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

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  • 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 1 of 21 , Aug 2, 2008
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      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
      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 2 of 21 , Aug 3, 2008
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        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 3 of 21 , Aug 3, 2008
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          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 4 of 21 , Aug 6, 2008
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            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 5 of 21 , Aug 11, 2008
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              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 6 of 21 , Aug 11, 2008
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                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
                >
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