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Re: [XTalk] The Imagination of the Saints:)! (was Re: "Authentic Sayings vs. Fictive Creations")

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  • Gordon Raynal
    ... Hi Steve, Two thoughts... One, as I think about the imagination at work even when Jesus was present,it surely included conversational connections to
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2002
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      >>Steve Black wrote:
      >My problem is not that some/much/(most?) of this material was made up
      >- that for me is a given - my problem is the level of certainly that
      >some folk have as to the belief that *Mark* was the one who made it
      >up. As I have said - that is certainly a possibility, but I just
      >don't find the evidence very conclusive. In other words I am not not
      >(yet?) convinced that someone before Mark "created" some of these
      >stories and that Mark merely modified pre-existent tales rather than
      >creating them from scratch. I have yet to come across any reasons why
      >this is not at least *as likely* as its alternatives. I prefer a
      >"agnostic" position until I see better reasons to think otherwise. I
      >think we are a little too confident in our ability to clearly
      >separate Mark from his (undefined and unknown) sources!

      Hi Steve,

      Two thoughts...

      One, as I think about the imagination at work even when Jesus was present,it
      surely included conversational connections to general experiences
      (parabolic stories and many wisdom aphorisms trade in "the everydayness of
      life" (a woman baking, a host of a party, a shepherds work, etc.),
      situations from the socio/political/religious sphere past and present, and
      Scriptural stories, songs, laws, prayers. Thus... for sake of argument...
      Jesus at a dinner might be faced by the host's or a guest's concern over the
      politics... Jesus tells the story of the Lost Sheep... this elicits
      conversations from talk about the economics of shepherding... to another
      chap mentioning something about the true nature of David's rule as shepherd
      over Israel... to yet another saying, "The Lord is my Shepherd...." The
      following conversation could lead to reflections on one, two or all of these
      and more.
      The step from that to organized political, exegetical and homeletic
      creativity is short, indeed. In the aftermath of Jesus wherein the move is
      towards honoring him/ avowing his personage as "the embodiment" then the
      more formal work of midrash and free-form story creativity was surely the
      stuff for continuing community gatherings and for purposes of "spreading the
      news." Thus my view is that there was a trove of stories built up... shared
      in and between communities and over the years and decades the best of these
      got shared around. Hence... building up that little common collection of
      wonder stories utilized by all 4 Gospel writers. So, I do think that this
      creativity... which has long roots in the Hebraic heritage, is surely
      present in the orignal parables and aphorisms of Jesus (and other aphorisms
      added from the group)... kept on truckin... so to speak!

      Second... this doesn't get talked about very much... not like the stages of
      Q or the stages of Thomas or the stages in the Didache... but I think Mark
      is built up in stages and that the story "gets better and better." Hence
      I'm of a mind that at the heart of extant Mark there is a bit of a gathered
      memory which was elaborated upon and ultimately crafted by "Mark" (whoever
      he or she was). I lose no sleep if "Mark" simply took a batch of stories and
      is responsible for crafting the whole at once, and I don't want to take
      anything away from Mark's unique creative and theo-ethical stamp, but I
      think all the writings are redacted works. This, too, was very much a part
      of the received heritage (at least 3 different parts of Isaiah, differences
      between the MT version of Jeremiah and the DSS version... all the way back
      to the crafting of the Torah out of J,E,D and P resources). So... with my
      view of a social paradigm for understanding "the beginnings" of the
      movement, so also I hold to a social paradigm for the produce of the
      literature. Afterall... for G. Mark... from 30 to 70+ is a lot of time for
      creative thought!

      ...just some ideas to bang around...

      Gordon Raynal
      Inman, SC
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