Re: [XTalk] Hermeneutical Skepticism: Unwarranted, (now) arguments from silence?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
Sent: Friday, March 04, 2005 7:50 PM
Subject: Re: [XTalk] Hermeneutical Skepticism: Unwarranted, (now) arguments
Karel Hanhart wrote to Rikk,
>> I too wish at times to combat extreme scepticism. The Gospels refer in
>> important way to the Jesus of history. However, I deny that Mark's aim
>> to provide historical, biographical information on Jesus."
Jeffrey remarked concerning Karel's views:
> One does not have to posit that the Gospel cannot be bioi and must be a
> hagadah to believe or assert that.
In today's answer to Rikk, I have tried to argue the fundamental difference
in approach between the Gospel read as a Hellenistic bios or as a Christian
Judean Passover Haggadah. You apparently deny that the difference is
fundamental. I would appreciate your reaction to my argumentation in my
answer to Rikk..
The Gospel certainly has Jesus, as the protagonist of Mark's story (- next
to John the Baptist -). So seen at first glance Its genre may seem to be
just another bios. However, Jesus is pictured here not as just any prophet,
charismatic or teacher, but as Israel's Messiah and as son of God and the
Baptist as .Elijah redivivus. The miracles are astounding, supernatural
Because of the title Messiah, Israel's history and culture is necessarily
wrapped up in his narrative of Jesus. The Exodus story likewise has
astounding, supernatural phenomena.
As Messiah Jesus gave in the end his life as a ransom for many (rabbim).
Moreover, Jesus fulfills the hope concerning the 'One like a bar-násha"
(Son of Man) in Daniel's vision. The quality of the story is fundamentally
different from an Hellenic bios.
Mark tried in his tragic/victorious Passover Haggadah to do justice to the
teachings of Jesus remembered and the deeds he accomplished in spite of the
dual tragedies, the crucifixion of Israel's Messiah and the destruction of
Let me clarify the difference between a bios and a haggadah another way. One
would not call the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy a
'bios' of Moses, although Moses is the protagonist in all of them. The
subject of the Torah is the deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the
establishment of the Covenant and the treck to the promised land, celebrated
in the Passover ritual in Egypt, the Passover in the desert and the
Passover under Joshua, after he crossed the Jordan river. Mark begins his
Haggadah at the Jordan river. Grosso modo, Jesus traverses the land of
promise as a new Joshua of the end time (Gr. Jesous).and he ends in
Jerusalem for the Passover sacrifice.
However, Mark wrote after the debacle of 70. He thoroughly revised a pre-70
haggadah, used at Passover, because the parousia of the kingdom about which
Jesus had taught and which in chassidic circles was expected to be imminent,
Looking forward to your thoughts on the matter
> Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
> 1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
> Chicago, IL 60626
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- Karel Hanhart wrote:
> Let me clarify the difference between a bios and a haggadahBut in the all important matter of how text relates to reality, Leviticus,
> another way. One would not call the books of Exodus,
> Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy a 'bios' of Moses,
> although Moses is the protagonist in all of them. The
> subject of the Torah is the deliverance from slavery in
> Egypt, the establishment of the Covenant and the treck to
> the promised land, celebrated in the Passover ritual in Egypt,
> the Passover in the desert and the Passover under Joshua,
> after he crossed the Jordan river. Mark begins his Haggadah
> at the Jordan river. . . .
Numbers, and Deuteronomy have a lot more in common with what you're calling
a "hellenistic bios" than with your own peculiar understanding of
"haggadah". The writers (proto-tradents), compilers, and first-century
readers of the Torah believed that these books related actual events, and
that they did so in plain language.
John C. Poirier