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Re: Earl's strange silences: Stephen?

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  • antonio.jerez@kurir.net
    ... Well said, Jeff. And I might add that the above comment from S. Davies is a typical “Davies,” i.e. take a few verses in the NT out of their literary
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 1999
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      Jeff Peterson wrote:

      >At 2:46 PM -0500 2/27/99, Stevan Davies wrote, initially
      >quoting Acts:
      >"Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute?
      >They even killed those who predicted the
      >coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed
      >and murdered him"

      >... [But] if there was an historical
      >crucifixion it was conducted under the auspices of the Romans.
      >So, unless one wishes to argue that the testimony is incorrect but
      >nevertheless reliable, or some such curious conclusion, the Stephen
      >business doesn't help an historical Jesus argument much at all.

      >>Aristotle says there is a degree of _akribeia_ appropriate to every
      >>inquiry; I'd suggest that Steve's exegesis of Acts and Thessalonians errs
      >>in attaching too much precision to the statements about Jesus' Jewish
      >>countrymen having accomplished his death.

      >>Here's a musty political parallel: in 1986 or thereabouts, Robert Bork was
      >>denied appointment to the Supreme Court when feminist and civil liberties
      >>groups protested his nomination and the Senate voted against appointment.
      >>So: who denied Bork a seat on the bench, feminists or senators? Technically
      >>of course the Senate cast the votes that consigned Bork to the lecture
      >>circuit and op-ed page, but it's certainly not wrong to say that the
      >>opposition of feminists and others cost him the appointment, and a Bork
      >>partisan might well say in a rhetorical context (thus parallel to Stephen's
      >>speech and Paul's letter), "the National Organization for Women defeated
      >>Robert Bork." So with Stephen and Paul.

      Well said, Jeff. And I might add that the above comment from S. Davies
      is a typical “Davies,” i.e. take a few verses in the NT out of their literary
      context and make eisegesis out of it. What is wrong with Stevan Davies

      1. The accusation that the ULTIMATE responsibility for the
      execution of Jesus lay with the “Jews” (= the Jewish
      leadership and part of the people) is a standard accusation
      in the NT texts, including the gospels.

      2. Despite ultimately blaming the “Jews” the NT writers
      also claimed that the ones who carried out the execution
      was the Romans. See among other things the “Son Of Man-
      must suffer and die…”-predictions in the Synoptics.

      3. There is a high probability that the Stephen’s speech in
      Acts is largely made up by Luke. In this particular speech Luke
      has his hero blame the ultimately responsible for the crime – the
      Jews – since it wouldn’t make much literary sense to have Stephen
      saying that “the scribes, the priests, the populace and the Romans”
      in reality conspired to kill Jesus. The reason why it wouldn’t make
      literary sense is that Luke has earlier in the speech put words in
      Stephen’s mouth that “you stiffnecked people, uncircumcised in
      hearts and ears, you are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your
      ancestors did , so do you. Which of the prophets did your ancestors
      not persecute…”.
      It is obvious that from Luke’s viewpoint as an author it wouldn’t
      make sense to also drag in the Romans when he has Stephen talk
      about the Jewish peoples historical habit of killing their prophets –
      including Jesus.

      4 That Luke can also give the whole traditional formula about who
      in reality had culpability in the killing of Jesus can be shown by
      passages such as Acts 2:22 where he puts the following words in
      the mouth of Peter: “Fellow, Israelites, listen to these words. Jesus
      the Nazorean was a man accredited to you by God with mighty
      deeds, wonders and signs, which God wrought through him in
      your midst, as you yourselves are aware. Though this man was
      delivered up according to the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
      you used LAWLESS (anomoi) people to crucify and kill him.”
      It is obvious that the “anomoi” referred to are the pagan Romans.

      Another example of a “Davies” from a Stevan D. message. This
      from “re. Christian Multiplicity (ramblings):

      >When the idea arises "whose teachings are to count?" a pretty solid
      >answer would be "Jesus' teachings" but, to make that work, you
      >have to have an historical Jesus, preferably one whose disciples
      >didn't have a clue and so, therefore, ones own teachings can be
      >Jesus' teachings irrespective of prior traditions. "Why are so many
      >Christians oblivious to the teachings of Jesus? Because the disciples
      >were idiots." So Mk and GTh.

      This is hardly a good way of describing the reason for the disciple
      “idiocy” theme in GMark. There is much more than at first meets the
      eye behind Mark’s literary construct. I don’t feel the urge to get into
      all the details right now, but somebody else may have. Philip Lewis?

      Best wishes

      Antonio Jerez

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