a future expectation in
                      vivid and colourful language we could classify them
                      into several quite different groups depending
                      on the their behaviour. We probably infer people's
                      beliefs more reliably from their actions than from
                      their speech. If we are right to identify several
                      different classes of people using colourful language
                      about the future, who actually behave in very different
                      ways, we might need something more specific
                      and more focused than very general terms such as
                      apocalyptic prophet.

                      It is also often a salutary exercise to try to
                      avoid overused terminology and to attempt to say
                      clearly in other terms what one thinks is going
                      on. This demands an exercise in thought which
                      can be revelatory if I can allow myself to play with
                      "apocalyptic" terminology just for once.

                      David M.

                      -------
                      PS
                      I still think Norman Cohn's Pursuit of the Millennium
                      (1957) has much to contribute to our understanding of the
                      history of such groups.
                      ----------



                      ---------
                      David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


                      --
                      The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                      Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                    • Tony Buglass
                      Chuck wrote: I believe that Jesus was an iconoclast wisdom teacher, not at all unlike the writer of Ecclesiates. I believe his followers misunderstood a good
                      Message 10 of 17 , Feb 20, 2009
                        Chuck wrote:
                        I believe that Jesus was an iconoclast wisdom teacher, not at all unlike the writer of Ecclesiates. I believe his followers misunderstood a good bit of what he said about the kingdom of god and transformed him into an apocalyptic prophet in the years following the death and resurrection.

                        Ben Witherington argues that 1st C Jews didn't think in discrete categories such as sapiential and prophetic (The Jesus Quest, p.186), and that no particular label on its own will explain Jesus - sage and prophet are both too limited. NT Wright similarly argues that Jesus was a prophet who used Wisdom (JVG p312, 315), drawing upon prophetic or sapiential tradition as appropriate. The comparison with Qoheleth is that Jesus' wisdom was counter-order, but rather than the world being upside-down (as Qoheleth believed) but that Jesus believed God was turning it upside-down - hence the apocalyptic horizon.

                        Those of us who are preachers use a range of tools and traditions to articulte our message - is there any reason why Jesus should not have done the same? Is it not likely that the supposedly post-resurrection developments in Jesus tradition were legitimised because they built upon aspects of Jesus' own teaching? The community-memory of oral tradition would arguably guard against such a radical transformation as making Jesus into an apocalyptic prophet when he had not been one - so Dunn argues in Jesus Remembered (eg p.46, about the control and stability of oral tradition).

                        Cheers,
                        Rev Tony Buglass
                        Superintendent Minister
                        Upper Calder Methodist Circuit

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Dennis Goffin
                        David, One of the problems of trying to use terms such as eschaton and apocalyptic is that the Jews were never systematic theologians. Most of the literature
                        Message 11 of 17 , Feb 20, 2009
                          David,
                          One of the problems of trying to use terms such as eschaton and apocalyptic is that the Jews were never systematic theologians. Most of the literature expresses the hopes and fears of an oppressed nation and the solutions which are envisaged for that situation are far from standardised, so that in the Dead Sea Scrolls it is possible to see two or three Messiahs or anointed ones who are expected to come at the same time. Needless to say this confusion of multiplicity also has a knock-on effect in the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament. I personally despair of ever being able to tie down precisely what the Jews of this period were looking forward to. Norman Cohn makes a good attempt at bringing order into this chaos and I particularly enjoyed his book "Cosmos, Chaos And the World to Come". It is important however to buy the second edition published in 2001 because it has an extended treatment of the period we are studying.
                          With kind regards,
                          Dennis




                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: David Mealand
                          To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 10:32 AM
                          Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?



                          One of the severe problems with NT studies is that
                          people use terms like eschaton
                          and apocalyptic prophet as though we have clear
                          and definite understandings of their sense and reference.

                          If we look at historical studies of groups of
                          people who have expresssed a future expectation in
                          vivid and colourful language we could classify them
                          into several quite different groups depending
                          on the their behaviour. We probably infer people's
                          beliefs more reliably from their actions than from
                          their speech. If we are right to identify several
                          different classes of people using colourful language
                          about the future, who actually behave in very different
                          ways, we might need something more specific
                          and more focused than very general terms such as
                          apocalyptic prophet.

                          It is also often a salutary exercise to try to
                          avoid overused terminology and to attempt to say
                          clearly in other terms what one thinks is going
                          on. This demands an exercise in thought which
                          can be revelatory if I can allow myself to play with
                          "apocalyptic" terminology just for once.

                          David M.

                          -------
                          PS
                          I still think Norman Cohn's Pursuit of the Millennium
                          (1957) has much to contribute to our understanding of the
                          history of such groups.
                          ----------

                          ---------
                          David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

                          --
                          The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                          Scotland, with registration number SC005336.




                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Chuck Jones
                          Dennis,   Thanks so much for asking for more information; that s a refreshing approach to e-dialogue!   I would offer three teachings, maybe as starters:  
                          Message 12 of 17 , Feb 20, 2009
                            Dennis,
                             
                            Thanks so much for asking for more information; that's a refreshing approach to e-dialogue!
                             
                            I would offer three teachings, maybe as starters:
                             
                            1.  "Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, "Look, here it is!' or "There it is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you" (Lk 17:20-21 = Th 113).
                             
                            2.  In this pair of parables the work of god's kingdom happens imperceptibly--powerfully, but slowly and invisibly and by some mysterious power within.  Humans can only wait, watch and marvel when they finally notice the magnitude of the result:
                             
                            "And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade" (Mk 4:30-32 = Mt 13:31-32, Lk 13:18-19).
                             
                            "He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened" (Mt 13:33 = Lk 13:20-21, Th 96).
                             
                            3.   This parable is like the above except that it emphasizes only the mysterious, invisible, incremental working of the kingdom, without highlighting the dramatic difference between before and after:  "And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how.  The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.  But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come" (Mk 4:26-28).
                             
                            Would someone proclaiming any 1st century version of a messianic, eschatological or apocalyptic divine intervention describe their expectation in the these terms?  It seems to me that someone who is trying to radically redefine what "the Kingdom of God" means would say them.
                             
                            Hope this helps.
                             
                            Rev. Chuck Jones
                            Atlanta, Georgia
















                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Dennis Goffin
                            Chuck, Thank you for going to the trouble of listing in detail those sections which embody for you Jesus as a wisdom teacher. I would like however to refer you
                            Message 13 of 17 , Feb 20, 2009
                              Chuck,
                              Thank you for going to the trouble of listing in detail those sections which embody for you Jesus as a wisdom teacher.
                              I would like however to refer you to two books which may give a different slant on your interpretation of these passages. The first book is the standard commentary on Luke by G B Caird. You will probably have it in your library and pages 196 and 197 give a different translation of the crucial word "within" and a completely different exposition, treating this particular saying as more in line with the expectation of the early church than the actual words of Jesus.
                              With regard to points two and three of your e-mail, I would ask you to look at the commentary on Mark by D E Nineham. If you read the pages listed under the index at the back of the book under the heading "Parables", here again I think you will see fresh light shed on passages which are too often treated in terms of purely devotional reading and are not perhaps sufficiently rigorously looked at with regard to the process by which these passages got into the gospel in the first place.
                              With kind regards,
                              Dennis
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Chuck Jones
                              To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 2:44 PM
                              Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?



                              Dennis,

                              Thanks so much for asking for more information; that's a refreshing approach to e-dialogue!

                              I would offer three teachings, maybe as starters:

                              1. "Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, "Look, here it is!' or "There it is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you" (Lk 17:20-21 = Th 113).

                              2. In this pair of parables the work of god's kingdom happens imperceptibly--powerfully, but slowly and invisibly and by some mysterious power within. Humans can only wait, watch and marvel when they finally notice the magnitude of the result:

                              "And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade" (Mk 4:30-32 = Mt 13:31-32, Lk 13:18-19).

                              "He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened" (Mt 13:33 = Lk 13:20-21, Th 96).

                              3. This parable is like the above except that it emphasizes only the mysterious, invisible, incremental working of the kingdom, without highlighting the dramatic difference between before and after: "And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come" (Mk 4:26-28).

                              Would someone proclaiming any 1st century version of a messianic, eschatological or apocalyptic divine intervention describe their expectation in the these terms? It seems to me that someone who is trying to radically redefine what "the Kingdom of God" means would say them.

                              Hope this helps.

                              Rev. Chuck Jones
                              Atlanta, Georgia

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




                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Chuck Jones
                              Dennis,   If it wouldn t be too much trouble, could you briefly summarize the observations of the authors you mention?   I would also add that I m interested
                              Message 14 of 17 , Feb 20, 2009
                                Dennis,
                                 
                                If it wouldn't be too much trouble, could you briefly summarize the observations of the authors you mention?
                                 
                                I would also add that I'm interested in what you think, Dennis.  Don't feel that you need simply to point me to sources....
                                 
                                Thanks,
                                 
                                Rev. Chuck Jones
                                Atlanta, Georgia


                                --- On Fri, 2/20/09, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:

                                From: Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...>
                                Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
                                To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                                Date: Friday, February 20, 2009, 11:01 AM






                                Chuck,
                                Thank you for going to the trouble of listing in detail those sections which embody for you Jesus as a wisdom teacher.
                                I would like however to refer you to two books which may give a different slant on your interpretation of these passages. The first book is the standard commentary on Luke by G B Caird. You will probably have it in your library and pages 196 and 197 give a different translation of the crucial word "within" and a completely different exposition, treating this particular saying as more in line with the expectation of the early church than the actual words of Jesus.
                                With regard to points two and three of your e-mail, I would ask you to look at the commentary on Mark by D E Nineham. If you read the pages listed under the index at the back of the book under the heading "Parables", here again I think you will see fresh light shed on passages which are too often treated in terms of purely devotional reading and are not perhaps sufficiently rigorously looked at with regard to the process by which these passages got into the gospel in the first place.
                                With kind regards,
                                Dennis
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: Chuck Jones
                                To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com
                                Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 2:44 PM
                                Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?

                                Dennis,

                                Thanks so much for asking for more information; that's a refreshing approach to e-dialogue!

                                I would offer three teachings, maybe as starters:

                                1. "Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, "Look, here it is!' or "There it is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you" (Lk 17:20-21 = Th 113).

                                2. In this pair of parables the work of god's kingdom happens imperceptibly- -powerfully, but slowly and invisibly and by some mysterious power within. Humans can only wait, watch and marvel when they finally notice the magnitude of the result:

                                "And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade" (Mk 4:30-32 = Mt 13:31-32, Lk 13:18-19).

                                "He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened" (Mt 13:33 = Lk 13:20-21, Th 96).

                                3. This parable is like the above except that it emphasizes only the mysterious, invisible, incremental working of the kingdom, without highlighting the dramatic difference between before and after: "And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come" (Mk 4:26-28).

                                Would someone proclaiming any 1st century version of a messianic, eschatological or apocalyptic divine intervention describe their expectation in the these terms? It seems to me that someone who is trying to radically redefine what "the Kingdom of God" means would say them.

                                Hope this helps.

                                Rev. Chuck Jones
                                Atlanta, Georgia

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

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



















                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Chuck Jones
                                Dennis,   BTW, these are simply three examples.   Chuck ... From: Dennis Goffin Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological
                                Message 15 of 17 , Feb 20, 2009
                                  Dennis,
                                   
                                  BTW, these are simply three examples.
                                   
                                  Chuck

                                  --- On Fri, 2/20/09, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:

                                  From: Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...>
                                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
                                  To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                                  Date: Friday, February 20, 2009, 11:01 AM






                                  Chuck,
                                  Thank you for going to the trouble of listing in detail those sections which embody for you Jesus as a wisdom teacher.
                                  I would like however to refer you to two books which may give a different slant on your interpretation of these passages. The first book is the standard commentary on Luke by G B Caird. You will probably have it in your library and pages 196 and 197 give a different translation of the crucial word "within" and a completely different exposition, treating this particular saying as more in line with the expectation of the early church than the actual words of Jesus.
                                  With regard to points two and three of your e-mail, I would ask you to look at the commentary on Mark by D E Nineham. If you read the pages listed under the index at the back of the book under the heading "Parables", here again I think you will see fresh light shed on passages which are too often treated in terms of purely devotional reading and are not perhaps sufficiently rigorously looked at with regard to the process by which these passages got into the gospel in the first place.
                                  With kind regards,
                                  Dennis
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: Chuck Jones
                                  To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com
                                  Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 2:44 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?

                                  Dennis,

                                  Thanks so much for asking for more information; that's a refreshing approach to e-dialogue!

                                  I would offer three teachings, maybe as starters:

                                  1. "Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, "Look, here it is!' or "There it is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you" (Lk 17:20-21 = Th 113).

                                  2. In this pair of parables the work of god's kingdom happens imperceptibly- -powerfully, but slowly and invisibly and by some mysterious power within. Humans can only wait, watch and marvel when they finally notice the magnitude of the result:

                                  "And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade" (Mk 4:30-32 = Mt 13:31-32, Lk 13:18-19).

                                  "He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened" (Mt 13:33 = Lk 13:20-21, Th 96).

                                  3. This parable is like the above except that it emphasizes only the mysterious, invisible, incremental working of the kingdom, without highlighting the dramatic difference between before and after: "And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come" (Mk 4:26-28).

                                  Would someone proclaiming any 1st century version of a messianic, eschatological or apocalyptic divine intervention describe their expectation in the these terms? It seems to me that someone who is trying to radically redefine what "the Kingdom of God" means would say them.

                                  Hope this helps.

                                  Rev. Chuck Jones
                                  Atlanta, Georgia

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

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



















                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Dennis Goffin
                                  Chuck, Here s my attempt at answering your question. I m learning all the time !! 1) Caird maintains that by placing this saying in its present position Luke
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Feb 20, 2009
                                    Chuck,
                                    Here's my attempt at answering your question. I'm learning all the time !!
                                    1) Caird maintains that by placing this saying in its present position Luke understood it as a prophecy. He paraphrases this saying as follows: there is no point in keeping watch for the future coming of the kingdom since the kingdom is already present in germ. Jesus then goes on to speak of the final consummation of the kingdom which would come when no one was expecting it.

                                    2 & 3) Nineham makes the point that the Greek word for parable simply means a comparison or an analogy. Initially Jesus would have used these comparisons to make his point clearer. Unfortunately they were transmitted, initially by word of mouth, without the benefit of the context in which they were spoken. This made many of them incomprehensible in themselves and as the situation and beliefs of the early Christians changed, so did the construction which they placed on these meant-to-be-helpful illustrations. As a result of the loss of context, the early Christians often found these illustrations enigmatic and mysterious and they started to treat them as allegories, which was far away from their original purpose.

                                    As an illustration of the above, Nineham points out that verse 17 of Mark chapter 4 talks of tribulation and persecution on account of the word. This he says relates entirely to the experience of the early Christians for example in the Neronian persecution of 63 AD .

                                    Regards,

                                    Dennis

                                    ----- Original Message -----

                                    From: Chuck Jones
                                    To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 4:09 PM
                                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?


                                    Dennis,

                                    If it wouldn't be too much trouble, could you briefly summarize the observations of the authors you mention?

                                    I would also add that I'm interested in what you think, Dennis. Don't feel that you need simply to point me to sources....

                                    Thanks,

                                    Rev. Chuck Jones
                                    Atlanta, Georgia

                                    --- On Fri, 2/20/09, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:

                                    From: Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...>
                                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
                                    To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                                    Date: Friday, February 20, 2009, 11:01 AM

                                    Chuck,
                                    Thank you for going to the trouble of listing in detail those sections which embody for you Jesus as a wisdom teacher.
                                    I would like however to refer you to two books which may give a different slant on your interpretation of these passages. The first book is the standard commentary on Luke by G B Caird. You will probably have it in your library and pages 196 and 197 give a different translation of the crucial word "within" and a completely different exposition, treating this particular saying as more in line with the expectation of the early church than the actual words of Jesus.
                                    With regard to points two and three of your e-mail, I would ask you to look at the commentary on Mark by D E Nineham. If you read the pages listed under the index at the back of the book under the heading "Parables", here again I think you will see fresh light shed on passages which are too often treated in terms of purely devotional reading and are not perhaps sufficiently rigorously looked at with regard to the process by which these passages got into the gospel in the first place.
                                    With kind regards,
                                    Dennis
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: Chuck Jones
                                    To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com
                                    Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 2:44 PM
                                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?

                                    Dennis,

                                    Thanks so much for asking for more information; that's a refreshing approach to e-dialogue!

                                    I would offer three teachings, maybe as starters:

                                    1. "Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, "Look, here it is!' or "There it is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you" (Lk 17:20-21 = Th 113).

                                    2. In this pair of parables the work of god's kingdom happens imperceptibly- -powerfully, but slowly and invisibly and by some mysterious power within. Humans can only wait, watch and marvel when they finally notice the magnitude of the result:

                                    "And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade" (Mk 4:30-32 = Mt 13:31-32, Lk 13:18-19).

                                    "He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened" (Mt 13:33 = Lk 13:20-21, Th 96).

                                    3. This parable is like the above except that it emphasizes only the mysterious, invisible, incremental working of the kingdom, without highlighting the dramatic difference between before and after: "And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come" (Mk 4:26-28).

                                    Would someone proclaiming any 1st century version of a messianic, eschatological or apocalyptic divine intervention describe their expectation in the these terms? It seems to me that someone who is trying to radically redefine what "the Kingdom of God" means would say them.

                                    Hope this helps.

                                    Rev. Chuck Jones
                                    Atlanta, Georgia

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

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

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




                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Chuck Jones
                                    Dennis, Thanks for the summaries.  I agree with both writers.  I think that Lk did in fact manage where the saying appeared in the gospel to soften it. 
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Feb 22, 2009
                                      Dennis,

                                      Thanks for the summaries.  I agree with both writers.  I think that Lk did in fact "manage" where the saying appeared in the gospel to soften it.  And I believe that the sayings of Jesus were subject to misunderstanding (and also reshaping) as they were told and retold.

                                      Which leaves us with these nuggets that, prior to reshaping or placement among "on the other hand" passages, stand out as being unlike anything professed as a belief by the Jesus followers who were crafting these gospels.

                                      Rev. Chuck Jones
                                      Atlanta, Georgia

                                      --- On Fri, 2/20/09, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:
                                      From: Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...>
                                      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?
                                      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                                      Cc: gpg@yahoogroups.com
                                      Date: Friday, February 20, 2009, 2:33 PM












                                      Chuck,

                                      Here's my attempt at answering your question. I'm learning all the time !!

                                      1) Caird maintains that by placing this saying in its present position Luke understood it as a prophecy. He paraphrases this saying as follows: there is no point in keeping watch for the future coming of the kingdom since the kingdom is already present in germ. Jesus then goes on to speak of the final consummation of the kingdom which would come when no one was expecting it.



                                      2 & 3) Nineham makes the point that the Greek word for parable simply means a comparison or an analogy. Initially Jesus would have used these comparisons to make his point clearer. Unfortunately they were transmitted, initially by word of mouth, without the benefit of the context in which they were spoken. This made many of them incomprehensible in themselves and as the situation and beliefs of the early Christians changed, so did the construction which they placed on these meant-to-be- helpful illustrations. As a result of the loss of context, the early Christians often found these illustrations enigmatic and mysterious and they started to treat them as allegories, which was far away from their original purpose.



                                      As an illustration of the above, Nineham points out that verse 17 of Mark chapter 4 talks of tribulation and persecution on account of the word. This he says relates entirely to the experience of the early Christians for example in the Neronian persecution of 63 AD .



                                      Regards,



                                      Dennis



                                      ----- Original Message -----



                                      From: Chuck Jones

                                      To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com

                                      Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 4:09 PM

                                      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?



                                      Dennis,



                                      If it wouldn't be too much trouble, could you briefly summarize the observations of the authors you mention?



                                      I would also add that I'm interested in what you think, Dennis. Don't feel that you need simply to point me to sources....



                                      Thanks,



                                      Rev. Chuck Jones

                                      Atlanta, Georgia



                                      --- On Fri, 2/20/09, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@ntlworld. com> wrote:



                                      From: Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@ntlworld. com>

                                      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?

                                      To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com

                                      Date: Friday, February 20, 2009, 11:01 AM



                                      Chuck,

                                      Thank you for going to the trouble of listing in detail those sections which embody for you Jesus as a wisdom teacher.

                                      I would like however to refer you to two books which may give a different slant on your interpretation of these passages. The first book is the standard commentary on Luke by G B Caird. You will probably have it in your library and pages 196 and 197 give a different translation of the crucial word "within" and a completely different exposition, treating this particular saying as more in line with the expectation of the early church than the actual words of Jesus.

                                      With regard to points two and three of your e-mail, I would ask you to look at the commentary on Mark by D E Nineham. If you read the pages listed under the index at the back of the book under the heading "Parables", here again I think you will see fresh light shed on passages which are too often treated in terms of purely devotional reading and are not perhaps sufficiently rigorously looked at with regard to the process by which these passages got into the gospel in the first place.

                                      With kind regards,

                                      Dennis

                                      ----- Original Message -----

                                      From: Chuck Jones

                                      To: Synoptic@yahoogroup s.com

                                      Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 2:44 PM

                                      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] an eschatological contradiction?



                                      Dennis,



                                      Thanks so much for asking for more information; that's a refreshing approach to e-dialogue!



                                      I would offer three teachings, maybe as starters:



                                      1. "Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, "The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, "Look, here it is!' or "There it is!' For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you" (Lk 17:20-21 = Th 113).



                                      2. In this pair of parables the work of god's kingdom happens imperceptibly- -powerfully, but slowly and invisibly and by some mysterious power within. Humans can only wait, watch and marvel when they finally notice the magnitude of the result:



                                      "And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade" (Mk 4:30-32 = Mt 13:31-32, Lk 13:18-19).



                                      "He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened" (Mt 13:33 = Lk 13:20-21, Th 96).



                                      3. This parable is like the above except that it emphasizes only the mysterious, invisible, incremental working of the kingdom, without highlighting the dramatic difference between before and after: "And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come" (Mk 4:26-28).



                                      Would someone proclaiming any 1st century version of a messianic, eschatological or apocalyptic divine intervention describe their expectation in the these terms? It seems to me that someone who is trying to radically redefine what "the Kingdom of God" means would say them.



                                      Hope this helps.



                                      Rev. Chuck Jones

                                      Atlanta, Georgia



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



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



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



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































                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.