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Whoever is not with me is against me

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  • Ronald Price
    ³Whoever is not with me is against me, And whoever does not gather with me scatters.² The Greek of this aphorism is identical in Mt 12:30 // Lk 11:23. In
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 2, 2012
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      ³Whoever is not with me is against me,
      And whoever does not gather with me scatters.²

      The Greek of this aphorism is identical in Mt 12:30 // Lk 11:23. In Mark,
      however, there is what appears to be an equivalent which reads "Whoever is
      not against us is for us". There should be little doubt that Matthew and
      Luke preserve the more original version. Parallelism is a characteristic of
      many of the early aphorisms. Also the exclusivity is what we might expect
      from the early Jesus movement under James, the brother of Jesus. So it looks
      as if Mark has deliberately reversed the default, and this would be
      consistent with his more open outlook in which the "few" to be saved in the
      early aphorisms are replaced by "many" in Mk 10:45.

      My reconstruction of the logia shows the saying in its pre-70 context. It is
      in the mission section (which I called section B) as saying B14, and the
      "gather" clearly alludes to the harvest in saying B3, with its appeal for
      labourers. These two sayings thus form an 'inclusio' or frame for the
      mission section.


      Ron Price,

      Derbyshire, UK

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


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dennis Goffin
      My reading of this incident, Ron, makes me connect it with the exorcism in Mark 9:38. I take it that the basic idea behind this incident is that Jesus sees
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 2, 2012
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        My reading of this incident, Ron, makes me connect it with the exorcism in Mark 9:38. I take it that the basic idea behind this incident is that Jesus sees himself engaged in a cosmic war between the Devil and his angels and demons on the one side and God and the host of heaven on the side of righteousness. In such a contest he saw only two sides and I think that the quotations you have given are merely elaborations on this thought. Dennis Dennis GoffinChorleywood UKTo: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        From: ron-price@...
        Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2012 11:00:45 +0000
        Subject: [Synoptic-L] Whoever is not with me is against me




























        �Whoever is not with me is against me,

        And whoever does not gather with me scatters.�



        The Greek of this aphorism is identical in Mt 12:30 // Lk 11:23. In Mark,

        however, there is what appears to be an equivalent which reads "Whoever is

        not against us is for us". There should be little doubt that Matthew and

        Luke preserve the more original version. Parallelism is a characteristic of

        many of the early aphorisms. Also the exclusivity is what we might expect

        from the early Jesus movement under James, the brother of Jesus. So it looks

        as if Mark has deliberately reversed the default, and this would be

        consistent with his more open outlook in which the "few" to be saved in the

        early aphorisms are replaced by "many" in Mk 10:45.



        My reconstruction of the logia shows the saying in its pre-70 context. It is

        in the mission section (which I called section B) as saying B14, and the

        "gather" clearly alludes to the harvest in saying B3, with its appeal for

        labourers. These two sayings thus form an 'inclusio' or frame for the

        mission section.



        Ron Price,



        Derbyshire, UK



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



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic / GPG In Response To: Ron Price On: Gathering and Scattering From: Bruce RON: Whoever is not with me is against me, And whoever does not gather
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 2, 2012
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          To: Synoptic / GPG
          In Response To: Ron Price
          On: Gathering and Scattering
          From: Bruce

          RON: Whoever is not with me is against me,
          And whoever does not gather with me scatters.

          The Greek of this aphorism is identical in Mt 12:30 // Lk 11:23. In Mark,
          however, there is what appears to be an equivalent which reads "Whoever is
          not against us is for us". There should be little doubt that Matthew and
          Luke preserve the more original version. Parallelism is a characteristic of
          many of the early aphorisms.

          BRUCE: Parallelism is a characteristic of Semitic style generally; it is
          what we might expect of any author who is trying so make something sound
          Biblical. By an analogous stylistic test, Luke's conspicuously Semitic and
          markedly poetic Birth Narrative could be said to be authentic and early. I
          think that conclusion would be risky, and I suggest that arguments from
          general features of form or style, in the absence of other factors, are
          generally risky. The ancient writers knew at least as much as we do about
          styles in their own language. If we can detect a difference, they were
          probably able to create and manipulate that same difference. See again the
          literary strategies of the DeuteroPaulines.

          RON: Also the exclusivity is what we might expect from the early Jesus
          movement under James, the brother of Jesus.

          BRUCE: There is no evidence that the early Jesus movement had anything to do
          with James the Brother. If we credit Mark at all, James the Brother and the
          rest of the family thought Jesus was out of his mind. That James later came
          aboard is undoubted, but nobody has ever said how that happened, and even
          after he did see the point, James had influence only at Jerusalem (in Acts,
          he simply turns up there, unannounced and unexplained), whereas the main
          preaching of Jesus (again, I am venturing to be influenced by Mark) was
          solely in Galilee and points north.

          How exclusive was that preaching? Jesus ignored food purity rules, he
          ignored Sabbath rules. He consorted with the unclean, with tax collectors
          and other people beyond the Pharisaic pale. The sense one gets from Mark is
          that Jesus was trying to widen the horizon of the potentially saved (that
          is, within Judaism), not narrow it. Everything we hear of James, in any
          century, suggests the opposite: hyperpious, hyperclean, hyperpriestly,
          hyperinvolved with the sacrificial pieties of the Temple. A Quisling of the
          Quislings, who because of his hyperpiety survived at Jerusalem in the
          persecution which killed the more radical original disciple James Zebedee
          (and maybe John also) and drove the more radical original disciple Peter
          into distant places. I cannot imagine a sharper contrast with what the
          earliest sources suggest about Jesus, let alone his well attested inner
          circle.

          RON: So it looks as if Mark has deliberately reversed the default, and this
          would be consistent with his more open outlook in which the "few" to be
          saved in the early aphorisms are replaced by "many" in Mk 10:45.

          BRUCE: That is exactly the contrast. But who is replacing whom? I suggest
          that James is replacing Jesus, with all that their respective characters
          suggest that this means for the future character of the movement. Do we have
          a trajectory here, from Jesus's inclusiveness to James's (or let's confine
          ourselves to saying, the Mt/Lk) exclusiveness, and then on to the dictum of
          the Johannine Jesus: "No man cometh unto the Father but by me?" (Jn 14:6).

          I see a progression here, from open to closed in substance, and for that
          matter, from simple to affectedly Biblical to ominously draconic in style.

          * * * * CONTEXT

          In both Mt and Lk, the gathers/scatters bit is appended directly to the
          respective Beelzebul Accusations, Mt 12:22-29 and Lk 11:14-22. It has no
          obvious organic connection with that story; it is a narrator's comment.
          There is a Markan parallel to the Beelzebul Accusation (Mk 3:22-27), but
          none to the gathers/scatters verse. In Mk, the accusation is a late insert
          into the concerns of Jesus's friends and family for his sanity; the notion
          of demon possession may have suggested this placement of the interpolated
          passage. Both Mt and Lk provide a lead-in for the story, and it is the same
          lead-in, an exorcism that provides a better immediate narrative rationale
          for the objection. In Mt, the demoniac is blind and dumb; in Luke he is
          dumb. Do these differences, which are clearly not copied from Mark, since
          nothing of the kind exists in Mark, give any hint as to their
          directionality? We might note that Luke is big on narrative consecutiveness,
          and tends to provide it where Mark's sequence is choppy or unmotivated. We
          might also note Matthew's insane propensity for doubling everything in
          sight, from one demoniac to two in one instance, and (most laughably of all)
          from one animal to two as Jesus rides into Jerusalem. These two traits of
          the respective writers suggest the likelihood that the narrative fix is
          original in Luke, and was (as Matthew mistakenly thought) improved by
          Matthew. Then this narrative prefix belongs to what I have called Luke A,
          the pre-Matthean state of Luke.

          Do we find the same directionality in the "gathers" bit tacked on at the end
          in both? Not necessarily. Goulder Paradigm 2/505 makes this interesting
          point:

          "A feature of Matthew's discourse is his ability to end a paragraph with an
          epigram, often of a balanced kind. The following paragraph, on blasphemy,
          ends, "By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be
          condemned," and before he goes on to that, he closes the present topic with
          "He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathers not with me
          scatters." In Matthew this makes the point effectively - the Pharisees who
          are not 'with' Jesus are opposing his kingdom and its growth. Luke copies
          out the verse verbatim, but the eclat is gone. The SKORPIZEI looks as if it
          takes up DIADIDWSIN, but then it is Jesus who is the 'stronger,' and does
          the distributing, and it is his adversaries who 'scatter.' "

          So far Goulder. I am not prepared to decide eclatness, but if the device of
          a parallelistic capping phrase is typical Mt, and if its applicability to
          Lk's context is less, then in this case, as not in the other, we would have
          Mk > Lk. As far as I can see, Goulder's points are well taken, and I have
          marked my synopsis accordingly.

          One reason for the lack of fit in Lk is that Mt has the *Pharisees* accusing
          Jesus of demonism, so that the opposition expressed in the final maxim fits,
          whereas Luke (who, here as often, is softer on the Pharisees than either Mk
          or Mt) has the accusation not come from Mk's "scribes from Jerusalem'" but
          from some of the onlookers. Not only is this softening seen elsewhere in
          Lk, but the greater narrative continuity is his trait also. In Mk, who alone
          at this point Lk A is following, the interruption of the interpolated
          passage is conspicuous, and Luke gets a better flow by having the accusation
          come, not from some suddenly and awkwardly imported Jerusalem figures, but
          from the same crowd who witnessed the exorcism (which crowd, in any case, is
          Luke's creation). But it is exactly this feature that makes the fit with
          "gathers" less good, the second time round. The copied piece in Luke B does
          not fit the version of the preceding story as it previously stood in Luke A.

          It would be nice if these Mt/Lk directionalities all ran the same way,
          either Mt > Lk (as expounded by Goulder) or the opposite. I can't find that
          they do. I find that they run both ways, but in two stages, Luke being both
          before (Lk A) and after (Lk B) Matthew. It is this possibility, the seeming
          two-stagedness of Luke (which is required by the independent evidence of the
          moved passages in Luke, see my presentation some years ago at SBL) which
          permits the bidirectionality of the two texts to be accounted for on
          something other than an outside-source hypothesis.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • Ronald Price
          ... Dennis, Perhaps Mark, and possibly even Jesus, saw such a connection, though the logia gives no indication of it. Ron Price, Derbyshire, UK
          Message 4 of 11 , Feb 2, 2012
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            On 02/02/2012 11:52, "Dennis Goffin" <d.goffin@...> wrote:

            > My reading of this incident, Ron, makes me connect it with the exorcism in
            > Mark 9:38. I take it that the basic idea behind this incident is that Jesus
            > sees himself engaged in a cosmic war between the Devil and his angels and
            > demons on the one side and God and the host of heaven on the side of
            > righteousness. In such a contest he saw only two sides and I think that the
            > quotations you have given are merely elaborations on this thought.

            Dennis,

            Perhaps Mark, and possibly even Jesus, saw such a connection, though the
            logia gives no indication of it.

            Ron Price,

            Derbyshire, UK

            http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_home.html
          • Ronald Price
            BRUCE: ..... I suggest that arguments from general features of form or style, in the absence of other factors, are generally risky. RON: I did include a second
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 2, 2012
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              BRUCE: ..... I suggest that arguments from general features of form or
              style, in the absence of other factors, are generally risky.

              RON: I did include a second factor which has nothing to do with style.

              - - - - - - -

              BRUCE: There is no evidence that the early Jesus movement had anything to do
              with James the Brother.

              RON: Oh I think there is .....

              BRUCE: ..... That James later came
              aboard is undoubted, but nobody has ever said how that happened .....

              RON: ..... and the fact that the NT provides no clue as to the reason for
              the apparently sudden conversion of so important a character as James the
              brother of Jesus, should make the critical observer a tad suspicious. See
              also Painter, "Just James", p.270ff..

              - - - - - - -

              BRUCE: Jesus ignored food purity rules, he
              ignored Sabbath rules. He consorted with the unclean, with tax collectors
              and other people beyond the Pharisaic pale.

              RON: What I don't understand is why you take Mark's portrayal of Jesus in
              these story incidents as historical, when Mark had a clear motive to broaden
              the horizons of the Jesus movement. It is indisputable that the Jesus
              movement started inside Judaism and ended outside Judaism. This trajectory
              must have left traces in the synoptic gospels. And here in these Markan
              portrayals I see clear evidence of the first synoptic writer pushing the
              Jesus movement along this trajectory.

              BRUCE: The sense one gets from Mark is
              that Jesus was trying to widen the horizon of the potentially saved (that
              is, within Judaism), not narrow it.

              RON: Having reconstructed the collection of early aphorisms behind the
              synoptic gospels, it's clear to me that the Jesus movement initially thought
              the potentially saved to be "few" (Mt 7:14 and Mt 22:14). Mark's Jesus did
              indeed try to widen the horizon, but Mark was an evangelist not a historian,
              and this widening was entirely Mark's doing.

              - - - - - - -

              BRUCE: I cannot imagine a sharper contrast with what the
              earliest sources suggest about Jesus, .....

              RON: First you need to correctly identify the earliest sources. Yes, Mark
              was the first of the synoptic gospels, but behind all three was an earlier
              source which can be reconstructed, given the right approach.

              - - - - - - -

              BRUCE: In both Mt and Lk, the gathers/scatters bit is appended directly to
              the respective Beelzebul Accusations, Mt 12:22-29 and Lk 11:14-22. It has no
              obvious organic connection with that story; .....

              RON: True.

              BRUCE: ... it is a narrator's comment.

              RON: Not really. Rather Matthew thought it a suitable place to park one of
              the sayings attributed to Jesus, and Luke followed him in this.

              BRUCE: There is a Markan parallel to the Beelzebul Accusation (Mk 3:22-27),
              but none to the gathers/scatters verse.

              RON: Mark's version of said verse was parked elsewhere (Mk 9:40).

              - - - - - - -

              Ron Price,

              Derbyshire, UK

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



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • David Mealand
              The proverbial saying seems to go back to various remarks made in Graeco-Roman times about people involved, or not involved, in situations of stasis or of
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 3, 2012
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                The proverbial saying seems to go back to various
                remarks made in Graeco-Roman times about people involved,
                or not involved, in situations of stasis or of civil war.
                (There have been a few of those lately around the globe.)
                Cicero was using both halves of this double proverb
                back in 46 BCE
                nos omnes adversarios putare qui non nobiscum essent;
                te omnes, qui contra te non essent, tuos.
                Cic. pro Ligario 33, a passage cited in relation to
                Matthew 18.30 at least since 1751.

                Did someone first use this double proverb, and then half of it
                wound up in Mark, and half in the logia, or did someone
                first use one half of it, and someone else then respond
                by citing the other half?

                Interestingly one half of the proverb turns up in a passage
                from the DT about exorcism, and the other half in a
                passage from Mark also about exorcism. Here the civil war
                or stasis is seen in a cosmic context, in which the good and
                evil forces are imagined as both human and as "other" than
                human.

                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: Ron Price On: Gathers/Scatters (Mt From: Bruce Ron is convinced that his version of Q (that is, of material in Mt/Lk but not
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 3, 2012
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                  To: Synoptic / GPG
                  In Response To: Ron Price
                  On: Gathers/Scatters (Mt
                  From: Bruce

                  Ron is convinced that his version of Q (that is, of material in Mt/Lk but
                  not in Mk) is earlier than all other sources, a claim which is also made by
                  proponents of other versions of Q. I find, on the contrary, that these Mt/Lk
                  passages, and their placement, and the surrounding material itself, are
                  pretty intelligible in terms of what else we know about Mt and Lk as authors
                  and as crafters of a Jesus image (by no means the same Jesus image; Mt liked
                  money and Lk extolled poverty, etc). I further find that they fit a model of
                  the Synoptic evidence in which Mark is earliest and Mt/Lk in their canonical
                  form are later, with John of course later still (my own refinement of that
                  position is that Luke was written in two stages, A and B, only the latter
                  being post-Matthean). The question here is whether we can tell whether one
                  of those models gives a better reading of the "gather/scatter" passage in
                  Mk/Lk. Ron has also cited, not a parallel, but a contrasting passage from Mk
                  (he who is not against us is with us," referring to the "strange exorcist"
                  (Mk 9:38).

                  Sorry for the length of this, but it seemed more intelligible to include
                  much of the previous exchange.

                  BRUCE (earlier, and concluding a sample demonstration): I suggest that
                  arguments from general features of form or style, in the absence of other
                  factors, are generally risky.

                  RON: I did include a second factor which has nothing to do with style.

                  BRUCE (now): That factor was, and I quote, " Also the exclusivity is what we
                  might expect from the early Jesus movement under James, the brother of
                  Jesus." I dealt with that separately; see below. I think the point must
                  stand, that tossing all the alleged sayings of Jesus into the same hat, and
                  from that hatful identifying the authentic Jesus sayings by their stylistic
                  features, as many (including the influential Bultmann) essentially do, is
                  worthless. Anybody can, and some contributors to Synoptic occasionally do,
                  slip into a "Biblical" or "gnomic" style for momentary effect. Anybody could
                  do it, later inventors as well as Jesus himself. Further, the thought that
                  Jesus was invariably a gnomic speaker in the first place, rather than a
                  consecutive preacher, is an assumption which is favorable to the Cynic (or
                  Nice) Jesus model which many would be glad to reach. But that assumption is
                  not itself grounded; it is merely built into the procedure. Methodologically
                  speaking, if we put Gnomic in, we are going to get Nice out. The result is
                  circular; that is, it is foreordained. I think the whole procedure is
                  invalid.

                  - - - - - - -

                  BRUCE (earlier): There is no evidence that the early Jesus movement had
                  anything to do with James the Brother.

                  RON: Oh I think there is .....

                  BRUCE (now): By early, I mean before the Jerusalemization of the Jesus
                  movement, or significant parts of it.

                  - - - - - -

                  BRUCE (earlier): ..... That James later came aboard is undoubted, but nobody
                  has ever said how that happened .....

                  RON: ..... and the fact that the NT provides no clue as to the reason for
                  the apparently sudden conversion of so important a character as James the
                  brother of Jesus, should make the critical observer a tad suspicious. See
                  also Painter, "Just James", p.270ff..

                  BRUCE: I am more than a tad suspicious; I go the whole frog. See above.
                  Painter 270f is pushing Zadokite priests. He relates James the Brother to
                  Dead Sea materials which show an extreme food-purity pattern like that which
                  post-1c legends attribute to James the B. That helps to identify where James
                  the B was coming from; and so far so good. The question of whether this was
                  original Jesus doctrine remains to be settled. To put that question in
                  general terms, I ask which was earlier: laxity in food matters, or rigidity
                  in food matters (to the point of vegetarianism in some cases, avoiding blood
                  altogether)? For this we have an outside witness: Paul. According to him, he
                  secured an agreement from Jerusalem for his brand of Christianity, including
                  (he wants us to think) food taboos, and Peter when visiting in Antioch went
                  happily along with no-taboo commensality. Then came "some from James,"
                  taking a harder line on food taboos, and Peter, and even Barnabas, caved in
                  and abandoned the sharing of table with Gentile Christians. Then the lax
                  version, even at Jerusalem, came before the strict version. Peter, and
                  Jerusalem policy when he had an influence on it, was loose, while James, and
                  Jerusalem policy when he took it over, was strict.

                  What is going on? Frank Beare has an interesting suggestion in JBL v62
                  (1943) 295-306, "The Sequence of Events in Acts 9-15 and the Career of
                  Peter," at the very end, which is that the "James" who gave Paul the green
                  light in Jerusalem was the still living James Zebedee, whereas the James who
                  sent spies to Antioch was James the B. Then Paul visited Jerusalem when the
                  two Zebedees and Peter were still among those in charge, meaning before the
                  persecution at the end of Herod Agrippa I's reign, which killed one of the
                  Zebedees and drove Paul out of town (leaving the other Zebedee as the only
                  remaining member of the original troika still on the ground in Jerusalem).
                  This needs careful study of the dates, including Paul's elapsed time
                  figures, much (though I think, not quite all) of which Beare provides. But I
                  think he has it fundamentally right, and that he has cleared up one of the
                  stubbornest problems in Pauline chronology, and with it, the question of
                  when James the B came to prominence at Jerusalem. It was in the early 40's,
                  following the Agrippa purge. That is more than a decade after Jesus's death.
                  I think we might usefully define "early Christianity" as that phase of
                  Christian history coming before the leadership of James at Jerusalem.

                  - - - - - - -

                  BRUCE (earlier): Jesus ignored food purity rules, he ignored Sabbath rules.
                  He consorted with the unclean, with tax collectors and other people beyond
                  the Pharisaic pale.

                  RON: What I don't understand is why you take Mark's portrayal of Jesus in
                  these story incidents as historical, when Mark had a clear motive to broaden
                  the horizons of the Jesus movement.

                  BRUCE: It's not hard to understand, and of course I have said it before.
                  Briefly, I take seriously the developmental trajectories linking all the
                  Gospels in a single large sequence, in which Jesus is progressively
                  divinized, the family of Jesus (most conspicuously his mother) are
                  progressively respected, John the Baptist progressively fades from the scene
                  as the mentor of Jesus, and the Jerusalemization of Jesus's career proceeds
                  to absurd lengths. For a short version of that argument, see

                  http://www.umass.edu/wsp/alpha/method/index.html

                  and click on Gospel Trajectories, partway down. It will be noted that this
                  Methods page contains standard stuff, nothing idiosyncratic to myself;
                  nothing that Tischendorf would have been surprised at (in fact, Tischendorf
                  contributed one of its mainthreads).

                  The presumption, that is, the statistically and historically likely
                  conclusion, for any Gospel passage is that a passage in Mark is likely to be
                  earlier than its counterpart (or its replacement) in any other Gospel or
                  Gospels. As to James, who in Mark is included with Jesus's mother and his
                  other brothers in thinking Jesus crazy, this is one of the passages noted
                  already by Hawkins as likely to have been altered or ignored by the later
                  Gospels as unbecoming to the later image of Jesus. I think he has the right
                  of it. And I think the Pauline evidence above cited goes far to reinforce
                  his case. Not that it much needed reinforcing, but confirmation is always
                  welcome.

                  RON: It is indisputable that the Jesus movement started inside Judaism and
                  ended outside Judaism. This trajectory must have left traces in the synoptic
                  gospels.

                  BRUCE: It not only left traces, it is celebrated as history in Acts II (the
                  second version, which carries the story of Christianity to the point of
                  final separation from Judaism, and an exclusive concentration on the
                  Gentiles). It is interesting to see how the various Gospels handle the
                  Gentile mission. Luke B (not Luke A) invents a whole separate Mission of
                  Seventy to the Gentiles (symbolized by the Samaritans), but this is merely
                  to say that Luke A pretty much ignored it. As for Mark, it has been noticed
                  that a group of Mark incidents, including the Second Feeding, is something
                  of a constructed parallel to the group including the First Feeding, and I
                  find that this is a correct estimate. That is, the Second Feeding was added
                  at some point to the growing text of Mark. That the second Feeding was meant
                  (via the Seven Baskets symbolism; seven = seventy = everything) to refer to
                  the Gentiles is something that Mark himself pounds into the heads of the
                  disciples, meaning, dear reader, you and me. So here is a passage that was
                  (a) interpolated later, and (b) one whose meaning Mark himself insists on.
                  Then within the timespan subtended by the composition and recomposition of
                  Mark, the author of Mark came to accept the validity of the Gentile Mission.
                  That the early Jesus movement, including the time when Jesus was in charge
                  of it, focused on the Jews, including (see the address formula in the
                  Epistle of James) the diaspora Jews, seems to be a required conclusion. (The
                  Syrophoenician Woman story belongs to an earlier layer of Mark, and
                  represents the official ruling of that time: that Gentile converts are not
                  exactly to be forbidden, but as of that time, they are not the point of the
                  mission).

                  What we are seeing in these textual details, not only in Luke (who
                  constructs a whole separate structure for the Gentile Mission) but in Mark
                  (who layers a second series of stories onto an earlier series of stories in
                  order to symbolize the Gentile Mission), is that (1) the Mission to Jews
                  came first, and was for a time the whole content of Jesus movement
                  proselytizing, and that (2) the Mission to Gentiles came later. This is how
                  we can distinguish the directionality of these two events.

                  RON: And here in these Markan portrayals I see clear evidence of the first
                  synoptic writer pushing the Jesus movement along this trajectory.

                  BRUCE: I don't think Mark is pushing anything; I think he is keeping his
                  story up to date with what is going on in the Christian movement with which
                  he was in touch. He can create an answer, but I doubt his power to create
                  the question. Overall, I see the following stages in the propagation of
                  Christianity, with their reflection in Mk:

                  (1) Jews only; Mk's preaching stories generally (some of them in synagogues)
                  (2) Gentile converts inadvertently made, but not welcomed into the movement
                  (the Syrophoenician Woman: the Gerasene Demoniac, who wants to join, but is
                  told to missionarize in his own area, on his own).
                  (3) Preaching to Gentiles by others (eg, Paul, as Loisy thought) tolerated
                  as at least not hurtful to the main Jesus movement: the Other Exorcist
                  story, summarized in "he who is not against us is with us."
                  (4) The acknowledged and intentional Gentile mission: symbolized by the
                  Feeding of Four Thousand.

                  That is quite a lot of positions, some of them mutually contrary, for one
                  text to take. So we next ask: Is Mark simply a rubble heap of material of
                  various dates, thrown together promiscuously, or is Mark an accretional
                  text, in which the later positions are laid down on top of the earlier ones?
                  This is a question which philology can answer, and the answer is: The late
                  ones are laid down on top of, and sometimes interpolated within, the early
                  ones. Then Mark is a single, but accretional, text, and it covers a time
                  span at least up to and including the execution of Jacob Zebedee, in the
                  reign of Agrippa I. I think this is a useful result, not least in that it
                  gives a window on that moving object, the early evolution of the Jesus
                  movement as it expanded from a purely Jewish one to a wider
                  Gentile-inclusive one. (It was left for Acts II to record a still later
                  phase: the separation of the Gentile segment as the whole of the movement).

                  I find this both philologically and historically convincing. Then we had:

                  ----------

                  BRUCE (earlier; referring to the still Jewish-only phase of the movement as
                  reflected in Mark): The sense one gets from Mark is that Jesus was trying to
                  widen the horizon of the potentially saved (that is, within Judaism), not
                  narrow it.

                  RON: Having reconstructed the collection of early aphorisms behind the
                  synoptic gospels, it's clear to me that the Jesus movement initially thought
                  the potentially saved to be "few" (Mt 7:14 and Mt 22:14). Mark's Jesus did
                  indeed try to widen the horizon, but Mark was an evangelist not a historian,
                  and this widening was entirely Mark's doing.

                  BRUCE: Reconstructing a life of Jesus from a group of aphorisms, admittedly
                  selected simply because they qualify *as* aphorisms, strikes me as a
                  perilous procedure. And on a recurrent point: I don't think Mark was in a
                  position to create Christian history, or to insert a Gentile Mission into a
                  movement which did not already have a Gentile Mission. I think that he is
                  largely reportive. The way he phrases his report is likely to be his own
                  (except at point where someone has told him a Jesus story in their own
                  fashion), and the spin he gives events may well be his own also. I have no
                  doubt that he invented many details of the Crucifixion scene to give a
                  particular Scriptural flavor to the scene. But, to keep to that example, I
                  don't think he invented the Crucifixion.

                  - - - - - - -

                  BRUCE (earlier): I cannot imagine a sharper contrast with what the earliest
                  sources suggest about Jesus, .....

                  RON: First you need to correctly identify the earliest sources. Yes, Mark
                  was the first of the synoptic gospels, but behind all three was an earlier
                  source which can be reconstructed, given the right approach.

                  BRUCE: That is a statement of methodological faith. I have already stated my
                  doubts about the methodology. This is not to say that Matthew and Luke had
                  no sources, or even that Mark had no sources. It has been suggested, for
                  instance, that certain passages in Mk and Lk derive from the John the
                  Baptist movement, which we already knew from Mark continued to exist
                  alongside the early Christians. Boismard goes much further on this than had
                  earlier occurred to me, but having spent some time on the Mandaean
                  literature, I am prepared to go even further than Boismard. Does everyone
                  know that the Book of John is now being translated into English, and that a
                  specimen of the translation is available online? See

                  http://www.umass.edu/wsp/alpha/jb/mandaeans.html

                  and click on the link at the end of the second paragraph. I agree with
                  Jorunn Buckley and several others, that the Mandaean origin myth (exodus
                  from Jerusalem) is probably rooted in fact; we are currently arguing about
                  the exact date (for a statement on that, click on the link at the end of the
                  *third* paragraph, above).

                  So there is a lot out there, and we need not fear to leave ourselves
                  comfortless if we abandon certain conjectural constructs. This is actually a
                  pretty good decade to be looking for Gospel sources.

                  - - - - - - -

                  BRUCE (earler): In both Mt and Lk, the gathers/scatters bit is appended
                  directly to the respective Beelzebul Accusations, Mt 12:22-29 and Lk
                  11:14-22. It has no obvious organic connection with that story; .....

                  RON (earlier): True.

                  BRUCE (earlier): ... it is a narrator's comment.

                  RON: Not really. Rather Matthew thought it a suitable place to park one of
                  the sayings attributed to Jesus, and Luke followed him in this.

                  ------------and in parallel:---------------

                  BRUCE (earlier): There is a Markan parallel to the Beelzebul Accusation (Mk
                  3:22-27), but none to the gathers/scatters verse.

                  RON: Mark's version of said verse was parked elsewhere (Mk 9:40).

                  BRUCE: Mark's inclusive remark was replaced in Mt/Lk by an exclusive remark.
                  It is not simply a question of the same saying in all three. As to whether
                  Mt made the new narrow version and Luke copied it, or vice versa, I think I
                  have already given my support to Michael Goulder's take on this passage
                  (Paradigm 2/505f).

                  More generally, I have trouble, for reasons repeatedly given above, with the
                  verb "parked." It implies a single assembly from a bag of mixed pieces. The
                  whole structure of the text tells me different. Mark is a very early
                  original consecutive narrative, ending where Adela Yarbro Collins says it
                  did, with later events registered by added material of more or less extent
                  (some of them coming in the sequence that Vincent Taylor says they did). As
                  Meyer realized, the Twelve material is exiguous in Mark, and constitutes a
                  layer (Meyer thought it a source, but this does not work; the source of the
                  Twelve layer in Mark is the Twelve event in the outside world). The
                  Resurrection material in Mark constitutes another layer, and includes some
                  of the material which Adela found nonoriginal in the Passion Narrative,
                  including the Empty Tomb sequence. And so on. I very much doubt that a text
                  assembled from a basketful of disconnected sayings would have the form of a
                  consecutive but repeatedly interpolated text.

                  Did not Charles Darwin say something of the sort, of the geologically
                  suggestive scenery of the lake country, shouting out its story of glacial
                  advance and retreat, while Darwin and his friends, on an early visit, saw
                  merely a lot of pretty scenery? I also like Charles Kingsley's remark about
                  Henry Gosse's attempt to argue that the earth had been created by God in six
                  days, as the Bible says, but already possessing, at the moment of its
                  creation, the signs of immemorial age. Kingsley's remark is methodologically
                  immortal, and I will end by quoting it from p99 of my 1937 edition of Edmund
                  Gosse's "Father and Son:"

                  "[I can not] give up the painful and slow conclusion of five and twenty
                  years' study of geology, and believe that God has written in the rocks an
                  enormous and superfluous lie."

                  E Bruce Brooks
                  University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                • Dennis Goffin
                  Bruce: In both Mt and Lk, the gathers/scatters bit is appended directly to the respective Beelzebul Accusations, Mt 12:22-29 and Lk 11:14-22. It has no
                  Message 8 of 11 , Feb 4, 2012
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Bruce: In both Mt and Lk, the gathers/scatters bit is appended directly to the respective Beelzebul Accusations, Mt 12:22-29 and Lk 11:14-22. It has no obvious organic connection with that storyDennis: The fact that this is a poor version of " Who is not for us is against us" should not blind us to the fact that Jesus and Mark for that matter regarded an exorcism as a battleground, with Beelzebul and his demons on one side and God, the angels and God's agent, the exorcist, on the other.Jesus is involved in a cosmic war which he hopes God will end by installing his kingdom. I am unable to go along with Ron's idea that a collection of aphorisms, similar presumably in essence to the socalled Gospel of Thomas can tell us anything other than that, like Thomas, oral sources got written down on more than one occasion, but like Thomas, the result is often not more than a ragbag with no major significance. Dennis Dennis Goffin

                    Chorleywood UK

                    To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                    CC: gpg@yahoogroups.com
                    From: brooks@...
                    Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 16:36:46 -0500
                    Subject: [GPG] RE: [Synoptic-L] Whoever is not with me is against me




























                    To: Synoptic / GPG

                    In Response To: Ron Price

                    On: Gathers/Scatters (Mt

                    From: Bruce



                    Ron is convinced that his version of Q (that is, of material in Mt/Lk but

                    not in Mk) is earlier than all other sources, a claim which is also made by

                    proponents of other versions of Q. I find, on the contrary, that these Mt/Lk

                    passages, and their placement, and the surrounding material itself, are

                    pretty intelligible in terms of what else we know about Mt and Lk as authors

                    and as crafters of a Jesus image (by no means the same Jesus image; Mt liked

                    money and Lk extolled poverty, etc). I further find that they fit a model of

                    the Synoptic evidence in which Mark is earliest and Mt/Lk in their canonical

                    form are later, with John of course later still (my own refinement of that

                    position is that Luke was written in two stages, A and B, only the latter

                    being post-Matthean). The question here is whether we can tell whether one

                    of those models gives a better reading of the "gather/scatter" passage in

                    Mk/Lk. Ron has also cited, not a parallel, but a contrasting passage from Mk

                    (he who is not against us is with us," referring to the "strange exorcist"

                    (Mk 9:38).



                    Sorry for the length of this, but it seemed more intelligible to include

                    much of the previous exchange.



                    BRUCE (earlier, and concluding a sample demonstration): I suggest that

                    arguments from general features of form or style, in the absence of other

                    factors, are generally risky.



                    RON: I did include a second factor which has nothing to do with style.



                    BRUCE (now): That factor was, and I quote, " Also the exclusivity is what we

                    might expect from the early Jesus movement under James, the brother of

                    Jesus." I dealt with that separately; see below. I think the point must

                    stand, that tossing all the alleged sayings of Jesus into the same hat, and

                    from that hatful identifying the authentic Jesus sayings by their stylistic

                    features, as many (including the influential Bultmann) essentially do, is

                    worthless. Anybody can, and some contributors to Synoptic occasionally do,

                    slip into a "Biblical" or "gnomic" style for momentary effect. Anybody could

                    do it, later inventors as well as Jesus himself. Further, the thought that

                    Jesus was invariably a gnomic speaker in the first place, rather than a

                    consecutive preacher, is an assumption which is favorable to the Cynic (or

                    Nice) Jesus model which many would be glad to reach. But that assumption is

                    not itself grounded; it is merely built into the procedure. Methodologically

                    speaking, if we put Gnomic in, we are going to get Nice out. The result is

                    circular; that is, it is foreordained. I think the whole procedure is

                    invalid.



                    - - - - - - -



                    BRUCE (earlier): There is no evidence that the early Jesus movement had

                    anything to do with James the Brother.



                    RON: Oh I think there is .....



                    BRUCE (now): By early, I mean before the Jerusalemization of the Jesus

                    movement, or significant parts of it.



                    - - - - - -



                    BRUCE (earlier): ..... That James later came aboard is undoubted, but nobody

                    has ever said how that happened .....



                    RON: ..... and the fact that the NT provides no clue as to the reason for

                    the apparently sudden conversion of so important a character as James the

                    brother of Jesus, should make the critical observer a tad suspicious. See

                    also Painter, "Just James", p.270ff..



                    BRUCE: I am more than a tad suspicious; I go the whole frog. See above.

                    Painter 270f is pushing Zadokite priests. He relates James the Brother to

                    Dead Sea materials which show an extreme food-purity pattern like that which

                    post-1c legends attribute to James the B. That helps to identify where James

                    the B was coming from; and so far so good. The question of whether this was

                    original Jesus doctrine remains to be settled. To put that question in

                    general terms, I ask which was earlier: laxity in food matters, or rigidity

                    in food matters (to the point of vegetarianism in some cases, avoiding blood

                    altogether)? For this we have an outside witness: Paul. According to him, he

                    secured an agreement from Jerusalem for his brand of Christianity, including

                    (he wants us to think) food taboos, and Peter when visiting in Antioch went

                    happily along with no-taboo commensality. Then came "some from James,"

                    taking a harder line on food taboos, and Peter, and even Barnabas, caved in

                    and abandoned the sharing of table with Gentile Christians. Then the lax

                    version, even at Jerusalem, came before the strict version. Peter, and

                    Jerusalem policy when he had an influence on it, was loose, while James, and

                    Jerusalem policy when he took it over, was strict.



                    What is going on? Frank Beare has an interesting suggestion in JBL v62

                    (1943) 295-306, "The Sequence of Events in Acts 9-15 and the Career of

                    Peter," at the very end, which is that the "James" who gave Paul the green

                    light in Jerusalem was the still living James Zebedee, whereas the James who

                    sent spies to Antioch was James the B. Then Paul visited Jerusalem when the

                    two Zebedees and Peter were still among those in charge, meaning before the

                    persecution at the end of Herod Agrippa I's reign, which killed one of the

                    Zebedees and drove Paul out of town (leaving the other Zebedee as the only

                    remaining member of the original troika still on the ground in Jerusalem).

                    This needs careful study of the dates, including Paul's elapsed time

                    figures, much (though I think, not quite all) of which Beare provides. But I

                    think he has it fundamentally right, and that he has cleared up one of the

                    stubbornest problems in Pauline chronology, and with it, the question of

                    when James the B came to prominence at Jerusalem. It was in the early 40's,

                    following the Agrippa purge. That is more than a decade after Jesus's death.

                    I think we might usefully define "early Christianity" as that phase of

                    Christian history coming before the leadership of James at Jerusalem.



                    - - - - - - -



                    BRUCE (earlier): Jesus ignored food purity rules, he ignored Sabbath rules.

                    He consorted with the unclean, with tax collectors and other people beyond

                    the Pharisaic pale.



                    RON: What I don't understand is why you take Mark's portrayal of Jesus in

                    these story incidents as historical, when Mark had a clear motive to broaden

                    the horizons of the Jesus movement.



                    BRUCE: It's not hard to understand, and of course I have said it before.

                    Briefly, I take seriously the developmental trajectories linking all the

                    Gospels in a single large sequence, in which Jesus is progressively

                    divinized, the family of Jesus (most conspicuously his mother) are

                    progressively respected, John the Baptist progressively fades from the scene

                    as the mentor of Jesus, and the Jerusalemization of Jesus's career proceeds

                    to absurd lengths. For a short version of that argument, see



                    http://www.umass.edu/wsp/alpha/method/index.html



                    and click on Gospel Trajectories, partway down. It will be noted that this

                    Methods page contains standard stuff, nothing idiosyncratic to myself;

                    nothing that Tischendorf would have been surprised at (in fact, Tischendorf

                    contributed one of its mainthreads).



                    The presumption, that is, the statistically and historically likely

                    conclusion, for any Gospel passage is that a passage in Mark is likely to be

                    earlier than its counterpart (or its replacement) in any other Gospel or

                    Gospels. As to James, who in Mark is included with Jesus's mother and his

                    other brothers in thinking Jesus crazy, this is one of the passages noted

                    already by Hawkins as likely to have been altered or ignored by the later

                    Gospels as unbecoming to the later image of Jesus. I think he has the right

                    of it. And I think the Pauline evidence above cited goes far to reinforce

                    his case. Not that it much needed reinforcing, but confirmation is always

                    welcome.



                    RON: It is indisputable that the Jesus movement started inside Judaism and

                    ended outside Judaism. This trajectory must have left traces in the synoptic

                    gospels.



                    BRUCE: It not only left traces, it is celebrated as history in Acts II (the

                    second version, which carries the story of Christianity to the point of

                    final separation from Judaism, and an exclusive concentration on the

                    Gentiles). It is interesting to see how the various Gospels handle the

                    Gentile mission. Luke B (not Luke A) invents a whole separate Mission of

                    Seventy to the Gentiles (symbolized by the Samaritans), but this is merely

                    to say that Luke A pretty much ignored it. As for Mark, it has been noticed

                    that a group of Mark incidents, including the Second Feeding, is something

                    of a constructed parallel to the group including the First Feeding, and I

                    find that this is a correct estimate. That is, the Second Feeding was added

                    at some point to the growing text of Mark. That the second Feeding was meant

                    (via the Seven Baskets symbolism; seven = seventy = everything) to refer to

                    the Gentiles is something that Mark himself pounds into the heads of the

                    disciples, meaning, dear reader, you and me. So here is a passage that was

                    (a) interpolated later, and (b) one whose meaning Mark himself insists on.

                    Then within the timespan subtended by the composition and recomposition of

                    Mark, the author of Mark came to accept the validity of the Gentile Mission.

                    That the early Jesus movement, including the time when Jesus was in charge

                    of it, focused on the Jews, including (see the address formula in the

                    Epistle of James) the diaspora Jews, seems to be a required conclusion. (The

                    Syrophoenician Woman story belongs to an earlier layer of Mark, and

                    represents the official ruling of that time: that Gentile converts are not

                    exactly to be forbidden, but as of that time, they are not the point of the

                    mission).



                    What we are seeing in these textual details, not only in Luke (who

                    constructs a whole separate structure for the Gentile Mission) but in Mark

                    (who layers a second series of stories onto an earlier series of stories in

                    order to symbolize the Gentile Mission), is that (1) the Mission to Jews

                    came first, and was for a time the whole content of Jesus movement

                    proselytizing, and that (2) the Mission to Gentiles came later. This is how

                    we can distinguish the directionality of these two events.



                    RON: And here in these Markan portrayals I see clear evidence of the first

                    synoptic writer pushing the Jesus movement along this trajectory.



                    BRUCE: I don't think Mark is pushing anything; I think he is keeping his

                    story up to date with what is going on in the Christian movement with which

                    he was in touch. He can create an answer, but I doubt his power to create

                    the question. Overall, I see the following stages in the propagation of

                    Christianity, with their reflection in Mk:



                    (1) Jews only; Mk's preaching stories generally (some of them in synagogues)

                    (2) Gentile converts inadvertently made, but not welcomed into the movement

                    (the Syrophoenician Woman: the Gerasene Demoniac, who wants to join, but is

                    told to missionarize in his own area, on his own).

                    (3) Preaching to Gentiles by others (eg, Paul, as Loisy thought) tolerated

                    as at least not hurtful to the main Jesus movement: the Other Exorcist

                    story, summarized in "he who is not against us is with us."

                    (4) The acknowledged and intentional Gentile mission: symbolized by the

                    Feeding of Four Thousand.



                    That is quite a lot of positions, some of them mutually contrary, for one

                    text to take. So we next ask: Is Mark simply a rubble heap of material of

                    various dates, thrown together promiscuously, or is Mark an accretional

                    text, in which the later positions are laid down on top of the earlier ones?

                    This is a question which philology can answer, and the answer is: The late

                    ones are laid down on top of, and sometimes interpolated within, the early

                    ones. Then Mark is a single, but accretional, text, and it covers a time

                    span at least up to and including the execution of Jacob Zebedee, in the

                    reign of Agrippa I. I think this is a useful result, not least in that it

                    gives a window on that moving object, the early evolution of the Jesus

                    movement as it expanded from a purely Jewish one to a wider

                    Gentile-inclusive one. (It was left for Acts II to record a still later

                    phase: the separation of the Gentile segment as the whole of the movement).



                    I find this both philologically and historically convincing. Then we had:



                    ----------



                    BRUCE (earlier; referring to the still Jewish-only phase of the movement as

                    reflected in Mark): The sense one gets from Mark is that Jesus was trying to

                    widen the horizon of the potentially saved (that is, within Judaism), not

                    narrow it.



                    RON: Having reconstructed the collection of early aphorisms behind the

                    synoptic gospels, it's clear to me that the Jesus movement initially thought

                    the potentially saved to be "few" (Mt 7:14 and Mt 22:14). Mark's Jesus did

                    indeed try to widen the horizon, but Mark was an evangelist not a historian,

                    and this widening was entirely Mark's doing.



                    BRUCE: Reconstructing a life of Jesus from a group of aphorisms, admittedly

                    selected simply because they qualify *as* aphorisms, strikes me as a

                    perilous procedure. And on a recurrent point: I don't think Mark was in a

                    position to create Christian history, or to insert a Gentile Mission into a

                    movement which did not already have a Gentile Mission. I think that he is

                    largely reportive. The way he phrases his report is likely to be his own

                    (except at point where someone has told him a Jesus story in their own

                    fashion), and the spin he gives events may well be his own also. I have no

                    doubt that he invented many details of the Crucifixion scene to give a

                    particular Scriptural flavor to the scene. But, to keep to that example, I

                    don't think he invented the Crucifixion.



                    - - - - - - -



                    BRUCE (earlier): I cannot imagine a sharper contrast with what the earliest

                    sources suggest about Jesus, .....



                    RON: First you need to correctly identify the earliest sources. Yes, Mark

                    was the first of the synoptic gospels, but behind all three was an earlier

                    source which can be reconstructed, given the right approach.



                    BRUCE: That is a statement of methodological faith. I have already stated my

                    doubts about the methodology. This is not to say that Matthew and Luke had

                    no sources, or even that Mark had no sources. It has been suggested, for

                    instance, that certain passages in Mk and Lk derive from the John the

                    Baptist movement, which we already knew from Mark continued to exist

                    alongside the early Christians. Boismard goes much further on this than had

                    earlier occurred to me, but having spent some time on the Mandaean

                    literature, I am prepared to go even further than Boismard. Does everyone

                    know that the Book of John is now being translated into English, and that a

                    specimen of the translation is available online? See



                    http://www.umass.edu/wsp/alpha/jb/mandaeans.html



                    and click on the link at the end of the second paragraph. I agree with

                    Jorunn Buckley and several others, that the Mandaean origin myth (exodus

                    from Jerusalem) is probably rooted in fact; we are currently arguing about

                    the exact date (for a statement on that, click on the link at the end of the

                    *third* paragraph, above).



                    So there is a lot out there, and we need not fear to leave ourselves

                    comfortless if we abandon certain conjectural constructs. This is actually a

                    pretty good decade to be looking for Gospel sources.



                    - - - - - - -



                    BRUCE (earler): In both Mt and Lk, the gathers/scatters bit is appended

                    directly to the respective Beelzebul Accusations, Mt 12:22-29 and Lk

                    11:14-22. It has no obvious organic connection with that story; .....



                    RON (earlier): True.



                    BRUCE (earlier): ... it is a narrator's comment.



                    RON: Not really. Rather Matthew thought it a suitable place to park one of

                    the sayings attributed to Jesus, and Luke followed him in this.



                    ------------and in parallel:---------------



                    BRUCE (earlier): There is a Markan parallel to the Beelzebul Accusation (Mk

                    3:22-27), but none to the gathers/scatters verse.



                    RON: Mark's version of said verse was parked elsewhere (Mk 9:40).



                    BRUCE: Mark's inclusive remark was replaced in Mt/Lk by an exclusive remark.

                    It is not simply a question of the same saying in all three. As to whether

                    Mt made the new narrow version and Luke copied it, or vice versa, I think I

                    have already given my support to Michael Goulder's take on this passage

                    (Paradigm 2/505f).



                    More generally, I have trouble, for reasons repeatedly given above, with the

                    verb "parked." It implies a single assembly from a bag of mixed pieces. The

                    whole structure of the text tells me different. Mark is a very early

                    original consecutive narrative, ending where Adela Yarbro Collins says it

                    did, with later events registered by added material of more or less extent

                    (some of them coming in the sequence that Vincent Taylor says they did). As

                    Meyer realized, the Twelve material is exiguous in Mark, and constitutes a

                    layer (Meyer thought it a source, but this does not work; the source of the

                    Twelve layer in Mark is the Twelve event in the outside world). The

                    Resurrection material in Mark constitutes another layer, and includes some

                    of the material which Adela found nonoriginal in the Passion Narrative,

                    including the Empty Tomb sequence. And so on. I very much doubt that a text

                    assembled from a basketful of disconnected sayings would have the form of a

                    consecutive but repeatedly interpolated text.



                    Did not Charles Darwin say something of the sort, of the geologically

                    suggestive scenery of the lake country, shouting out its story of glacial

                    advance and retreat, while Darwin and his friends, on an early visit, saw

                    merely a lot of pretty scenery? I also like Charles Kingsley's remark about

                    Henry Gosse's attempt to argue that the earth had been created by God in six

                    days, as the Bible says, but already possessing, at the moment of its

                    creation, the signs of immemorial age. Kingsley's remark is methodologically

                    immortal, and I will end by quoting it from p99 of my 1937 edition of Edmund

                    Gosse's "Father and Son:"



                    "[I can not] give up the painful and slow conclusion of five and twenty

                    years' study of geology, and believe that God has written in the rocks an

                    enormous and superfluous lie."



                    E Bruce Brooks

                    University of Massachusetts at Amherst


















                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Ronald Price
                    ... Dennis, Bruce et al., The result in the case of the logia is no ragbag. Rather it is a very carefully crafted piece of poetry, as you can see if you look
                    Message 9 of 11 , Feb 4, 2012
                    • 0 Attachment
                      On 04/02/2012 10:16, "Dennis Goffin" <d.goffin@...> wrote:

                      > I am unable to go along with Ron's idea that a collection of aphorisms,
                      > similar presumably in essence to the socalled Gospel of Thomas can tell us
                      > anything other than that, like Thomas, oral sources got written down on more
                      > than one occasion, but like Thomas, the result is often not more than a ragbag
                      > with no major significance.


                      Dennis, Bruce et al.,

                      The result in the case of the logia is no ragbag. Rather it is a very
                      carefully crafted piece of poetry, as you can see if you look at the web
                      page below.

                      More importantly, historians know nothing about the author/editor of GTh,
                      except possibly his name. On the other hand, the logia was edited by an
                      apostle called Matthew, no doubt with the full authority of James the
                      brother of Jesus. Therefore it gives us a unique insight into the beliefs of
                      the early Jesus movement ca. 45 CE before Paul came along and utterly
                      transformed it.

                      Ron Price,

                      Derbyshire, UK

                      http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_sQet.html
                    • Dennis Goffin
                      Forgive my tongue in cheek comment, Ron, I do actually respect what you have done, but I would respect it a lot more if these aphorisms could be demonstrated
                      Message 10 of 11 , Feb 4, 2012
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Forgive my tongue in cheek comment, Ron, I do actually respect what you have done, but I would respect it a lot more if these aphorisms could be demonstrated individually to have arisen from Aramaic complete with Aramaic wordplays. THAT would really interest me. There is nothing in the collection that cannot be found either in the Wisdom literature, the DSS or the Apocrypha & Pseudepigrapha. Jesus was in fact only very slightly original but most of his ideas are of the time, confused and unoriginal and the way to make sense of him and the NT is to start in about 300BCE and work forward from there. Dennis
                        ---------------------

                        Dennis Goffin

                        Chorleywood UK

                        To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                        From: ron-price@...
                        Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2012 10:40:29 +0000
                        Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Whoever is not with me is against me




























                        On 04/02/2012 10:16, "Dennis Goffin" <d.goffin@...> wrote:



                        > I am unable to go along with Ron's idea that a collection of aphorisms,

                        > similar presumably in essence to the socalled Gospel of Thomas can tell us

                        > anything other than that, like Thomas, oral sources got written down on more

                        > than one occasion, but like Thomas, the result is often not more than a ragbag

                        > with no major significance.



                        Dennis, Bruce et al.,



                        The result in the case of the logia is no ragbag. Rather it is a very

                        carefully crafted piece of poetry, as you can see if you look at the web

                        page below.



                        More importantly, historians know nothing about the author/editor of GTh,

                        except possibly his name. On the other hand, the logia was edited by an

                        apostle called Matthew, no doubt with the full authority of James the

                        brother of Jesus. Therefore it gives us a unique insight into the beliefs of

                        the early Jesus movement ca. 45 CE before Paul came along and utterly

                        transformed it.



                        Ron Price,



                        Derbyshire, UK



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


















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                      • Ronald Price
                        BRUCE: ..... tossing all the alleged sayings of Jesus into the same hat, and from that hatful identifying the authentic Jesus sayings by their stylistic
                        Message 11 of 11 , Feb 4, 2012
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                          BRUCE: ..... tossing all the alleged sayings of Jesus into the same hat, and
                          from that hatful identifying the authentic Jesus sayings by their stylistic
                          features, as many (including the influential Bultmann) essentially do, is
                          worthless.

                          RON: That is a parody of what I have done. The web page below and its sequel
                          describe a logical approach.

                          BRUCE: Methodologically speaking, if we put Gnomic in, we are going to get
                          Nice out. The result is circular; that is, it is foreordained. I think the
                          whole procedure is invalid.

                          RON: What nonsense. There is nothing inherent in the aphoristic style which
                          makes their content "nice".

                          - - - - - - -

                          BRUCE: ..... (1) the Mission to Jews
                          came first, and was for a time the whole content of Jesus movement
                          proselytizing, and .... (2) the Mission to Gentiles came later.

                          RON: Then you should recognize that Mt 10:5b and Mt 10:23 (both of which are
                          gnomic) constitute early testimony to an outlook which Mark and Luke
                          declined to include in their more gentile-friendly gospels.

                          - - - - - - -

                          BRUCE: I don't think Mark is pushing anything; I think he is keeping his
                          story up to date with what is going on in the Christian movement with which
                          he was in touch.

                          RON: Mark was an evangelist and the pioneer who created the gospel genre. He
                          was no passive recorder.

                          - - - - - - -

                          BRUCE (earlier): There is a Markan parallel to the Beelzebul Accusation (Mk
                          3:22-27), but none to the gathers/scatters verse.

                          RON (earlier) : Mark's version of said verse was parked elsewhere (Mk 9:40).

                          BRUCE: ..... I have trouble, for reasons repeatedly given above, with the
                          verb "parked." It implies a single assembly from a bag of mixed pieces. The
                          whole structure of the text tells me different. Mark is a very early
                          original consecutive narrative ..... I very much doubt that a text
                          assembled from a basketful of disconnected sayings would have the form of a
                          consecutive but repeatedly interpolated text.

                          RON: Again this is a parody of my position. The backbone is provided by the
                          narrative. The aphorisms incorporated in Mark constitute between 5% and 10%
                          of the text, and they were inserted at appropriate points in the pre-planned
                          structure.

                          Ron Price,

                          Derbyshire, UK

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



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