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Re: [Synoptic-L] On the 3ST

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron On: James From: Bruce Not all the recent points can be pursued without getting into more detail than is probably appropriate
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 11, 2007
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      To: Synoptic
      In Response To: Ron
      On: James
      From: Bruce

      Not all the recent points can be pursued without getting into more detail
      than is probably appropriate here, but I pick out the last one as perhaps
      having some interest beyond the present technical matters:

      RON: I take Mark's uncomplimentary statements about James to be deliberate
      denigration and therefore not reliable historically.

      BRUCE: I am inclined to find them convincing, and here is why.

      1. Mark puts Mary and her other sons in an oppositional light. All that is
      really said about them (collectively; Jacob does not appear as an
      individual) is that they thought Jesus was pursuing an inadvisable course.
      If Jesus had been my kid, let me tell you, I would have been worried too. I
      mean, look at it, there he goes, talking to demoniacs, and to hear him tell
      it, also to demons. Running around with John the Baptist, and look what
      happened to John the Baptist! And the facts, seen from a conventional
      viewpoint, would have proved me right to be concerned. What's so unnatural
      about the situation that Mark purports to report? I don't think it is
      inherently implausible.

      2. Nothing in the other Gospels or in Acts or in the NT as far as I can
      recall gives Jacob a role as a fan and adherent already in Jesus's lifetime.
      Everything positive that is said of him places him in the posthumous
      movement, and in Jerusalem, which was not exactly where the Jesus movement
      started. That is, however developed and elaborated the Jacob tradition may
      eventually have become, and even Jacob's fans admit that some of it may be a
      bit exaggerated, that tradition didn't develop so as to give Jacob a role
      outside of the second phase of the Jesus movement (or the third, if you
      count the lifetime ministry as the first). I find this reticence
      significant.

      3. Also, what does the legendary tradition of Jacob actually say about his
      beliefs? As I recall, that he was hyperpious, and in a specifically Temple
      variety of piety. That he wore out his knees demonstrating his hyperpiety in
      public. Where in the Gospels, or in any other credible source, is Jesus
      portrayed this way? Nowhere. Instead, his objections to the orthodox piety
      of his day, including its conspicuous public manifestations in during
      prayer, are magnified, made much of, given ample Gospel room, and made the
      reason, or at any rate the political reason, why Jesus met the end he did.
      Is this too to be ascribed to original or inherited Markan denigration? I
      can't think so.

      But if, against all this, we after all imagine Jacob to have been a believer
      and fellow worker already in the Galilee period, what would have been Mark's
      reason for saying otherwise?

      Bruce
    • Ron Price
      ... Bruce, What is so implausible is that Mark presents Peter as the leading follower of Jesus, yet it is clear from both Galatians and Acts that within 10
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 11, 2007
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        Bruce Brooks wrote:

        > ....... What's so unnatural about the situation that Mark purports to report?
        > I don't think it is inherently implausible.

        Bruce,

        What is so implausible is that Mark presents Peter as the leading follower
        of Jesus, yet it is clear from both Galatians and Acts that within 10 years
        of the crucifixion the undisputed leader was James.

        > ..... however developed and elaborated the Jacob tradition may
        > eventually have become, and even Jacob's fans admit that some of it may be a
        > bit exaggerated, that tradition didn't develop so as to give Jacob a role
        > outside of the second phase of the Jesus movement (or the third, if you
        > count the lifetime ministry as the first). I find this reticence
        > significant.

        I can't comment on this because I don't understand what you mean by "outside
        of the second phase".

        > 3. Also, what does the legendary tradition of Jacob actually say about his
        > beliefs? As I recall, that he was hyperpious, and in a specifically Temple
        > variety of piety. That he wore out his knees demonstrating his hyperpiety in
        > public. Where in the Gospels, or in any other credible source, is Jesus
        > portrayed this way? Nowhere. Instead, his objections to the orthodox piety
        > of his day, including its conspicuous public manifestations in during
        > prayer, are magnified, made much of, given ample Gospel room, and made the
        > reason, or at any rate the political reason, why Jesus met the end he did.
        > Is this too to be ascribed to original or inherited Markan denigration? I
        > can't think so.

        Again I don't follow you. In any case "legendary tradition" is irrelevant
        for those like me who are only interested in the history.

        > But if, against all this, we after all imagine Jacob to have been a believer
        > and fellow worker already in the Galilee period, what would have been Mark's
        > reason for saying otherwise?

        Because Mark promoted the gospel of Paul (which became Christianity) and
        James promoted a sect of Judaism (which sect eventually fizzled out).

        Ron Price

        Derbyshire, UK

        Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic In Response To: Various On: Jacob From: Bruce [Unlike most E-lists of which I have experience, Synoptic is set so that the REPLY button gets you
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 11, 2007
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          To: Synoptic
          In Response To: Various
          On: Jacob
          From: Bruce

          [Unlike most E-lists of which I have experience, Synoptic is set so that the
          REPLY button gets you the sender of that message, not the list as a whole;
          with Synoptic you have to use REPLY ALL. Some responses meant for the list
          get lost that way, evidently including the recent response of Lance Beard,
          to which Ron Price replied at least in part, or none of us would have known
          of it, since it did not reach Synoptic and was not distributed by Synoptic.
          It seems to have only reached Ron. I keep getting tripped up in just this
          way myself. Perhaps the list organizers might like to reconsider that
          choice. / Bruce]

          RON [to Lance, who had questioned the "denigration" criterion as applied to
          Mark]: Let's consider a legal analogy. If witness A denigrates the character
          of witness B, do you believe witness A? No fair-minded person would do so
          without trying to find other evidence bearing on the case. And if there is
          no other evidence, the fair-minded person would surely be forced to suspend
          judgment, in other words, treat witness A's testimony as unreliable, that
          is, the testimony cannot be relied upon to be true.

          BRUCE: This amounts to the rule that only favorable testimony is inherently
          credible. I find it neither personally prudent nor legally recognized. If
          only positive testimony were acceptable before the bar, no criminal would
          ever be convicted. There are things in this world that one cannot honestly
          nicemouth. And do we allow Paul to denigrate himself, as he so frequently
          does, both in Luke's descriptions and in his own writings? If so, then what
          becomes of the rule which it is here proposed to apply to Mark's negative
          testimony about Jacob? There may be specific objections to Mark on this
          point, but I think that, as a general principle, the proposed rule cannot
          possibly stand.

          RON [here and below replying to me]: What is so implausible [about Mark's
          portrayal of Jacob] is that Mark presents Peter as the leading follower of
          Jesus, yet it is clear from both Galatians and Acts that within 10 years of
          the crucifixion the undisputed leader was James.

          BRUCE: Not parallel. Mark does not discuss events after the Crucifixion.
          Acts does. It may stand as agreed that within 10 years of the Crucifixion
          Jacob was important in the Jerusalem Church. But a lot can happen in ten
          years, and Acts itself portrays Peter as being at first the leading figure
          at Jerusalem, only later (and by a process about which Acts says exactly
          nothing) to be supplanted in that role by Jacob. Galatians does not deal
          with the Church, except by way of persecution, prior to the conversion of
          Paul, so again there is no competing testimony. Acts has its problems as a
          text, including a highly schematized narrative agenda, but so far as it
          goes, it puts the ascendancy of Jacob well after the founding of the
          Jerusalem Church. This is consistent with the idea that Jacob was a late
          comer to faith in his brother. If a late comer, even within the period after
          the Crucifixion, then not a believer during Jesus's life, which is what Mark
          is saying.

          [I had noted the lack of positive testimony for Jacob as an early member of
          the Jesus movement]:

          RON: I can't comment on this because I don't understand what you mean by
          "outside of the second phase".

          BRUCE: Sorry, let me rephrase. The first phase of Christianity is the
          preaching of Jesus during his lifetime. No witnesses, in or out of the NT,
          give Jacob a place in the movement at this time.

          The second phase of Christianity is the time of the Galilee-based movement,
          recently bereft of its founder, and presumably under the leadership of the
          Twelve or their institutional predecessors. This would presumably have been
          the time of Peter, of whom the Gospels repeatedly speak in what amounts to
          the future tense. Again, no testimony whatever locates Jacob as a member,
          never mind a leader, of the movement at this time.

          The third phase of Christianity is the founding and growth and domination of
          the Jerusalem Church, and the corresponding eclipse of Galilee. The
          influence of the original disciples (whether twelve or another number) would
          probably have waned at this period, and other leadership would probably have
          emerged. Acts shows Peter precisely as waning during this period, and coming
          to be subject to the central leadership of Jacob (who comes on the scene
          entirely unexplained). This is exactly where all traditions known to me,
          uncontradicted, place Jacob: a sudden leader in a movement which has already
          evolved considerably from its roots.

          Again, I see nothing in this to contradict or impugn the witness of Mark as
          to events during Jesus's lifetime.

          Let it be noted as well that the whole tone of Mark, a tone which if
          anything is more strongly emphasized in the later Gospels, is the separation
          between family, success, conventional life in all aspects, and the Way of
          Jesus. One must renounce family, abandon possessions, "hate" one's wife or
          other close connections, and set out on the road with no provisions, never
          looking back, without so much as honoring the most elemental claims of
          filial piety (burying your father). If the Jesus movement had been dominated
          from the beginning by Jesus's immediate family, would the movement itself
          have been described this way? It's not impossible, nothing is impossible,
          but would it be one's first choice on the midterm quiz?

          [I had also mentioned some of the tales told of Jacob]:

          RON: Again I don't follow you. In any case "legendary tradition" is
          irrelevant for those like me who are only interested in the history.

          BRUCE: With Jacob, to mention nobody else here discussed, there seems to be
          nothing *but* legendary tradition: stories (not always mutually consistent)
          of his death at the hands of the hardliners in Jerusalem, tales of his
          tremendous piety and constant praying. Granted that these as they stand are
          inventions, like nearly everything else in the texts we are considering (for
          example, Acts and Galatians famously differ about some details of the
          Apostolic Compromise), I think it useful to note that all the inventions
          concerning Jacob seem to run in one way. And that way is toward a kind of
          conspicuous Temple piety which, if we believe anything the Synoptics tell
          us, Jesus fundamentally opposed.

          If in fact (as Mark invites us to assume) Jacob did not follow Jesus in
          Jesus's lifetime, and if (as Mark does not exactly say, but as would be
          consistent with what he *does* say) Jacob disapproved of Jesus's stance on
          one or another points of doctrine or practice, what might have been those
          points? Jesus was a wonder-worker; nothing of the kind is recorded of James;
          he dealt only with what was psychologically familiar. Jesus lamented over
          Jerusalem, and was in fact killed there; Jacob seems to have had his whole
          career there; he was a centrist. Jesus deplored showoff praying; Jacob was a
          showcase prayer. If after Jesus's death his movement was eventually taken
          over by people who were more respectful of the Law, of the Temple center,
          and of the psychologically normal (Acts records marvelous events of many
          persons, but never of Jacob, who is not even an Apostle and never expounds
          doctrine; he is rather simply a leader), then Jacob is just the sort of
          person we might expect to find at the helm, with headquarters in Jerusalem,
          and with the authority of kinship to challenge Peter and company, who (see
          again Acts for one reconstruction) have only the authority of prior
          acquaintance, and possession of the Holy Spirit, a thing which all new
          believers receive at baptism, and is thus nondistinctive.

          I thus find Acts, by and large, to be entirely compatible with what Mark
          says and implies. The Jerusalemizing tendency of Matthew, who moves to
          restore in every iota the Law that Jesus had sought to radically simplify,
          is a credible way station toward that development. Against this, what can be
          offered in support of the idea that Jacob was an early adherent of Jesus?

          [I had asked, If Jacob had been an early follower of his brother, what would
          have been Mark's reason for saying otherwise?]

          RON: Because Mark promoted the gospel of Paul (which became Christianity)
          and James promoted a sect of Judaism (which sect eventually fizzled out).

          BRUCE: That seems indeed to be the large historical movement, though I am
          not sure that Mark is well summarized as "promoting the gospel of Paul." As
          to how well founded or exiguous the Pauline touches in Mark may be, that is
          probably best treated in a separate discussion. But do these final outcomes
          provide a sufficient basis for impugning the early situation implied by
          Mark? To me, they are consistent with it. On all the evidence available to
          us, Jacob disagreed with the Jesus movement as Jesus himself was leading it.
          That fact would admit the possibility that Mark's description was accurate
          for Jacob in Jesus's lifetime. No?

          I see Jacob as a Jimmy-come-lately, an opportunist, and with respect to
          conventional Temple piety, a recidivist and fanatic. Paul, to me, differs
          only in his rejection of Temple piety, the point at which Acts and Galatians
          agree in showing the two at odds. Paul, by his own account, is a Temple
          fanatic, a Temple zealot, who at one dramatic moment turned around 180
          degrees, applying the same temperament to the opposite side of the question
          at issue. The Gospel record taken together does not disguise the fact that
          Paul was originally the most virulent of the Jesus movement's early
          opponents (that is, during its days in Galilee, and for once, Acts slips up
          and actually mentions the word "Galilee"). Why must we doubt that same
          record when it also suggests that Jacob was not one of the movement's early
          adherents?

          Bruce
        • Ron Price
          ... Bruce, This is a deviation which does not address the point I was trying to make. The fact is that you and many others believe witness A (Mark) who
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 12, 2007
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            I wrote:

            > RON [to Lance, who had questioned the "denigration" criterion as applied to
            > Mark]: Let's consider a legal analogy. If witness A denigrates the character
            > of witness B, do you believe witness A? No fair-minded person would do so
            > without trying to find other evidence bearing on the case. And if there is
            > no other evidence, the fair-minded person would surely be forced to suspend
            > judgment, in other words, treat witness A's testimony as unreliable, that
            > is, the testimony cannot be relied upon to be true.

            Bruce Brooks replied:

            > This amounts to the rule that only favorable testimony is inherently
            > credible.

            Bruce,

            This is a deviation which does not address the point I was trying to make.
            The fact is that you and many others believe 'witness A' (Mark) who
            denigrates the character of 'witnesses B & C' (James & Peter) in spite of
            the absence of any evidence from the defendants. To me this seems unfair and
            likely to lead to a misreading of history.

            > ..... Acts itself portrays Peter as being at first the leading figure
            > at Jerusalem,

            This is true. But we should remember that the first part of Luke-Acts was
            dependent on Mark, and 'Luke' somehow had to blend the pre-eminence of Peter
            taken from Mark with his knowledge that James was the undisputed leader of
            the Jesus movement in Jerusalem. Fortunately for historians the blending
            process was rather crude, leaving the clue of the sudden and unexplained
            supremacy of James.

            > The second phase of Christianity is the time of the Galilee-based movement,
            > recently bereft of its founder, and presumably under the leadership of the
            > Twelve or their institutional predecessors. This would presumably have been
            > the time of Peter, .....

            I see no evidence of such a phase. Exactly what events are supposed to have
            occurred in this phase?

            > Let it be noted as well that the whole tone of Mark, a tone which if
            > anything is more strongly emphasized in the later Gospels, is the separation
            > between family, success, conventional life in all aspects, and the Way of
            > Jesus. One must renounce family, abandon possessions, "hate" one's wife or
            > other close connections, and set out on the road with no provisions, never
            > looking back, without so much as honoring the most elemental claims of
            > filial piety (burying your father). If the Jesus movement had been dominated
            > from the beginning by Jesus's immediate family, would the movement itself
            > have been described this way?

            I suggest that abandoning one's family is by implication only advocated if
            the rest of one's family declines to follow Jesus. At least that's the way
            I've always understood it.

            > ..... I think it useful to note that all the inventions
            > concerning Jacob seem to run in one way. And that way is toward a kind of
            > conspicuous Temple piety which, if we believe anything the Synoptics tell
            > us, Jesus fundamentally opposed.

            If there is some truth in the story of Jesus ejecting the moneylenders from
            the Temple, and there probably is, then it indicates to me his desire to
            restore correct temple procedures, not to abandon them altogether. The
            synoptic 'prediction' by Jesus of the destruction of the temple is dependent
            on Mark's testimony and was made after the event.

            > .....
            > I thus find Acts, by and large, to be entirely compatible with what Mark
            > says and implies. The Jerusalemizing tendency of Matthew, who moves to
            > restore in every iota the Law that Jesus had sought to radically simplify,
            > is a credible way station toward that development. Against this, what can be
            > offered in support of the idea that Jacob was an early adherent of Jesus?

            My interpretation of the evidence is that the logia was edited by Matthew
            under the authority of James, and we can therefore compare what the logia
            teaches with what we know about James from Acts and Galatians. As I
            mentioned earlier in this exchange, the two are entirely compatible. They
            are especially close regarding attitude to the law and to the poor. As the
            majority of the sayings probably go back to Jesus, the outlook of James is
            closely linked to that of Jesus via the logia.

            > ..... On all the evidence available to
            > us, Jacob disagreed with the Jesus movement as Jesus himself was leading it.
            > That fact would admit the possibility that Mark's description was accurate
            > for Jacob in Jesus's lifetime. No?

            "possibility" yes. "likelihood" no.

            > ..... The Gospel record taken together does not disguise the fact that
            > Paul was originally the most virulent of the Jesus movement's early
            > opponents (that is, during its days in Galilee, and for once, Acts slips up
            > and actually mentions the word "Galilee"). Why must we doubt that same
            > record when it also suggests that Jacob was not one of the movement's early
            > adherents?

            The canonical gospels were written to promote what came to be known as
            Christianity, and the later ones were all dependent on Mark. Paul converted
            to a recognizably Christian viewpoint and his past was forgiven. James
            remained a Jew and therefore retained a fundamentally different theology. In
            the competitive environment of the birth of his new faith, Mark could not
            forgive James: to have done so would have cast doubt on the validity of the
            faith he was trying to promote (Mk 1:1).

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
          • Horace Jeffery Hodges
            Could someone direct me to a website with transliteration tables? I ve been Googling around without finding any standard, professional ones. Jeffery Hodges
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 2, 2008
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              Could someone direct me to a website with transliteration tables? I've been Googling around without finding any standard, professional ones.

              Jeffery Hodges


              University Degrees:

              Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
              (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
              M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
              B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

              Email Address:

              jefferyhodges@...

              Blog:

              http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

              Office Address:

              Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
              School of English, Kyung Hee University
              1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
              Seoul, 130-701
              South Korea

              Home Address:

              Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
              Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
              Sangbong-dong 1
              Jungnang-gu
              Seoul 131-771
              South Korea

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Joseph Weaks
              I m guessing you mean Greek transliteration schemes? Here are some options: The suggested transliteration scheme for the B-Greek e-list:
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 2, 2008
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                I'm guessing you mean Greek transliteration schemes?

                Here are some options:
                The suggested transliteration scheme for the B-Greek e-list:
                http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/transliteration.txt

                The full tables of the Text Criticism e-journal:
                http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/TC-translit.html

                The description further of BetaCode Greek
                http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/OM/Beta-codes.html

                I would also encourage you to have a look at the very well done
                transliteration work by OakTree:
                http://www.accordancebible.com/resources/pdf/fonts.pdf
                specifically with their Rosetta font designed just for Greek/Hebrew
                transliteration.

                Rev. Joseph A. Weaks
                Minister, Raytown Christian Church
                Ph.D. Candidate, Brite Divinity School, TCU


                On Jan 3, 2008, at 12:25 AM, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:

                > Could someone direct me to a website with transliteration tables?
                > I've been Googling around without finding any standard, professional
                > ones.
                >
                > Jeffery Hodges
              • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                Greek, thank, but also: Transliterating Greek, Hebrew, Coptic, etc. I had that in the subject heading, but I can imagine that it s not so obvious that I
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 2, 2008
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                  Greek, thank, but also:

                  "Transliterating Greek, Hebrew, Coptic, etc."

                  I had that in the subject heading, but I can imagine that it's not so obvious that I wouldn't be overlooked. (Also Syriac.)

                  Jeffery Hodges

                  Joseph Weaks <j.weaks@...> wrote:
                  I'm guessing you mean Greek transliteration schemes?

                  Here are some options:
                  The suggested transliteration scheme for the B-Greek e-list:
                  http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/transliteration.txt

                  The full tables of the Text Criticism e-journal:
                  http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/TC-translit.html

                  The description further of BetaCode Greek
                  http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/OM/Beta-codes.html

                  I would also encourage you to have a look at the very well done
                  transliteration work by OakTree:
                  http://www.accordancebible.com/resources/pdf/fonts.pdf
                  specifically with their Rosetta font designed just for Greek/Hebrew
                  transliteration.

                  Rev. Joseph A. Weaks
                  Minister, Raytown Christian Church
                  Ph.D. Candidate, Brite Divinity School, TCU


                  On Jan 3, 2008, at 12:25 AM, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:

                  > Could someone direct me to a website with transliteration tables?
                  > I've been Googling around without finding any standard, professional
                  > ones.
                  >
                  > Jeffery Hodges


                  Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-l
                  Yahoo! Groups Links






                  University Degrees:

                  Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
                  (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
                  M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
                  B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

                  Email Address:

                  jefferyhodges@...

                  Blog:

                  http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

                  Office Address:

                  Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                  School of English, Kyung Hee University
                  1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
                  Seoul, 130-701
                  South Korea

                  Home Address:

                  Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
                  Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
                  Sangbong-dong 1
                  Jungnang-gu
                  Seoul 131-771
                  South Korea

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