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

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic / GPG In Response To: Ron Price On: Gathers/Scatters (Mt From: Bruce Ron is convinced that his version of Q (that is, of material in Mt/Lk but not
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 3, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 11 , Feb 4, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        Bruce: In both Mt and Lk, the gathers/scatters bit is appended directly to the respective Beelzebul Accusations, Mt 12:22-29 and Lk 11:14-22. It has no obvious organic connection with that storyDennis: The fact that this is a poor version of " Who is not for us is against us" should not blind us to the fact that Jesus and Mark for that matter regarded an exorcism as a battleground, with Beelzebul and his demons on one side and God, the angels and God's agent, the exorcist, on the other.Jesus is involved in a cosmic war which he hopes God will end by installing his kingdom. I am unable to go along with Ron's idea that a collection of aphorisms, similar presumably in essence to the socalled Gospel of Thomas can tell us anything other than that, like Thomas, oral sources got written down on more than one occasion, but like Thomas, the result is often not more than a ragbag with no major significance. Dennis Dennis Goffin

        Chorleywood UK

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




























        To: Synoptic / GPG

        In Response To: Ron Price

        On: Gathers/Scatters (Mt

        From: Bruce



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        (Mk 9:38).



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

        much of the previous exchange.



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

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

        factors, are generally risky.



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



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

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

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

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

        from that hatful identifying the authentic Jesus sayings by their stylistic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        invalid.



        - - - - - - -



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

        anything to do with James the Brother.



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



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

        movement, or significant parts of it.



        - - - - - -



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

        has ever said how that happened .....



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Jerusalem policy when he took it over, was strict.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Christian history coming before the leadership of James at Jerusalem.



        - - - - - - -



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

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

        the Pharisaic pale.



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

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

        the horizons of the Jesus movement.



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

        Briefly, I take seriously the developmental trajectories linking all the

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

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

        progressively respected, John the Baptist progressively fades from the scene

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

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



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



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

        Methods page contains standard stuff, nothing idiosyncratic to myself;

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

        contributed one of its mainthreads).



        The presumption, that is, the statistically and historically likely

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        welcome.



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

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

        gospels.



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

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

        final separation from Judaism, and an exclusive concentration on the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Then within the timespan subtended by the composition and recomposition of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        mission).



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

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

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

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

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

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

        we can distinguish the directionality of these two events.



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

        synoptic writer pushing the Jesus movement along this trajectory.



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

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

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

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

        Christianity, with their reflection in Mk:



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Feeding of Four Thousand.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



        ----------



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

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

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

        narrow it.



        RON: Having reconstructed the collection of early aphorisms behind the

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

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

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

        and this widening was entirely Mark's doing.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        don't think he invented the Crucifixion.



        - - - - - - -



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

        sources suggest about Jesus, .....



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

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

        source which can be reconstructed, given the right approach.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        specimen of the translation is available online? See



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



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

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

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

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

        *third* paragraph, above).



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

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

        pretty good decade to be looking for Gospel sources.



        - - - - - - -



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

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

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



        RON (earlier): True.



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



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

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



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



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

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



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



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

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

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

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

        (Paradigm 2/505f).



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

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

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

        original consecutive narrative, ending where Adela Yarbro Collins says it

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

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

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

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

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

        Resurrection material in Mark constitutes another layer, and includes some

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

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

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

        consecutive but repeatedly interpolated text.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Gosse's "Father and Son:"



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

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

        enormous and superfluous lie."



        E Bruce Brooks

        University of Massachusetts at Amherst


















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Ronald Price
        ... Dennis, Bruce et al., The result in the case of the logia is no ragbag. Rather it is a very carefully crafted piece of poetry, as you can see if you look
        Message 3 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 4 of 11 , Feb 4, 2012
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            Forgive my tongue in cheek comment, Ron, I do actually respect what you have done, but I would respect it a lot more if these aphorisms could be demonstrated individually to have arisen from Aramaic complete with Aramaic wordplays. THAT would really interest me. There is nothing in the collection that cannot be found either in the Wisdom literature, the DSS or the Apocrypha & Pseudepigrapha. Jesus was in fact only very slightly original but most of his ideas are of the time, confused and unoriginal and the way to make sense of him and the NT is to start in about 300BCE and work forward from there. Dennis
            ---------------------

            Dennis Goffin

            Chorleywood UK

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




























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



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

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

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

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

            > with no major significance.



            Dennis, Bruce et al.,



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

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

            page below.



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

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

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

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

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

            transformed it.



            Ron Price,



            Derbyshire, UK



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


















            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Ronald Price
            BRUCE: ..... tossing all the alleged sayings of Jesus into the same hat, and from that hatful identifying the authentic Jesus sayings by their stylistic
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 4, 2012
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              BRUCE: ..... tossing all the alleged sayings of Jesus into the same hat, and
              from that hatful identifying the authentic Jesus sayings by their stylistic
              features, as many (including the influential Bultmann) essentially do, is
              worthless.

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

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

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

              - - - - - - -

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

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

              - - - - - - -

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

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

              - - - - - - -

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

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

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

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

              Ron Price,

              Derbyshire, UK

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



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