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RE: [Synoptic-L] Mark's dependence on Paul

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Paul had virtually no direct knowledge of the person of Jesus of Nazareth. He was traveling among people who, likewise, had no direct knowledge of Jesus.
    Message 1 of 25 , Oct 11, 2011
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      At 11:01 AM 10/11/2011, E Bruce Brooks wrote:


      >[snip]
      >
      >Daniel (to Ron): My point is that your dependence seems indistinguishable
      >from dependence on common communal lore. How are you making a dependence
      >between texts more plausible?
      >
      >Bruce: Proper question. If the doctrine of the Atonement is unique to Paul,
      >then its presence in Mark indicates that at least that passage in Mark is
      >aware of Paul. If the doctrine is more general, then that conclusion does
      >not necessarily follow. We are now interested to know if Paul originated the
      >Atonement doctrine, as a development of the prior Resurrection belief, or if
      >he found it ready to hand. I don't know of any immediate evidence either
      >way. ...

      Paul had virtually no direct knowledge of the person of Jesus of
      Nazareth. He was traveling among people who, likewise, had no direct
      knowledge of Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus did not leave behind a "Guide
      to my crucifixion and resurrection: meaning and interpretation." The
      closest thing we have any inkling of is the Markan tradition,
      repeated a number of times-- e.g. Mark 8, "31 And he began to teach
      them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by
      the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and
      after three days rise again."

      IIRC, that's about all that Jesus had to say, according to our
      sources, about his own death and resurrection.
      So, I rather imagine that Paul had a good many discussions with many
      people about the meaning of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.
      Furthermore, I suspect that the idea of the atonement took shape and
      evolved during Paul's lifetime, as he tried to make sense of Jesus'
      life and death (and resurrection.) And, of course, Paul was not alone
      in this effort. But I doubt that Jesus had such conversations with
      Peter or his brother James, unless it was at the "first Apostolic
      Conference" in Jerusalem.

      In other words, although Paul may have had a role in shaping the
      debate, I doubt that it sprung fully formed from his forehead.

      But most of the analysis taking place here is based on literary
      sources, so we will probably never know the details of how the
      doctrine of the atonement developed and came into being. I think the
      differences between Mark and Paul indicates that the early Christians
      were kicking the idea around, but had not yet put the idea in writing.

      Bob Schacht
      Northern Arizona University






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    • David Mealand
      Ron replied ... Mk 10.45 speaks of a ransom ..... Mk 14.24 speaks of the blood of the covenant ..... Rom 3.25 does allude to atonement by means of blood. .....
      Message 2 of 25 , Oct 12, 2011
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        Ron replied
        ----------------
        Mk 10.45 speaks of a ransom .....
        Mk 14.24 speaks of the blood of the covenant .....
        Rom 3.25 does allude to atonement by means of blood. .....

        A modern scholar may well be correct in seeing these interpretations as
        distinctly different, but surely the crucial question here is whether the
        author of the gospel of Mark would have seen them as distinctly different,
        or as essentially the same. For what it¹s worth, my vote would be for the
        latter.
        -------------------

        Not at all. Some-one in the 1st Century of the Common Era is MUCH
        more likely to have known the difference between a covenant and Yom Kippur.
        People now can't differentiate these because a) they struggle with
        understanding the Jewish context b) they view the whole matter down
        a couple of millennia of amalgamating several diverse motifs into various
        later syntheses in which the originally separate analogies have lost
        their identity and individuality.

        David M.


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


        --
        The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
        Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
      • Ronald Price
        I had written: A modern scholar may well be correct in seeing these interpretations as distinctly different, but surely the crucial question here is whether
        Message 3 of 25 , Oct 12, 2011
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          I had written:

          A modern scholar may well be correct in seeing these interpretations as
          distinctly different, but surely the crucial question here is whether the
          author of the gospel of Mark would have seen them as distinctly different,
          or as essentially the same. For what it¹s worth, my vote would be for the
          latter.

          David Mealand replied:

          Not at all. Some-one in the 1st Century of the Common Era is MUCH
          more likely to have known the difference between a covenant and Yom Kippur.
          .....

          David,

          I was not referring to "some-one" in general, but to the author of Mark's
          gospel in particular. Yes, he lived in the 1st century. But we know a fair
          amount about him through what he wrote. Let's consider the following case.

          "... all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands" (Mk 7:3)
          Morna Hooker says this statement is untrue. So much for Mark's knowledge of
          Jewish affairs - unless of course you would challenge her assessment on the
          basis that she is viewing the whole matter down a couple of millennia!

          I concede that this is only one example. You may be able to come up with
          counter-examples from elsewhere in Mark.

          Ron Price,

          Derbyshire, UK

          http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_home.html



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        • Ronald Price
          ... Mark, I ve already given a partial answer to this in my reply to Daniel Grolin, to the effect that these ideas were not in the logia, which I attribute to
          Message 4 of 25 , Oct 12, 2011
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            Mark Matson wrote:

            > I am having some trouble with this. First, what evidence do you have that
            > would point to a) dependence on Paul, or even b) that Paul invented the key
            > idea of resurrection (or atonement)? I just don't know where you would go to
            > find supporting evidence for either of these, but especially not the latter.

            Mark,

            I've already given a partial answer to this in my reply to Daniel Grolin, to
            the effect that these ideas were not in the logia, which I attribute to the
            original apostles.

            One further point is worth adding. Paul is the only follower of Jesus we
            know who was not one of the original apostles, who died before the gospels
            were written, and who also clearly had the intellect and boldness to come up
            with ideas/interpretations which must have seemed like heresy to many of his
            fellow Jews, yet become the theological foundation of a major new religion.

            ..... I would really like to explore the key issue of atonement .....

            In addition to my responses to David Mealand, I would argue that Mk 14:22-24
            has to be dependent (directly or indirectly) on Paul (1 Cor 11:23-26). "from
            the Lord" (APO TOU KURIOU), especially in the light of Gal 1:11-12, should
            be taken as meaning "by revelation" in view of the fact that Paul had never
            met the historical Jesus. If the historical Jesus had initiated the
            statement about his blood of the covenant being poured out "for you", it
            makes little sense to *follow* this (as in Mark) with a plea to escape
            (14:36) the solemn commitment he has just made. In any case from a
            historical viewpoint, Jesus could hardly have formulated a ritual which is
            based on his (at that time) future death. The ritual must surely have been
            devised in retrospect by an early Christian wanting to present a particular
            interpretation of his death. Paul is by far the most likely source of such a
            magnificent interpretation. Thus Mk 14:22-24 probably derives from Paul.

            Ron Price,

            Derbyshire, UK

            http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/


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          • Frank Jacks
            Instead of jumping in with a comment about some of the details raised in this continuing discussion, I wish to back-track to what might be a root cause for
            Message 5 of 25 , Oct 12, 2011
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              Instead of jumping in with a comment about some of the details
              raised in this continuing discussion, I wish to back-track to what
              might be a root cause for some of the differing opinions which have
              been being posted here, for I notice that in your response to Bruce
              that you made a statement that might well be a premise for your
              position/statements (???). At least, I do have a question about
              something you said:
              > BRUCE: Notice (just for starters) the first use of this term ["gospel"]
              > within Mark proper, 1:14. "Now after Jesus was arrested, Jesus came into
              > Galilee, preaching the Gospel of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and
              > the Kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the Gospel." Notice
              > that there is nothing here about any Gospel of Jesus; it is all about God.
              >
              > RON: Paul used the strange phrase "gospel of God" (1 Th 2:2; Rom 1:1;
              > 15:16), and as you have pointed out, Mark used it (Mk 1:14). It seems to me
              > very likely that Mark had heard Paul use the phrase, especially if, as I
              > believe, the Mark of Phm 24 was the author of the gospel of Mark.
              I wonder whether your suspicion that the author of the second gospel
              was the "Mark of Phm 24" is the basis for your having sought for
              confirmation by finding ideas/images/concepts/vocabulary in Mark
              that seem to be derived from Paul or whether it was finding in this
              gospel what seemed to you to be such ideas/images/concepts/vocabulary
              distinctively "Pauline" that led you to conclude that it was written by
              someone who had knowledge about Paul, perhaps the "Mark of Phm
              24" (???).

              Are you aware of a logical or psychological sequence between these
              two?

              Thanks,

              Frank

              Clive F. Jacks, Th.D. (Union Seminary, N.Y.C.)
              Professor Of Religion, Emeritus
              Pikeville College,
              Pikeville, KY

              (but now happily retired back home in the metro Atlanta area!)
            • Dennis
              Ronald said, in part, Paul is the only follower of Jesus we know who was not one of the original apostles, who died before the gospels were written, and who
              Message 6 of 25 , Oct 12, 2011
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                Ronald said, in part, "Paul is the only follower of Jesus we
                know who was not one of the original apostles, who died before the gospels
                were written, and who also clearly had the intellect and boldness to come up
                with ideas/interpretations which must have seemed like heresy to many of his
                fellow Jews, yet become the theological foundation of a major new religion."

                Is this is assumption based on history or on the Christian mythology that grew around the "letters?" We read hardly anything about the letters (just a few patristic statements) until the end of the second century, and those as reactions to Marcionism and various Gnostic Christianities. At the same time, I haven't found any early (first through third century, perhaps) non-Christian references about "Paul" yet. (I would love to know of one.)
                Dennis Dean Carpenter
                Dahlonega, Ga.




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              • Ronald Price
                ... Frank, It was after concluding that both Phm and Mark were written in Rome, and knowing that tradition ascribed the gospel to Mark , that it seemed
                Message 7 of 25 , Oct 12, 2011
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                  On 12/10/2011 17:08, "Frank Jacks" <cfjacks@...> wrote:

                  > I wonder whether your suspicion that the author of the second gospel was the
                  > "Mark of Phm 24" is the basis for your having sought for confirmation by
                  > finding ideas/images/concepts/vocabulary in Mark that seem to be derived from
                  > Paul or whether it was finding in this gospel what seemed to you to be such
                  > ideas/images/concepts/vocabulary distinctively "Pauline" that led you to
                  > conclude that it was written by someone who had knowledge about Paul, perhaps
                  > the "Mark of Phm 24" (???).
                  >
                  Frank,

                  It was after concluding that both Phm and Mark were written in Rome, and
                  knowing that tradition ascribed the gospel to "Mark", that it seemed natural
                  to put all these together and conclude that the Mark of Phm 24 was probably
                  the Mark who wrote the gospel. My discovery of Pauline characteristics in
                  Mark was in no way dependent on the connection with Phm 24. But the two do
                  seem to tie in nicely together.

                  Ron Price,

                  Derbyshire, UK

                  http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/



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                • Ronald Price
                  I had written: Paul is the only follower of Jesus we ... Dennis, My statement is based on what little we know from the NT about the pre-70 CE followers of
                  Message 8 of 25 , Oct 12, 2011
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                    I had written:

                    Paul is the only follower of Jesus we
                    > know who was not one of the original apostles, who died before the gospels
                    > were written, and who also clearly had the intellect and boldness to come up
                    > with ideas/interpretations which must have seemed like heresy to many of his
                    > fellow Jews, yet become the theological foundation of a major new religion.

                    Dennis Carpenter replied:

                    > Is this is assumption based on history or on the Christian mythology that grew
                    > around the "letters?"

                    Dennis,

                    My statement is based on what little we know from the NT about the pre-70 CE
                    followers of Jesus.

                    Ron Price,

                    Derbyshire, UK

                    http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/



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                  • David Mealand
                    I don t wish just to critique a view so here is an alternative. Mark and Paul both have passages which connect the death of Jesus with ideas of covenant and
                    Message 9 of 25 , Oct 12, 2011
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                      I don't wish just to critique a view so here is an alternative.

                      Mark and Paul both have passages which connect the death of Jesus
                      with ideas of covenant and the shedding of blood. Given that a covenant
                      creates or maintains a bond between those who participate, and
                      involved a shared meal after a sacrifice, one can get some idea of how
                      this analogy is working.

                      So Mark and Paul share this motif. Also it may not be the oldest part
                      of the supper tradition; the eschatological words about not eating the
                      passover
                      (again) until the coming of the Kingdom are probably the oldest.
                      So did Paul invent the motif, and did Mark derive it from Paul? That is far
                      from clear. For that one would have to argue "my blood of the covenant"
                      is an adaptation of "the new covenant in my blood". I think I would
                      find it hard to be convinced of that, and would be more inclined
                      to think that someone before Paul produced a "cup word", to match
                      the "bread word". The "bread word" might fit with the use of
                      interpretative words at first Jewish, then Christian Passover meals.
                      (What did the followers
                      of Jesus do after the crucifixion when the next Passover came along?)
                      I may be making some extended inferences here, and I would be more
                      definite about thinking it likely that Mark and Paul have similar motifs
                      about the covenant because they each get them from something which
                      developed between c.34CE (=33+1) and the time Paul writes to Corinth.

                      By "Mark" I mean a text that is attributed to someone called Mark, I do
                      not mean that everything in the text was either all created by Mark or all
                      derived from tradition. I think in the text of Mark we have some
                      tradition which reflects the use of one or more Semitic languages - on
                      this E.C.Maloney,
                      Semitic Interference in Marcan Syntax, did careful work, and more recently
                      P.M. Casey made a vigorous case for Aramaisms. I would not rule
                      out Mark having some awareness of Paul, but I am fairly confident
                      that Mark contains a mixture of material, some of it from the time of Jesus,
                      some from the period before Paul's letters, and some from any time up to
                      around 75CE.

                      One final issue: Mark has two passages which interpret the death of
                      Jesus. One
                      flags up the "rescue at the cost of a life" motif, the other a covenant bond
                      focused on a shared sacrificial meal. Why do we have these two only
                      in this text when others e.g. Pauline & Deutero-Pauline texts and
                      Hebrews have further
                      motifs not found here?

                      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 (GPG) In Response To: Bob Schacht On: Paul and Atonement From: Bruce BOB: Paul had virtually no direct knowledge of the person of Jesus of
                      Message 10 of 25 , Oct 13, 2011
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                        To: Synoptic (GPG)
                        In Response To: Bob Schacht
                        On: Paul and Atonement
                        From: Bruce

                        BOB: Paul had virtually no direct knowledge of the person of Jesus of
                        Nazareth.

                        BRUCE: According to 2Cor 5:16 and other places, Paul was aware of knowledge
                        of Jesus "after the flesh," but determined not to pay attention to it;
                        everything for Paul is in Jesus's death. What I get here is not exactly
                        ignorance but resistance. He does not accept what the direct-knowledge
                        people say about Jesus during his lifetime.

                        BOB: He was traveling among people who, likewise, had no direct knowledge
                        of Jesus.

                        BRUCE: Depends how far Jesus traveled, and how far the Jesus missionaries
                        had traveled, before Jesus's death. My impression (from Mark) is that the
                        range went well into Syria, quite possibly Damascus though less likely
                        Antioch. Ignoring the Jerusalem-centered career of Paul as a Lukan fiction
                        (undertaken for the best of reasons, but still a fiction), it is not
                        necessarily impossible that Paul's first persecutions were among people who
                        had been reached by those with direct knowledge of Jesus before his death.

                        BOB: Furthermore, Jesus did not leave behind a "Guide to my crucifixion and
                        resurrection: meaning and interpretation." The closest thing we have any
                        inkling of is the Markan tradition, repeated a number of times-- e.g. Mark
                        8, "31 And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many
                        things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes,
                        and be killed, and after three days rise again."

                        BRUCE: Problem is that one of those predictions is interpolated, which
                        impugns the whole set. If we follow out the implications, it means that
                        Jesus's death was unexpected by him and his followers. There is a good deal
                        of evidence in support; I have previously referred to Yarbro Collins (whose
                        reconstruction of the original Passion Narrative lacks a Burial and
                        Resurrection narrative altogether, also Peter Kirby's study of the earliest
                        tradition of Jesus's death. Then just as the Markan predictions of Jesus's
                        resurrection are textually secondary, so is the Markan account of Jesus's
                        resurrection. They are not biographical facts, they are later church
                        theories, put into Mark's narrative as facts, but not what Mark originally
                        reported as facts. Mark's gospel ended triumphantly, to be sure, but it was
                        not that kind of triumph.

                        BOB: IIRC, that's about all that Jesus had to say, according to our sources,
                        about his own death and resurrection.

                        BRUCE: I agree, and I note that it comes to nothing. Jesus had no
                        presentiment of his death. It suited later believers to think that he had,
                        but that is a different question.

                        BOB: So, I rather imagine that Paul had a good many discussions with many
                        people about the meaning of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.

                        BRUCE: The big event here, I would think, is the impression of Peter and
                        after him a few others, that Jesus had appeared to them after his death,
                        giving them assurance that he was, if not still alive "after the flesh" at
                        least operative in the world. Mk 14:28 and 16:7 make Jesus predict that this
                        vision will occur, but again, these happen to be the two most obvious
                        interpolations in Mark, accepted by many as such, though not everyone cares
                        to explore the implications very far. The implications are that the
                        reappearance of Jesus was unexpected by those who had that vision, just as
                        Jesus's death was unexpected by himself.

                        As for Paul, he himself confines his knowledge to a vision of his own, plus
                        a few days, later on, with Peter. We should not imagine Paul as at first
                        curious about Jesus; rather, according to his own account, he hated Jesus
                        and all that his early followers stood for, as an offense against Jewish
                        doctrine, and sought to kill them all he could. It was his experience of the
                        vision, however you visualize it (and Paul visualizes it rather differently
                        than Luke, a thing we have come to expect from Luke), that turned him
                        around. More or less literally.

                        BOB: Furthermore, I suspect that the idea of the atonement took shape and
                        evolved during Paul's lifetime, as he tried to make sense of Jesus' life
                        and death (and resurrection.)

                        BRUCE: Not Paul, but the Jesus followers after Jesus's unexpected death. And
                        in several stages. First no resurrection, then the idea of a resurrection,
                        and probably quite a bit later, the reading of an Atonement idea into the
                        resurrection (the sacrificial interpretation of Jesus's death).

                        BOB: And, of course, Paul was not alone in this effort.

                        BRUCE: He was not part of it; see above. And among the Jesus followers, some
                        stood apart from it, and were content to continue to follow Jesus as a
                        John-the-Baptist style guide to salvation.

                        BOB: . . . But I doubt that Jesus had such conversations with Peter or his
                        brother James, unless it was at the "first Apostolic Conference" in
                        Jerusalem.

                        BRUCE: Agreed that no such conversations were held, by anybody, during
                        Jesus's lifetime. The problem with which any such conversations dealt did
                        not arise until after Jesus's death. Nor is it necessarily valid to imagine
                        a "democratic" model of Jesus theory, as arising from the reasoning together
                        of people on the same authority level. The resurrection was, for a short
                        time, an idea held only by Peter, later by a few other select persons, but
                        all of them persons having stature in the movement, not just some Eddie from
                        Chorazin. I think we are on statistically better ground in imagining these
                        doctrines as arising among persons of some authority in the movement. As far
                        as the Resurrection goes, the finger of anecdotal evidence seems to point to
                        Peter. Which makes it that much more logical that the early Paul would seek
                        him out for a first-hand account of that experience.

                        BOB: In other words, although Paul may have had a role in shaping the
                        debate, I doubt that it sprung fully formed from his forehead.

                        BRUCE: Paul did not invent the Resurrection, a concept which arose among
                        Jesus's early followers already in the early Thirties. We have not so far
                        succeeded in finding anyone but Paul who held the Atonement interpretation
                        of Jesus's death, but we have pushed its emergence back behind his first
                        literary leavings, and thus into the Forties. This, as it happens, coincides
                        with the probable date at which at least one of the two places in Mark which
                        reflect that doctrine entered the text of Mark, namely, the middle Forties.
                        So either Paul thought of it, or someone else about that time thought of it.

                        Who might have thought of it? Someone with a deep sense of the meaning of
                        sacrifice, that is, the idea that an evil in one place can translate into a
                        good in another place. No one familiar with soldierly tradition will find
                        this at all strange, but we seem not to be dealing here with soldiers; more
                        likely priests. The priests were especially thick in Jerusalem, and it may
                        be that the doctrine arose among the Jesus followers in Jerusalem; they
                        would also have been the ones to benefit most from it, in terms of authority
                        contests with others of light and leading in the movement, especially the
                        Galilean leaders. Also consider the tourist trade: On Mark's account, both
                        the preaching of Jesus and the reappearance of Jesus took place Galilee, but
                        as to the DEATH of Jesus, well, on that the Jerusalemers have an absolute
                        monopoly. The more the DEATH of Jesus can be developed as central to the
                        meaning of Jesus, the more the Jerusalemers stand to acquire standing as
                        those on the scene. That is speculative (though not unreasonable). What
                        about confirmation? Do we see hints in the record of conflicts of authority
                        between Jerusalem and Galilee? Wow, do we ever; both Luke and Matthew (and
                        who copied from whom it is not now necessary to adjudicate) make Jesus side
                        with the Jerusalemers, and curse the churches of Galilee, above all the
                        probably leading church of Capernaum. So yes, there was an authority war.
                        And Matthew and Luke, in some order, were on the Jerusalem side of it.

                        If the idea arose in Jerusalem, then Paul of Tarsus, whose activities were
                        confined to the north, did not invent it. If he did not invent it, it must,
                        when it reached him, have been very agreeable to his sensibilities. Since
                        Paul was a strict Pharisee, the idea of sacrifice, though perhaps not at the
                        surface of his consciousness, will have been underneath there somewhere, a
                        unifying concept ready to be activated by a sufficient stimulus. I here wish
                        to suggest that contact with the Jerusalem Atonement idea may have been that
                        stimulus. Now, have we any grounds for thinking that Paul visited Jerusalem
                        sometime in the middle Forties? Yes, we do. Paul dates just such a visit,
                        and identifies it as dealing with questions of doctrine, in the fourteenth
                        year of his conversion. Now, these figures have caused endless worry among
                        the Paul researchers; they cannot quite be made to jibe with reason or with
                        other evidence. I suggest that they can be reconciled if we regard Paul as
                        having (a little inaccurately, but in order not to postdate by too much the
                        revelations to Peter and the Twelve) inwardly dated his vision of Jesus to
                        the year of Jesus's death, 30. If so, then his doctrinal visit to Jerusalem
                        will have been in the year 44. Again, we have a convergence of evidence for
                        the Atonement doctrine, both Pauline and Markan, in the middle Forties.

                        BOB: But most of the analysis taking place here is based on literary
                        sources, so we will probably never know the details of how the doctrine of
                        the atonement developed and came into being. I think the differences between
                        Mark and Paul indicates that the early Christians were kicking the idea
                        around, but had not yet put the idea in writing.

                        BRUCE: I think its first appearance in writing is the late interpolations in
                        Mark already referred to. Now we can notice that Mark (according to
                        persistent anecdotal tradition) was a Jerusalemer. Certainty in detail is
                        not available in these matters, but I think we have a general chronology
                        that pretty much works. Then the idea arose in Jerusalem, and existed there
                        by 44. Mark, who had not originally held it, came to be impressed byh it,
                        and stuck it in at a couple places in his previously written Gospel, one of
                        the places being necessarily written shortly after 44. Paul, who visited
                        Jerusalem in 44, may have picked it up at that time.

                        As for names and faces, there is more to be done with the exact sequence of
                        things before and after the execution of Jim Zebedee, but perhaps not very
                        conveniently in this message.

                        Bruce

                        E Bruce Brooks
                        University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                        Copyright C 2011 by E Bruce Brooks
                      • Bob Schacht
                        ... Yes. And therefore, his knowledge was indirect, not direct. Since your point-counterpoint goes on in the same manner, I ll let you have the last word. Bob
                        Message 11 of 25 , Oct 13, 2011
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                          At 04:15 AM 10/13/2011, E Bruce Brooks wrote:
                          >To: Synoptic (GPG)
                          >In Response To: Bob Schacht
                          >On: Paul and Atonement
                          >From: Bruce
                          >
                          >BOB: Paul had virtually no direct knowledge of the person of Jesus of
                          >Nazareth.
                          >
                          >BRUCE: According to 2Cor 5:16 and other places, Paul was aware of knowledge
                          >of Jesus "after the flesh," but determined not to pay attention to it;
                          >everything for Paul is in Jesus's death. What I get here is not exactly
                          >ignorance but resistance. He does not accept what the direct-knowledge
                          >people say about Jesus during his lifetime....

                          Yes. And therefore, his knowledge was indirect, not direct. Since
                          your point-counterpoint goes on in the same manner, I'll let you have
                          the last word.

                          Bob Schacht
                          Northern Arizona University




                          >BOB: He was traveling among people who, likewise, had no direct knowledge
                          >of Jesus.
                          >
                          >BRUCE: Depends how far Jesus traveled, and how far the Jesus missionaries
                          >had traveled, before Jesus's death. My impression (from Mark) is that the
                          >range went well into Syria, quite possibly Damascus though less likely
                          >Antioch. Ignoring the Jerusalem-centered career of Paul as a Lukan fiction
                          >(undertaken for the best of reasons, but still a fiction), it is not
                          >necessarily impossible that Paul's first persecutions were among people who
                          >had been reached by those with direct knowledge of Jesus before his death.
                          >
                          >BOB: Furthermore, Jesus did not leave behind a "Guide to my crucifixion and
                          >resurrection: meaning and interpretation." The closest thing we have any
                          >inkling of is the Markan tradition, repeated a number of times-- e.g. Mark
                          >8, "31 And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many
                          >things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes,
                          >and be killed, and after three days rise again."
                          >
                          >BRUCE: Problem is that one of those predictions is interpolated, which
                          >impugns the whole set. If we follow out the implications, it means that
                          >Jesus's death was unexpected by him and his followers. There is a good deal
                          >of evidence in support; I have previously referred to Yarbro Collins (whose
                          >reconstruction of the original Passion Narrative lacks a Burial and
                          >Resurrection narrative altogether, also Peter Kirby's study of the earliest
                          >tradition of Jesus's death. Then just as the Markan predictions of Jesus's
                          >resurrection are textually secondary, so is the Markan account of Jesus's
                          >resurrection. They are not biographical facts, they are later church
                          >theories, put into Mark's narrative as facts, but not what Mark originally
                          >reported as facts. Mark's gospel ended triumphantly, to be sure, but it was
                          >not that kind of triumph.
                          >
                          >BOB: IIRC, that's about all that Jesus had to say, according to our sources,
                          >about his own death and resurrection.
                          >
                          >BRUCE: I agree, and I note that it comes to nothing. Jesus had no
                          >presentiment of his death. It suited later believers to think that he had,
                          >but that is a different question.
                          >
                          >BOB: So, I rather imagine that Paul had a good many discussions with many
                          >people about the meaning of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.
                          >
                          >BRUCE: The big event here, I would think, is the impression of Peter and
                          >after him a few others, that Jesus had appeared to them after his death,
                          >giving them assurance that he was, if not still alive "after the flesh" at
                          >least operative in the world. Mk 14:28 and 16:7 make Jesus predict that this
                          >vision will occur, but again, these happen to be the two most obvious
                          >interpolations in Mark, accepted by many as such, though not everyone cares
                          >to explore the implications very far. The implications are that the
                          >reappearance of Jesus was unexpected by those who had that vision, just as
                          >Jesus's death was unexpected by himself.
                          >
                          >As for Paul, he himself confines his knowledge to a vision of his own, plus
                          >a few days, later on, with Peter. We should not imagine Paul as at first
                          >curious about Jesus; rather, according to his own account, he hated Jesus
                          >and all that his early followers stood for, as an offense against Jewish
                          >doctrine, and sought to kill them all he could. It was his experience of the
                          >vision, however you visualize it (and Paul visualizes it rather differently
                          >than Luke, a thing we have come to expect from Luke), that turned him
                          >around. More or less literally.
                          >
                          >BOB: Furthermore, I suspect that the idea of the atonement took shape and
                          >evolved during Paul's lifetime, as he tried to make sense of Jesus' life
                          >and death (and resurrection.)
                          >
                          >BRUCE: Not Paul, but the Jesus followers after Jesus's unexpected death. And
                          >in several stages. First no resurrection, then the idea of a resurrection,
                          >and probably quite a bit later, the reading of an Atonement idea into the
                          >resurrection (the sacrificial interpretation of Jesus's death).
                          >
                          >BOB: And, of course, Paul was not alone in this effort.
                          >
                          >BRUCE: He was not part of it; see above. And among the Jesus followers, some
                          >stood apart from it, and were content to continue to follow Jesus as a
                          >John-the-Baptist style guide to salvation.
                          >
                          >BOB: . . . But I doubt that Jesus had such conversations with Peter or his
                          >brother James, unless it was at the "first Apostolic Conference" in
                          >Jerusalem.
                          >
                          >BRUCE: Agreed that no such conversations were held, by anybody, during
                          >Jesus's lifetime. The problem with which any such conversations dealt did
                          >not arise until after Jesus's death. Nor is it necessarily valid to imagine
                          >a "democratic" model of Jesus theory, as arising from the reasoning together
                          >of people on the same authority level. The resurrection was, for a short
                          >time, an idea held only by Peter, later by a few other select persons, but
                          >all of them persons having stature in the movement, not just some Eddie from
                          >Chorazin. I think we are on statistically better ground in imagining these
                          >doctrines as arising among persons of some authority in the movement. As far
                          >as the Resurrection goes, the finger of anecdotal evidence seems to point to
                          >Peter. Which makes it that much more logical that the early Paul would seek
                          >him out for a first-hand account of that experience.
                          >
                          >BOB: In other words, although Paul may have had a role in shaping the
                          >debate, I doubt that it sprung fully formed from his forehead.
                          >
                          >BRUCE: Paul did not invent the Resurrection, a concept which arose among
                          >Jesus's early followers already in the early Thirties. We have not so far
                          >succeeded in finding anyone but Paul who held the Atonement interpretation
                          >of Jesus's death, but we have pushed its emergence back behind his first
                          >literary leavings, and thus into the Forties. This, as it happens, coincides
                          >with the probable date at which at least one of the two places in Mark which
                          >reflect that doctrine entered the text of Mark, namely, the middle Forties.
                          >So either Paul thought of it, or someone else about that time thought of it.
                          >
                          >Who might have thought of it? Someone with a deep sense of the meaning of
                          >sacrifice, that is, the idea that an evil in one place can translate into a
                          >good in another place. No one familiar with soldierly tradition will find
                          >this at all strange, but we seem not to be dealing here with soldiers; more
                          >likely priests. The priests were especially thick in Jerusalem, and it may
                          >be that the doctrine arose among the Jesus followers in Jerusalem; they
                          >would also have been the ones to benefit most from it, in terms of authority
                          >contests with others of light and leading in the movement, especially the
                          >Galilean leaders. Also consider the tourist trade: On Mark's account, both
                          >the preaching of Jesus and the reappearance of Jesus took place Galilee, but
                          >as to the DEATH of Jesus, well, on that the Jerusalemers have an absolute
                          >monopoly. The more the DEATH of Jesus can be developed as central to the
                          >meaning of Jesus, the more the Jerusalemers stand to acquire standing as
                          >those on the scene. That is speculative (though not unreasonable). What
                          >about confirmation? Do we see hints in the record of conflicts of authority
                          >between Jerusalem and Galilee? Wow, do we ever; both Luke and Matthew (and
                          >who copied from whom it is not now necessary to adjudicate) make Jesus side
                          >with the Jerusalemers, and curse the churches of Galilee, above all the
                          >probably leading church of Capernaum. So yes, there was an authority war.
                          >And Matthew and Luke, in some order, were on the Jerusalem side of it.
                          >
                          >If the idea arose in Jerusalem, then Paul of Tarsus, whose activities were
                          >confined to the north, did not invent it. If he did not invent it, it must,
                          >when it reached him, have been very agreeable to his sensibilities. Since
                          >Paul was a strict Pharisee, the idea of sacrifice, though perhaps not at the
                          >surface of his consciousness, will have been underneath there somewhere, a
                          >unifying concept ready to be activated by a sufficient stimulus. I here wish
                          >to suggest that contact with the Jerusalem Atonement idea may have been that
                          >stimulus. Now, have we any grounds for thinking that Paul visited Jerusalem
                          >sometime in the middle Forties? Yes, we do. Paul dates just such a visit,
                          >and identifies it as dealing with questions of doctrine, in the fourteenth
                          >year of his conversion. Now, these figures have caused endless worry among
                          >the Paul researchers; they cannot quite be made to jibe with reason or with
                          >other evidence. I suggest that they can be reconciled if we regard Paul as
                          >having (a little inaccurately, but in order not to postdate by too much the
                          >revelations to Peter and the Twelve) inwardly dated his vision of Jesus to
                          >the year of Jesus's death, 30. If so, then his doctrinal visit to Jerusalem
                          >will have been in the year 44. Again, we have a convergence of evidence for
                          >the Atonement doctrine, both Pauline and Markan, in the middle Forties.
                          >
                          >BOB: But most of the analysis taking place here is based on literary
                          >sources, so we will probably never know the details of how the doctrine of
                          >the atonement developed and came into being. I think the differences between
                          >Mark and Paul indicates that the early Christians were kicking the idea
                          >around, but had not yet put the idea in writing.
                          >
                          >BRUCE: I think its first appearance in writing is the late interpolations in
                          >Mark already referred to. Now we can notice that Mark (according to
                          >persistent anecdotal tradition) was a Jerusalemer. Certainty in detail is
                          >not available in these matters, but I think we have a general chronology
                          >that pretty much works. Then the idea arose in Jerusalem, and existed there
                          >by 44. Mark, who had not originally held it, came to be impressed byh it,
                          >and stuck it in at a couple places in his previously written Gospel, one of
                          >the places being necessarily written shortly after 44. Paul, who visited
                          >Jerusalem in 44, may have picked it up at that time.
                          >
                          >As for names and faces, there is more to be done with the exact sequence of
                          >things before and after the execution of Jim Zebedee, but perhaps not very
                          >conveniently in this message.
                          >
                          >Bruce
                          >
                          >E Bruce Brooks
                          >University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                          >
                          >Copyright C 2011 by E Bruce Brooks
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >------------------------------------
                          >
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