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

Re: [XTalk] Re: Paul's silence on Jesus as miracle worker

Expand Messages
  • Gordon Raynal
    ... Hi again... well that calls for even more congratulations! I think the apocalyptic speech given placed on Jesus lips comes from the evangelists (and
    Message 1 of 21 , Aug 2, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      On Aug 1, 2008, at 2:09 PM, Dennis Goffin wrote:

      > Hi Gordon,
      > Which are the words you don't think Jesus said?
      > Thanks for your congratulations, but I left University College
      > Leicester over 50-odd years ago.
      > Regards,
      > Dennis Goffin BA Hons. French
      > Chorleywood UK

      Hi again... well that calls for even more congratulations!

      I think the "apocalyptic speech" given placed on Jesus lips comes
      from the evangelists (and maybe even that JTB speech piece). The
      point of their focus on JTB and Jesus's utilizing this speech should
      be clear enough after the R-J War. How to deal with that great
      trauma could hardly be ignored and those resources of both Classical
      Prophetic and Apocalyptic Prophetic materials provided rich fodder
      for dealing with that trauma and framing what Jesus and friends were
      up to in the late 20's in terms of it. Once more, that "what they
      were up to" I think can best be described by Paul's words: "a
      ministry of reconciliation." Or look at the Epistle of James for
      "the Way of Wisdom in 3:17-18 and Paul's parallel "the Fruit of the
      Spirit" in Galatians 5:22-26. Or look at the very opening of the
      Didache... "The Way of Life" after the OT foundation is from the
      aphoristic speech we find in Matthew's Sermon on the Mount and Luke's
      Sermon on the Plain. The core ethical praxis language was presented
      by Jesus in wisdom forms of communication. Even if one wants to
      affirm Jesus also utilized apocalyptic speech, that speech was
      secondary and not primary. Why say that? See the Sermon on the
      Mount, Mark 4:33 ff, etc.

      Now let me say to all, I actually love the genre of apocalyptic.
      Artfully used it makes for terrific fodder for great literature and
      great movies. Some of my favorites are Sci-Fi movies. So, please
      don't think I don't like and appreciate the genre. I simply do not
      think from the resources we have that this was Jesus' speech. I
      think that was wisdom speech and that the apocalyptic genre was used
      by his interpreters to frame and interpret that speech later on. But
      then there were other framings and interpretive tacks used, as well.
      And the interesting thing about the broad use of apocalyptic is that
      it required re-interpretation and we see this across the four
      Canonical Gospels that we have and then outside in later Christian
      resources.

      Gordon Raynal
      Inman, SC

      >
    • Dennis Goffin
      Quite simply, Gordon, how would you explain Matthew 16.27/8 ? For my part I endorse everything that Jack has written. Dennis Goffin Chorleywood, UK ... From:
      Message 2 of 21 , Aug 2, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Quite simply, Gordon, how would you explain Matthew 16.27/8 ? For my part I endorse everything that Jack has written.
        Dennis Goffin
        Chorleywood, UK





        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Gordon Raynal
        To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
        Cc: Michael Ensley
        Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2008 5:08 PM
        Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: Paul's silence on Jesus as miracle worker



        On Aug 1, 2008, at 2:09 PM, Dennis Goffin wrote:

        > Hi Gordon,
        > Which are the words you don't think Jesus said?
        > Thanks for your congratulations, but I left University College
        > Leicester over 50-odd years ago.
        > Regards,
        > Dennis Goffin BA Hons. French
        > Chorleywood UK

        Hi again... well that calls for even more congratulations!

        I think the "apocalyptic speech" given placed on Jesus lips comes
        from the evangelists (and maybe even that JTB speech piece). The
        point of their focus on JTB and Jesus's utilizing this speech should
        be clear enough after the R-J War. How to deal with that great
        trauma could hardly be ignored and those resources of both Classical
        Prophetic and Apocalyptic Prophetic materials provided rich fodder
        for dealing with that trauma and framing what Jesus and friends were
        up to in the late 20's in terms of it. Once more, that "what they
        were up to" I think can best be described by Paul's words: "a
        ministry of reconciliation." Or look at the Epistle of James for
        "the Way of Wisdom in 3:17-18 and Paul's parallel "the Fruit of the
        Spirit" in Galatians 5:22-26. Or look at the very opening of the
        Didache... "The Way of Life" after the OT foundation is from the
        aphoristic speech we find in Matthew's Sermon on the Mount and Luke's
        Sermon on the Plain. The core ethical praxis language was presented
        by Jesus in wisdom forms of communication. Even if one wants to
        affirm Jesus also utilized apocalyptic speech, that speech was
        secondary and not primary. Why say that? See the Sermon on the
        Mount, Mark 4:33 ff, etc.

        Now let me say to all, I actually love the genre of apocalyptic.
        Artfully used it makes for terrific fodder for great literature and
        great movies. Some of my favorites are Sci-Fi movies. So, please
        don't think I don't like and appreciate the genre. I simply do not
        think from the resources we have that this was Jesus' speech. I
        think that was wisdom speech and that the apocalyptic genre was used
        by his interpreters to frame and interpret that speech later on. But
        then there were other framings and interpretive tacks used, as well.
        And the interesting thing about the broad use of apocalyptic is that
        it required re-interpretation and we see this across the four
        Canonical Gospels that we have and then outside in later Christian
        resources.

        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC

        >




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Gordon Raynal
        Jack, I want to thank you for this long and helpful note. While we obviously disagree about how to best understand the historical fellow named Jesus son of
        Message 3 of 21 , Aug 2, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Jack,

          I want to thank you for this long and helpful note. While we
          obviously disagree about how to best understand the historical fellow
          named Jesus son of Joseph(?) and Mary, this sort of study is, of
          course vital to understanding part of the broader context of the
          times. I, of course, think that there were many who took to Jesus
          who centrally worked from and espoused what you are laying out in
          these resources. You get no argument about that from me. Indeed
          (and let me once more borrow Paul's phrase) a real "ministry of
          reconciliation" would aim at bringing diverse folk together, right?
          I simply do not want to limit those who were attracted to follow
          Jesus to the category of "apocalyptic" versus "non-apocalyptic."
          First, I think the genre of apocalyptic can have many shades of
          usage, as can the genre of wisdom speech. Second, I don't find it
          overly helpful to "categorize" individuals just by this proposed
          duality alone (as if this duality simply presents us with two clear
          opposite camps). Third, I think "a ministry of reconciliation" aims
          precisely at bringing diversity (and so diverse folks) together, and
          hence pushing any supposed duality like this would be rather counter
          productive to "the spirit" of the movement's very intent. This said,
          let me simply also note about what both Matthew and Luke do with Mark
          is not only access what you're providing as important frames to their
          "Gospel of Jesus Christ" (and for Matthew most pointedly... Son of
          Abraham, Son of David, Son of God, one like but greater than Moses
          and Elijah, etc.... so also those "Sons of..."), but also add what?
          Lots of wisdom speech. Accept Q or accept that Matthew had access to
          more of these sayings and Luke copied from Matthew, both Matthew and
          Luke round out their gospels with aphorisms and parables. At the end
          of the day, and let us say that I am wrong about the wisdom speaker/
          teacher/ sage being the best way to classify the historical fellow
          Jesus in the late 20's, then **this speech** needs to be studied in
          it's own right and in terms of the legacy of wisdom communication in
          the Israelite scriptures, the post- Scriptural resources and then in
          terms of the broader world of wisdom communication. And likewise
          there is a bevy of materials from Israel's past to do just this. And
          a good reading of such as Diogenes of Sinope won't hurt either.

          So, thanks for this note. I find it very helpful, not to try to
          focus on the fellow named Jesus, himself, but yes in terms of those
          around him, those who surely were swept up on this small movement in
          his lifetime and at least a good number of those who came on later on.

          Gordon Raynal
          Inman, SC
          On Aug 2, 2008, at 11:42 AM, Jack Kilmon wrote:

          > Dennis and Gordon:
          >
          > Forgive me for the length of this and also, asthe "follow the
          > Aramaic" guy,
          > for use of "Yeshua" instead of "Jesus."
          >
        • Gordon Raynal
          Hi Dennis, ... Verse 27 has it s base in Mark 8:38, verse 28 in Mark 9:1. So, I think this is part of the language Mark created and was then redacted by both
          Message 4 of 21 , Aug 3, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Dennis,

            On Aug 2, 2008, at 1:02 PM, Dennis Goffin wrote:

            > Quite simply, Gordon, how would you explain Matthew 16.27/8 ? For
            > my part I endorse everything that Jack has written.
            > Dennis Goffin
            > Chorleywood, UK

            Verse 27 has it's base in Mark 8:38, verse 28 in Mark 9:1. So, I
            think this is part of the language Mark created and was then redacted
            by both Matthew and Luke to fit his characterization of Jesus Christ
            as fulfilling that Daniel, Enoch expectation. So in a word this is a
            Markan creation.

            And for whom you endorse, I am glad you have found the stir of this
            discussion helpful!

            Gordon Raynal
            Inman, SC
            >
          • Dennis Goffin
            Are you then saying, Gordon, that for example Mark 9.1 is not the words of Jesus but merely a Markan creation ? If so, where do you stop ? And are you also not
            Message 5 of 21 , Aug 3, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              Are you then saying, Gordon, that for example Mark 9.1 is not the words of Jesus but merely a Markan creation ? If so, where do you stop ? And are you also not opening the door for it to be said equally that your favoured "sage" passages are likewise later creations ? I would also like to make the point that many of the parables you prize as part of your "wisdom" approach are on the subject of apocalyptic eschatology.
              Dennis Goffin UK




              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Gordon Raynal
              To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
              Cc: Michael Ensley
              Sent: Sunday, August 03, 2008 6:14 PM
              Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: Paul's silence on Jesus as miracle worker


              Hi Dennis,

              On Aug 2, 2008, at 1:02 PM, Dennis Goffin wrote:

              > Quite simply, Gordon, how would you explain Matthew 16.27/8 ? For
              > my part I endorse everything that Jack has written.
              > Dennis Goffin
              > Chorleywood, UK

              Verse 27 has it's base in Mark 8:38, verse 28 in Mark 9:1. So, I
              think this is part of the language Mark created and was then redacted
              by both Matthew and Luke to fit his characterization of Jesus Christ
              as fulfilling that Daniel, Enoch expectation. So in a word this is a
              Markan creation.

              And for whom you endorse, I am glad you have found the stir of this
              discussion helpful!

              Gordon Raynal
              Inman, SC
              >




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Gordon Raynal
              Hi Dennis, ... Yes. But I don t like that word merely applied to fine creativity! ... I don t actually draw a precise line in the wisdom sayings themselves,
              Message 6 of 21 , Aug 6, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi Dennis,
                On Aug 3, 2008, at 2:20 PM, Dennis Goffin wrote:

                > Are you then saying, Gordon, that for example Mark 9.1 is not the
                > words of Jesus but merely a Markan creation ?

                Yes. But I don't like that word "merely" applied to fine creativity!

                > If so, where do you stop ?

                I don't actually draw a precise line in the wisdom sayings
                themselves, if that is what you mean. I think the report that you
                find in the back of "The Five Gospels" is a fairly good listing of
                the words that belong to the man Jesus, although my list is a little
                longer. But actually I prefer to think not simply in terms of any of
                those particular sayings as being definitely from Jesus' own lips,
                but rather from the original wisdom banter (creativity) when Jesus
                was alive. I think the hallmark of Jesus' own creativity is found in
                those red and pink parables you will find noted in the 5 Gospels.
                But to give you a "for instance" of what I'm suggesting (and this can
                only be a guess, of course), but I can well imagine that Jesus
                might have told the parable of Good Sam and a hearer/ fellow banter
                partner, let's say Mary Magdalene or Peter, responding with the
                aphorism, "Love your enemies" and Jesus repeating that, "yes, love
                your enemies." I think this careful kind of "sayings study" can
                really only get us that close to Jesus.

                > And are you also not opening the door for it to be said equally
                > that your favoured "sage" passages are likewise later creations ?

                No doubt, it is possible. Such as Robert Price thinks the whole
                character of Jesus is an invention and he concludes whether or not
                there was a historical figure back there, the materials we have
                simply don't give us access to him. Nothing new in this position.
                I had lovely discussions with my Freshman history professor about
                just this in the early '70s. I, however, think that we can find that
                common mission agenda at the base of all of the resources we have and
                the constitutional language that surrounds it, hence I think we can
                find "the voice print" of the late 20's and in that "the voice print"
                of Jesus, himself. And again, those words are wisdom words.

                > I would also like to make the point that many of the parables you
                > prize as part of your "wisdom" approach are on the subject of
                > apocalyptic eschatology.

                A couple of points here. One, I do think we find parables that come
                from after Jesus included in the writings and that is just what I'd
                expect. Second, "apocalyptic" is a genre. How one understands and
                uses that genre is not simply "one way, implying one clear belief
                structure." I actually love the genre in both OT and NT. Just
                taught Daniel as part of a Spring SS class. Great book! And some of
                my favorite movies are rooted in the genre. But I do not believe
                that what Jesus and friends were up to for a very short time in the
                late 20's is appropriately defined as "a millennialist apocalyptic
                prophetic movement" as so many seem to think. Why? Because the
                program itself is not millennialist and I think we can show how
                apocalyptic writings and many other kinds of writings were used to
                interpret the base program at a later time. Read such as Burton
                Mack's book on Q or Kloppenborg's book on the layers of Q to see how
                prophetic and apocalyptic language was brought to bear in
                reinterpreting the original program. Said, "program" or "religio-
                social initiative," if you prefer, could be and was recast in a
                number of ways. We find tensions and conflicts in those recastings.
                And per my long note... a program/ initiative produced a bureaucracy.
                That always produces tensions, even in the most stable of times:)!
                And so, because of growing reflections after the death of Jesus,
                after the further movement growth (more people, more homes, more
                towns and more diversity in those homes and towns), after further
                social development and in terms of the rapidly changing times
                themselves, we find this scurrying all over not only the Israelite
                scriptures, but so also over cultural ideas and beliefs in more and
                more places. And so, yes, in all of this and in the continuing
                marvelous creativity that was ignited we find parables created that
                are inclusive of the apocalyptic genre and original wisdom genre
                parables reinterpreted with the apocalyptic genre thought. But
                remember we also find the very same materials reinterpreted in other
                manners. G. Thomas for me, like Q, can be broken apart in layers and
                there we see the progression from an original aphorisms and wisdom
                parables gathering to what 'd refer to as a spiritual/ meditative
                layer of interpretation and on towards an abstract philosophizing
                layer (I do not think it is appropriate to call G. Thomas "Gnostic,"
                but in that latter stage, perhaps "proto-Gnostic"). So there was
                also development of that variety.

                Hope this helps,

                Gordon Raynal
                Inman, SC
                Dennis Goffin UK
                >
                >
              • Ron Price
                ... Gordon, It seems to me that the JSem comes perilously close to circular reasoning on this issue. The fifth pillar of scholarly wisdom rejects an
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 11, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  Gordon Raynal wrote:

                  > The core ethical praxis language was presented
                  > by Jesus in wisdom forms of communication. Even if one wants to
                  > affirm Jesus also utilized apocalyptic speech, that speech was
                  > secondary and not primary. Why say that? See the Sermon on the
                  > Mount, Mark 4:33 ff, etc.

                  Gordon,

                  It seems to me that the JSem comes perilously close to circular reasoning on
                  this issue. The 'fifth pillar of scholarly wisdom' rejects an eschatalogical
                  Jesus, apparently before the completion of the source analysis. You appear
                  to be doing the same here, for neither of your supporting texts (in their
                  present form) go back before ca 70 CE when Mark was written - even worse if
                  we take your own date for Mark!

                  Bearing in mind that the Romans would have had no reason to crucify a mere
                  wisdom teacher, I am curious to know if you have any better defence for your
                  rejection of a primarily apocalyptic Jesus than quoting texts written at
                  least 40 years after his death.

                  Ron Price

                  Derbyshire, UK

                  Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                • Gordon Raynal
                  ... Hi Ron, I ll let you take up the matter of circular reasoning with the Jesus Seminar. They are still alive and active and I seriously suggest that you
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 11, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On Aug 11, 2008, at 6:28 AM, Ron Price wrote:

                    > Gordon Raynal wrote:
                    >
                    >> The core ethical praxis language was presented
                    >> by Jesus in wisdom forms of communication. Even if one wants to
                    >> affirm Jesus also utilized apocalyptic speech, that speech was
                    >> secondary and not primary. Why say that? See the Sermon on the
                    >> Mount, Mark 4:33 ff, etc.
                    >
                    > Gordon,
                    >
                    > It seems to me that the JSem comes perilously close to circular
                    > reasoning on
                    > this issue. The 'fifth pillar of scholarly wisdom' rejects an
                    > eschatalogical
                    > Jesus, apparently before the completion of the source analysis. You
                    > appear
                    > to be doing the same here, for neither of your supporting texts (in
                    > their
                    > present form) go back before ca 70 CE when Mark was written - even
                    > worse if
                    > we take your own date for Mark!

                    Hi Ron,

                    I'll let you take up the matter of "circular reasoning" with the
                    Jesus Seminar. They are still alive and active and I seriously
                    suggest that you present this subject to them.

                    What I do want to comment about here is the need, as Crossan, for
                    example, has talked about, for subject clarification as pertains to
                    "eschatology" and related terms. We really need some language
                    clarity in this conversation. "Eschatology" gets tossed about, as
                    does "apocalyptic" (a genre term) by many as if, a.) that is the only
                    kind of eschatology and b.) as a kind of eschatology it is a uniform
                    belief structure. I think it would be most helpful if we could have
                    some term clarification in this important arena of description.
                    Hence the language of millenarian eschatology versus non-millenarian
                    eschatology, as the basic frame of options. And then within those
                    frames careful descriptions about how different pieces of literature
                    nuance those major options. And then, with the use of the
                    apocalyptic genre, how it is utilized and framed in relationship to
                    other genres. I think these conversations often get very confusing
                    as it is not entirely clear what a given person is affirming when
                    they use such terms as "eschatological" and "apocalyptic."

                    I don't have time today to spell out this analysis in full, but I
                    will again simply say here, I do not believe that the mission program
                    that we find laid out and then repeated or commented on in a number
                    of sources (Q, Thomas, Paul, Mark, Matthew, Luke, Didache and
                    indirectly in John) is itself "a millenniest" or "apocalyptic"
                    program, but rather one that had a very "here and now" focus in it's
                    foundation and expectation. And it is one that we see commented
                    upon, developed, given rationale and filled out with more theological
                    and ethical reflection from a number of different resources. And
                    with this, the core speech that I can attribute to Jesus and his
                    associates is wisdom speech. Wisdom speech is non-millennarian, but
                    then it may be framed by millennarian thought and so utilized in that
                    theological manner. In regard to the original program, I think the
                    core motivation and expectation is well defined in that term Paul
                    uses, "reconciliation." In terms of said original program (and not
                    the later framing of it... hence the careful need to differentiate
                    the original and the elaborations on top of the original) the "what
                    to do" if rejected, is as "here and now" as one can state it (words
                    about what to do if the householders don't receive the peace: "let
                    your peace return to you," and what to do "the sent one's" only find
                    rejection: "shake the dust off and move on." That the program came
                    to be framed in a number of ways out of the broad resources found in
                    the TANAK, should come as no surprise. And let me just emphasize
                    this: If a reconciliation movement actually works, unlike a partisan
                    movement that is built upon the gathering of like minded or closely
                    similar minded folks, then what one will surely expect is that said
                    reconciliation movement will have a number of voices/ viewpoints/
                    sectarian views therein. As said movement moves from a first
                    generation action plan to an enduring movement complete with a
                    growing bureaucracy and therefore greater number of defined roles,
                    power structures and rationales, then one should expect to find in
                    such a mixed movement a variety of ideas about roles, power,
                    rationales, etc. And do we find this? Yes, indeed we do. And
                    because we can find these sorts of things it is possible to sketch
                    out what was key and core and some of the developments therein.
                    >
                    > Bearing in mind that the Romans would have had no reason to crucify
                    > a mere
                    > wisdom teacher, I am curious to know if you have any better defence
                    > for your
                    > rejection of a primarily apocalyptic Jesus than quoting texts
                    > written at
                    > least 40 years after his death.

                    You state this as if it is a truism. Two things. Let me remind you,
                    if you do not know, that the stories tell us that Aesop was tossed
                    off a cliff for the telling of his fables. "Mere wisdom teacher"
                    makes it sound as if this is a generically safe activity that would
                    never rise to the level of making for real trouble. About that
                    alone, I disagree. But more importantly this view leaves out the
                    very connection of the wisdom speech and "the reconciliation
                    program." Need I remind you of the danger of actual reconciliation
                    movements in this world? Seriously... just run the list in the last
                    century of those who came to espouse serious reconciliation work and
                    so consider this list of names: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr.,
                    Malcolm X, Anwar Sadat, Yitzak Rabin, Nelson Mandella (the only one
                    only to have to spend years in jail). In the face of authoritarian
                    regimes or very discordant times in particular places, those who
                    espouse reconciliation are hardly doing safe work. And if you go
                    down this list, one thing that is notable is that such persons often
                    arouse great enmity by doing reconciliation work within "their own
                    people." Just taking Malcolm X, as an example, he had a life
                    changing experience by going to Mecca and left fiery rhetoric behind
                    and was killed by some loyal to those who considered him a champion.

                    And to your closing point. I would simply invite you to do a careful
                    study of what organized activity Jesus was asking his followers to do
                    and a careful outlaying of the different stages of the development
                    therein that we can isolate. This isn't "a circular" invitation, but
                    an invitation to define an original core and differentiate as best
                    you can the stages of development you can find. And even if you
                    conclude that the original core is best described as a millennialist
                    program, I'll still invite you to focus on that wisdom language
                    **as** wisdom language and consider the place/ role/ function/
                    meaning of that language in relationship to the program.

                    Gordon Raynal
                    Inman, SC
                    >
                    > Ron Price
                    >
                    > Derbyshire, UK
                    >
                    > Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                    >
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.