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original sayings

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  • Stclair51@aol.com
    It is obvious to me, after monitoring Crosstalk for the past couple of months, that many of you have spent years studying the Historical Jesus and I would be
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 27, 1998
      It is obvious to me, after monitoring Crosstalk for the past couple of months,
      that many of you have spent years studying the Historical Jesus and I would be
      interested to know what sayings and events (if any) each of you think go back
      to the HJ and, secondly, what in the NT (or any source) reflect the
      ipsissima verba of Jesus. I am sure these are "old" questions, but I am a
      "new" student to this field so bear with me. Thank you.

      Steve St. Clair
    • Jim West
      ... As to what we can know, with some degree of certainty about the HJ- little to nothing. Most of what we know (if not all) comes from his partisans- and
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 27, 1998
        At 12:35 PM 8/27/98 -0400, you wrote:
        >It is obvious to me, after monitoring Crosstalk for the past couple of months,
        >that many of you have spent years studying the Historical Jesus and I would be
        >interested to know what sayings and events (if any) each of you think go back
        >to the HJ

        As to what we can know, with some degree of certainty about the HJ- little
        to nothing. Most of what we know (if not all) comes from his partisans- and
        partisans do not make good sources for historical reconstruction. As to
        what we can know by FAITH- that is another matter altogether.

        > and, secondly, what in the NT (or any source) reflect the
        >ipsissima verba of Jesus.

        Virtually none. The sayings, as well as the deeds of Jesus have been
        totally reworked. Though others have a high degree of confidence that such
        sayings can be rediscovered- I would give the whole of the Gospel sayings a
        grey to black rating....

        > I am sure these are "old" questions, but I am a
        >"new" student to this field so bear with me. Thank you.

        Others will disagree with me- I tend to be very sceptical about matters of
        historical reconstruction. For instance, much is made of Mark being written
        around 70 CE. I think that we cannot speak of the gospel until we have hard
        textual evidence- i.e., the earliest fragment of Mark- 2nd c. CE. It was,
        of course, written before that, but we have no proof til the 2nd c.


        But, as far as matters of faith are concerned- ah- there I have much less
        difficulty- for it is not history that matters....

        >
        >Steve St. Clair
        >

        Best,

        Jim


        jwest@...
      • Stevan Davies
        ... OK. I wish there was a list of the ipsissima verba of Jesus I could direct you to. In fact I d suggest to Crosstalk that we compile one, starting with the
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 27, 1998
          > From: Stclair51@...
          > Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 12:35:46 EDT
          > To: Crosstalk@...
          > Subject: original sayings

          > It is obvious to me, after monitoring Crosstalk for the past couple of months,
          > that many of you have spent years studying the Historical Jesus and I would be
          > interested to know what sayings and events (if any) each of you think go back
          > to the HJ and, secondly, what in the NT (or any source) reflect the
          > ipsissima verba of Jesus. I am sure these are "old" questions, but I am a
          > "new" student to this field so bear with me. Thank you.
          >
          > Steve St. Clair
          >
          >

          OK. I wish there was a list of the ipsissima verba of Jesus I could
          direct you to. In fact I'd suggest to Crosstalk that we compile one,
          starting with the red/pink sayings of the Jesus Seminar. Or does
          somebody have such a list (not the citations, the words) and can you
          put it on the WWW or send it to me (at sdavies@..., so as
          not to jam up my home mail) and I'll put it on the WWW?

          (The Jesus Seminar, in its Five Gospels book, concluded that
          Jesus probably did say the things they color red/pink and probably
          did not say the things they color grey/black)

          My own list is "whatever shows up in the Gospel of Thomas and
          anywhere else" but that list doesn't exist on the WWW either.

          I think what you should do is buy the Five Gospels book the Jesus
          Seminar put out and go from there. Despite all of the hoo hah
          about the Jesus Seminar, and with the exception of a few long
          special Luke parables, virtually all critical scholars affirm that
          the red/pink sayings are the best list of the ipsissima verba. Then
          there will be disagreement as to what others should be added...
          and virtually all scholars will be prone to add some.

          In summary: the consensus of scholarship seems to be, in
          regard to the red/pink sayings of the Jesus Seminar, that "yes,
          he did say most of these things and probably several more and
          indeed he did not say most of the black things".

          You can get the Five Gospels book through Amazon at this address>>


          http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/006063040X/thegospelofthoma/002-3870032-7385855

          Steve
        • PetersnICS@aol.com
          John Meier s multivolume (and not yet completed) _A Marginal Jew_ (Doubleday) would seem to me the best place to get an introduction to scholarly evaluation of
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 27, 1998
            John Meier's multivolume (and not yet completed) _A Marginal Jew_ (Doubleday)
            would seem to me the best place to get an introduction to scholarly evaluation
            of the sayings of Jesus. A big investment in reading time but worth it.

            Jeff Peterson
            Institute for Christian Studies
            Austin, Texas, USA
            e-mail: peterson@...
          • Jeffrey B. Gibson
            ... I wonder, too, if the section in Jeremias _New Testament Theology_ on the Ways of Speaking preferred by Jesus and Characteristics of the *ipsissima
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 27, 1998
              PetersnICS@... wrote:
              >
              > John Meier's multivolume (and not yet completed) _A Marginal Jew_ (Doubleday)
              > would seem to me the best place to get an introduction to scholarly evaluation
              > of the sayings of Jesus. A big investment in reading time but worth it.
              >
              I wonder, too, if the section in Jeremias' _New Testament Theology_ on
              the "Ways of Speaking preferred by Jesus" and "Characteristics of the
              *ipsissima vox* would not provide some basis of discussion, if only on
              methodology.

              Yours,

              Jeffrey Gibson
              --
              Jeffrey B. Gibson
              7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
              Chicago, Illinois 60626
              e-mail jgibson000@...
            • Mahlon H. Smith
              ... Thanks for the plug & kind words, Steve D. You never fail to surprise me. But I would just like to make a few revisions to your recommendation. 1. The JS
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 27, 1998
                Stevan Davies wrote to Steve St. Clair:
                >
                > I think what you should do is buy the Five Gospels book the Jesus
                > Seminar put out and go from there. Despite all of the hoo hah
                > about the Jesus Seminar, and with the exception of a few long
                > special Luke parables, virtually all critical scholars affirm that
                > the red/pink sayings are the best list of the ipsissima verba. Then
                > there will be disagreement as to what others should be added...
                > and virtually all scholars will be prone to add some.
                >

                Thanks for the plug & kind words, Steve D. You never fail to surprise
                me. But I would just like to make a few revisions to your
                recommendation.

                1. The JS never claimed that the R/P sayings represented *ipsissima
                verba Iesu*. In fact if Red had been defined as such then there probably
                would have been no red sayings since many fellows believe that HJ spoke
                Aramaic & not Greek, & even those who think he spoke some Greek
                recognize that the variant forms of practically every multiply attested
                saying makes it virtually impossible to determine exactly which version
                better represents the original genuine Jesus saying. Therefore, our
                voting was on the *ipsissima ratio Iesu* -- i.e., the core logic or
                rhetorical structure of each saying. This is what oral memory retains of
                most speech only to flesh it out afresh with every new recall. Two oral
                performances are rarely identical except for what has been deliberately
                memorized & oft rehearsed. But even then minor variations in wording
                inevitably creep in. Thus, most of the JS Fellows would agree with Jim
                W's skepticism in recovering HJ's actual words. We were even genuinely
                surprised to find as much agreement on identifying so many sayings that
                preserved his logic to some degree.

                2. My 2nd point has to do with your claim that "virtually all critical
                scholars affirm that the red/pink sayings are the best list" of genuine
                sayings. Would that this were true. But in fact, there are even several
                JS Fellows who still think that some of the pink sayings should have
                been voted black. All the bruhaha on this list a couple of months ago
                about the tabulation & reporting of JS votes was due to the discovery
                that the proportion of gray votes was far greater than the final
                "weighted average"/color-coding made it appear. Thus, individual
                critical scholars, left to their own devices, are apt to drop some or
                even many of the R/P sayings in the 5G. And the more skeptical would not
                be inclined to fill the vacancies with gray or black sayings. Those who
                favor a profile of HJ as apocalyptic preacher or scripture-quoting
                rabbi, might demote most of 5G's R/P sayings to gray & argue that many
                of the gray or black sayings should have been Red. In other words, 5G's
                R/P sayings at best represent an approximate list of sayings traced
                directly to HJ by these 70+ scholars and anyone else who finds our
                observations & judgments cogent.

                If Steve St. Clair or anyone else cares what gospel sayings MHS
                considers genuine echoes of HJ's thinking, most are discussed or
                referenced in my essay "A Little Leaven" on my website & others are in
                the article "Israel's Prodigal Son" which I'm preparing to post next
                week.

                Shalom!


                Mahlon
                --

                "A Little Leaven: Jesus in Dialectical Perspective"
                http://religion.rutgers.edu/nt/leaven.html

                *********************

                Mahlon H. Smith,
                Associate Professor
                Department of Religion
                Rutgers University
                New Brunswick NJ

                http://religion.rutgers.edu/mhsmith.html
              • Jack Kilmon
                ... I am one who believes the Aramaic Factor is, or should be, one of the parameters in looking at genuine Yeshuine sayings. Oftimes sayings of Jesus in the
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 27, 1998
                  Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
                  >
                  > PetersnICS@... wrote:
                  > >
                  > > John Meier's multivolume (and not yet completed) _A Marginal Jew_ (Doubleday)
                  > > would seem to me the best place to get an introduction to scholarly evaluation
                  > > of the sayings of Jesus. A big investment in reading time but worth it.
                  > >
                  > I wonder, too, if the section in Jeremias' _New Testament Theology_ on
                  > the "Ways of Speaking preferred by Jesus" and "Characteristics of the
                  > *ipsissima vox* would not provide some basis of discussion, if only on
                  > methodology.

                  I am one who believes the "Aramaic Factor" is, or should be, one of the
                  parameters in looking at genuine Yeshuine sayings. Oftimes sayings of
                  Jesus in the translational Greek of the NT just simply do not make
                  sense.
                  When they are restored to Aramaic, it's like a light turning on.
                  Another aspect is what was an oratorical style little heard in our
                  literate society (and little understood) but was designed for
                  transmission by the audience in an oral society. These sayings, when
                  restored to Aramaic, become "songs" in a 2/4 beat rhyme.
                  Other sayings retroverted to Aramaic from Greek sound clumsy. Let
                  me give as an example two sayings voted as red by the JS:

                  Mt 5:3 Blessed are the poor
                  for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
                  <Greek> MAKARIOI OI PTOCHOI
                  OTI AUTWN ESTIN H BASILEIA TWN OURANWN

                  Now in phoneticized Aramaic:

                  TOObehon l'misknaYA
                  deDILehon malKOOtha dishmaYA

                  This is a short metered song, easy to remember and to pass
                  on in oral transmission. It has what I call that "Jesus Quality."

                  Mt 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn
                  for they shall be comforted.
                  <Greek> MAKARIOIS OI PENQOUNTES
                  OTI AUTOI PARAKLHQHSONTAI

                  *BACK* translated to Aramaic:

                  TOObehon demitABbelin
                  deHEEnun mitnaHAmin

                  Isn't that elegant? Another metered song.

                  Now let's look at one of the beatitudes considered not to
                  have originated with Jesus:

                  Mt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers
                  for they shall be called the sons of God.
                  <Greek> MAKARIOI OI EIRHNOPOIOI
                  OTI AUTOI UIOI QEOU KLHQHSONTAI

                  I am going to call this a translation rather than a *back*
                  translation (retroversion) to Aramaic:

                  TOObehon l'AVdey shlaMA
                  d'evNAWhi d'aLAha neetheeKRON

                  What happened? That "Jesus Quality" is gone.

                  These are cases where I think my "Aramaic Factor"
                  supports the JS votes but there are other cases where
                  I disagree on sayings voted black because of the
                  power they regain when *back* translated.

                  I am convinced that this "Aramaic Factor" should
                  have been added to the other criteria, such as
                  multiple attestation (The first two are also
                  attested by Thomas), dissimilarity, etc in
                  devining ipsissima verba Iesu. There are
                  scholars who agree with me such as Jeremias,
                  Fitzmyer, Torry, Burney, Black, Crossan and
                  others and there are those that disagree...
                  why can't I remember their names (g)...on the
                  premise that retroversion is untrustworthy.

                  My sitz on this, however, is not based on
                  an appeal to these authorities, however, but
                  to my own senses when I see a saying that is
                  clumsy, or even meaningless in Greek, suddenly
                  "light up" and become powerful when placed
                  back in Aramaic...just as I hope my first
                  two exemplars above demonstrate.

                  Jack


                  --
                  ______________________________________________

                  Min d'LA rokHEM l'maRAN yeSHUa meshyCHA niheYAH. maRAN aTHA

                  Jack Kilmon
                  jkilmon@...

                  http://www.historian.net
                • Mark Goodacre
                  ... The only one I know of is on James Tabor s glossy web site: http://niner.uncc.edu/~jdtabor/jesussayings.html His list is based on Perrin and Fuller and
                  Message 8 of 10 , Aug 28, 1998
                    On 27 Aug 98 at 17:01, Stevan Davies wrote:

                    > OK. I wish there was a list of the ipsissima verba of Jesus I could
                    > direct you to. In fact I'd suggest to Crosstalk that we compile one,
                    > starting with the red/pink sayings of the Jesus Seminar. Or does
                    > somebody have such a list (not the citations, the words) and can you
                    > put it on the WWW or send it to me (at sdavies@..., so as
                    > not to jam up my home mail) and I'll put it on the WWW?

                    The only one I know of is on James Tabor's glossy web site:

                    http://niner.uncc.edu/~jdtabor/jesussayings.html

                    His list is based on Perrin and Fuller and includes some of the eschatological
                    material the Jesus Seminar is not fond of. For example, the first on Tabor's
                    list is Mark 1.15, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" etc., voted black by the
                    Jesus Seminar.

                    > In summary: the consensus of scholarship seems to be, in
                    > regard to the red/pink sayings of the Jesus Seminar, that "yes,
                    > he did say most of these things and probably several more and
                    > indeed he did not say most of the black things".

                    Unfortunately not on a quick comparison of James Tabor's web page list and the
                    Five Gospels. And where the two do agree, alas there are others who do not,
                    e.g. over the Good Samaritan.

                    Mark
                    --------------------------------------
                    Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                    Dept of Theology Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7512
                    University of Birmingham Fax: +44 (0)121 414 6866
                    Birmingham B15 2TT
                    United Kingdom

                    Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                    World Without Q: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/q
                  • Theresa Ramseyer
                    While we re on the subject,. does anyone have any suggestions on basic Greek/Arabic/English translating/language books that don t cost a small fortune? I d
                    Message 9 of 10 , Aug 28, 1998
                      While we're on the subject,. does anyone have any suggestions on basic
                      Greek/Arabic/English translating/language books that don't cost a small
                      fortune? I'd like to be able to translate on my own at least a litle bit -
                      to understand what Jack's saying, and see for myself.

                      I'd love to take the Greek classes offered by the local Christian college,
                      but every semester, something comes up - usually a lack of money ! Except
                      for those classes, there's not an interest around here, (in Greek or
                      Arabic) and I always end up quitting because nobody else seems to care. I
                      know most. if not all, of you can translate back and forth with your eyes
                      closed, but is there a newsgroup, newsletter, or any other study-at-home
                      students that I can email or discuss my Greek/Arabic problems with?

                      ----------
                      > From: Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@...>
                      > To: jgibson000@...
                      > Cc: crosstalk@...
                      > Subject: Re: original sayings
                      > Date: Friday, August 28, 1998 1:10 AM
                      >
                      > Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
                      > >
                      > > PetersnICS@... wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > John Meier's multivolume (and not yet completed) _A Marginal Jew_
                      (Doubleday)
                      > > > would seem to me the best place to get an introduction to scholarly
                      evaluation
                      > > > of the sayings of Jesus. A big investment in reading time but worth
                      it.
                      > > >
                      > > I wonder, too, if the section in Jeremias' _New Testament Theology_ on
                      > > the "Ways of Speaking preferred by Jesus" and "Characteristics of the
                      > > *ipsissima vox* would not provide some basis of discussion, if only on
                      > > methodology.
                      >
                      > I am one who believes the "Aramaic Factor" is, or should be, one of the
                      > parameters in looking at genuine Yeshuine sayings. Oftimes sayings of
                      > Jesus in the translational Greek of the NT just simply do not make
                      > sense.
                      > When they are restored to Aramaic, it's like a light turning on.
                      > Another aspect is what was an oratorical style little heard in our
                      > literate society (and little understood) but was designed for
                      > transmission by the audience in an oral society. These sayings, when
                      > restored to Aramaic, become "songs" in a 2/4 beat rhyme.
                      > Other sayings retroverted to Aramaic from Greek sound clumsy. Let
                      > me give as an example two sayings voted as red by the JS:
                      >
                      > Mt 5:3 Blessed are the poor
                      > for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
                      > <Greek> MAKARIOI OI PTOCHOI
                      > OTI AUTWN ESTIN H BASILEIA TWN OURANWN
                      >
                      > Now in phoneticized Aramaic:
                      >
                      > TOObehon l'misknaYA
                      > deDILehon malKOOtha dishmaYA
                      >
                      > This is a short metered song, easy to remember and to pass
                      > on in oral transmission. It has what I call that "Jesus Quality."
                      >
                      > Mt 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn
                      > for they shall be comforted.
                      > <Greek> MAKARIOIS OI PENQOUNTES
                      > OTI AUTOI PARAKLHQHSONTAI
                      >
                      > *BACK* translated to Aramaic:
                      >
                      > TOObehon demitABbelin
                      > deHEEnun mitnaHAmin
                      >
                      > Isn't that elegant? Another metered song.
                      >
                      > Now let's look at one of the beatitudes considered not to
                      > have originated with Jesus:
                      >
                      > Mt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers
                      > for they shall be called the sons of God.
                      > <Greek> MAKARIOI OI EIRHNOPOIOI
                      > OTI AUTOI UIOI QEOU KLHQHSONTAI
                      >
                      > I am going to call this a translation rather than a *back*
                      > translation (retroversion) to Aramaic:
                      >
                      > TOObehon l'AVdey shlaMA
                      > d'evNAWhi d'aLAha neetheeKRON
                      >
                      > What happened? That "Jesus Quality" is gone.
                      >
                      > These are cases where I think my "Aramaic Factor"
                      > supports the JS votes but there are other cases where
                      > I disagree on sayings voted black because of the
                      > power they regain when *back* translated.
                      >
                      > I am convinced that this "Aramaic Factor" should
                      > have been added to the other criteria, such as
                      > multiple attestation (The first two are also
                      > attested by Thomas), dissimilarity, etc in
                      > devining ipsissima verba Iesu. There are
                      > scholars who agree with me such as Jeremias,
                      > Fitzmyer, Torry, Burney, Black, Crossan and
                      > others and there are those that disagree...
                      > why can't I remember their names (g)...on the
                      > premise that retroversion is untrustworthy.
                      >
                      > My sitz on this, however, is not based on
                      > an appeal to these authorities, however, but
                      > to my own senses when I see a saying that is
                      > clumsy, or even meaningless in Greek, suddenly
                      > "light up" and become powerful when placed
                      > back in Aramaic...just as I hope my first
                      > two exemplars above demonstrate.
                      >
                      > Jack
                      >
                      >
                      > --
                      > ______________________________________________
                      >
                      > Min d'LA rokHEM l'maRAN yeSHUa meshyCHA niheYAH. maRAN aTHA
                      >
                      > Jack Kilmon
                      > jkilmon@...
                      >
                      > http://www.historian.net
                    • Jim West
                      ... On the Text criticism list there is a chap in Belgium, Jean Valentin, who works extensively in Arabic texts. If you would like his email address, the next
                      Message 10 of 10 , Aug 29, 1998
                        At 10:13 PM 8/28/98 -0500, you wrote:
                        >
                        >While we're on the subject,. does anyone have any suggestions on basic
                        >Greek/Arabic/English translating/language books that don't cost a small
                        >fortune? I'd like to be able to translate on my own at least a litle bit -
                        >to understand what Jack's saying, and see for myself.

                        On the Text criticism list there is a chap in Belgium, Jean Valentin, who
                        works extensively in Arabic texts. If you would like his email address, the
                        next time he posts, I will note it and send it to you.


                        Best,

                        Jim


                        jwest@...
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