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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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



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