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MARK 12:34 THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT

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  • Dennis Goffin
    Since my previous comment on this subject, I have started to re-read Michael Goulder s St Paul versus St Peter - A Tale of Two Missions and he makes it
    Message 1 of 25 , Apr 8, 2010
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      Since my previous comment on this subject, I have started to re-read Michael Goulder's "St Paul versus St Peter - A Tale of Two Missions" and he makes it abundantly clear that this is merely Mark having a go at the Jewish Xian position re observing the Law and is in line with his overall Pauline position. In his introduction, he says " The Gospels almost always give us the theology of their authors, and SOMETIMES (my emphasis) true tradition about Jesus." It's a lot easier, however, to pick this up in Matthew, Luke and John than in Mark in my experience.
      Dennis

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: GPG Cc: Synoptic In Response To: Dennis Goffin On: Gospels From: Bruce DENNIS: Since my previous comment on this subject, I have started to re-read Michael
      Message 2 of 25 , Apr 8, 2010
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        To: GPG
        Cc: Synoptic
        In Response To: Dennis Goffin
        On: Gospels
        From: Bruce

        DENNIS: Since my previous comment on this subject, I have started to
        re-read Michael Goulder's "St Paul versus St Peter - A Tale of Two
        Missions" and he makes it abundantly clear that this is merely Mark
        having a go at the Jewish Xian position re observing the Law and is in
        line with his overall Pauline position.

        BRUCE: Michael's final word on that topic was written later (Paul and
        the Competing Mission in Corinth, 2001); it is perhaps only fair to
        him to check it out. My own take remains what it was: It is not
        correct to say that Mark is a Pauline gospel. Michael makes some good
        points, but he is at bottom determined to vindicate the Hegelian
        opposition between Peter and Paul which Baur saw as the root dynamic
        of early Christianity. For me, it's too simple. Even if we confine
        ourselves to Corinth, what about Apollos? What about the Baptist
        enclave in Ephesus? (Ac 19)? What about the hymn in Philippians?

        On the alleged Paulinism of Mark, Martin Werner in 1923 did a careful
        study, nicely summarized in Frederick Grant, The Earliest Gospel
        (1943). In Grant's chapter titled The Theology of Mark, he states
        Werner's conclusion thus: "Mark presupposes only the common
        Christianity, the generally accepted Christian doctrine, of the
        Gentile churches at the middle of the first century."

        Grant's later chapter Was Mark a Pauline Gospel goes into detail,
        listing not just things Paul says, which is the common fallacy, but
        things that Paul DISTINCTIVELY says, and finding them all
        conspicuously absent in Mark.

        I love the dedication page of Michael's Two Missions book, and feel
        that the second clause of it might apply very well to the book itself.

        DENNIS: In his introduction, he says " The Gospels almost always give
        us the theology of their authors, and SOMETIMES (my emphasis) true
        tradition about Jesus." It's a lot easier, however, to pick this up in
        Matthew, Luke and John than in Mark in my experience.

        BRUCE: As I think I also hinted earlier, gentlemen cry "Mark, Mark,"
        but the basic center of gravity, for nearly everybody interested
        enough to do NT at all, is the Second Tier Gospels, Matthew and Luke,
        with sometimes a dash or so of Johannine tabasco. If there is evidence
        for the earliness of Mark, and there is, then the failure to follow
        out that evidence seems to me to be the great scandal of the whole
        subject.

        Yes, but No. I can't find it a very impressive result, for the work of
        thousands of hands over more than a hundred years.

        It was Bultmann, or such is my impression, who really broke the
        Gospels loose for people to do what they wanted with; to mix and
        match. In his view, information about Jesus was parceled out
        typologically into various separate groups, and those groups were
        subsequently so shaped, like so many stones in a spring stream, that
        by the time they were reassembled into continuous narratives by the
        various evangelists, two or more generations later, they had lost all
        value as historical evidence, and chiefly reflected the grinding
        process to which they had been exposed in the meantime. From this it
        is but a step to the Jesus Seminar, with its pink picking and choosing
        from the whole Gospel tradition (and notice once more that not a
        single line of Mark gets into the Jesus Seminar's idea of an OK list
        of plausible Jesus sayings).

        Not one.

        So people exploit the freedom Bultmann (et al) gave them, but have
        they earned that freedom? Do they really believe Bultmann? Have they
        sat down, consecutively, with Bultmann's own scenario for the coming
        together of Mark and the other Gospels, and having done so, do they
        really swallow it?

        Hard for me to believe. But if someone wants to affirm that they have
        done this, and come out the other end believing not only in what
        Bultmann permits, but in what he proposes, I guess I am prepared to
        take them at their word.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • Chuck Jones
        Dennis, your last sentence is right on.  We don t have Mark s sources, so we can t see how he fiddled with them the way we can with Mt and Lk. Chuck Jones
        Message 3 of 25 , Apr 8, 2010
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          Dennis, your last sentence is right on.  We don't have Mark's sources, so we can't see how he fiddled with them the way we can with Mt and Lk.
          Chuck Jones
          Interim Executive Director
          Westar Institute - The Jesus Seminar 

          --- On Thu, 4/8/10, Dennis Goffin <dgoffin@...> wrote:


          Since my previous comment on this subject, I have started to re-read Michael Goulder's "St Paul versus St Peter - A Tale of Two Missions" and he makes it abundantly clear that this is merely Mark having a go at the Jewish Xian position re observing the Law and is in line with his overall Pauline position. In his introduction, he says " The Gospels almost always give us the theology of their authors, and SOMETIMES (my emphasis) true tradition about Jesus." It's a lot easier, however, to pick this up in Matthew, Luke and John than in Mark in my experience.







          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Ron Price
          ... Bruce, Not for me. Only two religions were involved. We have to explain the emergence of Christianity out of Judaism, and one way to see this is to look at
          Message 4 of 25 , Apr 10, 2010
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            Bruce Brooks wrote:

            > ..... Michael [Goulder] makes some good
            > points, but he is at bottom determined to vindicate the Hegelian
            > opposition between Peter and Paul which Baur saw as the root dynamic
            > of early Christianity. For me, it's too simple.

            Bruce,

            Not for me. Only two religions were involved. We have to explain the
            emergence of Christianity out of Judaism, and one way to see this is to look
            at Paul, whose theology led inevitably to a break with Judaism, and Peter,
            whose theology never took him outside Judaism.

            > On the alleged Paulinism of Mark, Martin Werner in 1923 did a careful
            > study, nicely summarized in Frederick Grant, The Earliest Gospel
            > (1943). In Grant's chapter titled The Theology of Mark, he states
            > Werner's conclusion thus: "Mark presupposes only the common
            > Christianity, the generally accepted Christian doctrine, of the
            > Gentile churches at the middle of the first century."

            This may well be true, depending on one's precise definition of "Christian".
            But what Grant and Werner apparently failed to see was that all "churches"
            (gatherings of people accepting Jesus as the "Son of God") owed their
            existence to Paul's innovative concept of Jesus as the "Son of God" (Acts
            9:20). The "Pauline" nature of Mark may have derived from (Pauline)
            churches, or perhaps even directly from Paul himself (Phm 24).

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
          • E Bruce Brooks
            To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Ron Price On: Christianity From: Bruce I had earlier remarked: BRUCE: ..... Michael [Goulder] makes some good points, but
            Message 5 of 25 , Apr 10, 2010
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              To: Synoptic
              Cc: GPG
              In Response To: Ron Price
              On: Christianity
              From: Bruce

              I had earlier remarked:

              BRUCE: ..... Michael [Goulder] makes some good points, but he is at
              bottom determined to vindicate the Hegelian opposition between Peter
              and Paul which Baur saw as the root dynamic of early Christianity. For
              me, it's too simple.

              RON: Not for me. Only two religions were involved. We have to explain the
              emergence of Christianity out of Judaism, and one way to see this is to look
              at Paul, whose theology led inevitably to a break with Judaism, and Peter,
              whose theology never took him outside Judaism.

              BRUCE: Still too simple. There were demonstrably more than two
              religions involved. For a start, I think the experts will back me up
              in the thought that Judaism was not exactly unitary at this period. To
              take only one example, the DSS are certainly in a sense Jewish, yet
              they diverged in several ways from the practices of Temple Judaism,
              and (see my recent note) they were even messing around with the
              Pentateuch, with a view to ironing out some of its internal
              complexities and questionable consistencies. There were other sects
              and persuasions that not only rejected sacrifice, they went all the
              way into vegetarianism. The Zealots were Jewish, and so were those who
              refused to cooperate with them, or ratted them out to the army of
              occupation. Sadducees, Pharisees . . . Josephus does something to
              register the variety of the time, though he too has a somewhat
              schematic mind. But worth considering, as it seems to me. Helps loosen
              up the mental muscles.

              On the Jesus side, there were apparently a lot of ideas current among
              different cell groups and clusters of Jesus converts. I have mentioned
              some already. Some held to the Resurrection as the big deal; others
              lived, died, and worshiped without ever feeling a need to mention the
              Resurrection. So you have a pretty wide spectrum there. Paul spent a
              good part of his time combating all its elements except his preferred
              one. And it wasn't only that skunk Peter; there was also Apollos. Acts
              attests a need to completely reprogram Apollos. It may be that for
              once Acts is not making things up.

              And by the time Acts came along, it is very likely that things like
              the first compositional stage of Thomas (that is, Greek Thomas) were
              out and around. There is a sort of terminus ad quem for that part of
              the text, given (as I think) by its final overblown reverence for
              Brother Jacob. This advice would not be terribly helpful to Thomas
              listeners after Brother Jacob had come to his end, no? And that date
              can be plausibly recovered. If I remember right, it is notably earlier
              than the usual suggestion about the date of composition of Luke. Let
              alone the recomposition of Luke, in which units got moved around. Let
              alone the Acts extension of Luke. Let alone the Pauline extension of
              Acts, which is written in a different kind of Aramaic altogether (in
              fact, non-Aramaic; see Torrey, or if that is too old for you, see
              Randall Buth's 2008 SBL paper).

              No; it was manifestly a mixed barrel on both sides. As for the
              increasingly non-Jewish side, I should think the real drama of the
              hundred years after Jesus was the emergence of Orthodoxy out of the
              many Christianities.

              BRUCE (earlier): On the alleged Paulinism of Mark, Martin Werner in
              1923 did a careful study, nicely summarized in Frederick Grant, The
              Earliest Gospel
              (1943). In Grant's chapter titled The Theology of Mark, he states
              Werner's conclusion thus: "Mark presupposes only the common
              Christianity, the generally accepted Christian doctrine, of the
              Gentile churches at the middle of the first century."

              RON: This may well be true, depending on one's precise definition of
              "Christian" . . .

              BRUCE: As I have said before, I don't propose to get bogged down in
              the word "Christian." Substitute "Jesus followers," or anything else
              that will serve the purpose of an unobstructed discussion.

              RON: . . . But what Grant and Werner apparently failed to see was that
              all "churches" (gatherings of people accepting Jesus as the "Son of
              God") owed their existence to Paul's innovative concept of Jesus as
              the "Son of God" (Acts
              9:20). The "Pauline" nature of Mark may have derived from (Pauline)
              churches, or perhaps even directly from Paul himself (Phm 24).

              BRUCE: Simply wrong. And the snuck-in definition will not pass open
              examination; see above. As for Paul, he may have had a special take on
              the phrase "Son of God," though if so, I am going to need evidence
              more primary than the highly schematic and obviously tendentious Book
              of Acts to prove it.
              (And if it was indeed "innovative," in what prior context of Jesus
              theory was it "innovative?").

              And even tendentious Luke admits, implicitly but in big letters, that
              there were plenty of people around who still thrilled to the phrase
              "Son of David." the Gethsemane and Crucifixion scenes in Luke have
              been written in part to oppose them: to admit their opinion (much more
              completely than Mark did) and then decisively show it to be mistaken.

              ACTS AND REMEDIES THEREFOR

              One problem with education today is that people read Acts at a too
              young and too impressionable age. Paul in a basket, the whole bit. A
              better equipped reader would suspect the rhetoric, would if anything
              oppose it. What Acts tells you three times (eg, the Vision at
              Damascus) is a lie; not only is the rhetoric suspect, but the thing
              the rhetoric conveys directly contradicts Paul's own account of the
              same experience. The trouble is that Luke is a better writer than
              Paul, and his pictures get into the blood, and from there they proceed
              to stymie the rational faculties. The whole thing needs to be rethought.

              For that matter, and as an alternative antidote, the skill of
              rethinking needs to be rethought. There are mysterious Oriental
              techniques for getting rid of previous conceptions. I know what they
              are, but would not dream of naming them in this alien Mediterranean
              atmosphere.

              Still, perhaps they should somehow have in a place in our Halls of
              Outworn Learning. In all matters not covered by a lucky first guess,
              the way to really know something is largely a matter of forgetting
              what you thought you knew.

              Respectfully suggested,

              Bruce

              E Bruce Brooks
              Warring States Project
              University of Massachusetts at Amherst
            • Jeff Peterson
              Ron, Do you then think that Peter welcomed into his home for a fortnight (Gal 1:18) and recognized as a fellow emissary of Christ (Gal 2:9) someone with whom
              Message 6 of 25 , Apr 10, 2010
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                Ron,

                Do you then think that Peter welcomed into his home for a fortnight (Gal
                1:18) and recognized as a fellow emissary of Christ (Gal 2:9) someone with
                whom he fundamentally disagreed about Christ's identity, and that Paul was
                so unperceptive as to engage Peter in halakhic controversy on the premise
                that they were alike believers in Jesus Christ (Gal 2:16�17)? (If so, no
                wonder Paul lost the exchange, as the majority think!)

                Jeff Peterson
                Austin Graduate School of Theology
                Austin, Texas

                On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 4:46 AM, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:

                >
                >
                > Bruce Brooks wrote:
                >
                > > ..... Michael [Goulder] makes some good
                > > points, but he is at bottom determined to vindicate the Hegelian
                > > opposition between Peter and Paul which Baur saw as the root dynamic
                > > of early Christianity. For me, it's too simple.
                >
                > Bruce,
                >
                > Not for me. Only two religions were involved. We have to explain the
                > emergence of Christianity out of Judaism, and one way to see this is to
                > look
                > at Paul, whose theology led inevitably to a break with Judaism, and Peter,
                > whose theology never took him outside Judaism.
                >
                > > On the alleged Paulinism of Mark, Martin Werner in 1923 did a careful
                > > study, nicely summarized in Frederick Grant, The Earliest Gospel
                > > (1943). In Grant's chapter titled The Theology of Mark, he states
                > > Werner's conclusion thus: "Mark presupposes only the common
                > > Christianity, the generally accepted Christian doctrine, of the
                > > Gentile churches at the middle of the first century."
                >
                > This may well be true, depending on one's precise definition of
                > "Christian".
                > But what Grant and Werner apparently failed to see was that all "churches"
                > (gatherings of people accepting Jesus as the "Son of God") owed their
                > existence to Paul's innovative concept of Jesus as the "Son of God" (Acts
                > 9:20). The "Pauline" nature of Mark may have derived from (Pauline)
                > churches, or perhaps even directly from Paul himself (Phm 24).
                >
                > Ron Price
                >
                > Derbyshire, UK
                >
                > Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Ron Price
                ... Jeff, I agree that Peter, as a Jew, is unlikely to have welcomed into his home anyone who openly proclaimed a theology which appeared to elevate a human to
                Message 7 of 25 , Apr 10, 2010
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                  Jeff Peterson wrote:

                  > Do you then think that Peter welcomed into his home for a fortnight (Gal
                  > 1:18) and recognized as a fellow emissary of Christ (Gal 2:9) someone with
                  > whom he fundamentally disagreed about Christ's identity,

                  Jeff,

                  I agree that Peter, as a Jew, is unlikely to have welcomed into his home
                  anyone who openly proclaimed a theology which appeared to elevate a human to
                  the status of God. But various factors make this scenario unlikely. Firstly
                  at this first meeting, Peter may have known initially only that Paul had
                  converted from persecutor to supporter of the Jesus movement. Secondly, not
                  knowing much about the young Paul, Peter may have hoped to convince Paul of
                  the correctness of the 'Son of Man' theology which the Jerusalem disciples
                  had worked out as a reaction to the crucifixion. Thirdly, at this early
                  stage in Paul's allegiance to Jesus he may not have formulated his 'Son of
                  God' Christology (and here I concede that Acts 9:20, though it captures the
                  essence of Paul's theology, may have got the timing of its first
                  proclamation wrong).

                  > ... and that Paul was
                  > so unperceptive as to engage Peter in halakhic controversy on the premise
                  > that they were alike believers in Jesus Christ (Gal 2:16–17)?

                  I follow RSV, NRSV etc. in taking the quotation to finish at the end of
                  2:14, so I don't take this as a direct debate with Peter. The "we" who are
                  justified by faith may have included Peter, but only if Peter had accepted
                  Paul's theology of 'justification by faith [in Jesus Christ]'. This is
                  questionable. At any rate there's no evidence that he *did* accept it, for
                  no extant document attributed to Peter is authentic.

                  Ron Price

                  Derbyshire, UK

                  Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                • Jeff Peterson
                  Ron, I m not convinced by your handling of Gal 1:18 and 2:14ff, but for the moment I ll note only that you omit reference to Gal 2:9, where Paul receives the
                  Message 8 of 25 , Apr 10, 2010
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                    Ron,

                    I'm not convinced by your handling of Gal 1:18 and 2:14ff, but for the
                    moment I'll note only that you omit reference to Gal 2:9, where Paul
                    receives "the right hand of fellowship" from James, Cephas, and John. Are we
                    to we suppose that Paul dreamt up his "Son of God" Christology in the period
                    between this meeting (ca. 48) and his initial preaching at Thessalonica (ca.
                    50; cf. 1 Thess 1:10)? Or that the "pillars" would have failed to find out
                    what Paul was telling Gentiles about Christ before endorsing his mission? Or
                    that Paul managed to convince Gentile churches in Macedonia and Achaia of
                    their kinship in Christ with the Jerusalem churches (Rom 15:26�27) by means
                    of fraud, which he then put them in a position to detect by inviting them to
                    visit Jerusalem (1 Cor 16:3�4)? Or that Rome somehow got evangelized by
                    missionaries who agreed with Paul, although the church there included
                    "apostles" who antedated Paul and his aberrant Christology (Rom 16:7), so
                    that Paul can presuppose his "higher" Christology (Rom 8:34)?

                    Color me skeptical.

                    Jeff Peterson
                    Austin Graduate School of Theology

                    On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 1:27 PM, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:

                    >
                    >
                    > Jeff Peterson wrote:
                    >
                    > > Do you then think that Peter welcomed into his home for a fortnight (Gal
                    > > 1:18) and recognized as a fellow emissary of Christ (Gal 2:9) someone
                    > with
                    > > whom he fundamentally disagreed about Christ's identity,
                    >
                    > Jeff,
                    >
                    > I agree that Peter, as a Jew, is unlikely to have welcomed into his home
                    > anyone who openly proclaimed a theology which appeared to elevate a human
                    > to
                    > the status of God. But various factors make this scenario unlikely. Firstly
                    > at this first meeting, Peter may have known initially only that Paul had
                    > converted from persecutor to supporter of the Jesus movement. Secondly, not
                    > knowing much about the young Paul, Peter may have hoped to convince Paul of
                    > the correctness of the 'Son of Man' theology which the Jerusalem disciples
                    > had worked out as a reaction to the crucifixion. Thirdly, at this early
                    > stage in Paul's allegiance to Jesus he may not have formulated his 'Son of
                    > God' Christology (and here I concede that Acts 9:20, though it captures the
                    > essence of Paul's theology, may have got the timing of its first
                    > proclamation wrong).
                    >
                    > > ... and that Paul was
                    > > so unperceptive as to engage Peter in halakhic controversy on the premise
                    > > that they were alike believers in Jesus Christ (Gal 2:16�17)?
                    >
                    > I follow RSV, NRSV etc. in taking the quotation to finish at the end of
                    > 2:14, so I don't take this as a direct debate with Peter. The "we" who are
                    > justified by faith may have included Peter, but only if Peter had accepted
                    > Paul's theology of 'justification by faith [in Jesus Christ]'. This is
                    > questionable. At any rate there's no evidence that he *did* accept it, for
                    > no extant document attributed to Peter is authentic.
                    >
                    > Ron Price
                    >
                    > Derbyshire, UK
                    >
                    > Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                    >
                    >
                    >


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Ron Price
                    ... Jeff, The phrase the right hand of fellowship suggests an amicable agreement, but I think this is misleading. Paul wanted the Galatians to believe that
                    Message 9 of 25 , Apr 11, 2010
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                      Jeff Peterson wrote:

                      > I'm not convinced by your handling of Gal 1:18 and 2:14ff, but for the
                      > moment I'll note only that you omit reference to Gal 2:9, where Paul
                      > receives "the right hand of fellowship" from James, Cephas, and John.

                      Jeff,

                      The phrase "the right hand of fellowship" suggests an amicable agreement,
                      but I think this is misleading. Paul wanted the Galatians to believe that he
                      had the backing of the 'pillars' in Jerusalem, so he painted the
                      relationship as cosy. But historically speaking, they were at loggerheads.
                      The stated agreement amounted to nothing more than a compromise designed to
                      avoid future clashes: you keep off our patch, and we'll keep off your patch.
                      According to Acts, Paul did not keep his side of the agreement, for he
                      continued to preach in synagogues (Ac 18:26; 19:8).

                      > Are we
                      > to we suppose that Paul dreamt up his "Son of God" Christology in the period
                      > between this meeting (ca. 48) and his initial preaching at Thessalonica (ca.
                      > 50; cf. 1 Thess 1:10)?

                      No. Much closer to the first meeting of Gal 1:18, ca. 37 CE.

                      > Or that the "pillars" would have failed to find out
                      > what Paul was telling Gentiles about Christ before endorsing his mission?

                      No. As implied above, I don't think they endorsed his mission, merely
                      tolerated it on the condition that Paul & co. didn't try to convert Jews
                      (Gal 2:9).

                      > Or
                      > that Paul managed to convince Gentile churches in Macedonia and Achaia of
                      > their kinship in Christ with the Jerusalem churches (Rom 15:26–27) by means
                      > of fraud,

                      The word "saints" here is another bit of 'spin'. As far as Paul was
                      concerned, the collection was nominally to help the poor, but his real aim
                      was to try to win the approval of the Jerusalem 'pillars', which he felt to
                      be necessary in order to legitimize his preaching. There was a degree of
                      deception here, but not fraud.

                      > which he then put them in a position to detect by inviting them to
                      > visit Jerusalem (1 Cor 16:3–4)?

                      Paul's attempt to be all things to all people put him in an impossible
                      position. They probably did detect Paul's deception, which was compounded by
                      his Jewish vow (Ac 21:26), which seemed to nullify all he had preached about
                      freedom from the law. As it turned out, Paul's attempt to deliver the
                      collection brought his missionary career to an abrupt end.

                      > Or that Rome somehow got evangelized by
                      > missionaries who agreed with Paul, although the church there included
                      > "apostles" who antedated Paul and his aberrant Christology (Rom 16:7),

                      I take Rom 16:1-20 to be a letter of commendation sent to Ephesus, not part
                      of the original letter to the Romans.

                      Ron Price

                      Derbyshire, UK

                      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                    • Jeff Peterson
                      What evidence is there that Paul and Jerusalem were characteristically at loggerheads outside of Gal 2:11ff.? It s a lot to extrapolate a whole history from
                      Message 10 of 25 , Apr 11, 2010
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                        What evidence is there that Paul and Jerusalem were characteristically "at
                        loggerheads" outside of Gal 2:11ff.? It's a lot to extrapolate a whole
                        history from one anecdote; on that basis, you could argue that my best
                        friend and I were sworn enemies because we once had an argument.

                        On the other side, you have the reports of positive relations in Gal 1�2,
                        the recognition given Cephas and James in 1 Cor, and the fact that Paul
                        continued to make the collection for Jerusalem a priority. I'd take the
                        agreement at Jerusalem to be that Paul and Barnabas would conduct their
                        mission primarily among Gentiles (though presumably teaching Jews who
                        crossed their path), while Jerusalem authorities would direct their efforts
                        primarily towards Jews.

                        If you don't start where Baur did, with the assumption that conflict drove
                        early Christian history, I don't see that the evidence will compel you to
                        paint as conflict-ridden a portrait of the early church as he and his
                        epigones have.

                        Jeff Peterson
                        Austin Graduate School of Theology


                        On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 5:52 AM, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:

                        >
                        >
                        > Jeff Peterson wrote:
                        >
                        > > I'm not convinced by your handling of Gal 1:18 and 2:14ff, but for the
                        > > moment I'll note only that you omit reference to Gal 2:9, where Paul
                        > > receives "the right hand of fellowship" from James, Cephas, and John.
                        >
                        > Jeff,
                        >
                        > The phrase "the right hand of fellowship" suggests an amicable agreement,
                        > but I think this is misleading. Paul wanted the Galatians to believe that
                        > he
                        > had the backing of the 'pillars' in Jerusalem, so he painted the
                        > relationship as cosy. But historically speaking, they were at loggerheads.
                        > The stated agreement amounted to nothing more than a compromise designed to
                        > avoid future clashes: you keep off our patch, and we'll keep off your
                        > patch.
                        > According to Acts, Paul did not keep his side of the agreement, for he
                        > continued to preach in synagogues (Ac 18:26; 19:8).
                        >
                        >
                        > > Are we
                        > > to we suppose that Paul dreamt up his "Son of God" Christology in the
                        > period
                        > > between this meeting (ca. 48) and his initial preaching at Thessalonica
                        > (ca.
                        > > 50; cf. 1 Thess 1:10)?
                        >
                        > No. Much closer to the first meeting of Gal 1:18, ca. 37 CE.
                        >
                        >
                        > > Or that the "pillars" would have failed to find out
                        > > what Paul was telling Gentiles about Christ before endorsing his mission?
                        >
                        > No. As implied above, I don't think they endorsed his mission, merely
                        > tolerated it on the condition that Paul & co. didn't try to convert Jews
                        > (Gal 2:9).
                        >
                        >
                        > > Or
                        > > that Paul managed to convince Gentile churches in Macedonia and Achaia of
                        > > their kinship in Christ with the Jerusalem churches (Rom 15:26�27) by
                        > means
                        > > of fraud,
                        >
                        > The word "saints" here is another bit of 'spin'. As far as Paul was
                        > concerned, the collection was nominally to help the poor, but his real aim
                        > was to try to win the approval of the Jerusalem 'pillars', which he felt to
                        > be necessary in order to legitimize his preaching. There was a degree of
                        > deception here, but not fraud.
                        >
                        >
                        > > which he then put them in a position to detect by inviting them to
                        > > visit Jerusalem (1 Cor 16:3�4)?
                        >
                        > Paul's attempt to be all things to all people put him in an impossible
                        > position. They probably did detect Paul's deception, which was compounded
                        > by
                        > his Jewish vow (Ac 21:26), which seemed to nullify all he had preached
                        > about
                        > freedom from the law. As it turned out, Paul's attempt to deliver the
                        > collection brought his missionary career to an abrupt end.
                        >
                        >
                        > > Or that Rome somehow got evangelized by
                        > > missionaries who agreed with Paul, although the church there included
                        > > "apostles" who antedated Paul and his aberrant Christology (Rom 16:7),
                        >
                        > I take Rom 16:1-20 to be a letter of commendation sent to Ephesus, not part
                        > of the original letter to the Romans.
                        >
                        >
                        > Ron Price
                        >
                        > Derbyshire, UK
                        >
                        > Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                        >
                        >
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • David Mealand
                        One doesn t have to buy into Baur wholesale to see that the evidence for strained relations between Paul and those associated with James/Jacob does not rest on
                        Message 11 of 25 , Apr 11, 2010
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                          One doesn't have to buy into Baur wholesale
                          to see that the evidence for strained relations
                          between Paul and those associated with James/Jacob
                          does not rest on a single incident.

                          There is the fractured syntax of Gal.2.3-4 strongly
                          suggesting that Paul did make a concession over Titus
                          even if not "compelled" to do so, and though it was,
                          he says, due to "interlopers" who were
                          "pseudadelphoi".

                          Even after some agreement was reached
                          in Jerusalem, trouble then (Gal 2.11)
                          broke out in Antioch when Peter gave in and
                          sided with people claiming to come from James/Jacob
                          over sharing the community meal with Gentiles.

                          There is also the evidence of people Paul calls
                          "false apostles" turning up at Corinth whom Paul accuses of
                          preaching "another Jesus" offering a "different spirit"
                          and a different gospel (2Cor 11).

                          Then even if one is cautious about the historicity
                          of Acts it would seem that Paul did end up as a
                          prisoner on a ship to Rome, after trouble
                          arising when things did not go well on his
                          arrival in Jerusalem to fulfill his promise.

                          On the other hand the main issue seems to have
                          been observance rather than belief. Observance
                          was a very fraught issue in the period after
                          the death of Herod Agrippa. On
                          observance Mark seems closer to Paul
                          than to his opponents.

                          On belief I do wonder
                          if they agreed on the term "son of God" without
                          exploring its ambiguities in Jewish and Gentile
                          contexts.

                          David M.



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


                          --
                          The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                          Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                        • Ron Price
                          ... Jeff, Firstly, there was disagreement as to who merited the status of apostle . Mark s gospel indicates that twelve men were appointed as apostles. Paul
                          Message 12 of 25 , Apr 11, 2010
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                            Jeff Peterson wrote:

                            > What evidence is there that Paul and Jerusalem were characteristically "at
                            > loggerheads" outside of Gal 2:11ff.?

                            Jeff,

                            Firstly, there was disagreement as to who merited the status of "apostle".
                            Mark's gospel indicates that twelve men were appointed as apostles. Paul
                            claimed to be an apostle (Gal 1:1 etc.), but this involved a widening of the
                            original meaning, and evidently some of his opponents denied he was an
                            apostle (1 Cor 9:1-2). We can reasonably expect that the original "twelve"
                            would have objected to this watering-down of their status.

                            Secondly there's the sarcasm in "those reputed to be pillars" (Gal 2:9), and
                            also in "these superlative apostles" (2 Cor 11:5; 12:11).

                            Thirdly there's the peculiar treatment of James the brother of Jesus in the
                            NT. In Mark, James has no role in the ministry of Jesus, apart from the
                            deliberate insult implied in 3:31-35. The author of Acts was clearly
                            embarrassed by this, because James suddenly appears as the leading disciple
                            in Ac 12:17 with no explanation as to how he has become leader, for the
                            first volume (Luke), following Mark, had presented Peter as the leading
                            disciple. Bearing in mind the way Mark denigrated Peter (see below), we can
                            only conclude that James had been the leading disciple all along, and Mark
                            air-brushed him out from the story of Jesus' ministry because he was so
                            hated by Mark (and by his hero Paul).

                            Fourthly, critical analysis of Mark shows that he deliberately denigrated
                            Peter, calling him "Satan", and presenting him as falling asleep at
                            Gethsemane and then denying Jesus. It is difficult to see why Mark would
                            have been so critical unless he had been influenced by Paul's own aversion.

                            Fifthly, it's not too difficult to see behind the façade of Acts that James
                            had very little sympathy for Paul when he paid his third and last visit to
                            Jerusalem. James' insistence that Paul went through a Jewish ceremony in
                            connection with the vow was humiliating for someone who had proclaimed a
                            gospel of freedom. You don't do that sort of thing to a buddy.

                            > It's a lot to extrapolate a whole
                            > history from one anecdote;

                            As you can now see, I'm not relying on a single anecdote.

                            > ..... I'd take the
                            > agreement at Jerusalem to be that Paul and Barnabas would conduct their
                            > mission primarily among Gentiles (though presumably teaching Jews who
                            > crossed their path),

                            Wouldn't you think that the agreement meant that Paul should no longer
                            preach in synagogues? If I'd been a Jew, I'd have thought it to be a
                            violation of the agreement, on the basis that one would *expect* to find
                            Jews in synagogues.

                            > If you don't start where Baur did, with the assumption that conflict drove
                            > early Christian history, I don't see that the evidence will compel you to
                            > paint as conflict-ridden a portrait of the early church as he and his
                            > epigones have.

                            A new religion emerges out of an old one, and you don't expect conflict? I'm
                            sure I don't need to give examples of major conflicts *within* Christianity.
                            How much more should we expect conflict between a monotheistic religion and
                            a religion which elevates a man to equality with God; between a religion
                            which has arbitrary dietary laws and a religion which has no dietary laws; a
                            religion in which the superior status of men was entrenched, and a religion
                            in which (in Paul's time) men and women were accorded equal status (Gal
                            3:28).

                            Ron Price

                            Derbyshire, UK

                            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                          • David Mealand
                            I think Ron is a little hard on James/Jacob. If we wish to construct a historical picture we need to try to look at the events from the points of view of the
                            Message 13 of 25 , Apr 11, 2010
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                              I think Ron is a little hard on
                              James/Jacob. If we wish to construct
                              a historical picture we need to try
                              to look at the events from the points of
                              view of the the very diverse participants.

                              After the death of Herod Agrippa Judaea went
                              back to Roman direct rule and took Galilee
                              with it. This understandably increased
                              hostility to Rome, and to those associated
                              with it, and heightened tensions with Gentiles.
                              James/Jacob was at the head of a group who
                              had links with Paul, who was seen as an apostate who
                              associated very freely with Gentiles. Paul
                              is therefore a major embarrassment. James/Jacob
                              understandably tries to moderate Paul's bursts
                              of enthusiasm and limit the damage. It seems
                              that James was widely respected in Jerusalem
                              for his own observant stance, but even he
                              was eventually murdered in an period when there
                              were fanatics who did such things. (We should
                              not have too much trouble understanding this
                              scenario.) So the concerns that James/Jacob
                              had had all along proved not unfounded.

                              I write this not as an upholder of James but
                              as an attempt to read the history from more
                              than one viewpoint given the conflicts of the
                              period in question. Some of the above can
                              be documented, some of it is an attempt at
                              getting a sense of what was going on behind
                              the scenes and so is my subjective interpretation.

                              David M.



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


                              --
                              The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                              Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                            • E Bruce Brooks
                              To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Ron Price On: Jacob and Paul From: Bruce I think Ron (himself responding to Jeff Peterson) has it pretty much right. To
                              Message 14 of 25 , Apr 11, 2010
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                                To: Synoptic
                                Cc: GPG
                                In Response To: Ron Price
                                On: Jacob and Paul
                                From: Bruce

                                I think Ron (himself responding to Jeff Peterson) has it pretty much
                                right. To me, and I think to many, the Peter/Paul conflict is very
                                much there in the documents. It is not the only one, we should not
                                immediately jump into Hegelian mode, but it is surely on the list, and
                                pretty high on the list. I add what I hope may be some helpful
                                amendments on a couple of later points.

                                RON: Thirdly there's the peculiar treatment of James the brother of
                                Jesus in the NT. In Mark, James has no role in the ministry of Jesus,
                                apart from the
                                deliberate insult implied in 3:31-35.

                                BRUCE: I don't think it is an insult. I think that Mark is recording
                                the opposition of Jesus's family to whatever it was Jesus was
                                undertaking at the time (in my interpretation, a Messianic capitation
                                strike, but that is not strictly necessary for reading the emotional
                                tone of this passage). In that passage, Jacob is not particularly
                                singled out; if anything, Mary comes off as the most outrageous
                                figure: she is named first, and as the responsible adult, she should
                                presumably know better. I don't think we can read more out of it that
                                than, though that is already a very striking datum, and I am glad to
                                have it.

                                RON: The author of Acts was clearly embarrassed by this, because James
                                suddenly appears as the leading disciple in Ac 12:17 with no
                                explanation as to how he has become leader, for the first volume
                                (Luke), following Mark, had presented Peter as the leading disciple.

                                BRUCE: Correction: Jacob does not appear as a leading disciple. He
                                appears simply as a leader. Notice how Jacob may adjudicate, but he
                                never articulates: he never states, he never preaches, he never
                                missionarizes. He contrasts in these ways with everybody else who has
                                a name in this part of Acts. Think about it. And he never has any of
                                those roles in any other tradition about him. Think about that too. He
                                has a special status, but also a special category, that nobody else
                                has, and that nobody else can really explain. His authority rests on
                                different grounds, and on different actions or inactions, than anybody
                                else's.

                                On the main point, it is not only Mark, but the entire Christian
                                tradition in all its forms and byways, that cannot say how Jacob got
                                to be the big deal in the Jerusalem cellgroup of Jesus followers. It
                                is a mystery. What seems to me the likely scenario (known in many
                                other cases, not least the tradition of Confucius) is an initial
                                domination of the posthumous movement by the lifetime disciples, with
                                family connections becoming important later, and perhaps not in the
                                same place. I would thus conjecture two centers: an original Galilean
                                one, in which Peter was the chief figure among the leading Five [sic],
                                and slightly later, merely by the operation of geographical gravity, a
                                more conservative Jerusalem group, in which (and not earlier) Jacob,
                                of whom no non-Jerusalem stories are ever told anywhere, was or
                                shortly became the chief personage.

                                Suppose that to be so; how much of it did Mark know? And if any of it,
                                whose side was he on?

                                RON: Bearing in mind the way Mark denigrated Peter (see below), we can
                                only conclude that James had been the leading disciple all along, and Mark
                                air-brushed him out from the story of Jesus' ministry because he was so
                                hated by Mark (and by his hero Paul).

                                BRUCE: I prefer the two-center hypothesis. Nothing in Mark or
                                elsewhere denies Peter the leading role in what I have called the
                                Galilee center. Nor does Luke take issue with that picture. What Luke
                                is eliminating from the entire story he inherited from Mark is not so
                                much Jacob (who gets his unquestioned, if also unexplained, place in
                                Acts) as the whole Galilee tradition; in this he is merely a stage in
                                what I have called the Jerusalem Trajectory (which, yes, continues
                                normally with an even more systematic elimination of Galilee in gJn).

                                The Jerusalem cellgroup of Jesus followers came into existence, or
                                evolved out of the Jerusalem branch of the Galilee movement, more or
                                less naturally, just because Jerusalem was bigger, and came with all
                                these nationally centrist associations. And I suspect that Jacob came
                                to prominence in that movement as its chief Galilean import, but also
                                by natural gravitational causes and not through any dramatic defining
                                event. If we regard Paul's list of those who had seen the risen Jesus
                                (and some would make it a pre-Pauline catechetical formula, though to
                                me this goes too far), Jacob ranks last, after (1) Peter, (2) The rest
                                of the then supposed inner circle of Twelve, (3) many at the time of
                                Jesus's return to Heaven, and only then, and by himself, (4) Jacob.
                                This is not Luke, and it is not Paul, it is Paul quoting common
                                knowledge or formula at the time. My guess is that the sequence is
                                about right. Jacob had never been a follower of Jesus in the latter's
                                lifetime, and he came to believe in (some version of) Jesus's
                                importance only after many others, beyond the circle of the Jesus
                                intimates, had become convinced of it. I see no trouble with this
                                sequence; on the contrary, it fits (for me) with the best of the
                                remaining evidence, including historical probability.

                                We have the problem of the conversion of Paul, and also that of the
                                conversion of James. I do not think that these two events had anything
                                like the same inner psychological dynamic. There respective
                                experiences or sudden insights brought them out on opposite sides of
                                the doctrinal spectrum of Law Observance. My own suspicion is that
                                Jacob had never at any time left the number of those who held those
                                views. It was simply that a back-movement toward nomism in the early
                                Jesus movement gave him his chance of power.

                                RON: Fourthly, critical analysis of Mark shows that he deliberately denigrated
                                Peter, calling him "Satan", and presenting him as falling asleep at
                                Gethsemane and then denying Jesus. It is difficult to see why Mark would
                                have been so critical unless he had been influenced by Paul's own aversion.

                                BRUCE: On the contrary, it is easy. First, Mark is not anti-Peter. The
                                last word of Mark on Peter is that he was the first person to be
                                informed of the new order of things; the leader of the
                                post-Crucifixion group. How much better can a fallible human being
                                (and there are no other kinds) hope for? Second, what was Mark
                                explaining in the seeming anti-Peter passages? I would say, chiefly
                                the flight of the disciples at the time of the arrest and Crucifixion.
                                This was undoubtedly a fact, and undoubtedly a known fact; it had to
                                be dealt with rather than denied by the later chroniclers of Jesus.
                                That scenario is also presumed in the version of an early form of the
                                Gospel of Peter that was later appended to the previously finished
                                Gospel of John as Jn 21; it does not rest solely on Mark and his
                                revisers. It is not contradicted anywhere. It is told in detail in
                                Mark, but what is also told in detail in Mark is Jesus's PREDICTION of
                                just those events. It is the prediction by Jesus, with or without the
                                background music of OT foreknowledge, which Mark employs and which
                                Matthew reorchestrates, that legitimates the defection of the
                                disciples. Without them (and for that matter, without the perfidy of
                                Judas) the whole Crucifixion would never have come off, and where
                                would the world be then, always assuming (as the late layers of Mark
                                and all layers of Matthew do assume) that the Crucifixion is what
                                makes salvation possible?

                                Peter's fallibility, by no means downplayed in Mark, is part of that
                                story, and a part that was foreseen by the highest authorities, and is
                                thus, to Mark and other writers, sacred in its own special way. How
                                many church windows portray, in an undoubtedly reverential and not
                                ironical context, the scene of Peter in the High Priest's courtyard?
                                Answer: Lots. So the supposed contradiction does not get much
                                empirical confirmation from this and like facts. I end by concluding
                                that there was no contradiction.

                                Otherwise, fine, and thanks to Ron for his own clarifications.

                                Bruce

                                E Bruce Brooks
                                Warring States Project
                                University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                              • Ron Price
                                ... Bruce, I was referring to the gospel of Mark as originally written. My case is consistent for, as you know from previous exchanges, I take 14:28 and 16:7
                                Message 15 of 25 , Apr 12, 2010
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                                  Bruce Brooks wrote:

                                  > First, Mark is not anti-Peter. The
                                  > last word of Mark on Peter is that he was the first person to be
                                  > informed of the new order of things; the leader of the
                                  > post-Crucifixion group. How much better can a fallible human being
                                  > (and there are no other kinds) hope for?

                                  Bruce,

                                  I was referring to the gospel of Mark as originally written. My case is
                                  consistent for, as you know from previous exchanges, I take 14:28 and 16:7
                                  to be interpolations by a later editor. Thus originally there was no
                                  reprieve for Peter.

                                  > Second, what was Mark
                                  > explaining in the seeming anti-Peter passages? I would say, chiefly
                                  > the flight of the disciples at the time of the arrest and Crucifixion.

                                  The only independent evidence for the flight is Mark's. Verses 14:27 and
                                  14:50 are together very satisfying, presenting a fulfilment of prophecy. But
                                  are they historical? With Brandon, I think that they form part of Mark's
                                  denigration of the disciples.

                                  Here is Brandon's take on Mark's derogatory presentation of the apostles
                                  ("Jesus and the Zealots", p.276):

                                  They fail to understand their Master's true nature.
                                  They lack his miraculous power.
                                  They quarrel among themselves over precedence.
                                  One of them betrays him.
                                  When he is arrested, they all desert him.

                                  Ron Price

                                  Derbyshire, UK

                                  Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                                • Jeff Peterson
                                  ... Our earliest evidence (1 Cor 15:5–7, 9:5; Gal 1:19; Rom 16:7) distinguishes between the apostles and the twelve, the former group including the
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Apr 12, 2010
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                                    On Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 12:16 PM, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:

                                    > Firstly, there was disagreement as to who merited the status of "apostle".
                                    > Mark's gospel indicates that twelve men were appointed as apostles. Paul
                                    > claimed to be an apostle (Gal 1:1 etc.), but this involved a widening of
                                    > the
                                    > original meaning, and evidently some of his opponents denied he was an
                                    > apostle (1 Cor 9:1-2). We can reasonably expect that the original "twelve"
                                    > would have objected to this watering-down of their status.
                                    >

                                    Our earliest evidence (1 Cor 15:5�7, 9:5; Gal 1:19; Rom 16:7) distinguishes
                                    between "the apostles" and "the twelve," the former group including the
                                    latter. Paul never claims membership in the twelve, and he maintains in
                                    controversial circumstances (as previously noted) that his apostolate was
                                    recognized by the leaders of the messianic mission to Israel (Gal 2:1�10).

                                    Secondly there's the sarcasm in "those reputed to be pillars" (Gal 2:9), and
                                    > also in "these superlative apostles" (2 Cor 11:5; 12:11).
                                    >

                                    I don't read these as sarcasm, exactly (disparaging "those worthless
                                    Jerusalem apostles") but rather as contrasting the apostles' popular
                                    reputation with their divinely appointed task; Paul maintains that his
                                    ministry has been a response to the latter rather than a bid for the former.
                                    The passages are directed against the apostles' admirers, not against the
                                    apostles themselves (as also in 1 Cor 1�4).


                                    > Thirdly there's the peculiar treatment of James the brother of Jesus in
                                    > the
                                    > NT. In Mark, James has no role in the ministry of Jesus, apart from the
                                    > deliberate insult implied in 3:31-35. The author of Acts was clearly
                                    > embarrassed by this, because James suddenly appears as the leading disciple
                                    > in Ac 12:17 with no explanation as to how he has become leader, for the
                                    > first volume (Luke), following Mark, had presented Peter as the leading
                                    > disciple. Bearing in mind the way Mark denigrated Peter (see below), we can
                                    > only conclude that James had been the leading disciple all along, and Mark
                                    > air-brushed him out from the story of Jesus' ministry because he was so
                                    > hated by Mark (and by his hero Paul).
                                    >

                                    In fact, this is far from the only thing we can conclude.


                                    > Fourthly, critical analysis of Mark shows that he deliberately denigrated
                                    > Peter, calling him "Satan", and presenting him as falling asleep at
                                    > Gethsemane and then denying Jesus. It is difficult to see why Mark would
                                    > have been so critical unless he had been influenced by Paul's own aversion.
                                    >

                                    The promise that Jesus will reconstitute the Twelve following his
                                    resurrection in 14:27�28, and the specific mention of Peter when this
                                    promise is repeated in 16:7, counts against this interpretation. Peter is
                                    the exemplary disciple who falls and is restored, not the one the narrator
                                    despises. [Addendum: I see how you deal with this now; remarkable how
                                    interpolations that left no trace in the MS evidence turn out always to
                                    favor an interpreter's problematic theory.]

                                    Fifthly, it's not too difficult to see behind the fa�ade of Acts that James
                                    > had very little sympathy for Paul when he paid his third and last visit to
                                    > Jerusalem. James' insistence that Paul went through a Jewish ceremony in
                                    > connection with the vow was humiliating for someone who had proclaimed a
                                    > gospel of freedom. You don't do that sort of thing to a buddy.
                                    >

                                    I don't see this at all; Paul's behavior in Acts is entirely consistent with
                                    his missionary policy of living like a Jew when among Jews, living as one
                                    under the law when in their company (1 Cor 9:20).

                                    > It's a lot to extrapolate a whole
                                    > > history from one anecdote;
                                    >
                                    > As you can now see, I'm not relying on a single anecdote.
                                    >

                                    I'd say you're interpreting evidence that admits of multiple interpretations
                                    on the basis of assumptions that deserve to be questioned.

                                    > ..... I'd take the
                                    >
                                    > > agreement at Jerusalem to be that Paul and Barnabas would conduct their
                                    > > mission primarily among Gentiles (though presumably teaching Jews who
                                    > > crossed their path),
                                    >
                                    > Wouldn't you think that the agreement meant that Paul should no longer
                                    > preach in synagogues? If I'd been a Jew, I'd have thought it to be a
                                    > violation of the agreement, on the basis that one would *expect* to find
                                    > Jews in synagogues.
                                    >

                                    There are multiple interpretations of the agreement possible (e.g., "going
                                    to the Jews" may mean "preaching throughout Israel," or may mean "directing
                                    our efforts to reach Jews," with Paul's efforts directed toward reaching
                                    Gentiles, and synagogues a likely place to find Gentiles who might follow
                                    Paul when the leadership asked him to excuse himself from their fellowship).
                                    Paul's persistence in organizing his collection indicates a fundamental
                                    concord with Jerusalem; if a rift had irreparably opened up, why would he
                                    keep at this? to buy the pillars off in hopes that they'd come around?
                                    Doesn't sound right on either end of that transaction to me.

                                    > If you don't start where Baur did, with the assumption that conflict drove
                                    > > early Christian history, I don't see that the evidence will compel you to
                                    > > paint as conflict-ridden a portrait of the early church as he and his
                                    > > epigones have.
                                    >
                                    > A new religion emerges out of an old one, and you don't expect conflict?
                                    > I'm
                                    > sure I don't need to give examples of major conflicts *within*
                                    > Christianity.
                                    > How much more should we expect conflict between a monotheistic religion and
                                    > a religion which elevates a man to equality with God; between a religion
                                    > which has arbitrary dietary laws and a religion which has no dietary laws;
                                    > a
                                    > religion in which the superior status of men was entrenched, and a religion
                                    > in which (in Paul's time) men and women were accorded equal status (Gal
                                    > 3:28).
                                    >

                                    I didn't mean to suggest that early Christianity was free from all conflict,
                                    but that modern NT scholarship has greatly overstated the extent to which
                                    conflict on Christology and other basic issues shaped the development of
                                    Christian theology. And it seems to me on the basis of 1 Cor (esp. 15:11,
                                    9:5, and 3:22) and Gal 1�2, among others, that Paul and Cephas were on the
                                    same page on the question of Jesus' identity.

                                    Jeff Peterson
                                    Austin Graduate School of Theology


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • E Bruce Brooks
                                    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Ron Price On: Mark as Anti-Petrine From: Bruce I had said: BRUCE (before): First, Mark is not anti-Peter. The last word of
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Apr 12, 2010
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                                      To: Synoptic
                                      Cc: GPG
                                      In Response To: Ron Price
                                      On: Mark as Anti-Petrine
                                      From: Bruce

                                      I had said:

                                      BRUCE (before): First, Mark is not anti-Peter. The last word of Mark
                                      on Peter is that he was the first person to be informed of the new
                                      order of things; the leader of the post-Crucifixion group. . .

                                      RON (now): I was referring to the gospel of Mark as originally
                                      written. My case is consistent for, as you know from previous
                                      exchanges, I take 14:28 and 16:7 to be interpolations by a later
                                      editor. Thus originally there was no
                                      reprieve for Peter.

                                      BRUCE (now): We both have in mind the Gospel of Mark as originally
                                      written, only we have different ideas about what that looked like.
                                      Mine is about half as long as Ron's (I think the passages cited are
                                      the only interpolations Ron recognizes; there are about a dozen
                                      equally obvious cases). Waiving that, what was the end of the Markan
                                      story as it stands? Answer: the post-Crucifixion appearance of Jesus.
                                      How do I know, given the curtailment of the end of canonical Mark?
                                      (For despite learned ingenuity, GAR is no way to end a book). Answer:
                                      the Empty Tomb obviously looks forward to a correlate Presence, and
                                      other early traditions (which Luke does his best to efface, and almost
                                      succeeds) make Peter the recipient of the first Appearance.

                                      If so, then what do the interpolated 14:28 and 16:7 add? Precisely the
                                      note of prediction. It adds to the dignity of Jesus's death if he had
                                      foreseen all: not only his death, but its sequel in his Resurrection.
                                      If we merely had a tale of Peter seeing an apparition of Jesus, we
                                      could say, well that's HIS imagining. It certainly comes in
                                      discordantly after the death of the leader. But if it is all part of a
                                      foreseen and thus predetermined and thus inevitable sequence, that is
                                      a different story.

                                      Mark adds these touches, then in order to crank up his previous story
                                      up to that more convincing level. Give the guy credit, he keeps trying.

                                      BRUCE (before): Second, what was Mark explaining in the seeming
                                      anti-Peter passages? I would say, chiefly the flight of the disciples
                                      at the time of the arrest and Crucifixion.

                                      RON (now): The only independent evidence for the flight is Mark's.
                                      Verses 14:27 and 14:50 are together very satisfying, presenting a
                                      fulfillment of prophecy. But are they historical? With Brandon, I
                                      think that they form part of Mark's denigration of the disciples.

                                      BRUCE (now): The evidence for the flight of the disciples is Mark's
                                      Gethsemane scene. The evidence for their flight all the way back to
                                      Galilee is lost to us because of the missing last leaf in Mark, but
                                      the destination can be waived; it is on record in Mark that the
                                      disciples abandoned Jesus in his moment of need and danger. This does
                                      not speak well for them. But if their disaffection was only momentary,
                                      then after all they - and their temporary lapse of courage - are part
                                      of the grand plan, and everything is emotionally OK. Or such was the
                                      hope behind this layer (not the earliest, by any means) of Mark.

                                      As for Brandon, Schmandon. It would be very easy to explain Mark if
                                      all of it were negative toward Peter. Unfortunately, there are many
                                      other passages, conveniently ignored by Brandon, where Peter has the
                                      role of trust, and also the role of maximum insight. First to be
                                      called, first to be listed when disciples are selected to accompany
                                      Jesus on some special errand. It is these internal contradictions
                                      (another set involves the relation of Jesus to his original audiences)
                                      that make Mark a little harder to figure out than the methods of a
                                      Brandon will accommodate.

                                      As I have recurringly said, Brandon, to my eye, is right about one
                                      particular set of often overlooked data: the suspiciousness of the
                                      Jerusalem arrangements, and their suggestion of a planned effort to do
                                      something or other with a small and dedicated group of people in
                                      Jerusalem. Indeed so. I give it a point. Two points. But not all of
                                      Mark is that simple. It too is indicative, but not (unfortunately) of
                                      the same things.

                                      The trouble with Mark is that solving his layercake and thus
                                      internally inconsistent Gospel requires more than one good idea.

                                      Bruce

                                      E Bruce Brooks
                                      Warring States Project
                                      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                                    • Dennis Goffin
                                      I agree that there is more to research than just Markan Hellenism versus Jacobite Judaism. I, for one, would like to see an in depth study of John the
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Apr 12, 2010
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                                        I agree that there is more to research than just Markan Hellenism versus Jacobite Judaism. I, for one, would like to see an in depth study of John the Baptist, Alexandria and Apollos since this was also an important stream of belief and practice. Brandon is not the only one to find Mark downgrading Peter, since Trocmé and Goulder do too. I must confess also that I find Bruce's attachment to a supposedly important Galilean church difficult to substantiate on the basis of the anathematization of three Galilean towns and Galilee's inclusion in a list presumably, in my view, merely for completeness in order to cover the whole of Israel and Judaea. Since each of the Gospels was written to press a particular point of view in opposition to other views, I cannot but agree with Goulder that instances which reflect unfavourably, in Mark, on the family of Jesus are there precisely for that purpose. I agree, however, that there is more than a simple dialectic to be considered. I wonder, for example, who it was who sent Peter and John to Samaria in Acts 8:14. Why should James/Jacob not already have been a dominant voice, deciding who should be sent as emissaries, as he does later on ? If Mark is not anti-Petrine, all I can say is, that with friends like Mark, Peter needs no enemies.
                                        Dennis











                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: E Bruce Brooks
                                        To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                                        Cc: GPG
                                        Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2010 8:32 PM
                                        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Mark as a Pauline gospel



                                        To: Synoptic
                                        Cc: GPG
                                        In Response To: Ron Price
                                        On: Jacob and Paul
                                        From: Bruce

                                        I think Ron (himself responding to Jeff Peterson) has it pretty much
                                        right. To me, and I think to many, the Peter/Paul conflict is very
                                        much there in the documents. It is not the only one, we should not
                                        immediately jump into Hegelian mode, but it is surely on the list, and
                                        pretty high on the list. I add what I hope may be some helpful
                                        amendments on a couple of later points.

                                        RON: Thirdly there's the peculiar treatment of James the brother of
                                        Jesus in the NT. In Mark, James has no role in the ministry of Jesus,
                                        apart from the
                                        deliberate insult implied in 3:31-35.

                                        BRUCE: I don't think it is an insult. I think that Mark is recording
                                        the opposition of Jesus's family to whatever it was Jesus was
                                        undertaking at the time (in my interpretation, a Messianic capitation
                                        strike, but that is not strictly necessary for reading the emotional
                                        tone of this passage). In that passage, Jacob is not particularly
                                        singled out; if anything, Mary comes off as the most outrageous
                                        figure: she is named first, and as the responsible adult, she should
                                        presumably know better. I don't think we can read more out of it that
                                        than, though that is already a very striking datum, and I am glad to
                                        have it.

                                        RON: The author of Acts was clearly embarrassed by this, because James
                                        suddenly appears as the leading disciple in Ac 12:17 with no
                                        explanation as to how he has become leader, for the first volume
                                        (Luke), following Mark, had presented Peter as the leading disciple.

                                        BRUCE: Correction: Jacob does not appear as a leading disciple. He
                                        appears simply as a leader. Notice how Jacob may adjudicate, but he
                                        never articulates: he never states, he never preaches, he never
                                        missionarizes. He contrasts in these ways with everybody else who has
                                        a name in this part of Acts. Think about it. And he never has any of
                                        those roles in any other tradition about him. Think about that too. He
                                        has a special status, but also a special category, that nobody else
                                        has, and that nobody else can really explain. His authority rests on
                                        different grounds, and on different actions or inactions, than anybody
                                        else's.

                                        On the main point, it is not only Mark, but the entire Christian
                                        tradition in all its forms and byways, that cannot say how Jacob got
                                        to be the big deal in the Jerusalem cellgroup of Jesus followers. It
                                        is a mystery. What seems to me the likely scenario (known in many
                                        other cases, not least the tradition of Confucius) is an initial
                                        domination of the posthumous movement by the lifetime disciples, with
                                        family connections becoming important later, and perhaps not in the
                                        same place. I would thus conjecture two centers: an original Galilean
                                        one, in which Peter was the chief figure among the leading Five [sic],
                                        and slightly later, merely by the operation of geographical gravity, a
                                        more conservative Jerusalem group, in which (and not earlier) Jacob,
                                        of whom no non-Jerusalem stories are ever told anywhere, was or
                                        shortly became the chief personage.

                                        Suppose that to be so; how much of it did Mark know? And if any of it,
                                        whose side was he on?

                                        RON: Bearing in mind the way Mark denigrated Peter (see below), we can
                                        only conclude that James had been the leading disciple all along, and Mark
                                        air-brushed him out from the story of Jesus' ministry because he was so
                                        hated by Mark (and by his hero Paul).

                                        BRUCE: I prefer the two-center hypothesis. Nothing in Mark or
                                        elsewhere denies Peter the leading role in what I have called the
                                        Galilee center. Nor does Luke take issue with that picture. What Luke
                                        is eliminating from the entire story he inherited from Mark is not so
                                        much Jacob (who gets his unquestioned, if also unexplained, place in
                                        Acts) as the whole Galilee tradition; in this he is merely a stage in
                                        what I have called the Jerusalem Trajectory (which, yes, continues
                                        normally with an even more systematic elimination of Galilee in gJn).

                                        The Jerusalem cellgroup of Jesus followers came into existence, or
                                        evolved out of the Jerusalem branch of the Galilee movement, more or
                                        less naturally, just because Jerusalem was bigger, and came with all
                                        these nationally centrist associations. And I suspect that Jacob came
                                        to prominence in that movement as its chief Galilean import, but also
                                        by natural gravitational causes and not through any dramatic defining
                                        event. If we regard Paul's list of those who had seen the risen Jesus
                                        (and some would make it a pre-Pauline catechetical formula, though to
                                        me this goes too far), Jacob ranks last, after (1) Peter, (2) The rest
                                        of the then supposed inner circle of Twelve, (3) many at the time of
                                        Jesus's return to Heaven, and only then, and by himself, (4) Jacob.
                                        This is not Luke, and it is not Paul, it is Paul quoting common
                                        knowledge or formula at the time. My guess is that the sequence is
                                        about right. Jacob had never been a follower of Jesus in the latter's
                                        lifetime, and he came to believe in (some version of) Jesus's
                                        importance only after many others, beyond the circle of the Jesus
                                        intimates, had become convinced of it. I see no trouble with this
                                        sequence; on the contrary, it fits (for me) with the best of the
                                        remaining evidence, including historical probability.

                                        We have the problem of the conversion of Paul, and also that of the
                                        conversion of James. I do not think that these two events had anything
                                        like the same inner psychological dynamic. There respective
                                        experiences or sudden insights brought them out on opposite sides of
                                        the doctrinal spectrum of Law Observance. My own suspicion is that
                                        Jacob had never at any time left the number of those who held those
                                        views. It was simply that a back-movement toward nomism in the early
                                        Jesus movement gave him his chance of power.

                                        RON: Fourthly, critical analysis of Mark shows that he deliberately denigrated
                                        Peter, calling him "Satan", and presenting him as falling asleep at
                                        Gethsemane and then denying Jesus. It is difficult to see why Mark would
                                        have been so critical unless he had been influenced by Paul's own aversion.

                                        BRUCE: On the contrary, it is easy. First, Mark is not anti-Peter. The
                                        last word of Mark on Peter is that he was the first person to be
                                        informed of the new order of things; the leader of the
                                        post-Crucifixion group. How much better can a fallible human being
                                        (and there are no other kinds) hope for? Second, what was Mark
                                        explaining in the seeming anti-Peter passages? I would say, chiefly
                                        the flight of the disciples at the time of the arrest and Crucifixion.
                                        This was undoubtedly a fact, and undoubtedly a known fact; it had to
                                        be dealt with rather than denied by the later chroniclers of Jesus.
                                        That scenario is also presumed in the version of an early form of the
                                        Gospel of Peter that was later appended to the previously finished
                                        Gospel of John as Jn 21; it does not rest solely on Mark and his
                                        revisers. It is not contradicted anywhere. It is told in detail in
                                        Mark, but what is also told in detail in Mark is Jesus's PREDICTION of
                                        just those events. It is the prediction by Jesus, with or without the
                                        background music of OT foreknowledge, which Mark employs and which
                                        Matthew reorchestrates, that legitimates the defection of the
                                        disciples. Without them (and for that matter, without the perfidy of
                                        Judas) the whole Crucifixion would never have come off, and where
                                        would the world be then, always assuming (as the late layers of Mark
                                        and all layers of Matthew do assume) that the Crucifixion is what
                                        makes salvation possible?

                                        Peter's fallibility, by no means downplayed in Mark, is part of that
                                        story, and a part that was foreseen by the highest authorities, and is
                                        thus, to Mark and other writers, sacred in its own special way. How
                                        many church windows portray, in an undoubtedly reverential and not
                                        ironical context, the scene of Peter in the High Priest's courtyard?
                                        Answer: Lots. So the supposed contradiction does not get much
                                        empirical confirmation from this and like facts. I end by concluding
                                        that there was no contradiction.

                                        Otherwise, fine, and thanks to Ron for his own clarifications.

                                        Bruce

                                        E Bruce Brooks
                                        Warring States Project
                                        University of Massachusetts at Amherst





                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Ron Price
                                        ... Bruce, The loose-leaf format is fortunately not common in the NT. Our extant John s gospel is the mess that results when an author uses such a sloppy
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Apr 12, 2010
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                                          Bruce Brooks wrote:

                                          > ..... The evidence for the flight of the disciples is Mark's
                                          > Gethsemane scene. The evidence for their flight all the way back to
                                          > Galilee is lost to us because of the missing last leaf in Mark,

                                          Bruce,

                                          The loose-leaf format is fortunately not common in the NT. Our extant John's
                                          gospel is the mess that results when an author uses such a sloppy format. My
                                          web site untangles the mess, revealing a somewhat shorter but much more
                                          consistent original.

                                          A scroll doesn't have 'leaves' to lose.

                                          There remains the codex form, of which indeed Mark was the pioneer NT user.
                                          I can show that he used a 10-sheet, 40-page codex, ending at 16:8. There is
                                          nothing missing in the extant text. 16:8 is definitely where Mark planned to
                                          end his gospel.

                                          Ron Price

                                          Derbyshire, UK

                                          Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                                        • Ron Price
                                          ... Jeff, Our earliest direct evidence is indeed all from Paul s letters. But this means that we have only one side of the argument. The question is whether we
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Apr 12, 2010
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                                            Jeff Peterson wrote:

                                            > Our earliest evidence (1 Cor 15:5–7, 9:5; Gal 1:19; Rom 16:7) distinguishes
                                            > between "the apostles" and "the twelve," the former group including the
                                            > latter. Paul never claims membership in the twelve, and he maintains in
                                            > controversial circumstances (as previously noted) that his apostolate was
                                            > recognized by the leaders of the messianic mission to Israel (Gal 2:1–10).

                                            Jeff,

                                            Our earliest direct evidence is indeed all from Paul's letters. But this
                                            means that we have only one side of the argument. The question is whether we
                                            can trust everything that Paul writes on this very sensitive topic. I don't
                                            believe we can. To the original disciples, the "twelve" and the "apostles"
                                            were synonymous.

                                            > The promise that Jesus will reconstitute the Twelve following his
                                            > resurrection in 14:27–28, and the specific mention of Peter when this
                                            > promise is repeated in 16:7, counts against this interpretation. Peter is
                                            > the exemplary disciple who falls and is restored, not the one the narrator
                                            > despises. [Addendum: I see how you deal with this now; remarkable how
                                            > interpolations that left no trace in the MS evidence turn out always to
                                            > favor an interpreter's problematic theory.]

                                            What I think remarkable is how many moderately liberal biblical scholars
                                            become fundamentalists when it comes to posited interpolations which left no
                                            trace in the MSS. Here, my posited interpolations explain at a stroke two
                                            mysteries which no one has been able to explain satisfactorily by any other
                                            means:
                                            (1) Why did Mark, who had invariably presented the women in his narrative
                                            in a good light, suddenly in 16:7-8 present them as wilfully disobeying the
                                            express command of Jesus their Lord?
                                            (2) Bearing in mind that Mark delighted in fulfilment of prophecy (e.g.
                                            1:2-4; 14:27,50), how could he have resisted extending his narrative to show
                                            the fulfilment of 16:7b if this text had been in the original archetype?

                                            > I didn't mean to suggest that early Christianity was free from all conflict,
                                            > but that modern NT scholarship has greatly overstated the extent to which
                                            > conflict on Christology and other basic issues shaped the development of
                                            > Christian theology. And it seems to me on the basis of 1 Cor (esp. 15:11,
                                            > 9:5, and 3:22) and Gal 1–2, among others, that Paul and Cephas were on the
                                            > same page on the question of Jesus' identity.

                                            Here again you quote only Paul, and therefore only see the issue from his
                                            point of view. But there is earlier indirect evidence from another source,
                                            namely the synoptic gospels. I have reconstructed the 'logia' produced by
                                            the the Jerusalem Jesus movement. It shows where James, Peter etc. stood on
                                            a range of issues. It is set out on the web page below. I invite you to
                                            compare its style, background, outlook and theology with that of Paul's
                                            letters. If my reconstruction is anywhere near correct, then it will have to
                                            be admitted that its editor Matthew (representing James & Peter) on the one
                                            hand, and Paul on the other hand, were singing from rather different hymn
                                            books.

                                            Ron Price

                                            Derbyshire, UK

                                            http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_sQet.html
                                          • E Bruce Brooks
                                            To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron Price On: Ending of Mark From: Bruce We can perhaps avoid getting tangled in the merits of Ron s and my different
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Apr 12, 2010
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                                              To: Synoptic
                                              In Response To: Ron Price
                                              On: Ending of Mark
                                              From: Bruce

                                              We can perhaps avoid getting tangled in the merits of Ron's and my
                                              different reconstructions of the text, and indeed the page format, of
                                              Mark. The point at issue was whether the disciples' flight was part of
                                              extant Mark. I had said:

                                              BRUCE: The evidence for the flight of the disciples is Mark's
                                              Gethsemane scene.

                                              And I think that will still suffice for the point at issue. It was
                                              part of the evidence for negative material about the disciples in
                                              Mark, and it seems that in any case Ron and I agree that there is such
                                              material in Mark.

                                              The other point at issue was whether there are also passages in Mark
                                              favorable to Peter. There being no rebuttal, I think that conclusion
                                              will now stand.

                                              Then so does the mixed nature of Mark, and the impropriety of picking
                                              out only one strand of Markan opinion or advocacy, and characterizing
                                              the whole of Mark from it.

                                              Whole thing needs a fresh start.

                                              Bruce

                                              E Bruce Brooks
                                              Warring States Project
                                              University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                                            • Matson, Mark (Academic)
                                              ... I do agree with this in general, Dennis. But I wonder how far we can press it? Some thoughts: 1. While I think each gospel is by nature rhetorical
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Apr 12, 2010
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                                                Dennis wrote:
                                                >Since each of the Gospels was written to press a particular point of view in opposition to other views, I cannot but agree >with Goulder that instances which reflect unfavourably, in Mark, on the family of Jesus are there precisely for that >purpose.

                                                I do agree with this in general, Dennis. But I wonder how far we can press it? Some thoughts:

                                                1. While I think each gospel is by nature rhetorical (advancing a particular perspective, and often perhaps in rebutting some variant perspective), how far would you want to propose this for the "first gospel?" If the purpose of the first gospel was mostly evangelistic, as opposed to didactic or dogmatic, would the rhetorical thrust really be focused around or against some "other thought" that existed? I can see this perhaps in some vague way (e.g., opposing a view that Jesus was a Davidic Messiah), but not sure the first gospel would have been entered into writing with a host of specific issues to oppose.

                                                2. Which then brings me to the level of specificity that such an "oppositional rhetoric" might operate. Are we to think that every item which seems important to Mark has a corresponding social reality that it is constructed to oppose? I see where you go with Jesus's family... there is certainly an issue here. Does this mean, though, by the miracle of mirror-reading, that Jesus's family (and so read James) had a power structure in the church that needed to be opposed? What then do we do with all the disciples who are treated as having "no faith" "lacking understanding" and "hard hearted?" Are we to assume then that the gospel is written in opposition to all of them? [I guess that is the tone of much of this conversation, but it kind of baffles me]

                                                3. But this also assumes that narrative units don't have a more complex way of involving the reader/hearer by identification and by plot design, mechanisms that are often subtle. [and here I would suggest that the suspended ending of Mark 16:8 is precisely what works in the narrative structure of Mark, as shown by many scholars. But that is an aside for Bruce]

                                                4. What seems to lurk behind this "oppositional rhetoric" and its more conventional tool the mirror reading, is the idea of compositional communities. But what if (as Bauckham has suggested in the book already referenced by Jeff Peterson, Gospels for all Christians) the gospels and Mark in particular was written more for external distribution, not for internal polemics. Granted there is still a "particular perspective," but it may be to present one's particular view of the gospel to a larger audience, not to press a point of internal power struggle.

                                                It really goes to some fundamental ways of reading the documents.

                                                mark



                                                Mark A. Matson
                                                Academic Dean
                                                Milligan College
                                                423-461-8720
                                                http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
                                              • E Bruce Brooks
                                                To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Dennis Goffin On: Galilee From: Bruce DENNIS: Brandon is not the only one to find Mark downgrading Peter, since Trocmé
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Apr 12, 2010
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                                                  To: Synoptic
                                                  Cc: GPG
                                                  In Response To: Dennis Goffin
                                                  On: Galilee
                                                  From: Bruce

                                                  DENNIS: Brandon is not the only one to find Mark downgrading Peter,
                                                  since Trocmé and Goulder do too.

                                                  BRUCE: Of pulling many authors off the shelf there is no end. Keeping
                                                  for the moment to the text and not to various shades of exegesis,
                                                  however selected, the question, as I have been trying not too
                                                  successfully to point out, is not whether at SOME point Mark says
                                                  things unflattering to Peter, but whether he does so at ALL points.
                                                  Oppositional scenarios are fine, but they need to take all the data
                                                  into consideration. It may be that there is more than one opposition
                                                  in the picture, or that some oppositions are truer of one part of the
                                                  picture than of another. That might make the resulting theory less
                                                  tidy to some tastes, but hey, life can be like that. It's one of the
                                                  chances we take, in doing history. And I think the scholar is
                                                  committed in advance to truth over taste. So says Ranke, and I can
                                                  only agree.

                                                  Mencius (actually one of his successors, 50 years later) has a
                                                  wonderful bit of advice for the reader of ancient texts: "Don't louse
                                                  up the meaning of the line by your reading of one word; don't louse of
                                                  the meaning of the text by your reading of one line." Meaning: read
                                                  from large to small, not from small and then run away with it.

                                                  DENNIS: I must confess also that I find Bruce's attachment to a
                                                  supposedly important Galilean church difficult to substantiate on the
                                                  basis of the anathematization of three Galilean towns and Galilee's
                                                  inclusion in a list presumably, in my view, merely for completeness in
                                                  order to cover the whole of Israel and Judaea.

                                                  BRUCE: Take it or leave it; it's a free world (especially in some
                                                  places). But with the understanding that if you leave it, you lose
                                                  out. What is helpful here is to go a step beyond the previous advice:
                                                  One should not just read the whole text, but read the whole SERIES of
                                                  texts. There is a Jerusalem Trajectory in the four Gospels, with each
                                                  in turn making Galilee of less importance (and Jerusalem of more
                                                  importance) in the story of Jesus. These are among the largest-scale
                                                  Tendenzes in the canonical texts. I suggest they not be ignored. All
                                                  of them without exception (from Mary to Judas and back again) give the
                                                  sequence

                                                  Mk > Mt > Lk [Ac] > Jn

                                                  All these are advocacy texts, like everything else in or out of the
                                                  canon, and the thing which they advocate has its local peculiarities,
                                                  but it is also subject to some very general evolutionary tendencies in
                                                  the early Jesus movement. Here, I suggest, is the master context for
                                                  reading any single text, or any single line, in that literature.

                                                  Of course, that takes some work. Personal work. If one prefers not to
                                                  do one's own thinking, or at least not to do it with assist from only
                                                  one corner of the exegetical spectrum, there are several books on the
                                                  Galilee matter, one classic being that of Lohmeyer (a little
                                                  schematic, but in the right direction), and another being that of
                                                  Elliott-Binns (a mere pamphlet, really, and in English too, if German
                                                  is too much to ask). People these days have very much bought into the
                                                  Acts view of things, but the Acts view of things is itself part of the
                                                  above-mentioned Tendenz, and an elementary task of reading is to
                                                  correct for Tendenzes. In the light of what we know or can easily
                                                  discover about these texts, taking the Gospels (and Acts) as
                                                  transcripts of reality is not sound procedure.

                                                  Why is Jesus made to curse Chorazin and Bethsaida in Mt 11:21, and
                                                  then Capernaum all by itself in Mt 11:23? There is no hint of this in
                                                  Mark (in Mark, all the bad guys come from Jerusalem: Mk 3:22, 7:1,
                                                  both narratively gratuitous), and by the Trajectory agruments, Mark is
                                                  earlier. Then the cursing of Matthew (given Mark, it can't reasonably
                                                  be attributed to Jesus) must have its place in the Matthean scheme, at
                                                  some point where it differs from the Markan scheme (or schemes).

                                                  Then the point for a careful reading is to determine the Sitz im
                                                  Matthew of this hatred of Galilee and its pretensions (for which
                                                  pretensions, see again Mt 11:23).

                                                  I still think there is more work, and more reflection, needed here.

                                                  Respectfully suggested,

                                                  Bruce

                                                  E Bruce Brooks
                                                  Warring States Project
                                                  University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                                                  [For an attempt to follow out the Mencian reading precept in real
                                                  life, those with decent libraries may like to consult E Bruce Brooks
                                                  and A Taeko Brooks, Word Philology and Text Philology in Analects 9:1,
                                                  in Bryan W Van Norden (ed), Confucius and the Analects: New Studies,
                                                  Oxford 2002].
                                                • Dennis Goffin
                                                  Mark Wrote: I am not sure the first gospel would have been entered into writing with a host of specific issues to oppose. In this connection, I am indebted
                                                  Message 24 of 25 , Apr 13, 2010
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                                                    Mark Wrote: I am " not sure the first gospel would have been entered into writing with a host of specific issues to oppose."
                                                    In this connection, I am indebted to Jeffrey B. Gibson for drawing my attention to the article by Craig Evans on the Priene Calendar Inscription. This article makes clear that 'evaggelion' and 'divi filius' were common usage in respect of the emperors and therefore would naturally come to the mind of a Hellenist Jew living at the crossroads of the ancient world and subject to all its intellectual cross currents as the Jews were. That even Judaism was not able to withstand these influences, is made clear by the infiltration of Persian concepts into latter day apocalypticism. The fact that we have no similar documents that antedate Mark does not, in my view, exclude the possibility that they may have existed, nor is it necessary for such to have existed for Mark to be polemical, since, from the first, there seems to have been a multiplicity of viewpoints, as witness the case of Apollos. The interesting thing about Mark is that it is much more difficult to know where he is coming from and Bruce's work in this direction is a whole new ball game.
                                                    Dennis
                                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                                    From: Matson, Mark (Academic)
                                                    To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                                                    Sent: Monday, April 12, 2010 11:20 PM
                                                    Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Mark as a Pauline gospel




                                                    Dennis wrote:
                                                    >Since each of the Gospels was written to press a particular point of view in opposition to other views, I cannot but agree >with Goulder that instances which reflect unfavourably, in Mark, on the family of Jesus are there precisely for that >purpose.

                                                    I do agree with this in general, Dennis. But I wonder how far we can press it? Some thoughts:

                                                    1. While I think each gospel is by nature rhetorical (advancing a particular perspective, and often perhaps in rebutting some variant perspective), how far would you want to propose this for the "first gospel?" If the purpose of the first gospel was mostly evangelistic, as opposed to didactic or dogmatic, would the rhetorical thrust really be focused around or against some "other thought" that existed? I can see this perhaps in some vague way (e.g., opposing a view that Jesus was a Davidic Messiah), but not sure the first gospel would have been entered into writing with a host o
                                                    f specific issues to oppose.
                                                    2. Which then brings me to the level of specificity that such an "oppositional rhetoric" might operate. Are we to think that every item which seems important to Mark has a corresponding social reality that it is constructed to oppose? I see where you go with Jesus's family... there is certainly an issue here. Does this mean, though, by the miracle of mirror-reading, that Jesus's family (and so read James) had a power structure in the church that needed to be opposed? What then do we do with all the disciples who are treated as having "no faith" "lacking understanding" and "hard hearted?" Are we to assume then that the gospel is written in opposition to all of them? [I guess that is the tone of much of this conversation, but it kind of baffles me]

                                                    3. But this also assumes that narrative units don't have a more complex way of involving the reader/hearer by identification and by plot design, mechanisms that are often subtle. [and here I would suggest that the suspended ending of Mark 16:8 is precisely what works in the narrative structure of Mark, as shown by many scholars. But that is an aside for Bruce]

                                                    4. What seems to lurk behind this "oppositional rhetoric" and its more conventional tool the mirror reading, is the idea of compositional communities. But what if (as Bauckham has suggested in the book already referenced by Jeff Peterson, Gospels for all Christians) the gospels and Mark in particular was written more for external distribution, not for internal polemics. Granted there is still a "particular perspective," but it may be to present one's particular view of the gospel to a larger audience, not to press a point of internal power struggle.

                                                    It really goes to some fundamental ways of reading the documents.

                                                    mark

                                                    Mark A. Matson
                                                    Academic Dean
                                                    Milligan College
                                                    423-461-8720
                                                    http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm




                                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  • E Bruce Brooks
                                                    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Mark Matson On: Motive and Method in Mark From: Bruce MARK: If the purpose of the first gospel . . . BRUCE: Suggested
                                                    Message 25 of 25 , Apr 13, 2010
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      To: Synoptic
                                                      Cc: GPG
                                                      In Response To: Mark Matson
                                                      On: Motive and Method in Mark
                                                      From: Bruce

                                                      MARK: If the purpose of the first gospel . . .

                                                      BRUCE: Suggested convention: "first Gospel" is ambiguous. In NT usage,
                                                      that phrase normally means "first canonical Gospel = Matthew," but for
                                                      many who have examined the Synoptic question it all too readily
                                                      suggests "Mark." I suggest using the specific names "Matthew" and
                                                      "Mark," for maximum comfort and minimum confusion, and foregoing
                                                      synonyms.

                                                      MARK: . . . was mostly evangelistic, as opposed to didactic or
                                                      dogmatic, would the rhetorical thrust really be focused around or
                                                      against some "other thought" that existed?

                                                      BRUCE: That question assumes a purpose which we do not begin by
                                                      knowing, as a way to decide questions whose answers we also don't
                                                      know. I think the logic of such an approach is faulty. I would urge
                                                      instead that we can best detect the purpose or purposes of a text, not
                                                      by assuming anything at all, but by examining the text. And we have
                                                      some bases for doing so, as well as some precedents for recognizing
                                                      the dominant purpose of a such texts as have a dominant purpose. For
                                                      instance, the two halves of the Didache, the minor letters such as 1
                                                      Peter, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Acts of Philip, are all useful
                                                      contrastive specimens. They show us somewhat purer samples of what
                                                      might have been going on in any less obvious or less simple text. From
                                                      them, we can begin to acquaint ourselves with at least some of the
                                                      possibilities, including polemical, parenetic, and so on. The doctor
                                                      who can recognize tuberculosis and pneumonia has a better chance of
                                                      sizing up the situation of a patient who, in fact, has both.

                                                      As for "mostly," well, that is a quantitative judgement, which I
                                                      should think must follow on previous qualitative judgements: what
                                                      purposes can we detect in this text? And then comes, Which (if any)
                                                      was the main one?

                                                      So much for texts which we may call primary. There are also secondary
                                                      texts, like the Pastorals in their present form (I here follow
                                                      Harrison). They were evidently written chiefly in order to insert into
                                                      the already accepted and authoritative pronouncements of Paul some
                                                      strictures against earlier Pauline practices, such as women talking in
                                                      church. I think that Winsome Munro goes too far to posit a similar
                                                      insertion in 1 Peter, but be that as it may, the purpose of the texts
                                                      that do this is to alter an existing canon of communal behavior.
                                                      There's another category, albeit a subversive one. But we need not be
                                                      too hard on the Pastoral fakers; most texts that have a purpose at all
                                                      could probably be said to intend to subvert existing opinion, or lack
                                                      of opinion.

                                                      Presumably all the possible purposes of texts have been worked out,
                                                      and provided with examples, and all I have to do to unconfuse myself
                                                      on this point is to consult that list. Could someone give me a
                                                      reference to it?

                                                      MARK: . . . not sure the first gospel would have been entered into
                                                      writing with a host of specific issues to oppose.

                                                      BRUCE: Nobody with any sense is "sure" of anything, in the cloudy year
                                                      2010, but meanwhile, one does one's best. My own hunch, based on some
                                                      experience with texts in one place or another, is that texts are
                                                      mostly written for reasons. What the issue or issues may have been in
                                                      the case of, say, Matthew (we need not call them a "host" until we
                                                      know more about the text) needs work. I don't think we can say a
                                                      priori that there will be one, or two, or seven (see the Letters to
                                                      Seven Churches in Revelation). Or none. Or anything. We need to look
                                                      at the text, which, if anything, will contain the answer. Expectations
                                                      about the answer don't have any weight at all. They just get in the
                                                      way; they darken counsel, they inhibit technique, they polarize in
                                                      advance of anything to get polarized about. Not recommended.

                                                      MARK: Are we to think that every item which seems important to Mark
                                                      has a corresponding social reality that it is constructed to oppose?

                                                      BRUCE: To my eye at least, lots of things seem to be important to
                                                      Mark. He doesn't oppose all of them. He is positive toward quite a
                                                      few. For instance, he is concerned, at some points, to demonstrate the
                                                      power of Jesus (what other purpose can readily be seen behind the
                                                      Stilling of the Waves?). Probably he thought it was important that
                                                      people know that. That's not oppositional, except in the universal
                                                      sense that all teaching is opposed to ignorance. As for the things he
                                                      DOES oppose, presumably he thought they were both real and current, or
                                                      why would he bother?

                                                      I don't know how to distinguish "social" reality from any other kind,
                                                      but real enough to be concerned about. The Epistle of Jacob would
                                                      presumably not bother to chide its recipients about snobbing the poor
                                                      man among them, unless this was really happening, no?

                                                      MARK: I see where you go with Jesus's family... there is certainly an
                                                      issue here. Does this mean, though, by the miracle of mirror-reading,
                                                      . . .

                                                      BRUCE: I, for one, can do without these snide passing
                                                      characterizations. Let's start over, if we may, and I will rephrase
                                                      the question in less distracting terms:

                                                      MARK: I see where you go with Jesus's family. There is certainly an
                                                      issue here. Does this mean, though, that Jesus's family (and so read
                                                      James) had a power structure in the church that needed to be opposed?

                                                      BRUCE: Tilt. It is not given that "Jesus's family" in Mark must be
                                                      decoded to mean "Jacob." Is that reading indicated? That is the
                                                      question, and we can only go to the text to find out. To put that
                                                      question in a form in which philology can answer it, I propound it
                                                      thus: How does one naturally read that sentence? I don't know about
                                                      modern exegesis, but I am tempted to invoke the aid of an earlier
                                                      commentator, namely Jesus in the next line. What he does is this: He
                                                      proceeds to define who his "family" are. He would seem to me making
                                                      the point that his real family are not his blood kin, but his fellow
                                                      doers of God's will. I will venture to quote Jesus here:

                                                      "[And looking around him, at those who sat about him, he said] Here
                                                      are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is my
                                                      brother, and sister, and mother." [Mk 3:24-25]

                                                      Here, it would seem (subject to correction), is a validation of the
                                                      new family, the righteous believers in God's promise, those who have
                                                      accepted the Good News. (There are other passages in Mark, if
                                                      confirmation were needed, that confirm this sense of the community).

                                                      Of course these cannot be believers in Jesus's Resurrection, since
                                                      that has not happened yet. I should say that they are one of our few
                                                      firsthand glimpses of a Galilean believer community, with Jesus (by
                                                      his own account) one of its members, all of them knit together by a
                                                      common belief about God. Exactly what that was, we might wish we know.
                                                      But that it was about God and not about Jesus himself, Jesus is here
                                                      telling us. I don't know how much higher or more inward eyewitness
                                                      authority we can expect on this point.

                                                      If so, then the reading of the passage as an attack on the Jerusalem
                                                      splinter group will not stand. The "new family" reading has used up
                                                      the material. Nothing is left over to interpret another way.

                                                      And if we WERE to single out one of the named persons in this passage
                                                      against whom to imagine the whole comment of Jesus to be directed, it
                                                      would probably not be any of his brothers, let alone his sisters, but
                                                      his mother. Does this justify an interpretation that Mark is here
                                                      opposing an early growth of the Marian cult? Nope. For the reason
                                                      above stated: Jesus is not opposing one family member; he is
                                                      redefining "family." And when we have said that, we have said all that
                                                      the passage entitles us to say. Done.

                                                      MARK: What then do we do with all the disciples who are treated as
                                                      having "no faith" "lacking understanding" and "hard hearted?" Are we
                                                      to assume then that the gospel is written in opposition to all of
                                                      them? [I guess that is the tone of much of this conversation, but it
                                                      kind of baffles me]

                                                      BRUCE: Well, bafflement is a fair enough response to Mark or to any
                                                      serious conversation about it; Mark can be a baffling Gospel. Until we
                                                      come to realize that it opposes at some points what it praises or
                                                      accepts at other points. It not only has a lot of enemies, it has them
                                                      at different places.

                                                      That is, Mark as we meet it on the page is simply gibberish, unless we
                                                      do one of two things (or more, but at this moment I can only think of
                                                      two): (1) Ignore some of the data, and so get a consistent Mark, and
                                                      that Mark can be anything one likes, as long as one ignores the right
                                                      sets of contrary data; or (2) Collate the points at which Mark seems
                                                      to take the SAME view of things, and then separately collate the
                                                      points as which he seems to take a DIFFERENT view of those things, and
                                                      see what kind of sense those two defined data sets may make. I can't
                                                      speak for anybody else, but (2) is more or less what I am trying to
                                                      do. Naturally I recommend the same to others.

                                                      And how does one do that? Well, take the poor disciples. At some
                                                      points in Mark, three of them are treated as privileged intimates;
                                                      they are chosen (and others are specifically left behind) to be
                                                      present at the healing of Jairus' daughter, and the same three are
                                                      similarly chosen to witness the scene at which Jesus (with Moses and
                                                      Elijah) is transfigured, and at a few other places. There is no
                                                      suggestion that they interfere with the healing by raising objections
                                                      in the one case, or spoil the vision by refusing to credit it in the
                                                      other; quite the contrary. They have, on any reasonable reading of the
                                                      respective passages, full acceptance by Jesus and full understanding
                                                      of what they witness in his company, on both those occasions.

                                                      So far so good? OK, now we proceed.

                                                      There are other passages where we DO find the disciples berated as
                                                      being "hard of heart" (sometimes by Jesus, sometimes by the narrative
                                                      voice) and as lacking understanding; even as being afraid to ask
                                                      questions that might clear up their lack of understanding.

                                                      So does Mark celebrate or oppose the disciples? Evidently both, but
                                                      (and here is where it gets interesting) at different places. The next
                                                      thing to do is to examine the respective places, and see just what it
                                                      is the disciples are privy to when they are treated favorably, and
                                                      what it is they cannot understand when they are said not to understand.

                                                      We have a weekend coming up, ideal for such an investigation, and we
                                                      have a lot of lead time left before the weekend starts, ideal for
                                                      emptying the mind of prior ideas, so as to be open to what the text of
                                                      Mark is actually doing, when we finally pick it up on the weekend.

                                                      I will stop here in order to close with that action proposal, which is
                                                      warmly recommended for anybody interested in finding out what, or what
                                                      things, Mark, or conceivably a succession of persons who had their
                                                      hand in the formation of the text of Mark, is (or are) up to.

                                                      Respectfully suggested,

                                                      Bruce

                                                      E Bruce Brooks
                                                      Warring States Project
                                                      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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