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Mark 8:19-21

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  • INTERPRES
    ... mouth ... bread ... can
    Message 1 of 20 , Aug 31 6:44 PM
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      >Bruce,
      >your analysis of the numbers in the Feedings brings back memories of an
      >argument I launched in this forum a while back. I argued that the author of
      >Mark had a definite solution in mind to the puzzle he puts into Jesus'
      mouth
      >in 8:19-21. Would the author of any literary work have its protagonist
      >pronounce a numerical puzzle without having in mind an implicit solution
      >that the clever reader would be expected to uncover? Moreover, the solution
      >(and it must be a numerical one) must be consistent with the drift of the
      >argument. So what is the solution to the puzzle posed by Jesus in Mk.
      >8:19-21?
      >
      >The puzzle as posed is very simple: At the first feeding Jesus broke the 5
      >loaves and the pieces when collected filled 12 kofinoi. At a subsequent
      >feeding he broke 7 loaves and the pieces when collected filled 7 spyrides.
      >The contemporary reader to whom Mark addressed the gospel must have been
      >well acquainted with ancient measures of volume, particularly insofar as
      >they related to bread receptacles. He must have known that a spyris is
      >fashioned so as to carry a single loaf of bread, and that the volume of 5
      >spyrides is the same as that of 12 kophinoi. The implication is that not a
      >morsel of the 5 loaves was consumed, since all of the pieces Jesus broke
      >were collected in the 12 kofinoi, just as not a morsel of the 7 loaves was
      >consumed, since all of the pieces broken by Jesus were collected in the 7
      >spyrides. This implies that the crowds at the feedings were not fed by
      bread
      >(the bread of the Pharisees) but by something else: Jesus gives a foretaste
      >of the Kingdom of God where people are sustained in some other way.
      >The solution is a logical one in terms of the structure of this chapter of
      >Mark. The disciples are rebuked for worrying about not having enough bread.
      >Jesus proves to them numerically that their worries are unfounded. Jesus
      can
      >sustain them without any bread, as he did the multitudes in the desert.
      >Any takers?
      >
      >Jan
      >
      >
    • Mike Grondin
      ... Although this goes some way toward explaining the riddle, I think that your analysis cannot be the whole of the story. You have left out of account: 1. Why
      Message 2 of 20 , Aug 31 7:42 PM
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        Jan Sammer writes:
        > ... the volume of 5 spyrides is the same as that of 12 kophinoi ...

        Although this goes some way toward explaining the riddle, I think that your
        analysis cannot be the whole of the story. You have left out of account:

        1. Why _two_ feedings? Just Markan styling? Or symbols of two missions?
        2. What about the fish? (In the 1st feeding, two fish are specified. In the
        2nd story, a single brief passage mentions fish, but does not say how many.)

        To me, the presence of the fish indicates that Mark has a different point
        in mind than the one you suggest. The loaves must represent, as others have
        speculated, the original male inner circle - the fish, the females of that
        same inner circle. Of course we are not talking about literal bread here,
        but about "the Word" that is brought to the multitude by those who have
        known Yeshu.

        When the disciples are on the boat after the second feeding, they are
        worried that they have _only a single loaf_ with them. The one original
        disciple who outlived the others to such an extent as to be remarkable
        elsewhere was John. It seems to me that Mark is concerned to soothe the
        apprehension among the "flock" brought about by the progressive dying off
        of the first generation of disciples.

        Mike G.
        ------------------------------------
        The Codex II Student Resource Center
        http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068
      • y.kuchinsky@utoronto.ca
        ... I suspect you re right, Mike. ... Actually the fish certainly may carry a lot of other special symbolic meanings. I would like to extend Jan s theory a
        Message 3 of 20 , Sep 1, 1998
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          On Mon, 31 Aug 1998, Mike Grondin wrote:
          > Jan Sammer writes:

          > > ... the volume of 5 spyrides is the same as that of 12 kophinoi ...
          >
          > Although this goes some way toward explaining the riddle, I think that
          > your analysis cannot be the whole of the story. You have left out of
          > account:
          >
          > 1. Why _two_ feedings? Just Markan styling? Or symbols of two missions?
          > 2. What about the fish? (In the 1st feeding, two fish are specified. In
          > the 2nd story, a single brief passage mentions fish, but does not say
          > how many.)
          >
          > To me, the presence of the fish indicates that Mark has a different
          > point in mind than the one you suggest.

          I suspect you're right, Mike.

          > The loaves must represent, as others have speculated, the original male
          > inner circle - the fish, the females of that same inner circle. Of
          > course we are not talking about literal bread here, but about "the Word"
          > that is brought to the multitude by those who have known Yeshu.

          Actually the fish certainly may carry a lot of other special symbolic
          meanings. I would like to extend Jan's theory a little here.

          Indeed much may hinge on these fishes...

          As Jan suggests, the bread was not eaten -- this was the cenrtal point,
          the whole crux of the matter. It was a spiritual bread. But the fish was
          probably eaten. But was it cooked? I don't think so. Why are we not
          hearing about fish being cooked in the Scriptures? A simple oversight?
          But perhaps not?

          How to explain all this? Well, my suggestion will be that Jesus, having of
          course previously gone as far East as Japan on his search of spiritual
          enlightenment, commanded his disciples to make sushi! And there was sushi
          enough to eat for all... Oh, yes, these were the wonderful days of old...

          But it wasn't just any kind of sushi... It was *magic sushi*.

          > When the disciples are on the boat after the second feeding, they are
          > worried that they have _only a single loaf_ with them. The one original
          > disciple who outlived the others to such an extent as to be remarkable
          > elsewhere was John. It seems to me that Mark is concerned to soothe the
          > apprehension among the "flock" brought about by the progressive dying
          > off of the first generation of disciples.

          And this is exactly where the Magic Sushi comes in.

          You see, the one original disciple who "outlived the others" to such an
          extent as to be remarkable was none other than the author of Luke/Acts!

          How do I know it? Because he ate the magic sushi, he was able, having
          already written, according to Jan, the Book of Acts before 60 ad, to
          *Travel Forward In Time* to ca. 120 ad. And having found out what the
          needs of the Church will be in the future, he was able to write, 60 years
          later, the Gospel of Luke, i.e. Volume One of his two-part treatise (using
          in part also the Gospel of John, and the other 2 synoptics in the
          process!). So All the Up-to-date Available Information was thus factored
          in! And the ranks of the Church multiplied, and there was wonder and
          jubilation all around...

          You see, Mike? This is how historical scholarship really may work if you
          get inspired by the extremely intriguing and provocative theories of Jan &
          friends.

          Best regards in Science,

          Yuri.
        • PetersnICS@aol.com
          Jan Sammer s suggestive consideration of the feeding narratives in Mark is reminiscent of the article by Austin Farrer, Loaves and Thousands, _JTS_ (n.s.) 4
          Message 4 of 20 , Sep 1, 1998
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            Jan Sammer's suggestive consideration of the feeding narratives in Mark is
            reminiscent of the article by Austin Farrer, "Loaves and Thousands," _JTS_
            (n.s.) 4 (1953) 1–14, the substance of which is incorporated in his unjustly
            neglected _St Matthew and St Mark_, pp. 57ff.

            Jeff Peterson
            Institute for Christian Studies
            Austin, Texas, USA
            e-mail: peterson@...
          • E. Bruce Brooks
            Topic: Mark 8:19-21 From: Bruce In Philological Rebuke To: Yuri Yuri had replied to and expanded a hypothesis of Mike Grondin, viz: MIKE: 2. What about the
            Message 5 of 20 , Sep 1, 1998
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              Topic: Mark 8:19-21
              From: Bruce
              In Philological Rebuke To: Yuri

              Yuri had replied to and expanded a hypothesis of Mike Grondin, viz:

              MIKE: 2. What about the fish? (In the 1st feeding, two fish are specified.
              In the 2nd story, a single brief passage mentions fish, but does not say
              how many). To me, the presence of the fish indicates that Mark has a
              different point in mind than the one you suggest.

              YURI: I suspect you're right, Mike.

              MIKE: The loaves must represent, as others have speculated, the original
              male inner circle - the fish, the females of that same inner circle. Of
              course we are not talking about literal bread here, but about "the Word"
              that is brought to the multitude by those who have known Yeshu.

              YURI: Actually the fish certainly may carry a lot of other special symbolic
              meanings. . . As Jan suggests, the bread was not eaten -- this was the
              central point, the whole crux of the matter. It was a spiritual bread. But
              the fish was probably eaten. But was it cooked? I don't think so. Why are
              we not hearing about fish being cooked in the Scriptures? A simple
              oversight? But perhaps not? . . .Well, my suggestion will be that Jesus,
              having of course previously gone as far East as Japan on his search of
              spiritual enlightenment, commanded his disciples to make sushi! And there
              was sushi enough to eat for all.

              BRUCE: Surely Yuri means sashimi. Rest of argument seems OK.

              E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts
            • E. Bruce Brooks
              Topic: Mark 8:19-21 From: Bruce In Bibliographical Supplement to: Jeff Peterson JEFF: Jan Sammer s suggestive consideration of the feeding narratives in Mark
              Message 6 of 20 , Sep 1, 1998
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                Topic: Mark 8:19-21
                From: Bruce
                In Bibliographical Supplement to: Jeff Peterson

                JEFF: Jan Sammer's suggestive consideration of the feeding narratives in
                Mark is reminiscent of the article by Austin Farrer, "Loaves and
                Thousands," JTS ns 4 (1953) 1–14, the substance of which is incorporated in
                his unjustly neglected St Matthew and St Mark 57ff.

                BRUCE: Farrer's ch4 deals with "The Marcan Pattern of Loaves." Perhaps a
                summary may help those who do not have this book (and me, not having read
                it with sufficient attention previously) to keep up with the argument.

                Farrer dispenses with the fishes as symbolically extraneous: ". . . two
                fishes besides; but the fishes do not enter into the arithmetic" (p65).

                As I mentioned some time ago, Farrer builds much of his argument in this
                book around the claimed structural centrality of the [Tyrian] Woman,
                supposed to represent the Mission to the Gentiles. I have counterproposed
                that removing the Tyrian Woman from the text solves more problems than it
                creates, but manifestly it was present at some stage in the history of GMk,
                and it is fair to describe the structure of the narrative as of that stage
                (finessing the question of whether we are describing the intent of the
                author or that of the interpolator, or whether those were in fact the same
                person at different times, etc etc). In Farrer's view, the baskets of
                leftovers represent what is available for future feedings, not excluding
                the "dogs" [Gentiles] who eat the "crumbs" [leftovers] from the table of
                the children [of Israel]. He accepts the inevitable symbolism of 12 =
                Israel, both for the disciples (who, he notes, have at the beginning of the
                first feeding miracle just returned from their mission) and for the baskets
                and the leftovers they contain.

                He is concerned to show that the second miracle is not a variant of the
                first, naively accepted by a Markan conflator, but that both are
                authorially intentional, and that the first is narratively (in terms of his
                argument, symbolically) incomplete without the second, hence his emphasis
                on the sum of the loaves in the two cases (5 plus 7) being the sought-for
                complete 12 (enough, assuming miraculous multiplication, to feed all
                Israel). Farrer is clear (p67) that, after feeding the first 5,000, a
                symbolic 7,000 remain to be fed if all Israel is to be provided for. The
                second miracle only involves 4,000; I am not sure I can figure out in the
                time available to me how F resolves this. . . . on p75 he is still asking
                why the ratio in the second feeding was not 4 loaves to 4 thousand, leaving
                a final miracle of 3 loaves for 3 thousand . . .

                FedEx is at the door, and I gotta post the contents for my conferees at the
                other end of the continent; Jeff, could you complete the summary for me?
                How does Farrer deal with, or what symbolic resolution does he make of, the
                5000 plus 4000 equals 9000? Or does he? I see, by skipping ahead, that the
                end of the chapter includes the line: "We have been led to an answer which
                has not the neatness necessary for entire convincingness . . . " (p80).

                Bruce

                E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts
              • Mike Grondin
                ... Unjustly? Maybe, based on the contents, but perhaps it was the title that was off-putting. I myself tend to shy away from books that have the word St in
                Message 7 of 20 , Sep 1, 1998
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                  Jeff Peterson, Institute for Christian Studies, mentions:

                  >... Austin Farrer['s] ... unjustly neglected _St Matthew and St Mark_...

                  Unjustly? Maybe, based on the contents, but perhaps it was the title that
                  was off-putting. I myself tend to shy away from books that have the word
                  'St' in the title. I take it to be a warning-flag that the author is going
                  to be a mite too concerned about religious sensitivities for my liking.

                  Mike G.
                  ------------------------------------
                  The Codex II Student Resource Center
                  http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068
                • Bob Schacht
                  ... I dunno. I d rather have the author s biases overt and on the table, than covert, requiring that I go to the work of figuring out his biases for myself. As
                  Message 8 of 20 , Sep 1, 1998
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                    At 04:11 PM 9/1/98 -0400, Mike Grondin wrote:
                    >Jeff Peterson, Institute for Christian Studies, mentions:
                    >
                    >>... Austin Farrer['s] ... unjustly neglected _St Matthew and St Mark_...
                    >
                    >Unjustly? Maybe, based on the contents, but perhaps it was the title that
                    >was off-putting. I myself tend to shy away from books that have the word
                    >'St' in the title. I take it to be a warning-flag that the author is going
                    >to be a mite too concerned about religious sensitivities for my liking.
                    >
                    >Mike G.
                    >------------------------------------
                    >The Codex II Student Resource Center
                    >http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068
                    >

                    I dunno. I'd rather have the author's biases overt and on the table, than
                    covert, requiring that I go to the work of figuring out his biases for
                    myself. As for me, I can more easily deal with Austin Farrer's biases than,
                    say, Burton Mack's.

                    Bob
                    "We all do tend to be hypercritical of the evangelists and take other
                    texts at face value."
                    --Stevan Davies, Wed, 14 Jan 1998 17:26:33
                  • INTERPRES
                    ... I don t know, but that s the premises the riddle is working with. This question, while interesting in itself, is irrelevant to the riddle as posed. ...
                    Message 9 of 20 , Sep 1, 1998
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                      >Jan Sammer writes:
                      >> ... the volume of 5 spyrides is the same as that of 12 kophinoi ...
                      >
                      >Although this goes some way toward explaining the riddle, I think that your
                      >analysis cannot be the whole of the story. You have left out of account:
                      >
                      >1. Why _two_ feedings? Just Markan styling? Or symbols of two missions?
                      I don't know, but that's the premises the riddle is working with. This
                      question, while interesting in itself, is irrelevant to the riddle as posed.

                      >2. What about the fish? (In the 1st feeding, two fish are specified. In the
                      >2nd story, a single brief passage mentions fish, but does not say how
                      many.)

                      The fish do not figure in the riddle as posed. There are many other details
                      of the feedings that are left out in the riddle. The riddle consists of two
                      parallel questions, containing numerical data about loaves and two types of
                      basket. Hence the solution must involve a calculation involving the number
                      of loaves and volumes of the baskets. The fish play no part in the riddle as
                      posed in Mk 8:19-21, where Jesus himself selects the data that are relevant.

                      I may not have solved the riddle, but I certainly did address the issue,
                      where most other commentators refuse to deal with the mathematics. They
                      interpret the numbers as allegories of apostles, deacons, tribes of Israel.
                      But that does not address the riddle at all. In terms of Mark's narrative,
                      the numerical answers that Jesus extracts from the apostles have a meaning
                      that explains why they should not worry about not having enough bread.

                      >To me, the presence of the fish indicates that Mark has a different point
                      >in mind than the one you suggest. The loaves must represent, as others have
                      >speculated, the original male inner circle - the fish, the females of that
                      >same inner circle. Of course we are not talking about literal bread here,
                      >but about "the Word" that is brought to the multitude by those who have
                      >known Yeshu.

                      Sorry, Mike, but this is mere speculation. Reading the account of Feedings
                      as an allegory smacks of Neo-Platonism, which similarly interpreted the
                      Homeric epics. We are talking about literal bread, and Mark states
                      unambiguously that Jesus broke the bread. But in 6:44 Mark carefully avoids
                      saying that the multitude ate the bread that Jesus broke; the words "tous
                      artous" are an interpolation. Mark only said that the crowds ate. He did not
                      say what. And that's the entire point of the story.

                      >
                      >When the disciples are on the boat after the second feeding, they are
                      >worried that they have _only a single loaf_ with them. The one original
                      >disciple who outlived the others to such an extent as to be remarkable
                      >elsewhere was John. It seems to me that Mark is concerned to soothe the
                      >apprehension among the "flock" brought about by the progressive dying off
                      >of the first generation of disciples.
                      >
                      Sorry, cannot follow you in your allegorical reading of Mark. The point of
                      Jesus' rebuke to the disciples is that, having witnessed on two separate
                      occasions the way that Jesus sustains his followers, have still not grasped
                      that in his presence they do not need to worry about sustenance. There is no
                      indication the story should be read as an allegory or a parable. The author
                      of Mark’s gospel presents it as a straighforward narrative of events events
                      that happened in the course of Jesus' ministry.
                    • Mike Grondin
                      I take note first that Philip Lewis finds a somewhat different symbolism ... parable. ... events ... This is quite an extraordinary position to take, if I
                      Message 10 of 20 , Sep 2, 1998
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                        I take note first that Philip Lewis finds a somewhat different symbolism
                        than I do in Mark's two feeding stories, but we do agree in general that:

                        > The Feedings themselves employ symbolic terms. In a way they have to be
                        > understood allegorically.

                        But Jan Sammer opposes this general view, saying:

                        > There is no indication the story should be read as an allegory or a
                        parable.
                        > The author of Mark�s gospel presents it as a straighforward narrative of
                        events
                        > that happened in the course of Jesus' ministry.

                        This is quite an extraordinary position to take, if I understand it
                        correctly. Jan seems to sharply separate Mk 8:19-21 from the two feeding
                        stories upon which that passage evidently rests. With respect to the
                        former, he wants to regard it as a mathematical puzzle with no connection
                        to the details of the stories, other than the numbers of loaves. But if the
                        numbers are not symbolic, then they might as well be some other set of
                        numbers - the mathematics will be the same, provided that the appropriate
                        relationship between the two types of "basket" are maintained. This makes
                        no sense to me. Is it just coincidence that Mark has chosen a set of
                        numbers so rich in symbolic meaning just to make a little arithmetic
                        "in-joke"? I say not.

                        Jan's position with respect to the feedings themselves is equally remarkable:

                        > We are talking about literal bread, and Mark states unambiguously that
                        Jesus broke
                        > the bread. But in 6:44 Mark carefully avoids saying that the multitude
                        ate the
                        > bread that Jesus broke; the words "tous artous" are an interpolation.
                        Mark only
                        > said that the crowds ate. He did not say what. And that's the entire
                        point of the
                        > story.

                        How much subtlety and cleverness is ascribed to Mark here! On this view, he
                        must have expected his audience to grasp the importance of his (allegedly)
                        leaving out a few otherwise-insignificant words, yet at the same time to
                        recognize that all those richly-symbolic details he does furnish are
                        nothing more than "red herrings". Is this the same Mark who has trouble
                        with Greek? Is this the same simple Christian audience we have always
                        imagined reading Mark? What's wrong with this picture?

                        I don't want to put words into Jan's mouth, but he seems to be taking the
                        position that Mark's two feeding stories are largely descriptions of actual
                        events, and perhaps also that Yeshu's purported words in 8:19-21 are also a
                        description of actual events. How very far from the truth this must be is
                        beyond my capacity to explain.

                        Mike G.
                        ------------------------------------
                        Center for the Study of NH Codex II.
                        http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068
                      • INTERPRES
                        MIKE: Jan seems to sharply separate Mk 8:19-21 from the two feeding stories upon which that passage evidently rests. JAN: I beg to differ. I do no such thing.
                        Message 11 of 20 , Sep 2, 1998
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                          MIKE: Jan seems to sharply separate Mk 8:19-21 from the two feeding
                          stories upon which that passage evidently rests.
                          JAN: I beg to differ. I do no such thing.
                          MIKE: With respect to the
                          former, he wants to regard it as a mathematical puzzle with no connection
                          to the details of the stories, other than the numbers of loaves.
                          JAN: On the contrary, the puzzle is fully inherent in the stories; but the
                          meaning of the stories is derivable from a subset of the details, which are
                          presented in the puzzle. The puzzle is Jesus' reaction to the disciples’
                          obtuseness (as presented by Mark). Its intent is to extract the key elements
                          of the feedings that demonstrate their meaning .
                          MIKE: But if the
                          numbers are not symbolic, then they might as well be some other set of
                          numbers - the mathematics will be the same, provided that the appropriate
                          relationship between the two types of "basket" are maintained.
                          JAN: There's only so much bread that will fit into any particular type of
                          basket.
                          MIKE: This makes
                          no sense to me. Is it just coincidence that Mark has chosen a set of
                          numbers so rich in symbolic meaning just to make a little arithmetic
                          "in-joke"? I say not.
                          JAN: Units of measure (such as a dozen) are often "special numbers" rich in
                          symbolic meaning.
                          Besides, the Kingdom of God is no joke, at least not to the author of Mark.
                          Mark really overestimated his readers. He put in Jesus' mouth two simple
                          statements, involving measures of volume (two types of basket) and numbers
                          of loaves that fill those baskets, the solution of which is not at all
                          difficult, but his modern readers seem to think that all they have to do is
                          to invent allegories, rather than look for for a straightforward solution.
                          The solution must be sought in terms of the problem as posed:

                          "Dont' you know or understand yet?
                          Are your minds so dull?
                          You have eyes- can't you see?
                          You have ears-can't you hear?
                          Don't you remember when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand
                          people?
                          How many kophinous of leftover pieces did you take up?"
                          "Twelve," they answered
                          "And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand people," asked
                          Jesus
                          "how many spyridon of leftover pieces did you take up?"
                          "Seven, they answered."
                          "And you still don't understand?" he asked them.

                          What, according to the author of GMark, did the disciples fail to
                          understand?
                          That seven deacons were to be appointed in the mission to the Gentiles?
                          I don't think so. Mark was not so bad an author to anticipate events so
                          crassly.
                          That the gentiles were subject to the seven Noahic laws?
                          I don't think so. At least I don't see how that follows from the text.
                          The solution must be something that follows from the measures and numbers
                          given.
                          According to the author of GMark, the disciples failed to understand that
                          Jesus had fed the multitudes on something other than ordinary bread.

                          That is consistent with the Mark's presentation of the feedings and his
                          entire presentation of Jesus' mission. It is not allegorical, and it does
                          not introduce any divide between the actual feedings and Jesus' explanation
                          of them. The disciples had assumed that the crowds were fed with actual
                          bread that had somehow been miraculously multiplied. Jesus in forcing them
                          to solve the numerical puzzle, was trying to make them realize that no bread
                          was consumed by the crowds, and that the sustenance he provided was
                          something else than bread. Mark assumed that his readers would grasp the
                          solution that the disciples failed to grasp. He couldn't have anticipated
                          that his readers would go on wild goose chases and bring in 7 deacons, 7
                          Noahic laws, 7 pillars of wisdom, the 7 dwarves, or whatnot. Mark didn't
                          expect his readers to be brilliant, but he did expect them to read for
                          meaning.

                          MIKE: Jan's position with respect to the feedings themselves is equally
                          remarkable:
                          (quoting JAN:)
                          > We are talking about literal bread, and Mark states unambiguously that
                          > Jesus broke the bread. But in 6:44 Mark carefully avoids saying that the
                          > multitude ate the bread that Jesus broke; the words "tous artous" are an
                          > interpolation.
                          > Mark only said that the crowds ate. He did not say what.
                          > And that's the entire point of the story.

                          MIKE: How much subtlety and cleverness is ascribed to Mark here! On this
                          view, he
                          must have expected his audience to grasp the importance of his (allegedly)
                          leaving out a few otherwise-insignificant words, yet at the same time to
                          recognize that all those richly-symbolic details he does furnish are
                          nothing more than "red herrings".

                          JAN: Mark's readers were not expected to grasp the meaning of the feedings
                          from the omission of "tous artous"; the only point I was making is that
                          "tous artous" is a recognized interpolation and as such is consistent with
                          my hypothesis. Mark's audience is supposed to grasp the meaning of the
                          feedings on the basis of some of the strongest language in all of the NT.
                          The translation I used tones down the intensity of the abuse heaped on the
                          disciples by Jesus. Mark has Jesus excoriate the disciples, telling them
                          that their brains have turned to stone (pepwrwmenhn exete thn kardian hymwn)
                          , for failing to understand the meaning of the feedings, which he then goes
                          on to summarize in the cited syllogism.

                          MIKE: Is this the same Mark who has trouble
                          with Greek? Is this the same simple Christian audience we have always
                          imagined reading Mark? What's wrong with this picture?


                          JAN: Does Mark have trouble with Greek? The Latinisms and other oddities of
                          Mark's Greek are an indication of Mark's milieu, not of his lack of
                          education or intelligence. As I said, Mark definitely overestimated his
                          latter-day readers. I bet the simple Christian audience for which Mark wrote
                          could count their loaves and baskets.

                          MIKE: I don't want to put words into Jan's mouth, but he seems to be taking
                          the
                          position that Mark's two feeding stories are largely descriptions of actual
                          events, and perhaps also that Yeshu's purported words in 8:19-21 are also a
                          description of actual events. How very far from the truth this must be is
                          beyond my capacity to explain.


                          JAN: Just how that follows from my statement : "The author
                          of Mark’s gospel presents it as a straighforward narrative of events
                          that happened in the course of Jesus' ministry" is a mystery to me.
                          Let me try to make myself clear:
                          Mark presents an account of the course of Jesus' ministry. He also presents
                          Jesus as making allegorical statements (parables). That is where I would
                          like to draw the sharp line. The accounts of the feedings are not parables
                          and they cannot therefore be interpreted allegorically. Things that can be
                          interpreted allegorically are things such as the seed sowed by the Sower,
                          On the contrary, the feedings are descriptions of purported historical
                          events. For the record, I do not believe that Mark's account of Jesus'
                          ministry is historically accurate. In fact, I regard it as highly
                          tendentious, with not much historical data discernible. What we can and
                          ought to do is to analyze its internal logic, as we would in dealing with
                          any other work of literature. We should ask, What clues did the author give
                          us with respect to the solution of the puzzle he poses? All the clues are
                          present in Mk 8:20 and they do not logically lead to seven deacons or seven
                          Noahic laws. They do logically lead to the conclusion that no bread was
                          consumed in the feedings, a realization that should have occasioned much
                          wonderment among the disciples

                          Regards,

                          Jan
                        • PetersnICS@aol.com
                          ... The hurrieder I go the behinder I get, but I ll try to comply with Bruce s request tomorrow morning, if he hasn t returned to complete the summary by then.
                          Message 12 of 20 , Sep 2, 1998
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                            In a message dated 9/1/98 5:25:11 PM, Bruce Brooks wrote:

                            >Jeff, could you complete the summary for me?
                            >
                            >How does Farrer deal with, or what symbolic resolution does he make of, the
                            >
                            >5000 plus 4000 equals 9000? Or does he? I see, by skipping ahead, that the
                            >
                            >end of the chapter includes the line: "We have been led to an answer which
                            >
                            >has not the neatness necessary for entire convincingness . . . "

                            The hurrieder I go the behinder I get, but I'll try to comply with Bruce's
                            request tomorrow morning, if he hasn't returned to complete the summary by
                            then. In the meantime, if my presence on CrossTalk has encouraged only one
                            closer reading of _St Matthew and St Mark_ than the book has previously
                            received, I'll consider it time not spent in vain.

                            Jeff Peterson
                            Institute for Christian Studies
                            Austin, TX, USA
                            e-mail: peterson@...
                          • Mike Grondin
                            ... Thanks for sharpening the debate, Jan. I could hardly disagree more than I do with the above statement. I can understand your frustration at the seeming
                            Message 13 of 20 , Sep 3, 1998
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                              Jan Sammer writes:

                              >... the meaning of the [feeding] stories is derivable from a subset of the
                              > details, which are presented in the puzzle. The puzzle...['s] intent is to
                              > extract the key elements of the feedings that demonstrate their meaning.

                              Thanks for sharpening the debate, Jan. I could hardly disagree more than I do with the above statement. I can understand your frustration at the seeming impossibility of judging between various sets of proposed symbolic meanings for the two feeding stories, and I take your point that we tend to find meaning when we look for it, yet I think that these considerations are not strong enough to deny altogether the rather obvious Jewish-Gentile contrast evident in the two stories.

                              Take the matter of the "baskets" for example. Your position, as I take it, is that it's the _size_ of the "baskets" that's important. I would say that it's the _type_ of "basket" (i.e., Jewish vs Gentile). In defense of your proposition, you have put forward the following claim:

                              > [Mark's reader] must have known that a spyris is fashioned so as to
                              > carry a single loaf of bread, and that the volume of 5 spyrides is
                              > the same as that of 12 kophinoi.

                              Since much depends on whether this claim is true, I now want to ask for your source. My bet is that this is an "invented fact", which you (or someone else) thinks could be approximately true, and which provides a tidy way of resolving the puzzle. But I cannot imagine any system of measurement wherein a specific number of Jewish kosher "knapsacks" is made to be equivalent to a specific number of market-baskets. In fact, on your own account (above), the numbers don't work out at all. Please explain.

                              As I understand it, you suggest the following exegetical principle: any details of a story not mentioned in Yeshu's "follow-up" statement cannot be important to the meaning of the story. This principle would result, for example, in saying that in the cursing of the fig tree, the fact that it is a _fig tree_ and that it is a _cursing_ has no symbolic meaning, since Yeshu is not made to mention those "details" in his follow-up statement at 11:22-25. Is this really a result that you want?

                              Let me also widen the scope of this discussion slightly, to include the mention of the "leaven" of the Pharisees and Herodians at 8:15. The intertwining of these passages indicates to me that Mark is contrasting their "leaven" with Yeshu's, and that indeed the symbolism of the feedings _does_ include the "multiplying" of loaves and fishes, which is something your analysis denies.

                              Finally (since I have little time to write this morning), I would like to put forward the proposition that a hypothesis cannot be adequate if it does not account for all the known facts. To deny that the specific mention of _males_ and kosher "knapsacks" in the story of the feeding of the 5000 is intended to point to a specifically Jewish event/mission seems to me to be indefensible.

                              Regards,
                              Mike
                              ------------------------------------
                              Center for the Study of NH Codex II.
                              http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068
                            • INTERPRES
                              MIKE GRONDIN ... to ... do with the above statement. I can understand your frustration at the seeming impossibility of judging between various sets of proposed
                              Message 14 of 20 , Sep 5, 1998
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                                MIKE GRONDIN
                                Jan Sammer writes:
                                >
                                >>... the meaning of the [feeding] stories is derivable from a subset of the
                                >> details, which are presented in the puzzle. The puzzle...['s] intent is
                                to
                                >> extract the key elements of the feedings that demonstrate their meaning.
                                >
                                >Thanks for sharpening the debate, Jan. I could hardly disagree more than I
                                do with the above statement. I can understand your frustration at the
                                seeming impossibility of judging between various sets of proposed symbolic
                                meanings for the two feeding stories, and I take your point that we tend to
                                find meaning when we look for it, yet I think that these considerations are
                                not strong enough to deny altogether the rather obvious Jewish-Gentile
                                contrast evident in the two stories.

                                JAN: The element of Jewish-Gentile contrast may be there, but that does not
                                imply that the Feedings are to be read as allegories of the mission to the
                                Jews and the mission to the Gentiles. The Feedings are a most powerful
                                prefiguration of the Kingdom of God, where the monarch of the new age
                                provides for his flock (refer also to Plato's Politicus, or The Statesman).
                                In GJohn the incident of the feeding is immediately followed by the crowds'
                                attempt to make Jesus a king. In this prefiguration Jesus condemns those who
                                try to rely on their own devices, and the pitiful amount of sustenance that
                                they have brought along only signifies their dependence on divine grace.
                                Mark portrays Jesus as being increasingly frustrated with the fact that the
                                disciples do not grasp the simple fact that in the dawning kingdom the
                                divine shepherd will provide for all their needs. Perhaps he's also
                                suggesting that Jews and Gentiles alike will be provided for.

                                MIKE:
                                >Take the matter of the "baskets" for example. Your position, as I take it,
                                is that it's the _size_ of the "baskets" that's important. I would say that
                                it's the _type_ of "basket" (i.e., Jewish vs Gentile). In defense of your
                                proposition, you have put forward the following claim:
                                >
                                >> [Mark's reader] must have known that a spyris is fashioned so as to
                                >> carry a single loaf of bread, and that the volume of 5 spyrides is
                                >> the same as that of 12 kophinoi.
                                >
                                >Since much depends on whether this claim is true, I now want to ask for
                                your source. My bet is that this is an "invented fact", which you (or
                                someone else) thinks could be approximately true, and which provides a tidy
                                way of resolving the puzzle.

                                JAN:
                                Congratulations! The fact that you have challenged me on this point means
                                that (unlike others in the past) you have grasped the argument I tried to
                                present. I freely admit that the 5:12 relation between kophinos and spyris
                                is derived from the text of Mark 8:19-21. I have made some effort at
                                determining whether it is in fact supported by independent evidence, thus
                                far unsuccessfully. Please note, that your position that the TYPE of basket
                                is important is perfectly compatible with my position that the SIZE of
                                basket is important.

                                MIKE:
                                But I cannot imagine any system of measurement wherein a specific number of
                                Jewish kosher "knapsacks" is made to be equivalent to a specific number of
                                market-baskets. In fact, on your own account (above), the numbers don't work
                                out at all. Please explain.

                                JAN:
                                The kophinos and spyris were apparently units of measure, akin to our
                                bushel, also originally a type of basket. Mark's readers would not have to
                                be told how many kophinoi there are to a spyris, just as we do not have to
                                be told how many quarts there are to a gallon, or how many inches to a foot.
                                And why do you say the numbers don't work out? If seven loaves were broken
                                into pieces and collected in seven spyrides, then five loaves would fill
                                five spyrides. Since (ex hypothese) five spyrides equal 12 kophinoi, the
                                mathematics works out
                                perfectly. It may well be that the kophinos was a sexagesimal measure and
                                the spyris a decimal one. Compare the story of Aqihar, which largely hinges
                                on the relation of sexagesimal to decimal measures. I would like to stress
                                that even if my specific solution is wrong, I am at least barking up the
                                right tree, whereas attempts at allegorical solutions are sort of like
                                baying at the moon.

                                MIKE:
                                As I understand it, you suggest the following exegetical principle: any
                                details of a story not mentioned in Yeshu's "follow-up" statement cannot be
                                important to the meaning of the story.

                                JAN:
                                I do not suggest any exegetical principles. Where on earth did you get such
                                an idea?

                                MIKE:
                                This principle would result, for example, in saying that in the cursing of
                                the fig tree, the fact that it is a _fig tree_ and that it is a _cursing_
                                has no symbolic meaning, since Yeshu is not made to mention those "details"
                                in his follow-up statement at 11:22-25. Is this really a result that you
                                want?

                                JAN:
                                Your attempted reductio ad absurdum is invalid, since I have not suggested
                                any exegetical principles. I merely tried to solve the question posed in Mk
                                8:21 and my comments only apply to this passage. I would not dare to presume
                                to generalize them into an exegetical principle.

                                MIKE:
                                Let me also widen the scope of this discussion slightly, to include the
                                mention of the "leaven" of the Pharisees and Herodians at 8:15. The
                                intertwining of these passages indicates to me that Mark is contrasting
                                their "leaven" with Yeshu's, and that indeed the symbolism of the feedings
                                _does_ include the "multiplying" of loaves and fishes, which is something
                                your analysis denies.

                                JAN:
                                On the contrary, it is left for you to explain why Jesus, who speaks against
                                the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, would have used the same
                                for his alleged multiplication miracles. Mark's point here is that the
                                leaven of the Pharisees and of the Herodians is not the sustenance
                                characteristic of the Kingdom of God. It is woefully inadequate for the job
                                of sustaining the people in the wilderness, indicating the foolishness and
                                false pride of the Pharisees and Herodians. Just when it looks that the
                                crowds will starve Jesus assumes the role of the divine shepherd who feeds
                                his flock without recourse to any of this leavened bread. This is made clear
                                by the fact that even though it was offered to them, the crowds ate none of
                                it, and let it be collected again in the spyrides and kophinoi. The
                                disciples did not grasp this fact and later, in the boat, again worry about
                                provisions. Jesus, now exasperated, forces them to repeat the numbers of
                                spyrides and kophinoi and asks, "And you still don't understand?" Doesn't
                                that suggest to you, Mike, that the point he is making has to do with these
                                numbers as measures of bread, rather than as allegories of seven deacons or
                                seven Noahic laws? Mark certainly implies that the disciples should be able
                                to grasp some fact on the basis of the information given. The information
                                given does not include deacons or Noahic laws. According to the structure of
                                this chapter of Mark, what the disciples are expected to grasp should be
                                both easy to figure out and surprising. That condition is satisfied by the
                                hypothesis I have proposed, namely that the pieces of bread broken by Jesus
                                are the very same ones that are later collected in the baskets. The
                                disciples had not realized that up to this point. The questions that Jesus
                                solicits from them virtually give the solution away. It would have been
                                anticlimactic for Mark to spell out the solution, which should obvious to
                                anyone whose brain hasn't turned to stone (paraphrasing the words Mark
                                ascribes to Jesus in 8:17).

                                MIKE:
                                >Finally (since I have little time to write this morning), I would like to
                                put forward the proposition that a hypothesis cannot be adequate if it does
                                not account for all the known facts. To deny that the specific mention of
                                _males_ and kosher "knapsacks" in the story of the feeding of the 5000 is
                                intended to point to a specifically Jewish event/mission seems to me to be
                                indefensible.

                                JAN:
                                As I mentioned above, the story may be indicating something about the
                                position of Jews and Gentiles in the Kingdom of God, but it has nothing to
                                do with missionary activities, as far as I can see.
                              • Mike Grondin
                                Let me first say, Jan, what a pleasure it is to discuss these matters with you. You are an excellent proponent of a viewpoint that I would otherwise take to be
                                Message 15 of 20 , Sep 5, 1998
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                                  Let me first say, Jan, what a pleasure it is to discuss these matters with
                                  you. You are an excellent proponent of a viewpoint that I would otherwise
                                  take to be hopelessly misguided. There are still many things to be said on
                                  this topic, but I want to concentrate on the two types of "basket" for a
                                  moment, to see what can be made of their relative size.

                                  (the 5000): 5 loaves and two fish --> 12 kophinoi of fragments
                                  (the 4000): 7 loaves (+ some fish?) --> 7 spyridoi of fragments

                                  Can it be doubted that "multiplication" is going on here? Well, maybe - if
                                  your hypotheses are true, viz.:

                                  H1: ... a spyris is fashioned so as to carry a single loaf of bread
                                  H2: ... the volume of 5 spyrides is the same as that of 12 kophinoi

                                  But is H1 true? Well, according to Philip Lewis on this forum:

                                  A multitude of four thousand, fed by seven "spyridoi," common market
                                  baskets, flat and large enough for Paul to be seated in one as he was let
                                  down over the walls of Damascus, was chosen by Mark as the symbol of a
                                  Gentile feeding. (end Lewis quote)

                                  Obviously, Paul cannot have been "seated" in a basket only large enough to
                                  hold a single loaf of bread. But perhaps he only had one foot in it (toe
                                  downward?)?

                                  Again, there is the pesky matter of those NT translators. Some of them
                                  actually translate 'spyridoi' as '_large_ baskets'. A "large" basket
                                  holding only a single loaf of bread? How could they be so wildly mistaken?

                                  Or again, take your own mathematics: According to H2, spyridoi are _larger_
                                  than kophonoi. That makes sense, but when taken together with H1, it
                                  results in the conclusion that kophonoi carry less than half a loaf of
                                  bread! Is that likely?

                                  So evidently, H1 is simply false. I'm not sure whether you would want to
                                  try to save it or not. What say you?

                                  Mike
                                  ------------------------------------
                                  The Codex II Student Resource Center
                                  http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068
                                • INTERPRES
                                  ... I think you ve identified some weak spots in my hypothesis, but that these may be clarified by a better understanding of ancient units of volume. Firstly,
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Sep 5, 1998
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                                    Mike Grondin:

                                    >Can it be doubted that "multiplication" is going on here? Well, maybe - if
                                    >your hypotheses are true, viz.:
                                    >
                                    >H1: ... a spyris is fashioned so as to carry a single loaf of bread
                                    >H2: ... the volume of 5 spyrides is the same as that of 12 kophinoi
                                    >
                                    >But is H1 true? Well, according to Philip Lewis on this forum:
                                    >
                                    >A multitude of four thousand, fed by seven "spyridoi," common market
                                    >baskets, flat and large enough for Paul to be seated in one as he was let
                                    >down over the walls of Damascus, was chosen by Mark as the symbol of a
                                    >Gentile feeding. (end Lewis quote)
                                    >
                                    >Obviously, Paul cannot have been "seated" in a basket only large enough to
                                    >hold a single loaf of bread. But perhaps he only had one foot in it (toe
                                    >downward?)?
                                    >
                                    >Again, there is the pesky matter of those NT translators. Some of them
                                    >actually translate 'spyridoi' as '_large_ baskets'. A "large" basket
                                    >holding only a single loaf of bread? How could they be so wildly mistaken?
                                    >
                                    >Or again, take your own mathematics: According to H2, spyridoi are _larger_
                                    >than kophonoi. That makes sense, but when taken together with H1, it
                                    >results in the conclusion that kophonoi carry less than half a loaf of
                                    >bread! Is that likely?
                                    >
                                    >So evidently, H1 is simply false. I'm not sure whether you would want to
                                    >try to save it or not. What say you?
                                    >
                                    I think you've identified some weak spots in my hypothesis, but that these
                                    may be clarified by a better understanding of ancient units of volume.

                                    Firstly, the kophinos basically contained a daily ration of bread. I can
                                    well imagine that this ration was approximately 4/10 of a standard loaf (but
                                    see below).

                                    Secondly, we do not know how big a standard loaf was. Unfortunately,
                                    historical metrology as an academic discipline died an untimely death in the
                                    first decades of this century and is now of concern to just a few isolated
                                    individuals. For this reason these types of metrological questions are not
                                    easy to answer.

                                    Thirdly, with respect to the spyris, it is quite possible that a spyris was
                                    simply a type of basket when used in one sense of the word, and a specific
                                    measure of volume when used in another. Cf. the English word "cup" which may
                                    mean a cup of any size or a recognized unit of volume. Therefore the spyris
                                    used by Paul in Acts 9:31 may be different from the unit of volume referred
                                    to by Mark.

                                    Fourthly, the text of Mark does not state that the spyris and the kophinos
                                    were ever filled with whole loaves, but rather that they were filled with
                                    fragments of loaves. It says that Jesus broke seven loaves and seven
                                    spyrides of pieces were collected; he broke five loaves and twelve kophinoi
                                    of pieces were collected. The fragments would obviously take up more space
                                    than the whole loaves. The volume of a spyris was filled with the fragments
                                    from one loaf of bread, and the volume of a kophinos was filled with the
                                    fragments of about 4/10 of a loaf of bread.

                                    I do need to do my homework in historical metrology.

                                    Jan
                                  • INTERPRES
                                    ... I think you ve identified some weak spots in my hypothesis, but that these may be clarified by a better understanding of ancient units of volume. Firstly,
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Sep 5, 1998
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                                      Mike Grondin:

                                      >Can it be doubted that "multiplication" is going on here? Well, maybe - if
                                      >your hypotheses are true, viz.:
                                      >
                                      >H1: ... a spyris is fashioned so as to carry a single loaf of bread
                                      >H2: ... the volume of 5 spyrides is the same as that of 12 kophinoi
                                      >
                                      >But is H1 true? Well, according to Philip Lewis on this forum:
                                      >
                                      >A multitude of four thousand, fed by seven "spyridoi," common market
                                      >baskets, flat and large enough for Paul to be seated in one as he was let
                                      >down over the walls of Damascus, was chosen by Mark as the symbol of a
                                      >Gentile feeding. (end Lewis quote)
                                      >
                                      >Obviously, Paul cannot have been "seated" in a basket only large enough to
                                      >hold a single loaf of bread. But perhaps he only had one foot in it (toe
                                      >downward?)?
                                      >
                                      >Again, there is the pesky matter of those NT translators. Some of them
                                      >actually translate 'spyridoi' as '_large_ baskets'. A "large" basket
                                      >holding only a single loaf of bread? How could they be so wildly mistaken?
                                      >
                                      >Or again, take your own mathematics: According to H2, spyridoi are _larger_
                                      >than kophonoi. That makes sense, but when taken together with H1, it
                                      >results in the conclusion that kophonoi carry less than half a loaf of
                                      >bread! Is that likely?
                                      >
                                      >So evidently, H1 is simply false. I'm not sure whether you would want to
                                      >try to save it or not. What say you?
                                      >
                                      I think you've identified some weak spots in my hypothesis, but that these
                                      may be clarified by a better understanding of ancient units of volume.

                                      Firstly, the kophinos basically contained a daily ration of bread. I can
                                      well imagine that this ration was approximately 4/10 of a standard loaf (but
                                      see below).

                                      Secondly, we do not know how big a standard loaf was. Unfortunately,
                                      historical metrology as an academic discipline died an untimely death in the
                                      first decades of this century and is now of concern to just a few isolated
                                      individuals. For this reason these types of metrological questions are not
                                      easy to answer.

                                      Thirdly, with respect to the spyris, it is quite possible that a spyris was
                                      simply a type of basket when used in one sense of the word, and a specific
                                      measure of volume when used in another. Cf. the English word "cup" which may
                                      mean a cup of any size or a recognized unit of volume. Therefore the spyris
                                      used by Paul in Acts 9:31 may be different from the unit of volume referred
                                      to by Mark.

                                      Fourthly, the text of Mark does not state that the spyris and the kophinos
                                      were ever filled with whole loaves, but rather that they were filled with
                                      fragments of loaves. It says that Jesus broke seven loaves and seven
                                      spyrides of pieces were collected; he broke five loaves and twelve kophinoi
                                      of pieces were collected. The fragments would obviously take up more space
                                      than the whole loaves. The volume of a spyris was filled with the fragments
                                      from one loaf of bread, and the volume of a kophinos was filled with the
                                      fragments of about 4/10 of a loaf of bread.

                                      I do need to do my homework in historical metrology.

                                      Jan
                                    • INTERPRES
                                      YURI: Because he ate the magic sushi, he was able, having already written, according to Jan, the Book of Acts before 60 ad, to *Travel Forward In Time* to ca.
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Sep 6, 1998
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                                        YURI:
                                        Because he ate the magic sushi, he was able, having
                                        already written, according to Jan, the Book of Acts before 60 ad, to
                                        *Travel Forward In Time* to ca. 120 ad. And having found out what the
                                        needs of the Church will be in the future, he was able to write, 60 years
                                        later, the Gospel of Luke, i.e. Volume One of his two-part treatise (using
                                        in part also the Gospel of John, and the other 2 synoptics in the
                                        process!).

                                        JAN:
                                        I have selected this passage out of Yuri's sarcastic outburst, since it
                                        contains a scrap of a rational argument, on which I would like to briefly
                                        comment. Yuri has apparently boundless admiration for Loisy’s
                                        "deconstructive" approach to the NT, and he takes as "gospel truth" the
                                        Master's conclusion that GLuke originated after A.D. 120 (actually Loisy
                                        guesses 130-140). I would have no quarrel with some interpolations to Luke
                                        being late (particularly the so-called Non-Western Non-Interpolations),
                                        though definitely not as late as all that, but I do argue that the original
                                        GLuke and Acts were written before 58 A.D, just prior to Paul's execution.
                                        BTW, Loisy is singularly unconvincing in his attempted explanation of the
                                        "Significant Silence of Acts as to the Fate of Paul" in his The Origin of
                                        the New Testament. But we've covered this ground before and I'd rather not
                                        start another round of fruitless bickering with Yuri, who has evidently
                                        still not learned the rules of civilized debate.

                                        Jan Sammer
                                      • y.kuchinsky@utoronto.ca
                                        ... Jan, Just as we were beginning to see eye to eye on some of these theories, you re sending me such an unkind note. I m deeply disappointed that you are so
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Sep 7, 1998
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                                          On Sun, 6 Sep 1998, INTERPRES wrote:

                                          > YURI:
                                          > Because he ate the magic sushi, he was able, having
                                          > already written, according to Jan, the Book of Acts before 60 ad, to
                                          > *Travel Forward In Time* to ca. 120 ad. And having found out what the
                                          > needs of the Church will be in the future, he was able to write, 60 years
                                          > later, the Gospel of Luke, i.e. Volume One of his two-part treatise (using
                                          > in part also the Gospel of John, and the other 2 synoptics in the
                                          > process!).
                                          >
                                          > JAN:
                                          > I have selected this passage out of Yuri's sarcastic outburst, since it
                                          > contains a scrap of a rational argument, on which I would like to briefly
                                          > comment.

                                          Jan,

                                          Just as we were beginning to see eye to eye on some of these theories,
                                          you're sending me such an unkind note. I'm deeply disappointed that you
                                          are so negative towards my Suchi Ur-Eucharist theory. (Of course another
                                          poster suggested it should rather be called the Sashimi Eucharist, but I'm
                                          still not quite prepared to accept that Jesus couldn't ensure that some
                                          steam rice be provided for the public when the occasion demanded it.)

                                          And my theory seemed to fit so nicely with your highly intriguing Feeding
                                          Basket Size Variation theory (or should it rather be described as the
                                          Sammer Basket Case?). Don't be in any hurry to retreat from your Basket
                                          Theory, Jan. I'm sure all these small problems Mike Grondin found with it
                                          can still be addressed by and by. I may even help you later on with that
                                          metrology thing. I suppose metrology just doesn't come easy, one must
                                          sruggle for it...

                                          > Yuri has apparently boundless admiration for Loisy�s "deconstructive"
                                          > approach to the NT, and he takes as "gospel truth" the Master's
                                          > conclusion that GLuke originated after A.D. 120 (actually Loisy guesses
                                          > 130-140). I would have no quarrel with some interpolations to Luke being
                                          > late (particularly the so-called Non-Western Non-Interpolations), though
                                          > definitely not as late as all that, but I do argue that the original
                                          > GLuke and Acts were written before 58 A.D, just prior to Paul's
                                          > execution.

                                          So, Jan, are you now going to leave your good friend Steve Davies in the
                                          lurch as to the dating of Lk? He agreed with you as to the dating of Acts,
                                          so the least you could have done is provide some support for him with his
                                          radical redating of Lk/Acts project... Oh, well, this is how it is with
                                          you I guess. I suppose you're a man of principle, and will speak the truth
                                          without fear or favour, come Hell or High Water...

                                          I admire your rectitude, Jan.

                                          > BTW, Loisy is singularly unconvincing in his attempted explanation of
                                          > the "Significant Silence of Acts as to the Fate of Paul" in his The
                                          > Origin of the New Testament. But we've covered this ground before and
                                          > I'd rather not start another round of fruitless bickering with Yuri, who
                                          > has evidently still not learned the rules of civilized debate.

                                          Not at all, Jan. In fact, with your valued help, I may be beginning now to
                                          see certain inadequacies in Loisy. I may have to look for a better Master
                                          now. If you perchance may reconsider your rather intemperate rejection of
                                          my Sushi Ur-Eucharist, maybe you will become my new Master... Who knows?

                                          Yours Scientifically,

                                          Yuri.
                                        • INTERPRES
                                          ... Historical Metrology does seems to unnerve some people. I have studied its demise as an academic discipline in the early decades of this century and I was
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Sep 8, 1998
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                                            YURI:

                                            > I'm deeply disappointed that you
                                            > are so negative towards my Suchi Ur-Eucharist theory. ...
                                            > And my theory seemed to fit so nicely with your highly intriguing Feeding
                                            > Basket Size Variation theory (or should it rather be described as the
                                            > Sammer Basket Case?). Don't be in any hurry to retreat from your Basket
                                            > Theory, Jan. ...I suppose metrology just doesn't come easy, one must
                                            > sruggle for it...


                                            Historical Metrology does seems to unnerve some people. I have studied its
                                            demise as an academic discipline in the early decades of this century and I
                                            was incredulous to find that the attacks to which it succumbed were at
                                            approximately the same degree of rationality as Yuri's. Scholars who had
                                            devoted their entire lives to the study of ancient units of weight and
                                            volume and were trained in the presentation and rebuttal of factual
                                            arguments, were helpless against this tide of unreason.

                                            Jan
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