17305Re: [XTalk] Re: Midrash
- Dec 1, 2004Dear Jeffrey,
Your request is difficult to answer, namely, to provide "concrete examples
from Jewish sources of the literary form that he claims Mark is following."
Besides the books of the New Testament, I may point to the early Fathers
such as the Epistle of Barnabas, writing Christian Judean midrashim.
The difficulty of your request is that the authors of the Gospel, study and
explain the scriptures as First Century precisely because they belong to the
movement confessing the Messiahship and Sonship of Jesus. They consisted, of
course, of only a section of the Jewish population at the time. In Talmud
and Midrash we find the practice of the mostly Pharisaic rabbis. I need not
tell the introductory material is widely available. The same is true for the
specific way the Qumranites practiced midrash through pesharim . No handbook
is written, however, from Christian "Jewish sources providing concrete
examples" of their literary form.
That is why I wrote that one must try to discover why and in what way the
rabbi's referred to various scriptures in one passage to make a point on a
given subject. Different from rabbi's among the Pharisee or teachers at
Qumran or Philo, Christian Judeans wrote midrashim to clarify the mission
and life of Jesus and his apostles in their context. The number of NT
scholars acknowledging that the authors of the gospels did write midrashim,
is growing. Jim West acknowledged himself in an earlier contribution "that
it is perfectly legitimate" to interpret the Gospel in terms of midrash.
The classical way is to approach this Judean practice in the Gospel
tradition is to study rabbinic midrashim in Talmud and Midrash. The best
known handbook is the well known Einleitung by W. Bacher. There probably is
an English version of it. And as far as the Feasts in the synagogue is
conerned, the work by I Elbogen: Juedische Gottesdienst in seiner
geschichtlichen Entwicklung, is a natural. Several definitive studies have
been made, of course, on the origins and growth of the Passover Haggadah of
the synagogue, as we have it now. It is through the study of the Jewish
writings that we learn to recognize the midrashic mind in the gospels, in
casu the opening, the centre and the ending of Mark's Gospel.
The Qumran Scrolls provide different kinds of material that may help us
understand how the Qumranites interpreted the Law and the Prophets.
I am aware that I am kicking in an open door. But you asked me a question,
Jeffrey and this is the way I would answer it.
I have tried several times to subscribe to the Ludemann Seminar. I am not
sure if my subscription has come through. For the application firm didn't
disappear from my screen when I pressed the button "join". Can you help me
in verifying that I indeed have put in my subscription?
Thank you for your help,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 2:34 PM
Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: Midrash
> Mike Grondin wrote:
>> John Staton wrote to Karel:
>> > I will leave Mike and others more wel-versed in midrash to argue
>> > the toss with you over that issue.
>> I can't claim any knowledge in this area, John, but I do have a
>> pretty good idea about how to prove a case, and if *I* was claiming
>> that a gospel was Haggadah, I'd be sure to include an example of
>> Haggadah that was sufficiently similar to what was going on in that
>> gospel to make the claim plausible. Whether Karel did this in his
>> book, I don't know (since I haven't shelled out the 50 bucks or so
>> for it), but he hasn't seen fit to do it here, and Spong hasn't
>> done it either (that I know of), so while the claim intrigues me,
>> I haven't yet seen an adequate case made for it.
> Let me echo Mike's request and ask that Karel provide us with concrete
> from Jewish sources of the literary form that he claims Mark is following.
> Jeffrey Gibson
> Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
> 1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
> Chicago, IL 60626
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