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RE: [Synoptic-L] Whoever is not with me is against me

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 of 11 , Feb 4, 2012
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                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 7 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 8 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


















                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • 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 9 of 11 , Feb 4, 2012
                    • 0 Attachment
                      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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