RE: [Synoptic-L] Mark's dependence on Paul
- At 04:15 AM 10/13/2011, E Bruce Brooks wrote:
>To: Synoptic (GPG)Yes. And therefore, his knowledge was indirect, not direct. Since
>In Response To: Bob Schacht
>On: Paul and Atonement
>BOB: Paul had virtually no direct knowledge of the person of Jesus of
>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....
your point-counterpoint goes on in the same manner, I'll let you have
the last word.
Northern Arizona University
>BOB: He was traveling among people who, likewise, had no direct knowledge[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>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
>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.
>E Bruce Brooks
>University of Massachusetts at Amherst
>Copyright C 2011 by E Bruce Brooks
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