Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [XTalk] 1 Cor 15 Kerygma, the historical Peter, and the transition from Jesus to Christ

Expand Messages
  • Bob Schacht
    ... Daniel, Welcome to the list! Please convey our greetings to Prof. Smith. His presence on this list in years past was much appreciated, even if we had our
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 30, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      At 05:20 PM 9/30/2005, Daniel Gaztambide wrote:
      >Dear Everyone,
      >
      >Hi! My name is Daniel Gaztambide, and I am a student of Prof. Mahlon
      >H. Smith over at Rutgers University, doing a Henry Rutgers honors
      >thesis on the 1 Cor 15 Kerygma, the historical Peter, and the
      >transition from Jesus to Christ. I was hoping to share some of my
      >research and current working hypothesis here gather some critical
      >comments and scrutiny....

      Daniel,
      Welcome to the list!
      Please convey our greetings to Prof. Smith. His presence on this list in
      years past was much appreciated, even if we had our differences. We hope he
      is well, and I am glad he still has time for students like you.

      I will not attempt in this first reply to deal with your ideas, but I may
      try my hand at it later.

      Sincerely,
      Bob Schacht


      Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
      Northern Arizona University
      Flagstaff, AZ

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Joseph Codsi
      To Daniel Gaztambide Daniel, Your thesis sounds very interesting. You have identified a number of elements that are closely interrelated. What is not clear yet
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 2, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        To Daniel Gaztambide

        Daniel,

        Your thesis sounds very interesting. You have identified a number of
        elements that are closely interrelated. What is not clear yet is how you can
        define the way each element fits in the puzzle.

        The first element is the identification of Jesus as the Messiah. Did this
        identification take place during the life of Jesus, or after his death? This
        is indeed a crucial question. Before any attempt at answering it, we should
        acknowledge that the mere fact of raising the question implies that we do
        not trust the obvious message of the four canonical gospels, which have a
        clear answer to the question: "Yes Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God
        during his earthly life".

        You have identified the central passage in which Jesus is recognized as the
        Messiah and the Son of God. I am speaking of Peter's profession of faith:
        "You are the Messiah" (Mark 8:29) and "You are the Christ, the Son of the
        living God" (Matthew 16:16). In Mark's version, Jesus' reaction is not quite
        clear. The reader tends to see that Jesus accepts the title, but wishes to
        hide it from the public. The Jesus of Matthew is more explicit; he accepts
        the title and congratulates Peter for his perceptiveness. He even goes to
        the point of saying that God has revealed to him this truth. All this tends
        to show that, during his life, Jesus himself admitted that he was the
        Messiah. For some reason, however, he would not allow his disciples to
        proclaim his messiahship "before the resurrection" (Cf. the remark that
        followed the transfiguration, Mark 9:9).

        On the basis of what is reported in the four canonical gospels, the question
        you raised in the outset is absurd, since it is clearly answered in the
        gospels. So why do you still raise it?

        Your answer here is that there are two passages which suggest that Jesus
        became the Messiah and the Son of God after his death and resurrection. The
        said passages are Romans 1:1-4 and Acts 2:36.

        What is suggested here is that, through his death and resurrection, Jesus
        underwent a radical transformation. He became after the Easter event what he
        was not during his life, namely the Christ and the Son of God. The two
        passages establish a direct connection between the resurrection (an act of
        God) and the new identification of Jesus as "Lord and Christ", in one case,
        and "Son of God", in the other case.

        If we take seriously this theological discourse, we are to conclude that
        during his earthly life Jesus was not the Christ, the Son of God.
        Consequently, I would say, all the passages in which the gospels speak of
        the historical Jesus as the Christ or the Son of God are not historical.
        They anticipate the Easter revelation in a pre-Easter context. They
        represent a retroactive projection of the Easter Christ on the historical
        Jesus. They create the Jesus of the faith and amalgamate him with the
        historical Jesus. The result is the Jesus as he is described in the gospels
        (partly historical and partly fictional).

        This is how I would dramatize the question you raise. There is a clear
        contradiction between two sets of texts. Both assertions cannot be true at
        the same time and in the same respect. If one is true, the other one is not.
        A choice must be made. Either we trust the Gospels or we trust Paul and
        Acts.

        Speaking for myself, I would say this: "On the basis of modern scholarship,
        I am inclined to trust Paul and the Acts. All the gospel passages in which
        Jesus is proclaimed Messiah and/or Son of God are not historical. The events
        they tell are theological in nature. I mean by that events that are
        historical fiction, but express a theological truth. The theological truth
        flows from the Easter faith and anticipates, in the pre-Easter context, the
        Easter revelation. I will define later the requirements of the Easter
        revelation, which have caused the creation of the theological events. I will
        stop here to ask you, Daniel, to confirm your personal position on the
        question I have raised. The fact that you have singled out the two passages
        which contradict what is clearly said in the four canonical gospels
        indicates that you are inclined to agree with me and recognize in Romans and
        Acts the theological views which have prevailed in the shaping of the
        Christian mind, causing the creation of the Jesus of the faith. Let me
        rephrase my question. What is the position of your thesis in relation to the
        question I have raised here? What would you say about Peter's profession of
        faith? Is it an historical event or merely a theological event? It makes no
        difference whether you consider Mark's version or Matthew's. But it will be
        much easier to discuss Matthew's version.

        I will talk later of Peter's role in the shaping of the theological events
        which portray Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God.

        With my best wishes.

        Joseph

        ============
        Université Pour Tous
        Beirut, Lebanon
        ============

        -----Original Message-----
        From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of Daniel Gaztambide
        Sent: Saturday, October 01, 2005 6:21 AM
        To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [XTalk] 1 Cor 15 Kerygma, the historical Peter, and the transition
        from Jesus to Christ

        Dear Everyone,

        Hi! My name is Daniel Gaztambide, and I am a student of Prof. Mahlon
        H. Smith over at Rutgers University, doing a Henry Rutgers honors
        thesis on the 1 Cor 15 Kerygma, the historical Peter, and the
        transition from Jesus to Christ. I was hoping to share some of my
        research and current working hypothesis here gather some critical
        comments and scrutiny.

        In a sense, my work tries to answer a certain set of questions: how
        exactly was the Messiah perceived in the early Church? Did it consider
        Jesus to have been the Messiah since before his death or afterwards?
        If Jesus was identified as the Messiah after his death, then it
        becomes a question of "who done it"? Who was the one who first began
        to consider Jesus the Christ, and why?

        A certain set of passages drive me to consider the figure of Simon
        Peter- a survivor of Jesus' execution- as a possible suspect in trying
        to sort out who declared a dead criminal a rising savior. Let me post
        the passages here and open up some discussion. I begin with the
        kerygmatic assertion in 1 Cor 15: 3-5,

        "3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]:
        that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he
        was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the
        Scriptures, 5AND THAT HE APPEARED TO PETER, and then to the Twelve." 1
        Corinthians 15: 3-5 (My caps)

        I exclude verses 6-8, and understand 3-5 to be the earliest form of
        the kerygma (I sort of see it as a listing of those who "joined" the
        movement, starting with Peter, then the twelve, followed by James and
        the 500, and finally Paul, but it's more of a hunch). Another reason
        why I exclude 6-8 and concentrate on the mention of Peter here is by
        drawing a parallel with another passage, shared by Mark 8: 27-31 =
        Matthew 16: 13-21 = Luke 9: 18-22. The earliest form appears to be in
        Mark, which reads:

        "27Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea
        Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"

        28They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and
        still others, one of the prophets."

        29"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
        PETER ANSWERED, "YOU ARE THE CHRIST."

        30Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

        31He then began to teach them that the THE SON OF MAN MUST SUFFER
        MANY THINGS and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers
        of the law, AND THAT HE MUST BE KILLED AND AFTER THREE DAYS RISE
        AGAIN."

        In Paul's writting, Peter is the first to SEE the Risen Jesus, in the
        Gospels, Peter is the first to CONFESS Jesus as the Messiah (An
        opposing account, which presents his brother Andrew as the first to
        confess Jesus as the Messiah, is found in John 1: 41). Another curious
        thing I noticed while looking over the kerygma and the kerygmatic
        assertions of the gospels is that in the kerygma Jesus as the Christ
        died for sins and resurrected on the third day according to the
        Scriptures, and that he appeared FIRST to Peter. In the Synoptic
        Gospels Peter is the FIRST to confess Jesus as the Christ, and
        immediately after some interpolation (Whether the Messianic Secret in
        Mark, Matthew's praise of Peter's "insight", or Luke's musings on the
        Cross), we have the kerygma, that Jesus must die and be ressurected.

        Before I present my proposal to explain this curious relationship, I
        wish to present two more passages, one in Paul's writting, and another
        pressed on Peter's lips in Acts:

        "3regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of
        David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power
        TO BE THE SON OF GOD BY HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD: Jesus CHRIST
        our Lord." Romans 1: 3-4 (My caps)

        "36Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: GOD HAS MADE THIS
        JESUS, WHOM YOU CRUCIFIED, BOTH LORD AND CHRIST." Acts 2: 36 (My caps)

        A reading of these curious little passages seems to indicate that
        Jesus became the Messiah via the resurrection and God's authority, and
        was not the Messiah before his death. This idea seems multiply
        attested in Paul's words and in Peter's lips via Acts (whether those
        are his actual words may be another issue altogether). Perhaps this
        may point to an understanding of the kerygmatic sayings of Jesus in
        Mark 8: 27-31 = Matthew 16: 13-21 = Luke 9: 18-22 as the 1 Cor 15
        kerygma being read back into the story. Another reason may be that in
        1 Cor 15, the kerygma is understood as fulfillment of scripture, not
        of specific prophecy uttered by Jesus.

        In the end I'm left with two sets of material (That of Mark 8: 27-31
        = Matthew 16: 13-21 = Luke 9: 18-22 and 1 Cor 15) which seem to
        portray an intimate relationship between the kerygma (Jesus died for
        our sins and resurrected, being made the Christ) and the figure of
        Simon Peter. One of the core ideas I'm going to propose in my thesis
        is that Simon Peter is crucial to understanding the movement from
        Jesus to Christ, and that the relationship between the pre-easter
        Jesus and pre-easter Peter flows directly into the relationship
        between the post-easter Jesus and post-easter Peter.

        Well, sorry I took so long with this post! Commeunt? Comentarios?
        Comments? I'm an innocent little undergrad so please don't rip me to
        pieces! Have mercy! :p

        Seriously though, I look foward to debate and critique,

        Best,

        Daniel Gaztambide
      • Daniel Gaztambide
        Dear Joseph, I would have to say that my thesis agrees with you on several levels. My position (and that of my thesis) is that Peter being the first one to
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 2, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Dear Joseph,

          I would have to say that my thesis agrees with you on several levels.
          My position (and that of my thesis) is that Peter being the first one
          to confess Jesus as Christ and his mention as the first to see the
          risen Jesus as Christ are one and the same. In other words, I consider
          Peter's understanding of Jesus as the Christ to be the Easter event
          (in a sense).

          I accept the theology of sonship through resurrection as the view of
          the early church, and understand the gospels as projecting Jesus'
          Easter status into his lifetime.

          Peter's confession is definetly historical in my opinion (again, as a
          post-easter event). My interest is to discern what elements brought
          about the transition from Jesus of Nazareth to Jesus Christ, and my
          current understanding is that Peter as a survivor of the Passion, may
          hold the key to understanding that change.

          I would argue that the projection of Peter's confession unto the
          Gospel narrative serves two purposes (that I can think of right now at
          least).

          In Mark Peter proclaims Jesus as the Messiah, but apparently Jesus
          wants such a thing to be kept secret (Hence the Messianic secret in
          Mark). This appears to want to account for the lack of an open
          proclamation of Jesus as messiah during his lifetime. In other words:
          "Yeah, he was the Messiah all along, he just kept it hush hush".

          In Matthew the focus is not so much about explaining why there wasn't
          an open recognition of Jesus as the Messiah, but to congratulate the
          figure of Simon Peter for his insight concerning his nature, as
          revealed by God's Spirit. These are kind of a hunch.

          Hence, another hypothesis that I continue to test is that perhaps
          Simon Peter was simply another one of Jesus' disciples, but his
          proclamation of Jesus as Messiah earned him such favor that the gospel
          writers elevated his rank among the disciples during Jesus' lifetime.

          Again, the purpose of my thesis is not so much to show that every
          presentation of Peter in the gospels is fictional projection, but
          rather to understand the nature of the historical relationship between
          Jesus and Peter. What about this man Jesus was so wonderful that it
          was necessary that he "survive" crucifixion through resurrection?

          In all honesty my thesis will strive to be interdisciplinary,
          employing traditional historical-critical method as well as the
          discipline of psychological biblical criticism.

          Thank you very much for your comments. Also, I do not think my first
          question was absurd. I see a big difference between what the early
          church (the era of Peter, James, and Paul) may have thought and what
          the gospel writers understood. It is important to tell their views apart.

          Thanks again!

          --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, Joseph Codsi <joseph5@i...> wrote:
          > To Daniel Gaztambide
          >
          > Daniel,
          >
          > Your thesis sounds very interesting. You have identified a number of
          > elements that are closely interrelated. What is not clear yet is how
          you can
          > define the way each element fits in the puzzle.
          >
          > The first element is the identification of Jesus as the Messiah. Did
          this
          > identification take place during the life of Jesus, or after his
          death? This
          > is indeed a crucial question. Before any attempt at answering it, we
          should
          > acknowledge that the mere fact of raising the question implies that
          we do
          > not trust the obvious message of the four canonical gospels, which
          have a
          > clear answer to the question: "Yes Jesus was the Messiah and the Son
          of God
          > during his earthly life".
          >
          > You have identified the central passage in which Jesus is recognized
          as the
          > Messiah and the Son of God. I am speaking of Peter's profession of
          faith:
          > "You are the Messiah" (Mark 8:29) and "You are the Christ, the Son
          of the
          > living God" (Matthew 16:16). In Mark's version, Jesus' reaction is
          not quite
          > clear. The reader tends to see that Jesus accepts the title, but
          wishes to
          > hide it from the public. The Jesus of Matthew is more explicit; he
          accepts
          > the title and congratulates Peter for his perceptiveness. He even
          goes to
          > the point of saying that God has revealed to him this truth. All
          this tends
          > to show that, during his life, Jesus himself admitted that he was the
          > Messiah. For some reason, however, he would not allow his disciples to
          > proclaim his messiahship "before the resurrection" (Cf. the remark that
          > followed the transfiguration, Mark 9:9).
          >
          > On the basis of what is reported in the four canonical gospels, the
          question
          > you raised in the outset is absurd, since it is clearly answered in the
          > gospels. So why do you still raise it?
          >
          > Your answer here is that there are two passages which suggest that Jesus
          > became the Messiah and the Son of God after his death and
          resurrection. The
          > said passages are Romans 1:1-4 and Acts 2:36.
          >
          > What is suggested here is that, through his death and resurrection,
          Jesus
          > underwent a radical transformation. He became after the Easter event
          what he
          > was not during his life, namely the Christ and the Son of God. The two
          > passages establish a direct connection between the resurrection (an
          act of
          > God) and the new identification of Jesus as "Lord and Christ", in
          one case,
          > and "Son of God", in the other case.
          >
          > If we take seriously this theological discourse, we are to conclude that
          > during his earthly life Jesus was not the Christ, the Son of God.
          > Consequently, I would say, all the passages in which the gospels
          speak of
          > the historical Jesus as the Christ or the Son of God are not historical.
          > They anticipate the Easter revelation in a pre-Easter context. They
          > represent a retroactive projection of the Easter Christ on the
          historical
          > Jesus. They create the Jesus of the faith and amalgamate him with the
          > historical Jesus. The result is the Jesus as he is described in the
          gospels
          > (partly historical and partly fictional).
          >
          > This is how I would dramatize the question you raise. There is a clear
          > contradiction between two sets of texts. Both assertions cannot be
          true at
          > the same time and in the same respect. If one is true, the other one
          is not.
          > A choice must be made. Either we trust the Gospels or we trust Paul and
          > Acts.
          >
          > Speaking for myself, I would say this: "On the basis of modern
          scholarship,
          > I am inclined to trust Paul and the Acts. All the gospel passages in
          which
          > Jesus is proclaimed Messiah and/or Son of God are not historical.
          The events
          > they tell are theological in nature. I mean by that events that are
          > historical fiction, but express a theological truth. The theological
          truth
          > flows from the Easter faith and anticipates, in the pre-Easter
          context, the
          > Easter revelation. I will define later the requirements of the Easter
          > revelation, which have caused the creation of the theological
          events. I will
          > stop here to ask you, Daniel, to confirm your personal position on the
          > question I have raised. The fact that you have singled out the two
          passages
          > which contradict what is clearly said in the four canonical gospels
          > indicates that you are inclined to agree with me and recognize in
          Romans and
          > Acts the theological views which have prevailed in the shaping of the
          > Christian mind, causing the creation of the Jesus of the faith. Let me
          > rephrase my question. What is the position of your thesis in
          relation to the
          > question I have raised here? What would you say about Peter's
          profession of
          > faith? Is it an historical event or merely a theological event? It
          makes no
          > difference whether you consider Mark's version or Matthew's. But it
          will be
          > much easier to discuss Matthew's version.
          >
          > I will talk later of Peter's role in the shaping of the theological
          events
          > which portray Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God.
          >
          > With my best wishes.
          >
          > Joseph
          >
          > ============
          > Université Pour Tous
          > Beirut, Lebanon
          > ============
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On
          > Behalf Of Daniel Gaztambide
          > Sent: Saturday, October 01, 2005 6:21 AM
          > To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [XTalk] 1 Cor 15 Kerygma, the historical Peter, and the
          transition
          > from Jesus to Christ
          >
          > Dear Everyone,
          >
          > Hi! My name is Daniel Gaztambide, and I am a student of Prof. Mahlon
          > H. Smith over at Rutgers University, doing a Henry Rutgers honors
          > thesis on the 1 Cor 15 Kerygma, the historical Peter, and the
          > transition from Jesus to Christ. I was hoping to share some of my
          > research and current working hypothesis here gather some critical
          > comments and scrutiny.
          >
          > In a sense, my work tries to answer a certain set of questions: how
          > exactly was the Messiah perceived in the early Church? Did it consider
          > Jesus to have been the Messiah since before his death or afterwards?
          > If Jesus was identified as the Messiah after his death, then it
          > becomes a question of "who done it"? Who was the one who first began
          > to consider Jesus the Christ, and why?
          >
          > A certain set of passages drive me to consider the figure of Simon
          > Peter- a survivor of Jesus' execution- as a possible suspect in trying
          > to sort out who declared a dead criminal a rising savior. Let me post
          > the passages here and open up some discussion. I begin with the
          > kerygmatic assertion in 1 Cor 15: 3-5,
          >
          > "3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]:
          > that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he
          > was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the
          > Scriptures, 5AND THAT HE APPEARED TO PETER, and then to the Twelve." 1
          > Corinthians 15: 3-5 (My caps)
          >
          > I exclude verses 6-8, and understand 3-5 to be the earliest form of
          > the kerygma (I sort of see it as a listing of those who "joined" the
          > movement, starting with Peter, then the twelve, followed by James and
          > the 500, and finally Paul, but it's more of a hunch). Another reason
          > why I exclude 6-8 and concentrate on the mention of Peter here is by
          > drawing a parallel with another passage, shared by Mark 8: 27-31 =
          > Matthew 16: 13-21 = Luke 9: 18-22. The earliest form appears to be in
          > Mark, which reads:
          >
          > "27Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea
          > Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"
          >
          > 28They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and
          > still others, one of the prophets."
          >
          > 29"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
          > PETER ANSWERED, "YOU ARE THE CHRIST."
          >
          > 30Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
          >
          > 31He then began to teach them that the THE SON OF MAN MUST SUFFER
          > MANY THINGS and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers
          > of the law, AND THAT HE MUST BE KILLED AND AFTER THREE DAYS RISE
          > AGAIN."
          >
          > In Paul's writting, Peter is the first to SEE the Risen Jesus, in the
          > Gospels, Peter is the first to CONFESS Jesus as the Messiah (An
          > opposing account, which presents his brother Andrew as the first to
          > confess Jesus as the Messiah, is found in John 1: 41). Another curious
          > thing I noticed while looking over the kerygma and the kerygmatic
          > assertions of the gospels is that in the kerygma Jesus as the Christ
          > died for sins and resurrected on the third day according to the
          > Scriptures, and that he appeared FIRST to Peter. In the Synoptic
          > Gospels Peter is the FIRST to confess Jesus as the Christ, and
          > immediately after some interpolation (Whether the Messianic Secret in
          > Mark, Matthew's praise of Peter's "insight", or Luke's musings on the
          > Cross), we have the kerygma, that Jesus must die and be ressurected.
          >
          > Before I present my proposal to explain this curious relationship, I
          > wish to present two more passages, one in Paul's writting, and another
          > pressed on Peter's lips in Acts:
          >
          > "3regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of
          > David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power
          > TO BE THE SON OF GOD BY HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD: Jesus CHRIST
          > our Lord." Romans 1: 3-4 (My caps)
          >
          > "36Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: GOD HAS MADE THIS
          > JESUS, WHOM YOU CRUCIFIED, BOTH LORD AND CHRIST." Acts 2: 36 (My caps)
          >
          > A reading of these curious little passages seems to indicate that
          > Jesus became the Messiah via the resurrection and God's authority, and
          > was not the Messiah before his death. This idea seems multiply
          > attested in Paul's words and in Peter's lips via Acts (whether those
          > are his actual words may be another issue altogether). Perhaps this
          > may point to an understanding of the kerygmatic sayings of Jesus in
          > Mark 8: 27-31 = Matthew 16: 13-21 = Luke 9: 18-22 as the 1 Cor 15
          > kerygma being read back into the story. Another reason may be that in
          > 1 Cor 15, the kerygma is understood as fulfillment of scripture, not
          > of specific prophecy uttered by Jesus.
          >
          > In the end I'm left with two sets of material (That of Mark 8: 27-31
          > = Matthew 16: 13-21 = Luke 9: 18-22 and 1 Cor 15) which seem to
          > portray an intimate relationship between the kerygma (Jesus died for
          > our sins and resurrected, being made the Christ) and the figure of
          > Simon Peter. One of the core ideas I'm going to propose in my thesis
          > is that Simon Peter is crucial to understanding the movement from
          > Jesus to Christ, and that the relationship between the pre-easter
          > Jesus and pre-easter Peter flows directly into the relationship
          > between the post-easter Jesus and post-easter Peter.
          >
          > Well, sorry I took so long with this post! Commeunt? Comentarios?
          > Comments? I'm an innocent little undergrad so please don't rip me to
          > pieces! Have mercy! :p
          >
          > Seriously though, I look foward to debate and critique,
          >
          > Best,
          >
          > Daniel Gaztambide
        • Tony Buglass
          Daniel wrote: In a sense, my work tries to answer a certain set of questions: how exactly was the Messiah perceived in the early Church? Did it consider Jesus
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 3, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            Daniel wrote:
            In a sense, my work tries to answer a certain set of questions: how
            exactly was the Messiah perceived in the early Church? Did it consider
            Jesus to have been the Messiah since before his death or afterwards?
            If Jesus was identified as the Messiah after his death, then it
            becomes a question of "who done it"? Who was the one who first began
            to consider Jesus the Christ, and why?

            A certain set of passages drive me to consider the figure of Simon
            Peter-[snipped] I begin with the
            kerygmatic assertion in 1 Cor 15: 3-5, [snipped] I exclude verses 6-8, and understand 3-5 to be the earliest form of
            the kerygma (I sort of see it as a listing of those who "joined" the
            movement, starting with Peter, then the twelve, followed by James and
            the 500, and finally Paul, but it's more of a hunch). [snipped] drawing a parallel with another passage, shared by Mark 8: 27-31 =
            Matthew 16: 13-21 = Luke 9: 18-22.

            Hi, Daniel.

            Don't worry about being ripped to shreds on this list - we're always nice to people, 'cos we know that everyone possess access to the deadly "delete" button!

            Re your thesis - yes, I agree that there is a strong Peter connection. It seems to be the general consensus that Paul's 1 Cor.15 paradosis is 15:3-5, and that 6-8 is his own addition and update of the list. The question is where he got the paradosis in the first place, and it is not unlikely that he got it from Peter. Joachim Jeremias (Eucharistic Words of Jesus, p.102f) argues for the kerygma being a Semitic original reshaped in a Hellenistic environment, which places it in the earliest strata of tradition. We know from Paul that despite his concern to demonstrate his apostolic independence from the Jerusalem apostles, he spent time getting "acquainted" (Gal.1:18 NIV) with Peter. So Peter was probably Paul's main point of access to both his knowledge of the historical Jesus and his receiving of the early paradosis.

            The next question is whether the theological development of eg Rom.1:4 is Paul's own reflection on the implication of resurrection for Jesus' status as Messiah, or whether it is earlier tradition. Rom.1:3-4 appears well-shaped, honed by repetition, a parallelism tha might have been shaped in worship or catechism. There are also several non-Pauline expressions. So if this is adoptionist, it's early. The issue there is whether horisthentos means that Jesus only *became* Son of God at the resurrection. Paul doesn't appear to believe that (so Gal.4:4 and Rom.8:3). You suggest that the idea (that Paul believed Jesus wasn't Messiah before his death) is "multiply attested in Paul's words and in Peter's words via Acts". I don't think this is true multiple attestation, and in any case I don't think it is attested as such in Paul's words, rather that he was beginning his letter with credal material familiar to his hearers (rhetorical criticism alongside other criticisms?).

            What I suspect this shows us is that the different christologies can be traced back into the earliest traditions, when theology was anything but systematic. What became adoptionism may have begun from Jewish Christian exegesis of their scriptures, especially Ps.2:7 (cf Acts.13:33, where Luke puts the words onto Paul's lips).

            As far as Peter's confession is concerned, there are interesting questions here about the relationship between Mark's version of the story and what may or may not have really been said. It is commonly argued that the gospels and their constituent traditions are really post-Easter faith retorojected into the pre-Easter story. Clearly, the gospels are a product of post-Easter faith, and (literary criticism now) it is clear that certain sayings and events have been dramatically shaped to drive the story towards its conclusion and in the light of that conclusion. However, unless you wish to go with folk like Ted Weeden and argue that Mark created it all de novo, questions still remain about the original stories and traditions which the evangelists received and shaped. What was it about Jesus of Nazareth that made people remember these stories *before* his death and resurrection? Jimmy Dunn argues ("Jesus Remembered", or if you want the short form "A New Perspective on Jesus") that the disciples had faith in Jesus before his death, that there was a pre-Easter faith (obviously not the same as post-Easter faith) which led to the remembering and preservation of the oral traditions about Jesus' ministry. Now, in that context, rather than a post-Easter context, could Peter have made some kind of Messianic declaration? If it didn't mean what Mark's readers assumed it to mean decades later, what could it have meant?

            To add a further twist, what about the possibility that Peter became a representative, a cipher for the disciples in later tradition. For example, there are issues about his place in the resurrection appearance traditions as opposed to Mary Magdalene - that he was inserted into the tradition in her place. Was he a strong leader, and the NT traditions reflect his authority in the church? In other words, looking at your whodunnit, there is a wide range of possibilities ranging from "it happened like it said" to "he wasn't even there."

            Perhaps we need a "quest for the historical Peter"...

            Cheers,
            Rev Tony Buglass
            Superintendent Minister
            Upper Calder Methodist Circuit




            ----------

            No virus found in this outgoing message.
            Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
            Version: 7.0.298 / Virus Database: 267.11.8 - Release Date: 27/09/2005


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Daniel J. Gaztambide
            Tony Buglass wrote: Perhaps we need a "quest for the historical Peter"... That s exactly what I am trying to do! My current understanding of the
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 3, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              Tony Buglass wrote: "Perhaps we need a "quest for the historical
              Peter"..."

              That's exactly what I am trying to do! My current understanding of the
              material though, is that he can't be studied in isolation, as perhaps it
              has been done in Jesus studies so far. He needs to be studied in relation
              to Jesus, pre- and post- easter.

              Another source I intend on using is 1 Peter. Irregardless of whether it
              is an actual writing of Peter, it could still serve as a source which
              conveys a tradition of what Peter's thoughts where. Within it are
              constant allusions to the suffering character of Jesus, much like his
              speeches in the book of Acts.

              As for the Phillipians quote mentioned earlier, I don't currently
              remember its status as far as authenticity goes (is it a writing of Paul
              or pseudopigraphia), but it could still present another attestation to
              the tradition of Jesus becoming the Messiah via resurrection.

              As to the authenticity of the Peter sayings, I would for starters
              consider the Peter saying in Acts 2: 36 as historical, via the criterion
              of dissimilarity. Luke (like all the other gospels) argue that Jesus was
              the messiah during his lifetime. If Acts is indeed by the same author as
              Luke, then he is sort of writting against himself by allowing Peter to
              say that Jesus was the Messiah through death and ressurection and not
              throughout life and preaching.

              I would also throw the criterion of embarassment in there, since in Acts
              4: 1-13 the High priest listens to Peter's teaching (Jesus as the Christ
              risen from the dead), and considers them "unschooled, ordinary men, they
              were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus".
              The rising leader of the early church is portrayed as a simpleton who
              performed unschooled exegesis of biblical texts.

              But maybe I'm being too rough with the usage of such criterion. Actually,
              I should probably explain why I'm using criteria develop for historical
              Jesus study in "historical Peter" study, which I'll happily do after my
              psychology and religion exam today!

              Ciao!

              -Dan



              On Mon, October 3, 2005 7:58 am, Tony Buglass wrote:
              > Daniel wrote:
              > In a sense, my work tries to answer a certain set of questions: how
              > exactly was the Messiah perceived in the early Church? Did it consider
              > Jesus to have been the Messiah since before his death%2
            • Bob Schacht
              ... Tony, Thanks for the interesting summary! ... I agree. ... Stevan Davies in his book, Jesus the Healer, argues that Jesus was more the charismatic than the
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 3, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                At 01:58 AM 10/3/2005, Tony Buglass replied to Daniel thusly:


                >Re your thesis - yes, I agree that there is a strong Peter connection. It
                >seems to be the general consensus that Paul's 1 Cor.15 paradosis is
                >15:3-5, and that 6-8 is his own addition and update of the list. The
                >question is where he got the paradosis in the first place, and it is not
                >unlikely that he got it from Peter.... So Peter was probably Paul's main
                >point of access to both his knowledge of the historical Jesus and his
                >receiving of the early paradosis.
                >
                >The next question is whether the theological development of eg Rom.1:4 is
                >Paul's own reflection on the implication of resurrection for Jesus' status
                >as Messiah, or whether it is earlier tradition. ...

                Tony,
                Thanks for the interesting summary!

                >What I suspect this shows us is that the different christologies can be
                >traced back into the earliest traditions, when theology was anything but
                >systematic. ...

                I agree.

                >... What was it about Jesus of Nazareth that made people remember these
                >stories *before* his death and resurrection? Jimmy Dunn argues ("Jesus
                >Remembered", or if you want the short form "A New Perspective on Jesus")
                >that the disciples had faith in Jesus before his death, that there was a
                >pre-Easter faith (obviously not the same as post-Easter faith) which led
                >to the remembering and preservation of the oral traditions about Jesus'
                >ministry.

                Stevan Davies in his book, Jesus the Healer, argues that Jesus was more the
                charismatic than the flat words of the Gospels are able to convey. I
                suspect that it was his charisma that made him memorable, and it is that
                "which led to the remembering and preservation of the oral traditions about
                Jesus' ministry." Of course, we can then begin arguing about which of the
                charismata he displayed, etc. What I suspect is that when eyewitnesses
                talked about the charisma of Jesus, words failed them. When their scribes
                attempted to write what the eyewitnesses were saying, it came out flat, or
                as fabulous, even by their standards. So instead what they did was to try
                to rationalize what was memorable about him, and to see him through the
                eyes of their own sacred literature. In a sense, Crossan's contrast between
                "History remembered" vs. "prophecy historicized" is a false choice: When
                they read their sacred literature, they "saw" Jesus in it, or it helped
                them "remember" Jesus.

                >...To add a further twist, what about the possibility that Peter became a
                >representative, a cipher for the disciples in later tradition. For
                >example, there are issues about his place in the resurrection appearance
                >traditions as opposed to Mary Magdalene - that he was inserted into the
                >tradition in her place. Was he a strong leader, and the NT traditions
                >reflect his authority in the church? ...

                We wrestled with that question here on XTalk some time ago. I can't
                remember a good key word to use in searching the archives, other than
                "Peter." What we were struck by is that all of the Gospel writers seemed to
                have mixed feelings about Peter: On the one hand, he seemed to be something
                of a fumbler and a stumbler, if not an outright block head. But on the
                other hand, it seemed clear that he had some special status going right
                back to Jesus (yes, the historical one) that they could not deny. It seemed
                that everyone knew that they were stuck with Peter, for better or worse,
                and no one was completely happy about it. At least, that's what I remember
                as the general consensus of that discussion.


                >Perhaps we need a "quest for the historical Peter"...

                Indeed!

                Cheers,
                Bob


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.