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The Patchwork Gospels

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  • Loren Rosson
    List-members: Here is something for Christ-mythers or any who believe the historical value of the gospels to be mostly insignificant. Andrew Templeman, a local
    Message 1 of 5 , May 30, 2003
      List-members:

      Here is something for Christ-mythers or any who
      believe the historical value of the gospels to be
      mostly insignificant. Andrew Templeman, a local
      independent scholar in New Hampshire, has recently
      revised (and revived) a book called The Patchwork
      Gospels, in which he argues that the four canonical
      gospels were for the most part written by
      second-century writers Justin Martyr, Ireneaus,
      Marcion, Valentinus, Tertullian, and Clement of
      Alexandria. (The Oral Tradition Theory and Two-Source
      Therory, he claims, must be replaced by The Great
      Writer or Great Interpreter Theory.) I once posted a
      link to an earlier draft of this book, but it's been
      "patched up" (pun) since then, and now there are even
      some page examples so you can see how Templeman's
      intricate color-coding works, and thus (supposedly)
      how the gospel segments began unfolding throughout the
      second century. It's all impressive and diligent work,
      though resting on a premise I find preposterous. But
      for the wonderfully open-minded minimalists on this
      list, it may open avenues for discussion.

      As I mentioned yesterday on the C-P list, Templeman's
      side-by-side color-coded comparisons are actually
      quite useful, when viewed in the direction opposite to
      the author's intent. In any case, here is the link;
      from the main page click on "About This Book" for
      Templeman's full argument.

      http://www.jlc.net/~aretee/aretee/pwg.html

      Loren Rosson III
      Nashua NH
      rossoiii@...


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    • David C. Hindley
      ... value of the gospels to be mostly insignificant. Andrew Templeman, a local independent scholar in New Hampshire, has recently revised (and revived) a book
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 4, 2003
        Loren Rosson III says:

        >>Here is something for Christ-mythers or any who believe the historical
        value of the gospels to be mostly insignificant. Andrew Templeman, a local
        independent scholar in New Hampshire, has recently revised (and revived) a
        book called The Patchwork Gospels, in which he argues that the four
        canonical gospels were for the most part written by second-century writers
        Justin Martyr, Ireneaus, Marcion, Valentinus, Tertullian, and Clement of
        Alexandria. (The Oral Tradition Theory and Two-Source Therory, he claims,
        must be replaced by The Great Writer or Great Interpreter Theory.) I once
        posted a link to an earlier draft of this book, but it's been "patched up"
        (pun) since then, and now there are even some page examples so you can see
        how Templeman's intricate color-coding works, and thus (supposedly) how the
        gospel segments began unfolding throughout the second century. It's all
        impressive and diligent work, though resting on a premise I find
        preposterous. But for the wonderfully open-minded minimalists on this list,
        it may open avenues for discussion.<<

        I think that the biggest problem with his patchwork hypothesis is that he
        assumes that the date of the source with a tradition that parallels a gospel
        passage is the true date when that concept was conceived. When the gospels
        were patched together (4th century?) these later ideas were projected back
        to Jesus' time.

        Well, if *always* assuming that later authors derived their information from
        earlier ones is an error, why is it not an error to assume that the
        canonical gospels are really all dependent upon later ideas projected back
        to the 1st century? It seems to me that the former concept is more in line
        with normal experience than the latter.

        I detect a wee bit of an argument like: "The big, bad, church-state
        government is force feeding you a line of b*ll-sh*t in order to placate you
        so that they can exploit you more thoroughly!" Brrrr! Look at his "Give to
        Caesar" example. We just had some discussions about this, more or less
        zeroing in on Roman tax policy and processes to try and determine when and
        where certain elements of the tradition can be dated. Templeman instead
        seems to see everyone from Paul on down as trying to get Jesus followers,
        who originally followed Jesus' interpretations of Palestinian Jewish
        traditions, to settle down and conform and submit to "authority." These
        authorities start with local leaders seeking stability and end with evil
        emperors manipulating believers like zombies. However, he never once says
        anything about Roman tax policy and how it might be reflected in the Gospel
        accounts.

        Aaarrgh!

        Respectfully,

        Dave Hindley
        Cleveland, Ohio, USA
      • Loren Rosson
        ... The obvious problem. It s a blanket uncritical assumption (almost a reverse fundamentalism) owing to the author s exasperation for scholarly guesswork
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 5, 2003
          Dave Hindley wrote:

          >I think that the biggest problem with his patchwork
          >hypothesis is that he assumes that the date of the
          >source with a tradition that parallels a gospel
          >passage is the true date when that concept was
          >conceived...
          >Well, if *always* assuming that later authors
          >derived their information from earlier ones is an
          >error, why is it not an error to assume that the
          >canonical gospels are really all dependent upon later
          >ideas projected back to the 1st century?

          The obvious problem. It's a blanket uncritical
          assumption (almost a reverse fundamentalism) owing to
          the author's exasperation for scholarly "guesswork"
          and "speculation". Talk about refusing to engage
          reality. Frankly, I'd be interested in the earlier
          drafts Templeman wrote before discarding them in favor
          of this thesis -- back when he reconstructed an actual
          historical Jesus based on a blend between E.P. Sanders
          and Burton Mack (see his introduction, under "About
          This Book", where he alludes to this). How one
          harmonizes Sanders and Mack is beyond me, but it would
          make for interesting reading.

          >I detect a wee bit of an argument like: "The big,
          >bad, church-state government is force feeding you a
          >line of b*ll-sh*t in order to placate you
          >so that they can exploit you more thoroughly!"

          You don't say?

          >Brrrr! Look at his "Give to Caesar" example. We
          >just had some discussions about this, more or less
          >zeroing in on Roman tax policy and processes to
          >try and determine when and where certain elements
          >of the tradition can be dated. Templeman instead
          >seems to see everyone from Paul on down as trying
          >to get Jesus followers, who originally followed
          >Jesus' interpretations of Palestinian Jewish
          >traditions, to settle down and conform and submit
          >to "authority." These authorities start with local
          >leaders seeking stability and end with evil
          >emperors manipulating believers like zombies.

          Well, the author is a libertarian (quelle surprise).
          The irony is that Mk 12:13-17/Mt 22:15-22/Lk
          20:20-26/Thom 100/Eger 3:1-6 actually show Jesus
          obliquely opposing taxation. If one really wants to
          locate an historical Jesus who denied the legitimacy
          of Caesar's claim on this point, it's right there in
          the gospels -- at least, that's how I read the text in
          light of both Roman policies and practices in
          conjunction with Jewish views of the day. Of course,
          Jesus' dispute over the issue owed more to "left" than
          "right" reasons...

          Loren Rosson III
          Nashua NH
          rossoiii@...

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        • David C. Hindley
          ... actually show Jesus obliquely opposing taxation. If one really wants to locate an historical Jesus who denied the legitimacy of Caesar s claim on this
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 5, 2003
            Loren says:

            >>The irony is that Mk 12:13-17/Mt 22:15-22/Lk 20:20-26/Thom 100/Eger 3:1-6
            actually show Jesus
            obliquely opposing taxation. If one really wants to locate an historical
            Jesus who denied the legitimacy of Caesar's claim on this point, it's right
            there in the gospels -- at least, that's how I read the text in light of
            both Roman policies and practices in conjunction with Jewish views of the
            day.<<

            Does the author of the patchwork Gospel hypothesis think that the command to
            pay taxes was from Jesus, or simply Paul's "addition" to the tradition? I
            could not really tell, since the earliest sources he postulates date from
            30-101 CE. Or is the stuff in black type supposed to represent Jesus
            tradition?

            >>Of course, Jesus' dispute over the issue owed more to "left" than "right"
            reasons...<<

            <groan!>

            Respectfully,

            Dave Hindley
            Cleveland, Ohio, USA
          • Loren Rosson
            [Loren] ... [Dave] ... He fervently denies that anything like Mk 12:13-17 (and par) goes back to Jesus. His position is that the historical Jesus is 99.9% lost
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 5, 2003
              [Loren]
              > >>The irony is that Mk 12:13-17/Mt 22:15-22/Lk
              > 20:20-26/Thom 100/Eger 3:1-6
              > actually show Jesus
              > obliquely opposing taxation. If one really wants to
              > locate an historical
              > Jesus who denied the legitimacy of Caesar's claim on
              > this point, it's right
              > there in the gospels -- at least, that's how I read
              > the text in light of
              > both Roman policies and practices in conjunction
              > with Jewish views of the day.

              [Dave]
              > Does the author of the patchwork Gospel hypothesis
              > think that the command to
              > pay taxes was from Jesus, or simply Paul's
              > "addition" to the tradition?

              He fervently denies that anything like Mk 12:13-17
              (and par) goes back to Jesus. His position is that the
              historical Jesus is 99.9% lost to us (more lost than
              even Burton Mack believes); that the only thing we can
              really say is that he was executed by authorities as a
              some kind of revolutionary. So for Templeman Mk 12
              (and par) derive from Paul (in Rom 13), who was the
              first to inject this material into the tradition.

              [Dave]
              > Or is the stuff in black type supposed to
              > represent Jesus tradition?

              No, the stuff in black represents the material that
              never shows up in any sources until later than the 3rd
              century. So it's the last of the last.

              [Loren]
              > Of course, Jesus' dispute over the issue owed more
              > to "left" than "right" reasons...

              [Dave]
              > <groan!>

              If it's any consolation to you, I'm only sightly left
              of center (in fact almost a centrist). So while I'm
              convinced that the evidence warrants seeing HJ as
              aggressively left (especialy if people like Yoder are
              right about his harking back to the Jubilee), I'm not
              -- and if he lived today, he and I would disagree
              substantially on many issues relating to regulated vs
              de-regulated economy.

              For what that's worth. :)

              Loren Rosson III
              Nashua NH
              rossoiii@...


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