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Re: [XTalk] First Century Pillars

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Thanks for this distinction. When I argued with Bill Arnal on XTalk about Jesus as theologian, I think he had systematic theology in mind. ... I agree. ...
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 23, 2004
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      At 09:46 AM 4/17/2004 -0400, Gordon Raynal wrote:
      >Hi Bob,
      >Interesting note. A few comments:
      >Thus, it seems to me, we
      > >*cannot* avoid theology in historical Jesus research, if only to try to
      > >factor it out.
      >Just a point of reminder about the study of theology. There is systematic
      >theology where one works out "a complete" system of thought and there is the
      >study of historical theology where one investigates different
      >systems/doctrines in their "original" contexts and traces the ways which
      >"original ideas" are used/changed/amended/overturned over time... The
      >study of historical theology is a must to make these clarifications.

      Thanks for this distinction. When I argued with Bill Arnal on XTalk about
      Jesus as theologian, I think he had systematic theology in mind.

      > >But I want to use this idea as the spring board for a more general
      > >discussion of the background for intertextuality in the works that we have.
      > >And that is this: the views of *all* of the "pillars" of the community of
      > >followers of Jesus were controversial in one way or another-- which is the
      > >engine that eventually generated the corpus we now have (as well as some
      > >now lost to us.)
      >Here I want to place the reminder that controversy and falling apart are
      >obviously not the same thing and affirm that there was a lot of
      >"generativity" in this that made these folks a lively bunch.

      I agree.

      >... But arguing can
      >be grist for the mill that works to invigorate communities and help them
      >think through ideas. Per the list you gave and your descriptions, it would
      >seem we have in earliest Christianity a gathering of strong voiced folks who
      >could and did argue a lot, but who also found core agreements that united
      >them. ...

      I agree again.

      > >I understand intertextuality to be different from source criticism in that,
      > >with intertextuality, the text may be a response to, or a criticism of, or
      > >a reference to, another source, without attempting to replicate the source
      > >either exactly or in paraphrase. Thus, when James 2:14 says
      > >14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but
      > >do not have works? Can faith save you?
      > >This seems likely to be an example of intertextuality, but it does not
      > >attempt to directly quote or paraphrase in the same way, for example, as
      > >Luke or Matthew quote or paraphrase Mark. Is this understanding correct?
      >I, too, think this is very important. In what I attempted to put together
      >yesterday this is important within textual development and between texts as
      >well. One need not limit the authors imagination as to only gathering texts
      >with which they were in some kind of total agreement and one need not simply
      >think of communities as so ideologically driven as not to have more than one
      >kind of creativity alive or appreciation for one kind of creativity. ...

      Yes. One of the things that bugs me about Ted Weeden's masterful essays is
      that he portrays the disagreements in such stark terms that you think these
      people never had a kind word to say to each other. That might make sense in
      the 4th Century at the Ecumenical Councils, which could be pretty nasty,
      but I don't think its the right picture for the First Century.

      > Texts
      >were precious in the ancient world (good ones still are, eh!). And in light
      >of the example you gave I'll bet they had Galatians and Ep. James, too.
      >Healthy theological diversity and some seriously good arguing over ethical
      >and praxis issues in a very hostile world and in a time where "updating
      >traditions" was important, surely made for an exciting kind of dynamism
      >("spirit!") and as time went on the Canonization process of the later era
      >respects that and places limits.

      Jim Sanders in writing about the process of canonization argues, I think,
      that diversity within the canon is essential for survival of a new
      community: if the canon is too homogeneous, it is harder to use it to adapt
      to new circumstances. In diversity, strength.

      > Had we no controversy, had we only uniform
      >ideological driven folks, had the Church Fathers (and I do mean fathers)
      >gone for a monolithic telling of the Jesus story there would be no
      >historical investigation to do (thinking of production of one gospel with
      >all others destroyed). Thankfully we have have a good mess of messy texts
      >and can at least trace out some sketches of histories, beliefs and
      >developments. Intertextuality is at the heart of this.
      >Gordon Raynal

      Agreed again. Doggone, Gordon, I don't know if I can stand this much
      agreement. ;-)

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