Re: [XTalk] Re: Developmental Time and Written Dependence.
- Hi Vincent,
For now, some brief comments to some snippets.
>Raynal: > #1 **Yes** this is all (hopefully educated:)!) guesswork.Vincen wrote:
>That is what I am thinking but am now left wondering as to "howLet me start with a couple of issues. One of the things I'm interested in
>educated"? For example, on dating GMatthew R.Brown notes that IF
>written in the Antioch area, it was probably written before Ignatius
>(110) for whom gnosticism was a threat.
following in this writing is where are "the pillars" and "where is their
influence and the succeeding of this influence?" Second, as we move to the
production of narrative gospels I'm interested in "where are there scrolls
and writers that are scroll literate?" The first issue is important in light
of knowledge and authorization. The second is important because the quoting
and the story creation that rests in midrash reflects not simply literacy,
but serious knowledge of texts. Part of the answer to this portion of your
question relates to how carefully one thinks about these two issues. (more
>I'm going to here lay out just a thought model based in connecting lead
>Obviously the provenance is of utmost importance as I doubt it can be
>assumed "gnosticism" arose uniformly in all Christian areas at once.
>We have the dubious notion of straight-line development . I guess the
>point is that for a text to be dated using internal arguments we must
>know where it comes from first. For example, maybe Matthew wrote
>after Ignatius in an area where "gnosticism" had not yet surfaced.
>How secure is the provenance of the Gospels? This might tell us how
>secure their dating is.
figures and their domains of influence and the community's access to those
texts of the Hebrew Scriptures. For now I'm just going to sketch this out
and hope this will answer some of the questions further down in the post:
"the North country" (Galilee, Herod Philip's domain, Southern Phoenicia
and Syria and connections
then connections to Antioch.)
"the South country" (Samaria and Judea and Nabatea with connections to
North Country texts/dates... Pillar Peter's domain:
Q1 30-40 CE
Q2 50-60 CE
Q3 60-70 CE
Mark 70-80 CE.
Ted Weeden suggests C. Philippi for Mark's origin. At SBL this past year I
heard Burton Mack's group consider Tyre. Damascus would be another place to
consider. But I think Peter "inherits Jesus' house," so to speak, and the
North Country was his chief area of influence. Mark's plotting is
interested in the core ministry only being in the North Country, until the
fateful journey south. And then the heavenly directive at the empty tomb is
"Go to Galilee."
South Country texts/dates- Pillars James the Just and Thunderboy John's
G.Th. 1 ca. 30-40 CE
"First Stone Gospel" (as the J.Sem calls it), Signs Gospel, "The Two Ways,"
and at least Ep. James 1-3 from 50-60 CE (the latter in part in response to
Paul's letter to the Galatians).
70 to 80 CE some development in the Signs Gospel, G. Thomas 2 and some
development of birth stories (later, of course, birth narratives are
associated with both James and Thomas's authorization.)
Notably, this Sign's base and the direction of what will later be John is
interested in Jesus association with Jerusalem, his travels to the
festivals, and minus ch. 21 which I think is later still, with resurrection
focus in Jerusalem and not at all in Galilee.
Now this schema connects lines of authority and access to texts. It also
works out of the notion of cross fertilization of ideas. For example, from
the text center south comes the creativity that leads to the production of a
base of wonder stories based in the stories of the great figures of Elijah
and Elisha, and some of the key exegesis/midrashic creation that leads to
expressions we find in I Cor. 15 (to paraphrase... "Jesus died according to
Scriptures, was buried and on the third day, raised according to
Scriptures"). "Mark" elaborates the former with the creation of "exorcisms"
and other healing narratives and takes the base affirmation and reflections
on such as Psalm 2 and the Isaianic Servant songs and creates the Passion
Narrative. (By later legend, of course, Mark sat at Peter's feet and all
this gets transferred to Rome for authorization.) The South Country gets a
copy of this and that spurs developments along another line of creativity.
It's been a long time since I read Brown's work on Johannine development,
but I think the beginning base is located in the South, Bethany, perhaps or
Jerusalem, itself. And along with the development in "Signs" we also get
the "spiritualizing redaction" of the Gospel of Thomas (what I call Thomas
2) that goes hand in hand with it.
So, by ca. 90 we have these works, the distribution thereof and time for
reflection. Prior to writing this post I looked up the lines of authority
in Jerusalem from what we know from Hegisippus and refreshed my memory about
Jesus and James' cousin, Cleopas succeeding James and then the line passing
on to cousin Jude's grandchildren. (Just an interesting notation from those
stories is that Domitian sought to eradicate anyone from "the Davidic house"
and Jude's grandchildren were considered candidates for execution, but were
found not to be troublesome and so lived on and died naturally in Trajan's
reign.) Back to the point, I think "Matthew" comes to us from Antioch,
another city/ another "texty place" and he had access to Mark and Q there,
as well as to the TANAK scrolls. Ca. 95 in the midst of Domitian's reign he
elaborates Mark into Matthew, but also with that background birth exegetical
work from Jerusalem. GMatthew makes the Petrine line of authority clear and
the authorization on the Galilean Mount is strenghtened with it being the
place of the Sermon and then the place of the Great Commission. In the same
time frame we get the full elaboration of John's story form (leave out verse
5 of the 7th chapter and bracket out 20:24-29 and thus end Original John at
the end of ch. 20) and we have the James the Just/John authorized story from
the South Land. Here the 12 aren't key. In G.John, it's Jerusalem that's the
center of authority. It's Jerusalem where the Spirit gets breathed upon the
>Raynal > #3 One thing to consider in your specific inquiry is theIn addition to those you provided and what underlies the above points
>difference between > "original creativity" and "redactional
>creativity." For instance, I think> the best case for Mark's dating
>is post-R/J War. But on the whole it has> been broadly accepted by
>the majority of <scholars that Mark belongs
>> somewhere right before, during or soon after the War.
>I have found about 6 arguments for ca 70 C.E. of Mark in my readings:
(namely for John, a thriving Jerusalem community still important til the
turn of the first century despite all that had happened and for Matthew the
importance of Antioch as a key city church), I think one needs to consider
the growing divide with the Pharisaic rabbis in the decades after the war,
the whole issue of bringing together the story telling/preaching into a
coherent whole for the purposes of worship and education, and not only the
R-J War, but also the passing of the first generation, the situation with
the likes of Nero to Vespasian to Titus to Domitian's rule. In this era we
find Josephus busy doing his work and saying God's favor had passed over to
the Romans! This is the era when the Pharisaic rabbis are claiming
authorization to interpret the ancient sacred texts. And likewise from Mark
to Matthew and from Signs to John we find intensive work over the ancient
heritage and claiming it in terms of Jesus. Mark and Signs are two ways of
doing that heritage claim. Matthew and John are works that show the fruits
of ongoing textual study and reflection.
>Raynal: > On the theory of > Markan priority this works to place
>this "original creativity" of the
>> narrative gospel form some 35 to 50 years after Jesus. (We can
>spell out the
>> reasons for that if you want to discuss it).
>I would be interested in seeing the reasoning.From above I think "Mark" had access to TANAK, to Q, to such as a collection
>Is it that Mark "put it all together" and combined various, distinct,
>pre-Gospel streams of tradition or am I heading in the wrong
of Signs, to "the Two Ways," to the midrash of Jesus' death and
glorification rooted in Isaiah, etc. and ***a very large imagination***! I
also think there was a parable collection and I wonder if there hadn't been
produced a brief written testimonial to be said at Passover each year, but I
want to emphasize "Mark's" great creativity with whatever resources he had.
If you saw my earlier note, Mark and his narrative successors weren't
interested in historiography, they were interested in theology, ethics,
worship firmly rooted in TANAK (their "Scripture") as it related to Jesus.
GMark is a piece of literary genius.
>To use a fictional example, if Matthew was written in Egypt and LukeFrom above you see my general placing of these core writings. If you read
>in Syria, how would your time frame change? Would you grant two
>generations like Patterson did for Thomas? Where also do you locate
>Matthew and Mark? This must effect the minimal timeframe of five
>years you are suggesting.
my notes from before Easter, I think Luke is later than Mk, Mt and John in
part because I think Luke is having to deal with "many" and with the
production of such as the Didache, the Old Roman Baptismal Credo. Ca. 120
suits me for GLuke, although ca. 130 or so might even be better.
>First, does 1 Corinthians provide solid evidence of a singleI think so.
>community with a lot of different beliefs and "creativity"?
>Why? Why can't a community have diversity and more than one sort of text
>Second, using your Thomas and Matthew example, wouldn't we expect
>more ( or at least some! ;) ) similarity (specific redactional
>material) between Thomas and Matthew?
creativity accepted? Surely there might be some whale of a good lot of
arguments going on, but arguing and falling out aren't the same thing, eh?
(just to bring up that ditty from a rabbi friend, "Put two rabbis in a room
with Torah and there will always be at least 3 opinions:)!") And then, of
course, the obvious... as time went along the communities honored as much as
they could and created even more out of earlier works! Part of the reason
"canonization" was needed was to bring some limits to all this creativity!
Per the above I think we can think of communities prizing a certain level of
diversity in creativity.
> On these grounds--the lack of substantial overlapp--I might beMaybe Matthew only had Q, but he might well have had G.Thomas 2 as well(I
>inclined to separate these two "communities". Maybe Matthew and Q
>would be a better example?
don't think extant Thomas is written til later). We, of course, can't be
sure, and there might have been yet other "Sayings Gospels" that one day
we'll come upon, but a redactively creative author like Matthew needn't
simply parrot his sources, of course. And one need not think of
constructive story or collection differences to be matters of bitter
dispute, but rather as just different! If one will consider it that way,
then one can draw lines of creativity and imagination that connect the
writings we have.
I rather cut and pasted your post to provide some response. If I missed
something then let me know. But I hope this helps you see how I put this
issue of development together. Precision about "exact places" and "the
exact resources" is beyond us because of lack of data. But I think one can
generally locate and via textual comparison nail down the general time
frames and lines of creativity in and between texts.