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Re: Discipleship

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  • John E Staton
    Bob, Isn t the ambiguity you point out in Luke s use of the verb to be able to something which is in the nature of that verb. The same ambiguity is present
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 6, 2004
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      Bob,
      Isn't the ambiguity you point out in Luke's use of the verb "to be
      able to" something which is in the nature of that verb. The same ambiguity
      is present in every language I can think of, and in just about every user of
      those languages. I wonder whether any of us are too clear in our
      distinctions between not being able to because a thing is impossible or
      because we do not want to. Very often our ambiguity may well be deliberate.
      On other occasions it may be due to uncertainty. I suspect Luke shares the
      lack of clarity most of us exhibit concerning this question.

      Best Wishes
      JOHN E STATON
      Penistone, Sheffield UK
      www.jestaton.org
      jestaton@...
    • Bob Schacht
      ... John, Well, of course it is. But I m not just referring to an isolated instance of ambiguity; ... As the examples I offered suggest, however, It is quite
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 6, 2004
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        At 07:36 PM 9/5/2004, John E Staton wrote:
        >Bob,
        > Isn't the ambiguity you point out in Luke's use of the verb "to be
        >able to" something which is in the nature of that verb.

        John,
        Well, of course it is. But I'm not just referring to an isolated instance
        of ambiguity;

        >...Very often our ambiguity may well be deliberate.
        >On other occasions it may be due to uncertainty. I suspect Luke shares the
        >lack of clarity most of us exhibit concerning this question.

        As the examples I offered suggest, however, It is quite clear that in some
        examples, Luke has one meaning definitely in mind, and in others, he has
        another meaning definitely in mind, and that some of these quite different
        meanings are in the same chapter. Of course, you could be right, and the
        varying meanings could all be incidental. But my question was to ask
        whether Luke was being quite conscious in his choice of examples, in order
        to make a larger point. I gather that your answer is, no, he had no larger
        point to make. I am not so sure of this, however, and that's why I wanted
        to hear from others what they thought about this.

        Here's more. Sometimes the audience is the "disciples," the immediate
        followers of Jesus. But other times it is a "crowd," which may be a symbol
        for a larger group of people who had heard Jesus, but were still neutral in
        their judgment about him, or hadn't made up their minds. Do you think that
        in all the Lukan examples I cited, and more, that Luke's usage of "to be
        able to" is simply natural, without any larger meaning intended?

        Here's my original point again: during the generation(s) in which the
        canonical Gospels were written, there is an issue among scholars over
        authority, heterodoxy, and orthodoxy. Some argue for an original unanimity
        and concord among Jesus' followers, which only later broke out into
        heresies. For those persuaded of this view, there is no question. The in's
        are "in," and the out's were "out" [damned, if you will].

        Others argue that from the beginning, heterodoxy was the rule. In this
        case, Luke's series of stories about being able to do something have a
        different resonance. In that case, it might not be so clear who the real
        disciples were, and how one got to be a disciple. The Gospel writers
        themselves are not entirely of one accord when it comes to who the
        disciples were. In Acts, Luke provides us with a procedure whereby a new
        disciple was chosen to replace Judas. Then along comes Saul the Persecutor,
        and all of a sudden the enemy becomes a disciple of some sort. On top of
        this, the Didache includes a section where the reader is told how to
        discern between true and false teachers(?), or maybe prophets.

        So I am persuaded that heterodoxy was the sitz im leben, and that Luke was
        not just whistling dixie with all his various stories using the verb "to be
        able."

        Of course, in later theology the question gets mixed up with the issue of
        salvation, so that "who is able to be a disciple?" is broadened into "who
        is able to be saved?"

        Bob

        Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
        University of Hawaii
        Honolulu, HI

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • John E Staton
        Bob, I don t think we differ too much on the wider question. I am certainly not a propounder of double predestination, and would (if anything) interpret
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 7, 2004
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          Bob,
          I don't think we differ too much on the wider question. I am certainly
          not a propounder of double predestination, and would (if anything) interpret
          "cannot" in the weaker sense except where the stronger sense is reqired by
          the context. As for who is (was) a disciple, I am sure it was not such an
          open and shut case. Have you read Jimmy Dunn's thoughts on "Circles of
          Discipleship" in "Jesus Remembered"?

          Best Wishes
          JOHN E STATON
          Penistone, Sheffield UK
          www.jestaton.org
          jestaton@...
        • Bob Schacht
          ... That would be my point ... No; what s he say? Bob Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D. University of Hawaii Honolulu, HI [Non-text portions of this message have
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 7, 2004
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            At 08:56 AM 9/7/2004, John E Staton wrote:
            >Bob,
            > I don't think we differ too much on the wider question. I am certainly
            >not a propounder of double predestination, and would (if anything) interpret
            >"cannot" in the weaker sense except where the stronger sense is reqired by
            >the context. As for who is (was) a disciple, I am sure it was not such an
            >open and shut case.

            That would be my point <g>

            > Have you read Jimmy Dunn's thoughts on "Circles of Discipleship" in
            > "Jesus Remembered"?

            No; what's he say?

            Bob

            Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
            University of Hawaii
            Honolulu, HI

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • John E Staton
            Bob, From memory, he suggests there were various circles of discipleship around Jesus, ranging from the inner three and the twelve at one end, to people
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 8, 2004
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              Bob,
              From memory, he suggests there were various "circles of discipleship"
              around Jesus, ranging from the "inner three" and the twelve at one end, to
              people who turned up whenever Jesus was in the neighbourhood at the other.
              In between we have the women who provided for his needs. There may also have
              been "regional" disciples (i.e they may have followed him around Galilee,
              but not accompanied him to Jerusalem. Not all of these will have "given up
              everything", and some may have remained members of their local communities.
              It may, however, be wise to do a bit of source criticism to
              determine how much of the forgoing is Jimmy Dunn, and how much is me.

              Best Wishes
              JOHN E STATON
              Penistone, Sheffield UK
              www.jestaton.org
              jestaton@...
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