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Re: [Xtalk] A new look at methodology

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  • Jack Kilmon
    ... From: Joseph Codsi To: Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 5:03 AM Subject: [Xtalk] A new look at methodology
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 4 2:25 PM
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Joseph Codsi" <joseph5@...>
      To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, July 04, 2004 5:03 AM
      Subject: [Xtalk] A new look at methodology


      >
      > In his July 03 post, Ernie Pennells quoted the following paragraph of
      mine:
      >
      >
      >
      > > [Joseph Codsi]
      > > >In short, instead of concentrating our attention on Jesus, we should
      > > concentrate on his disciples and reconstruct their need to alter the
      > memory
      > > they had of the historical Jesus, once they had become witnesses of the
      > > resurrection and were entrusted with the Easter revelation ... ... I
      > > propose, therefore, to make a fresh start. Let's study what the
      disciples
      > > tell us about themselves.<
      >
      > Then he added the following comment:
      >
      > > The material is rather sparse, but carries a potent message. As Luke
      > > describes events around the ascension of the risen Christ, the question
      > on
      > > the lips of the eleven relates to restoring Israel's sovereignty. On
      > > Easter Day, Cleopas acknowledges that Jesus' followers had expected him
      > to
      > > liberate Israel. Luke is joined by others in recalling Peter's bold
      > > confession just prior to the transfiguration, and in recording James' &
      > > John's bid for exalted seats in the ruling structure. The gospels are
      > > certainly not shy about conceding a serious mismatch between the
      > objectives
      > > of Jesus and his immediate followers. The fundamental characteristic of
      > the
      > > twelve would appear to have been wrong-headedness.
      > >
      > > As for the next generation of followers, one of the basic axioms of NT
      > > studies has been the role of church praxis in shaping tradition.
      > >
      > > Have I missed your point, Joseph?
      >
      > =====================
      >
      > Dear Ernie,
      >
      > Thank you for your interest in my proposition. It consists in saying that
      > instead of concentrating our attention on Jesus, we should concentrate on
      > what the disciples made of him once they had become witnesses of the
      > resurrection. This statement implies that the disciples have
      systematically
      > altered the memory they had of the historical Jesus so as to render it
      > compatible with the Easter revelation.
      >
      > This is what my feel for the birth of Christianity leads me to say. Now
      this
      > is just an intuitive feeling. I must put it to the test through a new way
      of
      > reading the gospel, most particularly the Markan account.
      >
      > You are correct when you point out that "The gospels are certainly not shy
      > about conceding a serious mismatch between the objectives of Jesus and his
      > immediate followers." But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Under the
      > surface lies what is hidden. I am speaking here of what the disciples are
      > not conscious of, and what they could not accept, because it was
      > incompatible with the Easter faith.

      The problem I have with this methodology is that it does not consider the
      motivations and agendas of the authors nor does it consider the audience of
      the authors. We cannot assume a "mismatch" between Jesus and his talmuddaya
      by the testimony of a gaggle of writers who never knew them nor belonged to
      the same culture. We see a difference in audience between Matthew and Luke
      for the same parables and aphorisms, one addressing the disciples and the
      other, the people. We see Mark as anti-family and John as anti-Jewish. How
      much is historical Jesus research actually historical Matthean, Markan,
      Lukan and Johannine research with a dollop of historical Paul..NONE of whom
      ever got a glimpse of the historical Jesus...no less the historical Thomas,
      Bartholomew, Simon, Judas, Thaddeus, Matthew, Andrew, Peter..well, you
      know...none of whom, I believe, make it through the foggy eyeglasses of the
      NT authors.

      Jack
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