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[XTalk]Dating John and Luke was Re: Dating Paul

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  • dagoi@aol.com
    In a message dated 1/29/3 9:29:13 AM, Gordon wrote:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 29, 2003
      In a message dated 1/29/3 9:29:13 AM, Gordon wrote:

      1. Issues being dealt with after Paul, James, Peter, et.al.:
      a. leadership transition
      b. the loss of "the center" and loss of Jerusalem/ Temple
      c. the conflict between the Pharisaic Rabbis and the followers of Jesus
      d. continuing to spread "the Gospel"

      There are others... but these are "the biggies" facing "the second
      generation" of those after Jesus, Peter, James, etc. I rather think that the
      historical Paul was a rather minor player in all of this... his authentic
      letters being important in some churches in Asia Minor and Greece... but his
      influence in the homeland, in Syria, in Egypt and in Rome was minimal. The
      literature to start with is Q 1 and 2, the Two Ways from the Didache, early
      Thomas, the first 3 chapters of James, the Signs Gospel, the healing
      stories, and I'd suggest "a spine of stories" of Jesus that reflect
      remembrance and are found in Mark's gospel. Start there... then read Paul
      (though I believe all are redacted... the core of his thought found in
      Galatians, Philippians, Philemon, the Corinthian correspondence and
      Romans)... then think about these core issues.>>

      Leadership Transition
      In the synoptics Jesus is especially close to three apostles; Simon
      Peter who became head of the apostles and as Mark writes is comparatively
      recently dead, James son of Zebeddee brother of John who's death twenty years
      before Peter's, though probably personally painful to John, would greatly
      increase the status of his brother, and John son of Zebedee.
      The church is 'run' by apostles - missionaries with properly no place of
      their own, though Jesus' brother has status because he is brother to the
      figure they all look back to; James has status because he represents the
      interests also of the family and during Mary's lifetime the family has clout
      and is capable of causing what I call the primary schism possibility that
      wracked Islam and Mormonism later. One reason why the leadership structure
      is hidden to history is because these people did not have geographic
      grounding, but moved around. The in-place bishops who would inherit
      leadership of the church AFTER apostolic times were secondary players
      All of the synoptics agree on the positive value put on servant
      leadership which values the leadership taking a quiet role, and this is one
      reason why it is hard to see what really was going on and who took what
      leadership functions; these people vaunt their predecessors, but don't talk
      much about themselves.
      The successor to Simon Peter was John son of Zebedee who had the status
      to step into this role when the newly decapitated church (deaths of James bro
      of Jesus, Simon Peter, and theologian Paul in short order) needed to be
      braced from the shock. The Markan mentions of the three closest apostles do
      not seem to be polemic to bolster John into this position so much as to
      explain to those who already know, why he took the succession.
      He of course was already a 'pillar' to Paul, though probably Paul would
      have mentioned any apostle who was present at his Jerusalem visit as a

      The book of Acts takes us up to the eve of the Decapitation of the
      church and stops. To explain the decapitation itself would require a few
      chapters and would make the length of the book unnatural for its time; if it
      were a scroll, Acts would reach a length hard to deal with, but the form also
      would determine a length by the tradition of what people were used to.
      The book of Acts takes us up to the Decapitation but no further. If it
      were to have a sequel, the sequel would describe the decapitation, the
      succession of John, and probably deal with the Jewish War and destruction of
      the Temple more in keeping with a Christian diaspora view (that is, it would
      probably think it less important than the modern scholars do), and the bulk
      of the book would detail the details of the Petership of John.
      But of course, there is no sequel. John disappears in such a way that
      it is not easy to put in narrative, as probably a wanted man in flight, or an
      old man exiled and 'disappeared' by the political powers. Luke must not have
      had the time to reflect on how to express this.
      Acts describes no further than the moment before the decapitation,
      therefore, Luke writes no later than the end of the Petership of John. We
      know there is no sequel, but the material that would be in that sequel would
      certainly be of interest to the writer and would have been summed up at the
      end of Acts if no sequel were planned.

      The Didache comes from a time when the apostles are not the force that
      once was; the originals are gone - what once was the top of the heap has
      become adjunct; the individuals do not have the validitiy that like Simon
      Peter or John son of Zebedee had.

      This is the essence of my Petership of John theory (and 2 Acts theory, though
      Zahn prefigured that in a different way), and the subject of a webpage to be
      soon completed (http://members.aol.com/dagoi/PetershipOfJohn.html) - soon of
      course being whenever I can take the necessary time from the daily grind to
      finish off that and the Clement-Thomas thing.

      Bill Foley
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