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From the HJ to the historical disciples

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  • Joseph Codsi
    Reply to Tony Buglass Tony, What you and Wieland Wilker have said is correct. I did not mean to exclude any action by non eyewitnesses, but to include the
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 2 1:28 AM
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      Reply to Tony Buglass

      Tony,

      What you and Wieland Wilker have said is correct. I did not mean to
      exclude any action by non eyewitnesses, but to include the action of
      eyewitnesses in the transformation of historical events. The notion of
      "theological event" illustrates this point.

      Can a midrash be written by an eyewitness? A midrash, it seems to me,
      can only be produced by a non eyewitness and in the midst of a community
      who has specific views as far as political and religious questions are
      concerned. The midrash reflects the condition of place and time in which
      the said community was trying to say itself by redefining its distant
      past.

      A theological event, on the other hand, can be created by an eyewitness.
      In this case, however, the eyewitness will have acted with the knowledge
      that he has altered the historical truth.

      Is there a historical kernel to a theological event? This is possible
      but not necessary. In what pertains to my theory, only the theological
      events that are attributable to the disciples and eyewitnesses are of
      interest. The way Matthew has altered the profession of faith of Peter
      as it had reached him in the Markan version has no importance for my
      theory.

      In what pertains to the gospel, a theological event takes the form of
      inserting a post-Easter view into a pre-Easter context. In order to do
      so, an insertion point is needed. In one case, the insertion point is an
      exorcism. The theological event takes the form of transforming an
      ordinary exorcism into a confrontation between Jesus and the demon, in
      which the unclean spirit reveals Jesus secret identity without paying
      any attention to the stern order to keep silent. In another case, the
      insertion point is the parable of the sower. In what pertains to the
      triple prediction of the Easter event, the insertion point is not clear.
      We must look for it. The second prediction of the resurrection is
      located on a lonely road somewhere in Galilee. The first prediction is
      located on a road in the vicinity of Caesarea Philippi. The third
      prediction is located on the road going up from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
      The physical road symbolizes the spiritual road of initiation. Luke has
      developed the theme of the road in relation to the Christian initiation
      (cf. Lk 24:13-35 and Acts 8:26-40).

      The first prediction is the only one that is associated with another
      event: Peter's profession of faith. The problem is that even Peter's
      profession of faith is a theological event. The only historical event
      that is associated with it is the order to keep silent (which is
      identical to the order Jesus gives to the demons). The first prediction
      of the resurrection, on the other hand, is associated with another
      historical event: the rebuke of Peter.

      In order to understand what is going on here, we must reconstruct the
      historical circumstances in which Jesus rebuked Peter and called him
      "Satan". Right now, I can only notice the dual parallelism between those
      two events and the confrontations with the demons. The disciples
      identified themselves with the demons, and peter is identified with
      Satan. Connections of this nature are very important in my theory. They
      allow me to see what is going on in the mind of the disciples and what
      they are struggling with.

      One last remark. I don't think there was a historical kernel to the
      triple prediction of the resurrection. The reason is simple. The
      witnesses who are responsible for that theological event are honest
      enough to admit, in a coded language, that no such prediction ever took
      place.

      I will stop here. I want to go back to the parable of the sower.

      Cheers,

      Joseph

      ================
      Joseph Codsi
      P.O. Box 116-2088
      Beirut, Lebanon
      Telephone (961) 1 423 145
      joseph5@...
    • Joseph Codsi
      Reply to Wieland Wilker Wieland, Yes, you are right. We cannot exclude the possibility of non-eye-witnesses altering the historical events. My original
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 2 1:29 AM
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        Reply to Wieland Wilker

        Wieland,

        Yes, you are right. We cannot exclude the possibility of
        non-eye-witnesses altering the historical events. My original statement
        was misleading.

        We tend to assume that it is much easier for a non eyewitness to alter
        the historical facts than for an eyewitness, especially when we do not
        doubt the good intentions of the people involved. A reliable witness
        tells the truth. This is so under normal conditions. But under abnormal
        conditions, it is possible to have an eyewitness who changes the story
        and even invents certain things that are not historical (the prediction
        of the Easter event, for instance). He does so not by free choice, but
        by necessity and for reasons of faith.

        Because of this, I find the role of the disciples as eyewitnesses
        pivotal in the transmission of what happened during the life of Jesus.
        They transmit the facts under the modality of transforming them, if and
        when they see it necessary.

        Eyewitnesses and non eyewitnesses have contributed to the creation of
        the Jesus of the faith, as the gospels have fashioned him. There was a
        theological necessity behind all this. What is unique about the
        disciples-eyewitnesses is that they knew they altered the historical
        facts. This explains why they identified themselves with the demons who
        revealed Jesus' secret identity against his will.

        So if there is a discrepancy between what the historical Jesus was and
        the way he is described in the gospel, the disciples and eyewitnesses
        can be held responsible for it. I am speaking here not only of a
        theoretical possibility, but of a strong likelihood. What is still
        missing at this stage is the confirmation of my theory.

        Peace,

        Joseph

        =================

        -----Original Message-----
        From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of Wieland Willker
        Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 9:43 AM
        To: Crosstalk
        Subject: [XTalk] Re: From the HJ to the historical disciples

        Joseph Codsi wrote:
        > The eyewitnesses play here a pivotal role. All we know about the
        historical Jesus is based on their testimony.

        This sounds reasonable.


        > So if there is a discrepancy between what the historical
        > Jesus was and the way he is described in the gospel, they
        > are likely to be responsible for it.

        This I think is debatable. It can just as well come from the
        non-eye-witnesses.


        Best wishes
        Wieland
        <><
        ------------------------------------------------
        Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
        mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
        http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
        Textcritical commentary:
        http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
      • Joseph Codsi
        Reply to Tony Buglass Hello Tony, I wish to say a word about your frustration with the difficulty I have with your insistence on clear answers. I sympathize
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 4 12:35 AM
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          Reply to Tony Buglass

          Hello Tony,

          I wish to say a word about your frustration with the difficulty I have
          with your insistence on clear answers. I sympathize with your
          frustration, but please try to understand the difficulty I have to
          overcome.

          I have stated my theory. John Staton finds that it "requires one to
          believe impossible things before breakfast." I am sure he is not the
          only one to think in this fashion. How do I propose to "prove" my
          theory?

          Everything is based on the gospel of Mark. The proof takes the form of a
          novel reading of the Markan texts. Among the major passages I have
          identified as important, the parable of the sower and the
          misunderstanding about the yeast of the Pharisees play a pivotal role.
          They allow me to identify the question that was troubling the disciples.
          On the one hand, they acknowledge that Jesus initiated them into the
          mystery of the Kingdom of God. He treated them as those who are
          "inside". He told them: "To you has been given the mystery of the
          Kingdom of God" (parable of the sower). On the other hand, they admit
          that Jesus treated them as those who are "outside" (the yeast of the
          Pharisees). This different treatment cannot be pertaining to the Kingdom
          of God. It must be about something else. So the first thing we should do
          is identify the topic in relation to which Jesus kept them "outside".
          Here we do not have a clear identification of the Christian mystery as
          it is said in the Easter revelation. The identification is done
          indirectly, and through the mediation of the Eucharist. The allusions to
          the feedings of the five and four thousand are linked, in the mind of
          the disciples, to the Eucharist. Now the Eucharist is a recollection of
          the death of Jesus and a participation in the Easter mystery. The
          reference to the Eucharist allows me to link the blindness of the
          disciples to the Easter mystery.

          This dual admission, on the part of the disciples, means that they had
          been initiated into the Kingdom of God, not into the Easter mystery.
          This is how I prove that, on the basis of the disciples' own testimony,
          they had not been instructed in the Easter mystery. What follows
          immediately and without any doubt is that all the things that are
          mentioned in the gospel and which locate, in a pre-Easter context,
          things that pertain to the Easter revelation are not historical.

          I invite you to discuss the dual testimony of the disciples as I have
          identified it. Am I seeing in the texts what is not in them?

          Cheers,

          Joseph

          ================
          Joseph Codsi
          P.O. Box 116-2088
          Beirut, Lebanon
          Telephone (961) 1 423 145
          joseph5@...
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