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

Mark's Christology (cont.)

Expand Messages
  • Joseph Codsi
    Rikk Watts wrote on December 9, 2005:
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 10, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Rikk Watts wrote on December 9, 2005:

      <<As noted earlier, Ps 22 is unparalleled in the psalter for both its depths
      of abandonment and equally exalted deliverance ‹ both elements are integral
      to the psalm and without either it loses much of its force; i.e. it combines
      at least the forms of lament AND thanksgiving both of which need to be
      heard. Those who wish to emphasize only one aspect to the exclusion of the
      other are doing violence to the thematic unity and progression of the
      material. In other words deliverance is an integral part of the psalm and
      its essential climax. I would need to see a more substantial case for the
      possibility of such a one-sided reading in the first century than a simple
      assertion that only suffering is implied in Jesus' echoing of the first
      line. That it is an individual lament yet included in Israel's hymnal
      suggests that it had a role for the community as well.>>

      Rikk,

      This is a very good reading of Ps 22 and of the way Mark or any other
      Christian theologian of the first century is likely to have understood it.

      But I have a problem with your next statement:

      <<The response of the bystanders supports this reading. Far from being a
      misunderstanding of Eloi as Elijah (this seems unlikely since although it
      might appear to work in the English text, it doesn't work in Aramaic), the
      bystanders' response is to wait and see if Elijah, traditionally understood
      as Yahweh's agent of deliverance, would indeed appear. In other words, they
      hear in Jesus' cry an appeal for deliverance and are waiting to see if it
      occurs.>>

      First: a request for clarification.

      On the one hand you say that Eloi is not Elijah, but in your interpretation
      you maintain this equivalence. You may want to rephrase your statement in
      regards to this point.

      Second: Back to substance.

      If Elijah is **traditionally understood as Yahweh's agent of deliverance**
      and if Jesus' cry is for help, the fact remains that the expected help did
      not materialize. As far as the bystanders are concerned, who say **Listen,
      he is calling for Elijah**, the expected deliverance did not happen. Jesus
      died instead of being delivered.

      In other words, there are here two very different points of view. The
      Christian reader who sees the event in retrospect and in the light of the
      resurrection can say that the deliverance came with the resurrection. But
      the bystander who is witnessing the crucifixion is bound to say that Jesus'
      call for deliverance remained unanswered.

      Now, if we take Jesus' cry for help and the remark of the bystanders to be
      historical, the question remains opened as to the way we can read Jesus'
      mind. If he had known, as the Christian piety would assume, that God was
      going to resurrect him on the third day, the cry for help would become out
      of place. If he did not know what was going to happen after his death, then
      his call for help would mean that he expected God to intervene to deliver
      him from death and vindicate his religious views, the very views that caused
      his crucifixion.

      In other words, the same event can be seen from two different points of
      view: A post-Easter Christian reading, and a pre-Easter view of the
      crucifixion. I think that the Christian reading is theologically loaded. The
      pre-Christian reading, as the bystanders and the historical Jesus himself
      would have seen it, tells the naked truth. In this case, the opening words
      of Psalm 22 turn into bitter disappointment. I can understand this
      disappointment, if Jesus had been confident, as he confronted the Jewish
      establishment, that God would intervene to help him and inaugurate his
      Kingdom. Unfortunately God would not intervene, and Jesus saw himself
      abandoned to his bitter fate.

      The two readings are possible.

      Cheers,

      Joseph

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

      "Within two decades, most of the world's knowledge will be digitized and
      available, one hopes for free reading on the Internet, just as there is free
      reading in libraries today."

      Michael A. Keller, Stanford University head librarian.
      December 2004
    • Rikk Watts
      HI Joseph, Thanks for the response, but beg pardon I think you ve missed my point. I was arguing that the emphasis on vindication and deliverance was the way
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 10, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        HI Joseph,

        Thanks for the response, but beg pardon I think you've missed my point. I
        was arguing that the emphasis on vindication and deliverance was the way
        most would have understood Ps 22, not just Christians. To reiterate: Ps 22
        is a lament which climaxes in thanksgiving to God because he not only can
        but has delivered and therefore does deliver from the most dire
        circumstances. Unfortunately your reading goes on, without argument, simply
        to ignore the very point and climax of the Psalm, and so to reduce Jesus'
        appeal only to a sense of abandonment. Can I press you on this? On what
        grounds do you assume as much? Is it simply because Jesus doesn't cite the
        whole psalm? But how then does one explain the bystanders' response: they
        seem to hear it as evoking an expectation of deliverance. Do you have any
        first century evidence to support your counter contention?

        > On the one hand you say that Eloi is not Elijah, but in your interpretation
        > you maintain this equivalence.
        That's right. Given that Elijah was the agent of Yahweh's deliverance, when
        Jesus expressed his confidence in God's vindication of the righteous, the
        bystanders naturally expected that salvation to come through Elijah. In
        other words, as I said, the connection between Eloi and Elijah is through
        agency not linguistic error.

        > Now, if we take Jesus' cry for help and the remark of the bystanders to be
        > historical, the question remains opened as to the way we can read Jesus'
        > mind. If he had known, as the Christian piety would assume, that God was
        > going to resurrect him on the third day, the cry for help would become out
        > of place. If he did not know what was going to happen after his death, then
        > his call for help would mean that he expected God to intervene to deliver
        > him from death and vindicate his religious views, the very views that caused
        > his crucifixion.
        Let's try to stay with Mark's (as distinct from Jesus') Christology if we
        can. The problem here as I see it is that you continue to assume that the Ps
        22 citation is only a cry for help, the very thing I am challenging.
        Whatever the bystanders might think as to when the requested vindication
        needs to come, probably prior to death, Mark's readers already know that
        Jesus knows he will die, and that he expects to be vindicated "three days"
        later. They presumably are convinced that such vindication did indeed occur.
        I think for Mark's Jesus this vindication is the essential element of Ps 22.
        In other words, Mark's Jesus sees himself undergoing the experience of
        Israel (after all they sang this Ps) even to the point of death, knowing
        that God would vindicate him, hence his great shout at the moment of death.
        That was the point at which he had done what needed to be done; the rest was
        in God's hands as he had said so many times before. So, yes, he did expect
        God to vindicate him but not, according to Mark, prior to his death; Mark's
        bystanders might have thought that, but not his Jesus.
        Thus let me reiterate. It seems to me that the traditional view of Jesus'
        use of Ps 22, i.e. that it was a despairing cry, is mistaken, and I can see
        nothing in the texts which tell us we have to read it so (unfortunately most
        attempts at critiquing this tradition are no less traditional). Instead, as
        was Jesus' habit in Mark, he was locating the significance of his coming
        death within Israel's scriptural tradition.
        Now to shift ground to the historical Jesus. Given the frequency of
        citations of and allusions to Israel's scriptures I find it very difficult
        to believe that this feature is an innovation of the early church. If e.g.
        Qumran and the early rabbis lived their lives in the shadow of scripture,
        why not Jesus? That being so, it doesn't surprise me in the least that he
        appealed to scripture at the climax of his life and mission.

        > In other words, the same event can be seen from two different points of
        > view: A post-Easter Christian reading, and a pre-Easter view of the
        > crucifixion. I think that the Christian reading is theologically loaded.
        > pre-Christian reading, as the bystanders and the historical Jesus himself
        > would have seen it, tells the naked truth. In this case, the opening words
        > of Psalm 22 turn into bitter disappointment. I can understand this
        > disappointment, if Jesus had been confident, as he confronted the Jewish
        > establishment, that God would intervene to help him and inaugurate his
        > Kingdom. Unfortunately God would not intervene, and Jesus saw himself
        > abandoned to his bitter fate.
        First, this is again entirely to ignore the point of the Psalm. Try reading
        Mark with the citation of Ps 22 evoking not bitter disappointment but an
        expectation, even in the face of great suffering and what looks like
        abandonment, of deliverance. At the same time, where is the textual evidence
        that Mark's Jesus expresses any kind of disappointment at his death?

        Of course the Christian reading is theologically loaded, as are those of the
        first century Temple authorities, of the Pharisees, of the bystanders, and
        indeed of your good self since everybody is operating with some sort of
        theological grid. I think what you meant to say is that Mark is arguing a
        case‹which indeed he is, but then so are you and I; nothing wrong with
        that‹and that you don't believe him because you think his piety is blinding
        him. It's my guess that he would take some umbrage at this, arguing most
        vociferously that his Christian piety (please don't patronize me) is, if you
        insist on putting it in such stark terms, the result not the cause of his
        story.

        Take good care
        Rikk


        Rikk Watts (Cantab)
        Regent College, Vancouver
      • Joseph Codsi
        Rikk Watts post of December 10, 2005 Hello Rikk, First, thank you for clarifying that **the connection between Eloi and Elijah is through agency not
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 11, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Rikk Watts' post of December 10, 2005

          Hello Rikk,

          First, thank you for clarifying that **the connection between Eloi and
          Elijah is through agency not linguistic error**.

          I will now turn to the point of contention between us. You said:

          << Ps 22 is a lament which climaxes in thanksgiving to God because he not
          only can but has delivered and therefore does deliver from the most dire
          circumstances.>>

          This is how God's relation to Israel was perceived by the covenant people.
          In this case, the entire history of Israel is seen as a series of ups and
          downs. Israel sins against the covenant and is abandoned by God into the
          hands of its enemies. Then God repents and comes to the rescue of his
          people.

          In this scenario, Israel as a people and a nation is never extinguished. The
          land is devastated; Jerusalem is destroyed; the people are deported; the
          monarchy is abolished and so on and so forth. But after the storm, the sun
          shines again.

          What is true of a nation is not true of an individual. Once a person is
          dead, there is no new beginning. The cycle of trial and vindication can go
          on indefinitely for a nation over endless centuries. The individual's death,
          on the other hand, is final. One does not survive one's death. For an
          individual to be vindicated, God must act before the irreversible event of
          death.

          This is why I feel that the analogy between Israel and Jesus leaves
          something to be desired. A society survives the death of its members. But
          this is not true of the individual.

          Not only God did not come to the rescue of his servant Jesus, but Jesus died
          the death of those who are cursed by God. This is too a genuine religious
          view. The bystanders recognize the cry for help, but see that no help came.
          God has literally abandoned his servant and let him die the death of those
          who are accursed.

          This is how a good Jewish theologian would have interpreted Jesus' death.

          I suggest we resolve this point before we discuss the Christological
          approach to the question.

          Cheers,

          Joseph

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

          "Within two decades, most of the world's knowledge will be digitized and
          available, one hopes for free reading on the Internet, just as there is free
          reading in libraries today."

          Michael A. Keller, Stanford University head librarian.
          December 2004
        • Bob Schacht
          ... You re missing an intermediate category. When the prophets reviewed the history of their people, what they always found was a faithful remnant . It was
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 11, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            At 11:02 PM 12/10/2005, Joseph Codsi wrote:

            >. . .This is how God's relation to Israel was perceived by the covenant
            >people.
            >In this case, the entire history of Israel is seen as a series of ups and
            >downs. Israel sins against the covenant and is abandoned by God into the
            >hands of its enemies. Then God repents and comes to the rescue of his people.
            >
            >In this scenario, Israel as a people and a nation is never extinguished. The
            >land is devastated; Jerusalem is destroyed; the people are deported; the
            >monarchy is abolished and so on and so forth. But after the storm, the sun
            >shines again.
            >
            >What is true of a nation is not true of an individual. Once a person is
            >dead, there is no new beginning. The cycle of trial and vindication can go
            >on indefinitely for a nation over endless centuries. The individual's death,
            >on the other hand, is final. One does not survive one's death. For an
            >individual to be vindicated, God must act before the irreversible event of
            >death.
            >
            >This is why I feel that the analogy between Israel and Jesus leaves
            >something to be desired. A society survives the death of its members. But
            >this is not true of the individual.

            You're missing an intermediate category. When the prophets reviewed the
            history of their people, what they always found was a "faithful remnant".
            It was not the Nation that survived, but this faithful remnant. This
            process began in Exodus/Numbers, when during the Wanderings, people did
            things like make a Golden Calf, for which many of them were killed. There
            were a number of other such episodes. Then with the monarchy itself, which
            was first split and then destroyed by invaders-- but again, a faithful
            remnant survived. So the unit of survival is neither the Nation, nor the
            individual, but the faithful remnant.

            I think the early followers of Jesus thought of themselves as the faithful
            remnant-- especially after the destruction of Jerusalem. Whether Mark
            thought of them that way, I don't know.

            Bob

            Bob
            Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
            University of Hawaii
            Honolulu, HI

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Bob MacDonald
            Bob Schacht wrote: I think the early followers of Jesus thought of themselves as the faithful remnant-- especially after the destruction of Jerusalem. Whether
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 11, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              Bob Schacht wrote: I think the early followers of Jesus
              thought of themselves as the faithful remnant-- especially
              after the destruction of Jerusalem. Whether Mark thought of
              them that way, I don't know.

              I would like to hear more about the faithful remnant in
              relationship to the Psalm. To what extent did the early
              followers see Jesus as Israel? Perhaps there is some
              relationship to a role as high-priest also. It seems that
              the author of Hebrews followed this image. Mark has the
              three-fold - 'give his life as a ransom for many', so it
              seems that the sacrificial function (both as priest and
              victim) is not missing from his gospel. Could the psalm
              refer to sacrifice? If so, it would be difficult not to make
              the association. (Is this why Luke leaves it out?)

              I wonder also if the agreement among the synoptics on the
              6th to the 9th hour can be understood as referring to the
              practice of offering the sin offering, the passover, and the
              peace offering in the afternoon towards evening?

              just a few thoughts

              Bob

              Bob MacDonald
              GX - Government eXcellence - http://gx.ca
              201-1814 Vancouver Street Victoria BC (250) 995-3071
              605-85 Albert Street Ottawa ON (613) 230-3833

              cell 250 516-0692
            • Rikk Watts
              Hi Joseph, I must confess to being somewhat flummoxed by this response. First, as to whether one can speak of Israel experiencing a death and resurrection,
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 11, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi Joseph,

                I must confess to being somewhat flummoxed by this response.

                First, as to whether one can speak of Israel experiencing a death and
                resurrection, Ezekiel seems to think so. But that's beside the point anyway
                since as I'm sure you know, Psalm 22 is primarily an individual psalm whose
                application to the community is secondary. But it seems at least we are
                agreed that Ps 22 is finally about deliverance. You are right in observing
                that the psalm does not envisage the death of the individual, but I'm not
                sure how that substantially changes the meaning of the psalm, except to make
                the reversal and deliverance even more stunning.

                Second, while I don't deny that a Jewish theologian witnessing Elijah's
                non-appearance might consider that Jesus was abandoned by God and cursed.
                The early Paul himself seems to have thought so. Since I agree I'm not sure
                if there was or is anything on this score that needs resolving.

                But both the later Paul and Mark would argue that such a view was ultimately
                quite mistaken since God did in fact vindicate Jesus in a manner even more
                remarkable than a pre-death deliverance: by doing so after he had died. And
                given the heading of this thread‹"Mark's Christology"‹I should have thought
                that this is what we were discussing, not that of a Jewish theologian. This
                thread began by discussing the death of Jesus and thus the role of Ps 22 in
                Mark's account and that was and still is my concern.

                Regards
                Rikk

                > I will now turn to the point of contention between us. You said:
                >
                > << Ps 22 is a lament which climaxes in thanksgiving to God because he not
                > only can but has delivered and therefore does deliver from the most dire
                > circumstances.>>

                > This is how God's relation to Israel was perceived by the covenant people.
                > In this case, the entire history of Israel is seen as a series of ups and
                > downs. Israel sins against the covenant and is abandoned by God into the
                > hands of its enemies. Then God repents and comes to the rescue of his
                > people.
                >
                > In this scenario, Israel as a people and a nation is never extinguished. The
                > land is devastated; Jerusalem is destroyed; the people are deported; the
                > monarchy is abolished and so on and so forth. But after the storm, the sun
                > shines again.
                >
                > What is true of a nation is not true of an individual. Once a person is
                > dead, there is no new beginning. The cycle of trial and vindication can go
                > on indefinitely for a nation over endless centuries. The individual's death,
                > on the other hand, is final. One does not survive one's death. For an
                > individual to be vindicated, God must act before the irreversible event of
                > death.
                >
                > This is why I feel that the analogy between Israel and Jesus leaves
                > something to be desired. A society survives the death of its members. But
                > this is not true of the individual.
                >
                > Not only God did not come to the rescue of his servant Jesus, but Jesus died
                > the death of those who are cursed by God. This is too a genuine religious
                > view. The bystanders recognize the cry for help, but see that no help came.
                > God has literally abandoned his servant and let him die the death of those
                > who are accursed.
                >
                > This is how a good Jewish theologian would have interpreted Jesus' death.
                >
                > I suggest we resolve this point before we discuss the Christological
                > approach to the question.
                >
                > Cheers,
                >
                > Joseph
                >
                > ================
                > Joseph Codsi
                > P.O. Box 116-2088
                > Beirut, Lebanon
                > Telephone (961) 1 423 145
                > joseph5@...
                > Université Pour Tous
                >
                > "Within two decades, most of the world's knowledge will be digitized and
                > available, one hopes for free reading on the Internet, just as there is free
                > reading in libraries today."
                >
                > Michael A. Keller, Stanford University head librarian.
                > December 2004
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
                >
                > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                > List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • Joseph Codsi
                I wish to thank Bob Schacht for his input concerning the faithful remnant. ================ Joseph Codsi P.O. Box 116-2088 Beirut, Lebanon Telephone (961) 1
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 12, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  I wish to thank Bob Schacht for his input concerning the faithful remnant.

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

                  "Within two decades, most of the world's knowledge will be digitized and
                  available, one hopes for free reading on the Internet, just as there is free
                  reading in libraries today."

                  Michael A. Keller, Stanford University head librarian.
                  December 2004
                • Joseph Codsi
                  Reply to the-----Original Message----- From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Rikk Watts Sent: Monday, December 12,
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 12, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Reply to the-----Original Message-----
                    From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On
                    Behalf Of Rikk Watts
                    Sent: Monday, December 12, 2005 5:20 AM
                    To: xtalk
                    Subject: Re: [XTalk] Mark's Christology (cont.)

                    Rikk,

                    Please excuse my insistence on the difference between Christology and
                    history.

                    From a theological point of view, I have no problem with your reading of
                    what is reported in Mark. I find your interpretation perfectly legitimate
                    and even very good.

                    What I am trying to say is that there is another way of looking at the
                    Markan text.

                    Even a theologian like Luke had a problem with Jesus' use of Psalm 22. Could
                    it be because he was writing for people who did not know how the Psalm
                    ended? I don't know. What matters here is the beginning of Ps 22, and the
                    very words the Markan Jesus says. Luke discarded those words and replaced
                    them with a much more peaceful utterance: **Father, into your hands I
                    commend my spirit** (Luke 23:46). Luke's behavior is understandable. The
                    **why have you forsaken me** is a highly ambiguous and troubling statement.
                    Your interpretation of it makes it acceptable, but it works only in a pious
                    Christian context.

                    If we turn now to the historians' point of view, we are faced with two
                    possibilities. In both cases, one is to assume that Jesus did in fact utter
                    the opening words of Psalm 22. The difference concerns his state of mind.

                    The first point of view is defined by the Christian faith: Jesus is the
                    Christ and the Son of God who saved the world through his sacrificial death.
                    According to this understanding, Jesus knew the will of God and accepted it
                    willingly. If we take this to be his state of mind, then your interpretation
                    would make sense.

                    The second point of view is defined by the skeptical observer, who thinks
                    that the resurrection was not an act of God, but an act of the disciples.
                    Dale Allison has summed up the two views as follows:

                    <<Either God raised Jesus from the dead, or the disciples somehow got the
                    job done in their imaginations.>> (Resurrecting Jesus, t&t clark, 2005, p
                    215).

                    As far as the Christian faith is concerned, the end result would have been
                    the same: the faith that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God. The
                    difference would have been limited to what went on in the mind of Jesus.

                    In the second case, Jesus would have died without knowing what the disciples
                    were going to make of him after his death, and even without knowing anything
                    about the redemptive value of his death. The crucified Jesus found himself
                    abandoned by his disciples and God himself. His death marked in his eyes the
                    end of his dream to see the advent of the Kingdom. His death would have
                    marked his total failure to achieve what he was trying to achieve when he
                    went to Jerusalem and confronted the religious establishment.

                    Dale Allison has the courage and the honesty of recognizing that, as a
                    simple historian, and in relation to the modality of the resurrection, he
                    cannot decide which one of the two possibilities is historically correct. I
                    am tempted to do the same in relation to what went on in the mind of the
                    crucified Jesus, when he uttered the opening words of Ps 22.

                    **Context begets meaning** (Dave Allison, p 284). The same words take
                    different meanings, if we pass from one Setz im Leben to another.

                    Cheers,

                    Joseph

                    ================
                    Joseph Codsi
                    P.O. Box 116-2088
                    Beirut, Lebanon
                    Telephone (961) 1 423 145
                    joseph5@...
                    Université Pour Tous
                  • Rikk Watts
                    Joseph, This is really a very odd experience. You ask me to excuse your insistence on distinguishing theology from history but that is precisely what I have
                    Message 9 of 11 , Dec 12, 2005
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Joseph,

                      This is really a very odd experience. You ask me to excuse your insistence
                      on distinguishing theology from history but that is precisely what I have
                      been asking for in pointing out that the thread concerned not Mark's history
                      but Mark's Christology. So actually there's nothing to excuse.

                      Would you mind if we just cleared up the Ps 22 issue first?
                      Your argument that Luke's omission proves that the Ps 22 citation is highly
                      ambiguous and troubling and only works in a pious Christian setting can't
                      really be the case can it? After all, to whom would Luke be primarily
                      writing if not pious Christians? And if so, then on your argument they would
                      necessarily understand the meaning of Ps 22. So, no, Luke's decision to omit
                      it must be for other reasons.

                      Not only so, the response of the clearly Jewish bystanders (cf. the Elijah
                      expectation), who apparently hear these works as an implicit declaration of
                      innocence and of an appeal for, and expectation of, deliverance (hence their
                      call to see if Elijah would come), suggests that for them the citation of Ps
                      22 was neither highly troubling nor ambiguous but apparently "worked" as an
                      appeal for deliverance and vindication in a Jewish setting as well. (To
                      clarify, we are not talking about whether or not the appeal was regarded as
                      answered in the affirmative, only that an appeal to Ps 22 was understood as
                      an appeal for deliverance and vindication).

                      Regards

                      Rikk Watts (Cantab)
                      Regent College, Vancouver




                      On 12/12/05 8:20 AM, "Joseph Codsi" <joseph5@...> wrote:

                      > Reply to the-----Original Message-----
                      > From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On
                      > Behalf Of Rikk Watts
                      > Sent: Monday, December 12, 2005 5:20 AM
                      > To: xtalk
                      > Subject: Re: [XTalk] Mark's Christology (cont.)
                      >
                      > Rikk,
                      >
                      > Please excuse my insistence on the difference between Christology and
                      > history.
                      >
                      > From a theological point of view, I have no problem with your reading of
                      > what is reported in Mark. I find your interpretation perfectly legitimate
                      > and even very good.
                      >
                      > What I am trying to say is that there is another way of looking at the
                      > Markan text.
                      >
                      > Even a theologian like Luke had a problem with Jesus' use of Psalm 22. Could
                      > it be because he was writing for people who did not know how the Psalm
                      > ended? I don't know. What matters here is the beginning of Ps 22, and the
                      > very words the Markan Jesus says. Luke discarded those words and replaced
                      > them with a much more peaceful utterance: **Father, into your hands I
                      > commend my spirit** (Luke 23:46). Luke's behavior is understandable. The
                      > **why have you forsaken me** is a highly ambiguous and troubling statement.
                      > Your interpretation of it makes it acceptable, but it works only in a pious
                      > Christian context.
                      >
                      > If we turn now to the historians' point of view, we are faced with two
                      > possibilities. In both cases, one is to assume that Jesus did in fact utter
                      > the opening words of Psalm 22. The difference concerns his state of mind.
                      >
                      > The first point of view is defined by the Christian faith: Jesus is the
                      > Christ and the Son of God who saved the world through his sacrificial death.
                      > According to this understanding, Jesus knew the will of God and accepted it
                      > willingly. If we take this to be his state of mind, then your interpretation
                      > would make sense.
                      >
                      > The second point of view is defined by the skeptical observer, who thinks
                      > that the resurrection was not an act of God, but an act of the disciples.
                      > Dale Allison has summed up the two views as follows:
                      >
                      > <<Either God raised Jesus from the dead, or the disciples somehow got the
                      > job done in their imaginations.>> (Resurrecting Jesus, t&t clark, 2005, p
                      > 215).
                      >
                      > As far as the Christian faith is concerned, the end result would have been
                      > the same: the faith that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God. The
                      > difference would have been limited to what went on in the mind of Jesus.
                      >
                      > In the second case, Jesus would have died without knowing what the disciples
                      > were going to make of him after his death, and even without knowing anything
                      > about the redemptive value of his death. The crucified Jesus found himself
                      > abandoned by his disciples and God himself. His death marked in his eyes the
                      > end of his dream to see the advent of the Kingdom. His death would have
                      > marked his total failure to achieve what he was trying to achieve when he
                      > went to Jerusalem and confronted the religious establishment.
                      >
                      > Dale Allison has the courage and the honesty of recognizing that, as a
                      > simple historian, and in relation to the modality of the resurrection, he
                      > cannot decide which one of the two possibilities is historically correct. I
                      > am tempted to do the same in relation to what went on in the mind of the
                      > crucified Jesus, when he uttered the opening words of Ps 22.
                      >
                      > **Context begets meaning** (Dave Allison, p 284). The same words take
                      > different meanings, if we pass from one Setz im Leben to another.
                      >
                      > Cheers,
                      >
                      > Joseph
                      >
                      > ================
                      > Joseph Codsi
                      > P.O. Box 116-2088
                      > Beirut, Lebanon
                      > Telephone (961) 1 423 145
                      > joseph5@...
                      > Université Pour Tous
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
                      >
                      > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      > List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • Joseph Codsi
                      Rikk Watts wrote on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 7:46 AM Joseph, **the thread concerned not Mark s history but Mark s Christology**. OK. So let s talk
                      Message 10 of 11 , Dec 13, 2005
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Rikk Watts wrote on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 7:46 AM

                        Joseph,

                        **the thread concerned not Mark's history but Mark's Christology**.

                        OK. So let's talk Christology. As I said before, I have no quarrel with your
                        theological reading of Ps 22 as it is used in the Markan passage.

                        But even if Mark's view is similar to yours, your interpretation manages to
                        transform what is apparently negative into something positive. Luke, on the
                        other hand, discarded what is apparently negative, and replaced it with
                        something totally positive. In both cases, there is a transformation of what
                        is apparently negative into something positive.

                        If we now look at this question as historians, can we discard a priori the
                        possibility that Jesus was confident God would come to his rescue in this
                        life not in the hereafter? In this case, he would have used the opening
                        words of Ps 22 to express his disappointment and his bewilderment. The fact
                        remains that he was left to die abandoned by all, including God. The somber
                        mood is a historical possibility.

                        Cheers,

                        Joseph
                      • Rikk Watts
                        Joseph, I m not sure we are getting very far, I m afraid. But it would help if you d actually respond to my points. ... agreed. Pardon me if I m getting the
                        Message 11 of 11 , Dec 14, 2005
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Joseph,

                          I'm not sure we are getting very far, I'm afraid. But it would help if you'd
                          actually respond to my points.

                          On 13/12/05 11:40 PM, "Joseph Codsi" <joseph5@...> wrote:

                          > **the thread concerned not Mark's history but Mark's Christology**.
                          agreed. Pardon me if I'm getting the wrong idea here, but to be clear, just
                          because we are talking about Mark's view of Jesus, doesn't mean that we
                          ignore e.g. how Ps 22 was historically understood in first century Judaism.
                          Hence my attempt to delineate a first century Jewish reading of Ps 22..

                          > OK. So let's talk Christology. As I said before, I have no quarrel with your
                          > theological reading of Ps 22 as it is used in the Markan passage.
                          ... and my befuddlement over what you mean by "my theological reading of Ps
                          22." How is my reading of Ps 22 "theological" ... as opposed to... what,
                          historical?

                          > But even if Mark's view is similar to yours, your interpretation manages to
                          > transform what is apparently negative into something positive.
                          Aren't you assuming what you seek to argue? You insist on asserting that the
                          Ps 22 citation is apparently negative. But "apparent" to whom, and on what
                          grounds? Since the Jewish bystanders did not so regard it, nor is the Ps
                          itself primarily about this, how can you keep insisting on this point? With
                          respect, repeated assertion doesn't make it any stronger. Let me ask you
                          again, where is your first century evidence that it was so understood?

                          > Luke, on the
                          > other hand, discarded what is apparently negative, and replaced it with
                          > something totally positive.
                          You keep insisting on this too, but how do you actually know Luke regarded
                          it as apparently negative? Can I suggest, with respect, that it strikes you
                          (and many others) that way because you/they are not paying enough attention
                          to the Ps itself or to how it was understood by first century Jews? You said
                          earlier that my reading would only work for pious Christians, but surely
                          Luke was writing to pious Christians and hence there must be another reason
                          (a point to which you've not responded).

                          > In both cases, there is a transformation of what
                          > is apparently negative into something positive.
                          >
                          > If we now look at this question as historians, can we discard a priori the
                          > possibility that Jesus was confident God would come to his rescue in this
                          > life not in the hereafter?
                          I'm not sure if "can we" is rhetorical or not. But taking it as a request,
                          I'm sorry, but this again amounts simply to a bald assertion; you've not
                          actually given any good historical reasons to discard this idea. How do you
                          actually know that Jesus, obviously a deeply religious and unusual person
                          even for his day, was not convinced that he would die and that God would
                          vindicate him? After all, all the texts point in this direction. Might it
                          not be that one only assumes this because one is a 21st century modern whose
                          plausibility structures are very different from those of a deeply religious
                          1st century Jew?

                          > In this case, he would have used the opening
                          > words of Ps 22 to express his disappointment and his bewilderment. The fact
                          > remains that he was left to die abandoned by all, including God. The somber
                          > mood is a historical possibility.
                          This would be fair enough if your underlying assumptions were correct. But
                          at present they are merely assumptions without any supporting evidence. I
                          should have thought that for someone who is so interested in history that
                          you might have offered some historical arguments. Perhaps I'm missing
                          something but I've not seen any.

                          Regards
                          Rikk
                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.