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Re: [XTalk] The Twelve

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  • Steve Black
    ... I find most of your reasons against the historicity of the twelve sound. I do have some hesitations with this one point. You are right that Paul refers to
    Message 1 of 72 , Sep 3, 2002
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      >Bill wrote
      >1. The earliest reference to the twelve, in Paul, presents them as witnesses
      >to the resurrection, not disciples of Jesus. Moreover, this reference is
      >exclusive of Peter.

      I find most of your reasons against the historicity of the twelve
      sound. I do have some hesitations with this one point. You are right
      that Paul refers to the twelve as witnesses to the resurrection and
      doesn't explicitly mention discipleship, but I am not so sure that
      this can really be used as evidence against the fact that they might
      have been disciples. If they weren't disciples, what would they have
      been? Paul is speaking about resurrection here and so it makes sense
      that he speaks of the twelve as being witnesses. It could be that he
      failed to mention the other roles that the twelve had (other than
      being witnesses that is) because it had nothing to do with what he
      was writing about. He speaks of the twelve here as if he fully
      expected his audience to know who he was speaking about - this
      doesn't exclude your interpretation, but it does work well also with
      a understanding of the twelve that includes some
      leadership/discipleship as well as a role of witness. (This
      leadership might have come about BECAUSE they were witnesses, that
      would work well with your interpretation.) It is difficult in that
      all these interpretations are arguing from silence. I guess I am
      looking for some sort of clincher that would push me towards seeing
      your explanation of 1 Cor 15 as MORE plausible than the alternatives.

      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
    • Karel Hanhart
      ... Frank, I was and am aware of this structure of the Qumran community. However, as you also know, the differences of the Jesus movement and the Qumran
      Message 72 of 72 , Sep 19, 2002
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        Frank McCoy wrote:

        > --- Karel Hanhart <K.Hanhart@...> wrote:
        > Historically, the original group of twelve were formed
        > IMHO in the wake of the crucifixion, when various
        > Judean factions from within the land and from the
        > diaspora joined with Jesus' disciples, thus forming
        > the beginnings of christianity. Luke reports on this
        > major event in Acts 2 in hagadic fashion. As I
        > suspect, out of this larger group of converts (3000,
        > Acts 2,41) twelve 'apostles' were chosen to lead the
        > movement headed by 'James, Peter and John' called
        > 'pillars'. In other words, the 'historical' Jesus did
        > not select 12 disciples during his lifetime to
        > represent a 'new Israel'. The twelve, chosen soon
        > after the crucifixion, were honored as "witnesses" of
        > the risen Messiah and as such were called 'apostles'.
        > (Comp. Paul's claim to be an apostle not "by men").
        > I have tried to reconstruct the assumed original
        > pre-Markan list of the twelve without a fictive Judas
        > Iscariot and a symbolical Andrew, but including the
        > three 'pillars' on pg 445 as follows: James (Jesus'
        > brother), Simon (Cephas), John (of Jerusalem, an
        > Essene), James Zebedee, John Zebedee, Thomas, Matthew,
        > James (Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the Cananaean);
        > Judas, (brother of James).
        > I would very much appreciate your reactions to this
        > proposal,
        > Dear Karel Hanhart:
        > The early Jerusalem Church, with its three pillars and
        > twelve apostles, might be based on an Essene model,
        > thusly described in 1QS (VIII, 1-4), "In the Council
        > of the Community there shall be twelve men and three
        > Priests, perfectly versed in all that is revealed of
        > the Law, whose works shall be truth, righteousness,
        > justice, loving-kindness and humility."


        I was and am aware of this structure of the Qumran community.
        However, as you also know, the differences of the Jesus' movement
        and the Qumran community are considerable. On the other hand,
        it seems clear to me that many followers of Jesus could be called
        'chassidic' as compared to Pharisees, Zealotrs, Herodians and other
        As I see it,( - but who can make bold answers to historical
        questions concerning the early post-crucifixion Jesus' movement? -)
        various chassidim as well as Judeans from the diaspora joined with the
        disciples of Jesus and his Galilean followers soon after the
        crucifixion. It seems to me that there may well be some connection
        between the structure of the Qumran community and the number
        twelve. The twelve may well have been regarded as representing Israel,
        but certainly not as replacing the people of Israel..
        Simon Peter, however, was not a priest; neither James, Jesus'
        brother, as far as we know, James and Peter were naturally regarded
        as leaders from the beginning. It seems to me that John (of Jerusalem) may
        well have
        been a chassidic leader. We may not conclude, therefore,
        that the election was modeled precisely after that Qumran structure.
        The Jerusalem community could well be called chassidic in a broad sense.
        The fact that neither Paul nor the authors of the Gospels refer to the
        implies I think that many persons, sympathetic with the community at Qumran,
        had joined with the disciples. I dare not go further than assessing the texts
        Acts 1, 15 ff (some sort of an election took place!), the text of Acts 2; the
        of James and the "pillars" in Acts and the epistles and the obvious
        in the lists of the twelve we have.


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