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Re: Jesus and his death

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  • Stevan Davies
    JEFF ... Yes, these two seem to be Mark s bottom line interpretation of his gospel. But I see no connection between the two. I would welcome some light on
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 3, 1998
      JEFF
      > >... at minimum it would
      > >presuppose that Jesus regarded himself as a covenant sacrifice.
      > >The phrase
      > >"This is my blood of the covenant" is, I would say, meaningless in
      > >Mark. Nothing leads up to it, it has nothing to do with anything
      > >that Jesus has been quoted as saying. Probably so too for Matthew
      > >and Luke. It is without meaning in textual context.
      >
      > "Blood of the covenant" is a development of "ransom for many," which in
      > turn forms the culmination of Jesus' third preparatory instruction
      > regarding the significance of his death and resurrection (Mark 10:32-45) --

      Yes, these two seem to be Mark's "bottom line" interpretation of his
      gospel. But I see no connection between the two.
      I would welcome some light on the relationship of "ransom for many"
      and "blood of the covenant." How is a covenant sacrifice a ransom
      for many? Ransom from what? Paid to whom? Can you, WITHOUT
      bringing in Paul's theories on these subjects, make sense of them for
      me? In other words, how are they not meaningless as they stand in
      Mark?

      > The composite Isaiah citation that opens Mark sets the stage for this
      > understanding of Jesus' death: Yahweh's way to Zion = new exodus = Jesus'
      > way to the cross.

      Are you citing "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare
      your way ... a voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for
      the Lord, make straight paths for him.'" ? I sure don't see "new
      exodus" in this, much less "Yahweh's way to Zion." Mark is NOT about
      "Yahweh's way to Zion" to be sure. It is about "Jesus' way to the cross"
      of course. How Markan protagonists are supposed to "make straight
      paths" for this is obscure to me.

      > 1 Cor provides evidence that someone with hISTORHSAI
      > KEFAN on his resume promulgated the derivation of such an interpretation
      > from Jesus himself.

      > Paul is clearly the earliest documented source for such an interpretation
      > (as for any form of Christianity, on the standard reckoning). The question
      > is whether he originated it (of which he was certainly capable) or
      > inherited it (as the use of PARALAMBANEIN APO TOU KYRIOU seems
      > to support).

      Paul's appeal to authority seems to be specifically focused on
      a) died
      b) rose
      c) both in accordance with the scriptures.

      There is no interpretation involved. The authorities involved are
      1. That Paul received the statements.
      2. That scripture provides a justification for the events, i.e. they
      happened because scripture said they would happen. [Matthew,
      e.g., thinks this way about "in accordance with the scriptures.]
      3. That eyewitnesses confirm that the events happened.

      I don't see that any of this supports the idea that Paul's
      interpretation was derived from prior individuals. Appeal is
      to the historicity and scriptural prediction of the events... which
      then are interpreted by Paul in accordance with Paul so far
      as I can tell.

      Steve
    • Jacob Knee
      Testing, testing....anyone there
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 7, 1998
        Testing, testing....anyone there
      • Robert McAllistar
        Caesar demands a sacrifice every now and then, doesn t he? ... See the original message at http://www.egroups.com/list/crosstalk/?start=3368 -- Free e-mail
        Message 3 of 11 , Nov 7, 1998
          Caesar demands a sacrifice every now and then, doesn't he?

          > JEFF
          > > >... at minimum it would
          > > >presuppose that Jesus regarded himself as a covenant sacrifice.
          > > >The phrase
          > > >"This is my blood of the covenant" is, I would say, meaningless in
          > > >Mark. Nothing leads up to it, it has nothing to do with anything
          > > >that Jesus has been quoted as saying. Probably so too for Matthew
          > > >and Luke. It is without meaning in textual context.
          > >
          > > "Blood of the covenant" is a development of "ransom for many," which in
          > > turn forms the culmination of Jesus' third preparatory instruction
          > > regarding the significance of his death and resurrection (Mark 10:32-45) --
          >
          > Yes, these two seem to be Mark's "bottom line" interpretation of his
          > gospel. But I see no connection between the two.
          > I would welcome some light on the relationship of "ransom for many"
          > and "blood of the covenant." How is a covenant sacrifice a ransom
          > for many? Ransom from what? Paid to whom? Can you, WITHOUT
          > bringing in Paul's theories on these subjects, make sense of them for
          > me? In other words, how are they not meaningless as they stand in
          > Mark?
          >
          > > The composite Isaiah citation that opens Mark sets the stage for this
          > > understanding of Jesus' death: Yahweh's way to Zion = new exodus = Jesus'
          > > way to the cross.
          >
          > Are you citing "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare
          > your way ... a voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for
          > the Lord, make straight paths for him.'" ? I sure don't see "new
          > exodus" in this, much less "Yahweh's way to Zion." Mark is NOT about
          > "Yahweh's way to Zion" to be sure. It is about "Jesus' way to the cross"
          > of course. How Markan protagonists are supposed to "make straight
          > paths" for this is obscure to me.
          >
          > > 1 Cor provides evidence that someone with hISTORHSAI
          > > KEFAN on his resume promulgated the derivation of such an interpretation
          > > from Jesus himself.
          >
          > > Paul is clearly the earliest documented source for such an interpretation
          > > (as for any form of Christianity, on the standard reckoning). The question
          > > is whether he originated it (of which he was certainly capable) or
          > > inherited it (as the use of PARALAMBANEIN APO TOU KYRIOU seems
          > > to support).
          >
          > Paul's appeal to authority seems to be specifically focused on
          > a) died
          > b) rose
          > c) both in accordance with the scriptures.
          >
          > There is no interpretation involved. The authorities involved are
          > 1. That Paul received the statements.
          > 2. That scripture provides a justification for the events, i.e. they
          > happened because scripture said they would happen. [Matthew,
          > e.g., thinks this way about "in accordance with the scriptures.]
          > 3. That eyewitnesses confirm that the events happened.
          >
          > I don't see that any of this supports the idea that Paul's
          > interpretation was derived from prior individuals. Appeal is
          > to the historicity and scriptural prediction of the events... which
          > then are interpreted by Paul in accordance with Paul so far
          > as I can tell.
          >
          > Steve
          >
          >
          >



          -----
          See the original message at http://www.egroups.com/list/crosstalk/?start=3368
          --
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        • Bob Schacht
          Halloween is gone from our streets but resideth still in the CrossTalk web server. I m making another attempt to post this. Please excuse if it duplicates. Bob
          Message 4 of 11 , Nov 7, 1998
            Halloween is gone from our streets but resideth still in the CrossTalk web
            server. I'm making another attempt to post this. Please excuse if it
            duplicates.
            Bob

            At 04:53 PM 11/3/98 -0400, Stevan Davies wrote:
            >
            >JEFF
            >> >... at minimum it would
            >> >presuppose that Jesus regarded himself as a covenant sacrifice.
            >> >The phrase
            >> >"This is my blood of the covenant" is, I would say, meaningless in
            >> >Mark. Nothing leads up to it, it has nothing to do with anything
            >> >that Jesus has been quoted as saying. Probably so too for Matthew
            >> >and Luke. It is without meaning in textual context.
            >>
            >> "Blood of the covenant" is a development of "ransom for many," which in
            >> turn forms the culmination of Jesus' third preparatory instruction
            >> regarding the significance of his death and resurrection (Mark 10:32-45) --
            >
            >Yes, these two seem to be Mark's "bottom line" interpretation of his
            >gospel. But I see no connection between the two.
            >I would welcome some light on the relationship of "ransom for many"
            >and "blood of the covenant." How is a covenant sacrifice a ransom
            >for many? Ransom from what? Paid to whom? Can you, WITHOUT
            >bringing in Paul's theories on these subjects, make sense of them for
            >me? In other words, how are they not meaningless as they stand in
            >Mark? ...

            Well, I dunno, but I'll try. Clearly this is an "atonement" issue, which is
            traditionally about as difficult to explain as the trinity. The most
            helpful source I have to deal with this question is the article on
            atonement in Achtemeier's Bible Dictionary. Here's the key lead: Atonement
            is "the means by which the guilt-punishment chain produced by violation of
            God's will is broken, as well as the resulting state of reconciliation
            ('at-onement') with God." The guilt-punishment chain is already well
            established in the Torah, what with the Golden Calf and the grumblings in
            the desert. What evolved in Jewish/Israelite ritual to deal with this was
            the Sin Offerings. But the Scape Goat provides an imprecise model for the
            NT, as is well known.

            A key link in the *evolution* of ideas about atonement was when "the
            atonement base was broadened to include the sacrifice of martyrs whose
            achievements were calculated and deemed meritorious for others (e.g., 4
            Macc. 6:28-29; 17:20-24). My New Revised Standard Version introduction to 4
            Macc. notes that "Possibly it was first delivered as an oration at a
            festival commemorating the Maccabean martyrs or at the Feast of the
            Dedication..." The author's theology has two special characteristics, one
            of which is that "The martyrdoms are a substitutionary atonement that
            expiates the nation's sin and purifies the land (1.11; 17.21; 18.4)." The
            date of the text cannot be pinned down with precision: "The most that can
            be said with certainty is that it was written sometime between the end of
            the Hasmonean dynasty in 63 B.C. and the destruction of the Jerusalem
            temple in A.D. 70." It has frequently been assigned to the period A.D.
            20-54. At the very least, therefore, there is a good chance that it dates
            before the public life of Jesus, and even if it doesn't, it enhances the
            likelihood that this idea was circulating at the time of Jesus' life even
            if it had not yet been written down.

            Now, to your questions:
            "How is a covenant sacrifice a ransom for many?" A covenant sacrifice
            serves to restore the covenant (Abrahamic + Exodus) between God and his
            chosen people (the many).

            "Ransom from what?" Interesting that you write "what"; I would have thought
            you would write "whom". But since you write "what", I'll guess "what" =
            sin, the sort of stuff that J the B was preaching about, and that the Sin
            Offerings were in reference to.

            "Paid to whom?" You're trying to take literally what was intended as
            metaphor. It is as if you want a specific sum of money to be named, along
            with a legal document about the Party of the First Part and the Party of
            the Second Part. But I think this misses the meaning of the Tanakh about
            this. With the Scape Goat, the answer was on the order of "paid to God".
            But when we start talking martyrdom, the theology of this has evolved:

            4 Maccabees 6:26-30
            26 When he was now burned to his very bones and about to expire, he lifted
            up his eyes to God and said,
            27 "You know, O God, that though I might have saved myself, I am dying in
            burning torments for the sake of the law.
            28 Be merciful to your people, and let our punishment suffice for them.
            29 Make my blood their purification, and take my life in exchange for theirs."
            30 After he said this, the holy man died...

            4 Macc. 17:21b
            21 ...they having become, as it were, a ransom for the sin of our nation.
            22 And through the blood of these devout ones and their death as an atoning
            sacrifice...


            >Can you, WITHOUT
            >bringing in Paul's theories on these subjects, make sense of them for
            >me?

            Well, I did without Paul's theories on these subjects, but whether or not
            this makes sense of them for you, you'll havta say for yourself.

            Bob
            Robert Schacht
            Northern Arizona University
            Robert.Schacht@...

            "This success of my endeavors was due, I believe, to a rule of 'method':
            that we should always try to clarify and to strengthen our opponent's
            position as much as possible before criticizing him, if we wish our
            criticism to be worth while." [Sir Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific
            Discovery (1968), p. 260 n.*5]
          • Stevan Davies
            ... Well, now, I do find this very enlightening. Sure sounds like the same line of thought as in Mark and you didn t need Paul. I always thought you did. But
            Message 5 of 11 , Nov 8, 1998
              >
              > From: Bob Schacht
              Bob Schacht wrote:

              > 4 Maccabees 6:26-30
              > 26 When he was now burned to his very bones and about to expire, he lifted
              > up his eyes to God and said,
              > 27 "You know, O God, that though I might have saved myself, I am dying in
              > burning torments for the sake of the law.
              > 28 Be merciful to your people, and let our punishment suffice for them.
              > 29 Make my blood their purification, and take my life in exchange for theirs."
              > 30 After he said this, the holy man died...
              >
              > 4 Macc. 17:21b
              > 21 ...they having become, as it were, a ransom for the sin of our nation.
              > 22 And through the blood of these devout ones and their death as an atoning
              > sacrifice...
              >
              > >Can you, WITHOUT
              > >bringing in Paul's theories on these subjects, make sense of them for
              > >me?
              >
              > Well, I did without Paul's theories on these subjects, but whether or not
              > this makes sense of them for you, you'll havta say for yourself.

              Well, now, I do find this very enlightening. Sure sounds like the
              same line of thought as in Mark and you didn't need Paul.
              I always thought you did. But you don't.

              Steve
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