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My conclusions Re: [XTalk] Peter: Originating Proclamation

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  • Bob Schacht
    Rather than reply further to Gordon and Mark, I will summarize my own revised answer to Gordon s first question to close that chapter for the time being, and
    Message 1 of 9 , May 9, 2009
      Rather than reply further to Gordon and Mark, I will summarize my own
      revised answer to Gordon's first question to close that chapter for the
      time being, and clear my way to proceed to Gordon's next question.


      >1. What was the originating proclamation (messaging) of the
      >community? What was it about?

      I think we have to distinguish a number of phases between the crucifixion
      and Paul's earliest known letters, in order to discern the "originating
      proclamation":
      * Phase I: The immediate aftermath of the Crucifixion (approximately
      Acts 1-5). The originating proclamation here is somewhat like the "stump
      speech" of a politician. It is characterized by boldness (parrhesia), and
      includes reference to the resurrection. It was driven, as Acts 1:8 puts it,
      with "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." Peter was the principal evangelist, and his "witness" called for
      (Acts 2:16-39)
      * Repentance,
      * Baptism in the Holy Spirit
      * the Promise of the HS This is actually quite remarkable. The
      followers of John the Baptist had been left, leaderless, since his
      beheading. John famously called for Repentance and Baptism, which Peter
      (according to Luke) appropriated and modified. For Peter, at least
      initially, repentance was tied to the crucifixion, and John's water
      baptism, after Pentecost, became baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is nicely
      foreshadowed, of course, in Luke 3:16 (//Mat 3:11):
      John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but
      one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the
      thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
      Except, oddly, the Gospels (not even Luke) do not portray Jesus as
      baptizing at all, with or without the Holy Spirit. That baptism seems to
      be what Pentecost was all about. And Peter took the hint, made it part of
      the originating proclamation, and thereby seized the mantle of John the
      Baptist in the name of Jesus.

      This is not to say that Peter was the only evangelist, or that Peter
      was acting on his own. For one thing, he took the disciple John along with
      him as a witness. He must also have been supported and sustained (probably
      in multiple ways) by the fellowship that Jesus had created, the rituals of
      communion (the Lord's Supper), and by "talking story," as we say here in
      Hawaii.
      * Phase II: Peter went on the road, shifting the proclamation. As
      Tom Kopacek observed, the confrontation with Simon Magus was monumental.
      Peter's stock speech was challenged, and he was offered a deal. This phase
      corresponds approximately with Acts 8-11. The originating proclamation was
      subjected to a "road test" in new environments with new audiences, and had
      to be revised. However, the road test was still somewhat localized. It may
      be that this phase culminated with Peter's Galilean imprisonment.
      * Phase III: Peter collided with Paul (In Jerusalem [Acts 15: Gal
      1:18; 2:1-10]; The incident in Antioch [Galatians 2:11-21]. The originating
      proclamation now had to deal with things like circumcision. We know a lot
      more about Paul's side of this phase than we know of Peter, but I suspect
      that there's a lot more to this phase than is now known (to me, anyway).
      * Phase IV was marked apparently by the distribution of the Gospel
      of Mark. IIRC, Ted Weeden, in his article in our Yahoo group files, tried
      to make the case that GMark is actually an anti-Petrine diatribe based on
      two different understandings of the originating proclamation: Peter's, and
      Mark's (or whoever the author of GMark was).

      BTW, in what I wrote above, I do not necessarily believe in the literal
      historicity of each little bit of Luke/Acts and Galatians. I think the
      phases I have outlined make a good bit of sense out of the evolution of the
      originating proclamation. However, I was willing to be convinced otherwise,
      and Gordon and Mark have helped me to modify my original presentation.

      Next, I want to move on to Gordon's second question:

      > 2. What social formation did the proclamation entail? What were the
      > central practices?

      But that will have to wait until later.

      Bob Schacht
      University of Hawaii


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Gordon Raynal
      Hi Bob, ... I m glad you re proceeding on with your approach and likewise I ll continue on with the contrasting way of approaching these questions. It will be
      Message 2 of 9 , May 9, 2009
        Hi Bob,
        On May 9, 2009, at 5:14 AM, Bob Schacht wrote:

        >
        > Rather than reply further to Gordon and Mark, I will summarize my own
        > revised answer to Gordon's first question to close that chapter for
        > the
        > time being, and clear my way to proceed to Gordon's next question.

        I'm glad you're proceeding on with your approach and likewise I'll
        continue on with the contrasting way of approaching these questions.
        It will be interesting to see if and where these approaches lead to
        any convergence.
        >
        > Next, I want to move on to Gordon's second question:
        >
        >> 2. What social formation did the proclamation entail? What
        >> were the
        >> central practices?
        >

        A. Social Formation? The Mission program directly laid out in Q,
        Mark, Matthew and Luke is a "house mission." (Q/Luke 10:3-10) Where
        "the peace" was received and shared, then Jesus' suggested farewell
        words were, "Say to them, 'The Kingdom of God has come near to
        you.'" Before I go on to talk about the single house happenings and
        the social network creation, I first want to turn to the TANAK to
        look at a key text about a happy home, a key text about the Temple,
        as well as a few key texts that relate to the social interactions of
        this "peace" sharing.

        The Happy Home: After his usual back and forth dourness, Koheleth
        describes the happy home in Ecclesiastes 9:7-10: "Go, eat your bread
        with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has
        long ago approved what you do. Let your garments always be white; do
        not let oil be lacking from your head. Enjoy life with the wife whom
        you love... whatever your hand finds to do, do with your
        might." (editing to the key activities and leaving aside the
        commentary).

        Two things are worth noting from this TANAK wisdom literature
        passage: 1. This nice summary of a happy home is stated to be God
        approved, and 2. the actions of described: going, dwelling, dining,
        anointing, dining and laboring at worthwhile work are paralleled in
        the mission agenda and the social dynamics that the program
        undergirds. This text lays out what is sentimentally expressed in
        such motto's as "Home, Sweet Home." Beyond sentimentality and beyond
        the sheerly personal, individual homes like this are socially healthy
        places and a network of such homes in any time would represent a
        healthy social network. In a time of foreign occupation, alien
        rulers and laws, and their avowal of other gods and those god's
        peace, such places represent social spaces and relationships that
        provide "place" for native beliefs, rule, laws, values and "the way
        of peace" espoused therein. Find a home like this and one has found
        a real safe harbor. Create a network of homes like this and there is
        a bastion against the corrosive power of foreign domination and all
        that entails.

        The Temple as Lady Wisdom's House: Proverbs 9:1-6 says, "Wisdom has
        built her house, she has hewn her seven pillar. She has slaughtered
        her animals, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table. She
        has sent out her servant-girls, she calls from the highest places in
        the town, "You that are simple, turn in here!" To those without
        sense she says, "Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have
        mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live and walk in the way of insight."

        This Proverbs text describes the Temple as the dining, wisdom
        finding, maturity making, insight place. In Proverbs 3:13-18 we find
        one of the lovely summaries of the true value of finding God's
        wisdom. I particularly want here to note v.17: "Her ways are ways of
        pleasantness and all her paths are peace." In normal times this is
        what the home Temple should be all about. When the Temple was run by
        Roman approved collaborationists who had installed their peace, then
        that central institution was at best marred and in Jesus' time a
        place of outright contradiction. Hence lacking that assured place of
        wisdom and peace and pleasantness, the substitution of homes as the
        place to forward the wisdom, peace and pleasantness takes on vital
        importance. Any one home where such was discovered would be "a Peace
        of God" place. A network of such homes would make the homeland seem
        a whole lot more like home even amidst foreign domination.

        Noting this I would suggest reading such texts at Proverbs 8, Isaiah
        2:1-4, Isaiah 11:1-9 and Isaiah 55 in light of the aforementioned.
        Far more than a sentimentality network, such "Peace of God" places
        and such a network would offer profound experiences and relationships
        of "the Kingdom of God" come near.

        B. Home Practices? Where the peace was shared the social program
        lays out shared dwelling, declaring, dining and healing. Paul calls
        this "a ministry of reconciliation" in II Cor. 5. These practices
        and the social exchange between "the sent ones" and those in "the
        receiving homes" demonstrate "God's Peace" in action/ interaction.
        Two things to note: i.) the dining, of course, includes the
        talking. From the above texts about God's wisdom, one immediately
        sees the particular relevance of wisdom word sharing. As Proverbs
        and the Psalms speak of God's wisdom as the most valuable thing in
        all creation (see Proverbs 3:14-16), then wisdom speech is the
        premiere speech to forward in such table talk and to discuss in such
        table talk. In the Gospels and the Didache we find various
        collections of aphorisms and parables. I would suggest that the most
        basic core collection of these we find in the parallel found between
        Q/Luke 6:27-31 and their parallel in the Way of Life sayings at the
        opening of the Didache. These sayings, I believe, forward the core
        wisdom ethos of the originating message. We find them in the Q
        sermon, Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, Luke's Sermon on the Plain and
        the opening of the Didache. I would also suggest that these sayings
        are the core one's that undergird Paul's "Fruits of the Spirit" in
        Galatian's 5 and "the Way of Wisdom" in James 3. In short, these
        core words, "Speak peace." And as an aside, I would note that once
        we get to Paul talking to the Corinthians about the cross some 20
        years after Jesus' time, he frames what God did through Jesus' death
        is first, "wisdom come from God." (I Cor.1:30). In sum, wisdom word
        sharing at table was made for the proverbial meat of the table talk.
        The table pericopes in the later Gospels show us examples of the
        dynamics of how this worked.
        ii.) healing. Burton Mack has helpfully talked about the healing
        work as social healing in his work on Q. Discussions on healing
        usually take off from individual medicinal care and however that was
        shared (exorcism, folk medicine, prayer, etc.). For this note I
        simply want to suggest that the whole social interaction was one
        aimed at social healing. This is not to turn aside from dealing with
        individuals and their psychological and biological conditions and
        their relief. That is an important discussion, but here I simply
        want to emphasize that this whole social exchange was forwarding and
        making for social healing. In a home those finding this God's peace
        would find relief. Making for a network of homes in a Roman
        dominated world would make for broader and broadening social health.
        Needless to say that conditions of individual illness are greatly
        improved by the experience of and the participation in those actions
        and relationships that promote peace.

        This is the way I would start to answer question 2. There is much
        that needs to be spelled out, but from my perspective this was the
        core strategy and what it entailed.

        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC

        p.s. as always pardon my typos. I was a C student in HS typing and I
        do most all lesson and sermon writing long hand:)!
      • Bob Schacht
        ... [snip] ... Gordon, Rather than reply to the details of your lengthy proposal, please forgive me if I lay out my own take, first. I will distinguish between
        Message 3 of 9 , May 9, 2009
          At 04:12 AM 5/9/2009, Gordon Raynal wrote:
          >Hi Bob,

          [snip]

          >I'm glad you're proceeding on with your approach and likewise I'll
          >continue on with the contrasting way of approaching these questions.
          >It will be interesting to see if and where these approaches lead to
          >any convergence.
          > >
          > > Next, I want to move on to Gordon's second question:
          > >
          > >> 2. What social formation did the proclamation entail? What
          > >> were the central practices?

          Gordon,
          Rather than reply to the details of your lengthy proposal, please forgive
          me if I lay out my own take, first.

          I will distinguish between the fellowship of the disciples, and the
          fellowship of the wider circle of believers. And once again, I will attempt
          some phases.

          Phase I
          I think that the disciples continued the pattern of table fellowship that
          Jesus had shared with them during their travels together. This was
          especially necessary between the crucifixion and Pentecost, because they
          were in Jerusalem, where none of them was at home. Thus, the communalism of
          Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37 was to some extent born of practical necessity,
          rather than ideological fervor.

          We get several indications from Luke about the life of the disciples
          compared with other believers. In Acts 5:13, we have an indication that the
          fellowship of the disciples was different from that of the other believers:
          "None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high
          esteem." But then Luke also claims, in the next chapter,
          NRS Acts 6:1 Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in
          number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows
          were being neglected in the daily distribution of food.
          2 And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and
          said, "It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to
          wait on tables.
          3 Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good
          standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task,
          4 while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving
          the word."
          This is one of the few places that we hear about a "daily distribution of
          food" to widows and others in need (the am ha'aretz?). Luke provides us
          with an indication, in this chapter, that the table fellowship of the
          disciples had a wider orbit, linked at first by the disciples themselves,
          and later by the diakonoi.

          Of course table fellowship, and the Lord's Supper, are prominent features
          of Paul's churches.


          Phase II:
          At some point, the institution of the Lord's Supper differentiated from the
          other table fellowship, and I'm not clear on how that happened, but it has
          important implications for social formation. There were also the
          interesting debates of Acts 11:2-12 (Peter's vision ), and Galatians 2:12,
          Paul's argument with Peter about whether or not Jews could dine with
          Gentiles, as well as (later?) echoes in Paul's letters about what kinds of
          food could be eaten with whom, and where. I take this set of references as
          an indication that the table fellowship issue was one that lasted for
          decades, and was not easily resolved. In any case, a characteristic of this
          phase is that table fellowship expanded to include Gentiles, although not
          without controversy.

          This certainly also reflects issues in social formation among the
          believers. I'll add to this stew the Didache, which is an extremely
          important document for early Christian social formation. One of the
          interesting features of the Didache was its suggestions for vetting
          wandering preachers who claimed to have the Word of God, and dropped by
          wanting food and shelter. The Didache has lots of information relevant to
          social formation.

          And of course, Q is important for social formation. Gordon wrote,
          >The Mission program directly laid out in Q, Mark, Matthew and Luke is a
          >"house mission." (Q/Luke 10:3-10) Where "the peace" was received and
          >shared, then Jesus' suggested farewell words were, "Say to them, 'The
          >Kingdom of God has come near to you.'"

          Gordon has much to say on this subject, but I don't-- at least, not today.
          Maybe later.

          There is one other thing that may belong with a discussion of social
          formation: the healing ministry. It seems logical, and Gordon found a place
          for "social healing" in his essay, but our sources seem silent about
          members of the community who had been healed (what am I
          forgetting?....) However, I am inclined to leave it out, because I can't
          think of any stories of individuals who were healed, and then became
          members of the community.

          Those are my initial thoughts on Gordon's second question.

          Bob Schacht
          University of Hawaii


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • scudi1@charter.net
          Hi Bob, ... Bob, no need to apologize. As noted, I m pleased that you found the questions a helpful way to work through these issues and I m glad you want to
          Message 4 of 9 , May 10, 2009
            Hi Bob,
            ---- Bob Schacht <r_schacht@...> wrote:
            >> 2. What social formation did the proclamation entail? What
            > > >> were the central practices?
            >
            > Gordon,
            > Rather than reply to the details of your lengthy proposal, please forgive
            > me if I lay out my own take, first.

            Bob, no need to apologize. As noted, I'm pleased that you found the questions a helpful way to work through these issues and I'm glad you want to lay out your way of seeing these issues. We start from very different bases and we see how to address these issues differently. I'll simply be interested in the convergences that might come from these alternate proposals. So, please do go ahead.

            I do have a few questions that this note raises. Perhaps we'll want to keep a running list and address these at a later time, but let me raise them now:
            >
            > I will distinguish between the fellowship of the disciples, and the
            > fellowship of the wider circle of believers. And once again, I will attempt
            > some phases.

            Question(s) 1: Who do you place in "this fellowship of disciples?" Is this simply a reference to the 12/11 men? If so, help me understand how they are different from such as Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, Lazarus, Nicodemus, etc.

            Looking at I Cor. 15, Paul claims "opthe's" (appearances) for Cephas, the 12, 500, James and "all the apostles," before he last appeared to Paul. That is 513 plus however many "sent ones" pre-Paul. Acts has the initial post- Easter fellowship including 11 (12 minus Judas), certain women, Jesus' mom and brothers... and a total group of about 120 which include Matthias and Justus. Per the above, what distinctions do you see among these folks in terms of "fellowship" and "fellowship activities?
            >
            > Phase I
            > I think that the disciples continued the pattern of table fellowship that
            > Jesus had shared with them during their travels together. This was
            > especially necessary between the crucifixion and Pentecost, because they
            > were in Jerusalem, where none of them was at home.

            Question(s) two: Why do you favor Luke's ending over that of Matthew and Mark?
            What sources give you grounds to think that Luke got it right and Mark and Matthew wrong? And in terms of all those homes that the missional pairs went, were received, dined/talked and healed, how do you understand the relationship of all this missional success to "the fellowship" you're talking about? Were such as Jairus and his daughter, the Syro-Phoenician woman and her child, Peter's mother-in-law a part of this fellowship of believers or not?


            Thus, the communalism of
            > Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37 was to some extent born of practical necessity,
            > rather than ideological fervor.

            Question 3: I'll be interested in hearing what you mean by this???


            Regarding Table Fellowship I want to again urge you and all to read Hal Taussig's new book. I'm reading my copy this week.

            Bob, I'm actually hoping you'll not stop now to answer these questions now, but will plow ahead with the original question list. In like fashion I'll follow suit. My point is not some big debate over approaches. You choose one way to work through these questions and I another. Again, it is convergences that interest me. My comment so far is that you seem to be pointing towards "a preaching" dynamic that drove the early work of the apostles. Is this correct? As we go on I want to focus on the home fellowship/ dining/ "Peace of God" sharing as the central dynamic. But continue on. When you want to move to the next question, I in like fashion will lay out what comes from my preferred approach.

            Gordon Raynal
            Inman, SC
            >
          • John E Staton
            Bob wrote, However, I am inclined to leave it out, because I can t think of any stories of individuals who were healed, and then became members of the
            Message 5 of 9 , May 10, 2009
              Bob wrote, "However, I am inclined to leave it out, because I can't
              think of any stories of individuals who were healed, and then became
              members of the community."

              Richard Bauckham argues (in "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses") that where
              people are named in the gospels as having been healed or as being
              involved in the story of Jesus in a positive way, these were people who
              did the rounds of the churches giving personal testimony to the event
              they were involved in. The gospel writers would then be citing them in
              much the same way a a modern writer would cite a source (i.e this is the
              person, ask them if you want coroboration). Thus he would believe it
              likely that any named person who was healed in the gospels (e.g
              Bartimaeus) would be a member of the community. Those who demur from
              Bauckham's thesis would be of a different opinion, of course, but this
              argument might suggest at least some of those healed (but not all!)
              became members of the community.

              Best Wishes

              --
              JOHN E STATON (BA Sheffield; DipTheol. Bristol)
              Hull, UK
              www.christianreflection.org.uk

              ----------


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            • Bob Schacht
              ... Gordon, Thanks for the interesting questions. I d like to address some of them now, before moving on. ... I see this fellowship as being defined by two
              Message 6 of 9 , May 10, 2009
                At 04:04 AM 5/10/2009, scudi1@... wrote:
                >Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
                >
                >Hi Bob,
                >---- Bob Schacht <r_schacht@...> wrote:
                > >> 2. What social formation did the proclamation entail? What
                > > > >> were the central practices?
                > >
                > > Gordon,
                > > Rather than reply to the details of your lengthy proposal, please forgive
                > > me if I lay out my own take, first.
                >
                >Bob, no need to apologize. As noted, I'm pleased that you found the
                >questions a helpful way to work through these issues and I'm glad you want
                >to lay out your way of seeing these issues. We start from very different
                >bases and we see how to address these issues differently. I'll simply be
                >interested in the convergences that might come from these alternate
                >proposals. So, please do go ahead.
                >
                >I do have a few questions that this note raises. Perhaps we'll want to
                >keep a running list and address these at a later time, but let me raise
                >them now:

                Gordon,
                Thanks for the interesting questions. I'd like to address some of them now,
                before moving on.

                > >
                > > I will distinguish between the fellowship of the disciples, and the
                > > fellowship of the wider circle of believers. And once again, I will
                > attempt
                > > some phases.
                >
                >Question(s) 1: Who do you place in "this fellowship of disciples?" Is
                >this simply a reference to the 12/11 men? If so, help me understand how
                >they are different from such as Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, Lazarus,
                >Nicodemus, etc. . . . .

                I see this fellowship as being defined by two things: Commitment, and
                knowledge/experience of Jesus before the crucifixion. Commitment meant
                leaving one's former occupation to devote one's life to the fellowship.
                There are plenty of indications of this in the Gospels: The first group of
                disciples "left their nets in Galilee." There are loads of other examples,
                I'm sure you know them.

                The knowledge/experience factor is summed up in Acts 1:
                21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the
                Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
                22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up
                from us-- one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection."

                And, following Acts 1:14, I would also include "certain women,"
                14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with
                certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

                The brothers thing is interesting-- we know that later, Jesus' brother
                James became an important leader, but when did he become one of the Fellowship?

                You know from your own pastoral experience that maybe 5% of the membership
                of your church is actively engaged, and it is a number much smaller than
                that who keep the church going on a day to day basis.



                > > Phase I
                > > I think that the disciples continued the pattern of table fellowship that
                > > Jesus had shared with them during their travels together. This was
                > > especially necessary between the crucifixion and Pentecost, because they
                > > were in Jerusalem, where none of them was at home.
                >
                >Question(s) two: Why do you favor Luke's ending over that of Matthew and Mark?

                Good question. I suppose you are referring to the Galilean ending in Matt.
                28:16-20, . I don't know why you contrast with Mark, other than the brief
                allusion in 16:7, rather than referring to the Galilean postscript in John 21.

                The Galilean postscripts both refer, I think, to a time after Pentecost
                when the fellowship of the disciples was trying to figure out what to do--
                and probably breaking up. The communalism of Acts 2, 4 & 6 probably did not
                last all that long for many of the disciples, as the pressing needs of
                making a living reasserted themselves. Many of the lesser known disciples
                probably just went back to Galilee to resume their former lives, as the
                fishermen probably did. But we don't know how long any of these episodes
                lasted (if they were not literary creations to begin with). At the least,
                the Galilean postscripts are a reminder that the unified picture that some
                have of the early church is incomplete. I suppose I should add to my phase
                II, or even Phase I-b, that some of the disciples went back to their
                previous professions from time to time, or even permanently.

                Your reference to Mark's ending I assume refers to 16:15-18? It is more of
                a description of a certain charismatic style of worship than "social
                formation," but I suppose one could call baptism + faith + signs (such as
                casting out demons, speaking in new tongues; picking up snakes in their
                hands, drinking deadly things, and healing the sick a kind of social
                formation. What that reminds me of is Simon Magus, and the likelihood of
                spin-off fellowships. Is that what you were referring to?


                >What sources give you grounds to think that Luke got it right and Mark and
                >Matthew wrong?

                Well, much as Crossan would want me to, I don't choose either/or here, but
                rather both/and. Let me modify my original answer by adding (a) the
                Galilean postlude and (b) the snake-handlers as variants on the main theme.

                >And in terms of all those homes that the missional pairs went, were
                >received, dined/talked and healed, how do you understand the relationship
                >of all this missional success to "the fellowship" you're talking
                >about? Were such as Jairus and his daughter, the Syro-Phoenician woman
                >and her child, Peter's mother-in-law a part of this fellowship of
                >believers or not?

                As above, I distinguish between the core fellowship of those with a high
                level of commitment, and the rank and file of supporters/believers who do
                not share the same level of commitment or experience.

                > > Thus, the communalism of Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37 was to some extent
                > born of practical necessity,
                > > rather than ideological fervor.
                >
                >Question 3: I'll be interested in hearing what you mean by this???

                I should not have phrased in terms of either/or. What I meant to say is
                that the disciple's basic M.O. was the same as it was when they were
                traveling with Jesus, which included being received by households along
                their way. Those with the highest level of commitment needed to know where
                the next meal would come from, and where they could sleep the next night.
                These were practical necessities. The leading thought was not, in my view,
                "Hey, communes are groovy! let's form a commune!" but "hey, Jesus told us
                to stay here in Jerusalem until some big thingy he was talking about. So,
                where are we going to stay tonight? Where can we find something to eat?"
                But these were not new questions; they were the same questions that had
                come up time and again when they were traveling with Jesus.

                >Bob, I'm actually hoping you'll not stop now to answer these questions
                >now, but will plow ahead with the original question list.

                Well, as you see, I could not resist temptation, and wanted to take time to
                respond to your excellent questions.

                > In like fashion I'll follow suit. My point is not some big debate over
                > approaches. You choose one way to work through these questions and I
                > another. Again, it is convergences that interest me. My comment so far
                > is that you seem to be pointing towards "a preaching" dynamic that drove
                > the early work of the apostles. Is this correct?

                Well, I'm persuaded by the Great Commission thing, which sounds to me like
                a "preaching dynamic":

                Mark 16:15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the
                good news to the whole creation.

                Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven
                and on earth has been given to me.
                19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
                name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
                20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And
                remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

                Luke 24: 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,
                46 and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to
                suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,
                47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his
                name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
                48 You are witnesses of these things.

                So this doesn't sound to me like the marching orders for a bunch of Quakers
                (although I like Quakers a lot, and one of my brothers is one of them.)

                >As we go on I want to focus on the home fellowship/ dining/ "Peace of God"
                >sharing as the central dynamic. But continue on. When you want to move
                >to the next question, I in like fashion will lay out what comes from my
                >preferred approach.

                Thanks.

                Bob


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Bob Schacht
                ... John, Thanks for this. I am keeping a running file, and will post to the files section of our Yahoo website, with revised essays. For example, my essay on
                Message 7 of 9 , May 10, 2009
                  At 11:44 AM 5/10/2009, John E Staton wrote:
                  >Bob wrote, "However, I am inclined to leave it out, because I can't
                  > think of any stories of individuals who were healed, and then became
                  > members of the community."
                  >
                  >Richard Bauckham argues (in "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses") that where
                  >people are named in the gospels as having been healed or as being
                  >involved in the story of Jesus in a positive way, these were people who
                  >did the rounds of the churches giving personal testimony to the event
                  >they were involved in. The gospel writers would then be citing them in
                  >much the same way a a modern writer would cite a source (i.e this is the
                  >person, ask them if you want coroboration). Thus he would believe it
                  >likely that any named person who was healed in the gospels (e.g
                  >Bartimaeus) would be a member of the community. Those who demur from
                  >Bauckham's thesis would be of a different opinion, of course, but this
                  >argument might suggest at least some of those healed (but not all!)
                  >became members of the community.

                  John,
                  Thanks for this.
                  I am keeping a running file, and will post to the files section of our
                  Yahoo website, with revised essays. For example, my essay on The
                  Originating Proclamation has needed a few minor revisions that I will
                  include in the version posted in the file. I'll put together my two posts
                  on Social Formation, plus this, with due credits, in a summary post on
                  Social Formation, and upload it in due course to the same place, if anyone
                  is interested.

                  Aloha,
                  Bob


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • E Bruce Brooks
                  To: Crosstalk Cc: GPG In Response To: Bob Schacht On: Brothers From: Bruce [In the course of a discussion of Peter, Bob had remarked]: BOB: The brothers thing
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 10, 2009
                    To: Crosstalk
                    Cc: GPG
                    In Response To: Bob Schacht
                    On: Brothers
                    From: Bruce

                    [In the course of a discussion of Peter, Bob had remarked]:

                    BOB: The brothers thing is interesting-- we know that later, Jesus' brother
                    James became an important leader, but when did he become one of the
                    Fellowship?

                    BRUCE: Exactly. That event seems to have escaped the attention of the early
                    chroniclers or mythographers. And as far as that does, did Jacob indeed join
                    the movement? or was he merely an influential person? Assuming the movement
                    to have been defined in some sense by its theology, what was the theology of
                    Jacob? Not as based on the Epistle, which is probably by somebody else, but
                    as attested by Paul or the early anecdotal tradition?

                    Does he preach Christ Crucified? Neither that nor anything else, as far as I
                    recall.

                    I think some of the basic assumptions here are up for re-examination.

                    Bruce
                  • Gordon Raynal
                    Good Morning Bob, ... As you decided to deal with these questions now, I ll ask some more questions, make a few comments and work on from this post. ... Where
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 11, 2009
                      Good Morning Bob,
                      On May 10, 2009, at 7:59 PM, Bob Schacht wrote:
                      >>
                      >
                      > Gordon,
                      > Thanks for the interesting questions. I'd like to address some of
                      > them now,
                      > before moving on.

                      As you decided to deal with these questions now, I'll ask some more
                      questions, make a few comments and work on from this post.
                      >
                      >>
                      >> Question(s) 1: Who do you place in "this fellowship of
                      >> disciples?" Is
                      >> this simply a reference to the 12/11 men? If so, help me
                      >> understand how
                      >> they are different from such as Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha,
                      >> Lazarus,
                      >> Nicodemus, etc. . . . .
                      >
                      > I see this fellowship as being defined by two things: Commitment, and
                      > knowledge/experience of Jesus before the crucifixion.

                      Where does commitment to God/ God's rule fit into this?

                      > Commitment meant
                      > leaving one's former occupation to devote one's life to the
                      > fellowship.
                      > There are plenty of indications of this in the Gospels: The first
                      > group of
                      > disciples "left their nets in Galilee." There are loads of other
                      > examples,
                      > I'm sure you know them.

                      So, you assume a peripatetic Jesus and the Gospel portraits of Jesus
                      followed by a band of 12 men following him full time? Does this mean
                      that Peter, for example, pretty much abandoned his wife and mother-in-
                      law and probably children and that James and John simply left dear
                      old Zebedee to make the fishing business work without them?
                      >
                      >
                      > And, following Acts 1:14, I would also include "certain women,"
                      > 14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer,
                      > together with
                      > certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his
                      > brothers.

                      An interesting exercise is to simply list out the named associates
                      (both "sent ones" and "home and wayside folks") of Jesus and as far
                      as possible, place them on the map. As a visual exercise it is
                      suggestive of the size and extent of the social network in Jesus'
                      day. An interesting question is, how much did Jesus actually
                      travel? Here I simply note that 6 pairs and then Luke's 35/6 pairs
                      obviously would cover a lot more ground that just Jesus and 12 guys.
                      >
                      > The brothers thing is interesting-- we know that later, Jesus' brother
                      > James became an important leader, but when did he become one of the
                      > Fellowship?

                      In my model for thinking about this that begins with a need and a
                      cause within Judaism, as opposed to a personality (Jesus) centered
                      social network, then there's no reason to think that the whole family
                      were not: a.) pious Jews and b.) positive about the cause of
                      reconciliation in those troubled circumstances. Paul's letters only
                      help us get to the time after Jesus' death. But notably to the
                      Galatians he cites Peter, James the Just (just to keep our James'
                      straight) and John as "the three Pillars." Likewise in the list of
                      those who had opthe's before him, only Peter and James are listed by
                      name. And then, the Gospel of Thomas makes it exceedingly plain who
                      the authority after Jesus' time was (G.Th. 12) and pays him an
                      extraordinary compliment. I'll return to the whole issue of growing
                      an organized bureaucracy out of a loose-y goose-y social networking
                      movement, but here I'll note two things: 1.) Once we get to the much
                      later Acts, James is still clearly understood as the go-to leader.
                      Peter reports to him. He has the defining word in the Jerusalem
                      conference. Whenever he **really got on board** he was the first
                      real leader of the post Jesus time. Per Josephus' little note, this
                      is also clear. And, 2.) if one thinks about this as a Jewish
                      religious movement wherein the questions of central religious
                      devotion are thought about in relationship to the God of Israel, and
                      not the later etching out of Christology, then the boundary issues or
                      "who's in" and "who's not" are different. My own model for thinking
                      through this is really "a percolating model." By this I mean, "Peace
                      of God"/ reconciliation belief in Judaism had long roots. That this
                      was forwarded into a social movement that got organized in a
                      particular way so as to lead to a social network, need not be thought
                      of as a kind of supernova event. As a model for thinking purposes,
                      James and Jesus may have been two peas in a pod about this, but Jesus
                      started it and only later did James really get involved. We don't
                      have timing data, but then that's actually not important to figuring
                      the big picture out. Paul's letters, G. Thomas, Josephus and Acts
                      all cite James the Just as the key leader after Jesus' death.
                      >
                      > You know from your own pastoral experience that maybe 5% of the
                      > membership
                      > of your church is actively engaged, and it is a number much smaller
                      > than
                      > that who keep the church going on a day to day basis.

                      I'm a small church pastor and in small church's that number has got
                      to be higher or one has no church. I think this is true of larger
                      churches, but then the dynamics change when one goes from a small
                      community/ family church to a larger group. In the preacher lingo
                      there are "pastoral churches" and "program driven churches."
                      >>
                      >> Question(s) two: Why do you favor Luke's ending over that of
                      >> Matthew and Mark?
                      >
                      > Good question. I suppose you are referring to the Galilean ending
                      > in Matt.
                      > 28:16-20, . I don't know why you contrast with Mark, other than the
                      > brief
                      > allusion in 16:7, rather than referring to the Galilean postscript
                      > in John 21.

                      I am referring to the original ending in Mark. Mark suggests and
                      Matthew clearly says that the organizing post resurrection moment was
                      in Galilee and not Jerusalem. Matthew closes with Jesus' ascent from
                      the Mount of Beatitudes. Lay Matthew and Luke side by side and they
                      simply tell different stories. Your move is to somehow conflate
                      these. I just wonder what gives you warrant to do this? Why prefer
                      Luke over Matthew? For this point in the discussion I'm not at all
                      interested in the extended and weird ending of Mark:)!
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >> And in terms of all those homes that the missional pairs went, were
                      >> received, dined/talked and healed, how do you understand the
                      >> relationship
                      >> of all this missional success to "the fellowship" you're talking
                      >> about? Were such as Jairus and his daughter, the Syro-Phoenician
                      >> woman
                      >> and her child, Peter's mother-in-law a part of this fellowship of
                      >> believers or not?
                      >
                      > As above, I distinguish between the core fellowship of those with a
                      > high
                      > level of commitment, and the rank and file of supporters/believers
                      > who do
                      > not share the same level of commitment or experience.

                      Here, I will simply note that in my model the connected homes are the
                      key places. The "goers" go to make for the network. It is the stay-
                      ers who are at the center of my model. So "commitment" here is
                      defined not simply by "belief" (ideational assent), but by the
                      willingness to welcome, feed, house, listen and talk, and so belong
                      to a social cause and be part of an active network.
                      >
                      >>> Thus, the communalism of Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37 was to some extent
                      >> born of practical necessity,
                      >>> rather than ideological fervor.
                      >>
                      >> Question 3: I'll be interested in hearing what you mean by this???
                      >
                      > I should not have phrased in terms of either/or. What I meant to
                      > say is
                      > that the disciple's basic M.O. was the same as it was when they were
                      > traveling with Jesus, which included being received by households
                      > along
                      > their way. Those with the highest level of commitment needed to
                      > know where
                      > the next meal would come from, and where they could sleep the next
                      > night.
                      > These were practical necessities. The leading thought was not, in
                      > my view,
                      > "Hey, communes are groovy! let's form a commune!" but "hey, Jesus
                      > told us
                      > to stay here in Jerusalem until some big thingy he was talking
                      > about. So,
                      > where are we going to stay tonight? Where can we find something to
                      > eat?"
                      > But these were not new questions; they were the same questions that
                      > had
                      > come up time and again when they were traveling with Jesus.

                      I do think there is a pragmatism in all of this. Jewish religion is
                      very pragmatic! If one feeds and shelters a pair of guests, then
                      joins the network and next week 9 neighbors come over, then it is
                      going to take a lot more food. Among the peasant farmers and town
                      tradespersons, this meant a changed expense pattern unto itself. But
                      then as the movement was very interested in taking care of "widows
                      and orphans" (per Ep. of James) and the homeless and destitute (per
                      Jesus' words), then free sharing was a must. I am not talking
                      "groovy communes;)!" I am talking about a social ministry that
                      intentionally starts to deal with the huge burdens of living in a
                      foreign occupied country. Yet this pragmatism also contained a
                      "money where your mouth is" uplifting of old Jewish ideals about
                      justice. (think Micah 6:8, for example) A social network that made
                      "do justice, love kindness, walk humbly..." is an expensive
                      proposition in a Roman dominated, peasant culture. For us such
                      charity is about what we do with disposable income. This was quite
                      the challenge in these very challenging and dangerous circumstances.
                      This is where my model focuses on the issue of "commitment."
                      >
                      >> Bob, I'm actually hoping you'll not stop now to answer these
                      >> questions
                      >> now, but will plow ahead with the original question list.
                      >
                      > Well, as you see, I could not resist temptation, and wanted to take
                      > time to
                      > respond to your excellent questions.

                      Thanks. I am glad these are helpful, as well.
                      >
                      >> In like fashion I'll follow suit. My point is not some big
                      >> debate over
                      >> approaches. You choose one way to work through these questions and I
                      >> another. Again, it is convergences that interest me. My comment
                      >> so far
                      >> is that you seem to be pointing towards "a preaching" dynamic that
                      >> drove
                      >> the early work of the apostles. Is this correct?
                      >
                      > Well, I'm persuaded by the Great Commission thing, which sounds to
                      > me like
                      > a "preaching dynamic":
                      >
                      > Mark 16:15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim
                      > the
                      > good news to the whole creation.
                      >
                      > Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in
                      > heaven
                      > and on earth has been given to me.
                      > 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
                      > in the
                      > name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
                      > 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded
                      > you. And
                      > remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
                      >
                      > Luke 24: 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,
                      > 46 and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to
                      > suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,
                      > 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be
                      > proclaimed in his
                      > name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
                      > 48 You are witnesses of these things.
                      >
                      > So this doesn't sound to me like the marching orders for a bunch of
                      > Quakers
                      > (although I like Quakers a lot, and one of my brothers is one of
                      > them.)

                      Here, I'll simply contrast again what that "good news" is. For you
                      and your model it is centrally a set of ideas about Jesus' death and
                      his continued presence. For me it is a shared experience (which is
                      inclusive of words, activities and deeds) of "God's rule." Per
                      Matthew's later lovely creation of "a Great Commission," making
                      disciples, in my view, is about making "followers" of this
                      "way" (again, "way of wisdom" (Ep. James), "fruits of the
                      Spirit" (Paul), "way of Life" (the Didache)). "Followers of the
                      Way" (as it was later called in Acts) was inclusive of both "sent
                      ones" and "receiving ones." I'll simply note that this model very
                      much means that kids were just as much a part of this movement as
                      were any adults. I say this not to be cute, but simply to note that
                      a home connecting movement necessarily is inclusive of children and
                      all for the usual business of "making babies." I don't think Jesus
                      was being cute or sentimental when he talked about the kids.

                      For now I'll leave aside baptism and the catechetical declaration,
                      and I'll go on to "teaching." I'll get to this particular role when
                      we come to the organizational duties. I also will write another note
                      about "the messaging content," but here I'll note Matthew's
                      "teaching obedience." Often this is thought of moralistically. In
                      my model I want to highlight the idea of the skills of making
                      reconciliation homes and a network work. Certain practices and
                      certain patterns of relating are what make such a network a
                      reality. Again we see Paul, James and the Didache forward mottos/
                      credos of these essential characteristics. They are not "law lists,"
                      they are "way lists." As a sailor, for example, is obedient to the
                      way to manage lines, sails and rudder in the face of the empowering
                      wind, so this call for obedience to "the ways of the Way," makes this
                      "Peace of God/ Kingdom rule" present and workable. (As an aside, if
                      one ponders this sort of obedience as being central, then one can get
                      a much better clue as to why Paul rails so hard against Torah
                      legalists. Legalism puts the proverbial cart before the horse. It
                      is indeed "the Spirit that gives life." This is perfectly in line
                      with Jesus' inquiries to legalists about their insistence on "washing
                      the outside of the cup.")
                      >
                      >> As we go on I want to focus on the home fellowship/ dining/ "Peace
                      >> of God"
                      >> sharing as the central dynamic. But continue on. When you want
                      >> to move
                      >> to the next question, I in like fashion will lay out what comes
                      >> from my
                      >> preferred approach.
                      >
                      > Thanks.
                      >
                      > Bob

                      You're welcome. This is an enjoyable discussion.

                      Gordon Raynal
                      Inman, SC
                      >


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