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Jesus and James

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic Cc: WSW In Response To: Offlist Query On: Jesus and James From: Bruce JESUS Keith, Thanks for your note on the previous Emotions of Jesus topic; I
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 8, 2009
      To: Synoptic
      Cc: WSW
      In Response To: Offlist Query
      On: Jesus and James
      From: Bruce



      Thanks for your note on the previous Emotions of Jesus topic; I am glad you
      found my analysis useful. Frankly, so did I, and accordingly, that is one of
      the segments which I may presently be preparing for publication. Against
      that possibility, I thus ask you, as I earlier asked in connection with my
      Two in Matthew bit, which was in response to a post by Chuck Jones, if you
      are willing that your original post be mentioned in the eventual article,
      simply to suggest the context in which my own statements arose. While you
      were away, you may have missed my query to Synoptic on that general subject,
      but to get an idea of the sort of thing that would be involved (it is really
      no big deal), you can consult the tentative first page which I posted in PDF
      form to the Files section of this list; go to


      click on the last of the icons there visible, and let me know what you

      A propos, to Chuck: Personally, I found the discussion in the few days after
      I posted my Two in Matthew stuff to be relevant and helpful; it brought out
      some points which I think would be useful to the eventual reader. Here we
      are dealing with your own comments as well as mine, and your personal
      permission would be required to include that discussion (or more likely an
      abridgement of it) as an appendage to the article proper. This is something
      of a tradition with our journal, where some of the articles grow out of
      conference (or sometimes E-list) discussion, and are preserved at least in
      part *as* discussion. Does this in general meet with your approval? If so, I
      will go ahead, and send you a PDF of the draft, for your correction and
      formal agreement (naturally, we need to have these things in writing, before
      actually going to press). If not, I will work my own comments into the
      article proper, not mentioning yours. But to me, the preservation of the
      original dialogue form is desirable, as suggesting the original milieu, and
      perhaps helping to establish the occasional fruitfulness of prepublication
      discussion, a point on which the great majority of NT scholars (to mention
      no other fields) seem not to be convinced.


      [Back to Keith]:

      As for the James paper from SBL/NE 2007, about which you asked, I recall
      that at the time it attracted some interest from Harold Attridge, who
      chaired that particular session, another reason (besides my own merely
      internal opinion) to think of saving it for the published record. That
      thought has been pursued, and the published version will hopefully appear
      later this year, in the first volume of the journal being issued by our
      research institute at UMass. That journal will be called Warring States
      Papers; be sure to tell your local serials librarian to leave budget room
      for it. Meanwhile, yes, there is an online abstract (I am afraid no more
      than that), which is available in the News section of our institute's
      website; see


      Comments from yourself or any others who may be interested would be more
      than welcome, but I must add that there is not much time for me to take
      account of them (with credit to any useful suggestions or criticisms), since
      that issue of the journal will be closing in a matter of weeks, after which
      all comment is, well, to coin a term, merely academic.


      I very much agree that James is one of the key witnesses to the early Jesus
      movement and its internal traditions and practices. So, in my opinion, is
      the Didache. Both these texts have two layers, and it is the earlier of the
      two (in the case of the Didache, only the included Two Ways document,
      namely, the part of the Didache with which Barnabas deals) that is of
      special interest. Those, and the core of the tradition which is much
      overlaid by later stuff in the fragmentary Gospel of Peter, and of course
      the earliest layers of Mark (always assuming that they can be objectively
      and responsibly identified), together constitute what I consider to be the
      only really strong reflections of the earliest Jesus tradition - earlier
      than Paul, and in any case representing a tradition which, unlike that of
      Paul (which began with himself), really had a connection to the followers of
      Jesus, during the lifetime of Jesus. Here, if anywhere, ought to be the
      thread which many over the years have been seeking.

      But all that is mostly for the future. For the present, best wishes,


      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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