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Re: [XTalk] Re: Discipleship

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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