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Storytelling

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  • John E. Staton
    Gordon, I have changed the title of this thread because it long since ceased to have anything to do with Paul. You asked where I would say the mythmaking or
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 3 4:04 AM
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      Gordon,
      I have changed the title of this thread because it long since ceased to
      have anything to do with Paul. You asked where I would say the
      "mythmaking" or "storytelling" begins. Well, like a politician, I am not
      going to give a simple answer to that one, because who knows? But the
      principle I work by is that I can understand stories gaining currency
      when they centre around people from the distant past (just how distant
      is something that is determined by the norms of the culture in question)
      or around people about whom nothing or very little is known. Second
      Temple midrash or pesher about Abraham or Moses, or apocalyptic
      speculation about Enoch is perfectly understandable. That stories should
      have been created around figures such as Daniel, Job, Jonah, and Ruth is
      no surpirse to me whatever. But that the same sort of stories should
      emerge in the first century about someone who was so important to those
      who followed him that they were prepared to give up their lives for him
      seems incredible to me.Of course, it is a matter ofrecord that such
      stories did emerge during the second and third centuries. This is what
      one would expect: but the first century is too soon for such a
      development. In fact, I believe the difference in character between the
      canonical gospels and the so-called "lost gospels" is one very clear
      indication of their much earlier date. I suspect I would date all the
      gospels somewhat earlier than you, but that is another matter.

      I don't intend to answer your question about Mark 1: 21ff, as I am not
      sure it is possible to lay down a firm line here. My "spiced-up"
      language is by way of a concession rather than a firm theory, and my
      inclination would be to suggest that it was in fact no more than a
      little heightening of the drama, though others would wish to claim much
      more. However, I do accept that it would be understandable for first
      century believers in Jesus to spice up their presentation of Jesus the
      same way any propagandist might do. The thing that strikes me about most
      of the biblical record, however, is how much information is left *in*
      the account which is unhelpful to the propagandist ("off-message" to use
      modern-speak), which would suggest that the purveyors of "cover-up"
      theories and those who see the gospels as irredeemably tendentious may
      be off-beam here.

      Best Wishes

      --
      JOHN E. STATON
      www.christianreflection.org.uk
    • Gordon Raynal
      Hi John, Thank you for this note and our exchange. After a long, mostly silent time on the list I thought Jeffrey s question stirred up an interesting set of
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 3 5:59 AM
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        Hi John,

        Thank you for this note and our exchange. After a long, mostly
        silent time on the list I thought Jeffrey's question stirred up an
        interesting set of questions and I am glad to see your and others
        responses about basic approaches and then some of the particular
        details that lead from those approaches. So thank you. This said,
        I have a couple of questions and something for you to reflect upon,
        if you are interested in extending the conversation.
        On Aug 3, 2008, at 7:04 AM, John E. Staton wrote:

        > Gordon,
        > I have changed the title of this thread because it long since
        > ceased to
        > have anything to do with Paul. You asked where I would say the
        > "mythmaking" or "storytelling" begins. Well, like a politician, I
        > am not
        > going to give a simple answer to that one, because who knows? But the
        > principle I work by is that I can understand stories gaining currency
        > when they centre around people from the distant past (just how distant
        > is something that is determined by the norms of the culture in
        > question)
        > or around people about whom nothing or very little is known. Second
        > Temple midrash or pesher about Abraham or Moses, or apocalyptic
        > speculation about Enoch is perfectly understandable. That stories
        > should
        > have been created around figures such as Daniel, Job, Jonah, and
        > Ruth is
        > no surpirse to me whatever. But that the same sort of stories should
        > emerge in the first century about someone who was so important to
        > those
        > who followed him that they were prepared to give up their lives for
        > him
        > seems incredible to me.Of course, it is a matter ofrecord that such
        > stories did emerge during the second and third centuries. This is what
        > one would expect: but the first century is too soon for such a
        > development. In fact, I believe the difference in character between
        > the
        > canonical gospels and the so-called "lost gospels" is one very clear
        > indication of their much earlier date. I suspect I would date all the
        > gospels somewhat earlier than you, but that is another matter.

        I am curious about why exactly you think the first century was "too
        early" for out and out story creation/ elaboration, whereas "this is
        what one would expect" for later centuries? So, I'm just wondering
        how you think about this in comparing, say, a story of Jesus walking
        on the Sea of Galilee as compared with such as Jesus making clay
        birds and animating them to fly off in Inf. Thomas? Is the latter
        more wondrous/ miraculous than the former? Is there really any
        difference between the two kinds of story telling? If so, what are
        they?
        >
        > I don't intend to answer your question about Mark 1: 21ff, as I am not
        > sure it is possible to lay down a firm line here. My "spiced-up"
        > language is by way of a concession rather than a firm theory, and my
        > inclination would be to suggest that it was in fact no more than a
        > little heightening of the drama, though others would wish to claim
        > much
        > more. However, I do accept that it would be understandable for first
        > century believers in Jesus to spice up their presentation of Jesus the
        > same way any propagandist might do. The thing that strikes me about
        > most
        > of the biblical record, however, is how much information is left *in*
        > the account which is unhelpful to the propagandist ("off-message"
        > to use
        > modern-speak), which would suggest that the purveyors of "cover-up"
        > theories and those who see the gospels as irredeemably tendentious may
        > be off-beam here.

        Here, I would suggest having a rather pointed theological
        conversation with demons represents something more and something
        entirely other that "spicing up" a folk healer's work.

        That said, I simply want to end this note by turning your thoughts
        to consider the opening of Mark in relationship to the foundational
        plot framing of the the Exodus through Joshua story. In terms of
        basic moves: Israel is enslaved by a super power (Egypt, of course),
        Moses leads them through the waters (the Red Sea), the people are 40
        years in the wilderness and tho fed, given YHWH Elohim's Law and
        guided they are stranded in the wilderness because of their refusal
        to enter the land, thus that will be time for a whole new generation
        to arise... save Joshua and Caleb And then under Joshua they enter
        the Promised Land and he drives out the Canaanites. I suggest that
        this whole plot matrix is precisely what Mark worked from to frame
        his Gospel. So... after announcing who the lead character is...
        Jesus Christ, Son of God, Mark casts JTB in the Moses role via use of
        Isaianic prophecy and framing his baptizing activity as being
        analogous to what Moses had done (leading God's children out of an
        enslaved land) through the waters (which cleanse and renew them),
        that Jesus (like his namesake of old) goes and "gets the message"...
        he alone "heads for the wilderness" for 40 (days, not years). There
        like Israel of old, he is tested, but faithful. Then he enters the
        old Promised Land and drives out not Canaanites, but demons and
        diseases of every sort.

        I want you and others interested to consider just this sample. As
        Mark created it and Matthew was rather a slavish follower of Mark, he
        generally tends just to elaborate on Mark. But in Matthew, for
        instance, we find JTB really demoted in story analogy, because
        Matthew very much wants to comparison to be between Jesus and Moses,
        not John and Moses. Luke, on the other hand breaks the whole
        narrative structure apart and after the shared expanded Temptation
        scene from Q focuses not first on Jesus healing anyone, but Jesus
        going to synagogues to teach.

        I simply leave you with this sample to ponder. Even sticking with
        your frame of reference of "memories" elaborated, I'd suggest
        understanding the plotting and theological communication of what the
        Gospel writers were doing is precisely wrapped up in a very knowing
        use of OT stories and affirmations. Making these connections and
        affirmations and not biographical concerns I think are what drive
        Gospel creation (they are theological/ ethical works, in my view).
        And I think those you refer to, who were willing to join, follow and
        perhaps die because of this, understood perfectly well what the
        Gospel writers were doing. I see this sort of creativity in
        relationship to a long line of it which is detectable in the bounds
        of the OT itself (thinking of the core Exodus narrative, one can
        trace out the basic story elaboration in the received story
        itself). So I offer this for your consideration and simply want to
        suggest that the real meat of the communication is found in this
        creativity, because it is in that that the core theological and
        ethical affirmations are found.

        Again, thanks for the conversation.
        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC
        >
        > Best Wishes
        >
        > --
        > JOHN E. STATON
        > www.christianreflection.org.uk
        >
        >
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      • John E. Staton
        Gordon, I think you are not giving sufficient weight to the nature of ancient biography/history. There was nothing to stop the ancient historian/biographer
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 5 6:46 AM
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          Gordon,
          I think you are not giving sufficient weight to the nature of ancient
          biography/history. There was nothing to stop the ancient
          historian/biographer from making up speeches and putting them into
          characters' mouths. All ancient hstories and biographies were written
          with the express purpose of "teaching a lesson", which in terms of the
          gospels would mean they were indeed very theological documents. However
          it would defy reason to suggest that ancient historians made up every
          detail of their stories. If their subjects had been so unsuitable to
          their purpose, why not choose another subject? And surely wholesale
          invention would have been transparent and that would have destroyed the
          historian's point, which was to suggest that there is historical
          evidence that observing the point the historian is making is a good
          policy. He might indeed choose to include in his narrative only those
          elements of hsi story which make his case, and he may well interpret the
          evidence heavily - not least by puting words into the characters'
          mouths. But if the picture of the subject was not recognisably the
          subject as his readers knew him/her to be, his purpose would not be well
          served. I acknowledge that it is likely accounts of miracles would be
          added to accounts, but to paint a portrait of a man as a "healer" who
          was known not to have been such would bot have washed. The Jewish
          traditions you cite would appear to attribute stories to people long
          dead, and sometimes to people about whom little is known,which is a
          different matter entirely.

          Your elucidation of the intertextual references between the gospel
          account of Jesus and the story of the Exodus (or the OT story of Israel
          as a whole) begs the question as to where these connections were first
          made. You appear to attribute this theology to Mark, but given that the
          church referred to Jesus from almost day one after the resurreection as
          Jesus Christ (i.e. Messiah), it is highly likely that the church before
          Mark had already made these connections and had portrayed Jesus in that
          light. Following Bauckham one could then posit that maybe Jesus' closest
          followers had made those connections. From there it would be a very
          short step to suggesting Jesus himself had made the connections, and
          that Mark was portraying Jesus the way Jesus portrayed himself
          (though this last step is, of course, very speculative).

          As for the Walking on the Water, I think it is striking how few miracles
          of these are found in the canonical gospels as contrasted with such as
          the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, and it is also to be noted how closely the
          canonical account is tied to the theology of the Jewish tradition and
          the theology of the church. The story of animating clay birds is just a
          case of wonders for wonders sake, and is typical of its time. Later
          still, saints would be recorded as performing miracles which were
          obviously based on the model of stories from the canonical gospels, but
          the Walking on the Water does not appear to be derivative in Mark. None
          of this proves that it happened, of course, but that is a matter which
          is beyond historical knowledge.

          Best Wishes

          --
          JOHN E. STATON
          www.christianreflection.org.uk
        • Gordon Raynal
          Hi John, Thanks for the note. ... John, every story of a human or human like character (super heros and demi-gods) is biography-like. This is true of
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 5 11:55 AM
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            Hi John,
            Thanks for the note.
            On Aug 5, 2008, at 9:46 AM, John E. Staton wrote:

            > Gordon,
            > I think you are not giving sufficient weight to the nature of ancient
            > biography/history. There was nothing to stop the ancient
            > historian/biographer from making up speeches and putting them into
            > characters' mouths. All ancient hstories and biographies were written
            > with the express purpose of "teaching a lesson", which in terms of the
            > gospels would mean they were indeed very theological documents.
            > However
            > it would defy reason to suggest that ancient historians made up every
            > detail of their stories. If their subjects had been so unsuitable to
            > their purpose, why not choose another subject? And surely wholesale
            > invention would have been transparent and that would have destroyed
            > the
            > historian's point, which was to suggest that there is historical
            > evidence that observing the point the historian is making is a good
            > policy. He might indeed choose to include in his narrative only those
            > elements of hsi story which make his case, and he may well
            > interpret the
            > evidence heavily - not least by puting words into the characters'
            > mouths. But if the picture of the subject was not recognisably the
            > subject as his readers knew him/her to be, his purpose would not be
            > well
            > served. I acknowledge that it is likely accounts of miracles would be
            > added to accounts, but to paint a portrait of a man as a "healer" who
            > was known not to have been such would bot have washed. The Jewish
            > traditions you cite would appear to attribute stories to people long
            > dead, and sometimes to people about whom little is known,which is a
            > different matter entirely.

            John, every story of a human or human like character (super heros and
            demi-gods) is "biography-like." This is true of Abraham Lincoln and
            Clark Kent (AKA Superman):)! Being biography-like, of course, goes
            with the telling of any human or human like actions across some
            stretch of days/ years (the stories of Herakles/ Hercules, for
            instance). That said, this is a matter of genre judgement. You
            support that the prime motivation and basic character of these
            writings is rooted in event memories and then filled out by
            theological and ethical and I suppose you would say, mythological
            elements. I clearly think you are mistaken. And I think your
            characterization of "wholesale invention" is entirely misleading. I
            think what a narrative gospel is, is a theological proclamation,
            ethical exposition and reflection, ethos establishment and commentary
            built around theological characterization of the acclaimed founder
            figure. I think the writers knew exactly what they were doing. I
            think the first hearers knew what they were hearing. I would suggest
            that Jesus knew what he was doing when he told parables. I think the
            narrative gospel writers had a whole heritage of precisely this kind
            of theological story creation behind them. I don't think the stories
            of Adam and Eve on to Abraham, Sarah and the Patriarchs/ Matriarchs,
            on to Moses, on to David and Solomon and Elijah and Elisha, etc. are
            biographies. I think they are all theological story telling. In my
            view, you see, the narrative writers were following ***not*** a model
            laid out by Graeco-Roman "historians/ biographers," but rather a long
            lineage of theological story tellers who knew what they were doing
            and how to proclaim and teach based in this very fine style of
            writing. In plain terms, it is one good theological story leads to
            another. Theological characterization is what we find and what we
            are intended to find.
            >
            > Your elucidation of the intertextual references between the gospel
            > account of Jesus and the story of the Exodus (or the OT story of
            > Israel
            > as a whole) begs the question as to where these connections were first
            > made. You appear to attribute this theology to Mark, but given that
            > the
            > church referred to Jesus from almost day one after the
            > resurreection as
            > Jesus Christ (i.e. Messiah), it is highly likely that the church
            > before
            > Mark had already made these connections and had portrayed Jesus in
            > that
            > light. Following Bauckham one could then posit that maybe Jesus'
            > closest
            > followers had made those connections. From there it would be a very
            > short step to suggesting Jesus himself had made the connections, and
            > that Mark was portraying Jesus the way Jesus portrayed himself
            > (though this last step is, of course, very speculative).

            Per the above, I think pieces and parts of the above pattern of story
            reflection and elaboration are apparent in Jesus' wisdom words
            themselves. ("I tell you Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed
            like one of these...") Per my long note the other day, I think we
            can start with the basic mission and wisdom words around that
            mission, move on to the gathering of lists (Q1 and the earliest layer
            of Thomas) of sayings and to the Historical Pauline Corpus and look
            on to the Canonical Gospels and the later letters and trace out some
            of the theological development, bureaucratic development and "growth
            of the titling" that goes with that. One can only speculate about
            the details, but one can well imagine that by the first anniversary
            of his death there was all manner of digging into the Scriptures to
            think about and talk about "what Jesus meant when he said so and
            so?," "how should we interpret this issue in relationship to our
            heritage?," and then out to Gentile world, "how can we relate the
            heritage and what Jesus said to this or that issue." The titles we
            have, the core of the ethics that are there, the central theological
            understandings are all rooted in the TANAK. But we don't have
            anything like a whole narrative theological characterization until
            decades later (most say around 40 years, I prefer more like 50
            years). I think Mark had a lot of this sort of back reflection to
            work with, and again, this whole long heritage of theological story
            telling behind him, but this thing "he" produced was something new in
            terms of exactly what it proclaimed... not our Prophet Jesus, not
            Healer Jesus, but Jesus Christ the Son of God, Savior of all the
            world for all times. And then what do we see from there? Precisely
            the same pattern carried on in the production of other Gospels.
            Matthew just out and out does a lot of "this was said" or "this was
            done" to fulfill Scripture. He was conservative with the Markan
            core, but he had his own creative hand (for example especially
            highlighting the Jesus and Moses parallel by making for 5 great
            speeches for Jesus, just like we find 5 great speeches for Moses in
            Deut.). Luke was looser than Matthew with Mark, but he certainly has
            his own creativity, as well. And John? He chooses another story
            pattern, vocabulary pattern altogether! (one, however that on can
            find in TANAK!)
            >
            > As for the Walking on the Water, I think it is striking how few
            > miracles
            > of these are found in the canonical gospels as contrasted with such as
            > the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, and it is also to be noted how
            > closely the
            > canonical account is tied to the theology of the Jewish tradition and
            > the theology of the church. The story of animating clay birds is
            > just a
            > case of wonders for wonders sake, and is typical of its time. Later
            > still, saints would be recorded as performing miracles which were
            > obviously based on the model of stories from the canonical gospels,
            > but
            > the Walking on the Water does not appear to be derivative in Mark.
            > None
            > of this proves that it happened, of course, but that is a matter which
            > is beyond historical knowledge.

            Actually John, I really don't see the difference you want to make.
            After all Jesus Christ's Heavenly Father made Adam out of clay and
            animated him, so there might be a bit more of a theological lesson
            that is Biblically rooted in that animated clay bird story than
            you're allowing for:)!


            >
            > Best Wishes

            and to you,

            Gordon Raynal
            Inman, SC
            >
          • John E. Staton
            I think we re going round in circles, Gordon. But one question occurs to me: if things were as you say, why shold Matthew be conservative with Mark s account?
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 6 6:45 AM
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              I think we're going round in circles, Gordon. But one question occurs to
              me: if things were as you say, why shold Matthew be conservative with
              Mark's account? Wasn't he as free to tell a theological story? However
              if, as I contend, both Hebrews and Greeks *were* interested in what
              happened, and used accounts of real people and real events to make
              theological points (allowing for an accretion of more mythic elements as
              mentioned in my previous posts), then the reason for Matthew's
              conservatism becomes more clear.

              Best Wishes

              --
              JOHN E. STATON
              www.christianreflection.org.uk
            • Gordon Raynal
              Hi John, ... I think we ve both been straight with each other, our paths are just different:)! ... In my view... Mark wrote a masterpiece that effectively
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 6 7:13 AM
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                Hi John,
                On Aug 6, 2008, at 9:45 AM, John E. Staton wrote:

                > I think we're going round in circles, Gordon.

                I think we've both been straight with each other, our paths are just
                different:)!

                > But one question occurs to
                > me: if things were as you say, why shold Matthew be conservative with
                > Mark's account? Wasn't he as free to tell a theological story? However
                > if, as I contend, both Hebrews and Greeks *were* interested in what
                > happened, and used accounts of real people and real events to make
                > theological points (allowing for an accretion of more mythic
                > elements as
                > mentioned in my previous posts), then the reason for Matthew's
                > conservatism becomes more clear.

                In my view... Mark wrote a masterpiece that effectively communicated
                the core theological affirmations, ethical foundations, ethos norms
                and basic narrative theological characterization. "Matthew"
                respected that and was the sort of author to utilize a working
                masterpiece (and let us not forget the mastery of Q, as well) to
                address more and different issues, let us say 10 to 20 years later
                and to more clearly expound certain Scriptural references and to add
                his own creative theological artistry. In my view the conservatism
                is not about conserving historical memories, but rather about
                preserving the core characterizations, ethics and ethos as told in
                narrative form.

                Just so you'll know my preferred dates:
                Mark ca 80
                Matthew ca 90-95
                John (1-20) ca 100
                Luke ca 120
                addition of John 21 after Luke

                Just for consideration a good model to think about is to move to the
                word of music and musicians gathering for "jam sessions." In this
                metaphor, Mark laid down one sort of track and from what we have, we
                can see 2 later authors doing improv on that fine piece of "music."
                And their creative touches? Just the very same sort of creativity
                that Hebrew/ Jewish story tellers had been doing for centuries and
                centuries.

                take care,

                Gordon Raynal
                Inman, SC
                >
                > Best Wishes
                >
                > --
                > JOHN E. STATON
                > www.christianreflection.org.uk
                >
                >
              • John E. Staton
                Gordon, For the record, I never imagined you were being anything other than straight with me. Thanks for reminding me of Mark s use of Q . I think that tells
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 7 6:10 AM
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                  Gordon,
                  For the record, I never imagined you were being anything other than
                  straight with me.

                  Thanks for reminding me of Mark's use of "Q". I think that tells against
                  Mark's being as creative as you suspect him of being, just as Matthew's
                  use of Mark does the same for him. I'm afraid I find your explanation
                  implausible, but I don't think continuation of this thread is going to
                  get either of us much further.

                  Best Wishes

                  --
                  JOHN E. STATON
                  www.christianreflection.org.uk
                • Gordon Raynal
                  Hi John, ... Indeed, I never thought otherwise... just a bit of humor about going round in circles versus being on two divergent paths! ... Creativity is
                  Message 8 of 10 , Aug 7 6:37 AM
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                    Hi John,

                    On Aug 7, 2008, at 9:10 AM, John E. Staton wrote:

                    > Gordon,
                    > For the record, I never imagined you were being anything other than
                    > straight with me.

                    Indeed, I never thought otherwise... just a bit of humor about "going
                    round in circles" versus being on two divergent paths!
                    >
                    > Thanks for reminding me of Mark's use of "Q". I think that tells
                    > against
                    > Mark's being as creative as you suspect him of being, just as
                    > Matthew's
                    > use of Mark does the same for him.

                    Creativity is certainly "in the eye of the beholder." In one sense,
                    of course, the creation of "his" narrative theological
                    characterization is late in a long, long line of similar
                    characterizations. Then again, what Mark accomplished as a whole
                    narrativization (out of whatever pieces already spun out) led to two
                    known re-workings based on the story pattern "he" created, the
                    creation of another narrative pattern (I clearly think John read
                    Mark), and then a whole bevy of other various kinds of narrative
                    characterization attempts (seen in the fragments of the 25+ and
                    counting "gospel fragments we've discovered)... and then a lots and
                    lots and lots of narrative rooted sermons for 2 millennia now (some
                    much more creative than others:)!). So, yeah, I'd say "he" was a
                    pretty darn creative "fella." Tell me of another narrative work
                    outside the other Biblical ones that have had that much impact?

                    > I'm afraid I find your explanation
                    > implausible, but I don't think continuation of this thread is going to
                    > get either of us much further.

                    I understand. I only leave with a repetition of the invitation to
                    find in the Israelite Scriptural heritage a theological character
                    narrativization that was created by an author (not from event
                    recollections/ biographies passed down) and think about that and the
                    relationship of that kind of creativity to the Jesus stories.
                    Whatever event memories and facts your study leads you to know, I
                    want to suggest that the point and the power of Jesus stories is
                    found in relationship to that creative lineage.
                    >
                    > Best Wishes

                    and to you. a pleasure to chat

                    Gordon Raynal
                    Inman,SC
                    >
                  • Ron Price
                    ... Gordon, Full marks for putting your cards on the table. But it seems to me that you fail on consistency. For acceptance of Q implies Luke didn t know
                    Message 9 of 10 , Aug 11 3:28 AM
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                      Gordon Raynal wrote:

                      > ..... (and let us not forget the mastery of Q, as well)

                      > ..... Just so you'll know my preferred dates:
                      > Mark ca 80
                      > Matthew ca 90-95
                      > John (1-20) ca 100
                      > Luke ca 120
                      > addition of John 21 after Luke

                      Gordon,

                      Full marks for putting your cards on the table.

                      But it seems to me that you fail on consistency.
                      For acceptance of Q implies Luke didn't know Matthew. How could you possibly
                      imagine that the scholarly Luke, who had "followed all things closely for
                      some time past", would have failed to acquire a copy of (and then make use
                      of) Matthew if it had been in circulation for over 25 years? Your NT
                      scenario appears to be utterly inconsistent.

                      Ron Price

                      Derbyshire, UK

                      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                    • Gordon Raynal
                      Hi again, On Aug 11, 2008, at 6:28 AM, Ron Price wrote: Hi again, ... Thanks. ... I know folks love to play this as a probability game and that s all we can
                      Message 10 of 10 , Aug 11 8:16 AM
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                        Hi again,
                        On Aug 11, 2008, at 6:28 AM, Ron Price wrote:

                        Hi again,

                        > Gordon Raynal wrote:
                        >
                        >> ..... (and let us not forget the mastery of Q, as well)
                        >
                        >> ..... Just so you'll know my preferred dates:
                        >> Mark ca 80
                        >> Matthew ca 90-95
                        >> John (1-20) ca 100
                        >> Luke ca 120
                        >> addition of John 21 after Luke
                        >
                        > Gordon,
                        >
                        > Full marks for putting your cards on the table.

                        Thanks.
                        >
                        > But it seems to me that you fail on consistency.
                        > For acceptance of Q implies Luke didn't know Matthew. How could you
                        > possibly
                        > imagine that the scholarly Luke, who had "followed all things
                        > closely for
                        > some time past", would have failed to acquire a copy of (and then
                        > make use
                        > of) Matthew if it had been in circulation for over 25 years? Your NT
                        > scenario appears to be utterly inconsistent.

                        I know folks love to play this as "a probability game" and that's all
                        we can do since we don't have access to Luke's desk:)! (not to
                        mention any whole gospel texts or letters until long after any of
                        these folks times!) Luke notes "many" in terms of those who were up
                        to this literary production. Who were those "many?" That's an
                        interesting question. How many of those "many" did Luke actually
                        have to read and work from? How many had he just heard mentioned or
                        heard brief quotes from verbally? There is absolutely nothing
                        logically inconsistent with the statement: "Luke **may have** heard
                        of Matthew and not had access to a text of G. Matthew for him to work
                        from." And logically speaking... if he had Mark and Q to work from,
                        he **may have heard** that Matthew had utilized Q and so that
                        knowledge alone could have been motivation to follow that as part of
                        his working pattern. There is nothing inconsistent about the views
                        of all those who have worked on Q. And moving Luke from the 90's to
                        ca. 120 does not change the "consistency" argument in any way. If
                        they all had internet access, I might be a bit more persuaded. But
                        exactly how many mss. of Matthew were there in either 90 or 120? How
                        many had access to them?

                        And just one other brief note. Over the years of figuring out "how to
                        put the cards on the table," I have worked through this with various
                        dating schemes, various inter-textual relationship views and various
                        views of what really count as texts. I have come to the same
                        conclusion based on all the text/ text relationship and dating
                        schemes I have seen. Even if there isn't a Q at all, I'll stick with
                        what I have come up with. The only thing that will lead me to have
                        to rework this is more actual historical data and a fully agreed upon
                        earlier text that seriously challenges the basics of my proposal. In
                        the meantime... put Paul in the 50's, Mark in the 60's and Matthew
                        and Luke in the 80's/ 90's (with Luke having copied Matthew) and no Q
                        and no early Thomas, and I still won't change this proposal because
                        one of the things I did was work through the proposal in that text/
                        dating/ text relationship paradigm, as well.

                        Gordon Raynal
                        Inman, SC
                        >
                        > Ron Price
                        >
                        > Derbyshire, UK
                        >
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