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RE: [XTalk] Peter talk

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  • 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 1 of 13 , May 5 12:10 AM
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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




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    • 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 2 of 13 , May 5 12:39 AM
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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 3 of 13 , May 6 4:57 PM
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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 4 of 13 , May 7 11:29 PM
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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 5 of 13 , Jul 22, 2009
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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 6 of 13 , Jul 22, 2009
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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 7 of 13 , Jul 22, 2009
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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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