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RE: [XTalk] The Patchwork Gospels

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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 1 of 5 , Jun 4, 2003
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      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 2 of 5 , Jun 5, 2003
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        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 3 of 5 , Jun 5, 2003
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          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 4 of 5 , Jun 5, 2003
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            [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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