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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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


















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            • 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 6 of 11 , Feb 4, 2012
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                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 7 of 11 , Feb 4, 2012
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                  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 8 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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