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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    With apologies for cross posting. Here is a draft of what I ve worked up on the questions of the historicity of the Matthean and Lukan accounts of Jesus
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 12, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      With apologies for cross posting.

      Here is a draft of what I've worked up on the questions of the
      historicity of the Matthean and Lukan accounts of Jesus Wilderness
      "temptation and the origin of the Wilderness "temptation" story.

      I'd appreciate comments and criticisms. Additional bibliographic
      material is also welcome.

      Jeffrey

      P.S. Indented material represents footnotes.

      *********
      The Historicity of the Event and the Origin of the Wilderness
      "Temptation" Story

      There is no compelling reason to doubt the claim of Matthew and Luke
      that prior to engaging in a public ministry (and as a concomitant to his
      baptism), Jesus had some sort of experience in which his resolve to
      follow a particular understanding of faithfulness to the God of Israel
      was "put to the test".

      So E.P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus (London: Penguin,
      1993) 117; M. Borg, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and
      Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (San Francisco: Harper/San
      Francisco, 2006) 124, J. Dupont, "L'origine du récit des tentations
      de Jésus au désert", RB 73 (1966) 30–76; R. Funk and the Jesus
      Seminar, The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds of
      Jesus (San Francisco: Polebridge Press, 1998) 43; Allison, "Behind
      the Tempations", 213, and others. The claim that the theme of a
      trial or testing of a hero or a religious founder that takes place
      shortly before their adoption of a commissioned vocation or assent
      to a way of life is one that is prominent in fictitious
      "biographies" of these figures, hardly counts as fatal evidence
      against this, even should it be true that the theme is as widespread
      in such biographies as it is often (but, notably, usually by
      disciples of J.G. Frazier and C. Jung or uncritical adherents to the
      work on heroes of F-R. R. Somerset (Lord) Raglan [The Hero, A Study
      in Tradition, Myth and Drama [New York: Oxford University Press,
      1937]), asserted to be . On this see N.T. Wright, Jesus and the
      Victory of God (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1996) 457.


      It may even have taken place both in the particular locale in which,
      according to the Synoptic Evangelists, we are told it occurred,

      I.e, "the wilderness". On the questions of the specific location of
      the "wilderness" identified by Matthew, Mark, and Luke as the locale
      of Jesus' Wilderness "temptation and the historicity of the
      Evangelists' claim that Jesus' went to/was in a wilderness locale
      when he experienced a pre-ministry testing of his resolve to be
      faithful to a particular understanding of "sonship", see Roberts,
      The Testing of Jesus in Q.


      as well as within the context of, or after, and as arising from, a
      period of fasting on Jesus' part. The question, however, is whether
      this experience actually unfolded and transpired with even a minimal
      resemblance to the particular way that we are told by the Evangelists it
      did.

      The answer to this must certainly be no, and this apart from the often
      observed facts(a) that Matthew and Luke contradict one another not only
      in the way they set out the order of the event's constituent episodes,
      but with respect to narrative details within them (since conflicting
      accounts of the sequence or of the details of an event do not, in and of
      themselves, falsify the historicity of the event inaccurately reported,
      (b) that a principle character within the story is not an historical
      personage, let alone an ontological reality (since one can encounter, be
      subjected to, and go through, an actual test of faithfulness absent an
      ontologically real "tester)", and (c) that the accounts of the event
      are embellished with patently "mythological" motifs (since the
      function of such embellishment is often to highlight what to the
      reporter is the significance of the event in question).

      What makes the certain the negative answer to the question of the
      historicity of the incidents narrated in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk. 4:1-13 is that
      Matthew and Luke themselves do not think that what they relate as having
      happened to Jesus during his time in the wilderness are concrete,
      objectively verifiable, historical events. Rather, they think that what
      they record in Matt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-12 as transpiring between Jesus and
      the Devil and as coming upon Jesus are things that Jesus experienced in
      a vision to which he alone was privy.

      So Twelftree ("Temptations of Jesus" 822) and especially
      B..Witherington who points to the facts that the story as Matthew
      and Luke present it is not only explicitly portrayed as grounded in
      the sort of action that, according to Dan. 9:3; 10:203; 4 Ezra 5:13,
      20; 2 Bar. 9:2, are regularly the occasion, if not the cause, of
      visionary experiences, but also displays the themes of "transport in
      the Spirit, or visionary transport"and the interpreting angel who
      reveals the mysteries of God to those in his charge and takes them
      into high places so that they might see things normally hidden from
      the eyes of men that are prominent in, and key features of,
      Inter-testamental accounts of visionary experiences (cf.
      Witherington, Jesus the Seer: The Progress of Prophecy [Peabody
      Mass.; Hendrikson, 1999] 279-280) .


      But was the vision that Matthew and Luke tell us that Jesus had during
      or after a fast in the wilderness something Jesus himself /actually/
      had. That is to say, is the particular delineation of the content of
      the vision attributed to Jesus based on a report of that vision that is
      ultimately dominical?. A number of scholars think so.

      E.g., Hagner, Twelftree, Allison, Witherington, Wright, and
      (tentatively) Borg, among others. Notably, as V. Keitsch has
      pointed out ("The Antiocheans and the Temptation Story" in F.L.
      Cross [ed.], Studia Patristica 7 [TU 92 Berlin:Akademie Verlag,
      1966] 496-502), so did a number of important Alexandrine and
      Antiochene exegetes. Cf. Origen, On First Principles.


      In support of this contention, they point out, citing such texts as Lk.
      10:18; 20:31-32, not only that Jesus was, and /knew himself to be/, a
      visionary, but that the specific subject of at least two of the visions
      to which he was privy /was the "testing" activity of Satan/. Thus to
      rule as impossible the idea that Jesus could have had a vision along the
      lines of the one that Matthew and Luke tell us he had when he was on the
      verge of his public ministry, is unwarranted. Moreover, if as other
      Synoptic texts such as Mt. 12:22-32//Mk. 20-30//Lk.1:14-23 seem to
      indicate, Jesus actually envisaged himself as one who by various means
      was putting into effect an initial victory he had earlier obtained over
      the one who tests faithfulness, it would be surprising if he had not had
      a vision like the one outlined in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk. 4:1-13.

      So Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 457-458

      Nor is there any reason to deny the assumption inherent in the claim
      that the vision recounted in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk 4:1-12 is dominical -- i.e.,
      that Jesus would have spoken publicly about it, and thereby set it out
      as a tradition to be remembered and transmitted. Again, Lk. 10:18, not
      to mention, Lk. 20:3-32 stands as evidence for this. And it is not
      difficult to imagine plausible scenarios in which Jesus would feel it
      necessary or desirable to recount it.

      E.g, that, as A Feuillet suggests ("Die Versuchungen Jesu",
      Internationale Katholische Zeitschrift Communio 8 [1979] 226-237),
      Jesus reported such an experience to his disciples in the context of
      the rebuke of Peter at Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:33).


      But the difficulty with all of this is that, even granting that what
      Matthew and Luke report as the content of Jesus' vision is rooted in a
      recitation by Jesus himself of a wilderness vision vouchsafed to him in
      which his resolve to be obedient to God was put to the proof by God's
      tester, we have no way of knowing, let alone proving, that what Matthew
      and Luke transmit is an accurate reproduction of the form and wording
      and narrative substance of that recitation.

      In fact, at least one feature of Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 strongly
      suggests that what they "transmit" is not, not, namely, the style of
      debate Jesus is depicted as using in the temptation story, which has
      with justification been deemed by many as "thoroughly Rabbinic".

      Cf. B.M. van Iersel, "'Der Sohn' in den synoptischen Jesusworten:
      Christusbezeichnung der Gemeinde oder Selbstbezeichnung Jesu"
      (Leiden: Brill, 1964) 166; Bultmann, History, 253–57; Nolland,
      Luke 1:176.


      As is indicated by the conflict stories in the Synoptic tradition, this
      is not Jesus' usual manner of argumentation, even when he is engaged
      with opponents versed in Scripture or who use scripture to make their
      case. Nor can one find anywhere else in the Synoptic Tradition a
      portrait of Jesus issuing responses to /anything/ said to him that are
      made up, as Jesus responses in Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 are, entirely of
      scriptural citations. Moreover, even if Jesus did report that in his
      vision he had found himself using and exchanging scriptural quotations
      with the devil, would he have cast his recollection of the quotations he
      and the devil used according to their LXX formulations? And adding to
      the suspicion that Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 is /not/ a faithful
      reproduction of a dominical report is both (a) the fact, pointed out by
      Gouder and Wilkens,

      Goulder, Midrash and Lection in Matthew, 247; Wilkens, "Die
      Versuchung Jesu nach Matthäus." NTS 28 (1982) 479–89.

      that a significant portion of the vocabulary we find in both of the
      "transmitted" versions of the report is characteristically Matthean. and
      (b) the consideration that Jesus never elsewhere casts anything he
      recounts, including, notably, /his other visions of Satan "falling" and
      at work in "sifting" God's elect/, in anything like the form or the
      genre of haggadic midrash in which the "transmitted" report of his
      Wilderness "temptation" vision is cast.

      So not only must we remain skeptical with respect to the validity of the
      claim that what we have in Mt Lk derives from Jesus himself and embodies
      in some fashion a dominical report about a vision he had when in the
      wilderness. We we must recognize that the assumption of its validity
      /forces us to conclude that the report as it is reproduced by Matthew
      and Luke is a "church product"./

      --
      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
      1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
      Chicago, Illinois
      e-mail jgibson000@...



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jack Kilmon
      I think it is a very good and concise summary of the Temptation. I do think there is an historical element which was a tiny seed fertilized by Matthew and
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 13, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        I think it is a very good and concise summary of the Temptation. I do think
        there is an historical element which was a tiny seed fertilized by Matthew
        and Luke. The Juxtaposition of the single line of Mark (1:13) with the
        baptism by John combine to support the "this day I have generated thee"
        account and the position that Jesus had an epiphany and became the "bar
        nasha" on the occasion of his baptism. An Aramaism in the Markan verse
        suggests a primitivity. btw, the reference to Daniel 10:2-3 is
        mistyped...probably not in the original though...but Twelvetree and
        Witherington have shown the connection to the Daniel (and Enochian)
        tradition which underlies the entire bar nasha/KoG Jesus ministry, IMO. If
        a Yeshuine epiphany at the time of his baptism is historical, I am willing
        to accept a period of fasting and intensely emotional contemplation.
        Fasting can cause hallucinations (40 days is a fiction) but I can believe
        this is when Jesus came to see himself as the Danielic bar nasha who must
        herald in the KoG.

        The adoption of Jesus as the bar d'alaha on the occasion of his baptism was
        the belief of the "Ebionites" and was an account in the more primitive,
        Aramaic Gospel of the Hebrews. Because the Temptation is closely tied with
        the baptism account, it is likely it existed in a primitive form in the GoH
        but that fragment does not survive.

        In short, I think Jesus did have a period of fasting contemplation and
        self-realization following his baptism.

        Just think how history would have been changed if he had just went home and
        watched a basketball game on TV.

        Great job, Jeffrey.

        Jack

        Jack Kilmon
        SanAntonio, TX



        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
        To: "Crosstalk2" <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>; "Christian Origins"
        <christian_origins@yahoogroups.com>
        Cc: "biblical-studies" <biblical-studies@yahoogroups.com>; "NewSynoptic"
        <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 10:06 PM
        Subject: [XTalk] comments please


        > With apologies for cross posting.
        >
        > Here is a draft of what I've worked up on the questions of the
        > historicity of the Matthean and Lukan accounts of Jesus Wilderness
        > "temptation and the origin of the Wilderness "temptation" story.
        >
        > I'd appreciate comments and criticisms. Additional bibliographic
        > material is also welcome.
        >
        > Jeffrey
        >
        > P.S. Indented material represents footnotes.
        >
        > *********
        > The Historicity of the Event and the Origin of the Wilderness
        > "Temptation" Story
        >
        > There is no compelling reason to doubt the claim of Matthew and Luke
        > that prior to engaging in a public ministry (and as a concomitant to his
        > baptism), Jesus had some sort of experience in which his resolve to
        > follow a particular understanding of faithfulness to the God of Israel
        > was "put to the test".
        >
        > So E.P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus (London: Penguin,
        > 1993) 117; M. Borg, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and
        > Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (San Francisco: Harper/San
        > Francisco, 2006) 124, J. Dupont, "L'origine du récit des tentations
        > de Jésus au désert", RB 73 (1966) 30–76; R. Funk and the Jesus
        > Seminar, The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds of
        > Jesus (San Francisco: Polebridge Press, 1998) 43; Allison, "Behind
        > the Tempations", 213, and others. The claim that the theme of a
        > trial or testing of a hero or a religious founder that takes place
        > shortly before their adoption of a commissioned vocation or assent
        > to a way of life is one that is prominent in fictitious
        > "biographies" of these figures, hardly counts as fatal evidence
        > against this, even should it be true that the theme is as widespread
        > in such biographies as it is often (but, notably, usually by
        > disciples of J.G. Frazier and C. Jung or uncritical adherents to the
        > work on heroes of F-R. R. Somerset (Lord) Raglan [The Hero, A Study
        > in Tradition, Myth and Drama [New York: Oxford University Press,
        > 1937]), asserted to be . On this see N.T. Wright, Jesus and the
        > Victory of God (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1996) 457.
        >
        >
        > It may even have taken place both in the particular locale in which,
        > according to the Synoptic Evangelists, we are told it occurred,
        >
        > I.e, "the wilderness". On the questions of the specific location of
        > the "wilderness" identified by Matthew, Mark, and Luke as the locale
        > of Jesus' Wilderness "temptation and the historicity of the
        > Evangelists' claim that Jesus' went to/was in a wilderness locale
        > when he experienced a pre-ministry testing of his resolve to be
        > faithful to a particular understanding of "sonship", see Roberts,
        > The Testing of Jesus in Q.
        >
        >
        > as well as within the context of, or after, and as arising from, a
        > period of fasting on Jesus' part. The question, however, is whether
        > this experience actually unfolded and transpired with even a minimal
        > resemblance to the particular way that we are told by the Evangelists it
        > did.
        >
        > The answer to this must certainly be no, and this apart from the often
        > observed facts(a) that Matthew and Luke contradict one another not only
        > in the way they set out the order of the event's constituent episodes,
        > but with respect to narrative details within them (since conflicting
        > accounts of the sequence or of the details of an event do not, in and of
        > themselves, falsify the historicity of the event inaccurately reported,
        > (b) that a principle character within the story is not an historical
        > personage, let alone an ontological reality (since one can encounter, be
        > subjected to, and go through, an actual test of faithfulness absent an
        > ontologically real "tester)", and (c) that the accounts of the event
        > are embellished with patently "mythological" motifs (since the
        > function of such embellishment is often to highlight what to the
        > reporter is the significance of the event in question).
        >
        > What makes the certain the negative answer to the question of the
        > historicity of the incidents narrated in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk. 4:1-13 is that
        > Matthew and Luke themselves do not think that what they relate as having
        > happened to Jesus during his time in the wilderness are concrete,
        > objectively verifiable, historical events. Rather, they think that what
        > they record in Matt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-12 as transpiring between Jesus and
        > the Devil and as coming upon Jesus are things that Jesus experienced in
        > a vision to which he alone was privy.
        >
        > So Twelftree ("Temptations of Jesus" 822) and especially
        > B..Witherington who points to the facts that the story as Matthew
        > and Luke present it is not only explicitly portrayed as grounded in
        > the sort of action that, according to Dan. 9:3; 10:203; 4 Ezra 5:13,
        > 20; 2 Bar. 9:2, are regularly the occasion, if not the cause, of
        > visionary experiences, but also displays the themes of "transport in
        > the Spirit, or visionary transport"and the interpreting angel who
        > reveals the mysteries of God to those in his charge and takes them
        > into high places so that they might see things normally hidden from
        > the eyes of men that are prominent in, and key features of,
        > Inter-testamental accounts of visionary experiences (cf.
        > Witherington, Jesus the Seer: The Progress of Prophecy [Peabody
        > Mass.; Hendrikson, 1999] 279-280) .
        >
        >
        > But was the vision that Matthew and Luke tell us that Jesus had during
        > or after a fast in the wilderness something Jesus himself /actually/
        > had. That is to say, is the particular delineation of the content of
        > the vision attributed to Jesus based on a report of that vision that is
        > ultimately dominical?. A number of scholars think so.
        >
        > E.g., Hagner, Twelftree, Allison, Witherington, Wright, and
        > (tentatively) Borg, among others. Notably, as V. Keitsch has
        > pointed out ("The Antiocheans and the Temptation Story" in F.L.
        > Cross [ed.], Studia Patristica 7 [TU 92 Berlin:Akademie Verlag,
        > 1966] 496-502), so did a number of important Alexandrine and
        > Antiochene exegetes. Cf. Origen, On First Principles.
        >
        >
        > In support of this contention, they point out, citing such texts as Lk.
        > 10:18; 20:31-32, not only that Jesus was, and /knew himself to be/, a
        > visionary, but that the specific subject of at least two of the visions
        > to which he was privy /was the "testing" activity of Satan/. Thus to
        > rule as impossible the idea that Jesus could have had a vision along the
        > lines of the one that Matthew and Luke tell us he had when he was on the
        > verge of his public ministry, is unwarranted. Moreover, if as other
        > Synoptic texts such as Mt. 12:22-32//Mk. 20-30//Lk.1:14-23 seem to
        > indicate, Jesus actually envisaged himself as one who by various means
        > was putting into effect an initial victory he had earlier obtained over
        > the one who tests faithfulness, it would be surprising if he had not had
        > a vision like the one outlined in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk. 4:1-13.
        >
        > So Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 457-458
        >
        > Nor is there any reason to deny the assumption inherent in the claim
        > that the vision recounted in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk 4:1-12 is dominical -- i.e.,
        > that Jesus would have spoken publicly about it, and thereby set it out
        > as a tradition to be remembered and transmitted. Again, Lk. 10:18, not
        > to mention, Lk. 20:3-32 stands as evidence for this. And it is not
        > difficult to imagine plausible scenarios in which Jesus would feel it
        > necessary or desirable to recount it.
        >
        > E.g, that, as A Feuillet suggests ("Die Versuchungen Jesu",
        > Internationale Katholische Zeitschrift Communio 8 [1979] 226-237),
        > Jesus reported such an experience to his disciples in the context of
        > the rebuke of Peter at Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:33).
        >
        >
        > But the difficulty with all of this is that, even granting that what
        > Matthew and Luke report as the content of Jesus' vision is rooted in a
        > recitation by Jesus himself of a wilderness vision vouchsafed to him in
        > which his resolve to be obedient to God was put to the proof by God's
        > tester, we have no way of knowing, let alone proving, that what Matthew
        > and Luke transmit is an accurate reproduction of the form and wording
        > and narrative substance of that recitation.
        >
        > In fact, at least one feature of Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 strongly
        > suggests that what they "transmit" is not, not, namely, the style of
        > debate Jesus is depicted as using in the temptation story, which has
        > with justification been deemed by many as "thoroughly Rabbinic".
        >
        > Cf. B.M. van Iersel, "'Der Sohn' in den synoptischen Jesusworten:
        > Christusbezeichnung der Gemeinde oder Selbstbezeichnung Jesu"
        > (Leiden: Brill, 1964) 166; Bultmann, History, 253–57; Nolland,
        > Luke 1:176.
        >
        >
        > As is indicated by the conflict stories in the Synoptic tradition, this
        > is not Jesus' usual manner of argumentation, even when he is engaged
        > with opponents versed in Scripture or who use scripture to make their
        > case. Nor can one find anywhere else in the Synoptic Tradition a
        > portrait of Jesus issuing responses to /anything/ said to him that are
        > made up, as Jesus responses in Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 are, entirely of
        > scriptural citations. Moreover, even if Jesus did report that in his
        > vision he had found himself using and exchanging scriptural quotations
        > with the devil, would he have cast his recollection of the quotations he
        > and the devil used according to their LXX formulations? And adding to
        > the suspicion that Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 is /not/ a faithful
        > reproduction of a dominical report is both (a) the fact, pointed out by
        > Gouder and Wilkens,
        >
        > Goulder, Midrash and Lection in Matthew, 247; Wilkens, "Die
        > Versuchung Jesu nach Matthäus." NTS 28 (1982) 479–89.
        >
        > that a significant portion of the vocabulary we find in both of the
        > "transmitted" versions of the report is characteristically Matthean. and
        > (b) the consideration that Jesus never elsewhere casts anything he
        > recounts, including, notably, /his other visions of Satan "falling" and
        > at work in "sifting" God's elect/, in anything like the form or the
        > genre of haggadic midrash in which the "transmitted" report of his
        > Wilderness "temptation" vision is cast.
        >
        > So not only must we remain skeptical with respect to the validity of the
        > claim that what we have in Mt Lk derives from Jesus himself and embodies
        > in some fashion a dominical report about a vision he had when in the
        > wilderness. We we must recognize that the assumption of its validity
        > /forces us to conclude that the report as it is reproduced by Matthew
        > and Luke is a "church product"./
        >
        > --
        > Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
        > 1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
        > Chicago, Illinois
        > e-mail jgibson000@...
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
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      • dbockdts
        Jeffrey: Nice overview of the issues on the Temptation. There are several things, but I just want to note a few here, some tied to the potential use of
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 14, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Jeffrey:

          Nice overview of the issues on the Temptation.

          There are several things, but I just want to note a few here, some
          tied to the potential use of Scripture.

          (1) We do see examples of Haggadic style in the Jesus tradition and
          use of Scripture. One is his question about Son of David and Lord
          involving Ps 110:1. This kind of rabbinic paradox is often how
          questions were posed and discussed as text are linked. Second, we have
          the exchange leading into the Good Samaritan Parable where exposition
          is followed by story. These indicate a backdrop for how Jesus may have
          used Scripture on certain occasions. (I do not regard the LXX issue
          here as determinative either. It would be natural for a tradition to
          be translated or adapted into a familiar text for the audience. A
          question I would ask is: Is there anything peculiar about the LXX
          usage that prevents the scene from working in an earlier setting?

          (2) For the scene is that this debate is not so much about Christology
          but about the nature of Jesus' faithfulness to God. If such a story
          was made up, especially as late as you may be suggesting, why go this
          way? In addition, Jesus is tested throughout his ministry, so this
          kind of event adds little at the level of testing. One would think
          such a made up story would either (1) more explicitly parallel Adam
          (Matthew makes nothing of this, only Luke by the context he gives it)
          or (2) would push Christology more than it does.

          One thing the story clearly does is to push Jesus' battle in a way
          where Rome is irrelevant or even the Jewish leadership is minimized
          with refernce to the "contest" (Against synoptic tendencies?). But the
          issue of the kingdom and Satan being in battle recalls a text like
          Testament of Moses 10:1-2, a decidedly Jewish frame.

          One final side note. Testing historicity (and corroborating it) and
          the likelihood of an event/experience having or being real or even a
          seed are two distinct things as you note. In this case, if Jesus had
          such an experience and it impacted his description of the origins of
          his mission, as you also seem to suggest, then once again we risk
          using the terms history and historicity in potentially fuzzy ways. How
          can one posit a real experience and then not view it as historical at
          least at some level)? At the least, we have a representation of a
          perceived experience within the history of Jesus' and his movement.

          Darrell L. Bock
          Dallas Theo. Seminary

          --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Jeffrey B. Gibson"
          <jgibson000@...> wrote:
          >
          > With apologies for cross posting.
          >
          > Here is a draft of what I've worked up on the questions of the
          > historicity of the Matthean and Lukan accounts of Jesus Wilderness
          > "temptation and the origin of the Wilderness "temptation" story.
          >
          > I'd appreciate comments and criticisms. Additional bibliographic
          > material is also welcome.
          >
          > Jeffrey
          >
          > P.S. Indented material represents footnotes.
          >
          > *********
          > The Historicity of the Event and the Origin of the Wilderness
          > "Temptation" Story
          >
          > There is no compelling reason to doubt the claim of Matthew and Luke
          > that prior to engaging in a public ministry (and as a concomitant to
          his
          > baptism), Jesus had some sort of experience in which his resolve to
          > follow a particular understanding of faithfulness to the God of Israel
          > was "put to the test".
          >
          > So E.P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus (London: Penguin,
          > 1993) 117; M. Borg, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and
          > Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (San Francisco: Harper/San
          > Francisco, 2006) 124, J. Dupont, "L'origine du récit des tentations
          > de Jésus au désert", RB 73 (1966) 30â€"76; R. Funk and the Jesus
          > Seminar, The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds of
          > Jesus (San Francisco: Polebridge Press, 1998) 43; Allison, "Behind
          > the Tempations", 213, and others. The claim that the theme of a
          > trial or testing of a hero or a religious founder that takes place
          > shortly before their adoption of a commissioned vocation or assent
          > to a way of life is one that is prominent in fictitious
          > "biographies" of these figures, hardly counts as fatal evidence
          > against this, even should it be true that the theme is as widespread
          > in such biographies as it is often (but, notably, usually by
          > disciples of J.G. Frazier and C. Jung or uncritical adherents to the
          > work on heroes of F-R. R. Somerset (Lord) Raglan [The Hero, A Study
          > in Tradition, Myth and Drama [New York: Oxford University Press,
          > 1937]), asserted to be . On this see N.T. Wright, Jesus and the
          > Victory of God (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1996) 457.
          >
          >
          > It may even have taken place both in the particular locale in which,
          > according to the Synoptic Evangelists, we are told it occurred,
          >
          > I.e, "the wilderness". On the questions of the specific location of
          > the "wilderness" identified by Matthew, Mark, and Luke as the locale
          > of Jesus' Wilderness "temptation and the historicity of the
          > Evangelists' claim that Jesus' went to/was in a wilderness locale
          > when he experienced a pre-ministry testing of his resolve to be
          > faithful to a particular understanding of "sonship", see Roberts,
          > The Testing of Jesus in Q.
          >
          >
          > as well as within the context of, or after, and as arising from, a
          > period of fasting on Jesus' part. The question, however, is whether
          > this experience actually unfolded and transpired with even a minimal
          > resemblance to the particular way that we are told by the
          Evangelists it
          > did.
          >
          > The answer to this must certainly be no, and this apart from the often
          > observed facts(a) that Matthew and Luke contradict one another not
          only
          > in the way they set out the order of the event's constituent episodes,
          > but with respect to narrative details within them (since conflicting
          > accounts of the sequence or of the details of an event do not, in
          and of
          > themselves, falsify the historicity of the event inaccurately
          reported,
          > (b) that a principle character within the story is not an historical
          > personage, let alone an ontological reality (since one can
          encounter, be
          > subjected to, and go through, an actual test of faithfulness absent an
          > ontologically real "tester)", and (c) that the accounts of the event
          > are embellished with patently "mythological" motifs (since the
          > function of such embellishment is often to highlight what to the
          > reporter is the significance of the event in question).
          >
          > What makes the certain the negative answer to the question of the
          > historicity of the incidents narrated in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk. 4:1-13 is
          that
          > Matthew and Luke themselves do not think that what they relate as
          having
          > happened to Jesus during his time in the wilderness are concrete,
          > objectively verifiable, historical events. Rather, they think that
          what
          > they record in Matt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-12 as transpiring between Jesus
          and
          > the Devil and as coming upon Jesus are things that Jesus experienced in
          > a vision to which he alone was privy.
          >
          > So Twelftree ("Temptations of Jesus" 822) and especially
          > B..Witherington who points to the facts that the story as Matthew
          > and Luke present it is not only explicitly portrayed as grounded in
          > the sort of action that, according to Dan. 9:3; 10:203; 4 Ezra 5:13,
          > 20; 2 Bar. 9:2, are regularly the occasion, if not the cause, of
          > visionary experiences, but also displays the themes of "transport in
          > the Spirit, or visionary transport"and the interpreting angel who
          > reveals the mysteries of God to those in his charge and takes them
          > into high places so that they might see things normally hidden from
          > the eyes of men that are prominent in, and key features of,
          > Inter-testamental accounts of visionary experiences (cf.
          > Witherington, Jesus the Seer: The Progress of Prophecy [Peabody
          > Mass.; Hendrikson, 1999] 279-280) .
          >
          >
          > But was the vision that Matthew and Luke tell us that Jesus had during
          > or after a fast in the wilderness something Jesus himself /actually/
          > had. That is to say, is the particular delineation of the content of
          > the vision attributed to Jesus based on a report of that vision that is
          > ultimately dominical?. A number of scholars think so.
          >
          > E.g., Hagner, Twelftree, Allison, Witherington, Wright, and
          > (tentatively) Borg, among others. Notably, as V. Keitsch has
          > pointed out ("The Antiocheans and the Temptation Story" in F.L.
          > Cross [ed.], Studia Patristica 7 [TU 92 Berlin:Akademie Verlag,
          > 1966] 496-502), so did a number of important Alexandrine and
          > Antiochene exegetes. Cf. Origen, On First Principles.
          >
          >
          > In support of this contention, they point out, citing such texts as
          Lk.
          > 10:18; 20:31-32, not only that Jesus was, and /knew himself to
          be/, a
          > visionary, but that the specific subject of at least two of the visions
          > to which he was privy /was the "testing" activity of Satan/. Thus to
          > rule as impossible the idea that Jesus could have had a vision along
          the
          > lines of the one that Matthew and Luke tell us he had when he was on
          the
          > verge of his public ministry, is unwarranted. Moreover, if as other
          > Synoptic texts such as Mt. 12:22-32//Mk. 20-30//Lk.1:14-23 seem to
          > indicate, Jesus actually envisaged himself as one who by various means
          > was putting into effect an initial victory he had earlier obtained over
          > the one who tests faithfulness, it would be surprising if he had not
          had
          > a vision like the one outlined in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk. 4:1-13.
          >
          > So Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 457-458
          >
          > Nor is there any reason to deny the assumption inherent in the claim
          > that the vision recounted in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk 4:1-12 is dominical --
          i.e.,
          > that Jesus would have spoken publicly about it, and thereby set it out
          > as a tradition to be remembered and transmitted. Again, Lk. 10:18, not
          > to mention, Lk. 20:3-32 stands as evidence for this. And it is not
          > difficult to imagine plausible scenarios in which Jesus would feel it
          > necessary or desirable to recount it.
          >
          > E.g, that, as A Feuillet suggests ("Die Versuchungen Jesu",
          > Internationale Katholische Zeitschrift Communio 8 [1979] 226-237),
          > Jesus reported such an experience to his disciples in the context of
          > the rebuke of Peter at Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:33).
          >
          >
          > But the difficulty with all of this is that, even granting that what
          > Matthew and Luke report as the content of Jesus' vision is rooted in a
          > recitation by Jesus himself of a wilderness vision vouchsafed to him in
          > which his resolve to be obedient to God was put to the proof by God's
          > tester, we have no way of knowing, let alone proving, that what
          Matthew
          > and Luke transmit is an accurate reproduction of the form and wording
          > and narrative substance of that recitation.
          >
          > In fact, at least one feature of Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 strongly
          > suggests that what they "transmit" is not, not, namely, the style of
          > debate Jesus is depicted as using in the temptation story, which has
          > with justification been deemed by many as "thoroughly Rabbinic".
          >
          > Cf. B.M. van Iersel, "'Der Sohn' in den synoptischen Jesusworten:
          > Christusbezeichnung der Gemeinde oder Selbstbezeichnung Jesu"
          > (Leiden: Brill, 1964) 166; Bultmann, History, 253â€"57; Nolland,
          > Luke 1:176.
          >
          >
          > As is indicated by the conflict stories in the Synoptic tradition, this
          > is not Jesus' usual manner of argumentation, even when he is engaged
          > with opponents versed in Scripture or who use scripture to make their
          > case. Nor can one find anywhere else in the Synoptic Tradition a
          > portrait of Jesus issuing responses to /anything/ said to him that are
          > made up, as Jesus responses in Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 are, entirely of
          > scriptural citations. Moreover, even if Jesus did report that in his
          > vision he had found himself using and exchanging scriptural quotations
          > with the devil, would he have cast his recollection of the
          quotations he
          > and the devil used according to their LXX formulations? And adding to
          > the suspicion that Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 is /not/ a faithful
          > reproduction of a dominical report is both (a) the fact, pointed out by
          > Gouder and Wilkens,
          >
          > Goulder, Midrash and Lection in Matthew, 247; Wilkens, "Die
          > Versuchung Jesu nach Matthäus." NTS 28 (1982) 479â€"89.
          >
          > that a significant portion of the vocabulary we find in both of the
          > "transmitted" versions of the report is characteristically Matthean.
          and
          > (b) the consideration that Jesus never elsewhere casts anything he
          > recounts, including, notably, /his other visions of Satan "falling"
          and
          > at work in "sifting" God's elect/, in anything like the form or the
          > genre of haggadic midrash in which the "transmitted" report of his
          > Wilderness "temptation" vision is cast.
          >
          > So not only must we remain skeptical with respect to the validity of
          the
          > claim that what we have in Mt Lk derives from Jesus himself and
          embodies
          > in some fashion a dominical report about a vision he had when in the
          > wilderness. We we must recognize that the assumption of its validity
          > /forces us to conclude that the report as it is reproduced by Matthew
          > and Luke is a "church product"./
          >
          > --
          > Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
          > 1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
          > Chicago, Illinois
          > e-mail jgibson000@...
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Jeffrey B. Gibson
          ... Thanks, Darell. I was hoping you d chime in! ... But are either of these instances good parallels to the temptations story? In the first, raises an
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 14, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            dbockdts wrote:
            > Jeffrey:
            >
            > Nice overview of the issues on the Temptation.
            >
            >
            Thanks, Darell. I was hoping you'd chime in!
            > There are several things, but I just want to note a few here, some
            > tied to the potential use of Scripture.
            >
            > (1) We do see examples of Haggadic style in the Jesus tradition and
            > use of Scripture. One is his question about Son of David and Lord
            > involving Ps 110:1. This kind of rabbinic paradox is often how
            > questions were posed and discussed as text are linked. Second, we have
            > the exchange leading into the Good Samaritan Parable where exposition
            > is followed by story. These indicate a backdrop for how Jesus may have
            > used Scripture on certain occasions.
            But are either of these instances good parallels to the temptations
            story? In the first, raises an issue and goes on the offensive after a
            series of conflicts which are settled on the authority of his word. Not
            so in the WT story. And in the second, we have again Jesus settling the
            issue (or at least silencing his opponent) not on the basis of
            scripture, but of a question he raises.

            > (I do not regard the LXX issue
            > here as determinative either. It would be natural for a tradition to
            > be translated or adapted into a familiar text for the audience.

            But that's just my point. Adaptation is not reproduction. Moreover,
            the LXX quotes don't square up with their MT counterparts, do they. And
            then, we have contradictions between Matthew's and Luke about the
            length of the quote, etc, which means that one of the "reproductions" is
            not faithful to what it reproduces (if that's what it's doing).
            > A
            > question I would ask is: Is there anything peculiar about the LXX
            > usage that prevents the scene from working in an earlier setting?
            >

            I think the question is: would the MT texts have done the job (made the
            same points) that the LXX texts presently do.
            > (2) For the scene is that this debate is not so much about Christology
            > but about the nature of Jesus' faithfulness to God. If such a story
            > was made up, especially as late as you may be suggesting, why go this
            > way?

            Yes, a good question. What is your answer?
            > In addition, Jesus is tested throughout his ministry, so this
            > kind of event adds little at the level of testing. One would think
            > such a made up story would either (1) more explicitly parallel Adam
            > (Matthew makes nothing of this, only Luke by the context he gives it)
            >
            Only IF that's what's in the Markan version. You probably know that I
            have explicitly argued against the idea that Mark presents Jesus as Adam
            in Mk. 1:12-13.

            > or (2) would push Christology more than it does.
            >
            > One thing the story clearly does is to push Jesus' battle in a way
            > where Rome is irrelevant or even the Jewish leadership is minimized
            > with refernce to the "contest" (Against synoptic tendencies?). But the
            > issue of the kingdom and Satan being in battle recalls a text like
            > Testament of Moses 10:1-2, a decidedly Jewish frame.
            >
            >
            And why could this not be attributed to Matthew?

            > One final side note. Testing historicity (and corroborating it) and
            > the likelihood of an event/experience having or being real or even a
            > seed are two distinct things as you note. In this case, if Jesus had
            > such an experience and it impacted his description of the origins of
            > his mission, as you also seem to suggest, then once again we risk
            > using the terms history and historicity in potentially fuzzy ways. How
            > can one posit a real experience and then not view it as historical at
            > least at some level)? At the least, we have a representation of a
            > perceived experience within the history of Jesus' and his movement.
            >
            >
            Yes, but, all Berkeleyian etc. questions aside, there is a difference
            between a "purely" mental experience and one that is not, yes?

            Jeffrey


            > Darrell L. Bock
            > Dallas Theo. Seminary
            >
            > --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Jeffrey B. Gibson"
            > <jgibson000@...> wrote:
            >
            >> With apologies for cross posting.
            >>
            >> Here is a draft of what I've worked up on the questions of the
            >> historicity of the Matthean and Lukan accounts of Jesus Wilderness
            >> "temptation and the origin of the Wilderness "temptation" story.
            >>
            >> I'd appreciate comments and criticisms. Additional bibliographic
            >> material is also welcome.
            >>
            >> Jeffrey
            >>
            >> P.S. Indented material represents footnotes.
            >>
            >> *********
            >> The Historicity of the Event and the Origin of the Wilderness
            >> "Temptation" Story
            >>
            >> There is no compelling reason to doubt the claim of Matthew and Luke
            >> that prior to engaging in a public ministry (and as a concomitant to
            >>
            > his
            >
            >> baptism), Jesus had some sort of experience in which his resolve to
            >> follow a particular understanding of faithfulness to the God of Israel
            >> was "put to the test".
            >>
            >> So E.P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus (London: Penguin,
            >> 1993) 117; M. Borg, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and
            >> Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (San Francisco: Harper/San
            >> Francisco, 2006) 124, J. Dupont, "L'origine du récit des tentations
            >> de Jésus au désert", RB 73 (1966) 30�"76; R. Funk and the Jesus
            >> Seminar, The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds of
            >> Jesus (San Francisco: Polebridge Press, 1998) 43; Allison, "Behind
            >> the Tempations", 213, and others. The claim that the theme of a
            >> trial or testing of a hero or a religious founder that takes place
            >> shortly before their adoption of a commissioned vocation or assent
            >> to a way of life is one that is prominent in fictitious
            >> "biographies" of these figures, hardly counts as fatal evidence
            >> against this, even should it be true that the theme is as widespread
            >> in such biographies as it is often (but, notably, usually by
            >> disciples of J.G. Frazier and C. Jung or uncritical adherents to the
            >> work on heroes of F-R. R. Somerset (Lord) Raglan [The Hero, A Study
            >> in Tradition, Myth and Drama [New York: Oxford University Press,
            >> 1937]), asserted to be . On this see N.T. Wright, Jesus and the
            >> Victory of God (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1996) 457.
            >>
            >>
            >> It may even have taken place both in the particular locale in which,
            >> according to the Synoptic Evangelists, we are told it occurred,
            >>
            >> I.e, "the wilderness". On the questions of the specific location of
            >> the "wilderness" identified by Matthew, Mark, and Luke as the locale
            >> of Jesus' Wilderness "temptation and the historicity of the
            >> Evangelists' claim that Jesus' went to/was in a wilderness locale
            >> when he experienced a pre-ministry testing of his resolve to be
            >> faithful to a particular understanding of "sonship", see Roberts,
            >> The Testing of Jesus in Q.
            >>
            >>
            >> as well as within the context of, or after, and as arising from, a
            >> period of fasting on Jesus' part. The question, however, is whether
            >> this experience actually unfolded and transpired with even a minimal
            >> resemblance to the particular way that we are told by the
            >>
            > Evangelists it
            >
            >> did.
            >>
            >> The answer to this must certainly be no, and this apart from the often
            >> observed facts(a) that Matthew and Luke contradict one another not
            >>
            > only
            >
            >> in the way they set out the order of the event's constituent episodes,
            >> but with respect to narrative details within them (since conflicting
            >> accounts of the sequence or of the details of an event do not, in
            >>
            > and of
            >
            >> themselves, falsify the historicity of the event inaccurately
            >>
            > reported,
            >
            >> (b) that a principle character within the story is not an historical
            >> personage, let alone an ontological reality (since one can
            >>
            > encounter, be
            >
            >> subjected to, and go through, an actual test of faithfulness absent an
            >> ontologically real "tester)", and (c) that the accounts of the event
            >> are embellished with patently "mythological" motifs (since the
            >> function of such embellishment is often to highlight what to the
            >> reporter is the significance of the event in question).
            >>
            >> What makes the certain the negative answer to the question of the
            >> historicity of the incidents narrated in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk. 4:1-13 is
            >>
            > that
            >
            >> Matthew and Luke themselves do not think that what they relate as
            >>
            > having
            >
            >> happened to Jesus during his time in the wilderness are concrete,
            >> objectively verifiable, historical events. Rather, they think that
            >>
            > what
            >
            >> they record in Matt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-12 as transpiring between Jesus
            >>
            > and
            >
            >> the Devil and as coming upon Jesus are things that Jesus experienced in
            >> a vision to which he alone was privy.
            >>
            >> So Twelftree ("Temptations of Jesus" 822) and especially
            >> B..Witherington who points to the facts that the story as Matthew
            >> and Luke present it is not only explicitly portrayed as grounded in
            >> the sort of action that, according to Dan. 9:3; 10:203; 4 Ezra 5:13,
            >> 20; 2 Bar. 9:2, are regularly the occasion, if not the cause, of
            >> visionary experiences, but also displays the themes of "transport in
            >> the Spirit, or visionary transport"and the interpreting angel who
            >> reveals the mysteries of God to those in his charge and takes them
            >> into high places so that they might see things normally hidden from
            >> the eyes of men that are prominent in, and key features of,
            >> Inter-testamental accounts of visionary experiences (cf.
            >> Witherington, Jesus the Seer: The Progress of Prophecy [Peabody
            >> Mass.; Hendrikson, 1999] 279-280) .
            >>
            >>
            >> But was the vision that Matthew and Luke tell us that Jesus had during
            >> or after a fast in the wilderness something Jesus himself /actually/
            >> had. That is to say, is the particular delineation of the content of
            >> the vision attributed to Jesus based on a report of that vision that is
            >> ultimately dominical?. A number of scholars think so.
            >>
            >> E.g., Hagner, Twelftree, Allison, Witherington, Wright, and
            >> (tentatively) Borg, among others. Notably, as V. Keitsch has
            >> pointed out ("The Antiocheans and the Temptation Story" in F.L.
            >> Cross [ed.], Studia Patristica 7 [TU 92 Berlin:Akademie Verlag,
            >> 1966] 496-502), so did a number of important Alexandrine and
            >> Antiochene exegetes. Cf. Origen, On First Principles.
            >>
            >>
            >> In support of this contention, they point out, citing such texts as
            >>
            > Lk.
            >
            >> 10:18; 20:31-32, not only that Jesus was, and /knew himself to
            >>
            > be/, a
            >
            >> visionary, but that the specific subject of at least two of the visions
            >> to which he was privy /was the "testing" activity of Satan/. Thus to
            >> rule as impossible the idea that Jesus could have had a vision along
            >>
            > the
            >
            >> lines of the one that Matthew and Luke tell us he had when he was on
            >>
            > the
            >
            >> verge of his public ministry, is unwarranted. Moreover, if as other
            >> Synoptic texts such as Mt. 12:22-32//Mk. 20-30//Lk.1:14-23 seem to
            >> indicate, Jesus actually envisaged himself as one who by various means
            >> was putting into effect an initial victory he had earlier obtained over
            >> the one who tests faithfulness, it would be surprising if he had not
            >>
            > had
            >
            >> a vision like the one outlined in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk. 4:1-13.
            >>
            >> So Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, 457-458
            >>
            >> Nor is there any reason to deny the assumption inherent in the claim
            >> that the vision recounted in Mt. 4:1-11//Lk 4:1-12 is dominical --
            >>
            > i.e.,
            >
            >> that Jesus would have spoken publicly about it, and thereby set it out
            >> as a tradition to be remembered and transmitted. Again, Lk. 10:18, not
            >> to mention, Lk. 20:3-32 stands as evidence for this. And it is not
            >> difficult to imagine plausible scenarios in which Jesus would feel it
            >> necessary or desirable to recount it.
            >>
            >> E.g, that, as A Feuillet suggests ("Die Versuchungen Jesu",
            >> Internationale Katholische Zeitschrift Communio 8 [1979] 226-237),
            >> Jesus reported such an experience to his disciples in the context of
            >> the rebuke of Peter at Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:33).
            >>
            >>
            >> But the difficulty with all of this is that, even granting that what
            >> Matthew and Luke report as the content of Jesus' vision is rooted in a
            >> recitation by Jesus himself of a wilderness vision vouchsafed to him in
            >> which his resolve to be obedient to God was put to the proof by God's
            >> tester, we have no way of knowing, let alone proving, that what
            >>
            > Matthew
            >
            >> and Luke transmit is an accurate reproduction of the form and wording
            >> and narrative substance of that recitation.
            >>
            >> In fact, at least one feature of Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 strongly
            >> suggests that what they "transmit" is not, not, namely, the style of
            >> debate Jesus is depicted as using in the temptation story, which has
            >> with justification been deemed by many as "thoroughly Rabbinic".
            >>
            >> Cf. B.M. van Iersel, "'Der Sohn' in den synoptischen Jesusworten:
            >> Christusbezeichnung der Gemeinde oder Selbstbezeichnung Jesu"
            >> (Leiden: Brill, 1964) 166; Bultmann, History, 253�"57; Nolland,
            >> Luke 1:176.
            >>
            >>
            >> As is indicated by the conflict stories in the Synoptic tradition, this
            >> is not Jesus' usual manner of argumentation, even when he is engaged
            >> with opponents versed in Scripture or who use scripture to make their
            >> case. Nor can one find anywhere else in the Synoptic Tradition a
            >> portrait of Jesus issuing responses to /anything/ said to him that are
            >> made up, as Jesus responses in Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 are, entirely of
            >> scriptural citations. Moreover, even if Jesus did report that in his
            >> vision he had found himself using and exchanging scriptural quotations
            >> with the devil, would he have cast his recollection of the
            >>
            > quotations he
            >
            >> and the devil used according to their LXX formulations? And adding to
            >> the suspicion that Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 is /not/ a faithful
            >> reproduction of a dominical report is both (a) the fact, pointed out by
            >> Gouder and Wilkens,
            >>
            >> Goulder, Midrash and Lection in Matthew, 247; Wilkens, "Die
            >> Versuchung Jesu nach Matthäus." NTS 28 (1982) 479�"89.
            >>
            >> that a significant portion of the vocabulary we find in both of the
            >> "transmitted" versions of the report is characteristically Matthean.
            >>
            > and
            >
            >> (b) the consideration that Jesus never elsewhere casts anything he
            >> recounts, including, notably, /his other visions of Satan "falling"
            >>
            > and
            >
            >> at work in "sifting" God's elect/, in anything like the form or the
            >> genre of haggadic midrash in which the "transmitted" report of his
            >> Wilderness "temptation" vision is cast.
            >>
            >> So not only must we remain skeptical with respect to the validity of
            >>
            > the
            >
            >> claim that what we have in Mt Lk derives from Jesus himself and
            >>
            > embodies
            >
            >> in some fashion a dominical report about a vision he had when in the
            >> wilderness. We we must recognize that the assumption of its validity
            >> /forces us to conclude that the report as it is reproduced by Matthew
            >> and Luke is a "church product"./
            >>
            >> --
            >> Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
            >> 1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
            >> Chicago, Illinois
            >> e-mail jgibson000@...
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >>
            >>
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
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            >


            --
            Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
            1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
            Chicago, Illinois
            e-mail jgibson000@...



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          • dbockdts
            ... Jeffrey: Thanks, Darell. I was hoping you d chime in! ... few here, some ... temptations ... after a ... the ... Response: I do think these are relevant
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 15, 2008
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              --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Jeffrey B. Gibson"
              <jgibson000@...> wrote:

              > >
              > >
              Jeffrey: Thanks, Darell. I was hoping you'd chime in!


              > > My Original: There are several things, but I just want to note a
              few here, some
              > > tied to the potential use of Scripture.
              > >
              > > (1) We do see examples of Haggadic style in the Jesus tradition and
              > > use of Scripture. One is his question about Son of David and Lord
              > > involving Ps 110:1. This kind of rabbinic paradox is often how
              > > questions were posed and discussed as text are linked. Second, we have
              > > the exchange leading into the Good Samaritan Parable where exposition
              > > is followed by story. These indicate a backdrop for how Jesus may have
              > > used Scripture on certain occasions.


              > Jeffrey: But are either of these instances good parallels to the
              temptations
              > story? In the first, raises an issue and goes on the offensive
              after a
              > series of conflicts which are settled on the authority of his word. Not
              > so in the WT story. And in the second, we have again Jesus settling
              the
              > issue (or at least silencing his opponent) not on the basis of
              > scripture, but of a question he raises.

              Response: I do think these are relevant because they show that
              rabbinic approaches do show up in the tradition. They show a variety
              of expositional methods. I agree they are not precisely the same, but
              rhetorical variety was a part of the style. Something close could be
              the antitheses which do interact with Scripture. There is likely some
              structuring here that may stylize the report and streamline it.
              >
              > >Original: (I do not regard the LXX issue
              > > here as determinative either. It would be natural for a tradition to
              > > be translated or adapted into a familiar text for the audience.
              >
              > Jeffrey: But that's just my point. Adaptation is not reproduction.
              Moreover,
              > the LXX quotes don't square up with their MT counterparts, do they.
              And
              > then, we have contradictions between Matthew's and Luke about the
              > length of the quote, etc, which means that one of the
              "reproductions" is
              > not faithful to what it reproduces (if that's what it's doing).

              Response: Historicity does not require the kind of precision this
              seems to expect. The issue of ipsissima vox makes the point here more
              complicated.

              > > Original: A
              > > question I would ask is: Is there anything peculiar about the LXX
              > > usage that prevents the scene from working in an earlier setting?
              > >
              >
              > Jeffrey: I think the question is: would the MT texts have done the
              job (made the
              > same points) that the LXX texts presently do.

              Response: I think the same points woudl apply regardless of the version.

              > > Original: (2) For the scene is that this debate is not so much
              about Christology
              > > but about the nature of Jesus' faithfulness to God. If such a story
              > > was made up, especially as late as you may be suggesting, why go this
              > > way?
              >
              > Jeffrey: Yes, a good question. What is your answer?

              Response: I think this may well speak for the passing on of the
              experience. It has the ambiguity often tied to Jesus.

              > > Original: In addition, Jesus is tested throughout his ministry,
              so this
              > > kind of event adds little at the level of testing. One would think
              > > such a made up story would either (1) more explicitly parallel Adam
              > > (Matthew makes nothing of this, only Luke by the context he gives it)
              > >
              > Jeffrey: Only IF that's what's in the Markan version. You probably
              know that I
              > have explicitly argued against the idea that Mark presents Jesus as
              Adam
              > in Mk. 1:12-13.

              Response; Since when are we limitedot Mark? This material is Q. The
              premise is that Matthew and Luke do NOT know each other. So this looks
              like it does come to us through tradition.
              >
              > > Original: or (2) would push Christology more than it does.
              > >
              > > One thing the story clearly does is to push Jesus' battle in a way
              > > where Rome is irrelevant or even the Jewish leadership is minimized
              > > with refernce to the "contest" (Against synoptic tendencies?). But the
              > > issue of the kingdom and Satan being in battle recalls a text like
              > > Testament of Moses 10:1-2, a decidedly Jewish frame.
              > >
              > >
              > Jeffrey: And why could this not be attributed to Matthew?

              Response: See above, the sourcing and the fact Luke knows it (in a
              Lucan redacted order in my view, points ot readition,not Matthew here.
              >
              > > Original: One final side note. Testing historicity (and
              corroborating it) and
              > > the likelihood of an event/experience having or being real or even a
              > > seed are two distinct things as you note. In this case, if Jesus had
              > > such an experience and it impacted his description of the origins of
              > > his mission, as you also seem to suggest, then once again we risk
              > > using the terms history and historicity in potentially fuzzy ways. How
              > > can one posit a real experience and then not view it as historical at
              > > least at some level)? At the least, we have a representation of a
              > > perceived experience within the history of Jesus' and his movement.
              > >
              > >
              > Jeffrey: Yes, but, all Berkeleyian etc. questions aside, there is a
              difference
              > between a "purely" mental experience and one that is not, yes?

              Response: My only point is that an experience that directs is still
              can fit into a historical portrait and help us appreciate aims and
              motivations, even ones passed on to others to help them appreciate the
              preparation and calling one senses.

              Thanks for the interaction, Jeffrey. I am traveling so my feedback on
              a future go around may be slow.



              Darrell L. Bock
              Dallas Theo. Seminary
            • Matson, Mark (Academic)
              Jeffrey: Jeffrey Gibson wrote: But the difficulty with all of this is that, even granting that what Matthew and Luke report as the content of Jesus vision is
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 16, 2008
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                Jeffrey:



                Jeffrey Gibson wrote:



                But the difficulty with all of this is that, even granting that what Matthew and Luke report as the content of Jesus' vision is rooted in a recitation by Jesus himself of a wilderness vision vouchsafed to him in which his resolve to be obedient to God was put to the proof by God's tester, we have no way of knowing, let alone proving, that what Matthew and Luke transmit is an accurate reproduction of the form and wording and narrative substance of that recitation.



                In fact, at least one feature of Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 strongly suggests that what they "transmit" is not, not, namely, the style of debate Jesus is depicted as using in the temptation story, which has with justification been deemed by many as "thoroughly Rabbinic".

                The question, however, is whether this experience actually unfolded and transpired with even a minimal resemblance to the particular way that we are told by the Evangelists it did.



                As is indicated by the conflict stories in the Synoptic tradition, this is not Jesus' usual manner of argumentation, even when he is engaged with opponents versed in Scripture or who use scripture to make their case. Nor can one find anywhere else in the Synoptic Tradition a portrait of Jesus issuing responses to /anything/ said to him that are made up, as Jesus responses in Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 are, entirely of scriptural citations. Moreover, even if Jesus did report that in his vision he had found himself using and exchanging scriptural quotations with the devil, would he have cast his recollection of the quotations he and the devil used according to their LXX formulations? And adding to the suspicion that Mt. 4:3-11//Lk. 4:3-13 is /not/ a faithful reproduction of a dominical report is both (a) the fact, pointed out by Gouder and Wilkens, that a significant portion of the vocabulary we find in both of the "transmitted" versions of the report is characteristically Matthean. and

                (b) the consideration that Jesus never elsewhere casts anything he recounts, including, notably, /his other visions of Satan "falling" and at work in "sifting" God's elect/, in anything like the form or the genre of haggadic midrash in which the "transmitted" report of his Wilderness "temptation" vision is cast.





                OK, I see your basic argumentation – the events as an “objective” event can’t be seen as real. So that leads to the question of whether Jesus, as visionary, might have imagined this test in some form similar to what we have, and then related it to his disciples or other listeners. And that brings us to this point in your argument.



                Here are my problems:



                1. Does the inability to “know” create a negative result? Certainly we can’t “prove” he saw this, or spoke it. Does that mean he didn’t? I always have trouble at this step – from agnosticism to “gnosticing nothing.”

                2. But you base your argument at this point on a feature in Mt 4:3-11 and Luke 4:3-13 that implies that Jesus did not transmit this. Here all I see is assertion.

                a. Is the issue that Jesus was not being “rabbinic” enough in his discourse style? But what does that mean? I think you need to flesh this out? And would talking about a vision ever be “rabbinic”? Argumentation over a point of halakah I can see as rabbinic. But how does relating a story of a vision ever be told in rabbinic fashion? In other words, is this an issue really of style, or of content?

                3. But to continue,

                a. Does use of LXX (admittedly Matthean) point to Matthew creation, or Matthew editing?

                b. Does Matthean vocabulary point to Matthew creation, or Matthew editing?

                c. Does use of “haggadic midrash” (as opposed to simply telling a story of his vision?) point to Matthew creation or editing?



                My concern with these is how do we make the argument. My overall concern, Jeffrey, is that your argument is too brief at the critical points.



                Don’t take from this my disagreement…. I just am nervous about arguments that are based on “everyone knows”, when in fact these issues above are the real crux of the matter. But rather than nail them down, you simply point to them and say “voila – here is the proof”.



                mark





                Mark A. Matson

                Academic Dean

                Milligan College

                http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm





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