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

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