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Christ divided?

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... This is supposed to be our earliest Gospel, and it has a parallel in Luke 9:49-50, which contrasts with Matthew 7:22-23. Before this we have Paul s famous
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 29, 2006
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      In Mark 9 I find:

      >38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your
      >name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us."
      > 39 But Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power
      > in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.
      > 40 Whoever is not against us is for us.
      > 41 For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink
      > because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
      > 42 "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones
      > who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were
      > hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.

      This is supposed to be our earliest Gospel, and it has a parallel in Luke
      9:49-50, which contrasts with
      Matthew 7:22-23.

      Before this we have Paul's famous tirade in 1 Cor 1:11-13 on the theme, "Is
      Christ divided?", and the business in Acts 8 about Simon (and we hear later
      about the Simonians).

      Mark/Luke and Paul seem alike in recognizing that those who follow Jesus
      may be divided, but that Christ is not.

      This sounds to me like a reflection of realities at the time of the
      Corinthian correspondence and the composition of Mark, who would project
      those divisions all the way back into the lifetime of Jesus.

      What have the scholars written about these passages and their implications?

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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Gordon Raynal
      Hi Bob (and for all), Interesting note to stir conversations. Some more stirring below... ... No particular order to these musings: 1. As Jesus, his
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 29, 2006
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        Hi Bob (and for all),

        Interesting note to stir conversations. Some more stirring below...
        On Jun 29, 2006, at 3:42 AM, Bob Schacht wrote:

        > In Mark 9 I find:
        >
        >> 38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in
        >> your
        >> name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us."
        >> 39 But Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of
        >> power
        >> in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.
        >> 40 Whoever is not against us is for us.
        >> 41 For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink
        >> because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
        >> 42 "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little
        >> ones
        >> who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone
        >> were
        >> hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.
        >
        > This is supposed to be our earliest Gospel, and it has a parallel in
        > Luke
        > 9:49-50, which contrasts with
        > Matthew 7:22-23.
        >
        > Before this we have Paul's famous tirade in 1 Cor 1:11-13 on the
        > theme, "Is
        > Christ divided?", and the business in Acts 8 about Simon (and we hear
        > later
        > about the Simonians).
        >
        > Mark/Luke and Paul seem alike in recognizing that those who follow
        > Jesus
        > may be divided, but that Christ is not.
        >
        > This sounds to me like a reflection of realities at the time of the
        > Corinthian correspondence and the composition of Mark, who would
        > project
        > those divisions all the way back into the lifetime of Jesus.
        >
        > What have the scholars written about these passages and their
        > implications?
        >
        No particular order to these musings:

        1. As Jesus, his immediate friends and followers, and such as Paul
        never seemed to consider themselves as divorced from the religion/
        faith of their Hebraic ancestors and present fellows, how do folks see
        the relationships between the partisanship in "Judaism" and the
        partisanships among those who claimed some kind of special significance
        for Jesus? Besides the example of "another exorcist" that Bob cites,
        one push to think about this is the question of the relationship
        between the followers of JTB and those of Jesus. Another push is that
        some of Jesus' followers are noted to be connected to certain groups
        [Joanna is wife of Antipas' steward, Simon is "a Cananean" (reference
        to simply a place? or to perhaps a bandit group?), Joseph of Arimathea
        is said to be a council member, etc.). Another factor is Josephus'
        mention of the 4 distinct parties within the Judaism of the first
        century. Hence, how do questions of "Jewish" factionalism relate to
        those who were around Jesus and in the earliest days of the followers
        in old Israel?

        It seems to me one interesting thing to think about in terms of this is
        the whole question of the relationship between matters of "internal
        group unity" and "larger group unity" as relates to what Josephus
        reports about James the Just's death. As Josephus notes that the
        reaction of "...those city residents who were deemed the most
        fair-minded and who were strict in observing the law were offended at
        this (James' stoning)..." and this led to the ousting of Ananus, the
        high-priest to replace him with another Jesus, son of Damnaeus, what
        does this say about the relationship between internal matters of unity
        vis-a-vis larger unities?

        2. A broader question is "what does unity consist of?" As humans
        participate in a number of associations at any given time, how do
        competing loyalties play into the equations for figuring out "unity?"
        What beliefs, practices and allegiances are considered necessary and
        vital for unity? and who is getting to decide these? are a couple of
        questions that come to mind.

        In the Corinthian correspondence Paul starts by citing 5 differing
        groups (the four "I belong to's... and Chloe's people, whoever they
        "belonged to"). Notably the question of the nature of "wisdom" is
        where he starts, but then he goes on to talk about everything from sex
        to lawsuits to shopping at the market to head coverings for the ladies
        to the eucharist to resurrection. The possible numbers of combinations
        and permutations of beliefs and practices in these issues are numerous
        ( for example: could one believe in God, acclaim Jesus as Lord, affirm
        the saving nature of the cross, have 2 wives, enjoy dining at pagan
        parties and not believe in the resurrection of the body and still be a
        part of the community?) Might it be fair to say that despite all
        Paul's opining on all these matters he actually centers unity down on
        "faith, hope and love?"

        3. Finally, for now, that fragment of Hegesippus mentions not just 4
        parties, as Josephus does, but "7 sects." I'll simply quote the
        section of interest from Peter Kirby's site:

        "And after James the Just had suffered martyrdom, as had the Lord also
        and on the same account, again Symeon the son of Clopus, descended from
        the Lord's uncle, is made bishop, his election being promoted by all as
        being a kinsman of the Lord. Therefore the Church was called a virgin,
        for she was not as yet corrupted by worthless teaching. Thebulis it
        was who, displeased because he was not made bishop, first began to
        corrupt her by stealth. He too was connected to the seven sects which
        existed among the people, like Simon, from who come the Simoniani; and
        Cleobus, from whom come the Cleobiani; and Doritheus, from whom come
        the Dorithiani; and Gorthaeus, from whom come the Gorheani;
        Masbothaeus, from whom come the Masbothaei. From these men also come
        the Menandrianists, and the Marcionists, and the Carpocratians, and the
        Valentinians, and the Basilidians, and the Saturnalians. Each of these
        leaders in his own private and distinct capacity brought in his own
        private opinion. From these have come false Christs, false prophets,
        false apostles- men who have split up the one Church into parts through
        their corrupting doctrines, uttered in disparagement of God and of His
        Christ...."
        There were, moreover, various opinions in the matter of circumcision
        among the children of Israel who were opposed to the tribe of Judah and
        to Christ, such as the Essenes, the Galileans, the Hemerobaptists, the
        Masbothaei, the Samaritans, the Sadducees, the Pharisees."

        So, how does such as all this divisiveness play into the equations of
        what counts for unity? What were "worthless teachings?" In
        particular, despite all the vehemence Paul beings his Galatians
        correspondence with, how do the tensions between Paul, the Pillars and
        those "belonging to James" fit in this larger picture of "party
        spirit?"

        Anyway, some thoughts to further stir the pot.

        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC
      • Rikk Watts
        HI Bob, On the 1 Cor passage, have you read Bruce Winter s AFTER PAUL LEFT CORINTH? He offers a fascinating, and to my mind convincing, explanation of the
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 29, 2006
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          HI Bob,

          On the 1 Cor passage, have you read Bruce Winter's AFTER PAUL LEFT CORINTH?
          He offers a fascinating, and to my mind convincing, explanation of the
          Corinthian division based on the impact of the second Sophistic (as per his
          PHILO AND PAUL AMONG THE SOPHISTS) on the elites of that Roman colony.

          Re Mark, as a matter of interest, I'm wondering why you would assume that a
          figure as controversial as Jesus might not, even in his own lifetime, cause
          of some division among even those who claimed to be his followers? I can
          well imagine that various individuals, hearing and observing Jesus directly
          while he was in their locale or, even second hand, decided to act on his
          message and to imitate him (which is what disciples were expected to do; cf.
          also the sons of Sceva in Acts 19 though without genuine discipleship).
          Given the tendency toward factiousness in both Judaism and the Greco-Roman
          culture, it is not hard for me to imagine that those who thought they were
          Jesus' bona fide mathetes might not be pleased when lesser ones began to
          infringe on their power. (I'm not Matt 7 represents a parallel since its
          focus seems more concerned with the need for personal ethical standards). In
          other words, I'm not sure why this must be a retrojection.

          Am I missing something?

          Regards
          Rikk


          On 29/6/06 12:42 AM, "Bob Schacht" <bobschacht@...> wrote:

          > In Mark 9 I find:
          >
          >> 38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your
          >> name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us."
          >> 39 But Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power
          >> in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.
          >> 40 Whoever is not against us is for us.
          >> 41 For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink
          >> because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
          >> 42 "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones
          >> who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were
          >> hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.
          >
          > This is supposed to be our earliest Gospel, and it has a parallel in Luke
          > 9:49-50, which contrasts with
          > Matthew 7:22-23.
          >
          > Before this we have Paul's famous tirade in 1 Cor 1:11-13 on the theme, "Is
          > Christ divided?", and the business in Acts 8 about Simon (and we hear later
          > about the Simonians).
          >
          > Mark/Luke and Paul seem alike in recognizing that those who follow Jesus
          > may be divided, but that Christ is not.
          >
          > This sounds to me like a reflection of realities at the time of the
          > Corinthian correspondence and the composition of Mark, who would project
          > those divisions all the way back into the lifetime of Jesus.
          >
          > What have the scholars written about these passages and their implications?
          >
          > Bob Schacht
          > Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
          > University of Hawaii
          > Honolulu, HI
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • Bob Schacht
          ... Gordon, Thank you for this important reminder. ... I agree. We see this in Acts 19, for example. ... Josephus showed, and possibly exaggerated, the
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 29, 2006
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            At 03:56 AM 6/29/2006, Gordon Raynal wrote:

            >Hi Bob (and for all),
            >
            >Interesting note to stir conversations. Some more stirring below...
            >On Jun 29, 2006, at 3:42 AM, Bob Schacht wrote:
            >
            > > In Mark 9 . . .
            > > . . . it has a parallel in Luke 9:49-50. . .
            > >
            > > Before this we have Paul's famous tirade in 1 Cor 1:11-13 on the theme,
            > > "Is Christ divided?", and the business in Acts 8 about Simon (and we hear
            > > later about the Simonians).
            > >
            > > Mark/Luke and Paul seem alike in recognizing that those who follow
            > > Jesus may be divided, but that Christ is not.
            > >
            > > This sounds to me like a reflection of realities at the time of the
            > > Corinthian correspondence and the composition of Mark, who would
            > > project those divisions all the way back into the lifetime of Jesus.
            > >
            > > What have the scholars written about these passages and their
            > > implications?
            > >
            >No particular order to these musings:
            >
            >1. As Jesus, his immediate friends and followers, and such as Paul
            >never seemed to consider themselves as divorced from the religion/
            >faith of their Hebraic ancestors and present fellows, how do folks see
            >the relationships between the partisanship in "Judaism" and the partisanships
            >among those who claimed some kind of special significance for Jesus?

            Gordon,
            Thank you for this important reminder.

            >Besides the example of "another exorcist" that Bob cites,
            >one push to think about this is the question of the relationship
            >between the followers of JTB and those of Jesus.

            I agree. We see this in Acts 19, for example.

            >. . . Another factor is Josephus'
            >mention of the 4 distinct parties within the Judaism of the first
            >century. Hence, how do questions of "Jewish" factionalism relate to
            >those who were around Jesus and in the earliest days of the followers
            >in old Israel?

            Josephus showed, and possibly exaggerated, the viciousness with which such
            factions sometimes dealt with each other. The stoning of Steven, and Paul's
            escapades also showed that these factional disputes were more than
            theoretical exercises. I'm not trying to prove that was the norm, or
            anything but that factionalism existed.

            >It seems to me one interesting thing to think about in terms of this is
            >the whole question of the relationship between matters of "internal
            >group unity" and "larger group unity" as relates to what Josephus
            >reports about James the Just's death. As Josephus notes that the
            >reaction of "...those city residents who were deemed the most
            >fair-minded and who were strict in observing the law were offended at
            >this (James' stoning)..." and this led to the ousting of Ananus, the
            >high-priest to replace him with another Jesus, son of Damnaeus, what
            >does this say about the relationship between internal matters of unity
            >vis-a-vis larger unities?
            >
            >2. A broader question is "what does unity consist of?" As humans
            >participate in a number of associations at any given time, how do
            >competing loyalties play into the equations for figuring out "unity?"
            >What beliefs, practices and allegiances are considered necessary and
            >vital for unity? and who is getting to decide these? are a couple of
            >questions that come to mind.
            >
            >In the Corinthian correspondence Paul starts by citing 5 differing
            >groups (the four "I belong to's... and Chloe's people, whoever they
            >"belonged to").

            Yes; that is interesting terminology, is it not?

            >Notably the question of the nature of "wisdom" is
            >where he starts, but then he goes on to talk about everything from sex
            >to lawsuits to shopping at the market to head coverings for the ladies
            >to the eucharist to resurrection. The possible numbers of combinations
            >and permutations of beliefs and practices in these issues are numerous
            >( for example: could one believe in God, acclaim Jesus as Lord, affirm
            >the saving nature of the cross, have 2 wives, enjoy dining at pagan
            >parties and not believe in the resurrection of the body and still be a
            >part of the community?) Might it be fair to say that despite all
            >Paul's opining on all these matters he actually centers unity down on
            >"faith, hope and love?"

            Actually, I think he lost quite a few arguments in these matters, which is
            why he wrote in ! Cor, Chapter 1,

            >17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and
            >not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied
            >of its power.
            > 18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are
            > perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
            > 19 For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the
            > discernment of the discerning I will thwart."
            > 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the
            > debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
            > 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through
            > wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save
            > those who believe.
            > 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom,
            > 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and
            > foolishness to Gentiles,

            So what he "centers down on" , in the next chapter, is this:
            >NRS 1 Corinthians 2:1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not
            >come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom.
            > 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him
            > crucified.



            >3. Finally, for now, that fragment of Hegesippus mentions not just 4
            >parties, as Josephus does, but "7 sects." I'll simply quote the
            >section of interest from Peter Kirby's site:
            >
            >"And after James the Just had suffered martyrdom, as had the Lord also
            >and on the same account, again Symeon the son of Clopus, descended from
            >the Lord's uncle, is made bishop, his election being promoted by all as
            >being a kinsman of the Lord. Therefore the Church was called a virgin,
            >for she was not as yet corrupted by worthless teaching. Thebulis it
            >was who, displeased because he was not made bishop, first began to
            >corrupt her by stealth. He too was connected to the seven sects which
            >existed among the people, like Simon, from who come the Simoniani; and
            >Cleobus, from whom come the Cleobiani; and Doritheus, from whom come
            >the Dorithiani; and Gorthaeus, from whom come the Gorheani;
            >Masbothaeus, from whom come the Masbothaei. From these men also come
            >the Menandrianists, and the Marcionists, and the Carpocratians, and the
            >Valentinians, and the Basilidians, and the Saturnalians. Each of these
            >leaders in his own private and distinct capacity brought in his own
            >private opinion. From these have come false Christs, false prophets,
            >false apostles- men who have split up the one Church into parts through
            >their corrupting doctrines, uttered in disparagement of God and of His
            >Christ...."
            >There were, moreover, various opinions in the matter of circumcision
            >among the children of Israel who were opposed to the tribe of Judah and
            >to Christ, such as the Essenes, the Galileans, the Hemerobaptists, the
            >Masbothaei, the Samaritans, the Sadducees, the Pharisees."

            Thanks for this reference, with which I was not familiar.


            >So, how does such as all this divisiveness play into the equations of
            >what counts for unity? What were "worthless teachings?" In
            >particular, despite all the vehemence Paul beings his Galatians
            >correspondence with, how do the tensions between Paul, the Pillars and
            >those "belonging to James" fit in this larger picture of "party spirit?"

            I think it quite possible that "unity" was a will o'the wisp that people
            started to care about a lot more beginning with Irenaus than before. If E.
            P. Sanders was right that Jesus saw his main task as reconnecting people
            with their God, how much did he mean that as a *corporate* activity, and
            how much did he mean it as a matter of individual piety?

            >Anyway, some thoughts to further stir the pot.

            Thanks,
            Bob

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • RAnderson58@comcast.net
            ... From: Rikk Watts ... Perhaps the verse included by Matt and Mk: “False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 30, 2006
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              -------------- Original message ----------------------
              From: Rikk Watts <rwatts@...>

              >
              > Re Mark, as a matter of interest, I'm wondering why you would assume that a
              > figure as controversial as Jesus might not, even in his own lifetime, cause
              > of some division among even those who claimed to be his followers?

              Perhaps the verse included by Matt and Mk: �False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect� with minor variance relates to these divisions.

              Richard H. Anderson



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Gordon Raynal
              Hi Bob, ... Thanks. I just think this is a mighty important reminder. As Paul will go on to talk about all those Gentile pagan sorts grafted in then that
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 30, 2006
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                Hi Bob,
                On Jun 30, 2006, at 1:30 AM, Bob Schacht wrote:

                > At 03:56 AM 6/29/2006, Gordon Raynal wrote:
                >
                >> :
                >>
                >> 1. As Jesus, his immediate friends and followers, and such as Paul
                >> never seemed to consider themselves as divorced from the religion/
                >> faith of their Hebraic ancestors and present fellows, how do folks see
                >> the relationships between the partisanship in "Judaism" and the
                >> partisanships
                >> among those who claimed some kind of special significance for Jesus?

                Bob Schact wrote:
                >
                > Gordon,
                > Thank you for this important reminder.

                Thanks. I just think this is a mighty important reminder. As Paul will
                go on to talk about all those Gentile pagan sorts "grafted in" then
                that metaphorical tree with roots and trunk and limbs and leaves has to
                have some sort of fundamental structural unity for those little
                "grafting's" to have any life at all. Out of such flowery language, it
                seems to me the core of such discussions about unity need to carefully
                focus on their 1st century Jewish/ Hebraic religion and the
                commonalities and differences of their expressions of it.

                >> . . . Another factor is Josephus'
                >> mention of the 4 distinct parties within the Judaism of the first
                >> century. Hence, how do questions of "Jewish" factionalism relate to
                >> those who were around Jesus and in the earliest days of the followers
                >> in old Israel?
                >
                > Josephus showed, and possibly exaggerated, the viciousness with which
                > such
                > factions sometimes dealt with each other. The stoning of Steven, and
                > Paul's
                > escapades also showed that these factional disputes were more than
                > theoretical exercises. I'm not trying to prove that was the norm, or
                > anything but that factionalism existed.

                What comes to mind about this is how extremely bitter "inside politics"
                can be... 'twas a Black Muslim who killed Malcolm X, a Jew who killed
                Rabin, a Muslim who killed Sadat... onward to the bitter inward tussles
                inside denominations over the role of homosexuals in the church.
                "Unity" about core beliefs and practices is obviously no guarantee
                whatsoever about a functional, broad unity.

                Another note regards what Horsely nicely terms "the Spiral of
                Violence." It had blown up in Jesus' youth in the aftermath of Herod
                the Great's demise and came to a head when Archelaus reigned. But it
                was obviously building all across that era until the full explosion the
                first Jewish War. Not just factionalism was about, but the seething
                sort. In such circumstances language of "Speak Peace to this house..."
                (the Q/Luke "mission speech" of Jesus) and "a ministry of
                reconciliation" (Paul in II Cor. 5) is a relief to some, but "fighting
                words" for others in such a cauldron of disharmony.

                >>
                >> 2. A broader question is "what does unity consist of?" As humans
                >> participate in a number of associations at any given time, how do
                >> competing loyalties play into the equations for figuring out "unity?"
                >> What beliefs, practices and allegiances are considered necessary and
                >> vital for unity? and who is getting to decide these? are a couple of
                >> questions that come to mind.
                >>
                >> In the Corinthian correspondence Paul starts by citing 5 differing
                >> groups (the four "I belong to's... and Chloe's people, whoever they
                >> "belonged to").
                >
                > Yes; that is interesting terminology, is it not?

                It is. And it strikes me that this listing actually makes for perhaps
                6 groups, not 5:)! The Petrine group, the Apollos group, the claiming
                to be Paul group, the Jesus group, the tattling Chloe group and perhaps
                the actual Paul-supporting group:)! I offer a differentiation between
                the "I belong to Paul's" and actual Paul friends, because so very often
                those who claim to champion a person don't have an actual clue and in
                this letter Paul doesn't say, "listen to them!"

                >> ) Might it be fair to say that despite all
                >> Paul's opining on all these matters he actually centers unity down on
                >> "faith, hope and love?"
                >>
                >
                > So what he "centers down on" , in the next chapter, is this:
                >> NRS 1 Corinthians 2:1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did
                >> not
                >> come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom.
                >> 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and
                >> him
                >> crucified.

                It seems to me the core unity, even such a statement as that bit of
                rhetorical heat, is "the mystery of God." Hence I focused on "faith,
                hope and love" as Paul's actual core for working towards a kind of
                workable unity for these folks who were all over the map about so many
                things. My point is that Paul was a theocentric theological writer.
                Post Nicea and certainly post the Reformation and especially post
                Neo-orthodoxy that passage gets read with a focus on Christocentrism,
                but that is all "post-...." In terms of a terminological phrase it
                seems to me that it might be better to call such as Paul, Peter, James,
                etc. "Christian Jews" and not "Jewish Christians."

                Another note here is that this sentence later starts to be read
                backwards, so to speak, especially when it comes to working out
                soteriological doctrines. The sentence doesn't say, "For I decided to
                know nothing among you except the crucified Christ," but rather, "Jesus
                Christ" (and I'll pause a moment for emphasis) and then, "and him
                crucified." Again in the rush, rush of getting to soteriology in the
                later centuries this all gets rather quickly read and mushed together
                as a single focused phrase, when in fact it is a double phrase. In the
                rhetoric of I Cor. 1, it is most notable that when Paul lists what God
                reveals through his anointed (and him, the crucified) the list doesn't
                begin with soteriology, but with wisdom: (I Cor. 1:30: "He (God) is the
                source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God,
                and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.") Soteriology is
                # 4 on this list, but for later Systematic Theological purposes to
                spell out doctrines of Christology as it relates most especially to
                soteriology that listing gets turned around, too. The upshot of this
                is that to talk about "the mystery of God" with these folks he started
                talking "Jesus stuff" which includes his death and the meaning thereof,
                but certainly doesn't start there or only focus there.
                >
                >
                >
                >> 3. Finally, for now, that fragment of Hegesippus mentions not just 4
                >> parties, as Josephus does, but "7 sects." I'll simply quote the
                >> section of interest from Peter Kirby's site:
                >>
                >> "And after James the Just had suffered martyrdom, as had the Lord also
                >> and on the same account, again Symeon the son of Clopus, descended
                >> from
                >> the Lord's uncle, is made bishop, his election being promoted by all
                >> as
                >> being a kinsman of the Lord. Therefore the Church was called a virgin,
                >> for she was not as yet corrupted by worthless teaching. Thebulis it
                >> was who, displeased because he was not made bishop, first began to
                >> corrupt her by stealth. He too was connected to the seven sects which
                >> existed among the people, like Simon, from who come the Simoniani; and
                >> Cleobus, from whom come the Cleobiani; and Doritheus, from whom come
                >> the Dorithiani; and Gorthaeus, from whom come the Gorheani;
                >> Masbothaeus, from whom come the Masbothaei. From these men also come
                >> the Menandrianists, and the Marcionists, and the Carpocratians, and
                >> the
                >> Valentinians, and the Basilidians, and the Saturnalians. Each of these
                >> leaders in his own private and distinct capacity brought in his own
                >> private opinion. From these have come false Christs, false prophets,
                >> false apostles- men who have split up the one Church into parts
                >> through
                >> their corrupting doctrines, uttered in disparagement of God and of His
                >> Christ...."
                >> There were, moreover, various opinions in the matter of circumcision
                >> among the children of Israel who were opposed to the tribe of Judah
                >> and
                >> to Christ, such as the Essenes, the Galileans, the Hemerobaptists, the
                >> Masbothaei, the Samaritans, the Sadducees, the Pharisees."
                >
                > Thanks for this reference, with which I was not familiar.

                Glad to put you on to that. I think that's a fascinating passage with
                all sorts of juicy things to think about. One of those is just what
                "the worthwhile" and so "worthless teachings." Considering that Paul
                is no where in sight in this and that Hegessipus focus attention upon
                the continuity in the families' leadership from generation one to
                generation two, I don't think we're talking Pauline kerygma, but rather
                Jesus' teachings. This will perhaps raise howls of protest:)!, but I
                think this passage supports the role of the centrality of lists of
                Jesus' words as what was "worthwhile," and so supports not only such as
                the development of a Q Gospel and G. Thomas, but also the sort of thing
                we see at the outset of the Didache (that "teaching" document begins
                the interpretation of Torah "Love God... love neighbor as self") with a
                core summary of Jesus' aphoristic language. This helps us, in my view,
                understand the drive from lists (remembered and/ or written) to Sayings
                Gospels (Q1 spelling out an opening "Q Sermon"), such as the opening of
                "the Two Ways" we find in the Didache, Mark's choice of a gathering of
                sayings in Mark 4, and on to Matthew and Luke's artistry with that "Q
                Sermon" into the sermons "on the Mount" and "on the Plain"
                (respectively). Hegessipus' focus on family continuity raises up the
                idea of a worthwhile continuity of hermeneutics. All these other sorts
                "brought their own private opinion" and hence differing hermeneutical
                and from that, praxis foci. Back to the former paragraph, it strikes
                me what Paul is after is affirming that Jesus, Peter, Apollos, himself
                (and James) were fundamentally on the same page as regards Torah
                interpretation. As Acts will picture, both Peter and Paul are always
                returning to James to report and settle matters. While we know that
                they could fight and tussle, Hegesippus' writing clearly affirms that
                this is where the safekeeping of the "worthwhile" teaching was assured.
                >
                >
                >> So, how does such as all this divisiveness play into the equations of
                >> what counts for unity? What were "worthless teachings?" In
                >> particular, despite all the vehemence Paul beings his Galatians
                >> correspondence with, how do the tensions between Paul, the Pillars and
                >> those "belonging to James" fit in this larger picture of "party
                >> spirit?"
                >
                > I think it quite possible that "unity" was a will o'the wisp that
                > people
                > started to care about a lot more beginning with Irenaus than before.
                > If E.
                > P. Sanders was right that Jesus saw his main task as reconnecting
                > people
                > with their God, how much did he mean that as a *corporate* activity,
                > and
                > how much did he mean it as a matter of individual piety?

                Good question. Based on that Q/ Luke "Mission Statement"... "Go... say
                "Shalom to this house..." I would argue that for Jesus it was the
                social/ communal that was of most concern. Paul, taking off from this,
                really was interested in "a ministry of reconciliation," and so gets
                into all those things like sex and marriage and what and where you eat.
                Again, he talks about "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification..." and
                then "redemption." And both Acts and the Didache will speak about "the
                Way." This is not to divorce action and internal piety, but rather
                simply to affirm the good Hebraic/ Jewish notion that the two can't be
                separated. Actually trying to bring about some reconciliation as is
                seen from Jesus to Malcolm X to Martin Luther King, Jr. to Sadat to
                Rabin is very dangerous business in times of great social upheaval.
                Paul got beat up a lot of times for a message of "Grace to you and
                peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 1:7 and
                in some form the start of every one of the authentic and
                deutero-Pauline letters).

                >> Anyway, some thoughts to further stir the pot.
                >
                > Thanks,

                You're welcome!

                Gordon Raynal
                Inman, SC
              • Rikk Watts
                Thanks Richard. I think, given the context of Mark 13 and parallels, that most would see this as a reference to Jewish messianic pretenders rather than
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 30, 2006
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                  Thanks Richard.

                  I think, given the context of Mark 13 and parallels, that most would see
                  this as a reference to Jewish messianic pretenders rather than divisions
                  within the Christian movement itself.

                  Rikk


                  On 6/30/06 4:48 AM, "RAnderson58@..." <RAnderson58@...>
                  wrote:

                  >
                  > -------------- Original message ----------------------
                  > From: Rikk Watts <rwatts@...>
                  >
                  >>
                  >> Re Mark, as a matter of interest, I'm wondering why you would assume that a
                  >> figure as controversial as Jesus might not, even in his own lifetime, cause
                  >> of some division among even those who claimed to be his followers?
                  >
                  > Perhaps the verse included by Matt and Mk: „False Christs and false prophets
                  > will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect‰
                  > with minor variance relates to these divisions.
                  >
                  > Richard H. Anderson
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
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                • Mike Grondin
                  ... Surely these aren t the only possibilities, Rikk? While I agree that it doesn t sound like a reference to divisions _within_ the movement (at least not
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 30, 2006
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                    --- Rikk Watts wrote:
                    > I think, given the context of Mark 13 and parallels, that most
                    > would see this as a reference to Jewish messianic pretenders
                    > rather than divisions within the Christian movement itself.

                    Surely these aren't the only possibilities, Rikk? While I agree
                    that it doesn't sound like a reference to divisions _within_ the
                    movement (at least not directly), it doesn't sound much like your
                    alternative either. The reference seems to be to folks who will
                    come after Jesus and will claim to be either spokesmen for God
                    or "the Christ" himself - presumably in an attempt to take over the
                    movement from the outside. Who Mark had in mind as "the elect"
                    (13:22,27) may be somewhat nebulous, but surely he wasn't using
                    it there to refer to all and only ethnic Jews - as in "the chosen
                    people". Seems like mainly Christians - of whatever ethnicity -
                    with maybe a smattering of others thrown in.

                    Mike Grondin
                  • Bob Schacht
                    ... No, I haven t read it. Can you say more about his explanation please? I don t have it readily available. ... How do we really know that Jesus was
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 30, 2006
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                      At 01:21 PM 6/29/2006, Rikk Watts wrote:

                      >HI Bob,
                      >
                      >On the 1 Cor passage, have you read Bruce Winter's AFTER PAUL LEFT CORINTH?
                      >He offers a fascinating, and to my mind convincing, explanation of the
                      >Corinthian division based on the impact of the second Sophistic (as per his
                      >PHILO AND PAUL AMONG THE SOPHISTS) on the elites of that Roman colony.

                      No, I haven't read it. Can you say more about his explanation please? I
                      don't have it readily available.


                      >Re Mark, as a matter of interest, I'm wondering why you would assume that a
                      >figure as controversial as Jesus might not, even in his own lifetime, cause
                      >of some division among even those who claimed to be his followers?

                      How do we really know that Jesus was controversial? If he was notably
                      controversial, wouldn't we hear more about him from the likes of Josephus
                      and Philo. As it is, we only have a few disputed sentences from Josephus,
                      none from Philo, an indirect and distant reference from Tacitus, and not
                      much else from the non-Christian literature. Or to put my question
                      differently, how controversial was he? Josephus was hardly reticent when it
                      comes to describing controversies among the Jews.

                      >I can well imagine that various individuals, hearing and observing Jesus
                      >directly
                      >while he was in their locale or, even second hand, decided to act on his
                      >message and to imitate him (which is what disciples were expected to do; cf.
                      >also the sons of Sceva in Acts 19 though without genuine discipleship).
                      >Given the tendency toward factiousness in both Judaism and the Greco-Roman
                      >culture, it is not hard for me to imagine that those who thought they were
                      >Jesus' bona fide mathetes might not be pleased when lesser ones began to
                      >infringe on their power. (I'm not Matt 7 represents a parallel since its
                      >focus seems more concerned with the need for personal ethical standards). In
                      >other words, I'm not sure why this must be a retrojection.

                      I didn't mean to imply that it *must be* a retrojection. And I'm not even
                      sure if "this" refers back to Mark 9:38-42, or something else. However, I
                      am inclined to see some retrojection in this passage of Mark, because
                      otherwise one must envision a quick, fast personal impact of Jesus on a
                      relatively broad horizon, inspiring imitators within a few months. I'm more
                      inclined to think that his influence spread more gradually, building some
                      kind of cumulative momentum in Galilee. If Jesus had become instantly
                      noteworthy, don't you think Herod Antipas would have taken greater notice?


                      >Am I missing something?

                      Don't know if you are, or I am <g>
                      Thanks for your questions,
                      Bob


                      >Regards
                      >Rikk
                      >
                      >On 29/6/06 12:42 AM, "Bob Schacht"
                      ><<mailto:bobschacht%40infomagic.net>bobschacht@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > In Mark 9 I find:
                      > >
                      > >> 38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your
                      > >> name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us."
                      > >> 39 But Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power
                      > >> in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.
                      > >> 40 Whoever is not against us is for us.
                      > >> 41 For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink
                      > >> because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
                      > >> 42 "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones
                      > >> who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were
                      > >> hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.
                      > >
                      > > This is supposed to be our earliest Gospel, and it has a parallel in Luke
                      > > 9:49-50, which contrasts with
                      > > Matthew 7:22-23.
                      > >
                      > > Before this we have Paul's famous tirade in 1 Cor 1:11-13 on the theme, "Is
                      > > Christ divided?", and the business in Acts 8 about Simon (and we hear later
                      > > about the Simonians).
                      > >
                      > > Mark/Luke and Paul seem alike in recognizing that those who follow Jesus
                      > > may be divided, but that Christ is not.
                      > >
                      > > This sounds to me like a reflection of realities at the time of the
                      > > Corinthian correspondence and the composition of Mark, who would project
                      > > those divisions all the way back into the lifetime of Jesus.
                      > >
                      > > What have the scholars written about these passages and their implications?
                      > >
                      > > Bob Schacht
                      > > Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
                      > > University of Hawaii
                      > > Honolulu, HI
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
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                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Rikk Watts
                      Hi Mike, hope you re well and enjoying the summer break. ... Yes indeed. I couldn t agree more: these folks, as I tried to say (sorry if I wasn t clear) are
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 30, 2006
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                        Hi Mike, hope you're well and enjoying the summer break.

                        On 6/30/06 9:16 PM, "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:

                        > --- Rikk Watts wrote:
                        >> I think, given the context of Mark 13 and parallels, that most
                        >> would see this as a reference to Jewish messianic pretenders
                        >> rather than divisions within the Christian movement itself.
                        >
                        > Surely these aren't the only possibilities, Rikk? While I agree
                        > that it doesn't sound like a reference to divisions _within_ the
                        > movement (at least not directly), it doesn't sound much like your
                        > alternative either. The reference seems to be to folks who will
                        > come after Jesus and will claim to be either spokesmen for God
                        > or "the Christ" himself
                        Yes indeed. I couldn't agree more: these folks, as I tried to say (sorry if
                        I wasn't clear) are Jewish messianic pretenders. Indeed, many Markan
                        commentators usually begin by making precisely this identification, i.e.
                        that these are the folks of which Josephus speaks.

                        > - presumably in an attempt to take over the
                        > movement from the outside.
                        I'm not sure Mark's Jesus says anything as definitive as taking the movement
                        over from the outside. I.e. I don't think the many refers specifically to
                        Jesus' followers. He does however warn against them being deceived which
                        could mean being led away from the true movement if they get swept up with
                        the many. Given that one of Mark's major concerns is a misunderstanding of
                        what the Messiah looks like, I wonder if it doesn't make more sense to see
                        that as the issue at stake here. As long as the disciples hold to their
                        present false view of messiahship they, along with the many, are at risk
                        from these pretenders, even if they are the "elect"‹namely, at the very
                        least, the ones Jesus himself had chosen.

                        > Who Mark had in mind as "the elect"
                        > (13:22,27) may be somewhat nebulous, but surely he wasn't using
                        > it there to refer to all and only ethnic Jews - as in "the chosen
                        > people". Seems like mainly Christians - of whatever ethnicity -
                        > with maybe a smattering of others thrown in.
                        I agree. He is after all addressing the disciples, so I think you are right;
                        "elect" doesn't mean Israel in general here, though I think "the many"
                        probably does.

                        The tricky bit is the "in my name" saying "I am (he)." Several commentators
                        take the "in my name" to mean teaching in the name of Jesus. But what then
                        does one do with the claim that "I am (he)" (not least when in Mark this is
                        Jesus' self-revelatory statement when he walks on the water in 6.50)? Such a
                        reading leads Harrington and Donahue, along with others, to suggest that
                        these "followers" of Jesus will even claim to be the returned risen Christ.
                        This strikes me as exceedingly odd. How could a follower speaking "in the
                        name" of the one followed claim to be the very one he follows? Does anyone
                        know of any instance of this (apart from the obvious crazies whom no one
                        takes seriously)? There appears to be no evidence elsewhere of this kind of
                        problem.

                        Hooker IMHO is her eminently sensible self on this one. Noting precisely
                        these problems, she suggests that "in my name" means not a follower of Jesus
                        but a Messianic usurper, with "I am" meaning not "I am HE (=Jesus)" but "I
                        am the Messiah" (over against Jesus; cf. Matt's version). France takes a
                        similar view. Personally I think this makes better sense of v.6, and even
                        more so if one takes the view that Jesus is describing the lead up to the
                        Jewish War in the decades after his death.

                        All the best
                        Rikk



                        >
                        > Mike Grondin
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                      • Bob Schacht
                        ... And I responded, ... Somehow I am not surprised that you manage to turn this around to focus on wisdom, even though Paul wrote here, in 1 Cor 1:17-25,
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 30, 2006
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                          At 04:36 AM 6/30/2006, Gordon Raynal wrote, in part:
                          > >> ) Might it be fair to say that despite all
                          > >> Paul's opining on all these matters he actually centers unity down on
                          > >> "faith, hope and love?"
                          > >>

                          And I responded,

                          > >
                          > > So what he "centers down on" , in the next chapter, is this:
                          > >> NRS 1 Corinthians 2:1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not
                          > >> come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom.
                          > >> 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him
                          > >> crucified.

                          Then Gordon:

                          >. . . Again in the rush, rush of getting to soteriology in the
                          >later centuries this all gets rather quickly read and mushed together
                          >as a single focused phrase, when in fact it is a double phrase. In the
                          >rhetoric of I Cor. 1, it is most notable that when Paul lists what God
                          >reveals through his anointed (and him, the crucified) the list doesn't
                          >begin with soteriology, but with wisdom: (I Cor. 1:30: "He (God) is the
                          >source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God,
                          >and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.") . . .

                          Somehow I am not surprised that you manage to turn this around to focus on
                          wisdom, even though Paul wrote here, in 1 Cor 1:17-25, perhaps more clearly
                          than anywhere, of wisdom no less than 8 times, usually in disparaging
                          terms, e.g. about the 'wisdom of this world', and disclaiming to preach
                          wisdom from the outset. It is only the wisdom of God that has any
                          importance, and Paul does not claim that wisdom for himself, but only for
                          "Christ".

                          Later, you wrote:

                          >. . . One of those is just what
                          >"the worthwhile" and so "worthless teachings." Considering that Paul
                          >is no where in sight in this and that Hegessipus focus attention upon
                          >the continuity in the families' leadership from generation one to
                          >generation two, I don't think we're talking Pauline kerygma, but rather
                          >Jesus' teachings. This will perhaps raise howls of protest:)!, but I
                          >think this passage supports the role of the centrality of lists of
                          >Jesus' words as what was "worthwhile," and so supports not only such as
                          >the development of a Q Gospel and G. Thomas, but also the sort of thing
                          >we see at the outset of the Didache (that "teaching" document begins
                          >the interpretation of Torah "Love God... love neighbor as self") with a
                          >core summary of Jesus' aphoristic language. This helps us, in my view,
                          >understand the drive from lists (remembered and/ or written) to Sayings
                          >Gospels (Q1 spelling out an opening "Q Sermon"), such as the opening of
                          >"the Two Ways" we find in the Didache, Mark's choice of a gathering of
                          >sayings in Mark 4, and on to Matthew and Luke's artistry with that "Q
                          >Sermon" into the sermons "on the Mount" and "on the Plain"
                          >(respectively). Hegessipus' focus on family continuity raises up the
                          >idea of a worthwhile continuity of hermeneutics. All these other sorts
                          >"brought their own private opinion" and hence differing hermeneutical
                          >and from that, praxis foci. Back to the former paragraph, it strikes
                          >me what Paul is after is affirming that Jesus, Peter, Apollos, himself
                          >(and James) were fundamentally on the same page as regards Torah
                          >interpretation. As Acts will picture, both Peter and Paul are always
                          >returning to James to report and settle matters. While we know that
                          >they could fight and tussle, Hegesippus' writing clearly affirms that
                          >this is where the safekeeping of the "worthwhile" teaching was assured.

                          Seems to me that you're still trying to make "wisdom" the issue. I think
                          Paul, at least in 1 Cor 1, disagrees with you about this. And I'm guessing
                          that Paul ran into some people (Apollos?) who were better schooled in
                          wisdom than he was, and who could run metaphorical circles around him. So
                          maybe Paul could take on airs about wisdom in some places, but when he went
                          to the more sophisticated cities, I think his rhetoric shifted, and the
                          crucifixion became central.

                          > >
                          > >
                          > >> So, how does such as all this divisiveness play into the equations of
                          > >> what counts for unity? What were "worthless teachings?" In
                          > >> particular, despite all the vehemence Paul beings his Galatians
                          > >> correspondence with, how do the tensions between Paul, the Pillars and
                          > >> those "belonging to James" fit in this larger picture of "party
                          > >> spirit?"
                          > >
                          > > I think it quite possible that "unity" was a will o'the wisp that people
                          > > started to care about a lot more beginning with Irenaus than before.
                          > > If E. P. Sanders was right that Jesus saw his main task as reconnecting
                          > > people with their God, how much did he mean that as a *corporate*
                          > activity,
                          > > and how much did he mean it as a matter of individual piety?
                          >
                          >Good question. Based on that Q/ Luke "Mission Statement"... "Go... say
                          >"Shalom to this house..." I would argue that for Jesus it was the
                          >social/ communal that was of most concern. Paul, taking off from this,
                          >really was interested in "a ministry of reconciliation," and so gets
                          >into all those things like sex and marriage and what and where you eat.
                          >Again, he talks about "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification..." and
                          >then "redemption." And both Acts and the Didache will speak about "the
                          >Way." This is not to divorce action and internal piety, but rather
                          >simply to affirm the good Hebraic/ Jewish notion that the two can't be
                          >separated. . . .

                          On that note which I agree with, I'll sign off!

                          Thanks,
                          Bob

                          PS - I started with this thread in the wake of the Episcopal Church
                          Convention, in which "unity" was very much the issue. One party sees unity
                          only on their terms, and on their terms alone. Instead of preaching Christ
                          only, and him crucified, they want to preach X, Y and Z as well, and if you
                          don't agree, then you're not fit to be in the same church. Of course, they
                          see themselves as the faithful remnant, and the others as steeped in all
                          manner of abominations.

                          We humans are an odd lot.


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Bob Schacht
                          ... This is not so odd if you consider this one of the charisms, which I think is what Stevan Davies was doing in his Jesus the Healer. In modern terms, it
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 30, 2006
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                            At 07:04 PM 6/30/2006, Rikk Watts wrote, in part:

                            >. . . The tricky bit is the "in my name" saying "I am (he)." Several
                            >commentators
                            >take the "in my name" to mean teaching in the name of Jesus. But what then
                            >does one do with the claim that "I am (he)" (not least when in Mark this is
                            >Jesus' self-revelatory statement when he walks on the water in 6.50)? Such a
                            >reading leads Harrington and Donahue, along with others, to suggest that
                            >these "followers" of Jesus will even claim to be the returned risen Christ.
                            >This strikes me as exceedingly odd. How could a follower speaking "in the
                            >name" of the one followed claim to be the very one he follows? Does anyone
                            >know of any instance of this (apart from the obvious crazies whom no one
                            >takes seriously)? There appears to be no evidence elsewhere of this kind of
                            >problem. . . .

                            This is not so odd if you consider this one of the charisms, which I think
                            is what Stevan Davies was doing in his Jesus the Healer. In modern terms,
                            it would be like "channeling." Or, to use a more vivid and theatrical
                            example, the Exorcist, in which the girl's body is supposedly at times
                            convulsed by "possession," which is the phenomenon that Stevan Davies spent
                            a lot of time on in his book. The anthropological literature is full of
                            stories about possession and other forms of communing with the spirits, in
                            which the spirit of someone else is said to take control over the channeler
                            or person thus "possessed." Whether you believe in it or not, other people
                            do. Or have I misunderstood your point?

                            Bob





                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Lee Edgar Tyler
                            ... Hello Bob, I certainly appreciate the skepticism, but none of these sources reference Paul either, and I don t think there s any doubt that *he* was
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jun 30, 2006
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                              Bob Schacht wrote:

                              > At 01:21 PM 6/29/2006, Rikk Watts wrote:
                              >
                              > >HI Bob,
                              > >
                              > >On the 1 Cor passage, have you read Bruce Winter's AFTER PAUL LEFT
                              > CORINTH?
                              > >He offers a fascinating, and to my mind convincing, explanation of the
                              > >Corinthian division based on the impact of the second Sophistic (as
                              > per his
                              > >PHILO AND PAUL AMONG THE SOPHISTS) on the elites of that Roman colony.
                              >
                              > No, I haven't read it. Can you say more about his explanation please? I
                              > don't have it readily available.
                              >
                              > >Re Mark, as a matter of interest, I'm wondering why you would assume
                              > that a
                              > >figure as controversial as Jesus might not, even in his own lifetime,
                              > cause
                              > >of some division among even those who claimed to be his followers?
                              >
                              > How do we really know that Jesus was controversial? If he was notably
                              > controversial, wouldn't we hear more about him from the likes of Josephus
                              > and Philo. As it is, we only have a few disputed sentences from Josephus,
                              > none from Philo, an indirect and distant reference from Tacitus, and not
                              > much else from the non-Christian literature. Or to put my question
                              > differently, how controversial was he? Josephus was hardly reticent
                              > when it
                              > comes to describing controversies among the Jews.
                              >
                              > snippped
                              >
                              Hello Bob,

                              I certainly appreciate the skepticism, but none of these sources
                              reference Paul either, and I don't think there's any doubt that *he* was
                              controversial. Likewise Peter and John; and we have I believe only the
                              incidental reference to James from Josephus. And unlike Jesus, Paul's
                              influence was felt widely across the Greek-speaking world during his
                              lifetime. It doesn't seem that references in external sources will
                              inform the question of controversy much.

                              Ed Tyler

                              > .
                              >
                              >
                            • Mike Grondin
                              ... About to take off for the cottage for five days, but I should clarify that what s throwing me about your description is the scope of the word Jewish . If
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jul 1, 2006
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                                --- Rikk Watts wrote:
                                > Hi Mike, hope you're well and enjoying the summer break.

                                About to take off for the cottage for five days, but I should
                                clarify that what's throwing me about your description is the
                                scope of the word 'Jewish'. If the phrase is understood as
                                'Jewish-Messianic Pretender' ('Jewish' modifying 'Messianic'),
                                one wonders what other kinds of Messiahs you have in mind that
                                are being ruled out there. On the other hand, if understood as
                                'Jewish Messianic-Pretender' ('Jewish' modifying the entire
                                two-word phrase following it), it doesn't seem to do justice to
                                Mark, who was surely worried about Messianic Pretenders of all
                                stripes. In either case, the word 'Jewish' seems to be muddying
                                the waters unnecessarily.

                                Cheers,
                                Mike Grondin
                              • Rikk Watts
                                Hi Bob, ... Sure. Briefly, Winter argues that the elites among the new Christians in Corinth (granted there were not many) applied the same social mores to
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jul 1, 2006
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                                  Hi Bob,


                                  On 6/30/06 9:44 PM, "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...> wrote:

                                  > At 01:21 PM 6/29/2006, Rikk Watts wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> HI Bob,
                                  >>
                                  >> On the 1 Cor passage, have you read Bruce Winter's AFTER PAUL LEFT CORINTH?
                                  >> He offers a fascinating, and to my mind convincing, explanation of the
                                  >> Corinthian division based on the impact of the second Sophistic (as per his
                                  >> PHILO AND PAUL AMONG THE SOPHISTS) on the elites of that Roman colony.
                                  >
                                  > No, I haven't read it. Can you say more about his explanation please? I
                                  > don't have it readily available.
                                  Sure. Briefly, Winter argues that the elites among the new Christians in
                                  Corinth (granted there were not many) applied the same social mores to Paul,
                                  Apollos etc. as had governed their relationships as disciples (mathetes) to
                                  their secular teachers. I.e. imitation was central, a competitive spirit
                                  existed between teachers, and disciples were expected to play off the merits
                                  of their respective teachers against others particularly in terms of their
                                  rhetorical ability and personal presence both of which were crucial to one's
                                  status. Take Paul's refusal to play the sophist game in terms of the latter
                                  two items, and add the parton/client dynamic, and one naturally enough ended
                                  up with factions in the Corinthian church each led by some elite householder
                                  along with his clients following and extolling the merits of a given
                                  teacher. He then goes on to show how a number of problems in the Corinthian
                                  church are either directly the result of, or are further exacerbated, by
                                  these social dynamics.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >> Re Mark, as a matter of interest, I'm wondering why you would assume that a
                                  >> figure as controversial as Jesus might not, even in his own lifetime, cause
                                  >> of some division among even those who claimed to be his followers?
                                  >
                                  > How do we really know that Jesus was controversial? If he was notably
                                  > controversial, wouldn't we hear more about him from the likes of Josephus
                                  > and Philo. As it is, we only have a few disputed sentences from Josephus,
                                  > none from Philo, an indirect and distant reference from Tacitus, and not
                                  > much else from the non-Christian literature. Or to put my question
                                  > differently, how controversial was he? Josephus was hardly reticent when it
                                  > comes to describing controversies among the Jews.
                                  I think your distinction is critical. But surely one can be
                                  controversial‹all the evidence seems to suggest that the response to Jesus
                                  was divided; getting oneself crucified is hardly the mark of being a Mr.
                                  Rogers‹without being "notably" so if by that one means must be noted in
                                  Josephus, Philo, etc. I wonder if we are confusing the fact of being
                                  controversial and the degree of notoriety in the minds of certain authors.
                                  >
                                  >> I can well imagine that various individuals, hearing and observing Jesus
                                  >> directly
                                  >> while he was in their locale or, even second hand, decided to act on his
                                  >> message and to imitate him (which is what disciples were expected to do; cf.
                                  >> also the sons of Sceva in Acts 19 though without genuine discipleship).
                                  >> Given the tendency toward factiousness in both Judaism and the Greco-Roman
                                  >> culture, it is not hard for me to imagine that those who thought they were
                                  >> Jesus' bona fide mathetes might not be pleased when lesser ones began to
                                  >> infringe on their power. (I'm not Matt 7 represents a parallel since its
                                  >> focus seems more concerned with the need for personal ethical standards). In
                                  >> other words, I'm not sure why this must be a retrojection.
                                  >
                                  > I didn't mean to imply that it *must be* a retrojection. And I'm not even
                                  > sure if "this" refers back to Mark 9:38-42, or something else.
                                  My misunderstanding. Sorry.

                                  > However, I
                                  > am inclined to see some retrojection in this passage of Mark, because
                                  > otherwise one must envision a quick, fast personal impact of Jesus on a
                                  > relatively broad horizon, inspiring imitators within a few months. I'm more
                                  > inclined to think that his influence spread more gradually, building some
                                  > kind of cumulative momentum in Galilee. If Jesus had become instantly
                                  > noteworthy, don't you think Herod Antipas would have taken greater notice?
                                  These are good points, but I suppose it is a matter of degree. Paul ends up
                                  with imitators during his two year stint in Ephesus (Acts 19), so perhaps
                                  the same could appertain to Jesus. Re Herod A, according to Luke Jesus and
                                  he knew of each other, the latter enough to know of Jesus' reputation as a
                                  wonder-worker (Lk 23:8ff) and earlier to seek to kill him (13.31-32). I
                                  think that would be enough attention for me :).

                                  Take care,

                                  Rikk
                                • Rikk Watts
                                  HI Bob, ... Actually, I d not thought of this; thanks for raising it (and no, I think you understood my point well enough). However, I have to say that I m not
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jul 1, 2006
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                                    HI Bob,

                                    On 6/30/06 10:29 PM, "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...> wrote:

                                    > At 07:04 PM 6/30/2006, Rikk Watts wrote, in part:
                                    >
                                    >> . . . The tricky bit is the "in my name" saying "I am (he)." Several
                                    >> commentators
                                    >> take the "in my name" to mean teaching in the name of Jesus. But what then
                                    >> does one do with the claim that "I am (he)" (not least when in Mark this is
                                    >> Jesus' self-revelatory statement when he walks on the water in 6.50)? Such a
                                    >> reading leads Harrington and Donahue, along with others, to suggest that
                                    >> these "followers" of Jesus will even claim to be the returned risen Christ.
                                    >> This strikes me as exceedingly odd. How could a follower speaking "in the
                                    >> name" of the one followed claim to be the very one he follows? Does anyone
                                    >> know of any instance of this (apart from the obvious crazies whom no one
                                    >> takes seriously)? There appears to be no evidence elsewhere of this kind of
                                    >> problem. . . .
                                    >
                                    > This is not so odd if you consider this one of the charisms, which I think
                                    > is what Stevan Davies was doing in his Jesus the Healer. In modern terms,
                                    > it would be like "channeling." Or, to use a more vivid and theatrical
                                    > example, the Exorcist, in which the girl's body is supposedly at times
                                    > convulsed by "possession," which is the phenomenon that Stevan Davies spent
                                    > a lot of time on in his book. The anthropological literature is full of
                                    > stories about possession and other forms of communing with the spirits, in
                                    > which the spirit of someone else is said to take control over the channeler
                                    > or person thus "possessed." Whether you believe in it or not, other people
                                    > do. Or have I misunderstood your point?

                                    Actually, I'd not thought of this; thanks for raising it (and no, I think
                                    you understood my point well enough). However, I have to say that I'm not
                                    entirely convinced that this is the kind of thing Jesus has in mind here.
                                    First, does any one have any evidence of this kind of thing going on with
                                    respect to Jesus' followers? (Didn't Aune deal with this kind of thing, at
                                    least in terms of putative Christian prophets? As far as I can see this is
                                    the closest thing to what Stevan is suggesting but even then such prophets
                                    do not claim to be Jesus, nor are they confused with him). Second, Hooker
                                    and France's arguments seem to make better sense of the passage at least in
                                    terms of first century expectations. But I'd be fascinated to know if anyone
                                    has any evidence of this kind of thing‹i.e. where someone behaving in this
                                    way actually claims to be Jesus in the sense of being divine? Do any of the
                                    fathers speak of it?

                                    Regards
                                    Rikk
                                  • Rikk Watts
                                    Ah... yep, Jewish is unnecessary since I m assuming that Messiah is a Jewish term. Thanks for that. But re the last part of your para, now I am intrigued. Do
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jul 1, 2006
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                                      Ah... yep, "Jewish" is unnecessary since I'm assuming that Messiah is a
                                      Jewish term. Thanks for that. But re the last part of your para, now I am
                                      intrigued. Do you have any evidence of Messianic pretenders that were not
                                      part of the Jewish worldview? (At the risk of being pedantic, sorry, usually
                                      a capitalized form of Messiah means the Davidic Messiah in which case it is
                                      hard to imagine a non-Jewish form thereof, which I think is the well-taken
                                      point of your earlier comment).

                                      Enjoy the break.
                                      Rikk


                                      On 7/1/06 12:19 AM, "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:

                                      > --- Rikk Watts wrote:
                                      >> Hi Mike, hope you're well and enjoying the summer break.
                                      >
                                      > About to take off for the cottage for five days, but I should
                                      > clarify that what's throwing me about your description is the
                                      > scope of the word 'Jewish'. If the phrase is understood as
                                      > 'Jewish-Messianic Pretender' ('Jewish' modifying 'Messianic'),
                                      > one wonders what other kinds of Messiahs you have in mind that
                                      > are being ruled out there. On the other hand, if understood as
                                      > 'Jewish Messianic-Pretender' ('Jewish' modifying the entire
                                      > two-word phrase following it), it doesn't seem to do justice to
                                      > Mark, who was surely worried about Messianic Pretenders of all
                                      > stripes. In either case, the word 'Jewish' seems to be muddying
                                      > the waters unnecessarily.
                                      >
                                      > Cheers,
                                      > Mike Grondin
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
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                                    • Gordon Raynal
                                      Hi Bob, ... Glad you re note surprised:)! You are correct in the clarification that Paul disparages the wisdom of this world, but that disparaging contrast
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Jul 1, 2006
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                                        Hi Bob,
                                        On Jul 1, 2006, at 1:17 AM, Bob Schacht wrote:

                                        >
                                        > Somehow I am not surprised that you manage to turn this around to
                                        > focus on
                                        > wisdom, even though Paul wrote here, in 1 Cor 1:17-25, perhaps more
                                        > clearly
                                        > than anywhere, of wisdom no less than 8 times, usually in disparaging
                                        > terms, e.g. about the 'wisdom of this world', and disclaiming to preach
                                        > wisdom from the outset. It is only the wisdom of God that has any
                                        > importance, and Paul does not claim that wisdom for himself, but only
                                        > for
                                        > "Christ".

                                        Glad you're note surprised:)! You are correct in the clarification
                                        that Paul disparages "the wisdom of this world," but that disparaging
                                        contrast is to lift of that "wisdom come from God," and indeed this is
                                        the first thing in that list of revelations that the Christ brings
                                        (1:30). And, of course, Paul does return to this in 2:6ff where he
                                        positively notes that "among the mature we do speak wisdom..." (again
                                        not of this age).... but "...God's wisdom...." The imagery that Paul
                                        uses for these squabbling folks is that they are a bunch of foolish
                                        babies. The hope, then, of such a rhetorical ploy is to get these
                                        folks to move towards maturing. But at the beginning he's stuck with
                                        groups who need metaphorical baby food;)!
                                        >
                                        > Later, you wrote:
                                        >
                                        >> . . . One of those is just what
                                        >> "the worthwhile" and so "worthless teachings." Considering that Paul
                                        >> is no where in sight in this and that Hegessipus focus attention upon
                                        >> the continuity in the families' leadership from generation one to
                                        >> generation two, I don't think we're talking Pauline kerygma, but
                                        >> rather
                                        >> Jesus' teachings. This will perhaps raise howls of protest:)!, but I
                                        >> think this passage supports the role of the centrality of lists of
                                        >> Jesus' words as what was "worthwhile," and so supports not only such
                                        >> as
                                        >> the development of a Q Gospel and G. Thomas, but also the sort of
                                        >> thing
                                        >> we see at the outset of the Didache (that "teaching" document begins
                                        >> the interpretation of Torah "Love God... love neighbor as self") with
                                        >> a
                                        >> core summary of Jesus' aphoristic language. This helps us, in my view,
                                        >> understand the drive from lists (remembered and/ or written) to
                                        >> Sayings
                                        >> Gospels (Q1 spelling out an opening "Q Sermon"), such as the opening
                                        >> of
                                        >> "the Two Ways" we find in the Didache, Mark's choice of a gathering of
                                        >> sayings in Mark 4, and on to Matthew and Luke's artistry with that "Q
                                        >> Sermon" into the sermons "on the Mount" and "on the Plain"
                                        >> (respectively). Hegessipus' focus on family continuity raises up the
                                        >> idea of a worthwhile continuity of hermeneutics. All these other sorts
                                        >> "brought their own private opinion" and hence differing hermeneutical
                                        >> and from that, praxis foci. Back to the former paragraph, it strikes
                                        >> me what Paul is after is affirming that Jesus, Peter, Apollos, himself
                                        >> (and James) were fundamentally on the same page as regards Torah
                                        >> interpretation. As Acts will picture, both Peter and Paul are always
                                        >> returning to James to report and settle matters. While we know that
                                        >> they could fight and tussle, Hegesippus' writing clearly affirms that
                                        >> this is where the safekeeping of the "worthwhile" teaching was
                                        >> assured.
                                        >
                                        > Seems to me that you're still trying to make "wisdom" the issue. I
                                        > think
                                        > Paul, at least in 1 Cor 1, disagrees with you about this. And I'm
                                        > guessing
                                        > that Paul ran into some people (Apollos?) who were better schooled in
                                        > wisdom than he was, and who could run metaphorical circles around him.
                                        > So
                                        > maybe Paul could take on airs about wisdom in some places, but when he
                                        > went
                                        > to the more sophisticated cities, I think his rhetoric shifted, and the
                                        > crucifixion became central.

                                        What I'm trying to do is follow Paul's rhetorical logic. Again, "among
                                        the mature we do speak wisdom" (that's a rather "in your face" put
                                        down!). Thus his rhetoric is pointed to trying to find a language to
                                        get these folks to begin to understand so they might start to grow.
                                        Notably, at the end of this whole rhetorical run which ends at 2:16,
                                        what Paul affirms is that "we have the mind of Christ." For Paul in I
                                        Cor. Christ is "the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1:24). The
                                        cross, which is central in this rhetorical run, is the demonstration
                                        of this weakness of God and it doesn't show something else besides
                                        wisdom, but precisely reveals just how wise God is. So I'm not quite
                                        sure why you think there's "his rhetoric shifted?" It seems to me it
                                        all fits together and that the whole flow of argumentation builds
                                        towards I Cor. 13.

                                        The only other thing I'd add at this point is the irony in Paul's
                                        rhetoric. What I mean is that the core of wisdom communication is
                                        based in short sayings (proverbs and aphorisms) and short stories (such
                                        as fables and parables). As the wisdom heritage notes the very young
                                        can "get it" and it's entirely possible to be an old fool:)! Per Jesus
                                        taut aphorism ("Let anyone with ears to hear, listen!" or as Crossan
                                        nicely puts it in "The Essential Jesus," "You have heads, use them")
                                        Paul is stepping into a situation where there is much talking going on
                                        and no listening. There's a nice irony in that his speech is aimed at
                                        silencing all this contentiousness. Meditation on the cross was lifted
                                        up in this rhetoric as a good hook, so to speak, to help that happen,
                                        but Paul here isn't going forward to talk about such as "justification
                                        by grace through faith," as he does in Galatians, but again to get them
                                        to move towards having that "mind of Christ." And so he proceeds
                                        onwards through that whole list of disputes that these folks are
                                        yammering on and on about. So, to be sure, the crucifixion is key
                                        here, but as a demonstration of the power and wisdom of God.

                                        > On that note which I agree with, I'll sign off!

                                        Good to chat.

                                        Gordon Raynal
                                        Inman, SC

                                        p.s. I'll respond to your PS offline as that is not the topic for this
                                        group.
                                      • Mike Grondin
                                        ... Well, I was thinking of Messianic claimants who may not have been ethnically Jewish. Having a Jewish worldview is another thing altogether and I don t
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Jul 5, 2006
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                                          --- Rikk Watts wrote:
                                          > ... re the last part of your para, now I am intrigued.
                                          > Do you have any evidence of Messianic pretenders that
                                          > were not part of the Jewish worldview? (At the risk of
                                          > being pedantic, sorry, usually a capitalized form of
                                          > Messiah means the Davidic Messiah in which case it is
                                          > hard to imagine a non-Jewish form thereof, which I
                                          > think is the well-taken point of your earlier comment).

                                          Well, I was thinking of Messianic claimants who may not
                                          have been ethnically Jewish. Having "a Jewish worldview"
                                          is another thing altogether and I don't know how to deal
                                          with that, because I don't have a clear idea what it means.
                                          Would you say that Christians in general had a Jewish
                                          worldview? If so, then you're not necessarily disagreeing
                                          with me, since a non-Jewish Christian Messianic claimant
                                          such as I had in mind would have a "Jewish worldview",
                                          according to your use of that term.

                                          To begin to answer your question, I have to return to
                                          something you said in an earlier note:

                                          > I'm not sure Mark's Jesus says anything as definitive
                                          > as taking the movement over from the outside. I.e. I
                                          > don't think the many refers specifically to Jesus'
                                          > followers. He does however warn against them being
                                          > deceived which could mean being led away from the true
                                          > movement if they get swept up with the many.

                                          This is a reference to Mk 13:6, which is substantially
                                          different from 13:21-22. In the former, Mark has Jesus
                                          speak of "Many (who) will come _in my name_, saying 'I
                                          am _he_, and will mislead many." You say that you don't
                                          think "the many" in this passage refers specifically to
                                          Jesus' followers, but I suggest that it must - for who
                                          else would follow someone who invoked the name of Jesus?
                                          Surely not those who had rejected him as authority figure
                                          all along?

                                          I think what's going on is that you're conflating 13:6
                                          with 13:21-22. In the latter, Mark has Jesus speak of
                                          false _Christs_ - as opposed to false Jesuses. I think
                                          the reason for this is that Mark has begun concentrating
                                          on Judea at 13:14. But still, I would suggest that the
                                          Christian (hence Mark's) notion of "the Christ" was
                                          different in significant ways from most if not all of
                                          the Jewish notions of "the Messiah". Given his context,
                                          it makes sense for Mark to worry that false Christs might
                                          lead _the elect_ astray - where "the elect" is again
                                          (as in 13:6) mainly or exclusively Christian - at least
                                          certainly not ethnically-Jewish in general. All this
                                          leads me to believe that Mark was mostly worried about
                                          purportedly-Christian Christ-figures, not ethnically-
                                          Jewish Messiah-figures. And Christian Christ-figures
                                          wouldn't have necessarily been ethnically Jewish (though
                                          they may arguably have had a "Jewish worldview")

                                          Whether or not this reasoning is sound, I hope at least
                                          to have given some idea of its basis.

                                          Cheers,
                                          Mike
                                        • Rikk Watts
                                          Mike, thanks for this. As I ve just noted to Ted, I m up to my eyebrows in preparations for a trip o/seas. Would you mind if I get back to this in a couple of
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Jul 6, 2006
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                                            Mike, thanks for this. As I've just noted to Ted, I'm up to my eyebrows in
                                            preparations for a trip o/seas. Would you mind if I get back to this in a
                                            couple of weeks when I return?

                                            Rikk


                                            On 5/7/06 9:30 PM, "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:

                                            > --- Rikk Watts wrote:
                                            >> ... re the last part of your para, now I am intrigued.
                                            >> Do you have any evidence of Messianic pretenders that
                                            >> were not part of the Jewish worldview? (At the risk of
                                            >> being pedantic, sorry, usually a capitalized form of
                                            >> Messiah means the Davidic Messiah in which case it is
                                            >> hard to imagine a non-Jewish form thereof, which I
                                            >> think is the well-taken point of your earlier comment).
                                            >
                                            > Well, I was thinking of Messianic claimants who may not
                                            > have been ethnically Jewish. Having "a Jewish worldview"
                                            > is another thing altogether and I don't know how to deal
                                            > with that, because I don't have a clear idea what it means.
                                            > Would you say that Christians in general had a Jewish
                                            > worldview? If so, then you're not necessarily disagreeing
                                            > with me, since a non-Jewish Christian Messianic claimant
                                            > such as I had in mind would have a "Jewish worldview",
                                            > according to your use of that term.
                                            >
                                            > To begin to answer your question, I have to return to
                                            > something you said in an earlier note:
                                            >
                                            >> I'm not sure Mark's Jesus says anything as definitive
                                            >> as taking the movement over from the outside. I.e. I
                                            >> don't think the many refers specifically to Jesus'
                                            >> followers. He does however warn against them being
                                            >> deceived which could mean being led away from the true
                                            >> movement if they get swept up with the many.
                                            >
                                            > This is a reference to Mk 13:6, which is substantially
                                            > different from 13:21-22. In the former, Mark has Jesus
                                            > speak of "Many (who) will come _in my name_, saying 'I
                                            > am _he_, and will mislead many." You say that you don't
                                            > think "the many" in this passage refers specifically to
                                            > Jesus' followers, but I suggest that it must - for who
                                            > else would follow someone who invoked the name of Jesus?
                                            > Surely not those who had rejected him as authority figure
                                            > all along?
                                            >
                                            > I think what's going on is that you're conflating 13:6
                                            > with 13:21-22. In the latter, Mark has Jesus speak of
                                            > false _Christs_ - as opposed to false Jesuses. I think
                                            > the reason for this is that Mark has begun concentrating
                                            > on Judea at 13:14. But still, I would suggest that the
                                            > Christian (hence Mark's) notion of "the Christ" was
                                            > different in significant ways from most if not all of
                                            > the Jewish notions of "the Messiah". Given his context,
                                            > it makes sense for Mark to worry that false Christs might
                                            > lead _the elect_ astray - where "the elect" is again
                                            > (as in 13:6) mainly or exclusively Christian - at least
                                            > certainly not ethnically-Jewish in general. All this
                                            > leads me to believe that Mark was mostly worried about
                                            > purportedly-Christian Christ-figures, not ethnically-
                                            > Jewish Messiah-figures. And Christian Christ-figures
                                            > wouldn't have necessarily been ethnically Jewish (though
                                            > they may arguably have had a "Jewish worldview")
                                            >
                                            > Whether or not this reasoning is sound, I hope at least
                                            > to have given some idea of its basis.
                                            >
                                            > Cheers,
                                            > Mike
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
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