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Re: [Synoptic-L] Parallelism as an indicator of primitivity

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  • Ron Price
    ... Bruce, I don t take it at face value. Rather it forms part of Mark s extensive denigration of the original disciples and the family of Jesus. The case for
    Message 1 of 33 , Mar 12, 2010
      I had written:

      >> There is no evidence of the post-crucifixion survival of any
      >> pre-30 CE Jesus group independent of the original group which came to
      >> be (more likely was all along) led by James.

      Bruce Brooks replied:

      > Sorry, but there is quite a bit of evidence, some of it even in
      > the canonical texts, hostile as those generally are to the Galilee
      > phase of Christianity, and to the very thought of its survival.
      > James, or more precisely Jacob, was the brother of Jesus. Good for
      > him. He is rejected by Jesus in Mark. I think this needs to be taken
      > at face value, startling as it is. Jesus did what he did (whatever it
      > was) without the approval, indeed with the disapproval, of his
      > immediate family: his mother and his brothers, and for that matter a
      > group of his friends.


      I don't take it at face value. Rather it forms part of Mark's extensive
      denigration of the original disciples and the family of Jesus. The case for
      this conclusion would require another thread.

      > That's one phase. Don't believe in it? Go argue with Mark.

      I'd be delighted to, if you'd provide me with a time machine!

      > Second, it is clear from Paul that by about the year 35, and
      > notwithstanding the earlier situation in about the year 29, this Jacob
      > had somehow become the leading figure of the Jesus group in Jerusalem,
      > and that this group in turn was regarded by many, including Paul, as
      > doctrinally authoritative. Here is what I call the Jerusalem shift.

      No. The only thing that is clear from Paul is that from his first extant
      observations on the issue (Gal 2:9, 11-12), James the brother of Jesus was
      the undisputed leader of the Jesus movement in Jerusalem.

      > But Paul's own first persecutions (see Acts) were in Galilee, surely
      > implying that there was something there to persecute

      Your version of Acts must be different from mine, or else it's your
      geography. Since when was Damascus in Galilee?

      Anyway Paul's persecutions were probably several years after the
      crucifixion: plenty of time for the Jerusalem community's message to have
      spread that far.

      > Both Matthew and (following him) Luke curse the churches of
      > Galilee. Damns them to hell. But for what, if they did not exist .....

      Mt 11:20-24 says nothing about churches. It's my turn to take something at
      face value. The setting is the ministry of Jesus. The implication is that
      Matthew or some earlier tradition is portraying the people of these cities
      as not responsive to the preaching of Jesus. Need I remind you that there
      were no "churches" prior to the crucifixion?

      > If there was an earliest belief among the followers of Jesus, what was
      > it? The Resurrection? Hardly, since during Jesus's lifetime (I hate to
      > say the obvious) it had not yet occurred. It must have been some sort
      > of non-Resurrection faith.
      > But, Ron implies, it did not survive.

      I didn't say that at all. What I indicated was that immediately after the
      crucifixion it survived only via the Jesus community in Jerusalem, i.e.
      James, Peter et al.., from whom it spread to most of the surrounding

      > We may nevertheless ask: Is
      > there any evidence for the existence of such a faith in the early and
      > middle 1c, and perhaps even later?
      > I answer: Lots. This is where reports of the Nazarenes and the
      > Ebionites - not exactly the same, though the terms were later much
      > confused, see Ray Pritz for one reading of the tangled evidence, and
      > Michael Goulder, previously mentioned, for a slightly different one.
      > The differences between the two do not impugn the general force of
      > their evidence.
      > And what is the force of that evidence?

      As Michael Goulder put it: "... there is a straight line through from Peter
      and James to Cerinthus and the Ebionites" ("Paul and the Competing Mission
      in Corinth", p.221). This is entirely consistent with my claim quoted at the
      beginning of this email.

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: GPG Cc: Synoptic In Response To: Keith Yoder On: Mark and John From: Bruce Thanks to Keith for his additional notes on recasting of previous tradition in
      Message 33 of 33 , Mar 24, 2010
        To: GPG
        Cc: Synoptic
        In Response To: Keith Yoder
        On: Mark and John
        From: Bruce

        Thanks to Keith for his additional notes on recasting of previous
        tradition in John. The subject is a large one, with its own special
        interest, and all points are welcome.

        One of the skills needed by the successful churchman is the grace to
        respond politely when presented with a Festschrift which is small,
        undistinguished, and full of internal rancor, one author using his
        space to trash the opinion of another author about the date and
        authenticity of 1 Peter. Such was the crisis which must have
        confronted the dedicatee when he was handed Sherman E Johnson, The Joy
        of Study: Papers on New Testament and Related Subjects Presented to
        Honor Frederick Clifton Grant (Macmillan 1951).

        Fred his my sympathy in that moment.

        Nevertheless, there are some shreds of interest in the thing. One is
        the paper by Sydney Temple (University of Massachusetts, no less) on
        Geography and Climate in the Fourth Gospel. He makes what looks to me
        like a good case that the author of John knew Palestinian geography
        and its seasons very well: when a certain ford was passable, when the
        court migrated from Jerusalem to Jericho, when the high road through
        Samaria would have been preferable to the more obvious lowland one.

        Does this mean that John, being more cogent about geography than it
        seems Mark always was, knew Palestine, and Mark did not? That might be
        a rash conclusion. But with Temple's data in mind, we can at least say
        that he had done his homework, not only on the calendar, but on the


        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts
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