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Re: [XTalk] Peter talk

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Crosstalk Cc: WSW; GPG In Response To: Robert Schacht On: Historical Peter From: Bruce Bob, Do you know the collection Peter: The Myth, the Man, and the
    Message 1 of 13 , May 3, 2009
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      To: Crosstalk
      Cc: WSW; GPG
      In Response To: Robert Schacht
      On: Historical Peter
      From: Bruce

      Bob,

      Do you know the collection Peter: The Myth, the Man, and the Writings, by F
      Lapham (Sheffield 2004; Clark 2004)? I would be inclined to dispute much of
      it; for one thing, it conspicuously ignores what is probably the earliest
      source for Peter, and I don't find that it covers itself with philological
      honor in discussing some of the later sources. But it does discuss at length
      many of the relevant materials, and to my mind makes a useful and systematic
      place to start doing one's own thinking about the problem. I very much agree
      that the HP is a problem, and have been pushing on it (in venues available
      to me), and urging others to do likewise, for several years now.

      In your own recent comment, I note just one line:

      BOB: ISTM Luke is telling us that this is what Peter (and John) *did*.

      BRUCE: It does to me too. But what Luke is telling us is, precisely, only
      what Luke is telling us. It seems to me that the first step in deciding how
      seriously to take that is to get a sense of what Luke in general is up to in
      Luke/Acts, always assuming that both are his. Is he, in general, a close
      transcriber or a free inventor? And if somewhere in the middle, just where
      in the middle? I don't think that this question is impossible to answer, and
      my suspicion is that the answer may not be favorable to beginning with this
      or any other Acts passage in seeking out the Historical Peter.

      The Historical Paul question (the other HP) seems to me to be inextricably
      intertwined with this one, to the extent that a significant advance in one
      problem is likely to suggest, or to require as a prerequisite, a
      considerable advance in the other. It can be hard, or at any rate
      unproductive, to work on one thread at a time, and HP/HP seem to me a good
      example.

      Best wishes,

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • Bob Schacht
      ... I think that Luke s inventiveness is not a free-floating tendency, but depends on the materials at his disposal. ... Luke ... continuous narratives; ...
      Message 2 of 13 , May 3, 2009
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        At 05:50 PM 5/3/2009, E Bruce Brooks wrote:
        >To: Crosstalk
        >Cc: WSW; GPG
        >In Response To: Robert Schacht
        >On: Historical Peter
        >From: Bruce
        >
        >Bob,
        >
        >Do you know the collection Peter: The Myth, the Man, and the Writings, by F
        >Lapham (Sheffield 2004; Clark 2004)? I would be inclined to dispute much of
        >it; for one thing, it conspicuously ignores what is probably the earliest
        >source for Peter, and I don't find that it covers itself with philological
        >honor in discussing some of the later sources. But it does discuss at length
        >many of the relevant materials, and to my mind makes a useful and systematic
        >place to start doing one's own thinking about the problem. I very much agree
        >that the HP is a problem, and have been pushing on it (in venues available
        >to me), and urging others to do likewise, for several years now.
        >
        >In your own recent comment, I note just one line:
        >
        >BOB: ISTM Luke is telling us that this is what Peter (and John) *did*.
        >
        >BRUCE: It does to me too. But what Luke is telling us is, precisely, only
        >what Luke is telling us. It seems to me that the first step in deciding how
        >seriously to take that is to get a sense of what Luke in general is up to in
        >Luke/Acts, always assuming that both are his. Is he, in general, a close
        >transcriber or a free inventor? And if somewhere in the middle, just where
        >in the middle? I don't think that this question is impossible to answer, and
        >my suspicion is that the answer may not be favorable to beginning with this
        >or any other Acts passage in seeking out the Historical Peter.

        I think that Luke's inventiveness is not a free-floating tendency, but
        depends on the materials at his disposal.
        As Dodd wrote about the Gospel of Mark, so I would say about Luke-Acts:

        >I submit, therefore, that we are led to conceive the materials which Mark
        Luke
        >took over from tradition as being of three kinds[:]
        >(i) Isolated independent pericopæ, handed down without any connexion;
        >(ii) Larger complexes, which again may be of various kinds: genuinely
        continuous narratives;
        >pericopæ strung upon an itinerary; pericopæ connected by unity of theme.
        >(iii) An outline of the whole ministry, designed, perhaps, as an
        introduction to the Passion-story,
        >but serving also as a background of reference for separate stories;
        >fragments of this survive in the framework of the Gospel.

        Luke had different materials to work with, and had the task of tying them
        all together into a *story*. For Acts, he chose an outline in 1:8: But you
        will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be
        my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the
        earth."
        He also seems to have had "larger complexes" (such as the "we" passages,
        and his material about Paul), and isolated pericopae. He needed frames for
        the isolated pericopae, so he could situate them within his larger
        complexes. Some of these frames he might have made out up of whole cloth,
        in order to fit them into his outline, or into one of his larger complexes.
        But some of the pericopae, and some of the special outlines, such as
        structured Peter's discourses, might have been based on historical
        materials in his possession. So I do not think that your question, "Is he,
        in general, a close transcriber or a free inventor?" is very useful.

        >The Historical Paul question (the other HP) seems to me to be inextricably
        >intertwined with this one, to the extent that a significant advance in one
        >problem is likely to suggest, or to require as a prerequisite, a
        >considerable advance in the other.

        I don't necessarily see that this is the case. Luke had several tasks: how
        to weave Peter's repetitive orations about the resurrection, with Paul's
        journeys. There might be some general similarities between how he worked
        with his collection of information about Paul, with his information about
        Peter, but they really seem to have been rather different sorts of
        information. For example, his information about Paul's travels is rather
        extensive, but his information about Peter's travels is somewhat different,
        and more disjointed (Jerusalem, Chaps 1-5; Samaria, 8; Lydda/Joppa, 9-11;
        Galilean imprisonment, 12), so his tasks were different.

        >It can be hard, or at any rate unproductive, to work on one thread at a
        >time, and HP/HP seem to me a good
        >example.

        I would hardly want to suggest that my proposal be conducted in isolation
        of all others. Nevertheless, I do think it would be useful to consider the
        corpus as a whole, if only to investigate which material among it might be
        considered primary and possibly historical, and which secondary
        (derivative) or creative.

        Bob Schacht
        University of Hawaii

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Crosstalk Cc: WSW, GPG In Response To: Bob Schacht On: The Reliability of Luke From: Bruce I had suggested that before using Luke as a point of departure
        Message 3 of 13 , May 4, 2009
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          To: Crosstalk
          Cc: WSW, GPG
          In Response To: Bob Schacht
          On: The Reliability of Luke
          From: Bruce

          I had suggested that before using Luke as a point of departure for Peter, we
          need first to assess the probity of Luke as a writer.

          BOB: I think that Luke's inventiveness is not a free-floating tendency, but
          depends on the materials at his disposal. As Dodd wrote about the Gospel of
          Mark, so I would say about Luke-Acts:

          "I submit, therefore, that we are led to conceive the materials which Mark
          [Luke] took over from tradition as being of three kinds: (i) Isolated
          independent pericopæ, handed down without any connexion; (ii) Larger
          complexes, which again may be of various kinds: genuinely continuous
          narratives; pericopæ strung upon an itinerary; pericopæ connected by unity
          of theme. (iii) An outline of the whole ministry, designed, perhaps, as an
          introduction to the Passion-story, but serving also as a background of
          reference for separate stories;
          fragments of this survive in the framework of the Gospel."

          BRUCE: I have to say that I think this scenario is seriously wrong. I admit
          it has long been standard, but I think it is nevertheless wrong. It is pious
          rather than observant. It imagines the Evangelists - Mark no less than Luke,
          which is drastically at odds with other evidence - as sitting down to what
          amounts to a deskful of papers, and editing them together. It assumes that
          each Evangelist was chiefly concerned with the art of combining them, and
          not at all concerned to have preferences among them, let alone to invent
          things outside their edges.

          It's a nice, quiet, scholarly picture. I am myself a nice, quiet, scholarly
          person, and I like the picture as much as anybody. To a certain extent, it's
          how I work myself. I am comfortable with it. My only problem with it is that
          everything I see by way of authorial indications in Luke points me in a
          different direction. Luke admired bits of Matthew, but at the same time he
          was doctrinally opposed to Matthew at key points, and was constantly trying
          to one-up Matthew by recombining Matthew's literarily happier thoughts. His
          redo of Matthew's Birth Narrative, for example, leaves poor old Matthew
          simply standing at the curb, with noplace to go. Luke was constantly
          concerned to provide what he thought of as rational motivation for the
          characters (including Peter) in Matthew's narrative, and no less in Mark's.
          Never mind respecting anybody else's order of material (that is, the
          historical versus the doctrinal content of that material): on at least one
          occasion, Luke drastically rearranged HIS OWN earlier material. Luke was
          restless, opinionated, and proactive. And quite apart from his reactions to
          earlier Gospel attempts, he was (as I seem to be able to convince no one,
          but as I submit is nevertheless self-evident) a Christian himself, with his
          own experience as a member of a Christian community as a major - no, not a
          major source, but a major element in his worldview, including his view of
          rival attempts to get Jesus and his movement down on paper. All this is very
          far removed from the standard image: the gentle and passive scribe at work
          at his desk, concerned only to preserve the material, and not to blot the
          page.

          BOB: Luke had different materials to work with, and had the task of tying
          them all together into a *story*. For Acts, he chose an outline in 1:8: But
          you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will
          be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of
          the earth." He also seems to have had "larger complexes" (such as the "we"
          passages, and his material about Paul), and isolated pericopae. He needed
          frames for the isolated pericopae, so he could situate them within his
          larger complexes. Some of these frames he might have made out up of whole
          cloth, in order to fit them into his outline, or into one of his larger
          complexes.

          BRUCE: This limits Luke's original material to his editorial transitions and
          framing units. I think it can be successfully argued that many of his story
          and parable units are also original and not inherited, at least not
          inherited within Christianity (Luke is the great territorial annexer among
          the Evangelists; both in doctrine and in story types, he breaks the Jewish
          boundary respected by Matthew and charges out into the wider world).

          As for Paul, who in the opinion of many is a person Luke had known
          intimately, Paul's conversion episode, and his journeys to and from
          Jerusalem, are either invented by Luke in defiance of what Paul himself says
          (when Paul can get the microphone for a moment, which is not very often), or
          interwoven and multiplied in order for Luke to make a nifty literary and
          schematic point. Luke is a literary artist, and he does not seem to allow
          the mere Historical Paul much leeway when the fit of literary composition is
          on him. Which is more or less all the time.

          On the chronology of Paul, I here follow Knox, with a few improvements by
          subsequent scholars. Is there a refutation of their conclusions? I haven't
          heard a convincing one. Failing one, we can only construe Luke as extremely
          high-handed, even with facts which were presumably well known to him. As for
          Luke's conduct when faced, not with real-world facts or hard literary
          precedents, but with a blank in his story outline, well . . . .

          BOB: But some of the pericopae, and some of the special outlines, such as
          structured Peter's discourses, might have been based on historical materials
          in his possession.

          BRUCE: Anything might be anything. One can write such sentences. But what
          are the actual authorial probabilities? What for example is the source of
          Stephen's speech in Acts? In part, it is material relocated from Jesus
          narratives in Mark. What is the source of Luke's account of the Sending of
          the Seventy? In part, it is material relocated from the Twelve narratives in
          Mark. With this sort of thing before us, and I submit that it IS before us,
          it is simply wrong to analyze Luke as respecting the boundaries of
          "pericopae" before him. We can easily enough see that he does not at all
          respect them. He overrides them, and recombines and redeploys the resulting
          freed-up material at his own pleasure. Again, the image of a quiet deskbound
          scribe, copying from various manuscripts in turn, but each in turn
          faithfully and without admixture, just doesn't compass what we see Luke
          actually doing with the material which we KNOW he had before him. Why are we
          so ready to conjecture that, with conjectured material which we DO NOT
          presently possess, Luke will suddenly turn into a passive and respectful
          copyist? I think that such an assumption is drastically underjustified by
          the rest of the record.

          BOB: So I do not think that your question, "Is he, in general, a close
          transcriber or a free inventor?" is very useful.

          BRUCE: Obviously, I disagree. I think it's methodologically basic,
          fundamental, and prerequisite. I further think that Luke's track record as
          an author of Gospels is before us, and that it forbids our treating him as a
          faithful and reticent desk scribe. Luke is to Mark (et al) as Liszt is to
          Rossini, or Ravel to Couperin, or Stravinsky to Pergolesi, or Webern to
          Bach. The end product is exciting stuff, that I grant you. I find it
          stimulating. I have now and again paid actual money to expose myself to that
          stimulation. I am with it all the way. When I apply tempera paint to my
          front window around Christmas time, it is Luke's picture I find myself
          trying to draw, not Matthew's, let alone anything inferred from Mark. But I
          wish to observe that Luke's story, like Stravinsky's score, gets that way by
          having been, sometimes drastically, transmuted out of its source material.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • Matson, Mark (Academic)
          Bob and Bruce: In the exchange below, I think both of you have focused on the central issue of Luke: what was the nature of his writing? He does seem to put
          Message 4 of 13 , May 4, 2009
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            Bob and Bruce:

            In the exchange below, I think both of you have focused on the central
            issue of Luke: what was the nature of his writing? He does seem to put
            himself forward as a writer of "history" (however we might want to
            define that in the ancient period). And in his gospel he does take over
            a variety of material and yet weaves it into a pleasing whole. The
            question, though, is how much did Luke uses sources, and how much is
            free invention?

            In the gospel it is apparent that he uses Mark (and I would argue also
            Matthew and John... but that is another story). And he appears to me to
            use some variety of other ancient material, some possibly oral and some
            possibly written. But he has merged all that into a pleasing narrative.
            But he does have marks of his usage. For instance, I noted in a paper
            some years ago that the marks of "historical time" in Luke disappear in
            the long non-Markan interpolation of chapters 9-18 .... that is to say,
            the references to place, to specific sequence, and certainly to any
            external time referents, disappear. Does that mean Luke made this up?
            Not necessarily. It is possible that instead Luke is "marking out"
            material that is less certain, and yet still deemed reliable. He uses
            (often loosely) material other than Mark, and yet follows Mark fairly
            closely while synchronizing it with his understanding of a larger
            history.

            Now I bring all that up simply as background to how we deal with Luke.

            I resonate with Bob's quick assessment of Peter's speech, and Luke's
            work. If he had a sense of what the preaching of the apostles was, I can
            see him capturing that most explicitly in an early speech of Peter.
            Does that mean that the speech itself is *verbatim* correct? No. But it
            might mean that Luke has taken some care to put on the lips of Peter
            something that is accurate to what Peter commonly said, or which the
            apostles (with Peter here standing in as a representative speaker) said
            in preaching and teaching in the early period. Certainly that was common
            for the use of speeches in narratives, especially "historical"
            narratives, of antiquity.

            I did a master's thesis many years ago on Paul's farewell speech in Acts
            20. While I would not put too much emphasis on any of the words, the
            picture of a farewell instruction to the church in Ephesus seems
            appropriate to Paul and appropriate to the occasion. Do we know if it
            is "historical"? no. But I think that may be asking too much. Does it
            capture Paul's essence in teaching his churches -- I think so. And I
            think that is what Bob is suggestion with respect to Acts 3.

            Bruce does raise questions about comparing the historical accounts of
            Paul vs. Luke. And that is certainly appropriate. But I have also often
            thought that we don't allow Paul to be taking rhetorical license with
            *the facts* often. It would seem to me that both have absorbed the
            historical sequence, along with variety of anecdotes and oral material,
            into material that "works" for their audiences. One tells a narrative,
            cast as a historical narrative. The other is presenting arguments,
            often quite focused and pointed. I marvel, for instance, that we put so
            much weight on Galatians, which is a very pointed rhetorical piece,
            aimed at presenting Paul's own ministry in a particular light. Such a
            rhetorical piece would be expected to have highlighted some material,
            downplayed others, perhaps left some out. Does that mean it is a
            falsehood? No. Does it mean it might be "slanted?" yes.

            >
            > BOB: Luke had different materials to work with, and had the task of
            > tying
            > them all together into a *story*. For Acts, he chose an outline in
            1:8:
            > But
            > you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you
            > will
            > be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the
            ends
            > of
            > the earth." He also seems to have had "larger complexes" (such as the
            > "we"
            > passages, and his material about Paul), and isolated pericopae. He
            > needed
            > frames for the isolated pericopae, so he could situate them within his
            > larger complexes. Some of these frames he might have made out up of
            > whole
            > cloth, in order to fit them into his outline, or into one of his
            larger
            > complexes.
            >
            > BRUCE: This limits Luke's original material to his editorial
            > transitions and
            > framing units. I think it can be successfully argued that many of his
            > story
            > and parable units are also original and not inherited, at least not
            > inherited within Christianity (Luke is the great territorial annexer
            > among
            > the Evangelists; both in doctrine and in story types, he breaks the
            > Jewish
            > boundary respected by Matthew and charges out into the wider world).
            >
            > As for Paul, who in the opinion of many is a person Luke had known
            > intimately, Paul's conversion episode, and his journeys to and from
            > Jerusalem, are either invented by Luke in defiance of what Paul
            himself
            > says
            > (when Paul can get the microphone for a moment, which is not very
            > often), or
            > interwoven and multiplied in order for Luke to make a nifty literary
            > and
            > schematic point. Luke is a literary artist, and he does not seem to
            > allow
            > the mere Historical Paul much leeway when the fit of literary
            > composition is
            > on him. Which is more or less all the time.
            >
            > On the chronology of Paul, I here follow Knox, with a few improvements
            > by
            > subsequent scholars. Is there a refutation of their conclusions? I
            > haven't
            > heard a convincing one. Failing one, we can only construe Luke as
            > extremely
            > high-handed, even with facts which were presumably well known to him.
            > As for
            > Luke's conduct when faced, not with real-world facts or hard literary
            > precedents, but with a blank in his story outline, well . . . .


            Just some thoughts to add to Bruce's and Bob's.

            Mark


            Mark A. Matson
            Academic Dean
            Milligan College
            http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
          • Richard Fellows
            ... Bruce, here is my chronology, which I believe fits the evidence of Acts and that of the letters. Perhaps you could lay out your chronology and explain what
            Message 5 of 13 , May 4, 2009
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              Bruce Brooks wrote:

              > On the chronology of Paul, I here follow Knox, with a few
              > improvements by
              > subsequent scholars. Is there a refutation of their conclusions? I
              > haven't
              > heard a convincing one. Failing one, we can only construe Luke as
              > extremely
              > high-handed, even with facts which were presumably well known to him.

              Bruce, here is my chronology, which I believe fits the evidence of
              Acts and that of the letters. Perhaps you could lay out your
              chronology and explain what advantages it has over mine.

              34 Conversion of Paul
              37 Paul's first visit to Jerusalem
              48 Paul's visit to Jerusalem of Gal 2:1-10 (=Acts 15). 48/49 was a
              Sabbatical year. This explains why Paul was able to recall that the
              preceding interval had been "14 years" (2 Sabbatical year cycles). It
              also explains why the pillars asked Paul to "remember the poor":
              agriculture was not permitted in Judea during sabbatical years and
              there would have been a food shortage, especially as the recent famine
              would have prevented provisioning. Paul sent Titus (who was re-named
              "Timothy") from Jerusalem to south Galatia to organize a collection
              for Jerusalem.
              49 Paul met up with Timothy in south Galatia. The group received three
              pieces of divine guidance, the purpose of which was to move them to
              Macedonia without delay (sorry, North Galatianists).
              50 Paul arrived in Corinth. He converted Crispus, who was the
              synagogue ruler and therefore had been a benefactor of the Jews.
              51 Gallio was in office. There was a food shortage in Corinth and this
              led the Jews to beat up Crispus, who had been renamed "Sosthenes". See
              here: http://members.shaw.ca/rfellows/Site/Sosthenes.html
              54 October. Claudius died. Prisca and Aquila and others can then
              return to Rome. Paul greeted them in Rom 16.
              55 Paul wrote 1 Corinthians and mentioned the collection from Galatia
              of 48/49 (1 Cor 16:1-3).
              55 Paul wrote 2 Corinthians. 55/56 was a Sabbatical year and this
              explains why Paul is able to recall that the preceding interval had
              been "14 years" (2 Cor 12:2). It also explains why he wanted to
              deliver aid to Judea.
              56 Paul arrived in Jerusalem, and delivered the aid before the
              harvest. This date is confirmed by the reference to the Egyptian
              rebel, who was most likely active during the Sabbatical year
              (chronomessianism).

              The Knox chronology does not tie in with any of these Sabbatical year
              notices, or with the death of Claudius, or with the Gallio datum, or
              the probable food shortage of 51.

              The split between Paul and Barnabas was before the evangelization of
              Europe because Barnabas is absent from 1 Thess 1:1 and 2 Cor 1:19. So
              the Knox chronology has difficulty explaining why Barnabas is back
              with Paul in Gal 2:1-10.

              According to Knox the pillars asked Paul to "remember the poor" in 51
              and he did not deliver the aid until 54. This three year delay does
              not fit with Paul's statement that he was eager to "remember the
              poor". (I here turn Knox's principle argument against him).

              In short, I don't see any advantage to the Knox chronology. If you
              would like a more detailed refutation for Knox, take a look at Rainer
              Riesner's (poorly named) "Paul's Early Period". By the way, I too am
              not convinced that Acts was based on "sources" (Luke's gospel may be
              different). I see it as largely based on the author's own recollection
              of events and his memory of conversations with some of the major
              characters.

              Richard Fellows
              Vancouver

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Bob Schacht
              ... [snip] ... Thank you, Mark; you understand me perfectly. ... Yes! Bruce put a lot of emphasis on discerning Luke s biases, but he didn t say much about
              Message 6 of 13 , May 5, 2009
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                At 10:17 AM 5/4/2009, Matson, Mark (Academic) wrote:
                >Bob and Bruce:

                [snip]


                >I resonate with Bob's quick assessment of Peter's speech, and Luke's
                >work. If he had a sense of what the preaching of the apostles was, I can
                >see him capturing that most explicitly in an early speech of Peter.
                >Does that mean that the speech itself is *verbatim* correct? No. But it
                >might mean that Luke has taken some care to put on the lips of Peter
                >something that is accurate to what Peter commonly said, or which the
                >apostles (with Peter here standing in as a representative speaker) said
                >in preaching and teaching in the early period. Certainly that was common
                >for the use of speeches in narratives, especially "historical"
                >narratives, of antiquity.

                Thank you, Mark; you understand me perfectly.


                >I did a master's thesis many years ago on Paul's farewell speech in Acts
                >20. While I would not put too much emphasis on any of the words, the
                >picture of a farewell instruction to the church in Ephesus seems
                >appropriate to Paul and appropriate to the occasion. Do we know if it
                >is "historical"? no. But I think that may be asking too much. Does it
                >capture Paul's essence in teaching his churches -- I think so. And I
                >think that is what Bob is suggestion with respect to Acts 3.

                Yes!

                Bruce put a lot of emphasis on discerning Luke's biases, but he didn't say
                much about methodology.
                Of course I agree that it is important to know about Luke's biases with
                respect to Peter. What I was suggesting was that the way to do that is to
                gather together the entire corpus of Peter material, from all sources, and
                compare them.

                I want to acknowledge that there is a vast literature on Peter the Leader--
                because, of course, he supposedly became the first Pope. But I'm not trying
                to re-invent the wheel. The focus of the project that I was proposing is
                not Peter the Leader, but Peter the Talker. If we can do a volume on the
                Sayings of Jesus (The Five Gospels, for example), we should be able to do a
                symposium and a volume of proceedings on the Sayings of Peter. Just as The
                Five Gospels included not just the canonical Gospels, but also the Gospel
                of Thomas, my hypothetical Peter Seminar would include any non-canonical
                sources that have legitimate historical value-- such as the Gospel of
                Peter, that Crossan likes as a possible source for the Passion Narrative.

                In this regard, it is a fun exercise to explore the XTalk archives on
                questions like this. I plan a subsequent exploration of this sort, and
                rather than prolong this message, I'll end it here.

                Later,
                Bob




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • E Bruce Brooks
                Richard, Thanks for your detailed response on Pauline Chronology. I will need time to check my file, and get back to you. It may take a while, since some
                Message 7 of 13 , May 5, 2009
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                  Richard,

                  Thanks for your detailed response on Pauline Chronology. I will need time to
                  check my file, and get back to you. It may take a while, since some points
                  of the chronology are still under study here. In the meantime, since I am
                  accustomed to regard Schnelle as a sort of baseline modern consensus, I
                  thought I would look up his chronology. Here it is. It matches with yours
                  [the dates in brackets] pretty well at most points they have in common:

                  30 Death of Jesus
                  33 Conversion of Paul [34]
                  48 Apostolic Council (spring) [48]
                  48 Confrontation in Antioch (summer)
                  50/51 Paul in Corinth [50]
                  51/52 Gallio in Corinth [51]
                  51/52 Trip to Antioch
                  52-54/55 Stay in Ephesus
                  55/56 Last stay in Corinth
                  56 Arrival in Jerusalem (spring) [56]
                  58 Change of Office: Felix > Festus
                  59 Arrival in Rome
                  64 Death of Paul

                  As for the date of Paul's conversion, which is the only difference in the
                  above list, I am inclined to agree with you against Schnelle, though it
                  would take some time to say exactly why. It is some points not on this list
                  (especially the number of visits to Jerusalem) which, as I recall, need the
                  most work, and show the greatest divergence of scholarly conclusions. Also,
                  what in your opinion was the nature of Paul's conversion experience? Paul
                  and Acts seem to have quite different impressions, no?

                  Back to you presently. Best wishes,

                  Bruce

                  E Bruce Brooks
                  Warring States Project
                  University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                • Frank Jacks
                  A preliminary apology to all, for the discrepancy in font size between my text and the quotations from Richard s text; this is not something intended and came
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 6, 2009
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                    A preliminary apology to all, for the discrepancy in font size between
                    my text and the quotations from Richard's text;
                    this is not something intended and came as something of a surprise to
                    me, one that I have been wrestling with and repairing ... but
                    unfortunately incompletely, for there is still the clear discrepancy ...
                    it is at least an improvement over what I began with. But this is the
                    best I can do at least for now, so if Richard's text is near illegible
                    in what you receive, I can only claim technological incompetence,
                    nothing else - sorry about this, if it cause any problems!

                    Frank

                    * * * *
                    * * * * *

                    I stand up from my usual seat in the balcony to intrude in this
                    exchange, mostly to seek clarification of Richard's most interesting
                    points, but let me begin by practicing "full disclosure" as John Knox
                    was one of my teachers in my graduate school days at Union in New York
                    City; so, yes, I have remained more or less a "Knoxian," especially on
                    this topic of the chronology of Paul's career. Still, I find Richard's
                    bringing in the aspect of the cycle of "sabbatical years," which I shall
                    have to mull over for a while, so for now on to two other things.

                    > Bruce Brooks wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >> On the chronology of Paul, I here follow Knox, with a few
                    >> improvements by
                    >> subsequent scholars. Is there a refutation of their conclusions? I
                    >> haven't
                    >> heard a convincing one. Failing one, we can only construe Luke as
                    >> extremely
                    >> high-handed, even with facts which were presumably well known to him.
                    >>
                    >
                    > Bruce, here is my chronology, which I believe fits the evidence of
                    > Acts and that of the letters. Perhaps you could lay out your
                    > chronology and explain what advantages it has over mine.
                    >
                    > 34 Conversion of Paul
                    > 37 Paul's first visit to Jerusalem
                    > 48 Paul's visit to Jerusalem of Gal 2:1-10 (=Acts 15). 48/49 was a
                    > Sabbatical year. This explains why Paul was able to recall that the
                    > preceding interval had been "14 years" (2 Sabbatical year cycles). It
                    > also explains why the pillars asked Paul to "remember the poor":
                    > agriculture was not permitted in Judea during sabbatical years and
                    > there would have been a food shortage, especially as the recent famine
                    > would have prevented provisioning. Paul sent Titus (who was re-named
                    > "Timothy") from Jerusalem to south Galatia to organize a collection
                    > for Jerusalem.
                    >
                    I find the idea that "the collection" is from the Galatian churches to
                    be a most interesting and clever suggestion, one worth considering, for
                    it also suggests that Paul's "sending aid" to Jerusalem was not a "one
                    time deal." That there might have have been more than one is a thesis
                    that is worthy of further consideration, even if this location of "the
                    Jerusalem conference (of 48)" (i.e. Gal. 2 = Acts 15) involves a big
                    problem, one that Knox focuses our attention on - that this has Paul
                    promising to collect funds from congregations not yet founded.

                    Of course with the idea of this as being the first of several, this
                    problem would seem to be resolved, but this ignores the rest of Paul's
                    account of the agenda handled at this "meeting of the apostles and
                    elders," namely his authority as an apostle over the churches which he
                    founds through his own personal evangelistic activity.

                    My first point is that we must remember just what Paul claimed when he
                    claimed to be an "apostle," a title/function/office identical to "those
                    other apostles" like Peter, James and John. Paul claims the name/word
                    as one having authority (and not just authority tp "preach the gospel")
                    "straight from the boss himself," as he lays out clearly in the first
                    verses of Gal. 1.

                    Thus Paul claims in Gal. 2 that James recognized that Paul did indeed
                    "have authority" over the churches he founded, ones that were
                    predominantly gentile - in effect, the result of this conference was a
                    "division of labor" if not division of ecclesiastical "spheres of
                    influence."

                    By the way, my own analysis and approach to this as other aspects of
                    "church history" rests upon the insight from P. T. Forsyth, a much too
                    neglected "turn of the (last) century" English scholar and theology who
                    in his biggest book, appropriately named "The Principle of Authority"
                    holds forth that all ecclesial, liturgical, theological issues logically
                    rest upon the issue of "authority," namely the question as who has the
                    proper authority to make decisions about such matters. This has been
                    illuminating for me in many areas of life, ancient and contemporary!

                    But note (and I find this crucial in our understanding of these early
                    days in "Christian history") Paul's account of the agreement is not a
                    two-way "division of labor" but a three-way division, for Peter enters
                    into this formula! Thus, it appears to me to be that the result of this
                    conference is that James is recognized as "the apostle" to/of/over the
                    Aramaic-speaking "Christian Jews" of Palestine/Israel/Judea while Paul
                    "went to the gentiles" ... and Peter? Peter "goes to the Jews" ... of
                    the Diaspora, which means the congregations like the one in Antioch,
                    where Peter was clearly revered and remembered as "their apostle" and
                    source of their own particular traditions of beliefs and practices.

                    So how does this fit into other accounts in Acts? For example, the
                    author of Acts claims that when Paul "preached the gospel" to the
                    (south) Galatians that he was functioning with (even "under"?) Barnabas
                    as the authorized agents (perhaps "missionaries"?) of the elders of the
                    congregation(s) of Christians in Antioch! This is hardly any "mission
                    to the gentiles" ... at least not yet, although that Paul "had the idea"
                    by then is most possible, perhaps even likely. For Knox (and I), the
                    picture of Acts is one of "officialdom in Jerusalem" as authorizing a
                    mission of Paul's as being "to the gentiles" before it happens ... and
                    places Paul as the "authorized agent" of "mother church" presided over
                    by James, a depiction at loggerheads with what we find in Galatians. To
                    make clear my point - the Book of Acts shows Paul as being first an
                    authorized missionary sent by Antioch and then by Jerusalem, a depiction
                    that must have existed at the time of Paul himself as it would seem that
                    this is precisely the depiction to which he protests most vociferously
                    in his letter, which suggests that it was one "alive and well" at the
                    time in ... well, Galatia!

                    Here we get a bit further afield as this raises the pertinent issue of
                    just why Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians in the first place, and
                    with the suggestion of P. T. Forsyth in mind I suggest it must have been
                    his concern that they did not recognize his authority as an independent
                    apostle ... i.e. as THEIR one and only "apostle"!

                    A further (hopefully final) personal foot-note - part of my approach
                    rests upon George Howard.s helpful little book, "Crisis In Galatia," in
                    which he notes that when Paul does send his (last?) "relief funding" to
                    Jerusalem (which he has collected from his churches) that there is no
                    mention of any representative from the province of Galatia, just Asia,
                    Thrace, Macedonia, and Achaea - i.e. Ephesus, Philippi, Thessalonica,
                    and Corinth; Howard infers that Paul's letter to the Galatian Christians
                    did not convince them as to his authority over them ... and I would add
                    that the reason they did not is that when Paul evangelized them that he
                    was in fact representing the authority of Antioch! Thus, the Galatian
                    Christians followed the lead of Peter (who permitted gentile Christians
                    to convert to Judaism) rather than Paul as who was the Christian
                    authority over them. And yes, this further suggests that the
                    "trouble-makers" who were unsettling "Paul's Christians in Galatia" were
                    "out-siders" ... from Antioch ... sent by Peter! But "that's another
                    story."

                    So, let's get back to my interacting with what Richard has said.
                    > The Knox chronology does not tie in with any of these Sabbatical year
                    > notices, or with the death of Claudius, or with the Gallio datum, or
                    > the probable food shortage of 51.
                    >
                    Quite correct, which is why I find your bringing in the cycle of
                    Sabbatical years to be so interesting, one that I must think about for
                    it might well have merit ... but whether or not this creates a problem
                    (or perhaps just an adjustment) to Knox's "Pauline chronology" is
                    something not yet clear to me.
                    > The split between Paul and Barnabas was before the evangelization of
                    > Europe because Barnabas is absent from 1 Thess 1:1 and 2 Cor 1:19. So
                    > the Knox chronology has difficulty explaining why Barnabas is back
                    > with Paul in Gal 2:1-10.
                    >
                    I fin your observation here about the split between Paul and Barnabas
                    is "on target," for available evidence does indicate that on the
                    separation between Paul and Banabas we find the letters of Paul and the
                    book of Acts are in agreement, even if different reasons are offered or
                    suggested ... but the claim that this is a problem for Knox's account is
                    clear clear to me, althoughI should admit that for years I was puzzled
                    about this aspect of Paul's account in Gal. 2
                    and this had concerned me ... but no longer, if we follow the thread of
                    "the questions of authority."

                    If Paul began his evangelistic career as an agent of Antioch but claims
                    in Galatians that such is not the case then it would seem necessary to
                    infer that somewhere along the way that he "went independent" (others
                    might say "jumped ship" or "went rogue"!), something that Barnabas did
                    not do. So why then is Barnabas at this conference? Not "with Paul" in
                    the sense of being Paul's associate but "with Paul" as making common
                    cause in facing James on the "question of Antioch" as he represents
                    Antioch's views and practices, which permits gentile Christians to
                    "become Jews" but does not require it, as James did. Simply put, he is
                    "speaking up" for Antioch ... and Peter.
                    > According to Knox the pillars asked Paul to "remember the poor" in 51
                    > and he did not deliver the aid until 54. This three year delay does
                    > not fit with Paul's statement that he was eager to "remember the
                    > poor". (I here turn Knox's principle argument against him).
                    >
                    Well, yes ... and no, for this was more of a problem for Paul rather
                    than for Knox. Your point is well taken that Paul "should have" been
                    more prompt, but as Knox himself observes, this was Paul's
                    intention/expectation but "things got in the way," which suggests why
                    Paul "got excited" (even intemperate) from his anxiety arising from this
                    delay. I would opine that Paul's axiety was rooted in his aware that
                    his agreement with James could "fall aprt" if he did not hold up his end
                    of the bargain by "delivery the good" ... er, funds, as promised. Yes,
                    the Christians in Jerusale did need help sooner than this but Paul
                    simply found himself unable to do so, which might well explain the
                    anxiety found in his post-conference letters, written while he was in
                    the midst of his "making good" on his promise to James.
                    > In short, I don't see any advantage to the Knox chronology. If you
                    > would like a more detailed refutation for Knox, take a look at Rainer
                    > Riesner's (poorly named) "Paul's Early Period".
                    Thanks for his reference, which I must look up.
                    > By the way, I too am
                    > not convinced that Acts was based on "sources" (Luke's gospel may be
                    > different). I see it as largely based on the author's own recollection
                    > of events and his memory of conversations with some of the major
                    > characters.
                    >
                    Whether the Book of Acts is to be taken as a "primary" or a "secondary"
                    historical source is indeed a crucial point but one that perhaps
                    requires further reflection rather than just being assumed ahead of time
                    as a "working hypothesis" (???).
                    > Richard Fellows
                    > Vancouver
                    >
                    >
                    Anyway, thanks Richard for providing me more "food for thought," which
                    might well produce further comment from me ... but perhaps
                    unfortunately, not soon.

                    Most sincerely,

                    Frank

                    Clive F. Jacks, Th.D. (Union, New York)
                    Professor of Religion, Emeritus
                    Pikeville Collge
                    Pikeville, KY

                    (but now happily retired back home in the metro Atlanta area!)
                  • Richard Fellows
                    Thanks for your thoughts, Bruce and Frank. Frank, you are right that my chronology and Knox s do not require the awkward assumption that Paul agreed to collect
                    Message 9 of 13 , May 7, 2009
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                      Thanks for your thoughts, Bruce and Frank.

                      Frank, you are right that my chronology and Knox's do not require the
                      awkward assumption that Paul agreed to collect money from churches
                      that he had not founded yet. I think that Paul had a collection in
                      mind even before he was asked to 'remember the poor'. This would
                      explain why he says that remembering the poor was the very thing that
                      he had been eager to do. Paul's motives for this collection may have
                      been to relieve real poverty and also give the Gentile churches the
                      status of benefactor in their relationship to the Judean churches. I
                      suspect that Paul took Titus to Jerusalem to equip him to organize
                      this collection. Titus was to meet the poor Judean believers and learn
                      about their needs and then be able to communicate those needs to the
                      Galatians.

                      In any case, if the tense of MNHMONEUWMEN alludes to multiple
                      collections, I think it refers to the earlier famine relief as well as
                      the collection that Titus-Timothy organized from south Galatia
                      immediately after the conference. I don't imagine that at the time of
                      the conference Paul looked ahead to the following sabbatical year, 7
                      years away.

                      Pauline chronology is crucial because, as Frank has shown, the
                      chronological issues are intertwined with other issues such as Paul's
                      relationship to the Jerusalem church, the accuracy of Acts, and the
                      background to Galatians. I hope in the future to post my own thoughts
                      on the background to Galatians, building on Mark Matson's well made
                      point about Galatians being rhetorical.

                      Bruce raised the question of the number of Jerusalem visits. I count
                      5. I take the famine visit to be historical because there was a famine
                      in Judea in that timeframe and because I take the name
                      "Agabus" (locust) to be an appropriate nickname given to this prophet
                      who predicted famine.

                      Richard Fellows
                      Vancouver.
                    • Bob Schacht
                      ... As you may recall, Gordon Raynal picked up my challenge and we had a go at it for a couple of weeks, with welcome participation by a few others. My
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 22 2:06 AM
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                        Way back on 5/3/2009, I wrote:
                        >Well, I am still hoping for more feedback on my Peter thesis. But I
                        >am still intrigued by it. ...

                        As you may recall, Gordon Raynal picked up my challenge and we had a
                        go at it for a couple of weeks, with welcome participation by a few
                        others. My questions were inspired by the description of Peter's role
                        in the beginning chapters of Acts.

                        Now Mark Goodacre has returned to the subject
                        >
                        ><http://podacre.blogspot.com/2009/07/nt-pod-5-simon-peter-in-marks-gospel.html>NT
                        >Pod 5: Simon Peter in Mark's Gospel
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >The fifth episode of the NT Pod discusses Mark's depiction of Simon
                        >Peter and the disciples, noting the use of the language of the
                        >skandalon or "stumbling block" with respect to the idea of the
                        >crucified Christ.
                        >
                        >It is just under eight minutes long. ....
                        http://podacre.blogspot.com/2009/07/nt-pod-5-simon-peter-in-marks-gospel.html

                        It is an interesting look at Peter, mainly according to the Gospel of Mark.
                        I guess I'm an old fuddy duddy, because I prefer the printed word to
                        Goodacre's charming British accent.
                        Because Mark's delivery is spoken, rather than written, I cannot
                        easily cut and paste a few things to talk about.
                        But one of the interesting thoughts in Goodacre's oration is to draw
                        our attention to the Parable of the Sower, and the section on Rocky
                        ground, as a coded (and punny) reference to Peter (Rocky). I don't
                        recall ever hearing that suggestion before.

                        Goodacre also suggests, if I understood correctly, that Mark's Peter
                        is a kind of Everyman: that is, someone capable of both insight and
                        folly, with whom we are meant to identify. In other words, perhaps
                        there is a pastoral element to the story in addition to the history
                        that we usually look for.

                        Also, his stress on the skandalon might also make it easier to
                        understand why Mark does not say all that much about the
                        resurrection. Mark doesn't say this, but the implication to me was
                        that if the skandalon is the main point of the gospel, then the
                        resurrection is, in a sense, anticlimactic.

                        I hope that a written version of your podcast will be available soon.

                        Anyway, do give a listen, and let us know what you think.

                        Bob Schacht
                        Honolulu





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                      • Mark Goodacre
                        Thanks for the plug and the comments, Bob. I have added some short programme notes over on my NT Blog at
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 22 6:53 AM
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                          Thanks for the plug and the comments, Bob. I have added some short
                          programme notes over on my NT Blog at
                          http://ntweblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/nt-pod-5-simon-peter-in-mark-programme.html
                          . I also already have an article on the topic which explores the
                          portrayal of Peter in Mark and Matthew. It was published in 2006 in a
                          Fs for Henry Wansbrough, but since Fs articles get little attention, I
                          plan to make it available online. I also plan a future episode of the
                          NT Pod on Peter in Matthew. Cheers, Mark.

                          --
                          Mark Goodacre Goodacre@...
                          Associate Professor
                          Duke University
                          Department of Religion
                          Gray Building / Box 90964
                          Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
                          Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530

                          http://www.markgoodacre.org
                        • Gordon Raynal
                          Hi Bob, ... It was an enjoyable chat. now cutting to one of your paragraphs... ... Interesting. Why say anticlimactic? How about considering the function
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jul 22 2:47 PM
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                            Hi Bob,
                            On Jul 22, 2009, at 5:06 AM, Bob Schacht wrote:

                            >
                            >
                            > As you may recall, Gordon Raynal picked up my challenge and we had a
                            > go at it for a couple of weeks, with welcome participation by a few
                            > others. My questions were inspired by the description of Peter's role
                            > in the beginning chapters of Acts.

                            It was an enjoyable chat.

                            now cutting to one of your paragraphs...
                            >
                            >>
                            >
                            > Also, his stress on the skandalon might also make it easier to
                            > understand why Mark does not say all that much about the
                            > resurrection. Mark doesn't say this, but the implication to me was
                            > that if the skandalon is the main point of the gospel, then the
                            > resurrection is, in a sense, anticlimactic.

                            Interesting. Why say "anticlimactic?" How about considering the
                            function of resurrection affirmation regarding the way the good news
                            story is told/ the message is affirmed?

                            For Paul (per Romans 1) Jesus is "declared Son of God with power
                            according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the
                            dead..." (NRSV).

                            For Mark God says in 1:11, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I
                            am well pleased." (NRSV) and this is after John baptizes him.

                            Doing theology Paul's way then per I Cor. 15 the authority of the
                            apostles is lined up by Paul in terms of "opthe's" of the risen
                            Jesus... and it, of course, is a decidedly male oriented listing.
                            Doing theology Mark's way focuses attention on Jesus in ministry and
                            it is most decidedly the nameless woman who anoints Jesus while he is
                            quite alive who is the model for discerning faith and therefore a
                            (the? for the Markan community???) key testifier for the future.
                            (in Mark 14:9 Mark's Jesus says of her, "Truly I tell you, where the
                            good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be
                            told in remembrance of her.") Resurrection announcement is part of
                            both kinds of communication, but it functions differently. And then
                            besides that, resurrection is just a necessary journey stage
                            description. The proverbial end of the story until "THE END" is that
                            Jesus has got to get up to that throne on "the right hand of the
                            Father:)!" Resurrection is never the climax for any of the early
                            materials that use this affirmation formula.

                            Gordon Raynal
                            Inman, SC



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