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

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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 1 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/



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >------------------------------------
            >
            >Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >

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