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RE: [Synoptic-L] Re: Laodicenas (was Borg on Chronology)

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  • Matson, Mark (Academic)
    Although this is way off-topic for Synoptic-L, I need to protest two statements below. 1. Critical opinion (by which I do not mean M Barth) finds Ephesians to
    Message 1 of 12 , May 23, 2012
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      Although this is way off-topic for Synoptic-L, I need to protest two statements below.

      1. "Critical opinion (by which I do not mean M Barth) finds Ephesians to be pseudepigraphical." Well, perhaps if by "critical opinion" you mean people who agree with you. BUT, Markus Barth's volume in AB is a brilliant critical commentary. And many if not most current commentators tend on the side of Pauline authorship. (so note, for instance, O'Brien (1999), Hoehner (2002), Heil 2007 -- none of whom can be called uncritical). Granted there is a split of opinion (in NT scholarship, what isn't disputed), but there is by not means a consensus here. My own read of scholarship is that it actually tends towards inclusion of Ephesians.

      2. "James, which directly opposes Paul's faith/works dichotomy in Romans." This posits two things, erroneously in my opinion: a). that James was written with Paul in mind. My sense is that James is mostly traditional (Jewish) ethical hortatory material, and certainly is not a response; and b). that Paul actually writes with a Lutheran faith/works problem. I think the current literature on Paul (Sanders, Dunn, Wright, etc) would frankly call that into question.


      Mark A. Matson
      Milligan College
      http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm


      Bruce Brooks wrote:

      Critical opinion (by which I do not mean M Barth) seems to find Ephesians pseudepigraphical. Can David's proposal be restated in those terms? If Pauline authorship of Ephesians is required, then I think the suggestion itself needs to be reworked.

      My own attempt at reworking might be along something like the following lines.

      That Ephesians was meant as a general letter (one for general circulation, not "circular" in the sense of being passed along a predetermined route, though that is one possible mechanism) seems obvious to me. General letters were early in existence; the earliest preserved one seems to be James, which directly opposes Paul's faith/works dichotomy in Romans. That is, general letters were out there, and generally visible, at the end of Paul's working life. Romans itself, perhaps taking a cue from James, seems to have been intended as a general letter, as can be seen from its comprehensive theological content (far beyond what was required by the stated purpose of the letter), and perhaps from the textual confusion about its ending and final personalia. The pseudepigraphic Colossians follows on this, with its specific reference, not to circular letters, but to laterally shared letters. Ephesians, with its lack of pretense to be a church letter, seems to me to take the next step, formally speaking. But they are steps beyond Paul's own demonstrable practice.
    • David Inglis
      The question I posed doesn t (I think) require that we specify whether Ephesians is either genuine or pseudopigraphical. All I was asking is whether Marcion s
      Message 2 of 12 , May 23, 2012
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        The question I posed doesn't (I think) require that we specify whether Ephesians is either genuine or pseudopigraphical.
        All I was asking is whether Marcion's assertion that Ephesians is the letter from Laodicea is likely to be true or not.
        I believe that what we know as Ephesians is in fact that letter, or at least one of a number of copies of the same
        letter that were sent to various different places, of which Ephesus and Laodicea were two. However, for the record, I
        believe that a substantial part of the reason that Ephesians is considered by some to be pseudopigraphical is invalid if
        Ephesians was NOT sent only to Ephesus, and so my opinion is that it is genuine.

        David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA



        From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Matson, Mark (Academic)
        Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 7:22 AM
        To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Re: Laodicenas (was Borg on Chronology)

        Although this is way off-topic for Synoptic-L, I need to protest two statements below.

        1. "Critical opinion (by which I do not mean M Barth) finds Ephesians to be pseudepigraphical." Well, perhaps if by
        "critical opinion" you mean people who agree with you. BUT, Markus Barth's volume in AB is a brilliant critical
        commentary. And many if not most current commentators tend on the side of Pauline authorship. (so note, for instance,
        O'Brien (1999), Hoehner (2002), Heil 2007 -- none of whom can be called uncritical). Granted there is a split of opinion
        (in NT scholarship, what isn't disputed), but there is by not means a consensus here. My own read of scholarship is that
        it actually tends towards inclusion of Ephesians.

        2. "James, which directly opposes Paul's faith/works dichotomy in Romans." This posits two things, erroneously in my
        opinion: a). that James was written with Paul in mind. My sense is that James is mostly traditional (Jewish) ethical
        hortatory material, and certainly is not a response; and b). that Paul actually writes with a Lutheran faith/works
        problem. I think the current literature on Paul (Sanders, Dunn, Wright, etc) would frankly call that into question.

        Mark A. Matson
        Milligan College
        http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm

        Bruce Brooks wrote:

        Critical opinion (by which I do not mean M Barth) seems to find Ephesians pseudepigraphical. Can David's proposal be
        restated in those terms? If Pauline authorship of Ephesians is required, then I think the suggestion itself needs to be
        reworked.

        My own attempt at reworking might be along something like the following lines.

        That Ephesians was meant as a general letter (one for general circulation, not "circular" in the sense of being passed
        along a predetermined route, though that is one possible mechanism) seems obvious to me. General letters were early in
        existence; the earliest preserved one seems to be James, which directly opposes Paul's faith/works dichotomy in Romans.
        That is, general letters were out there, and generally visible, at the end of Paul's working life. Romans itself,
        perhaps taking a cue from James, seems to have been intended as a general letter, as can be seen from its comprehensive
        theological content (far beyond what was required by the stated purpose of the letter), and perhaps from the textual
        confusion about its ending and final personalia. The pseudepigraphic Colossians follows on this, with its specific
        reference, not to circular letters, but to laterally shared letters. Ephesians, with its lack of pretense to be a church
        letter, seems to me to take the next step, formally speaking. But they are steps beyond Paul's own demonstrable
        practice.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic In Response To: David I On: Ephesians as Pauline From: Bruce If Ephesians is Pauline, and Mark is early, than Ephesians is relevant to the
        Message 3 of 12 , May 23, 2012
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          To: Synoptic
          In Response To: David I
          On: Ephesians as Pauline
          From: Bruce

          If Ephesians is Pauline, and Mark is early, than Ephesians is relevant to
          the Synoptic problem because Mark and Paul seem (at least on some accounts)
          to be contemporary. If Matthew and Luke are post-Apostolic, and so is
          Ephesians, then Ephesians is relevant to the Synoptic problem, since
          Ephesians would then be potentially contemporary with them. The Synoptic
          Problem can probably not be solved without considering the evidence of
          contemporary documents, and the question of what documents are contemporary
          with what Synoptics would seem to be relevant. I proceed on that basis to
          consider David's scenario.

          David I: A plausible scenario is as follows, assuming Pauline authorship
          (though this is strongly contested today; for arguments on behalf of Pauline
          authorship, see M. Barth, Ephesians [AB 34], 1:36-50; P. T. O'Brien,
          Ephesians, 4-47; and H. W. Hoehner, Ephesians, 2-61): Paul sent the letter
          from Rome, intending it first to go to Ephesus. At the same time, Colossians
          was dispatched.

          Bruce: The Pauline authorship scenario does seem to require that Colossians
          and Ephesians were written at the same time. I find that this conflicts with
          internal evidence, which suggests that Ephesians is theologically and
          ecclesiologically a stage later than Colossians. So also Crouch on the
          respective Haustafeln, etc.

          David I: Going counterclockwise through Asia Minor, this letter would first
          come to Ephesus, the port of entry, then to Laodicea, then Colossae.
          Tychicus' instructions may well have been for each church to "fill in the
          blank" on the address line. The church at Ephesus would have certainly made
          the most copies, being Paul's home base for nearly three years.

          Bruce: I don't find that this coheres. If the letters were carried, by
          whomever, on some consecutive itinerary through part of Asia Minor, then
          they would already have been addressed. The idea that each church would
          accept, let alone "fill in the blanks" of, an undifferentiated letter, to
          convert it into a more individual letter, strikes me as so impolite as to be
          impossible. If instead the original letter was "general," with no indicated
          address, then the textually insecure "to Ephesus" finds an explanation (it
          is one later person's way of construing an unaddressed letter), and so does
          the theory that this is actually Laodiceans (as conjectured by a different
          later person who was also looking at Colossians). The latter group might
          include Marcion or a precedessor in the guessing game. Compare the late
          Pauline credentials of Hebrews.

          On this understanding, the textual insecurity of "to Ephesus" would if
          anything support a post-Pauline scenario, against the authorial-Paul
          possibility.

          That Ephesians IS actually Laodiceans, either in whole (seemingly Marcion)
          or in part (so Muddiman and others), is another matter. That proto-Ephesians
          (the real letter mentioned in Colossians, if Colossians were Pauline) would
          be a Pauline survival, like the Pastoral Letter cores suggested by Harrison.
          I am presently unable to accept Colossians as Pauline, so the idea of an
          authentic Laodiceans does not convince me, but obviously if a case can be
          made for an embedded Laodiceans, that would change the equation. But these
          Ephesians-internal matters are perhaps best discussed in another forum. So
          thinking, I have copied this note to GPG and invite continuation of
          discussion on this point there.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • E Bruce Brooks
          To: Synoptic In Response To: Mark Matson On: Critical Scholarship From: Bruce Mark recently protested (his word) two of my previous statements. It seems there
          Message 4 of 12 , May 27, 2012
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            To: Synoptic
            In Response To: Mark Matson
            On: Critical Scholarship
            From: Bruce

            Mark recently protested (his word) two of my previous statements. It seems
            there may be something of importance at issue, and so I here repeat my
            statements, with part of Mark's protest, and then respond.

            1. I had said, in passing, "Critical opinion (by which I do not mean M
            Barth) finds Ephesians to be pseudepigraphical." And Mark responded: "Well,
            perhaps if by "critical opinion" you mean people who agree with you. BUT,
            Markus Barth's volume in AB is a brilliant critical commentary. And many if
            not most current commentators tend on the side of Pauline authorship. . . "

            Barth's commentary is undoubtedly "brilliant," it would be churlish to
            suggest otherwise, but one may still ask, Brilliant to what end? There is an
            important distinction here, which I think should not be lost sight of as we
            do our work and consider the work of others. As has been pointed out, and
            not alone in NT studies, there are two ways of approaching an ancient text:
            (a) to find out what it was doing in its own time, or (b) to explore its
            value for our present time. Both have their uses, and their respective
            publics, but they are aiming at different things, and their results should
            not be mixed.

            The usual label in NT for the former approach is "critical-historical." For
            the other, there are several labels, but the one which M Barth's editor
            applies to him is "evangelical" - meaning, I take it, an emphasis on the
            importance of the message. Thus Jitsuo Morikawa's Foreword to Barth's 1959
            Ephesians study, The Broken Wall, announces at the beginning "This is a
            study book for evangelism," and concludes with a paragraph beginning
            "Professor Barth is an evangelist at heart." The book itself was written at
            the request of the American Baptist Convention "for specific use in its own
            churches . . . Schools of evangelism, in a six weeks' study preparation for
            active witness, will use this book as their basic text." That is, message is
            the guiding concept, and immediate relevance is the watchword. The book
            itself bears this out. It begins with what it calls the "strangeness" of
            Ephesians, including the doubts raised about its authenticity, and certain
            of its doctrinal features (predestination, ecclesiasticism), and then,
            rather than proceed to deal directly with those problems, it makes a
            paragraph break and says: (p26) "But enough of pointing out the bewildering
            strangness of Ephesians! .. . Ephesians has indeed its beauty also . . ."
            And the author proceeds to point out that beauty. His answer to the problems
            of the test, then, is to talk about something else.

            The same, though in greater detail and for a different audience, seems to me
            to be on view in the 1974 AB commentary. Again there is an introduction
            mentioning the doubts about authenticity, this time in more detail. But the
            methods by which the doubts were raised are impugned; thus, the question of
            directionality between Ephesians and the undoubtedly related 1 Peter is said
            on p1/23 to be effectively insoluble ("If only criteria were available for
            determining which one of two documents as similar and as subtly different as
            Ephesians and I Peter came first!"). And the insolubility of this and all
            other directionality problems is supported in n78 by a reference to Farmer's
            challenge to Markan Priority, as casting all determinations of relative date
            in doubt. This is not a use of critical methods, it is a denial that
            critical methods work.

            There are useful observations in Barth's commentary, among them the
            similarity of themes between Ephesians, Hebrews, and John (of course not
            new, as pointed out by Abbott in 1897, but heartily welcome nonetheless).
            These are given several pages in Barth, and those pages conclude with this
            judgement: "But too little is as yet known or proven. The dates of Hebrews
            and John's Gospel are highly controversial. These writings may stand in a
            very complicated and distant relationship to Ephesians, but except that they
            offer interesting parallels of vocabulary, thought-form, and message, they
            make no contribution to identifying the author of Ephesians. Their authors
            may have known nothing of Ephesians may have known nothing of either of
            them." (p27). And then again Barth turns away from the whole subject, with
            this opening sentence: "It is time to turn to more commonly accepted
            presuppositions, and their possible implications for dating Ephesians and
            tracing its author."

            It will seem to some of us that, however the relations between Ephesians, 1
            Peter, Hebrews, and John may work out, or even whether there *are* any such
            relations, the establishment of a common world of thought between
            Ephesians, Hebrews, 1 Peter and John in fact goes far to establish the
            authorship of Ephesians, in the sense that it tends to disestablish Paul as
            a possible author. They imply a Zeitgeist in which Paul as we know him
            elsewhere can have no part.

            As I began by saying, there is a line in here somewhere, and those who would
            draw that Zeitgeist conclusion would seem to be on the other side of that
            line from Markus Barth.

            As for the position of current commentators on Pauline authorship of
            Ephesians, no doubt a majority could be found in favor. That does not affect
            the difference between the two approaches to the texts.

            Now here is the second point.

            2. I had mentioned "James, which directly opposes Paul's faith/works
            dichotomy in Romans." Mark responded: "This posits two things, erroneously
            in my opinion: a). that James was written with Paul in mind. My sense is
            that James is mostly traditional (Jewish) ethical hortatory material, and
            certainly is not a response; and b). that Paul actually writes with a
            Lutheran faith/works problem. I think the current literature on Paul
            (Sanders, Dunn, Wright, etc) would frankly call that into question."

            Taking these in reverse order, Paul most assuredly does not write in a
            Lutheran vein, and it needs no Ed Sanders or other giant of the field to
            tell us so. For Paul to do anything of the kind would be grossly
            anachronistic. It is however quite historically possible that Luther thinks
            in a Pauline way. The centrality of sola fide in Luther's worldview, and his
            detestation of the Epistle of James in particular (which, to put it mildly,
            does not preach that doctrine) are presumably well known. To Luther, James
            was insubstantial, a thing of straw, and presumably because it did *not*
            preach the Gospel as he knew it. So far, so consistent.

            The root question, however, is not a Lutheran but a historical one: whether
            James (in the 1c) opposed the Gospel as Paul knew it (also in the 1c). It is
            nothing to the point that James contains, or even mostly contains,
            traditional ethical/hortatory material. The point is what James is doing in
            the relevant passages. I proceed to assemble the relevant passages. Here,
            first, is what I characterized as Paul/s "faith/works dichotomy in Romans:"

            Rom 3:20-24. "For no human being will be justified in his [God's]
            sight by works of the law since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But
            not the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although
            the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God
            through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no
            distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they
            are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in
            Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be
            received by faith.

            To which I would compare:

            James 2:18. "But someone will say, You have faith and I have works.
            Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my
            faith."

            Now here is Paul's own historical example of how faith is sufficient for
            salvation:

            Rom: 4:1-3. "What then shall we say about Abraham, our forefather
            according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has
            something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture
            say? Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."

            And here is James again:

            James 2:20-24. "Do you want to be shown, you foolish fellow, that
            faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by
            works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was
            active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the
            scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God and it was reckoned
            to him as righteousness, and he was called the friend of God. You see that
            man is justified by works and not by faith alone."

            There are approximately two views to be taken of these passages in James.
            (1) James is putting forth standard paraenetic material, and has nothing
            particular in view other than general edification of the masses; or (2)
            James is attacking a specific error known to him. To decide between the two,
            we can invoke rhetorical science. Is the phrase "Do you want to be shown,
            you foolish fellow," proper to general ethical exhortation? Or to the
            diatribe form, an assault on an erroneous position held by a specific
            person?

            My suggestion would be the latter, and I also have a hunch about whose error
            James had in mind.

            Respectfully proffered,

            Bruce

            E Bruce Brooks
            Warring States Project
            University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          • Matson, Mark (Academic)
            One final response to a subject clearly outside of the list s focus (and I will be silent): 1. One of your main arguments re: Markus Barth is by using The
            Message 5 of 12 , May 28, 2012
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              One final response to a subject clearly outside of the list's focus (and I will be silent):

              1. One of your main arguments re: Markus Barth is by using The Broken Wall, not his AB commentary. They are clearly different books: one a more general audience, one a scholarly commentary. This is an argumentative fallacy; what one might say about one book by an author does not necessarily apply to another book by the same author.

              2. You suggest that the fact that The Broken Wall was written for the American Baptist Church makes in inherently uncritical. In fact the implication is the American Baptist Church as a group is somehow wildly uncritical. First, the American Baptists are entirely different than Southern Baptist.; I would place the former closer to most mainline christian denominations. But that is even beside the point. Critical material has often been written within "conservative" groups. Indeed during the period The Broken Wall was written there was a very high quality critical journal prepared by Southern Baptists: the Review and Expositer. (granted, it has in recent years lost its critical focus; but that is not true for the period when Barth was writing). This is a fallacy of reading in focus from an audience, not the text.

              3. You further imply that because Barth himself was "evangelical" (in the European sense, btw, which is far different than the use in the USA), he cannot be critical. This too is a fallacy.

              4. But most importantly, you misrepresent Barth's two volumes which show high quality of historical critical analysis. You may disagree with his conclusion, but he considers all the major scholars, considers philological material, and has an extended discussion on the criterion of authenticity. A further read of the entire commentary would show that throughout Barth considers material historically, wide comparison and full recognition of the factors involved. But to simply write him off as "uncritical" because you disagree -- well that is a fallacy too.

              5. On the issue of James and Paul: the issue turns entirely on the nature of key Pauline terms such as "justification" and "works of the law." On the latter, for instance, many (if not most) prominent Pauline scholars recognize that "works of the law" is not the same as "works." As Dunn points out, the former term is essentially the same as saying, "becoming a Jew by accepting the Torah." Thus the question is, can one be justified (transferred to salvation) only by accepting the role of the Torah (including circumcison, etc.). This issue is not what James is talking about.

              mark

              Mark A. Matson
              Milligan College
              http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
              ________________________________________
              E Bruce Brooks wrote:

              Mark recently protested (his word) two of my previous statements. It seems
              there may be something of importance at issue, and so I here repeat my
              statements, with part of Mark's protest, and then respond.

              1. I had said, in passing, "Critical opinion (by which I do not mean M
              Barth) finds Ephesians to be pseudepigraphical." And Mark responded: "Well,
              perhaps if by "critical opinion" you mean people who agree with you. BUT,
              Markus Barth's volume in AB is a brilliant critical commentary. And many if
              not most current commentators tend on the side of Pauline authorship. . . "

              Barth's commentary is undoubtedly "brilliant," it would be churlish to
              suggest otherwise, but one may still ask, Brilliant to what end? There is an
              important distinction here, which I think should not be lost sight of as we
              do our work and consider the work of others. As has been pointed out, and
              not alone in NT studies, there are two ways of approaching an ancient text:
              (a) to find out what it was doing in its own time, or (b) to explore its
              value for our present time. Both have their uses, and their respective
              publics, but they are aiming at different things, and their results should
              not be mixed.

              The usual label in NT for the former approach is "critical-historical." For
              the other, there are several labels, but the one which M Barth's editor
              applies to him is "evangelical" - meaning, I take it, an emphasis on the
              importance of the message. Thus Jitsuo Morikawa's Foreword to Barth's 1959
              Ephesians study, The Broken Wall, announces at the beginning "This is a
              study book for evangelism," and concludes with a paragraph beginning
              "Professor Barth is an evangelist at heart." The book itself was written at
              the request of the American Baptist Convention "for specific use in its own
              churches . . . Schools of evangelism, in a six weeks' study preparation for
              active witness, will use this book as their basic text." That is, message is
              the guiding concept, and immediate relevance is the watchword. The book
              itself bears this out. It begins with what it calls the "strangeness" of
              Ephesians, including the doubts raised about its authenticity, and certain
              of its doctrinal features (predestination, ecclesiasticism), and then,
              rather than proceed to deal directly with those problems, it makes a
              paragraph break and says: (p26) "But enough of pointing out the bewildering
              strangness of Ephesians! .. . Ephesians has indeed its beauty also . . ."
              And the author proceeds to point out that beauty. His answer to the problems
              of the test, then, is to talk about something else.

              The same, though in greater detail and for a different audience, seems to me
              to be on view in the 1974 AB commentary. Again there is an introduction
              mentioning the doubts about authenticity, this time in more detail. But the
              methods by which the doubts were raised are impugned; thus, the question of
              directionality between Ephesians and the undoubtedly related 1 Peter is said
              on p1/23 to be effectively insoluble ("If only criteria were available for
              determining which one of two documents as similar and as subtly different as
              Ephesians and I Peter came first!"). And the insolubility of this and all
              other directionality problems is supported in n78 by a reference to Farmer's
              challenge to Markan Priority, as casting all determinations of relative date
              in doubt. This is not a use of critical methods, it is a denial that
              critical methods work.

              There are useful observations in Barth's commentary, among them the
              similarity of themes between Ephesians, Hebrews, and John (of course not
              new, as pointed out by Abbott in 1897, but heartily welcome nonetheless).
              These are given several pages in Barth, and those pages conclude with this
              judgement: "But too little is as yet known or proven. The dates of Hebrews
              and John's Gospel are highly controversial. These writings may stand in a
              very complicated and distant relationship to Ephesians, but except that they
              offer interesting parallels of vocabulary, thought-form, and message, they
              make no contribution to identifying the author of Ephesians. Their authors
              may have known nothing of Ephesians may have known nothing of either of
              them." (p27). And then again Barth turns away from the whole subject, with
              this opening sentence: "It is time to turn to more commonly accepted
              presuppositions, and their possible implications for dating Ephesians and
              tracing its author."

              It will seem to some of us that, however the relations between Ephesians, 1
              Peter, Hebrews, and John may work out, or even whether there *are* any such
              relations, the establishment of a common world of thought between
              Ephesians, Hebrews, 1 Peter and John in fact goes far to establish the
              authorship of Ephesians, in the sense that it tends to disestablish Paul as
              a possible author. They imply a Zeitgeist in which Paul as we know him
              elsewhere can have no part.

              As I began by saying, there is a line in here somewhere, and those who would
              draw that Zeitgeist conclusion would seem to be on the other side of that
              line from Markus Barth.

              As for the position of current commentators on Pauline authorship of
              Ephesians, no doubt a majority could be found in favor. That does not affect
              the difference between the two approaches to the texts.

              Now here is the second point.

              2. I had mentioned "James, which directly opposes Paul's faith/works
              dichotomy in Romans." Mark responded: "This posits two things, erroneously
              in my opinion: a). that James was written with Paul in mind. My sense is
              that James is mostly traditional (Jewish) ethical hortatory material, and
              certainly is not a response; and b). that Paul actually writes with a
              Lutheran faith/works problem. I think the current literature on Paul
              (Sanders, Dunn, Wright, etc) would frankly call that into question."

              Taking these in reverse order, Paul most assuredly does not write in a
              Lutheran vein, and it needs no Ed Sanders or other giant of the field to
              tell us so. For Paul to do anything of the kind would be grossly
              anachronistic. It is however quite historically possible that Luther thinks
              in a Pauline way. The centrality of sola fide in Luther's worldview, and his
              detestation of the Epistle of James in particular (which, to put it mildly,
              does not preach that doctrine) are presumably well known. To Luther, James
              was insubstantial, a thing of straw, and presumably because it did *not*
              preach the Gospel as he knew it. So far, so consistent.

              The root question, however, is not a Lutheran but a historical one: whether
              James (in the 1c) opposed the Gospel as Paul knew it (also in the 1c). It is
              nothing to the point that James contains, or even mostly contains,
              traditional ethical/hortatory material. The point is what James is doing in
              the relevant passages. I proceed to assemble the relevant passages. Here,
              first, is what I characterized as Paul/s "faith/works dichotomy in Romans:"

              Rom 3:20-24. "For no human being will be justified in his [God's]
              sight by works of the law since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But
              not the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although
              the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God
              through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no
              distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they
              are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in
              Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be
              received by faith.

              To which I would compare:

              James 2:18. "But someone will say, You have faith and I have works.
              Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my
              faith."

              Now here is Paul's own historical example of how faith is sufficient for
              salvation:

              Rom: 4:1-3. "What then shall we say about Abraham, our forefather
              according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has
              something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture
              say? Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."

              And here is James again:

              James 2:20-24. "Do you want to be shown, you foolish fellow, that
              faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by
              works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was
              active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the
              scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God and it was reckoned
              to him as righteousness, and he was called the friend of God. You see that
              man is justified by works and not by faith alone."

              There are approximately two views to be taken of these passages in James.
              (1) James is putting forth standard paraenetic material, and has nothing
              particular in view other than general edification of the masses; or (2)
              James is attacking a specific error known to him. To decide between the two,
              we can invoke rhetorical science. Is the phrase "Do you want to be shown,
              you foolish fellow," proper to general ethical exhortation? Or to the
              diatribe form, an assault on an erroneous position held by a specific
              person?

              My suggestion would be the latter, and I also have a hunch about whose error
              James had in mind.
            • Bob Schacht
              What Mark said. Bob Schacht Northern Arizona University ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              Message 6 of 12 , May 28, 2012
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                What Mark said.

                Bob Schacht
                Northern Arizona University

                At 04:58 PM 5/28/2012, Matson, Mark (Academic) wrote:
                >One final response to a subject clearly outside of the list's focus
                >(and I will be silent):
                >
                >1. One of your main arguments re: Markus Barth is by using The
                >Broken Wall, not his AB commentary. They are clearly different
                >books: one a more general audience, one a scholarly
                >commentary. This is an argumentative fallacy; what one might say
                >about one book by an author does not necessarily apply to another
                >book by the same author.
                >
                >2. You suggest that the fact that The Broken Wall was written for
                >the American Baptist Church makes in inherently uncritical. In fact
                >the implication is the American Baptist Church as a group is somehow
                >wildly uncritical. First, the American Baptists are entirely
                >different than Southern Baptist.; I would place the former closer to
                >most mainline christian denominations. But that is even beside the
                >point. Critical material has often been written within
                >"conservative" groups. Indeed during the period The Broken Wall was
                >written there was a very high quality critical journal prepared by
                >Southern Baptists: the Review and Expositer. (granted, it has in
                >recent years lost its critical focus; but that is not true for the
                >period when Barth was writing). This is a fallacy of reading in
                >focus from an audience, not the text.
                >
                >3. You further imply that because Barth himself was "evangelical"
                >(in the European sense, btw, which is far different than the use in
                >the USA), he cannot be critical. This too is a fallacy.
                >
                >4. But most importantly, you misrepresent Barth's two volumes which
                >show high quality of historical critical analysis. You may disagree
                >with his conclusion, but he considers all the major scholars,
                >considers philological material, and has an extended discussion on
                >the criterion of authenticity. A further read of the entire
                >commentary would show that throughout Barth considers material
                >historically, wide comparison and full recognition of the factors
                >involved. But to simply write him off as "uncritical" because you
                >disagree -- well that is a fallacy too.
                >
                >5. On the issue of James and Paul: the issue turns entirely on the
                >nature of key Pauline terms such as "justification" and "works of
                >the law." On the latter, for instance, many (if not most)
                >prominent Pauline scholars recognize that "works of the law" is not
                >the same as "works." As Dunn points out, the former term is
                >essentially the same as saying, "becoming a Jew by accepting the
                >Torah." Thus the question is, can one be justified (transferred to
                >salvation) only by accepting the role of the Torah (including
                >circumcison, etc.). This issue is not what James is talking about.
                >
                >mark
                >
                >Mark A. Matson
                >Milligan College
                >http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
                >________________________________________
                >E Bruce Brooks wrote:
                >
                >Mark recently protested (his word) two of my previous statements. It seems
                >there may be something of importance at issue, and so I here repeat my
                >statements, with part of Mark's protest, and then respond.
                >
                >1. I had said, in passing, "Critical opinion (by which I do not mean M
                >Barth) finds Ephesians to be pseudepigraphical." And Mark responded: "Well,
                >perhaps if by "critical opinion" you mean people who agree with you. BUT,
                >Markus Barth's volume in AB is a brilliant critical commentary. And many if
                >not most current commentators tend on the side of Pauline authorship. . . "
                >
                >Barth's commentary is undoubtedly "brilliant," it would be churlish to
                >suggest otherwise, but one may still ask, Brilliant to what end? There is an
                >important distinction here, which I think should not be lost sight of as we
                >do our work and consider the work of others. As has been pointed out, and
                >not alone in NT studies, there are two ways of approaching an ancient text:
                >(a) to find out what it was doing in its own time, or (b) to explore its
                >value for our present time. Both have their uses, and their respective
                >publics, but they are aiming at different things, and their results should
                >not be mixed.
                >
                >The usual label in NT for the former approach is "critical-historical." For
                >the other, there are several labels, but the one which M Barth's editor
                >applies to him is "evangelical" - meaning, I take it, an emphasis on the
                >importance of the message. Thus Jitsuo Morikawa's Foreword to Barth's 1959
                >Ephesians study, The Broken Wall, announces at the beginning "This is a
                >study book for evangelism," and concludes with a paragraph beginning
                >"Professor Barth is an evangelist at heart." The book itself was written at
                >the request of the American Baptist Convention "for specific use in its own
                >churches . . . Schools of evangelism, in a six weeks' study preparation for
                >active witness, will use this book as their basic text." That is, message is
                >the guiding concept, and immediate relevance is the watchword. The book
                >itself bears this out. It begins with what it calls the "strangeness" of
                >Ephesians, including the doubts raised about its authenticity, and certain
                >of its doctrinal features (predestination, ecclesiasticism), and then,
                >rather than proceed to deal directly with those problems, it makes a
                >paragraph break and says: (p26) "But enough of pointing out the bewildering
                >strangness of Ephesians! .. . Ephesians has indeed its beauty also . . ."
                >And the author proceeds to point out that beauty. His answer to the problems
                >of the test, then, is to talk about something else.
                >
                >The same, though in greater detail and for a different audience, seems to me
                >to be on view in the 1974 AB commentary. Again there is an introduction
                >mentioning the doubts about authenticity, this time in more detail. But the
                >methods by which the doubts were raised are impugned; thus, the question of
                >directionality between Ephesians and the undoubtedly related 1 Peter is said
                >on p1/23 to be effectively insoluble ("If only criteria were available for
                >determining which one of two documents as similar and as subtly different as
                >Ephesians and I Peter came first!"). And the insolubility of this and all
                >other directionality problems is supported in n78 by a reference to Farmer's
                >challenge to Markan Priority, as casting all determinations of relative date
                >in doubt. This is not a use of critical methods, it is a denial that
                >critical methods work.
                >
                >There are useful observations in Barth's commentary, among them the
                >similarity of themes between Ephesians, Hebrews, and John (of course not
                >new, as pointed out by Abbott in 1897, but heartily welcome nonetheless).
                >These are given several pages in Barth, and those pages conclude with this
                >judgement: "But too little is as yet known or proven. The dates of Hebrews
                >and John's Gospel are highly controversial. These writings may stand in a
                >very complicated and distant relationship to Ephesians, but except that they
                >offer interesting parallels of vocabulary, thought-form, and message, they
                >make no contribution to identifying the author of Ephesians. Their authors
                >may have known nothing of Ephesians may have known nothing of either of
                >them." (p27). And then again Barth turns away from the whole subject, with
                >this opening sentence: "It is time to turn to more commonly accepted
                >presuppositions, and their possible implications for dating Ephesians and
                >tracing its author."
                >
                >It will seem to some of us that, however the relations between Ephesians, 1
                >Peter, Hebrews, and John may work out, or even whether there *are* any such
                >relations, the establishment of a common world of thought between
                >Ephesians, Hebrews, 1 Peter and John in fact goes far to establish the
                >authorship of Ephesians, in the sense that it tends to disestablish Paul as
                >a possible author. They imply a Zeitgeist in which Paul as we know him
                >elsewhere can have no part.
                >
                >As I began by saying, there is a line in here somewhere, and those who would
                >draw that Zeitgeist conclusion would seem to be on the other side of that
                >line from Markus Barth.
                >
                >As for the position of current commentators on Pauline authorship of
                >Ephesians, no doubt a majority could be found in favor. That does not affect
                >the difference between the two approaches to the texts.
                >
                >Now here is the second point.
                >
                >2. I had mentioned "James, which directly opposes Paul's faith/works
                >dichotomy in Romans." Mark responded: "This posits two things, erroneously
                >in my opinion: a). that James was written with Paul in mind. My sense is
                >that James is mostly traditional (Jewish) ethical hortatory material, and
                >certainly is not a response; and b). that Paul actually writes with a
                >Lutheran faith/works problem. I think the current literature on Paul
                >(Sanders, Dunn, Wright, etc) would frankly call that into question."
                >
                >Taking these in reverse order, Paul most assuredly does not write in a
                >Lutheran vein, and it needs no Ed Sanders or other giant of the field to
                >tell us so. For Paul to do anything of the kind would be grossly
                >anachronistic. It is however quite historically possible that Luther thinks
                >in a Pauline way. The centrality of sola fide in Luther's worldview, and his
                >detestation of the Epistle of James in particular (which, to put it mildly,
                >does not preach that doctrine) are presumably well known. To Luther, James
                >was insubstantial, a thing of straw, and presumably because it did *not*
                >preach the Gospel as he knew it. So far, so consistent.
                >
                >The root question, however, is not a Lutheran but a historical one: whether
                >James (in the 1c) opposed the Gospel as Paul knew it (also in the 1c). It is
                >nothing to the point that James contains, or even mostly contains,
                >traditional ethical/hortatory material. The point is what James is doing in
                >the relevant passages. I proceed to assemble the relevant passages. Here,
                >first, is what I characterized as Paul/s "faith/works dichotomy in Romans:"
                >
                > Rom 3:20-24. "For no human being will be justified in his [God's]
                >sight by works of the law since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But
                >not the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although
                >the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God
                >through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no
                >distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they
                >are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in
                >Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be
                >received by faith.
                >
                >To which I would compare:
                >
                > James 2:18. "But someone will say, You have faith and I have works.
                >Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my
                >faith."
                >
                >Now here is Paul's own historical example of how faith is sufficient for
                >salvation:
                >
                > Rom: 4:1-3. "What then shall we say about Abraham, our forefather
                >according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has
                >something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture
                >say? Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
                >
                >And here is James again:
                >
                > James 2:20-24. "Do you want to be shown, you foolish fellow, that
                >faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by
                >works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was
                >active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the
                >scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God and it was reckoned
                >to him as righteousness, and he was called the friend of God. You see that
                >man is justified by works and not by faith alone."
                >
                >There are approximately two views to be taken of these passages in James.
                >(1) James is putting forth standard paraenetic material, and has nothing
                >particular in view other than general edification of the masses; or (2)
                >James is attacking a specific error known to him. To decide between the two,
                >we can invoke rhetorical science. Is the phrase "Do you want to be shown,
                >you foolish fellow," proper to general ethical exhortation? Or to the
                >diatribe form, an assault on an erroneous position held by a specific
                >person?
                >
                >My suggestion would be the latter, and I also have a hunch about whose error
                >James had in mind.
                >
                >------------------------------------
                >
                >Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • E Bruce Brooks
                To: Synoptic Completing: Discussion on Barth From: Bruce Mark Matson persists in misrepresenting my position on Barth. To say it directly this time (this last
                Message 7 of 12 , May 28, 2012
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                  To: Synoptic
                  Completing: Discussion on Barth
                  From: Bruce

                  Mark Matson persists in misrepresenting my position on Barth. To say it
                  directly this time (this last time), I do not merely like people who agree
                  with me, and I do not rest my view of Barth on his Baptist sponsorship, and
                  so on and on. I do have an argument, and I here repeat its key points, drawn
                  solely from his commentary:

                  1. Barth in his commentary repeats what are recognizably critical objections
                  to the authenticity of Ephesians, and by reference to such confusions as the
                  Farmer position on Markan priority, denies in effect that these analyses
                  have an outcome.

                  2. In the same commentary, Barth repeats the oft-made observation that
                  Ephesians has similarities to Hebrews, 1 Peter, and John. He denies that any
                  conclusion can be reached about the date of 1 Peter, or about the
                  directionality of the 1 Peter / Ephesians contacts. He denies that any of
                  these texts (Ephesians, 1 Peter, Hebrews, John) can be proved to have been
                  aware of each other. Again, he denies in effect that these observations
                  permit any usable conclusions about the authenticity of Ephesians.

                  I sum these up as not a use of critical methods, but as a denial that
                  critical methods work. This is not what we normally mean by "critical
                  scholarship." A thousand commendatory adjectives doubtless apply to Barth's
                  work, but to make "critical" the thousand and first is to misuse the word
                  "critical."

                  3. I think it is obvious that the latter objection in particular is without
                  merit. Suppose that none of Ephesians, 1 Peter, Hebrews, and John in fact
                  knew of any of the others. Then to what should we attribute these admitted
                  similarities? All that is left is a general context of thought, and that
                  context cannot be the generation in which Paul himself lived. That is, the
                  residue of Barth's objections is still enough to prove inauthenticity. A
                  critical scholar, in the usual sense of the term "critical," would probably
                  have noticed this implication.

                  4. As to James and Paul, of course much work has gone into the idea that
                  James is misrepresenting Paul, or even that Paul in Romans is
                  misrepresenting himself. That is beside the point. To make the point, I
                  repeat my previous challenge. Given that the passages I cite from James are
                  not Jewish paraenesis, but Christian argumentation (diatribe), and waiving
                  the question of what "James" this may be, against whom (against what, and I
                  quote, "foolish fellow"), is the said "James" arguing?

                  Bruce
                • David Mealand
                  Please - it is not Laodicenas , even if constant repetition on this list looks like becoming ineradicable ... David Mealand, University of Edinburgh --
                  Message 8 of 12 , May 29, 2012
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                    Please - it is not "Laodicenas",
                    even if constant repetition on this
                    list looks like becoming ineradicable



                    ---------
                    David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


                    --
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