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Re: [XTalk] Historical Jesus Theories: Jesus the Teacher

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  • Anthony Buglass
    I think Steve D has a point - the conviction that Jesus was raised appears to be the engine that drives the NT. As far as Paul is concerned, it has almost
    Message 1 of 26 , Jun 19, 2002
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      I think Steve D has a point - the conviction that Jesus was raised appears to be the engine that drives the NT. As far as Paul is concerned, it has almost become an unexamined throwaway argument that he either didn't know or wasn't interested in the historical life of Jesus or his teachings. He obviously thought other things were more important when he wrote his letters, but that doesn't say he or his churches didn't know the rest. He spent months teaching in places where he established churches - is it so unreasonable to assume that some of the original teaching included an introduction to HJ? It is most likely that Paul was briefed on it when he met Peter (Gal.1:18). Some of the HJ traditions which became part of the synoptics were probably circulating in their various collections of pericope - it isn't likely "that Paul's churches would remain ignorant of the historical Jesus until they got Mark" (to quote Dunn's "Theology of Paul the Apostle" p187). Paul is aware of certain early elements of Jesus-tradition - the abba prayer (Rom.8:15-17; Gal.4:6-7) was remembered as characteristic of Jesus' own prayer, and preserved in Aramaic.

      The genre and context of Paul's work is important - he was writing letters which would not need to contain everything he knew, to churches with whom in most cases he had already spent a great deal of time teaching. Letters fill the gaps or redress the imbalance which are the problem and the occasion for writing. The centre of Paul's Gospel is Jesus the crucified and risen Lord, but that doesn't mean he knows nothing of Jesus the teacher.

      Cheers,
      Rev Tony Buglass
      Pickering Methodist Circuit

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: brmcc2000
      To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com

      1) Steve Dingeldein you answered Steve Davies' despairing question of
      why--on earth!-- would anyone have wanted to preserve an account of
      Jesus' teaching by saying that some of his followers became convinced
      that he was raised from the dead.

      Steve D., would that have been sufficient? Paul was convinced that
      Jesus was raised from the dead, but he does not show much interest in
      his teachings. So belief in Jesus' resurrection may well have been a
      contributory factor, but it looks like there were others.




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Gordon Raynal
      Hi Brian, ... What do you think about this list for this why question (I will present this in snippet form so as to get to some salient points that might
      Message 2 of 26 , Jun 19, 2002
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        Hi Brian,

        >1) Steve Dingeldein you answered Steve Davies' despairing question of
        >why--on earth!-- would anyone have wanted to preserve an account of
        >Jesus' teaching by saying that some of his followers became convinced
        >that he was raised from the dead.
        >
        >Steve D., would that have been sufficient? Paul was convinced that
        >Jesus was raised from the dead, but he does not show much interest in
        >his teachings. So belief in Jesus' resurrection may well have been a
        >contributory factor, but it looks like there were others.

        What do you think about this list for this "why" question (I will present
        this in "snippet form" so as to get to some salient points that might
        provide lots of room for extended discussions):

        1. Begin with the reality that the Hebraic/Jewish heritage was a distinctive
        and powerful theological and ethical heritage (centuries old) and that the
        foment caused by the Roman Imperial schemings and the effects of that with
        Augustus' effective take over of the Eastern Med. world after his defeat of
        Antony and Cleopatras forces effected very deep ponderings among a wide
        swath of the peoples claiming this heritage. We know of the prolific
        literary heritage of the Essenes. We know of 4 primary factions that
        Josephus speaks of. We know of the Samaritans and their endurance. And we
        know of the collections centered in some manner in Jesus. From ca. 30 BCE
        til the early 2nd century C.E. we see a whole flurry of responses and new/
        re-newed articulations and extensions of the foundational heritage.
        Regarding Jesus then, his words and/or actions and/or death were understood
        to be grounds for a renewed claim on that heritage and a way to broaden
        participation in that religious heritage.

        2. Next to the particulars. Said theological and ethical heritage had its
        center in speaking to matters of injustice and violence/ violence and
        injustice (albeit with a number of "voices," but those various "voices"/
        "stances" kept together). Every major trajectory of the Jesus materials we
        have show an understanding of Jesus speaking/ teaching and acting and/or
        dying in relationship to these issues which were of profound concern in this
        era of great upheaval. Regarding the upheaval:
        a. "Israel" as a traditional homeland had come under the sway of puppet
        rulers who had kowtowed
        to the Romans.
        b. In the aftermath of HTG the land was partitioned into Roman designed
        governmental units and
        Jerusalem and environs put under direct Roman administration.
        c. The leaders of the official cult were stuck between maintenence of
        the heritage and appeasement
        d. As Horsely's book title reminds us... there were "bandits, prophets
        and messiahs" seeking to
        claim rule and/or seek control and/or champion the heritage.
        Considering this and considering
        the factional nature of "the faith" at "the center" and across the
        divided "homeland,"
        religion was anything but a unifying force.
        Not to be trite but we see the moves of "flee to the commune and pray 'for
        that day'" (the Essenes), "get swords" (Bandits/ messianic claimants), "just
        keep the heritage and we'll endure" (the Pharisees), "stay out of Jerusalem
        and keep to our ancestral home and practice" (Samaritans), and "support the
        Temple and priesthood and pay your taxes" (the High Priesthood
        establishment). Jesus and friends evidence another strategy and a
        particular articulation of that heritages' concern for violence and
        injustice. That distinctive articulation and practice?

        3. Where the earliest layers of sayings and reflections cross (pardon the
        pun) one sees the core of a thought paradigm that shows forth the
        articulation. The opening of the "Two Ways" in the Didache describing the
        Way of Life which comes after the great summary affirmation from the TANAK
        ("love God, neighbor, self and 'Golden Rule') and the same articulation
        contained in the first layer of Q and carried forth by Matthew and Luke
        spell out (from the Didache order): "bless them that curse you, ...pray for
        your enemies, ...love those who hate you..."). Q will frame this
        understanding with a call for pairs to go and say, "Peace to this house."
        G.Thomas will relate this via affirmation that "if two make peace in a
        single house" mountains will move. Paul will begin every letter with the
        words "Grace and Peace," in Romans describe the whole nature of the movement
        as "a wild olive branch" and in the Corinthian correspondence open it with a
        reflection that Jesus was "wisdom come from God" and go on in II Corithians
        to sum and say the whole point was "a ministry of reconcilation." In the
        first framing of "the story in Mark" the whole Galilean ministry is summed
        as about "having salt in yourselves and being at peace with one another."
        Matthew will simply extend the beatitudes to say "Blessed are the
        peacemakers for they will be called children of God. Ep. of James will sum
        it the same way in a wisdom summary in James 3:17-18. Hebrews will suggest
        that the parallel to understand Jesus is Melchizedek, "the King of Peace."
        John will manufacture a great concluding prayerful seminar by Jesus where he
        is given to say "Peace I leave you..." (John 14:27). And in my view...
        "Luke" in the early 2nd century will take that combined affirmation and
        frame "the story" with a prayer from JTB's Dad (1:78-79) and angel song
        (2:14) articulating "the hope" and Jesus raising the hope in a prophetic
        word upon entereing Jerusalem (Luke 19:42). Likewise extant Thomas will
        ruminate on what this "peace" means "spiritually/ mystically/ inwardly."
        The literature we have shows differing genres, differing choices from the
        TANAK heritage to reflect upon, differing praxis foci, differing theological
        articulations, but per the above they all show evidence of remembering "this
        core" and thus remembering Jesus as a person who taught, acted upon and died
        for this core nexus of peace and justice concerns.

        4. Gandhi recognized this. Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized this. The
        scholars of the Jesus Seminar said in "the Five Gospels" (p.147) "The
        admonition to 'love your enemies' is somewhere close to the heart of the
        teaching of Jesus to the extent that we can recover them from the
        tradition... The injunction to love enemies is a memorable aphorism because
        it cuts against the social grain and consititues a paradox: those who love
        their enemies have no enemies."


        I take it that if there was a person named Jesus who uttered this and
        reflected upon it in memorable stories (parables) like "Good Sam," and if he
        practiced it and enabled others to do so... so as to form a community with
        this at its core, and if he died because of these words and practices adding
        up then it ain't really to hard to see why he was remembered!

        So, what do you think. Do you think that this might sort of account for why
        he was remembered?

        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC
      • Steve Dingeldein
        ... Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Brian. I agree that Paul doesn t seem as interested in Jesus teaching as the Gospel writers but I think much of his
        Message 3 of 26 , Jun 19, 2002
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          > 1) Steve Dingeldein you answered Steve Davies' despairing question of
          > why--on earth!-- would anyone have wanted to preserve an account of
          > Jesus' teaching by saying that some of his followers became convinced
          > that he was raised from the dead.
          >
          > Steve D., would that have been sufficient? Paul was convinced that
          > Jesus was raised from the dead, but he does not show much interest in
          > his teachings. So belief in Jesus' resurrection may well have been a
          > contributory factor, but it looks like there were others.
          >

          Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Brian. I agree that Paul doesn't seem as
          interested in Jesus' teaching as the Gospel writers but I think much of his
          teaching is just under the surface (the ethical teachings of Romans 12-14).
          There is one place (I can't recall where off the top of my head) I think
          where Paul says something like "Jesus didn't have a teaching on this matter
          so I'll give you my opinion." But you're right. Paul appears more interested
          the death and resurrection and taking his mission actions as a reflex of
          those events.

          I think you are right that the belief in Jesus' resurrection was not the
          only reason to save his teachings. But I do think that is the main reason
          they survived beyond a generation or two. I would bet that bar Kochba
          "taught" his followers something, but after his death no one claimed in an
          on-going fashion that he was the messiah or that he was raised from the
          dead - hence we don't have anything comparable to the literature that exists
          about Jesus' teachings.

          But your point seems to be that there was something remarkable about the
          teachings as well. And the examples you give are to the point. And I would
          agree . . .

          Steve Dingeldein
        • Rikk E. Watts
          The old chestnut re-emerges :). Consider what we have (just e.g. in Corinthians): here is someone who regularly risks life and limb to preach Christ (1 Cor
          Message 4 of 26 , Jun 19, 2002
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            The old chestnut re-emerges :).

            Consider what we have (just e.g. in Corinthians): here is someone who
            regularly risks life and limb to preach Christ (1 Cor 15.32), who quite
            unapologetically regards his own teaching as subordinate to that of Jesus (1
            Cor 7.10-12), who is able to whip out an appeal to Jesus' instruction
            without the slightest hint of incongruity ("eh, Paul? Why this sudden
            invocation of Jesus' teaching, you've never been interested in it before?,"
            1 Cor 9.14), who sees himself an imitator of Jesus (1 Cor 11.1) which
            profession is made in the middle not of a discussion of the resurrection but
            of ethical teaching, and who regards himself an apostle, not of the church,
            but of Jesus.

            Could anyone deny that this man is a follower of Jesus? Does any one know
            of any social model in the ancient world that would provide a precedent for
            such a person not being even vaguely interested in the teaching of the one
            they proclaim and venerate? I don't know of any (cf. Hengel) and can't
            imagine such a thing in the Jewish world, but I'd be very interested in
            hearing of one whether Jewish or otherwise‹any classicists out there who can
            help?

            So perhaps we are coming at this the wrong way. If we assume that of course
            Paul was interested in the teachings of Jesus then what we are after is some
            relevant model to explain his relative silence. What factors might we
            consider? Is this a reflection of something in Paul's rabbinic background?
            E.g. although the oral traditions of the Targums etc. were circulating quite
            early they appear not to be written down until later. If Paul reveres the
            words of Jesus might he feel a similar hesitation?

            Perhaps more helpful is that in Galatians he describes his call in terms of
            Jeremiah 1.5 and Isa 49.1-6 (1.15-16; apostolos might itself also be an echo
            of Yahweh's commissioning of the prophets) and much of his theological
            conception of his ministry seems heavily influenced by Isaiah (Wilk). For a
            long time it was argued that the prophets preceded Torah, one of the reasons
            being precisely their apparent lack of interest in the Law, namely few clear
            citations thereof. But it seems that this conclusion was a tad hasty.

            It is now recognized that many of the Pentateuch's traditions were already
            formed before the prophets, and at many places the latter seem dependent on
            them. And of course they assume ancient covenant traditions. Further,
            Bach's work on Amos (1957) has demonstrated that although the prophet not
            once cites the Torah directly he clearly assumes and depends upon old legal
            tradition. Beyerlin on Micah (1959), Brueggemann on Hosea (1968), and
            Bergren on the prophets in general (1974) all confirm this. In Israel's
            prophetic tradition it is now recognized that to interpret lack of citation
            as lack of interest or knowledge of ancient legal tradition is a fundamental
            mistake borne of a superficial reading. If Paul is operating along similar
            lines one might also expect no direct citations (and in all his letters
            there's only one, the words of institution in 1 Cor) but all manner of
            allusions and a pervasive underlying dependency. The latter has, I think,
            been convincingly demonstrated by any number of authors (including a fellow
            doc candidate at Cambs). This it seems to me is the best explanation with
            the fewest (if any) difficulties.

            Why the prophets and Paul do not see the need explicitly to cite,
            respectively, the Torah or Jesus, I don't know. Nevertheless to suggest
            that lack of explicit citation means Paul was relatively uninterested in the
            teachings of Jesus runs counter to his Jewish heritage, his own
            prophetic/apostolic consciousness, the fundamental underlying continuity of
            his ideas and ethics with the canonical picture of Jesus, and to any first
            century social model we know. I wonder if it's time to put this one to
            rest.

            Regards,

            Rikk

            on 6/19/02 7:23 AM, Steve Dingeldein at sdingeldein@... wrote:

            >> > 1) Steve Dingeldein you answered Steve Davies' despairing question of
            >> > why--on earth!-- would anyone have wanted to preserve an account of
            >> > Jesus' teaching by saying that some of his followers became convinced
            >> > that he was raised from the dead.
            >> >
            >> > Steve D., would that have been sufficient? Paul was convinced that
            >> > Jesus was raised from the dead, but he does not show much interest in
            >> > his teachings. So belief in Jesus' resurrection may well have been a
            >> > contributory factor, but it looks like there were others.
            >> >
            >
            > Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Brian. I agree that Paul doesn't seem as
            > interested in Jesus' teaching as the Gospel writers but I think much of his
            > teaching is just under the surface (the ethical teachings of Romans 12-14).
            > There is one place (I can't recall where off the top of my head) I think
            > where Paul says something like "Jesus didn't have a teaching on this matter
            > so I'll give you my opinion." But you're right. Paul appears more interested
            > the death and resurrection and taking his mission actions as a reflex of
            > those events.
            >
            > I think you are right that the belief in Jesus' resurrection was not the
            > only reason to save his teachings. But I do think that is the main reason
            > they survived beyond a generation or two. I would bet that bar Kochba
            > "taught" his followers something, but after his death no one claimed in an
            > on-going fashion that he was the messiah or that he was raised from the
            > dead - hence we don't have anything comparable to the literature that exists
            > about Jesus' teachings.
            >
            > But your point seems to be that there was something remarkable about the
            > teachings as well. And the examples you give are to the point. And I would
            > agree . . .
            >
            > Steve Dingeldein
            >
            >
            >
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            Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab) Ph. (604) 224 3245
            Associate Professor of NT Fax. (604) 224 3097
            Regent College
            5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 2E4



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Steve Black
            OK I tracked down the original post - things are clearer now:) ... This passage certainly reflects that Paul had at least a minimal knowledge of Jesus
            Message 5 of 26 , Jun 21, 2002
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              OK I tracked down the original post - things are clearer now:)

              >
              >Consider what we have (just e.g. in Corinthians): here is someone who
              >regularly risks life and limb to preach Christ (1 Cor 15.32), who quite
              >unapologetically regards his own teaching as subordinate to that of Jesus (1
              >Cor 7.10-12), who is able to whip out an appeal to Jesus' instruction
              >without the slightest hint of incongruity ("eh, Paul? Why this sudden
              >invocation of Jesus' teaching, you've never been interested in it before?,"
              >1 Cor 9.14),


              This passage certainly reflects that Paul had at least a minimal
              knowledge of Jesus' teaching. I guess I wonder how much mileage we
              can get from this? Certainly we can't claim that Paul had NO
              knowledge of Jesus' teaching. On the other hand, just how much
              knowledge he had exactly might be difficult to figure.

              It is interesting that in both these references to Jesus' teaching -
              divorce and "those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by
              the gospel" - Paul finds a way to set aside or relativize Jesus'
              teaching.
              I'm wonder what this really tells about the level of concern for
              Jesus' teaching that Paul had - I mean after all he does say its ok
              to get divorced in some scenarios' - something Jesus' original
              teaching probably didn't leave any room for. As for "living by the
              gospel", or getting paid - well Paul says "no" to that as well as he
              supported himself. So Once again these two passages seem to indicate
              almost an ambivalence towards the teaching of Jesus that Paul did
              know.

              >who sees himself an imitator of Jesus (1 Cor 11.1) which
              >profession is made in the middle not of a discussion of the resurrection but
              >of ethical teaching, and who regards himself an apostle, not of the church,
              >but of Jesus.

              I'm not sure that the fact that this is "in the middle of an ethical
              teaching" requires the reader to think of the life of Christ. I think
              this passage "reads better" if we think of Paul as referring to the
              risen Christ. I say this because that more often than not this is
              what Paul seems to be thinking of - or to the death and resurrection
              - when he refers to Christ.

              >
              >So perhaps we are coming at this the wrong way. If we assume that of course
              >Paul was interested in the teachings of Jesus then what we are after is some
              >relevant model to explain his relative silence. What factors might we
              >consider? Is this a reflection of something in Paul's rabbinic background?
              >E.g. although the oral traditions of the Targums etc. were circulating quite
              >early they appear not to be written down until later. If Paul reveres the
              >words of Jesus might he feel a similar hesitation?

              Building scenarios around assumptions often yield delightful results
              - the problem is that scenarios built around alternative assumptions
              also yield equally delightful results. Building the scenario is the
              easy part, coming up with convincing assumptions is a lot tougher. My
              assumption that Paul was relatively not interested in Jesus' teaching
              is based on the little time he spent on them in his writings.


              --
              Steve Black
              Vancouver School of Theology
              Vancouver, BC
              ---

              Once in a while you can get shown the light
              in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

              -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
            • Rikk E. Watts
              HI Steve, I apologize to listers for the length of this post; the summary is taken from a para further down. Only nutters like me who want to pursue this need
              Message 6 of 26 , Jun 22, 2002
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                HI Steve, I apologize to listers for the length of this post; the summary is
                taken from a para further down. Only nutters like me who want to pursue
                this need read the whole post.

                Summary:
                You repeat that relative silence on citations indicates relative
                disinterest. And you are right, this is not an argument, it's an
                assumption. And the veracity of that assumption is the very point at issue.
                My response, based in part on the reversal of an identical assumption about
                other religiously significant Jewish writings, is that it is superficial and
                mistaken. Nothing you've said here actually engages that argument. But
                even so you would still need to come up with a compelling historical
                account, in keeping with the proclivities of the first century world, of how
                Paul could not be deeply interested in the earthly career of the Jesus he
                now preaches as the Christ. I don't think you've begun to do that either.

                On the other hand, I think I can explain Paul's unquestioned devotion to
                Jesus, the lack of direct citational evidence, and yet the profound and
                far-reaching congruence at the level of allusion and fundamental
                orientation, and I can do so on the basis of the close analogy of Jewish
                religious texts which themselves had a profound impact on him. (Comparing
                Jesus and Paul only in isolation is misleading, one must also compare them
                over against contemporary alternatives, e.g. Plato or the Stoics. When that
                is done, there is no question as to whose camp Paul belongs.) To be a
                little blunt: it seems that my argument can offer a consilience of
                inductions from a range of categories of data, including the textual data,
                the first century world, Paul's Jewish heritage, his devotion to Jesus, etc.
                The only data your explanation covers is lack of clear citation. I was
                taught and am convinced that the explanation that is more comprehensive of
                and congruent with the most data is to be preferred. On these criteria, I
                can't see the "disinterested" position even getting to first base.


                Body:

                First, without at all being personal, but purely from an academic
                standpoint, I'm not convinced you've taken my argument seriously. Picking
                and choosing what individual elements you will respond to, and ignoring the
                explanatory power of the overall historical reconstruction, does not strike
                me as particularly helpful. Historical arguments are about cumulative
                deductive reasoning and inference to the best explanation of all of the
                data. To break the data -- selectively -- into little pieces kind of
                defeats the purpose of doing history doesn't it?

                Second, I've noticed now and then several comments on the list that seem to
                suggest that talk about what Paul would probably have done or thought is
                somehow not really kosher and that we must confine ourselves to his texts.
                This is an extremely odd way of doing history. History, in any meaningful
                sense, is precisely about the connection between artifacts like texts and
                human intentionality, and thus in our case how Paul understood himself. It
                necessarily involves some kind of assessment of his likely attitudes toward
                things and the meaning of his behavior in his cultural milieu. So, it is
                exactly the nature of doing history to ask: given the larger picture (texts
                and cultural milieu), how likely is it that Paul was not seriously
                interested in the sayings of Jesus?

                > This passage certainly reflects that Paul had at least a minimal
                > knowledge of Jesus' teaching. I guess I wonder how much mileage we
                > can get from this?
                I think you've missed me here; sorry for not being clearer. My point was not
                that Paul knows at least something about Jesus. What struck me was the
                obvious ease, with not a hint of incongruity, in Paul's appeal to Jesus.
                This looks very much like someone who is at home in the sayings of Jesus
                speaking to people who are likewise at home (and yes this category of
                statement is exactly what doing history is about). I'll come back to this
                passage later (see below).

                >Certainly we can't claim that Paul had NO
                > knowledge of Jesus' teaching.
                Good. We are agreed that blanket statements such as Paul was not interested
                in the teachings of Jesus are mistaken. But I think this only makes the
                problem more difficult for you. When one considers the deep devotion Paul
                feels toward Jesus (don't forget how often Paul uses Jesus and Christ in
                combination or even the 44 x's he employs Jesus on its own), how likely is
                it that he would be only marginally as opposed to considerably interested in
                Jesus' sayings? Do you know of any first century analogy? Can I suggest,
                based on first century patterns, that the notion of a devoted follower of a
                teacher who was not interested in his teacher's sayings would strike most
                first century people as a contradiction in terms? Can you provide evidence
                that undermines this historical analogy (excluding Paul of course because he
                is the point at issue)? If not, then will you at least admit its force?

                So the valid and eminently historical question remains (given the kind of
                data in my first post and the material in Galatians mentioned in other posts
                which I won't recite here): just how probable is it, that Paul would be only
                marginally interested in Jesus teaching? With respect, I don't think you've
                even begun to address that question at the level of historical probability
                and analogy.

                On the other hand, I think I can explain Paul's unquestioned devotion to
                Jesus, the lack of direct citational evidence, and yet the profound and
                far-reaching congruence at the level of allusion and fundamental orientation
                and I can do so on the basis of the close analogy of Jewish religious texts
                which themselves have had a profound impact on him. I would offer here that
                comparing Jesus and Paul only in isolation is misleading, one must also
                compare them over against contemporary alternatives, e.g. Plato or the
                Stoics. When that is done, there is no question as to whose camp Paul
                belongs. To be kind of blunt: it seems that my argument can offer a
                consilience of a range of categories of data, including Paul's texts, the
                first century world, Paul's Jewish heritage, his devotion to Jesus, etc.
                The only data your explanation covers is lack of clear citation. I was
                always taught and am convinced that the explanation that is more
                comprehensive of and congruent with the most data is the best. To be
                honest, I can't see the "disinterested" position even getting to first base.

                > It is interesting that in both these references to Jesus' teaching -
                > divorce and "those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by
                > the gospel" - Paul finds a way to set aside or relativize Jesus'
                > teaching.
                > I'm wonder what this really tells about the level of concern for
                > Jesus' teaching that Paul had - I mean after all he does say its ok
                > to get divorced in some scenarios' - something Jesus' original
                > teaching probably didn't leave any room for. As for "living by the
                > gospel", or getting paid - well Paul says "no" to that as well as he
                > supported himself. So Once again these two passages seem to indicate
                > almost an ambivalence towards the teaching of Jesus that Paul did
                > know.
                Thank you for bringing this to our attention! As I'm sure you would agree,
                it is characteristic of ethical frameworks to have to deal with balancing
                competing demands. Paul cites Jesus' instruction, but he has a problem.
                What if rigidly enforcing Jesus' word on receiving support seriously
                compromised his larger call to proclaim the broader message of Jesus? The
                choice seems pretty clear. So, on the contrary, I don't see this as
                indicating an ambivalence toward Jesus' teaching but on the contrary an
                indirect indication of how seriously he takes it.
                BUT this raises another question. Why invoke Jesus in the first place,
                unless Jesus' sayings are held in some kind of esteem by both parties to the
                conversation? In other words, it seems to me that in this case the apparent
                "marginalization" only has force if Jesus' statements were important to Paul
                and his audience.
                The marriage material is similar. Your assessment is that Paul sets aside
                Jesus' teaching. This would be very odd indeed given that the clear stance
                of the passage overall is that Jesus' words have the highest authority. But
                another explanation is possible: Paul had no intention of contradicting
                Jesus; after all there is no hint of embarrassment or justification. I
                don't want to go off on a sidetrack to offer how I think this might work
                except to say that Jesus and Paul are essentially agreed: God never intended
                divorce, and certainly no divorce so you can shack up with someone else.
                (I'm of the view that neither Jesus nor Paul have been well-served here).

                >> who sees himself an imitator of Jesus (1 Cor 11.1) which
                >> profession is made in the middle not of a discussion of the resurrection but
                >> of ethical teaching, and who regards himself an apostle, not of the church,
                >> but of Jesus.
                >
                > I'm not sure that the fact that this is "in the middle of an ethical
                > teaching" requires the reader to think of the life of Christ. I think
                > this passage "reads better" if we think of Paul as referring to the
                > risen Christ. I say this because that more often than not this is
                > what Paul seems to be thinking of - or to the death and resurrection
                > - when he refers to Christ.
                Whoa! :) The whole deal is about not seeking advantage and particularly in
                regard to food laws. The first reflected in Jesus' teachings ("Jesus" in
                the sense defined above) on service and the second on those regarding clean
                and unclean food. As to the "Christ = resurrection and therefore earthly
                Jesus is excluded" thing, sorry Steve, don't buy it for the reasons stated
                in earlier posts (and besides it assumes the point at issue: if Paul was
                interested in the teachings of Jesus then that kind of hard and fast
                distinction breaks down doesn't it?). But beyond that it seems a bit
                precious (especially when you are so keen on sticking with texts :)) to
                invoke a theological construct to deflect the otherwise reasonably clear
                data in the text.
                >>
                >> So perhaps we are coming at this the wrong way. If we assume that of course
                >> Paul was interested in the teachings of Jesus then what we are after is some
                >> relevant model to explain his relative silence. What factors might we
                >> consider? Is this a reflection of something in Paul's rabbinic background?
                >> E.g. although the oral traditions of the Targums etc. were circulating quite
                >> early they appear not to be written down until later. If Paul reveres the
                >> words of Jesus might he feel a similar hesitation?
                >
                > Building scenarios around assumptions often yield delightful results
                > - the problem is that scenarios built around alternative assumptions
                > also yield equally delightful results. Building the scenario is the
                > easy part, coming up with convincing assumptions is a lot tougher. My
                > assumption that Paul was relatively not interested in Jesus' teaching
                > is based on the little time he spent on them in his writings.
                C'mon, Steve, this sounds rather patronizing. :) By "little time he spent
                on them" I assume you mean few explicit references (there are a large number
                of scholars who can point out all manner of allusions and deep underlying
                parallels between Paul and Jesus espec when viewed vis-à-vis Plato etc.).
                You repeat that relative silence on citations indicates relative
                disinterest. And you are right, this is not an argument, it's an
                assumption. And the veracity of that assumption is the very point at issue.

                My response, based in part on the reversal of an identical assumption about
                other religiously significant Jewish writings, is that it is superficial and
                mistaken. Nothing you've said here actually engages that argument. But
                even so you still need to come up with a compelling historical account, in
                keeping with the proclivities of the first century world, of how Paul could
                not be deeply interested in the earthly career of the Jesus he now preaches
                as the Christ. I don't think you've done that either.

                My apologies if this is a bit robust. All the best,
                Rikk


                Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab) Ph. (604) 224 3245
                Associate Professor of NT Fax. (604) 224 3097
                Regent College
                5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 2E4
              • Steve Black
                Rikk, thanks for the enjoyable exchange. Due to personal time constraints, I am dealing with only part of your latest post, and I will copy and address a
                Message 7 of 26 , Jun 22, 2002
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                  Rikk, thanks for the enjoyable exchange.

                  Due to personal time constraints, I am dealing with only part of
                  your latest post, and I will copy and address a portion from your
                  original post in this context. I haven't dealt with ALL of your
                  latest post here - I hope to follow up with that later.
                  Hope you are well.

                  >
                  >First, without at all being personal, but purely from an academic
                  >standpoint, I'm not convinced you've taken my argument seriously. Picking
                  >and choosing what individual elements you will respond to, and ignoring the
                  >explanatory power of the overall historical reconstruction, does not strike
                  >me as particularly helpful. Historical arguments are about cumulative
                  >deductive reasoning and inference to the best explanation of all of the
                  >data. To break the data -- selectively -- into little pieces kind of
                  >defeats the purpose of doing history doesn't it?

                  I think we build our historical constructions around the data as we
                  have it. Each historian selects what they think is relevant in terms
                  of raw data - leaving out this and including that. I am not sure we
                  have universally agreed upon iron clad rules to follow as to how to
                  determine what counts as good data. Be that as it may. The
                  imaginative reconstruction process then takes what has been selected
                  and arranges into some [hopefully] coherent whole. The other method
                  is to reconstruct a scenario first, and then see if the data fits. In
                  any event the [chosen] relevant data must operate as the final
                  control, and there is a subjective element to what counts as
                  relevant data. I put weight on the specific bit of data that Paul
                  doesn't spend much time speaking or relaying the teachings of Jesus.
                  From there I construct a scenario that embraces this. You, it seems
                  to me, find the idea of a Paul who isn't *very* interested in Jesus'
                  teaching implausible, and try to understand the silence in terms of
                  this. (Correct me if my mini-synopsis is off). Neither of these
                  methods is inherently flawed. Both of us need to deal with the "fact"
                  that the raw data has Paul not utilizing much of the teachings of
                  Jesus. We cannot simply assume that Paul WAS interested in J's
                  Teachings (even if this seems obvious), and we cannot simply assume
                  that Paul WAS NOT interested. There is more data to embrace than just
                  Paul's silence, but I suggest that the plausibility of any given
                  model will ultimately stand or fall on how well it deals with this
                  one specific detail.

                  I now copy from your original post...

                  >Perhaps more helpful is that in Galatians he describes his call in terms of
                  >Jeremiah 1.5 and Isa 49.1-6 (1.15-16; apostolos might itself also be an echo
                  >of Yahweh's commissioning of the prophets) and much of his theological
                  >conception of his ministry seems heavily influenced by Isaiah (Wilk). For a
                  >long time it was argued that the prophets preceded Torah, one of the reasons
                  >being precisely their apparent lack of interest in the Law, namely few clear
                  >citations thereof. But it seems that this conclusion was a tad hasty.
                  >
                  >It is now recognized that many of the Pentateuch's traditions were already
                  >formed before the prophets, and at many places the latter seem dependent on
                  >them. And of course they assume ancient covenant traditions. Further,
                  >Bach's work on Amos (1957) has demonstrated that although the prophet not
                  >once cites the Torah directly he clearly assumes and depends upon old legal
                  >tradition. Beyerlin on Micah (1959), Brueggemann on Hosea (1968), and
                  >Bergren on the prophets in general (1974) all confirm this. In Israel's
                  >prophetic tradition it is now recognized that to interpret lack of citation
                  >as lack of interest or knowledge of ancient legal tradition is a fundamental
                  >mistake borne of a superficial reading. If Paul is operating along similar
                  >lines one might also expect no direct citations (and in all his letters
                  >there's only one, the words of institution in 1 Cor) but all manner of
                  >allusions and a pervasive underlying dependency. The latter has, I think,
                  >been convincingly demonstrated by any number of authors (including a fellow
                  >doc candidate at Cambs). This it seems to me is the best explanation with
                  the fewest (if any) difficulties.

                  I (nothing personal - to use your expression;-)) find the parallels
                  that you suggest with the silence in the OT regarding the
                  Torah/prophets quite weak. It assumes a literary historical
                  reconstruction of the formation of the Pentateuch that is anything
                  but certain! The field of OT source criticism in this area is more
                  divided than even source criticism is in the NT. The older model that
                  the prophets preceded the Torah has not been universally discredited
                  in OT scholarship as your post implicitly suggests. There are *many*
                  alternative models - in fact there are about as many models as there
                  are scholars. In short - there is still plenty of room in OT
                  scholarship to think that the prophets DID proceed the Torah, even if
                  there are more rival models than there once was!!

                  Even if the relationship DOES exist between the silence of the
                  prophets and the law, does the interpretations given that silence
                  appear as an interpretation in the 1st Century? Is there any
                  evidence that Paul would have understood the silence of the prophets
                  in this way? I'm curious how the silence (if they even noticed it...)
                  of the prophets was understood by rabbinic sources back then in any
                  event.


                  >
                  >Second, I've noticed now and then several comments on the list that seem to
                  >suggest that talk about what Paul would probably have done or thought is
                  >somehow not really kosher and that we must confine ourselves to his texts.
                  >This is an extremely odd way of doing history. History, in any meaningful
                  >sense, is precisely about the connection between artifacts like texts and
                  >human intentionality, and thus in our case how Paul understood himself. It
                  >necessarily involves some kind of assessment of his likely attitudes toward
                  >things and the meaning of his behavior in his cultural milieu. So, it is
                  >exactly the nature of doing history to ask: given the larger picture (texts
                  >and cultural milieu), how likely is it that Paul was not seriously
                  >interested in the sayings of Jesus?

                  I think that we need to be wary of our recreated "human
                  intentionality" in reading of history. We have the "communicative
                  intentionality" expressed in the texts, but to go beyond that to look
                  at the motives and the person behind this might be something that is
                  beyond our grasp. The problem with "talk about what Paul would
                  probably have done or thought" is that there are no controls. I have
                  a picture of Paul, as do you, and both, though different seem to be
                  something that we each think he "would probably have done or
                  thought". My point of view, as you know, has a lot of currency in
                  modern scholarship and is held by folk far more able than myself. I
                  only say this to suggest that the sense of probability of my
                  reconstruction is not something that I hold alone.

                  Another important point that hasn't been mentioned - is what exactly
                  are we talking about when we say "the teachings of Jesus"? Are we
                  talking about the parables? Are we talking about the "rules for the
                  community" (ie divorce)? Are we talking about the beatitudes? What
                  are we talking about? Each of these genre of teaching would have a
                  different "place", it seems to me, in the life of any community that
                  embraced them. Do we have any evidence at all that Paul passed on
                  Jesus' parables? Divorce, as a rule for the community, might simply
                  have been a given - as such rules are. certainly based on Jesus'
                  teaching - but not necessarily implying a global interest in all of
                  Jesus' teachings (ie the parables). Divorce and parables are quite
                  distinct "types" of teaching and might very well have enjoyed
                  different histories of transmission in the early days.



                  --
                  Steve Black
                  Vancouver School of Theology
                  Vancouver, BC
                  ---

                  Once in a while you can get shown the light
                  in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

                  -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                • Steve Black
                  OK, so here s part-two to my response to Rikk... ... I guess this would be more compelling a example of Paul s being at home with Christ s teaching if he
                  Message 8 of 26 , Jun 22, 2002
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                    OK, so here's part-two to my response to Rikk...

                    >
                    >> This passage certainly reflects that Paul had at least a minimal
                    >> knowledge of Jesus' teaching. I guess I wonder how much mileage we
                    >> can get from this?
                    >I think you've missed me here; sorry for not being clearer. My point was not
                    >that Paul knows at least something about Jesus. What struck me was the
                    >obvious ease, with not a hint of incongruity, in Paul's appeal to Jesus.
                    >This looks very much like someone who is at home in the sayings of Jesus
                    >speaking to people who are likewise at home (and yes this category of
                    >statement is exactly what doing history is about). I'll come back to this
                    >passage later (see below).

                    I guess this would be more compelling a example of Paul's being "at
                    home" with Christ's teaching if he threw out such examples more
                    often. Once again, to refer to a point in my previous post, the
                    "type" of teaching we are speaking about here might be called
                    "community rules". I think a likely reconstruction suggests that
                    these "teachings" existed in the tradition before Paul joined it.
                    Likely they do go back to Jesus, but embedded in the tradition as
                    such rules are. What could be considered the more distinctive
                    teachings of Jesus, namely his parables, would probably not be
                    "carried along" in the tradition in the same way, but would require a
                    more deliberate intentional effort - namely they would require a
                    "storyteller" who would take the place of Jesus (as it were) and
                    retell them. While I certainly cannot categorically argue that Paul
                    did not do this, I see no reason to believe that he did, it would all
                    amount to arguing from silence in any event. Did Paul know about
                    Jesus' parables? Interesting question, I think. I'm not sure how one
                    would proceed forward to prove anything here. Can a knowledge of
                    Jesus' parable's be found in any of the Pauline corpus?

                    >
                    >>Certainly we can't claim that Paul had NO
                    >> knowledge of Jesus' teaching.
                    >Good. We are agreed that blanket statements such as Paul was not interested
                    >in the teachings of Jesus are mistaken. But I think this only makes the
                    >problem more difficult for you. When one considers the deep devotion Paul
                    >feels toward Jesus (don't forget how often Paul uses Jesus and Christ in
                    >combination or even the 44 x's he employs Jesus on its own), how likely is
                    >it that he would be only marginally as opposed to considerably interested in
                    >Jesus' sayings? Do you know of any first century analogy? Can I suggest,
                    >based on first century patterns, that the notion of a devoted follower of a
                    >teacher who was not interested in his teacher's sayings would strike most
                    >first century people as a contradiction in terms? Can you provide evidence
                    >that undermines this historical analogy (excluding Paul of course because he
                    >is the point at issue)? If not, then will you at least admit its force?


                    I wonder if you are asking for evidence that by the nature of things
                    doesn't exist? What exactly would be a "first century analogy"? We
                    would have to find a Teacher with a follower who never met that
                    teacher and lived in a different geographical, social, religious
                    location, and "converted" to this teachers way some whatever years
                    after that teachers death. Already we are beginning to narrow down
                    the field, but let's say we find such a scenario - Plato sort of fits
                    the bill - perhaps a little out of the relevant time frame, but
                    still.... The most important element however, or at least more
                    important than the one's I've just mentioned, would be that this
                    follower proclaimed this "teacher" to have risen from the dead, and
                    now through this Teacher's death and raising has obtained near divine
                    status. In other words in order to find a "first century analogy" we
                    MUST have some analogy with what we now call the "risen Christ of
                    faith" *AS WELL AS* an analogy with the historical teacher we now
                    call the historical Jesus. I personally know of no such analogy. I
                    know of no truly comparable situation that we can use as a
                    comparison. If you have something in mind, I'd like to know what it
                    is.


                    >So the valid and eminently historical question remains (given the kind of
                    >data in my first post and the material in Galatians mentioned in other posts
                    >which I won't recite here): just how probable is it, that Paul would be only
                    >marginally interested in Jesus teaching? With respect, I don't think you've
                    >even begun to address that question at the level of historical probability
                    >and analogy.

                    This is a bit circular. I personally have no problem at all with the
                    probability of a Paul only marginally interested in Jesus' teaching -
                    You do have a problem. Clearly this argument will not be decided on
                    our personal sense[s] of "probability".

                    >
                    >On the other hand, I think I can explain Paul's unquestioned devotion to
                    >Jesus, the lack of direct citational evidence, and yet the profound and
                    >far-reaching congruence at the level of allusion and fundamental orientation
                    >and I can do so on the basis of the close analogy of Jewish religious texts
                    >which themselves have had a profound impact on him. I would offer here that
                    >comparing Jesus and Paul only in isolation is misleading, one must also
                    >compare them over against contemporary alternatives, e.g. Plato or the
                    >Stoics. When that is done, there is no question as to whose camp Paul
                    >belongs. To be kind of blunt: it seems that my argument can offer a
                    >consilience of a range of categories of data, including Paul's texts, the
                    >first century world, Paul's Jewish heritage, his devotion to Jesus, etc.
                    >The only data your explanation covers is lack of clear citation. I was
                    >always taught and am convinced that the explanation that is more
                    >comprehensive of and congruent with the most data is the best. To be
                    >honest, I can't see the "disinterested" position even getting to first base.

                    Paul is devoted (in his own words) to "Christ and him crucified". I
                    think reading Paul's devotion to Jesus Christ as meaning the earthly
                    career and teaching of Jesus begs the question. (I might be begging
                    the question by not including the earthly career and teaching of
                    Jesus - such is our debate...)

                    Once again, I am not convinced that Plato or the Stoics truly offers
                    a useful parallel. If you think I am missing something here (which is
                    altogether possible) you will have to unpack the analogy and point of
                    contact that you see in these two ancient schools of thought and
                    Paul/Jesus.

                    >I wrote...
                    >> It is interesting that in both these references to Jesus' teaching -
                    >> divorce and "those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by
                    >> the gospel" - Paul finds a way to set aside or relativize Jesus'
                    >> teaching.
                    >> I'm wonder what this really tells about the level of concern for
                    >> Jesus' teaching that Paul had - I mean after all he does say its ok
                    >> to get divorced in some scenarios' - something Jesus' original
                    >> teaching probably didn't leave any room for. As for "living by the
                    >> gospel", or getting paid - well Paul says "no" to that as well as he
                    >> supported himself. So Once again these two passages seem to indicate
                    > > almost an ambivalence towards the teaching of Jesus that Paul did
                    >> know.

                    Rikk wrote...

                    >Thank you for bringing this to our attention! As I'm sure you would agree,
                    >it is characteristic of ethical frameworks to have to deal with balancing
                    >competing demands. Paul cites Jesus' instruction, but he has a problem.
                    >What if rigidly enforcing Jesus' word on receiving support seriously
                    >compromised his larger call to proclaim the broader message of Jesus? The
                    >choice seems pretty clear. So, on the contrary, I don't see this as
                    >indicating an ambivalence toward Jesus' teaching but on the contrary an
                    >indirect indication of how seriously he takes it.

                    Once again, are you arguing that Paul's interest in Jesus' teaching
                    extended beyond what I have called the "community rules" type of
                    teaching? To the point here, obviously these kind of "rules" are
                    something a member, and even more a leading member of a community HAS
                    to take seriously! So yes, I think Paul probably took the divorce
                    thing [somewhat] seriously. I am not really sure this does the work
                    you want it to. Perhaps we are talking apples and oranges. I perhaps
                    am thinking more of Jesus' parables. You perhaps are thinking more
                    of the overtly ethical stuff. [I am bracketing out for the time being
                    the apocalyptic and the polemic stuff, as I am in serious doubt of
                    its authenticity.] The ethical stuff that found its way to Paul -
                    like the sermon on the mount/plain - whatever its original
                    configuration - is very difficult to separate from Paul's OT usage.
                    Yet the divorce thing isn't OT, and probably goes back to Jesus. My
                    comment about Paul's " ambivalence towards the teaching of Jesus" was
                    perhaps over-stated, but yet I still see a bit of irony in the fact
                    that both of the examples being discussed has Paul serious qualifying
                    Jesus' teaching. But irony aside, I'll let that go...

                    >BUT this raises another question. Why invoke Jesus in the first place,
                    >unless Jesus' sayings are held in some kind of esteem by both parties to the
                    >conversation? In other words, it seems to me that in this case the apparent
                    >"marginalization" only has force if Jesus' statements were important to Paul
                    >and his audience.
                    >The marriage material is similar. Your assessment is that Paul sets aside
                    >Jesus' teaching. This would be very odd indeed given that the clear stance
                    >of the passage overall is that Jesus' words have the highest authority. But
                    >another explanation is possible: Paul had no intention of contradicting
                    >Jesus; after all there is no hint of embarrassment or justification. I
                    >don't want to go off on a sidetrack to offer how I think this might work
                    >except to say that Jesus and Paul are essentially agreed: God never intended
                    >divorce, and certainly no divorce so you can shack up with someone else.
                    >(I'm of the view that neither Jesus nor Paul have been well-served here).

                    Once again, my theory is that "community rules" type of teaching is
                    carried in the tradition in a different way than some other "types"
                    of teachings might be. Yes, Paul took the rules of the community
                    seriously.

                    >
                    >>> who sees himself an imitator of Jesus (1 Cor 11.1) which
                    >>> profession is made in the middle not of a discussion of the
                    >>>resurrection but
                    >>> of ethical teaching, and who regards himself an apostle, not of the church,
                    >>> but of Jesus.
                    >>
                    >> I'm not sure that the fact that this is "in the middle of an ethical
                    >> teaching" requires the reader to think of the life of Christ. I think
                    >> this passage "reads better" if we think of Paul as referring to the
                    >> risen Christ. I say this because that more often than not this is
                    >> what Paul seems to be thinking of - or to the death and resurrection
                    > > - when he refers to Christ.
                    >Whoa! :) The whole deal is about not seeking advantage and particularly in
                    >regard to food laws.

                    I am not convinced that the food laws (as in Mark 7) are authentic.
                    Its seems unlikely to me that the church would have ever debated
                    these issues as hotly as they did if Jesus had actually made such
                    categorical pronouncements on these subjects. It is likely these
                    stories reflect Paul's teachings more than they do Jesus'.


                    >The first reflected in Jesus' teachings ("Jesus" in
                    >the sense defined above) on service and the second on those regarding clean
                    >and unclean food. As to the "Christ = resurrection and therefore earthly
                    >Jesus is excluded" thing, sorry Steve, don't buy it for the reasons stated
                    >in earlier posts (and besides it assumes the point at issue: if Paul was
                    >interested in the teachings of Jesus then that kind of hard and fast
                    >distinction breaks down doesn't it?).

                    It seems like we are both saying "well if I'm right, then you aren't".
                    I can flip this back to you but that wouldn't accomplish anything. We
                    are both making assumptions based upon our readings of what we both
                    believe to be the relevant data. My belief that "Christ =
                    resurrection and therefore earthly Jesus is excluded" is just as
                    much of an assumption that "Christ = earthly Jesus" We can go around
                    and accuse each other of making assumptions, or we can both admit
                    that we have done so and then evaluate what we each have.

                    Paul in my reading simply seems VERY interested in the resurrected
                    one. Surely you will agree with me that this is crucial in Paul's
                    thought at we have it in the NT. I don't think I'm weird and wacky by
                    suggesting that when Paul uses the word Christ, he is speaking about
                    the resurrected one. If I am wrong, I'm wrong, but I simply can't say
                    that this reading isn't one of the **serious** candidates for reality.

                    >But beyond that it seems a bit
                    >precious (especially when you are so keen on sticking with texts :)) to
                    >invoke a theological construct to deflect the otherwise reasonably clear
                    >data in the text.
                    > >>
                    >C'mon, Steve, this sounds rather patronizing. :) By "little time he spent
                    >on them" I assume you mean few explicit references (there are a large number
                    >of scholars who can point out all manner of allusions and deep underlying
                    >parallels between Paul and Jesus espec when viewed vis-à-vis Plato etc.).
                    >You repeat that relative silence on citations indicates relative
                    >disinterest. And you are right, this is not an argument, it's an
                    >assumption. And the veracity of that assumption is the very point at issue.

                    I truly apologize if my rhetoric got away from me, I hold you in high
                    regard and do not wish to be patronizing!

                    As to the rest here, I think I have addressed it above.

                    Cheers, and once again thanks for the interesting exchange.

                    --
                    Steve Black
                    Vancouver School of Theology
                    Vancouver, BC
                    ---

                    Once in a while you can get shown the light
                    in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

                    -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                  • Rikk E. Watts
                    HI Steve, Busyness, ah yes. Please don t let this thread get in the way of your work. We can always pick this up later (I was just in between tasks and I ll
                    Message 9 of 26 , Jun 23, 2002
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                      HI Steve,

                      Busyness, ah yes. Please don't let this thread get in the way of your work.
                      We can always pick this up later (I was just in between tasks and I'll
                      probably need to switch off next week too... though I suspect the spirit
                      might be willing but...)

                      1. Actually I think from what you've said that we are quite close on method.
                      The aim is to bring an informed historical imagination to the data and thus
                      to explain why people do what they do. My quibble is that you seem to be
                      excluding relevant data in your reconstruction. Your account makes no
                      reference to a) Paul's obvious devotion to "Jesus" (inserting the inverted
                      commas for Austin's benefit), b) first century patterns of behavior
                      particularly regards followers/disciples of teachers, c) the broad and
                      pervasive deeper parallels/allusions between the teachings of the Jesus in
                      the canonical gospels and Paul (especially when viewed over against
                      Stoicism, Epicureanism, etc.), d) Paul's Jewish heritage and particular the
                      Jewish religious literature which while assuming older tradition very rarely
                      cites it; and e) the deep impact this particular literature has had on Paul.
                      All this strikes me as very important data. I'm intrigued as to why you
                      would not want to consider it.

                      2. you wrote...
                      > I (nothing personal - to use your expression;-)) find the parallels
                      > that you suggest with the silence in the OT regarding the
                      > Torah/prophets quite weak. It assumes a literary historical
                      > reconstruction of the formation of the Pentateuch that is anything
                      > but certain! The field of OT source criticism in this area is more
                      > divided than even source criticism is in the NT. The older model that
                      > the prophets preceded the Torah has not been universally discredited
                      > in OT scholarship as your post implicitly suggests. There are *many*
                      > alternative models - in fact there are about as many models as there
                      > are scholars. In short - there is still plenty of room in OT
                      > scholarship to think that the prophets DID proceed the Torah, even if
                      > there are more rival models than there once was!!
                      >
                      I probably wasn't as clear as I could have been. Actually, theories of the
                      formation of the Pentateuch seem irrelevant to the point these scholars are
                      making. You will notice that I referred to traditions contained in the
                      Pentateuch, not the Pentateuch per se (see: "It is now recognized that many
                      of the Pentateuch's traditions were already formed before the prophets.")
                      The distinction is significant. But that wasn't my point. Rather, it was
                      that these scholars argue that the eighth century prophets alluded to laws
                      long known and accepted in Israel (many of which appear to be echoed in the
                      Pentateuch) even though there was no explicit citation of such laws in those
                      prophets.
                      THAT IS: LACK OF CITATION DOES NOT MEAN LACK OF INTEREST and can even occur
                      WHERE THE MATERIAL IS NOT ONLY ASSUMED BUT FORMS THE BASIS OF THAT WRITING.
                      (Pardon the caps).
                      Of course if you could show that these traditions were not ancient but were
                      antedated by the prophets then you'd have a case. But you'd need to be
                      specific.

                      So two questions: I'm not sure if I've understood you correctly.
                      A. How would you see theories of Pentateuch formation undermining these
                      scholars when they seem to be talking about two different things?
                      B. Which mainstream OT scholars whose work undermines or challenges those I
                      cited are you thinking of? If there are good arguments against their views,
                      then of course I'd be happy to change my view; not much point in hanging
                      onto something if its mistaken.

                      > Even if the relationship DOES exist between the silence of the
                      > prophets and the law, does the interpretations given that silence
                      > appear as an interpretation in the 1st Century? Is there any
                      > evidence that Paul would have understood the silence of the prophets
                      > in this way? I'm curious how the silence (if they even noticed it...)
                      > of the prophets was understood by rabbinic sources back then in any
                      > event.
                      I'm not sure that the Rabbis address it, though I would expect that they
                      simply understood the prophets to be assuming Torah as did Judaism and
                      Christianity generally until the rise of critical theories. Does anyone
                      have any countervailing data on this?
                      >
                      >>
                      >> Second, I've noticed now and then several comments on the list that seem to
                      >> suggest that talk about what Paul would probably have done or thought is
                      >> somehow not really kosher and that we must confine ourselves to his texts.
                      >> This is an extremely odd way of doing history. History, in any meaningful
                      >> sense, is precisely about the connection between artifacts like texts and
                      >> human intentionality, and thus in our case how Paul understood himself. It
                      >> necessarily involves some kind of assessment of his likely attitudes toward
                      >> things and the meaning of his behavior in his cultural milieu. So, it is
                      >> exactly the nature of doing history to ask: given the larger picture (texts
                      >> and cultural milieu), how likely is it that Paul was not seriously
                      >> interested in the sayings of Jesus?
                      >
                      > I think that we need to be wary of our recreated "human
                      > intentionality" in reading of history. We have the "communicative
                      > intentionality" expressed in the texts, but to go beyond that to look
                      > at the motives and the person behind this might be something that is
                      > beyond our grasp. The problem with "talk about what Paul would
                      > probably have done or thought" is that there are no controls. I have
                      > a picture of Paul, as do you, and both, though different seem to be
                      > something that we each think he "would probably have done or
                      > thought".
                      Of course it is tricky but it is the very nature of doing history (I've
                      never heard of "communicative intentionality" before, but I assume it would
                      be closely related to Paul's general intentions). Surely the very point of
                      historical Jesus studies is to ask what Jesus thought he was doing. I'm
                      surprised that you find this controversial.
                      Even so, isn't this is exactly what you end up doing (which from my point of
                      view is exactly what you, as an historian, ought to do)? In effect you read
                      Paul's silence (lack of action) to mean that "Paul THOUGHT the teachings of
                      Jesus were unimportant." This assumes that if Paul had thought Jesus'
                      teachings were important he (to quote you) "probably would HAVE" written
                      them down.

                      > My point of view, as you know, has a lot of currency in
                      > modern scholarship and is held by folk far more able than myself. I
                      > only say this to suggest that the sense of probability of my
                      > reconstruction is not something that I hold alone.
                      Steve no doubt you can appeal to authorities, just as prior to the OT
                      scholars I mentioned the bulk of "modern scholarship.. held by folk far more
                      able than myself" held that the prophets had no interest in legal
                      traditions. That's fine, but there's always the evidence. And in this case
                      another look at the evidence provoked a rethink and something of an about
                      face. Maybe it's time to do that for Paul.

                      > Another important point that hasn't been mentioned - is what exactly
                      > are we talking about when we say "the teachings of Jesus"? Are we
                      > talking about the parables? Are we talking about the "rules for the
                      > community" (ie divorce)? Are we talking about the beatitudes? What
                      > are we talking about? Each of these genre of teaching would have a
                      > different "place", it seems to me, in the life of any community that
                      > embraced them. Do we have any evidence at all that Paul passed on
                      > Jesus' parables? Divorce, as a rule for the community, might simply
                      > have been a given - as such rules are. certainly based on Jesus'
                      > teaching - but not necessarily implying a global interest in all of
                      > Jesus' teachings (ie the parables). Divorce and parables are quite
                      > distinct "types" of teaching and might very well have enjoyed
                      > different histories of transmission in the early days.
                      I can't see the relevance of this. What does history of transmission have
                      to do with whether or not Paul was interested in the sayings of Jesus? It
                      would have a bearing on the accuracy of the Jesus traditions Paul knew, but
                      not whether he was interested in Jesus' sayings.

                      Remember my initial contention was that to assume, on the basis of Paul's
                      relative silence on explicit sayings of Jesus, that he was not interested in
                      Jesus' sayings was a mistake. (There was nothing here about the accuracy of
                      those traditions). I contended that if one took into account a greater
                      amount of the relevant data (as opposed to the one item), such an assumption
                      became increasingly untenable.

                      I've not yet seen any substantial arguments advanced to cause me to revise
                      that point of view. But I'm equally interested in why you seem to be
                      resistant to this view. After all if that's where the data goes, that's
                      where it goes. What's to lose?

                      Regards
                      Rikk

                      Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab) Ph. (604) 224 3245
                      Associate Professor of NT Fax. (604) 224 3097
                      Regent College
                      5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 2E4
                    • Rikk E. Watts
                      Dear listers, I apologize that these posts are getting interminably long even with some snipping. A lot of this is detail and so probably not of interest to
                      Message 10 of 26 , Jun 24, 2002
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                        Dear listers, I apologize that these posts are getting interminably long
                        even with some snipping. A lot of this is detail and so probably not of
                        interest to most (though let me say that I am grateful to Steve for
                        stretching my thinking).

                        Summary:
                        two key issues seem to be emerging:
                        1. given a) the "Jewish" notion of resurrection, where ontological
                        continuity was a core concept, b) that Paul frequently speaks of the Lord
                        Jesus, and c) that the canonical gospels see no incongruity in naming the
                        earthly Jesus "Christ", how reasonable is it posit that Paul saw a
                        unbridgeable dichotomy between the resurrected Christ and the earthly
                        Jesus? (I think underlying our differences is a different understanding of
                        what Jesus' resurrection means for Paul.)

                        If such a dichotomy is unreasonable, then given first century models of
                        deceased teachers and followers, it would be extremely unlikely that Paul
                        was uninterested in Jesus' teachings; even less so if that Jesus has been
                        declared by God through the resurrection to be the Christ and elevated to,
                        to use Steve's words, "near-divine" status. In fact as has been recognized,
                        when considered against the larger backdrop of first century philosophy,
                        Paul and Jesus share very similar ideas, which given Paul's own declaration
                        of his submission to the Lord Jesus Christ suggests that he got those ideas
                        from Jesus. (Again I think the prophets/legal material demonstrates that
                        lack of citation does not mean lack of knowledge; it can mean an expectation
                        that the material is widely assumed).

                        2. Steve suggests that a) parables are truly characteristic of Jesus'
                        teachings and that Paul doesn't cite them suggests lack of familiarity, and
                        b) that the sayings I've been speaking of were probably early subsumed into
                        community rules in which case Paul is not appealing to Jesus but to
                        community rules.
                        My basic response is that a) this is an unreasonable marginalization of
                        Jesus' aphoristic sayings that borders on special pleading, and b) it seems
                        unreasonable to posit community rules (especially when Steve has emphasized
                        the importance of staying with the text) when Paul cites not the authority
                        of community rules but of Jesus.


                        on 6/22/02 6:43 PM, Steve Black at sblack@... wrote:

                        > OK, so here's part-two to my response to Rikk...
                        >
                        >> My point was not
                        >> that Paul knows at least something about Jesus. What struck me was the
                        >> obvious ease, with not a hint of incongruity, in Paul's appeal to Jesus.
                        >> This looks very much like someone who is at home in the sayings of Jesus
                        >> speaking to people who are likewise at home (and yes this category of
                        >> statement is exactly what doing history is about).
                        >
                        > I guess this would be more compelling a example of Paul's being "at
                        > home" with Christ's teaching if he threw out such examples more
                        > often.
                        Possibly. But you still have to explain the ease and lack of incongruity
                        evident in Paul's use of Jesus at this point.

                        > Once again, to refer to a point in my previous post, the
                        > "type" of teaching we are speaking about here might be called
                        > "community rules". I think a likely reconstruction suggests that
                        > these "teachings" existed in the tradition before Paul joined it.
                        > Likely they do go back to Jesus, but embedded in the tradition as
                        > such rules are. What could be considered the more distinctive
                        > teachings of Jesus, namely his parables, would probably not be
                        > "carried along" in the tradition in the same way, but would require a
                        > more deliberate intentional effort - namely they would require a
                        > "storyteller" who would take the place of Jesus (as it were) and
                        > retell them. While I certainly cannot categorically argue that Paul
                        > did not do this, I see no reason to believe that he did, it would all
                        > amount to arguing from silence in any event. Did Paul know about
                        > Jesus' parables? Interesting question, I think. I'm not sure how one
                        > would proceed forward to prove anything here. Can a knowledge of
                        > Jesus' parable's be found in any of the Pauline corpus?
                        It sounds like you are trying to marginalize this instruction by saying it
                        is not characteristic of Jesus so it doesn't really matter that Paul uses
                        it. The Jesus materials contain a considerable range of aphoristic sayings.
                        Are you suggesting that because they are not parables they are not
                        characteristic of Jesus? Sounds a bit like clutching at straws, Steve.
                        Paul uses this authoritatively as a saying of Jesus (not community rules or
                        whatever) and he clearly regards Jesus' words as having the highest
                        authority. (By the way, it might be interesting as a control to see how many
                        of Jesus' parables are preserved in the epistolary works of the fathers.)

                        >>
                        >>> Certainly we can't claim that Paul had NO
                        >>> knowledge of Jesus' teaching.
                        >> Good. We are agreed that blanket statements such as Paul was not interested
                        >> in the teachings of Jesus are mistaken. .. snipped.. Can I suggest,
                        >> based on first century patterns, that the notion of a devoted follower of a
                        >> teacher who was not interested in his teacher's sayings would strike most
                        >> first century people as a contradiction in terms? Can you provide evidence
                        >> that undermines this historical analogy (excluding Paul of course because he
                        >> is the point at issue)? If not, then will you at least admit its force?
                        >
                        > I wonder if you are asking for evidence that by the nature of things
                        > doesn't exist? What exactly would be a "first century analogy"? We
                        > would have to find a Teacher with a follower who never met that
                        > teacher and lived in a different geographical, social, religious
                        > location, and "converted" to this teachers way some whatever years
                        > after that teachers death. Already we are beginning to narrow down
                        > the field, but let's say we find such a scenario - Plato sort of fits
                        > the bill - perhaps a little out of the relevant time frame, but
                        > still.... The most important element however, or at least more
                        > important than the one's I've just mentioned, would be that this
                        > follower proclaimed this "teacher" to have risen from the dead, and
                        > now through this Teacher's death and raising has obtained near divine
                        > status. In other words in order to find a "first century analogy" we
                        > MUST have some analogy with what we now call the "risen Christ of
                        > faith" *AS WELL AS* an analogy with the historical teacher we now
                        > call the historical Jesus. I personally know of no such analogy. I
                        > know of no truly comparable situation that we can use as a
                        > comparison. If you have something in mind, I'd like to know what it
                        > is.
                        I'll accept this for sake of argument. Plato is good. Do you know any
                        dedicated followers of Plato who were not interested in and/or did not
                        presume his teaching in their discussions? Historically this seems highly
                        unlikely. From the lesser to the greater: if first century exponents of
                        deceased teachers were interested in the teachings of that teacher, how much
                        more for a teacher whom they now venerated as having near-divine status? In
                        other words, I'm simply suggesting that you are expecting Paul to operate in
                        a manner otherwise unknown in the ancient world. You seem to do this by
                        positing a dichotomy between the resurrected Christ and the earthly Jesus.
                        On this see below, but I think this is fundamental misapprehension of the
                        Jewish notion of resurrection where essential ontological continuity was a
                        core idea (1 Cor 15) and seems presumed in Philippians 2.
                        >
                        >> So the valid and eminently historical question remains (given the kind of
                        >> data in my first post and the material in Galatians mentioned in other posts
                        >> which I won't recite here): just how probable is it, that Paul would be only
                        >> marginally interested in Jesus teaching? With respect, I don't think you've
                        >> even begun to address that question at the level of historical probability
                        >> and analogy.
                        >
                        > This is a bit circular. I personally have no problem at all with the
                        > probability of a Paul only marginally interested in Jesus' teaching -
                        > You do have a problem. Clearly this argument will not be decided on
                        > our personal sense[s] of "probability".
                        No, it's not circular, it's an example of deduction to the best explanation
                        based on the typical behavior of first century followers of teachers. It is
                        reasonable to suppose based on first century patterns that Paul was
                        interested in the teachings of Jesus. You point to the silence, I can
                        explain that on the basis of literary analogy. You need to explain Paul's
                        deviation from expected practice (i.e. historical analogy). I don't think
                        you've done that.
                        >>
                        >> On the other hand, ... Paul's unquestioned devotion to
                        >> Jesus, ... I would offer here that
                        >> comparing Jesus and Paul only in isolation is misleading, one must also
                        >> compare them over against contemporary alternatives, e.g. Plato or the
                        >> Stoics. When that is done, there is no question as to whose camp Paul
                        >> belongs.

                        > Paul is devoted (in his own words) to "Christ and him crucified". I
                        > think reading Paul's devotion to Jesus Christ as meaning the earthly
                        > career and teaching of Jesus begs the question. (I might be begging
                        > the question by not including the earthly career and teaching of
                        > Jesus - such is our debate...)
                        Yes he is, but that's not the whole story. Paul is devoted to the Lord
                        Jesus Christ (some 60 plus times) or the Lord Jesus (some 25 plus times). I
                        note this because there seems to be an implication that Paul sees Christ and
                        Jesus as somehow ontologically dichotomous entities (resurrected Christ
                        versus earthly Jesus) which I think is bizarre based on the Jewish view of
                        the resurrection where the singular point was the ontological continuity of
                        the individual. (I suspect the Christ vs. Jesus thing is a hangover from
                        the old notion that Paul imported mystery religion categories.) On that
                        view for Paul to say Jesus is Lord is surely significant. Granted Paul
                        prefers Christ (the Messiah is after all Jesus; the Synoptics claim he was
                        this during his earthly life, indicating that they don't see any
                        discontinuity), what significance would you see in his frequent use of
                        Jesus, especially given his very Jewish view of resurrection (1 Cor 15)?

                        > Once again, I am not convinced that Plato or the Stoics truly offers
                        > a useful parallel. If you think I am missing something here (which is
                        > altogether possible) you will have to unpack the analogy and point of
                        > contact that you see in these two ancient schools of thought and
                        > Paul/Jesus.
                        Sorry if I wasn't clear. I meant that as a number of scholars have shown
                        Paul is far far closer to the Jesus of the canonical gospels than he is to
                        Plato or the Stoics. Not only would one expect this, on first century
                        models, of a devoted follower of Jesus (whom he now understands also to be
                        Lord: Lord Jesus mind), but how would you explain this pervasive and close
                        similarity if Paul was only marginally interested in the sayings of Jesus?
                        Isn't is more reasonable, given that Paul sees himself as utterly
                        subordinate to Jesus, that this similarity is due to his dependence on the
                        earthly Jesus we see in the canonical gospels?

                        >> I wrote...
                        >>> It is interesting that in both these references to Jesus' teaching -
                        >>> divorce and "those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by
                        >>> the gospel" - Paul finds a way to set aside or relativize Jesus'
                        >>> teaching.
                        >>> I'm wonder what this really tells about the level of concern for
                        >>> Jesus' teaching that Paul had - I mean after all he does say its ok
                        >>> to get divorced in some scenarios' - something Jesus' original
                        >>> teaching probably didn't leave any room for. As for "living by the
                        >>> gospel", or getting paid - well Paul says "no" to that as well as he
                        >>> supported himself. So Once again these two passages seem to indicate
                        >>> almost an ambivalence towards the teaching of Jesus that Paul did
                        >>> know.
                        >
                        > Rikk wrote...
                        >
                        >> Thank you for bringing this to our attention! As I'm sure you would agree,
                        >> it is characteristic of ethical frameworks to have to deal with balancing
                        >> competing demands. Paul cites Jesus' instruction, but he has a problem.
                        >> What if rigidly enforcing Jesus' word on receiving support seriously
                        >> compromised his larger call to proclaim the broader message of Jesus? The
                        >> choice seems pretty clear. So, on the contrary, I don't see this as
                        >> indicating an ambivalence toward Jesus' teaching but on the contrary an
                        >> indirect indication of how seriously he takes it.
                        >
                        > Once again, are you arguing that Paul's interest in Jesus' teaching
                        > extended beyond what I have called the "community rules" type of
                        > teaching? To the point here, obviously these kind of "rules" are
                        > something a member, and even more a leading member of a community HAS
                        > to take seriously!
                        Steve, this is very strange to me. Paul appeals to this material not
                        because its authority resides in a putative "community rules" but because he
                        regards it as originating with Jesus and carries Jesus' (not the
                        community's) authority. Why multiply hypotheses when Paul clearly appeals
                        to Jesus? But even so, you'd need to explain why these community rules (like
                        Paul) apparently have so few sayings of Jesus, and then you'd need to
                        explain their origin? All this does is put the problem back one step.

                        > So yes, I think Paul probably took the divorce
                        > thing [somewhat] seriously. I am not really sure this does the work
                        > you want it to. Perhaps we are talking apples and oranges. I perhaps
                        > am thinking more of Jesus' parables.
                        See my comments above on privileging the parables.

                        > You perhaps are thinking more
                        > of the overtly ethical stuff. [I am bracketing out for the time being
                        > the apocalyptic and the polemic stuff, as I am in serious doubt of
                        > its authenticity.] The ethical stuff that found its way to Paul -
                        > like the sermon on the mount/plain - whatever its original
                        > configuration - is very difficult to separate from Paul's OT usage.
                        Yes I'm thinking of Jesus' ethical materials; but also the overall tenor and
                        content of Paul's vision. Take a look at Michael Thompson CLOTHED WITH
                        CHRIST, and David Wenham (Oxford), PAUL: FOLLOWER OF JESUS OR FOUNDER OF
                        CHRISTIANITY? who at the very least show that Paul expounds very similar
                        ideas to Jesus. Granted the OT was common to both, there is still the
                        problem of marked similarity where the solution must take account of Paul's
                        self-perception of complete submission to Jesus.

                        > Yet the divorce thing isn't OT, and probably goes back to Jesus. My
                        > comment about Paul's " ambivalence towards the teaching of Jesus" was
                        > perhaps over-stated, but yet I still see a bit of irony in the fact
                        > that both of the examples being discussed has Paul serious qualifying
                        > Jesus' teaching.
                        Seriously qualifying? But see my questioning of that characterization where
                        Paul himself gives no hint that he is qualifying Jesus which suggests he
                        sees no contradiction. I think I've shown how that makes sense of the
                        material, if not, to use language re the prophets and legal traditions, read
                        superficially.
                        >
                        >> BUT this raises another question. Why invoke Jesus in the first place,
                        >> unless Jesus' sayings are held in some kind of esteem by both parties to the
                        >> conversation? In other words, it seems to me that in this case the apparent
                        >> "marginalization" only has force if Jesus' statements were important to Paul
                        >> and his audience.
                        >> The marriage material is similar. Your assessment is that Paul sets aside
                        >> Jesus' teaching. This would be very odd indeed given that the clear stance
                        >> of the passage overall is that Jesus' words have the highest authority. But
                        >> another explanation is possible: Paul had no intention of contradicting
                        >> Jesus; after all there is no hint of embarrassment or justification. I
                        >> don't want to go off on a sidetrack to offer how I think this might work
                        >> except to say that Jesus and Paul are essentially agreed: God never intended
                        >> divorce, and certainly no divorce so you can shack up with someone else.
                        >> (I'm of the view that neither Jesus nor Paul have been well-served here).
                        >
                        > Once again, my theory is that "community rules" type of teaching is
                        > carried in the tradition in a different way than some other "types"
                        > of teachings might be. Yes, Paul took the rules of the community
                        > seriously.
                        See again my query on your positing and use of Community rules as a way of
                        marginalizing Jesus' sayings.

                        >> Whoa! :) The whole deal is about not seeking advantage and particularly in
                        >> regard to food laws.
                        >
                        > I am not convinced that the food laws (as in Mark 7) are authentic.
                        > Its seems unlikely to me that the church would have ever debated
                        > these issues as hotly as they did if Jesus had actually made such
                        > categorical pronouncements on these subjects. It is likely these
                        > stories reflect Paul's teachings more than they do Jesus'.
                        I'm not so sure Jesus' statement is as categorical as you suggest. The very
                        fact that Mark adds his hortatory explanation suggests that on its own it
                        was ambiguous. I suspect they heard this as a hyperbole: get your
                        priorities straight, loving other people is more important than food laws.
                        But my point is that it was Jesus (not a resurrected being) who spoke about
                        foods.
                        >
                        >> The first reflected in Jesus' teachings ("Jesus" in
                        >> the sense defined above) on service and the second on those regarding clean
                        >> and unclean food. As to the "Christ = resurrection and therefore earthly
                        >> Jesus is excluded" thing, sorry Steve, don't buy it for the reasons stated
                        >> in earlier posts (and besides it assumes the point at issue: if Paul was
                        >> interested in the teachings of Jesus then that kind of hard and fast
                        >> distinction breaks down doesn't it?).
                        >
                        > My belief that "Christ =
                        > resurrection and therefore earthly Jesus is excluded" is just as
                        > much of an assumption that "Christ = earthly Jesus" We can go around
                        > and accuse each other of making assumptions, or we can both admit
                        > that we have done so and then evaluate what we each have.
                        I'm not so sure it is this hopeless; see above the remarks on Paul's use of
                        Lord Jesus and the essential ontological continuity implied in the Jewish
                        view of the resurrection. Of course we are making assumptions but I thought
                        we were engaged in evaluating them.

                        > Paul in my reading simply seems VERY interested in the resurrected
                        > one. Surely you will agree with me that this is crucial in Paul's
                        > thought at we have it in the NT. I don't think I'm weird and wacky by
                        > suggesting that when Paul uses the word Christ, he is speaking about
                        > the resurrected one. If I am wrong, I'm wrong, but I simply can't say
                        > that this reading isn't one of the **serious** candidates for reality.
                        Indeed. But what is the significance of the resurrection if not God's
                        vindication of Jesus as the Christ, with all the ontological continuity
                        resurrection implies?

                        >> But beyond that it seems a bit
                        >> precious (especially when you are so keen on sticking with texts :)) to
                        >> invoke a theological construct to deflect the otherwise reasonably clear
                        >> data in the text.
                        >>>>
                        >> C'mon, Steve, this sounds rather patronizing. :) By "little time he spent
                        >> on them" I assume you mean few explicit references (there are a large number
                        >> of scholars who can point out all manner of allusions and deep underlying
                        >> parallels between Paul and Jesus espec when viewed vis-à-vis Plato etc.).
                        >> You repeat that relative silence on citations indicates relative
                        >> disinterest. And you are right, this is not an argument, it's an
                        >> assumption. And the veracity of that assumption is the very point at issue.
                        >
                        > I truly apologize if my rhetoric got away from me, I hold you in high
                        > regard and do not wish to be patronizing!
                        No problem! I too have thoroughly enjoyed this. I do appreciate being
                        stretched, you've helped me sharpen my thinking, and I trust that you've
                        found some help in this as well.

                        all the very best! and I hope you manage to get your work done.

                        regards,
                        Rikk


                        Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab) Ph. (604) 224 3245
                        Associate Professor of NT Fax. (604) 224 3097
                        Regent College
                        5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 2E4
                      • Steve Black
                        Hi Rikk, ... Next week , or rather later this week I ll also need to switch off . In July/August I ll actually be spending a little time at your fair
                        Message 11 of 26 , Jun 24, 2002
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                          Hi Rikk,

                          >
                          >
                          >Busyness, ah yes. Please don't let this thread get in the way of your work.
                          >We can always pick this up later (I was just in between tasks and I'll
                          >probably need to switch off next week too... though I suspect the spirit
                          >might be willing but...)

                          Next week , or rather later this week I'll also need to "switch off".
                          In July/August I'll actually be spending a little time at your fair
                          school... We'll have to do coffee... (I saw a great line on a
                          tee-shirt lately - "If it wasn't for the caffeine, I'd have no
                          personality at all...)
                          To the discussion at hand...


                          This first paragraph nicely summarizes the points under discussion.
                          Thanks for a good synopsis. For the sake of brevity (which I'm not
                          sure I'll obtain in any event) I will focus just on this paragraph -

                          >
                          >1. Actually I think from what you've said that we are quite close on method.
                          >The aim is to bring an informed historical imagination to the data and thus
                          >to explain why people do what they do. My quibble is that you seem to be
                          >excluding relevant data in your reconstruction.

                          I guess I just don't see the relevance of some of this data.

                          > Your account makes no
                          >reference to a) Paul's obvious devotion to "Jesus" (inserting the inverted
                          >commas for Austin's benefit),

                          It has yet to be demonstrated that Paul was devoted to the earthly
                          Jesus. It CAN be demonstrated that Paul WAS devoted to his risen Lord
                          who was alive and in whom he placed his life and his faith. This much
                          I suspect we can agree on - the question is if this devotion should
                          ALSO be understood in the sense you understand it. I do not yet see a
                          reason to think this.

                          > b) first century patterns of behavior
                          >particularly regards followers/disciples of teachers

                          This begs the questions. This argument is that because A's
                          relationship to B is similar to Cs relationship to D, and C thought
                          1234 of D, then A also thought 1234 of B. The whole question under
                          discussion is whether A's relationship to B IS or IS NOT similar to
                          Cs relationship to D. In other words, If you assume that Paul's
                          relationship with Jesus is best described as "follower/disciple of
                          [the presumably earthly] teacher", then OF COURSE Paul was interested
                          in Jesus' teachings. I do not think this is the best model to
                          understand this relationship. I suggest that if Paul thought himself
                          taught by Christ, it was by the risen Christ. This is how he presents
                          himself.
                          Also, the resurrection and Lordship and near divinity of the risen
                          Lord whom Paul followed are important, even crucial elements in
                          Paul's thought. These important elements are not found (that I know
                          of ) elsewhere in the 1st century, so that I don't think we have any
                          useful analogies by which we can understand Paul's relationship to
                          Jesus.

                          >, c) the broad and
                          >pervasive deeper parallels/allusions between the teachings of the Jesus in
                          >the canonical gospels and Paul (especially when viewed over against
                          >Stoicism, Epicureanism, etc.),

                          You'll have to unpack this. I think(?) I addressed the relevance of
                          any comparison between Paul and Stoicism, Epicureanism, and how I
                          don't think they provide useful analogies in a previous post - really
                          the same point I just made above. As to the "deeper
                          parallels/allusions", I'm not sure what you are referring to.

                          >d) Paul's Jewish heritage and particular the
                          >Jewish religious literature which while assuming older tradition very rarely
                          >cites it;

                          My previous attempt to deal with this was, I think , a bit sloppy.
                          I'll try again.
                          Silence NEVER can prove a knowledge. While it can suggest disinterest
                          or ignorance, it can also be slotted away into the "that's kind of
                          weird" category, and not tell us anything at all. So the best silence
                          can do is to lead us to a place of agnosticism. I see the silence of
                          Paul as suggesting either disinterest or ignorance because of not
                          only the silence, but also because of what he DOES say. His letters
                          are mostly taken with the significance of the death/resurrection of
                          Christ. Christ was born - yes - but that makes him human, so that his
                          death has relevance for us. The cross is the grid by which he
                          understands the whole Christ event. I see the earthly teachings of
                          Jesus as being redundant in this. So when I notice that Paul indeed
                          does say very little on the subject, it confirms what was a growing
                          hunch in any event.

                          > and e) the deep impact this particular literature has had on Paul.
                          >All this strikes me as very important data. I'm intrigued as to why you
                          >would not want to consider it.

                          I might be misunderstanding you, as I think I might have in the past
                          on this point, but doesn't this argument only work if this type of
                          silence was a recognized literary convention that Paul would have
                          understood along the lines you are suggesting. I see no reason to
                          believe this.

                          [snip...]
                          --
                          Steve Black
                          Vancouver School of Theology
                          Vancouver, BC
                          ---

                          Once in a while you can get shown the light
                          in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

                          -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                        • cfjacks
                          I have been following this interesting exchange with some confusion and frustration, from trying to figure out the issues and just what you position on them
                          Message 12 of 26 , Jun 24, 2002
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                            I have been following this interesting exchange with some confusion and
                            frustration, from trying to figure out the issues and just what you position
                            on them is. Thus, I appreciate the clarification of this summary which you
                            have just posted for it answers most of my questions,
                            sufficiently to enable/encourage me to intrude into this discussion of
                            issues which interest me greatly:

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Rikk E. Watts <rwatts@...>
                            To: xtalk <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 11:03 AM
                            Subject: Re: [XTalk] Historical Jesus Theories: Paul and Jesus' Teachings

                            [snip]

                            Summary:

                            two key issues seem to be emerging:

                            1. given a) the "Jewish" notion of resurrection, where ontological
                            continuity was a core concept, b) that Paul frequently speaks of the Lord
                            Jesus, and c) that the canonical gospels see no incongruity in naming the
                            earthly Jesus "Christ", how reasonable is it posit that Paul saw a
                            unbridgeable dichotomy between the resurrected Christ and the earthly
                            Jesus? (I think underlying our differences is a different understanding of
                            what Jesus' resurrection means for Paul.)

                            [snip the remainder]

                            This statement surely does identify the reasons for the discussion, I think,
                            for you do seem to be operating on the assumption that Paul agreed with the
                            authors of the canonical gospels in seeing Jesus as already "the Christ"
                            during his pre-crucifixion ministry, either from his baptism (so Mark) or
                            birth (so Matthew) or conception (so Luke) or some pre-existence (so John).
                            It seems that you place Paul in this group, but to use Raymond Brown's most
                            happy term, just where would you say that Paul locates the "christological
                            moment," i.e. the temporal locus when Jesus "becomes the Christ/Messiah"?

                            I surmise that Steve Black does indeed agree with the fairly general
                            understanding that for Paul this "christological moment" WAS at "the
                            resurrection," meaning that prior to it Jesus had NOT been "the
                            Christ/Messiah." And yes this DOES distinguish him from the authors of the
                            several canonical gospels. In fact, this becomes a crucial issues in our
                            NOT continuing the blithe assumptions that "of course" Paul agreed with
                            them. But did he? And why?

                            Raymond Brown saw Paul as holding that the "resurrection" was "the
                            christological moment" for in Phil. 2 the apostle clearly says that it was
                            thereby that Jesus became "the Lord," a much more important term for Paul
                            than "the Christ," it seems. By the way, this would contrast the usage
                            found in Luke-Acts where Jesus is called "the Lord" from Luke 7 on, which
                            Conzulmann
                            found to mean that this author claimed that the "remembered words of Jesus"
                            had the value and authority of "the Lord" and were thus obligatory upon
                            Christians as "commandments." But did Paul agree on this? If so, then it
                            becomes remarkable that he never "quoted Jesus" to "end any
                            discussion or argument," isn't it?

                            Thus, it would seem that the issue is not just whether or not Paul knew
                            and/or used any of the
                            "Jesus tradition" but why - did he do so because he insisted that "Jesus was
                            Lord" ... in the sense of already had/held such status/position/authority
                            prior to the resurrection?

                            With this as background, then some specific questions about your clear
                            summary which I quoted above:

                            a) I am not sure what you mean by "ontological continuity" but
                            certainly the Pharisaic
                            doctrine involved the "returning to life and breath" of the
                            same "body which had
                            died." Yet while Paul clearly does affirm a continuity, he
                            also believed that Jesus'
                            exalted body was significantly different from the body
                            which had died. So there
                            was in his belief a difference ... "discontinuity"?

                            b) Yes, Paul does "frequently speaks of the Lord Jesus" but in
                            the same way that the author of Luke-Acts would have
                            meant it? If not, then what is your point here?

                            c) Yes, the four canonical gospels DO name the earthly Jesus as
                            "the Christ" and without, but why assume that
                            Paul did also? In fact, is not their common assumption
                            that "Jesus was the Christ already" the foundation for their
                            literary work? But would
                            Paul agree?

                            I think that this is not just the place where you and Steve Black "part
                            company" but have you made the "best choice"? Where are the texts that
                            suggest that Paul did in fact agree with this position clearly held by the
                            gospel authors? Is this not rather a question to be explored and examined
                            instead of just "assumed as true"?

                            And is not just "being argumentative" to suggest that the alternative to
                            your position is to posit an "unbridgeable dichotomy between the resurrected
                            Christ and the earthly Jesus?' I do not see how this would be an
                            appropriate description of the "change in Jesus' status/authority" (and even
                            bodily state) which Phil. 2 suggests Paul believed.

                            Finally, my apologies for "jumping in" just when you two are about to be
                            preoccupied with other matters but it was truly this most recent posting
                            which clarified things for me ... and for this I do offer my thanks.

                            Clive F. Jacks, Th.D.
                            Professor of Religion (Emeritus)
                            Pikeville College
                            Pikeville, KY

                            (but now happily retired back home in metropolitan Atlanta)
                          • Rikk E. Watts
                            Hi Steve, I think we ve probably played this one out in terms of the evidence so I ll skip those places where I think we are basically restating. But you
                            Message 13 of 26 , Jun 24, 2002
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                              Hi Steve,

                              I think we've probably played this one out in terms of the evidence so I'll
                              skip those places where I think we are basically restating. But you raise
                              an interesting point re the kind of argument being used.

                              Coffee would be nice indeed.

                              All the very best,
                              Rikk

                              on 6/24/02 8:08 AM, Steve Black at sblack@... wrote:

                              >> b) first century patterns of behavior
                              >> particularly regards followers/disciples of teachers
                              >
                              > This begs the questions. This argument is that because A's
                              > relationship to B is similar to Cs relationship to D, and C thought
                              > 1234 of D, then A also thought 1234 of B. The whole question under
                              > discussion is whether A's relationship to B IS or IS NOT similar to
                              > Cs relationship to D. In other words, If you assume that Paul's
                              > relationship with Jesus is best described as "follower/disciple of
                              > [the presumably earthly] teacher", then OF COURSE Paul was interested
                              > in Jesus' teachings. I do not think this is the best model to
                              > understand this relationship. I suggest that if Paul thought himself
                              > taught by Christ, it was by the risen Christ. This is how he presents
                              > himself.
                              That's right, I do think there is enough overlap to apply this analogy. I
                              don't by the dichotomy between risen Christ and Jesus because of my
                              understanding of the Jewish view of the resurrection and because Paul's use
                              of Jesus with Christ and Lord suggests he doesn't share the dichotomy you
                              propose.
                              > Also, the resurrection and Lordship and near divinity of the risen
                              > Lord whom Paul followed are important, even crucial elements in
                              > Paul's thought. These important elements are not found (that I know
                              > of ) elsewhere in the 1st century, so that I don't think we have any
                              > useful analogies by which we can understand Paul's relationship to
                              > Jesus.
                              Steve, it has just struck me. I think I can detect some kind of Platonic
                              denigration of the material world here. Otherwise why in the world would
                              you want to argue that Paul, stepped in his Jewish tradition with its deep
                              appreciation of the material cosmos (Rom 8), and high esteem of the body (1
                              Cor 6) with its vision of God's material kingdom on earth, would regard the
                              material earthly Jesus as something to be discarded? Confessing Jesus to be
                              both Lord and Christ, so declared by the resurrection, could hardly mean
                              that Jesus was now to be dispensed with, otherwise there is no subject to
                              your predicate. How could any one do that when God has just vindicated this
                              very Jesus? Goodness, you are not a Platonist are you?

                              >> , c) the broad and
                              >> pervasive deeper parallels/allusions between the teachings of the Jesus in
                              >> the canonical gospels and Paul (especially when viewed over against
                              >> Stoicism, Epicureanism, etc.),
                              > You'll have to unpack this. I think(?) I addressed the relevance of
                              > any comparison between Paul and Stoicism, Epicureanism, and how I
                              > don't think they provide useful analogies in a previous post - really
                              > the same point I just made above. As to the "deeper
                              > parallels/allusions", I'm not sure what you are referring to.
                              I think I've clarified this in another post...
                              >> d) Paul's Jewish heritage and particular the
                              >> Jewish religious literature which while assuming older tradition very rarely
                              >> cites it;
                              >
                              > Silence NEVER can prove a knowledge. While it can suggest disinterest
                              > or ignorance, it can also be slotted away into the "that's kind of
                              > weird" category, and not tell us anything at all. So the best silence
                              > can do is to lead us to a place of agnosticism.
                              I agree, but I've never argued that silence proved knowledge.

                              >> and e) the deep impact this particular literature has had on Paul.
                              >> All this strikes me as very important data. I'm intrigued as to why you
                              >> would not want to consider it.
                              >
                              > I might be misunderstanding you, as I think I might have in the past
                              > on this point, but doesn't this argument only work if this type of
                              > silence was a recognized literary convention that Paul would have
                              > understood along the lines you are suggesting. I see no reason to
                              > believe this.
                              Ah. No I'm not arguing for literary convention (as least as I understand
                              that expression) but by analogy with other Jewish religious literature. My
                              argument was that, based on textual evidence, the prophets, though they do
                              not cite ancient laws, assume them. Consequently, to read lack of citation
                              as ignorance is simplistic and mistaken. One needs to read more deeply.
                              When this was done with the prophets it was realized that the only to make
                              sense of the textual data is that they were assuming ancient laws. Paul may
                              not cite Jesus (very often) but pervasive parallels noted by the authors
                              I've just listed elsewhere, and Paul's devotion to Jesus the Christ (and
                              textually it is Jesus not just Christ) strongly suggests that Paul seems to
                              assume Jesus.

                              > [snip...]


                              Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab) Ph. (604) 224 3245
                              Associate Professor of NT Fax. (604) 224 3097
                              Regent College
                              5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 2E4
                            • cfjacks
                              ... From: cfjacks To: Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 11:54 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Historical Jesus Theories:
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jun 24, 2002
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                                I have just posted a message which begins with the following:

                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: cfjacks <cfjacks@...>
                                To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 11:54 AM
                                Subject: Re: [XTalk] Historical Jesus Theories: Paul and Jesus' Teachings


                                > I have been following this interesting exchange with some confusion and
                                > frustration, from trying to figure out the issues and just what you
                                position
                                > on them is. Thus, I appreciate the clarification of this summary which
                                you
                                > have just posted for it answers most of my questions,
                                > sufficiently to enable/encourage me to intrude into this discussion of
                                > issues which interest me greatly:

                                I have "included out" all the rest since I just wanted to identify my
                                posting which I find I need to apologize for, as there are several "typos"
                                ... sorry about that. I considered re-posting it after "cleaning up" the
                                text but decided to await requests (on-board or off-board) as to whether or
                                not I should do such. Hopefully, the "typos" are fairly obvious and should
                                not create any confusion, but if they do, I would be happy to clean up the
                                text and then re-post if that would be helpful.

                                I also apologize for the brokeness of the text, which I do not understand
                                ... perhaps some incompatibility between soft-ware programs for it was not
                                "all broken up" in what I sent.

                                Clive F. Jacks
                              • Steve Black
                                Hi Rikk, Clive s post has been helpful to me in sorting out some of the issues at play in this discussion. I will explore a slightly different track - that
                                Message 15 of 26 , Jun 24, 2002
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                                  Hi Rikk,

                                  Clive's post has been helpful to me in sorting out some of the issues
                                  at play in this discussion. I will explore a slightly different track
                                  - that when added to Clive's observations present some possibilities.
                                  Let's say I am interested in the life of Elvis. (who isn't?) It is
                                  entirely conceivable that I may not be interested in his whole life,
                                  but just his career. Its not that I would posit an absolute
                                  discontinuity between his childhood and his adult life - but it might
                                  simply be something that I am not interested in. Certainly there
                                  might be plenty of good reasons for me to be interested in his
                                  childhood, but nonetheless, I still might not be. This is meant as a
                                  *rough* analogy where Elvis' childhood=Earthly Jesus, and Elvis'
                                  Career=risen Jesus. My point is simply that people can be quite
                                  selective about what interests them about someone important to them.
                                  Now, if we add this together with Clive's comments on where Paul's
                                  Christological moment was located, I think we have a very coherent
                                  picture as to why Paul was interested mostly with the adult Elvis.
                                  (The parallels abound, because as we all know Elvis, like Jesus, is
                                  still Alive!!!)

                                  > > Also, the resurrection and Lordship and near divinity of the risen
                                  >> Lord whom Paul followed are important, even crucial elements in
                                  >> Paul's thought. These important elements are not found (that I know
                                  >> of ) elsewhere in the 1st century, so that I don't think we have any
                                  >> useful analogies by which we can understand Paul's relationship to
                                  >> Jesus.
                                  >Steve, it has just struck me. I think I can detect some kind of Platonic
                                  >denigration of the material world here. Otherwise why in the world would
                                  >you want to argue that Paul, stepped in his Jewish tradition with its deep
                                  >appreciation of the material cosmos (Rom 8), and high esteem of the body (1
                                  >Cor 6) with its vision of God's material kingdom on earth, would regard the
                                  >material earthly Jesus as something to be discarded? Confessing Jesus to be
                                  >both Lord and Christ, so declared by the resurrection, could hardly mean
                                  >that Jesus was now to be dispensed with, otherwise there is no subject to
                                  >your predicate. How could any one do that when God has just vindicated this
                                  >very Jesus? Goodness, you are not a Platonist are you?

                                  Got something against Platonists?
                                  On a more serious note - I'm not entirely sure that Paul didn't have
                                  more then a little Platonism floating around in his blood...


                                  >[snip] My argument was that, based on textual evidence, the
                                  >prophets, though they do
                                  >not cite ancient laws, assume them. Consequently, to read lack of citation
                                  >as ignorance is simplistic and mistaken. One needs to read more deeply.

                                  It seems to me that silence in the prophets *does* require
                                  interpretation. There either is compelling evidence elsewhere that
                                  they had such knowledge, or perhaps their silence was not really
                                  silence after all. If both of these two pieces was missing, I suspect
                                  that the silence would likely be interpreted by most (or at the least
                                  by many) as indicating indifference/ignorance.
                                  The same criteria ought to be used for Paul.
                                  --
                                  Steve Black
                                  Vancouver School of Theology
                                  Vancouver, BC
                                  ---

                                  Once in a while you can get shown the light
                                  in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

                                  -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                                • Rikk E. Watts
                                  Clive, Can I come back to this later? It is good material, but right now I ve used up more than a few days free time . Regards, Rikk ... Dr. Rikk E. Watts
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Jun 24, 2002
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                                    Clive,

                                    Can I come back to this later? It is good material, but right now I've used
                                    up more than a few days "free time".

                                    Regards,

                                    Rikk

                                    on 6/24/02 8:54 AM, cfjacks at cfjacks@... wrote:

                                    > I have been following this interesting exchange with some confusion and
                                    > frustration, from trying to figure out the issues and just what you position
                                    > on them is. Thus, I appreciate the clarification of this summary which you
                                    > have just posted for it answers most of my questions,
                                    > sufficiently to enable/encourage me to intrude into this discussion of
                                    > issues which interest me greatly:
                                    >
                                    > ----- Original Message -----
                                    > From: Rikk E. Watts <rwatts@...>
                                    > To: xtalk <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                                    > Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 11:03 AM
                                    > Subject: Re: [XTalk] Historical Jesus Theories: Paul and Jesus' Teachings
                                    >
                                    > [snip]
                                    >
                                    > Summary:
                                    >
                                    > two key issues seem to be emerging:
                                    >
                                    > 1. given a) the "Jewish" notion of resurrection, where ontological
                                    > continuity was a core concept, b) that Paul frequently speaks of the Lord
                                    > Jesus, and c) that the canonical gospels see no incongruity in naming the
                                    > earthly Jesus "Christ", how reasonable is it posit that Paul saw a
                                    > unbridgeable dichotomy between the resurrected Christ and the earthly
                                    > Jesus? (I think underlying our differences is a different understanding of
                                    > what Jesus' resurrection means for Paul.)
                                    >
                                    > [snip the remainder]
                                    >
                                    > This statement surely does identify the reasons for the discussion, I think,
                                    > for you do seem to be operating on the assumption that Paul agreed with the
                                    > authors of the canonical gospels in seeing Jesus as already "the Christ"
                                    > during his pre-crucifixion ministry, either from his baptism (so Mark) or
                                    > birth (so Matthew) or conception (so Luke) or some pre-existence (so John).
                                    > It seems that you place Paul in this group, but to use Raymond Brown's most
                                    > happy term, just where would you say that Paul locates the "christological
                                    > moment," i.e. the temporal locus when Jesus "becomes the Christ/Messiah"?
                                    >
                                    > I surmise that Steve Black does indeed agree with the fairly general
                                    > understanding that for Paul this "christological moment" WAS at "the
                                    > resurrection," meaning that prior to it Jesus had NOT been "the
                                    > Christ/Messiah." And yes this DOES distinguish him from the authors of the
                                    > several canonical gospels. In fact, this becomes a crucial issues in our
                                    > NOT continuing the blithe assumptions that "of course" Paul agreed with
                                    > them. But did he? And why?
                                    >
                                    > Raymond Brown saw Paul as holding that the "resurrection" was "the
                                    > christological moment" for in Phil. 2 the apostle clearly says that it was
                                    > thereby that Jesus became "the Lord," a much more important term for Paul
                                    > than "the Christ," it seems. By the way, this would contrast the usage
                                    > found in Luke-Acts where Jesus is called "the Lord" from Luke 7 on, which
                                    > Conzulmann
                                    > found to mean that this author claimed that the "remembered words of Jesus"
                                    > had the value and authority of "the Lord" and were thus obligatory upon
                                    > Christians as "commandments." But did Paul agree on this? If so, then it
                                    > becomes remarkable that he never "quoted Jesus" to "end any
                                    > discussion or argument," isn't it?
                                    >
                                    > Thus, it would seem that the issue is not just whether or not Paul knew
                                    > and/or used any of the
                                    > "Jesus tradition" but why - did he do so because he insisted that "Jesus was
                                    > Lord" ... in the sense of already had/held such status/position/authority
                                    > prior to the resurrection?
                                    >
                                    > With this as background, then some specific questions about your clear
                                    > summary which I quoted above:
                                    >
                                    > a) I am not sure what you mean by "ontological continuity" but
                                    > certainly the Pharisaic
                                    > doctrine involved the "returning to life and breath" of the
                                    > same "body which had
                                    > died." Yet while Paul clearly does affirm a continuity, he
                                    > also believed that Jesus'
                                    > exalted body was significantly different from the body
                                    > which had died. So there
                                    > was in his belief a difference ... "discontinuity"?
                                    >
                                    > b) Yes, Paul does "frequently speaks of the Lord Jesus" but in
                                    > the same way that the author of Luke-Acts would have
                                    > meant it? If not, then what is your point here?
                                    >
                                    > c) Yes, the four canonical gospels DO name the earthly Jesus as
                                    > "the Christ" and without, but why assume that
                                    > Paul did also? In fact, is not their common assumption
                                    > that "Jesus was the Christ already" the foundation for their
                                    > literary work? But would
                                    > Paul agree?
                                    >
                                    > I think that this is not just the place where you and Steve Black "part
                                    > company" but have you made the "best choice"? Where are the texts that
                                    > suggest that Paul did in fact agree with this position clearly held by the
                                    > gospel authors? Is this not rather a question to be explored and examined
                                    > instead of just "assumed as true"?
                                    >
                                    > And is not just "being argumentative" to suggest that the alternative to
                                    > your position is to posit an "unbridgeable dichotomy between the resurrected
                                    > Christ and the earthly Jesus?' I do not see how this would be an
                                    > appropriate description of the "change in Jesus' status/authority" (and even
                                    > bodily state) which Phil. 2 suggests Paul believed.
                                    >
                                    > Finally, my apologies for "jumping in" just when you two are about to be
                                    > preoccupied with other matters but it was truly this most recent posting
                                    > which clarified things for me ... and for this I do offer my thanks.
                                    >
                                    > Clive F. Jacks, Th.D.
                                    > Professor of Religion (Emeritus)
                                    > Pikeville College
                                    > Pikeville, KY
                                    >
                                    > (but now happily retired back home in metropolitan Atlanta)
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
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                                    > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .


                                    Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab) Ph. (604) 224 3245
                                    Associate Professor of NT Fax. (604) 224 3097
                                    Regent College
                                    5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 2E4



                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • cfjacks
                                    Sure, not a problem ... take your time, for these issues/questions will not go bad ! :-) Clive ... From: Rikk E. Watts To: xtalk
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Jun 24, 2002
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                                      Sure, not a problem ... take your time, for these issues/questions will not
                                      "go bad"! :-)

                                      Clive

                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: Rikk E. Watts <rwatts@...>
                                      To: xtalk <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 2:38 PM
                                      Subject: Re: [XTalk] Historical Jesus Theories: Paul and Jesus' Teachings


                                      > Clive,
                                      >
                                      > Can I come back to this later? It is good material, but right now I've
                                      used
                                      > up more than a few days "free time".
                                      >
                                      > Regards,
                                      >
                                      > Rikk
                                      >
                                      > on 6/24/02 8:54 AM, cfjacks at cfjacks@... wrote:
                                      >
                                      > > I have been following this interesting exchange with some confusion and
                                      > > frustration, from trying to figure out the issues and just what you
                                      position
                                      > > on them is. Thus, I appreciate the clarification of this summary which
                                      you
                                      > > have just posted for it answers most of my questions,
                                      > > sufficiently to enable/encourage me to intrude into this discussion of
                                      > > issues which interest me greatly:
                                      > >
                                      > > ----- Original Message -----
                                      > > From: Rikk E. Watts <rwatts@...>
                                      > > To: xtalk <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                                      > > Sent: Monday, June 24, 2002 11:03 AM
                                      > > Subject: Re: [XTalk] Historical Jesus Theories: Paul and Jesus'
                                      Teachings
                                      > >
                                      > > [snip]
                                      > >
                                      > > Summary:
                                      > >
                                      > > two key issues seem to be emerging:
                                      > >
                                      > > 1. given a) the "Jewish" notion of resurrection, where ontological
                                      > > continuity was a core concept, b) that Paul frequently speaks of the
                                      Lord
                                      > > Jesus, and c) that the canonical gospels see no incongruity in naming
                                      the
                                      > > earthly Jesus "Christ", how reasonable is it posit that Paul saw a
                                      > > unbridgeable dichotomy between the resurrected Christ and the earthly
                                      > > Jesus? (I think underlying our differences is a different understanding
                                      of
                                      > > what Jesus' resurrection means for Paul.)
                                      > >
                                      > > [snip the remainder]
                                      > >
                                      > > This statement surely does identify the reasons for the discussion, I
                                      think,
                                      > > for you do seem to be operating on the assumption that Paul agreed with
                                      the
                                      > > authors of the canonical gospels in seeing Jesus as already "the Christ"
                                      > > during his pre-crucifixion ministry, either from his baptism (so Mark)
                                      or
                                      > > birth (so Matthew) or conception (so Luke) or some pre-existence (so
                                      John).
                                      > > It seems that you place Paul in this group, but to use Raymond Brown's
                                      most
                                      > > happy term, just where would you say that Paul locates the
                                      "christological
                                      > > moment," i.e. the temporal locus when Jesus "becomes the
                                      Christ/Messiah"?
                                      > >
                                      > > I surmise that Steve Black does indeed agree with the fairly general
                                      > > understanding that for Paul this "christological moment" WAS at "the
                                      > > resurrection," meaning that prior to it Jesus had NOT been "the
                                      > > Christ/Messiah." And yes this DOES distinguish him from the authors of
                                      the
                                      > > several canonical gospels. In fact, this becomes a crucial issues in
                                      our
                                      > > NOT continuing the blithe assumptions that "of course" Paul agreed with
                                      > > them. But did he? And why?
                                      > >
                                      > > Raymond Brown saw Paul as holding that the "resurrection" was "the
                                      > > christological moment" for in Phil. 2 the apostle clearly says that it
                                      was
                                      > > thereby that Jesus became "the Lord," a much more important term for
                                      Paul
                                      > > than "the Christ," it seems. By the way, this would contrast the usage
                                      > > found in Luke-Acts where Jesus is called "the Lord" from Luke 7 on,
                                      which
                                      > > Conzulmann
                                      > > found to mean that this author claimed that the "remembered words of
                                      Jesus"
                                      > > had the value and authority of "the Lord" and were thus obligatory upon
                                      > > Christians as "commandments." But did Paul agree on this? If so, then
                                      it
                                      > > becomes remarkable that he never "quoted Jesus" to "end any
                                      > > discussion or argument," isn't it?
                                      > >
                                      > > Thus, it would seem that the issue is not just whether or not Paul knew
                                      > > and/or used any of the
                                      > > "Jesus tradition" but why - did he do so because he insisted that "Jesus
                                      was
                                      > > Lord" ... in the sense of already had/held such
                                      status/position/authority
                                      > > prior to the resurrection?
                                      > >
                                      > > With this as background, then some specific questions about your clear
                                      > > summary which I quoted above:
                                      > >
                                      > > a) I am not sure what you mean by "ontological continuity"
                                      but
                                      > > certainly the Pharisaic
                                      > > doctrine involved the "returning to life and breath" of
                                      the
                                      > > same "body which had
                                      > > died." Yet while Paul clearly does affirm a continuity,
                                      he
                                      > > also believed that Jesus'
                                      > > exalted body was significantly different from the body
                                      > > which had died. So there
                                      > > was in his belief a difference ... "discontinuity"?
                                      > >
                                      > > b) Yes, Paul does "frequently speaks of the Lord Jesus" but
                                      in
                                      > > the same way that the author of Luke-Acts would
                                      have
                                      > > meant it? If not, then what is your point here?
                                      > >
                                      > > c) Yes, the four canonical gospels DO name the earthly Jesus
                                      as
                                      > > "the Christ" and without, but why assume
                                      that
                                      > > Paul did also? In fact, is not their common assumption
                                      > > that "Jesus was the Christ already" the foundation for
                                      their
                                      > > literary work? But would
                                      > > Paul agree?
                                      > >
                                      > > I think that this is not just the place where you and Steve Black "part
                                      > > company" but have you made the "best choice"? Where are the texts that
                                      > > suggest that Paul did in fact agree with this position clearly held by
                                      the
                                      > > gospel authors? Is this not rather a question to be explored and
                                      examined
                                      > > instead of just "assumed as true"?
                                      > >
                                      > > And is not just "being argumentative" to suggest that the alternative to
                                      > > your position is to posit an "unbridgeable dichotomy between the
                                      resurrected
                                      > > Christ and the earthly Jesus?' I do not see how this would be an
                                      > > appropriate description of the "change in Jesus' status/authority" (and
                                      even
                                      > > bodily state) which Phil. 2 suggests Paul believed.
                                      > >
                                      > > Finally, my apologies for "jumping in" just when you two are about to be
                                      > > preoccupied with other matters but it was truly this most recent posting
                                      > > which clarified things for me ... and for this I do offer my thanks.
                                      > >
                                      > > Clive F. Jacks, Th.D.
                                      > > Professor of Religion (Emeritus)
                                      > > Pikeville College
                                      > > Pikeville, KY
                                      > >
                                      > > (but now happily retired back home in metropolitan Atlanta)
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
                                      > >
                                      > > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
                                      crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                      > >
                                      > > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to:
                                      crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                      > >
                                      > > List managers may be contacted directly at:
                                      crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service
                                      > > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab) Ph. (604) 224 3245
                                      > Associate Professor of NT Fax. (604) 224 3097
                                      > Regent College
                                      > 5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 2E4
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
                                      >
                                      > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
                                      crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                      >
                                      > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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                                      >
                                    • bjtraff
                                      ... {Snip the Elvis analogy, though I do like it as a working model for this type of discussion!} ... If I may, do you have any specific citations of Platonic
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Jun 24, 2002
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                                        --- In crosstalk2@y..., Steve Black <sblack@a...> wrote:

                                        {Snip the Elvis analogy, though I do like it as a working model for
                                        this type of discussion!}

                                        >On a more serious note - I'm not entirely sure that Paul didn't have
                                        >more then a little Platonism floating around in his blood...

                                        If I may, do you have any specific citations of Platonic
                                        work/teachings by Paul that would demonstrate that Paul had knowledge
                                        of or interest in Plato and his ideas? After all, if that is what we
                                        are demanding in order to connect his interest to the teachings of
                                        Jesus, surely we must do the same when looking for his interest in
                                        the teachings of Plato. ;-)

                                        > It seems to me that silence in the prophets *does* require
                                        > interpretation. There either is compelling evidence elsewhere that
                                        > they had such knowledge, or perhaps their silence was not really
                                        > silence after all. If both of these two pieces was missing, I
                                        > suspect that the silence would likely be interpreted by most (or at
                                        > the least by many) as indicating indifference/ignorance.

                                        This is the part of your post that got my attention. You appear to
                                        be arguing (in order to remain consistent in your thinking about
                                        Paul/Jesus teaching) that the prophets may have come after the Torah,
                                        or just did not give a fig about it. After all, no one can dispute
                                        the near total lack of direct specific references to the Mosaic Laws
                                        in the prophetic books (or wisdom books), or even Daniel and
                                        apocalyptic literature for that matter. Perhaps the Torah came after
                                        all of them? Is that what you are suggesting, because if so, this is
                                        radical thinking, and I would like to explore it further.

                                        From my own understanding, outside of a small, but very vocal, group
                                        of OT minimalists, it is generally accepted that much of the Mosaic
                                        code existed as far back as David and Solomon (c. 1000 BCE), or at
                                        the very least, before the Two Kingdoms (c. 900 BCE): in other
                                        words, well before most of the prophets found in the OT (c. 800-400
                                        BCE). Interestingly, even the minimalists do not argue that the
                                        Torah came after Daniel (c. 167 BCE), yet we don't see much by way of
                                        direct specific references to the Torah in this book either. Was the
                                        author uninterested in the Torah, or even unaware of it?

                                        > The same criteria ought to be used for Paul.

                                        Actually, I have little problem with this, as we would all like to be
                                        consistent in our approaches. At the same time, though I do wonder
                                        why you have appear not to have applied it in your thinking about
                                        Paul and the teachings of Plato. ;-)

                                        In any event, I do wonder why so many scholars are so insistent on
                                        direct, verbatim quotes from material like what we find in the
                                        Gospels in order to demonstrate that Paul knew of (or cared about)
                                        Jesus' teachings, especially of his parables and aphorisms. Do we
                                        make such demands of Clement of Rome? Or Ignatius? Do we actually
                                        argue that these later men were ignorant of Jesus teachings because
                                        they do not have scads of direct quotes from the Gospels?

                                        In my own view, I think too little attention has been made to the
                                        purpose of Paul's occasional letters, verses that of the evangelists
                                        themselves. The latter were writing not only to the converted, but
                                        to those fence sitters that might also convert. Thus, direct appeals
                                        to Jesus' own teachings and miracles are to be expected. Paul, on
                                        the other hand, was writing to the converted, about specific issues
                                        of the day, or even the locality. Under such conditions, why should
                                        we be expecting to see him peppering his letters with unrelated
                                        accounts of this or that parable or miracle?

                                        Perhaps if I could use my own analogy, let's say the President of the
                                        United States wishes to give a speech. How often will he quote
                                        directly from the Constitution of the United States, and quote from
                                        it directly? Or from the Declaration of Independence? Or the
                                        Emancipation Proclamation? Or a host of other crucial formative
                                        documents that make up the ideals and foundational teachings of the
                                        country that he leads? Yet, does the lack of specific and direct
                                        references demonstrate ignorance of these documents by the President
                                        or his audience? Should future (i.e. 2000+ year hence) historians
                                        studying these speeches (or worse yet, Presidential letters to their
                                        friends!!!) use them as evidence of a lack of knowledge of these
                                        documents? Or worse yet, that they all post date the Presidents that
                                        they are studying? Or does it mean that for the President's specific
                                        purposes in his specific occasional speech, he has no reason to
                                        appeal to those words more than in passing, or indirect reference?

                                        Peace,

                                        Brian Trafford
                                        Calgary, AB, Canada
                                      • Steve Black
                                        ... The Plato thing was more of a throw away thought - I m not wanting to stand or fall by it. I haven t carefully examined it and it might well not stand the
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Jun 24, 2002
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                                          >Brian Trafford wrote...
                                          > >On a more serious note - I'm not entirely sure that Paul didn't have
                                          >>more then a little Platonism floating around in his blood...
                                          >
                                          >If I may, do you have any specific citations of Platonic
                                          >work/teachings by Paul that would demonstrate that Paul had knowledge
                                          >of or interest in Plato and his ideas? After all, if that is what we
                                          >are demanding in order to connect his interest to the teachings of
                                          >Jesus, surely we must do the same when looking for his interest in
                                          >the teachings of Plato. ;-)

                                          The Plato thing was more of a throw away thought - I'm not wanting to
                                          stand or fall by it. I haven't carefully examined it and it might
                                          well not stand the test if I did. My sense is that Paul does operate
                                          in a world with some dualism such as flesh/Spirit that might be
                                          thusly understood - but once again its not something I really want to
                                          spend a whole lotta time with this right now... (How's that for a
                                          cop out?)

                                          >
                                          >> It seems to me that silence in the prophets *does* require
                                          > > interpretation. There either is compelling evidence elsewhere that
                                          >> they had such knowledge, or perhaps their silence was not really
                                          >> silence after all. If both of these two pieces was missing, I
                                          >> suspect that the silence would likely be interpreted by most (or at
                                          >> the least by many) as indicating indifference/ignorance.
                                          >
                                          >This is the part of your post that got my attention. You appear to
                                          >be arguing (in order to remain consistent in your thinking about
                                          >Paul/Jesus teaching) that the prophets may have come after the Torah,
                                          >or just did not give a fig about it. After all, no one can dispute
                                          >the near total lack of direct specific references to the Mosaic Laws
                                          >in the prophetic books (or wisdom books), or even Daniel and
                                          >apocalyptic literature for that matter. Perhaps the Torah came after
                                          >all of them? Is that what you are suggesting, because if so, this is
                                          >radical thinking, and I would like to explore it further.

                                          I have given the minimalists a serious hearing, and with some
                                          rhetorical "excesses" aside, I think they make a plausible argument.
                                          However, I am not convinced that they have really proved anything
                                          (yet?), but they been able to put question marks next to many of the
                                          other models out there.
                                          ,
                                          >
                                          >From my own understanding, outside of a small, but very vocal, group
                                          >of OT minimalists, it is generally accepted that much of the Mosaic
                                          >code existed as far back as David and Solomon (c. 1000 BCE), or at
                                          >the very least, before the Two Kingdoms (c. 900 BCE): in other
                                          >words, well before most of the prophets found in the OT (c. 800-400
                                          >BCE). Interestingly, even the minimalists do not argue that the
                                          >Torah came after Daniel (c. 167 BCE), yet we don't see much by way of
                                          >direct specific references to the Torah in this book either. Was the
                                          >author uninterested in the Torah, or even unaware of it?

                                          Amos shows a strong awareness of the Exodus tradition. True, Moses is
                                          never mentioned. I am not suggesting that therefore Amos *certainly*
                                          did not know about Moses, but the possibility that he might not have
                                          exists for me because of this silence. Amos shows an awareness of
                                          some notion of covenant - and thus a case could be made that Amos'
                                          significant silence is not total silence. It may well even be that
                                          Amos did know of the laws etc, and his silence results from some
                                          other reason that we do not have access to. I am not saying silence
                                          PROVES that he did not know - for me it simply makes the question and
                                          the possibility a legitimate one.

                                          >
                                          > > The same criteria ought to be used for Paul.
                                          >
                                          >Actually, I have little problem with this, as we would all like to be
                                          >consistent in our approaches. At the same time, though I do wonder
                                          >why you have appear not to have applied it in your thinking about
                                          >Paul and the teachings of Plato. ;-)

                                          I plead the fifth...

                                          >
                                          >In any event, I do wonder why so many scholars are so insistent on
                                          >direct, verbatim quotes from material like what we find in the
                                          >Gospels in order to demonstrate that Paul knew of (or cared about)
                                          >Jesus' teachings, especially of his parables and aphorisms. Do we
                                          >make such demands of Clement of Rome? Or Ignatius? Do we actually
                                          >argue that these later men were ignorant of Jesus teachings because
                                          >they do not have scads of direct quotes from the Gospels?

                                          I gave two criteria - "compelling evidence elsewhere" would be the
                                          one I would apply to the Patristics. We have good reason to believe
                                          that the gospels were in circulation and that they would be aware of
                                          them. (I am not very well versed in Clement of Rome or Ignatius -
                                          were they really silent around Jesus' parables and aphorisms?)

                                          >
                                          >In my own view, I think too little attention has been made to the
                                          >purpose of Paul's occasional letters, verses that of the evangelists
                                          >themselves. The latter were writing not only to the converted, but
                                          >to those fence sitters that might also convert. Thus, direct appeals
                                          >to Jesus' own teachings and miracles are to be expected. Paul, on
                                          >the other hand, was writing to the converted, about specific issues
                                          >of the day, or even the locality. Under such conditions, why should
                                          >we be expecting to see him peppering his letters with unrelated
                                          >accounts of this or that parable or miracle?

                                          I don't have a specific example in mind, but it seems that firstly
                                          Paul had no hesitations when it came to quoting sources (OT, for
                                          example - his opponents, etc) when it suited his purpose. I suspect
                                          that if we thought about it we could find many examples where Jesus'
                                          teachings WOULD have served his purpose. I apologize for not having a
                                          ready example - I'll have to think about it a bit - my brain is a tad
                                          scattered right now...

                                          >
                                          >Perhaps if I could use my own analogy, let's say the President of the
                                          >United States wishes to give a speech. How often will he quote
                                          >directly from the Constitution of the United States, and quote from
                                          >it directly? Or from the Declaration of Independence? Or the
                                          >Emancipation Proclamation? Or a host of other crucial formative
                                          >documents that make up the ideals and foundational teachings of the
                                          >country that he leads? Yet, does the lack of specific and direct
                                          >references demonstrate ignorance of these documents by the President
                                          >or his audience? Should future (i.e. 2000+ year hence) historians
                                          >studying these speeches (or worse yet, Presidential letters to their
                                          >friends!!!) use them as evidence of a lack of knowledge of these
                                          >documents? Or worse yet, that they all post date the Presidents that
                                          >they are studying? Or does it mean that for the President's specific
                                          >purposes in his specific occasional speech, he has no reason to
                                          >appeal to those words more than in passing, or indirect reference?

                                          This is a good analogy. My above mentioned "other criteria" applies.
                                          We have good reason other than direct citations to suspect that the
                                          President of the USA might be aware of these documents. *IF* we had
                                          such *compelling* evidence re: Paul/Jesus then we would be forced to
                                          "interpret" Paul's silence in a way other than mine.


                                          --
                                          Steve Black
                                          Vancouver School of Theology
                                          Vancouver, BC
                                          ---

                                          Once in a while you can get shown the light
                                          in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

                                          -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                                        • bjtraff
                                          Thanks for the quick reply Steve, though I hope you do not mind if I press a couple of these points a bit further. ... And I do not wish to bog down, nor
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Jun 24, 2002
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                                            Thanks for the quick reply Steve, though I hope you do not mind if I
                                            press a couple of these points a bit further.

                                            --- In crosstalk2@y..., Steve Black <sblack@a...> wrote:

                                            >The Plato thing was more of a throw away thought - I'm not wanting
                                            >to stand or fall by it. I haven't carefully examined it and it might
                                            >well not stand the test if I did. My sense is that Paul does operate
                                            >in a world with some dualism such as flesh/Spirit that might be
                                            >thusly understood - but once again its not something I really want
                                            >to spend a whole lotta time with this right now...

                                            And I do not wish to bog down, nor distract, the conversation on this
                                            point either. To be honest, I happen to think that Paul did operate
                                            in a social and educational milieu that would have made Platonic
                                            thought pretty much part of the philosophical air Paul (and other
                                            educated types) lived and breathed in, but this brings me to my
                                            larger point:

                                            If it can be shown that Paul's thought reflects fundamental themes
                                            and principles articulated by Jesus and his other early followers,
                                            would this not likewise point to his awareness of the teachings that
                                            underlay those principles and themes? Further, when we add the few
                                            occasions when Paul directly cites the teachings of Jesus, the link
                                            appears to be further strengthened. Thus, we need not guess if Paul
                                            knew of Jesus' teachings. Clearly he knew of some of them. The
                                            question becomes, did his own theological and moral thinking mirror
                                            those of Jesus? Or did he conflict with them. In _The Real Jesus_,
                                            L.T. Johnson comments that "[D]espite the obvious diversity in genre,
                                            perspective, and theme in the New Testament compositions, the
                                            coherence of their generative experiences and convictions can be
                                            glimpsed from their remarkable consistency concerning the image of
                                            Jesus and of discipleship." (pg. 167). This theme, in Johnson's
                                            view, is one of humble service to God and to mankind, in which the
                                            true follower of Jesus puts others above him or herself in all things
                                            and at all times. Further, consider the following teachings:

                                            1) devotion to a single God
                                            2) the shame of the cross
                                            3) the "good news" (gospel) of salvation through faith in the death
                                            and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ
                                            4) the remembrance of Jesus through the commemorative meal, coupled
                                            with the direct words of Jesus at this meal, and even how it relates
                                            to his own flesh and blood
                                            5) the devotion to the poor and widows
                                            6) and above all, love and service to one's fellows.

                                            These form the cornerstone to Pauline thought, and all of this can be
                                            linked to the teachings of Jesus as presented in the Gospels.

                                            > (How's that for a cop out?)

                                            Actually, not bad, but I'm afraid I can't let you off that easy
                                            Steve. After all, if you can detect at least a hint of Platonic
                                            thought in Paul, I would hope that you would concede a bit more when
                                            it comes to Paul the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

                                            I wrote:
                                            >This is the part of your post that got my attention. You appear to
                                            >be arguing (in order to remain consistent in your thinking about
                                            >Paul/Jesus teaching) that the prophets may have come after the Torah,
                                            >or just did not give a fig about it. After all, no one can dispute
                                            >the near total lack of direct specific references to the Mosaic Laws
                                            >in the prophetic books (or wisdom books), or even Daniel and
                                            >apocalyptic literature for that matter. Perhaps the Torah came after
                                            >all of them? Is that what you are suggesting, because if so, this is
                                            >radical thinking, and I would like to explore it further.

                                            Steve replied:
                                            >I have given the minimalists a serious hearing, and with some
                                            >rhetorical "excesses" aside, I think they make a plausible argument.
                                            >However, I am not convinced that they have really proved anything
                                            >(yet?), but they been able to put question marks next to many of the
                                            >other models out there.

                                            We can certainly give people a hearing on anything they wish to
                                            present. At the same time, I hope that you recognize that many of
                                            these ideas are rather extreme, and fail to address serious pieces of
                                            evidence that run counter to their views. It is well beyond the
                                            scope of this board to get into OT discussions, but the prevailing
                                            view that much of the Mosaic Law existed prior to the prophetic books
                                            is the view that is most widely held amongst scholars of the OT, and
                                            is powerfully supported by the evidence available to us to date.

                                            >Amos shows a strong awareness of the Exodus tradition. True, Moses
                                            >is never mentioned. I am not suggesting that therefore Amos
                                            >*certainly* did not know about Moses, but the possibility that he
                                            >might not have exists for me because of this silence. Amos shows an
                                            >awareness of some notion of covenant - and thus a case could be made
                                            >that Amos' significant silence is not total silence. It may well
                                            >even be that Amos did know of the laws etc, and his silence results
                                            >from some other reason that we do not have access to. I am not
                                            >saying silence PROVES that he did not know - for me it simply makes
                                            >the question and the possibility a legitimate one.

                                            There is a serious danger in following the line of reasoning you
                                            advocate above (and with most minimalist arguments in my view), in
                                            that pursuit of the argument to its logical conclusion can often lead
                                            us to absurdities. Rather than Amos (which, if we accept the extreme
                                            position of the minimalists, may have come after the codification of
                                            the Torah), let us consider my earlier example of Daniel. This book
                                            (c. 167 BCE) was certainly written after the Mosaic Laws were
                                            presented, but the author of Daniel makes scant reference to them.
                                            Should we draw conclusions about his awareness of these laws based on
                                            his silence? Of course not. We understand that they are not a part
                                            of his agenda, so specific citations of the Law would be out of
                                            place. Thus, we end up in a position where we must ask ourselves why
                                            he might not include such citations, and we base our conclusions on
                                            what we believe the author intended to convey in his book. Once we
                                            accept that direct citation was unnecessary for his purposes, then we
                                            can study the book on its own merits, and learn more about what he,
                                            and his readers believed at the time he wrote.

                                            We should do the same for Paul.

                                            I wrote:
                                            >Actually, I have little problem with this, as we would all like to be
                                            >consistent in our approaches. At the same time, though I do wonder
                                            >why you have appear not to have applied it in your thinking about
                                            >Paul and the teachings of Plato. ;-)

                                            Steve replied:
                                            > I plead the fifth...

                                            Fair enough (though we don't have the Fifth Amendment up here in
                                            Canada Steve! ;-)). How about addressing why Daniel does not make
                                            specific references to the teachings of Moses, nor the Law?

                                            I asked:
                                            > >In any event, I do wonder why so many scholars are so insistent on
                                            > >direct, verbatim quotes from material like what we find in the
                                            > >Gospels in order to demonstrate that Paul knew of (or cared about)
                                            > >Jesus' teachings, especially of his parables and aphorisms. Do we
                                            > >make such demands of Clement of Rome? Or Ignatius? Do we actually
                                            > >argue that these later men were ignorant of Jesus teachings because
                                            > >they do not have scads of direct quotes from the Gospels?

                                            Steve answered:
                                            >I gave two criteria - "compelling evidence elsewhere" would be the
                                            >one I would apply to the Patristics. We have good reason to believe
                                            >that the gospels were in circulation and that they would be aware of
                                            >them. (I am not very well versed in Clement of Rome or Ignatius -
                                            >were they really silent around Jesus' parables and aphorisms?)

                                            Okay, now the question becomes one of asking if the teachings of
                                            Jesus would have been in circulation amongst early followers of Jesus
                                            at all (hello Bob, note that I didn't call them Christians this
                                            time! :-)).

                                            Did the Twelve exist? 1 Cor. 15 says that they did. Were there
                                            significant churches in Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem and other centres
                                            that were not founded by Paul, but still knew the gospel as Paul knew
                                            it? Were their other apostles, like Cephas/Peter who were preaching
                                            the gospel? Was Paul passing on other traditions and teachings
                                            beyond what he wrote? 2 Thessalonians 2:15 tells us he was. In
                                            fact, he tells us directly that he AND others were doing this. This
                                            evidence certainly points to what I would call "compelling evidence
                                            elsewhere" that a body of teachings connected to Jesus was in
                                            circulation when Paul wrote his letters. What seems to be missing is
                                            a compelling reason (beyond our 21st Century desire) to see Paul
                                            relating parables and quoted aphorisms he attributes to Jesus
                                            directly.

                                            Perhaps we could try another exercise: there appears to be a pretty
                                            clear link between GJohn and the Johannine epistles. But within
                                            1,2 and 3 John we see precious little by way of parables, miracles
                                            stories, or direct quotations from Jesus himself. From this should
                                            we conclude that the author(s) of these epistles was unaware of
                                            them?

                                            And as for Ignatius and Clement of Rome, neither offers direct
                                            examples of parables, though we do have the following from Clement:

                                            1 Clement 13:1b-2
                                            ...for he (Jesus) spoke thus: 2 Show mercy, that you may obtain
                                            mercy; forgive, that it may be forgiven unto you; as you do, so shall
                                            it be done unto you; as you give, so shall it be given unto you; as
                                            you judge, so shall you be judged; as you are kindly affectioned, so
                                            shall kindness be showed unto you; with whatsover measure you
                                            measure, with the same shall it be measured unto you.

                                            Prior to this (and largely afterwards as well), Clement spends most
                                            of his time quoting from the OT (or at least paraphrasing it), which
                                            makes sense, as this was the habit of 1st Century authors, as well as
                                            talking extensively about the humility and suffering of his Lord,
                                            Jesus Christ (for example, Clement 16:5-17), as well as why it was
                                            important. Verses 16:15-16 offer another quote from Jesus in the
                                            midst of this suffering, though it appears to be drawn either from
                                            the Gospel accounts themselves, or from a similar exegesis to theirs
                                            of Psalm 22. Equally instructive is 22:1:

                                            Clement 22:1
                                            All these things does the faith which is in Christ assure. For he
                                            himself, through the Holy Spirit, thus calls unto us: Come, you
                                            children, hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

                                            Clement even calls tells us that this is Christ speaking through the
                                            Holy Spirit (not unlike Paul!). And in 24:5 he makes reference to
                                            the sower of seeds, but does not attribute this to Jesus, nor present
                                            it in parabolic form! In fact, throughout the text what we see is
                                            occasional references (in passing) to little more than possible
                                            actions and words of Jesus, while at the same time we see numerous
                                            examples of Clement speaking from his own personal authority.
                                            Another of his quotations can be found in chapter 8:

                                            1 Clement 46:8
                                            for he (Jesus) said, Woe unto that man; it were good for him if he
                                            had never been born, rather than that he should cause one of my elect
                                            to offend. It were better for him that a millstone were tied about
                                            him, and that he were cast into the sea, rather than that he should
                                            cause one of my little ones to offend.

                                            Later we find examples of prayers to God through Jesus Christ, but
                                            none quote directly from any prayer of Jesus (see, for example,
                                            1 Clement 59:3-61:3). Thus, in the entire letter of approximately
                                            12,000 words, we find a couple of direct quotations from Jesus, a
                                            passing reference to the sower and the seed (but not the parable),
                                            and that's it. Should we demand more of Clement? Perhaps, but I
                                            don't see why. I would think that the man would know his audience,
                                            and how to write to them effectively. And from this should we
                                            conclude that Clement did not know, or care about the words of
                                            Jesus? Again I do not see why. From the body of the letter we can
                                            see that Clement considered Jesus to be of first importance,
                                            especially regarding his death and resurrection. And as you have
                                            said yourself, external evidence points strongly to the belief that
                                            CLement was almost certainly conversent in at least some of the
                                            teachings of Jesus (including those as found in the Canonical Gospels
                                            themselves). From this I would not see why we would expect much more
                                            from Paul in his letters. In fact, the two appear to be following a
                                            kind of convention as to how best communicate with their churches.

                                            As for Ignatius, his letter to the Ephesians contain some passing
                                            references to Matthew's special "M" material. How far should we be
                                            prepared to go with this evidence? There are no parables, nor direct
                                            quotes from Jesus. There are no aphorisms, nor paraphrases. So,
                                            again, should we claim that Ignatius has no knowledge of, nor
                                            interest in the teachings of Jesus? Or should we more properly
                                            consider that on the occasion of this letter he has no reason to
                                            bring such quotations into his text? I would choose the latter,
                                            especially as we can be certain that Ignatius knew of at least one of
                                            the Canonical Gospels themselves.

                                            > I don't have a specific example in mind, but it seems that firstly
                                            > Paul had no hesitations when it came to quoting sources (OT, for
                                            > example - his opponents, etc) when it suited his purpose.

                                            Again looking at 1 Clement in particular, we see numerous examples of
                                            OT citations (they compose a larger percentage of the entire text),
                                            as well as warnings on how to live properly as a Christian. What is
                                            missing is much more than passing citations from Jesus himself, and
                                            no parables or aphorisms. Ignatius is even more sparing, in that he
                                            includes not citations at all. Thus, again, we are forced to look at
                                            purpose and intent (as well as stylistic preference) to determine
                                            what might have been included in these letters, as well as those of
                                            Paul. Speaking personally, I would expect to see numerous citations
                                            from their Scriptures (which, at the time happened to be the LXX, but
                                            not the as written NT), as well as opponents when necessary (though
                                            in the case of the latter, direct quotes are missing, and Paul limits
                                            himself to his own personal spin on the subject).

                                            > I suspect
                                            >that if we thought about it we could find many examples where Jesus'
                                            >teachings WOULD have served his purpose. I apologize for not having
                                            >a ready example - I'll have to think about it a bit - my brain is a
                                            >tad scattered right now...

                                            Actually, I would be delighted to see a listing of candidate sayings
                                            and parables that Paul might have (or even should have) used. Who
                                            knows, perhaps together we could edit Paul's letters, and produce
                                            something much better than he did himself!

                                            All kidding aside, I do not doubt your sincerity on this point Steve,
                                            nor that your belief represents that of a good many scholars.
                                            Certainly many of them are more than willing to assert that Paul
                                            could have and should have peppered his letters with more citations
                                            and quotes from Jesus than he did. To me, however, I am at a bit of
                                            a loss to imagine how he could have done this. Perhaps we need a new
                                            thread on this... something like, "Quotes Paul shoulda/coulda/woulda
                                            used, had he known them", or somesuch (I know the title is a tad
                                            ungainly, but my brain is more than a tad scattered at the moment as
                                            well).

                                            {Snip my analogy of the President, his speeches, and quotations (or
                                            lack thereof) to the Constitution et al}

                                            > This is a good analogy.

                                            Thanks.

                                            >My above mentioned "other criteria" applies.
                                            >We have good reason other than direct citations to suspect that the
                                            >President of the USA might be aware of these documents. *IF* we had
                                            >such *compelling* evidence re: Paul/Jesus then we would be forced to
                                            >"interpret" Paul's silence in a way other than mine.

                                            I hope some of the evidence I have provided from the Johannine
                                            epistles, Clement of Rome and Ignatius at least give you some pause
                                            before settling on your conclusion. Of course, I still do not know
                                            what would constitute "compelling" evidence, so if you could share
                                            with me some of your criteria, then perhaps we could see where it
                                            might take us.

                                            Thanks again Steve. And peace.

                                            Brian Trafford
                                            Calgary, AB, Canada
                                          • Steve Black
                                            Hi Brian, As I mentioned earlier, I will be out of town for a few days - and this will be my last post for a while. ... I am not arguing complete
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Jun 25, 2002
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                                              Hi Brian,

                                              As I mentioned earlier, I will be out of town for a few days - and
                                              this will be my last post for a while.

                                              >
                                              >Brian Trafford wrote
                                              >If it can be shown that Paul's thought reflects fundamental themes
                                              >and principles articulated by Jesus and his other early followers,
                                              >would this not likewise point to his awareness of the teachings that
                                              >underlay those principles and themes?

                                              I am not arguing complete ignorance/indifference. But we would have
                                              to look at these specific "themes and principles" to see if they can
                                              carry the weight you are wanted to give them.

                                              > Further, when we add the few
                                              >occasions when Paul directly cites the teachings of Jesus, the link
                                              >appears to be further strengthened. Thus, we need not guess if Paul
                                              >knew of Jesus' teachings. Clearly he knew of some of them. The
                                              >question becomes, did his own theological and moral thinking mirror
                                              >those of Jesus? Or did he conflict with them. In _The Real Jesus_,
                                              >L.T. Johnson comments that "[D]espite the obvious diversity in genre,
                                              >perspective, and theme in the New Testament compositions, the
                                              >coherence of their generative experiences and convictions can be
                                              >glimpsed from their remarkable consistency concerning the image of
                                              >Jesus and of discipleship." (pg. 167). This theme, in Johnson's
                                              >view, is one of humble service to God and to mankind, in which the
                                              >true follower of Jesus puts others above him or herself in all things
                                              >and at all times. Further, consider the following teachings:

                                              This coherence might be a product NOT of the individual books of the
                                              canon, but of the *canon itself*. See Aichele_The Control of Biblical
                                              Meaning -2001 where he argues that the canon itself forces a specific
                                              interpretation upon the text. I suspect this consistency re: the
                                              image of Jesus it illusionary. Mark's Jesus is not at all the same as
                                              John's, for example. I suspect that if Mark wasn't placed between
                                              Luke and Mt, it would have been judged as heretical (adoptionist
                                              christology) but where it is, both Mt & Lk suggest a way of reading
                                              it that would not occur if it was truly by itself.

                                              >
                                              >1) devotion to a single God
                                              >2) the shame of the cross
                                              >3) the "good news" (gospel) of salvation through faith in the death
                                              >and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ
                                              >4) the remembrance of Jesus through the commemorative meal, coupled
                                              >with the direct words of Jesus at this meal, and even how it relates
                                              >to his own flesh and blood
                                              >5) the devotion to the poor and widows
                                              >6) and above all, love and service to one's fellows.

                                              Many of these items clearly where not part of Jesus' teaching.

                                              >[snip]
                                              >[snip minimalists...]
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >Steve replied:
                                              >> I plead the fifth...
                                              >
                                              >Fair enough (though we don't have the Fifth Amendment up here in
                                              >Canada Steve! ;-)).

                                              Oh you mean we still have have our sovereignty? Phew, that's a relief...

                                              >
                                              >
                                              >Okay, now the question becomes one of asking if the teachings of
                                              >Jesus would have been in circulation amongst early followers of Jesus
                                              >at all (hello Bob, note that I didn't call them Christians this
                                              >time! :-)).
                                              >
                                              >Did the Twelve exist? 1 Cor. 15 says that they did. Were there
                                              >significant churches in Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem and other centres
                                              >that were not founded by Paul, but still knew the gospel as Paul knew
                                              >it? Were their other apostles, like Cephas/Peter who were preaching
                                              >the gospel? Was Paul passing on other traditions and teachings
                                              >beyond what he wrote? 2 Thessalonians 2:15 tells us he was. In
                                              >fact, he tells us directly that he AND others were doing this. This
                                              >evidence certainly points to what I would call "compelling evidence
                                              >elsewhere" that a body of teachings connected to Jesus was in
                                              >circulation when Paul wrote his letters. What seems to be missing is
                                              >a compelling reason (beyond our 21st Century desire) to see Paul
                                              >relating parables and quoted aphorisms he attributes to Jesus
                                              >directly.

                                              I have no doubts that there were some teachings of Jesus floating
                                              around at the time of Paul. This whole thread is asking the question
                                              whether Paul know or really cared about them. Surely we can't simply
                                              assume that he did now?

                                              >[snip Clement/Ignatius]

                                              You list good examples where silence doesn't mean ignorance - as we
                                              have good reason to believe these guys know of the teachings in
                                              question. Remember my TWO criteria. Nonetheless, their silence does
                                              enable me to ask the question, why where they silent? Had the
                                              parables not really found their way into these guys imaginations so
                                              that they didn't care? Silence, or at least significant/relevant
                                              silence does beg for some interpretation.

                                              As to how this all relates to Paul - you do offer a nice model to
                                              show how silence doesn't always means ignorance. When it comes to
                                              Paul, and how he saw and proclaimed Christ, and Clive's helpful point
                                              re: where Paul's "Christological moment" was --- so then when you
                                              add Paul's overall message to the silence a picture begins to emerge.
                                              So for me, the silence is one important piece of raw data, but not
                                              the only piece. It is a question of cumulative evidence.

                                              >[snip]

                                              All the best, and thanks for the exchange Brian.

                                              --
                                              Steve Black
                                              Vancouver School of Theology
                                              Vancouver, BC
                                              ---

                                              Once in a while you can get shown the light
                                              in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

                                              -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                                            • Rikk E. Watts
                                              HI Steve, Couldn t pass up on this... sorry.. ... Sometimes it is easy to forget that the topic of our study must be set within the larger horizons of the
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Jun 25, 2002
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                                                HI Steve,

                                                Couldn't pass up on this... sorry..

                                                on 6/25/02 8:39 AM, Steve Black at sblack@... wrote:
                                                >
                                                > This coherence might be a product NOT of the individual books of the
                                                > canon, but of the *canon itself*. See Aichele_The Control of Biblical
                                                > Meaning -2001 where he argues that the canon itself forces a specific
                                                > interpretation upon the text. I suspect this consistency re: the
                                                > image of Jesus it illusionary. Mark's Jesus is not at all the same as
                                                > John's, for example.

                                                Sometimes it is easy to forget that the topic of our study must be set
                                                within the larger horizons of the first century (which is the world in which
                                                gospels were written) or the third and fourth (when they were thinking about
                                                canon). Would anyone seriously argue, when put within this setting and
                                                compared to Alexander the Great (or the quack prophet), Asclepios, the
                                                Caesars, Plato, Socrates, Herod, etc. etc., that the Jesus of the gospels is
                                                essentially the same figure? "not at all the same" ... aren't we getting a
                                                bit carried away with our rhetoric here?

                                                Regards
                                                Rikk


                                                Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab) Ph. (604) 224 3245
                                                Associate Professor of NT Fax. (604) 224 3097
                                                Regent College
                                                5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 2E4
                                              • Steve Black
                                                I emailed a friend of mine who is a rabbinic expert regarding questions that came up in the context of this conversation. I was going to edit it and shorten
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Jun 25, 2002
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                                                  I emailed a friend of mine who is a rabbinic expert regarding
                                                  questions that came up in the context of this conversation. I was
                                                  going to edit it and shorten it, but I felt that that might too
                                                  easily reflect MY bias, so I have included it in its entirety. Rabbi
                                                  Daum has given me permission to post his response, but has said he
                                                  will not be able to engage in any further queries. I hope this is of
                                                  some interest.

                                                  I will respond to other posts to this subject in few days when I get back...
                                                  -Steve Black

                                                  The response... (The question as a asked it is at the bottom of this post)

                                                  The status of the Pentateuchal (and other) texts, allusions
                                                  to which may be inferred from a reading of one or another
                                                  Prophetic text, is debated, and rightly so, for the evidence
                                                  does not lead to easy conclusions. There is stronger
                                                  support for assuming varying degrees of familiarity on the
                                                  part of authors, collectors, or editors of a given prophetic
                                                  work with Pentateuchal (and other) traditions now found within
                                                  the first five books (and other books) than with the texts of
                                                  the Pentateuch (and other biblical books) per se. Even this,
                                                  however, is a complex issue, and it is wise to approach each
                                                  prophetic book (and even parts of each book) individually in
                                                  dealing with this question. It is also important to recognise
                                                  that these "academic" questions have been, and today too may
                                                  easily become entangled within theological polemical contexts,
                                                  e.g. the familiar binary oppositions of law vs. love, ritual
                                                  vs. ethics, and so on. At the very least, one must say that
                                                  the claim that the Prophets are silent in respect of Pentateuchal
                                                  or other scriptural traditions is incorrect. Like Paul, the
                                                  Prophets before him (and/or those who contributed to the formation
                                                  of their texts) were masters of the art of indirect allusion.

                                                  Regarding the Talmudic rabbis' comments on the biblical canon
                                                  in general, there is an excellent discussion of most of the
                                                  relevant rabbinic texts in Sid Z. Leiman, The Canonization of
                                                  Hebrew Scripture. With differing understandings of the nature
                                                  and extent of the interconnectedness of biblical texts and books,
                                                  the rabbis take the unity of Scripture essentially for granted.
                                                  To be sure, this "unity" is a theologically grounded notion, and it
                                                  has to be set against the ample evidence in Philo, Josephus, Patristic
                                                  sources, Midrashic and Talmudic texts, of a dynamically emerging
                                                  canon during the "rabbinic period."

                                                  It is a methodological error to infer, on the basis of the rabbis'
                                                  basic theological and hermeneutical assumptions about the essential
                                                  unity of scripture (and I use the reductive phrase "the rabbis" for
                                                  convenience), as well as on the basis of various rabbinic exegetical
                                                  comments in which

                                                  Prophetic and Pentateuchal traditions are read in relation to each
                                                  other (if not always scriptural quotations per se, and certainly not
                                                  always in versions identical to that of the so-called Masoretic
                                                  Text, itself a construct), that statements about the unity of
                                                  Scripture or specific exegetical comments bringing together
                                                  prophetic and Pentateuchal texts or traditions are evidence of a
                                                  rabbinic perception or understanding that the Prophets were not
                                                  citing Scripture, because they were unaware of it, or because they
                                                  felt that the Prophets had transcended Scripture in general or "the
                                                  Law" in particular. It has been demonstrated that some awareness of
                                                  Pentateuchal traditions is very much in evidence within the
                                                  Prophets, and that the Pentateuchal "books" per se took their shape
                                                  during the "Second Temple Period." It has also been demonstrated
                                                  that the biblical canon was still coming into being in the rabbinic
                                                  period.

                                                  The prophets read (or interpreted) some Pentateuchal traditions
                                                  sympathetically, and they read (or interpreted) others critically.
                                                  Like the rabbinic notion of the essential, organic unity of all of
                                                  Scripture, mutatis mutandis, claims about Prophetic "silence"
                                                  regarding (and, all the more so, Prophetic rejection of) the
                                                  Pentateuchal traditions as a whole, are sustained by theological
                                                  polemics rather than by the evidence of the sources themselves. May
                                                  I suggest to those who are not convinced by the foregoing that they
                                                  read S. Leiman (cited above), B. Sommer (A Prophet Reads Scripture),
                                                  and, for a good introduction to the theological polemical context,
                                                  K. von Kellenbach (Anti-Judaism in Feminist Religious Writing.)



                                                  Robert A. Daum

                                                  _____________________________________
                                                  Robert A. Daum, Rabbi, Ph.D.
                                                  Asst. Professor, Diamond Chair in Jewish Law & Ethics
                                                  Dept. of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies
                                                  Buchanan C-269, 1866 Main Mall
                                                  University of British Columbia
                                                  Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z1



                                                  -----Original Message-----
                                                  From: Steve Black [mailto:sblack@...]
                                                  Sent: Saturday, June 22, 2002 12:37 PM
                                                  To: radaum@...
                                                  Subject: the silence in the prophets about the Torah


                                                  Hi Robert - I hope you are having a restful summer.

                                                  I hope you do not mind a quick question.

                                                  I belong to a historical Jesus mail group and the point (quoted
                                                  below) was made regarding the silence in the prophets about the
                                                  Torah. My question is whether the Talmud deals with this issue- is it
                                                  something early Rabbinic sources even noticed, and if they did, how
                                                  did they deal with it? (I hope this question is clear...)

                                                  Also... My understanding is that modern scholarship is still quite
                                                  divided re: points below. Am I pretty correct in this?

                                                  Thanks for your time.
                                                  Steve Black (VST)


                                                  At 11:05 AM -0700 6/19/02, Rikk E. Watts wrote:
                                                  >Perhaps more helpful is that in Galatians he describes his call in
                                                  >terms of Jeremiah 1.5 and Isa 49.1-6 (1.15-16; apostolos might itself
                                                  >also be an echo of Yahweh's commissioning of the prophets) and much of
                                                  >his theological conception of his ministry seems heavily influenced by
                                                  >Isaiah (Wilk). For a long time it was argued that the prophets
                                                  >preceded Torah, one of the reasons being precisely their apparent lack
                                                  >of interest in the Law, namely few clear citations thereof. But it
                                                  >seems that this conclusion was a tad hasty.
                                                  >
                                                  >It is now recognized that many of the Pentateuch's traditions were
                                                  >already formed before the prophets, and at many places the latter seem
                                                  >dependent on them. And of course they assume ancient covenant
                                                  >traditions. Further, Bach's work on Amos (1957) has demonstrated that
                                                  >although the prophet not once cites the Torah directly he clearly
                                                  >assumes and depends upon old legal tradition. Beyerlin on Micah (1959),

                                                  >Brueggemann on Hosea (1968), and Bergren on the prophets in general
                                                  >(1974) all confirm this. In Israel's prophetic tradition it is now
                                                  >recognized that to interpret lack of citation as lack of interest or
                                                  >knowledge of ancient legal tradition is a fundamental mistake borne of
                                                  >a superficial reading. If Paul is operating along similar lines one
                                                  >might also expect no direct citations (and in all his letters there's
                                                  >only one, the words of institution in 1 Cor) but all manner of
                                                  >allusions and a pervasive underlying dependency. The latter has, I
                                                  >think, been convincingly demonstrated by any number of authors
                                                  >(including a fellow doc candidate at Cambs). This it seems to me is the

                                                  >best explanation with the fewest (if any) difficulties.


                                                  >
                                                  > > Even if the relationship DOES exist between the silence of the
                                                  >> prophets and the law, does the interpretations given that silence
                                                  >> appear as an interpretation in the 1st Century? Is there any
                                                  >> evidence that Paul would have understood the silence of the prophets
                                                  >> in this way? I'm curious how the silence (if they even noticed it...)
                                                  >> of the prophets was understood by rabbinic sources back then in any
                                                  >> event.
                                                  >I'm not sure that the Rabbis address it, though I would expect that they
                                                  >simply understood the prophets to be assuming Torah as did Judaism and
                                                  >Christianity generally until the rise of critical theories. Does anyone
                                                  >have any countervailing data on this?


                                                  --
                                                  Steve Black
                                                  Vancouver School of Theology
                                                  Vancouver, BC
                                                  ---

                                                  Once in a while you can get shown the light
                                                  in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

                                                  -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                                                • bjtraff
                                                  ... Fair enough, and I am pleased to see that you have not taken an entirely minimalist view of Paul s knowledge of, and interest in the teachings of Jesus of
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Jun 25, 2002
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                                                    --- In crosstalk2@y..., Steve Black <sblack@a...> wrote:

                                                    >I am not arguing complete ignorance/indifference. But we would have
                                                    >to look at these specific "themes and principles" to see if they can
                                                    >carry the weight you are wanted to give them.

                                                    Fair enough, and I am pleased to see that you have not taken an
                                                    entirely minimalist view of Paul's knowledge of, and interest in the
                                                    teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. And remember that what I am hoping
                                                    to demonstrate is that Paul's thought/teachings maintains a level of
                                                    consistency with the thoughts/teachings of Jesus as found in the
                                                    Gospels. In the course of our investigations we must also remain
                                                    aware of the differences in purpose, genre and audience between (or
                                                    even among) the evangelists and Paul.

                                                    {Snip my arguments for a fundamental coherence between Pauline
                                                    thought, and the teachings of Jesus}

                                                    Steve replied:
                                                    >This coherence might be a product NOT of the individual books of the
                                                    >canon, but of the *canon itself*. See Aichele_The Control of
                                                    >Biblical Meaning -2001 where he argues that the canon itself forces
                                                    >a specific interpretation upon the text.

                                                    Without a doubt the canonization process itself provides us with an
                                                    hermeneutical framework by which we can, and do (either intentionally
                                                    or not) read and understand the NT. At the same time, I am less
                                                    prone than you appear to be to find such a wide divergence in the
                                                    images and teachings of Jesus either within the Gospels, or even the
                                                    wider NT. I also believe that is very possible to go overboard in
                                                    one's reaction (rightly or wrongly) against this hermeneutic, and to
                                                    thereby produce an interpretive framework that lacks coherence.

                                                    >I suspect this consistency re: the
                                                    >image of Jesus it illusionary. Mark's Jesus is not at all the same
                                                    >as John's, for example. I suspect that if Mark wasn't placed between
                                                    >Luke and Mt, it would have been judged as heretical (adoptionist
                                                    >christology) but where it is, both Mt & Lk suggest a way of reading
                                                    >it that would not occur if it was truly by itself.

                                                    Like Rikk I suspect that your statement is deliberately hyperbolic,
                                                    and intended to make a point through your exaggeration. There are
                                                    clear differences between the Jesus of Mark, and that of John, but we
                                                    should not exaggerate those differences. I wonder if you have read
                                                    Robin Griffith-Jones' wonderful (and in many ways refreshing) book,
                                                    _The Four Witnesses_ (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2000), in which
                                                    Griffith-Jones examines this issue, focusing especially on Jesus'
                                                    supposed question to the Twelve, "Who do you say that I am?", and
                                                    then looking for the answers the evangelists themselves give in their
                                                    works. While it was clearly meant to be a popular (as opposed to
                                                    scholarly) work, the insights presented are quite intriguing.

                                                    > >
                                                    >1) devotion to a single God
                                                    >2) the shame of the cross
                                                    >3) the "good news" (gospel) of salvation through faith in the death
                                                    >and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ
                                                    >4) the remembrance of Jesus through the commemorative meal, coupled
                                                    >with the direct words of Jesus at this meal, and even how it relates
                                                    >to his own flesh and blood
                                                    >5) the devotion to the poor and widows
                                                    >6) and above all, love and service to one's fellows.
                                                    >
                                                    > Many of these items clearly where not part of Jesus' teaching.

                                                    Perhaps, but some are, and all form the framework within which both
                                                    the teachings of Jesus and of Paul are couched. Remember, we are
                                                    looking for "compelling" evidence of Paul's awareness of the wider
                                                    Christian theology found in the Gospels, and thereby, the connection
                                                    between the supposed teachings of Jesus and of Paul. Bottom line,
                                                    are the teachings of Paul foreign to what we find being taught by
                                                    Jesus in the Gospels? If they are not, and the Gospels are written
                                                    independently of what Paul wrote in his letters (and vice versa),
                                                    then we should accept that they are not only connected, but that they
                                                    arose from within a similar school of thinking.

                                                    I would argue that those that assert that Paul did not know of, or
                                                    care about, Jesus' teachings, should point to evidence where Paul and
                                                    the Gospels disagree on important theological and doctrinal points.
                                                    In the absence of such clear disagreements, it would seem to be most
                                                    plausible and probable to argue that Paul and Jesus shared many
                                                    theological beliefs, the former logically arising from those of the
                                                    latter.

                                                    > >Fair enough (though we don't have the Fifth Amendment up here in
                                                    > >Canada Steve! ;-)).
                                                    >
                                                    >Oh you mean we still have have our sovereignty? Phew, that's a
                                                    >relief...

                                                    Well, I wouldn't want to go beyond the evidence here! ;-)

                                                    >I have no doubts that there were some teachings of Jesus floating
                                                    >around at the time of Paul. This whole thread is asking the question
                                                    >whether Paul know or really cared about them. Surely we can't simply
                                                    >assume that he did now?

                                                    But we are not assuming anything. The direct citations (however few)
                                                    tells us directly that he did know of some of Jesus' teachings. His
                                                    allusions serve as additional evidence of his knowledge. The
                                                    thematic and theological connections between the teachings of the
                                                    Gospels and of Paul solidifies the case even further. Finally, the
                                                    examples of later epistle writers like John, Clement and Ignatius
                                                    (and even the Pastorals, which almost certainly came from the same
                                                    hand, even as it was not from Paul) point to a genre that rarely, if
                                                    ever demands direct citations from Jesus, especially of parables and
                                                    aphorisms that are so common in the genre we call "gospels". Thus,
                                                    Paul, and this theology should be judged by the same criteria that we
                                                    would apply to other epistle writers of a similar era.

                                                    > >[snip Clement/Ignatius]
                                                    >
                                                    > You list good examples where silence doesn't mean ignorance - as we
                                                    > have good reason to believe these guys know of the teachings in
                                                    > question. Remember my TWO criteria. Nonetheless, their silence does
                                                    > enable me to ask the question, why where they silent? Had the
                                                    > parables not really found their way into these guys imaginations so
                                                    > that they didn't care? Silence, or at least significant/relevant
                                                    > silence does beg for some interpretation.

                                                    I have never argued that we should not ask why Paul (or other epistle
                                                    writers, like Clement or John), unlike the evangelists, did not offer
                                                    extensive direct quotes from Jesus and his teachings. But as we look
                                                    at the reasons behind individual letters, and specific instructions
                                                    from Paul to the various churches with which he was in contact, we
                                                    should be asking ourselves if, and when he might do this. After all,
                                                    if the President can leave out direct quotes from the Constitution in
                                                    his speeches, can not Clement, or John, or Paul leave out direct
                                                    quotations from Jesus? Should we not be looking instead for thematic
                                                    links (or divergences)? In the case of Clement or Ignatius, for
                                                    example, one would have to resort either to unrealistically late
                                                    dating of all of the Canonical Gospels, willful ignorance on the part
                                                    of Clement and Ignatius, or differing purposes to explain their
                                                    silence on the specific direct teachings of Jesus. In my view the
                                                    latter is the most plausible explanation, and the same holds true
                                                    when accounting for Paul's own limited use of Jesus' teachings.

                                                    > As to how this all relates to Paul - you do offer a nice model to
                                                    > show how silence doesn't always means ignorance. When it comes to
                                                    >Paul, and how he saw and proclaimed Christ, and Clive's helpful
                                                    >point re: where Paul's "Christological moment" was --- so then when
                                                    >you add Paul's overall message to the silence a picture begins to
                                                    >emerge. So for me, the silence is one important piece of raw data,
                                                    >but not the only piece. It is a question of cumulative evidence.

                                                    This sounds fair to me. And I would not wish to overstate my case
                                                    either. In my own studies of Paul and the Gospels I am struck most
                                                    by how closely Paul seems to echo the image of Jesus found in GJohn
                                                    (what Griffith-Jones calls "The Mystic"). Geza Vermes, in his book
                                                    _The Changing Faces of Jesus_ (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2000),
                                                    calls these two authors (Paul and John) the "odd men out" (supposedly
                                                    compared to the Synoptists), but what struck me was how much these
                                                    two were "odd" in much the same way. Modern scholars may doubt the
                                                    usefulness of Paul and John in uncovering the historical Jesus, but I
                                                    think that they may be missing an important set of evidence that
                                                    points, if not to the direct teachings of Jesus himself, then at
                                                    least to some of the earliest detectable beliefs of his first
                                                    followers, and this is not an important area of investigation in my
                                                    view.

                                                    Thanks again for the discussion, and have a good trip.

                                                    Peace,

                                                    Brian Trafford
                                                    Calgary, AB, Canada
                                                  • Steve Black
                                                    Hi Rikk and Brian I m back. I have combined both your posts to this subject into one to avoid redundancy. (hope it works...) ... Perhaps my mini vacation has
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Jun 29, 2002
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                                                      Hi Rikk and Brian

                                                      I'm back.

                                                      I have combined both your posts to this subject into one to avoid
                                                      redundancy. (hope it works...)
                                                      >
                                                      >on 6/25/02 8:39 AM, Steve Black at sblack@... wrote:
                                                      >>
                                                      >> This coherence might be a product NOT of the individual books of the
                                                      >> canon, but of the *canon itself*. See Aichele_The Control of Biblical
                                                      >> Meaning -2001 where he argues that the canon itself forces a specific
                                                      >> interpretation upon the text. I suspect this consistency re: the
                                                      >> image of Jesus it illusionary. Mark's Jesus is not at all the same as
                                                      > > John's, for example.


                                                      >Rikk wrote...
                                                      >Sometimes it is easy to forget that the topic of our study must be set
                                                      >within the larger horizons of the first century (which is the world in which
                                                      >gospels were written) or the third and fourth (when they were thinking about
                                                      >canon). Would anyone seriously argue, when put within this setting and
                                                      >compared to Alexander the Great (or the quack prophet), Asclepios, the
                                                      >Caesars, Plato, Socrates, Herod, etc. etc., that the Jesus of the gospels is
                                                      >essentially the same figure? "not at all the same" ... aren't we getting a
                                                      >bit carried away with our rhetoric here?
                                                      >
                                                      Perhaps my mini vacation has dulled my brain - but I'm not sure what
                                                      all these historic people have to do with the point. Obviously I
                                                      wasn't suggesting that there wasn't (one) historical Jesus. I was
                                                      thinking of the different ways that he is portrayed in the gospels -
                                                      how they are VERY different.

                                                      The canon seems to encourage us to write a sort of a "neo-Diatessero"
                                                      of sorts in in our minds. This "harmony" produces the
                                                      "canonical-Jesus" where the *diversity* of portrayals in the NT is
                                                      "silenced". I think the canon is thus an obstacle to overcome in
                                                      regards to HJesus research. (This, I think, is also why such books as
                                                      GThomas are not always taken as seriously as perhaps they should be.)

                                                      At 7:39 PM +0000 6/25/02, bjtraff wrote:
                                                      >Like Rikk I suspect that your statement is deliberately hyperbolic,
                                                      >and intended to make a point through your exaggeration. There are
                                                      >clear differences between the Jesus of Mark, and that of John, but we
                                                      >should not exaggerate those differences. I wonder if you have read
                                                      >Robin Griffith-Jones' wonderful (and in many ways refreshing) book,
                                                      >_The Four Witnesses_ (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2000), in which
                                                      >Griffith-Jones examines this issue, focusing especially on Jesus'
                                                      >supposed question to the Twelve, "Who do you say that I am?", and
                                                      >then looking for the answers the evangelists themselves give in their
                                                      >works. While it was clearly meant to be a popular (as opposed to
                                                      >scholarly) work, the insights presented are quite intriguing.

                                                      I guess the word "completely" (as in "completely different") might
                                                      have been hyperbolic. Yet the point stands, and it seems that you
                                                      even agree with it at bit. How much different does something have to
                                                      be before it becomes "completely[/very]" different? Of course there
                                                      are SOME similarities. There was, after all, a real HJesus at ground
                                                      zero (perhaps an unfortunate term now...) that all the various "shock
                                                      waves" reflect in some way or another. The fact that both Mt & Lk are
                                                      based on Mk (by my understanding of the Syn. Prob) also explains a
                                                      lot of the commonality. It is striking, at least to me, how different
                                                      Mt & Lk's Jesus are from Mk's, despite their use of the same source.
                                                      (I wonder if Mt didn't think that his "correction" of Mk's "flawed"
                                                      gospel was going to make Mk's gospel entirely redundant?)

                                                      Once again, I think the canon is an obstacle to overcome in regards
                                                      to HJesus research. The (often Xn) impulse to interpret scripture by
                                                      scripture enabled Mk to *appear* fully orthodox. How often have I
                                                      heard clever attempts to see the virgin birth, for example, where it
                                                      doesn't exist (Paul & Mk). I suspect - and I could be wrong - that
                                                      the impulse behind trying to have a Paul that knows and uses the
                                                      teachings of Jesus is driven by the canonical impulse to find a
                                                      "unity of scripture". I think the canon itself encourages us to put
                                                      all the various authors and points of view reflected in the NT on
                                                      "the same page".

                                                      --
                                                      Steve Black
                                                      Vancouver School of Theology
                                                      Vancouver, BC
                                                      ---

                                                      Once in a while you can get shown the light
                                                      in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

                                                      -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                                                    • bjtraff
                                                      I have to admire the dedication of a man who takes a minivacation, and then takes time out during the Canadian long weekend to post to us here at XTalk! ;-) In
                                                      Message 26 of 26 , Jul 1, 2002
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                                                        I have to admire the dedication of a man who takes a minivacation,
                                                        and then takes time out during the Canadian long weekend to post to
                                                        us here at XTalk! ;-)

                                                        In any event... onward as they say.

                                                        --- In crosstalk2@y..., Steve Black <sblack@a...> wrote:

                                                        >The canon seems to encourage us to write a sort of a "neo-
                                                        >Diatessero" of sorts in in our minds. This "harmony" produces the
                                                        >"canonical-Jesus" where the *diversity* of portrayals in the NT is
                                                        >"silenced". I think the canon is thus an obstacle to overcome in
                                                        >regards to HJesus research. (This, I think, is also why such books
                                                        >as GThomas are not always taken as seriously as perhaps they should
                                                        >be.)

                                                        First off, I won't speak for others, but my reason for rejecting
                                                        GThomas as a source for Historical Jesus studies is based on my
                                                        belief that it is a late (i.e. 2nd Century) document that shows
                                                        dependence on the Synoptics and GJohn. One might as well go looking
                                                        through Irenaeus for new data on Jesus of Nazareth.

                                                        As for attempts to produce "harmony's" from the Canonical texts, I do
                                                        not necessarily have a problem with that, so long as one does not
                                                        engage in special pleading or leaps of logic that defy all sense.
                                                        When they disagree, as they do, for example on the genealogy of
                                                        Jesus, one should simply accept this data, and move on. Determining
                                                        which is the more accurate is a guessing game, and reconciling them
                                                        is pointless.

                                                        But most importantly, as I stated previously, one should not place
                                                        too much weight on the supposed diversity of views presented, as this
                                                        can skew the final picture, and make the task look more difficult
                                                        than it may well be. For example, imagine that we had four complete
                                                        (and roughly contemporaneous) stories about any other ancient. Would
                                                        we then conclude that nothing could be known about this individual at
                                                        all? Or would one accept (correctly in my view), that the task may
                                                        be difficult, but worth while, and could lead to some remarkable
                                                        insights into the man we call Jesus of Nazareth.

                                                        >I guess the word "completely" (as in "completely different") might
                                                        >have been hyperbolic. Yet the point stands, and it seems that you
                                                        >even agree with it at bit. How much different does something have to
                                                        >be before it becomes "completely[/very]" different?

                                                        Is this a rhetorical question? If I may, I wonder why we must take
                                                        some kind of "all or nothing" dichotomy in which we must either find
                                                        total agreement, or we must reject the entire project. Is uncovering
                                                        the historical Jesus that impossible of a task?

                                                        For example, was the ministry of Jesus about a year long (as
                                                        suggested by the Synpotics), or was it approximately three (as we are
                                                        told in John)? And if Jesus did not say any of the "I am" statements
                                                        in John, does that mean that he said nothing like what we find in
                                                        John at all?

                                                        >Of course there
                                                        >are SOME similarities. There was, after all, a real HJesus at ground
                                                        >zero (perhaps an unfortunate term now...) that all the
                                                        >various "shock waves" reflect in some way or another. The fact that
                                                        >both Mt & Lk are based on Mk (by my understanding of the Syn. Prob)
                                                        >also explains a lot of the commonality. It is striking, at least to
                                                        >me, how different Mt & Lk's Jesus are from Mk's, despite their use
                                                        >of the same source.

                                                        I am still unclear as to what you mean exactly when you say that
                                                        Jesus is "different" in each of the Gospels. This is simply
                                                        axiomatic, of course, but any author is going to present a different
                                                        picture of the person they are reporting, so I am unsure why you
                                                        think that this is so critical. Is it your view that we should
                                                        simply throw up our hands, pack our bags and go home (is that enough
                                                        mixed metaphors for one sentence?) on the question of who was the
                                                        historical Jesus? If it is, I do not share your pessimism, and if it
                                                        is not, what are you trying to say here?

                                                        > (I wonder if Mt didn't think that his "correction" of Mk's "flawed"
                                                        > gospel was going to make Mk's gospel entirely redundant?)

                                                        Interesting thought. My question is how did you get inside Matt's
                                                        head in order to know this in the first place? For example, why do
                                                        you think that Matt saw Mark as "flawed" and in need of "correction"?

                                                        >Once again, I think the canon is an obstacle to overcome in regards
                                                        >to HJesus research. The (often Xn) impulse to interpret scripture by
                                                        >scripture enabled Mk to *appear* fully orthodox.

                                                        Perhaps it would help if you would explain how you believe Mark
                                                        is "unorthodox".

                                                        >How often have I
                                                        >heard clever attempts to see the virgin birth, for example, where it
                                                        >doesn't exist (Paul & Mk).

                                                        This looks like another rhetorical ;-), but I do not see what this
                                                        has to do with historical inquiries, as I am sure no historian worth
                                                        his salt is going to make this attempt in any event.

                                                        >I suspect - and I could be wrong - that
                                                        >the impulse behind trying to have a Paul that knows and uses the
                                                        >teachings of Jesus is driven by the canonical impulse to find a
                                                        >"unity of scripture".

                                                        Well, I cannot address your suspicions, but in my own case I think
                                                        that past and present scholars place too much weight on the arguments
                                                        from silence that must be made about what Paul may or may not have
                                                        known about the historical Jesus. Any attempts to then extend this
                                                        argument to perceived (but unarticulated) differences between the
                                                        Jesus found in each of the Gospels is not helpful, and may even be
                                                        fallacious.

                                                        For example, if we find two different images of any other ancient
                                                        personage in the texts, do we then automatically conclude that we
                                                        cannot decide which source is better, or closer to the truth? If
                                                        that is your contention, then I would challenge your agnosticism as
                                                        being unnecessarily pessimistic. The purpose and methods of
                                                        historical inquiries may not be perfect, but they are not as flawed
                                                        and meaningless as you appear to be suggesting here.

                                                        > I think the canon itself encourages us to put
                                                        > all the various authors and points of view reflected in the NT on
                                                        > "the same page".

                                                        Of course it does. The people who selected the Canon saw a unity of
                                                        purpose and theme within these texts. If modern historians wish to
                                                        dispute this unity, however, it is incumbent upon them to point to
                                                        the wide discrepancies (and preferrably outright contradictions), and
                                                        to examine them within the possible frameworks of the texts
                                                        themselves, and to then employ the tools of the trade as it were.
                                                        After all, we do have a lot of material on the historical Jesus
                                                        (someone once called it an "embarrassment of riches"), and much of it
                                                        far closer to the life of this man than what we find on other ancient
                                                        individuals. I would hope that you would not find this wealth of
                                                        sources to be an impediment to our research. After all, would we
                                                        rather have only as much as we do, say, on Apollonius of Tyana, or
                                                        Socrates, or Hannibal, or even Peter and Paul? I sometimes wonder
                                                        what it would take to make a classical historian happy! Speaking
                                                        personally, I happen to love the diversity of material. :-)

                                                        Peace,

                                                        Brian Trafford
                                                        Calgary, AB, Canada
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