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Re: [XTalk] Prelude to Replies: Jesus' Hidden Transcript

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  • Theodore Weeden
    David Hinley wrote on April 2, 2005 ... David, I apologize for not replying to your post already. It so happens that some of the issues you raise with me in
    Message 1 of 26 , Apr 8, 2005
      David Hinley wrote on April 2, 2005

      > Ted,
      >>>In perusing the Jesus Seminar's data base of sayings of Jesus
      > (authentic ["red" or "pink"] or inauthentic ["gray" or "black"]:
      > see Robert W. Funk, Roy W. Hoover and the Jesus Seminar, _Five
      > Gospels_, 549-553) and the data base of specific acts of Jesus
      > (again, authentic or inauthentic: see Robert W. Funk and the
      > Jesus Seminar, _The Acts of Jesus_, 556-569), I can find nothing
      > in either data base that indicates that Jesus' kingdom-of-God
      > ideology was formulated against the ideology of the public
      > transcript of Roman imperial rule. At best, from what I can
      > ascertain from these data bases is that Jesus took at an
      > ambivalent, almost value-neutral position toward Roman rule and
      > domination. The only saying attributed to Jesus in which he
      > specifically mentions the oppressiveness of Roman imperial rule
      > is his saying about paying taxes to the emperor. When shown a
      > coin with Caesar's image, and questioned about payment of taxes
      > to Caesar, Jesus replied, "Render to Caesar the things that are
      > Caesar's and to God the things that are God's" (Mk.
      > 12:16f.7/GThom 100; cf. Mt. 22:21; Lk. 20:25).<<
      > Ted, IMHO I think you are placing much too much weight on the
      > Gospel accounts of Jesus' actions and sayings as Jesus' own
      > unedited transcripts! You were just arguing for a strong
      > fictional element in Mark, so this puzzles me.

      David, I apologize for not replying to your post already. It so happens
      that some of the issues you raise with me in your post are similar to those
      that Bob Schacht has raised with me in his post of March 30, 2005. I am
      having to do some research that is taking quite a lot of time in order to
      respond to the issues Bob has raised. I will respond to your post as soon
      as I complete my reply to Bob. My reply to him may well address the issues
      you raise in your post here.


      > Assuming that a written account of Jesus' life would be a form
      > of public transcript rather than a special "backstage" view if
      > the real Jesus that closely follows his unedited transcript,
      > isn't it better to proceed as if the authors of the NT Gospels
      > and Acts present a partial rendering of the *author's* (or their
      > congregation's) full transcript, with the missing transcript
      > replaced with a "performance," rather than assume they preserve
      > Jesus' actual "hidden transcript?" (1)
      > Hence the reason I see the Gospels and Acts as essentially
      > apologies for Christianity as it existed in the Gospel author's
      > own time and place, directed to the power structure. "We are not
      > dangerous people. Our founder was a misunderstood moral teacher
      > fulfilling a God-given role in the cosmic scheme of things.
      > Killed on account of the jealousy of the rulers of his own
      > people the Jews, who were unable to see God's cosmic plan, we
      > Christians, though non-Jews, have now grasped the true
      > significance of his role and have been adopted as God's favored
      > children in the place of Jesus' own people, who did not
      > understand. [i.e., the "Jews" revolted, while we are observers
      > of a private mystery cult that accepts the Roman order of
      > things, please don't root us out like rebels]"
      > Any true words of or accounts about Jesus must be recovered from
      > the edited "performance." These sayings and accounts are
      > mentioned because they relate to the power struggle between the
      > Roman elites and the Christian movement (as reflected in the
      > NT), perhaps as examples of bad things elites charged Christians
      > or their founder with doing/being. Christians found it necessary
      > to refashion them to better fit the perceptions of Roman elites.
      > Scott has a lot to say about both rich and poor (that is,
      > classes of folk) rationalizing the validity of their particular
      > transcript.
      > Sincerely,
      > David Hindley
      > Cleveland, Ohio USA
      > 1) Scott, James C, _Weapons of the Weak_, Yale UP, 1985:
      > "Dissimulation is the characteristic and necessary pose of
      > subordinate classes everywhere most of the time ..." (p. 284)
      > "The fact is that power-laden situations are nearly always
      > inauthentic ... the *normal* tendency will be for the dependent
      > individual to reveal only that part of his or her full
      > transcript in encounters with the powerful that it is safe and
      > appropriate to reveal ... The greater the disparity in power
      > between the two parties, the greater the proportion of the full
      > transcript that is likely to be concealed" (p. 286, emphasis in
      > original)
      > "[T]he weaker party is unlikely to speak his or her mind; a part
      > of the full transcript will be withheld in favor of a
      > 'performance' that is in keeping with the expectations of the
      > powerholder." (p. 287)
      > If we wish to recover more than just the performance, we must
      > move backstage [into safe settings where class members can
      > communicate as more-or-less equals] where the mask can be
      > lifted, at least in part." (p. 287)
      > PS: Boy I wish Scott used "point of view" rather than
      > "transcript!" Sounds like Scott is influenced by the issue of
      > intertextuality, but didn't like the term.
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