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Re: [Synoptic-L] The Time Depth of Mark

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  • Chuck Jones
    Actually, perceptions around the sacred nature of the gospels caused many to reject sources and explain away the synoptic problem, since that level of human
    Message 1 of 54 , Jun 3, 2009
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      Actually, perceptions around the sacred nature of the gospels caused many to reject sources and explain away the synoptic problem, since that level of human activity (and especially human creativity in the rearranging of those sources) didn't square with ideas of divine inspiration.
       
      Rev. Chuck Jones
      Atlanta, Georgia

      --- On Wed, 6/3/09, Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...> wrote:


      From: Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...>
      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] The Time Depth of Mark
      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2009, 10:33 AM








      For what it's worth,
      Perhaps it is the perception of Mark as a religious document (indeed to many a "sacred" document) as opposed to a piece of literature that causes some of the reason to find sources and tag them as recent or old. If one looked at it as literature, however, would one do that? Do we see all the writings of antiquity as piecemeal, composed over a "depth of time" from a variety of sources that can be stratified into a infinitesimally small time frame of several decades delineated by "markers?"

      From Thomas L. Thompson's The Messiah Myth, in the preface we read, "In discussions about both monumental inscriptions and biblical narratives, historians tend to place events in a demythologized space, which they themselves create. The intention is to displace the mythic space to which the biblical and ancient texts have given voice. Whether one is dealing with an army led by God and meeting no resistance, a heroic king marching through the night to attack at sunrise or - in victory - returning the people to faithful worship and the abandoned temple to its god, absence of attention to the story's world ignores the function of ancient texts. The further failure to weigh our texts against comparable literature cripples reading by neglecting the stereotypical quality of biblical tropes. Rhetorical strategies such as the logic of retribution, reiterative echoes of legends past and ever illusive irony are lost in the historian's search for a past that shifts
      the reader's attention from the story to an imagined past." He goes on to argue, very successfully I believe, that a question of the historicity of Jesus is irrelevant, because that is not the purpose of the texts.

      Dennis Dean Carpenter
      Dahlonega, Ga.

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    • Dave Gentile
      Chuck, But there might be something of a common selection factor at work in what Luke would choose to use and what might survive. If Luke thinks a written
      Message 54 of 54 , Jun 10, 2009
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        Chuck,

        But there might be something of a common selection factor at work in what Luke would choose to use and what might survive. If Luke thinks a written account is important enough to copy, then he and others might think this account is worth preserving. On the other hand, if Luke thinks another existing account is trivial nonsense worth ignoring, then others may also be so inclined in which case we are not surprised that it failed to survive 2000 years of history.

        So the question is not so much about contemporary accounts. We know for example that some later non-canonical accounts exist, and anybody can take pen to paper and write something, if they are so inclined, at any time. The question is really about accounts that from Luke's point of view are historical or at least of value enough to Luke that he would think them worthy of being copied, but yet are lost to us.

        Returning to a point from a previous note:

        New jokes are composed everyday. Old ones get passed around, but every so often you hear a new one. Could not the same be true of stories of Jesus? If this were the case the collection would be larger each time someone wrote them down. I think we can see this process at work. Early Mark has a small collection. This collection grows as Mark grows. Down the road we see a larger collection in Matthew, and a little farther along a still larger collection in Luke.

        P.S. While I am also enjoying the conversation, I now have actual work to do. Thus at some time soon expect me to either drop out of conversation for awhile, or at least have diminished output…

        Dave Gentile
        Riverside, IL




        Dave Gentile
        Riverside, IL




        --- In Synoptic@yahoogroups.com, Chuck Jones <chuckjonez@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dave,
        >  
        > I mention Lk's reference to make a single, narrow point.  Many accounts existed, new or old.  Whether Lk used them or not, almost all of these accounts *did not survive and are no longer extant.*  This means that *most* of the written accounts of Jesus did not survive.  Which means one is taking no leap at all--quite the opposite--if one concludes there was a Q, or an M source, or an L source, or a Mk source.
        >  
        > I hope this makes sense.
        >  
        > Rev. Chuck Jones
        > Atlanta, Georgia
        >
        > --- On Wed, 6/10/09, Dave Gentile <gentile_dave@...> wrote:
        >
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        > From: Dave Gentile <gentile_dave@...>
        > Subject: [Synoptic-L] Re: The Time Depth of Mark
        > To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2009, 12:26 PM
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        > Chuck wrote: Also, separately, how do you square your model with Lk's own mention that many have produced written accounts of Jesus? His comment has been, in fact, fundamental to me in my thinking on this stuff.
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        > Dave: I think the question of how many accounts Luke is aware of and how many accounts Luke thinks are wroth considering enough to copy are two separate questions. If Luke thinks the guy in the rival congregation in the next town just wrote a gospel yesterday, this will count towards those "many" who have undertaken this but won't count as a written source for Luke.
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        > I see this in his attitude towards Matthew and Mark. He sees Mark as an old source that has been around for awhile and he will largely copy it. Matthew? Well, that's a newcomer on the scene. He would not even bother with it except for the fact that it has a claim to a providence of an interview with the disciple Matthew. Thus the gospel of Matthew will be worth extracting things from, but not copying. The proto-John guys who just wrote their gospel yesterday? They will be ignored.
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        > At least that would be my account of Luke's environment and thought process.
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        > Dave Gentile
        > Riverside, IL
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