At 12:05 PM 1/30/2009, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
>Goulder notes that one of the fundamental assumptions of "the accepted
>history" of the LP is that it was something that Jesus composed and
>taught to his disciples. His reason for questioning the validity of
>this assumption is that it is then:
> "... the only thing of the kind he ever did. Jesus did not commit
> his teaching to writing because he believed that his disciples were,
> like St. Paul's, his epistle written in fleshy tables of the heart,
> and that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth. To teach
> something by heart is the same in principle as to write it down, and
> there is no statement in the gospels that Jesus ever taught his
> disciples by heart any other thing than the Lord's Prayer. Jesus
> might have made an exception in favour of a single prayer, but there
> is no very obvious reason why he should so have done.
>Some bold assertions, I think.
>Is it really the the case that Jesus "believed that his disciples were,
>like St. Paul's, his epistle written in fleshy tables of the heart, and
>that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth". To paraphrase
>Goulder, do we find any statement in the Synoptics that verifies this
>And is it really the case, even IF there is no direct statement in the
>Gospels to this effect (is this true?), that Jesus would never have
>taught his disciples by heart? Given what seem to have been standard
>Jewish pedagogical practices employed by teachers of the sort that Jesus
>is depicted by the evangelists as being, wouldn't teaching by heart be
>assumed by the evangelists to be the method Jesus ordinarily employed
>with the disciples?
This must unfortunately be a quick and preliminary note because I do not
have the time to do the proper research. So this is just a thought:
Might this instruction be parallel to the Lord's Supper? (Mark 14:22-25;
Matt. 26:26-28; Luke 22:17-20)
I am influenced especially, I suppose, by the Lukan version "Do this..."
which of course is what the present Eucharistic formula uses.
I think this opens up the useful arena of "instruction", which is related
of course to the idea that Jesus was a "teacher." Perhaps your questions
belong in that arena.
Excellent questions, BTW. I hope to see more attempts to answer your challenge.
University of Hawaii
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