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Re: [XTalk] Re: Developmental Time and Written Dependence.

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  • Gordon Raynal
    Hi Vincent, For now, some brief comments to some snippets. ... Let me start with a couple of issues. One of the things I m interested in following in this
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 16, 2004
      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 "how
      >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.

      Let me start with a couple of issues. One of the things I'm interested in
      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
      >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.

      I'm going to here lay out just a thought model based in connecting lead
      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 the
      >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:

      In addition to those you provided and what underlies the above points
      (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).

      Vincent wrote:
      >I would be interested in seeing the reasoning.

      >Is it that Mark "put it all together" and combined various, distinct,
      >pre-Gospel streams of tradition or am I heading in the wrong
      >direction here?

      From above I think "Mark" had access to TANAK, to Q, to such as a collection
      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 Luke
      >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.

      From above you see my general placing of these core writings. If you read
      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 single
      >community with a lot of different beliefs and "creativity"?

      I think so.
      >Second, using your Thomas and Matthew example, wouldn't we expect
      >more ( or at least some! ;) ) similarity (specific redactional
      >material) between Thomas and Matthew?

      Why? Why can't a community have diversity and more than one sort of text
      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 be
      >inclined to separate these two "communities". Maybe Matthew and Q
      >would be a better example?

      Maybe Matthew only had Q, but he might well have had G.Thomas 2 as well(I
      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.

      Gordon Raynal
      Inman, SC
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