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"Good News"

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  • Gordon Raynal
    Bob and all, In what follows I want to simply highlight key samples of the proclamation of Good News from Jesus time up through Luke/ Acts. I ll do this
    Message 1 of 25 , May 11 8:53 AM
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      Bob and all,

      In what follows I want to simply highlight key samples of the
      proclamation of "Good News" from Jesus' time up through Luke/ Acts.
      I'll do this according to my general order of the texts, but whatever
      one thinks of this particular ordering (arrange them in any order you
      like), this will show the core continuity of what I believe is at the
      center of understanding God's Rule as shared experiential reality
      (aka, "The Kingdom of God"). Further, I'll start with the direct
      ideational/ ethos language and then note how the iconic language
      wherein Jesus is forwarded as embodying that language in life and in
      "continued presence," is a study in exegetical backtracking. This
      is only a sample list of core sayings and descriptions from a sample
      of texts:

      KEY aphorism from Jesus (circa 26-30 C.E.): "Love your enemies."

      TEXTS from after Jesus' death to the Roman Jewish War that affirm
      "the Way."

      Thomas 48: Jesus said, "If two make peace with each other in a
      single house, they will say to the mountain, 'Move from here!' and it
      will move."

      Q/Luke 6:27-31: [Jesus said] "But I say to you that listen, Love your
      enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
      pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek,
      offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not
      withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and
      if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to
      others as you would have them do to you." (Q gathers individual
      aphorisms and puts them into the form of a sermonic teaching
      declaration.)

      From Paul... he starts his letters with some form of the salutation
      (here Romans 1:7): "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and
      the Lord Jesus Christ."

      Paul's avowed motto/ credo (Galatians 5:22-23, 25) "By contrast, the
      fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
      generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. There is no
      law against such things... If we live by the Spirit, let us also be
      guided by the Spirit."

      From Ep. James: [James writes in 2:8] "You do well if you really
      fulfill the royal law according to scripture, 'You shall love your
      neighbor as yourself."

      James' avowed motto/ credo in Ep. James 3:17-18: "But the wisdom
      from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield,
      full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or
      hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those
      who make peace."

      TEXTS FROM 70 C.E. until the Luke/Acts publication circa 120 C.E.

      Mark ends the whole Galilean ministry on these words from Jesus in
      Mark 9:50: "Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how
      can you season it? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one
      another."

      Matthew copies the Q sermon core and frames it as the opening, Moses
      on the mountain like, "sermon" (really a teachings collection with
      expanded commentary).

      In Hebrews we get a most interesting sermon on Melchizedek. Jesus
      will be likened to him later in the sermon, but in Hebrews 7:1-3 we
      find these core sermonic musings about the one who was and always is,
      "the king of peace." (Heb. 7:2)

      In the deutero-Pauline writings we find continuing proclamations of
      "grace and peace" at the outset and the following core proclamations-

      Ephesians 4:1-3: "I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to
      lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with
      all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing one another in
      love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the
      bond of peace."

      Colossians 3:12-17: "As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe
      ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and
      patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint
      against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven
      you, so you must also forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with
      love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let
      the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were
      called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ
      dwell richly in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all
      wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns and
      spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do
      everything in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the
      Father through him."

      [here I would highlight singing as a key activity in the early
      connected homes]

      John's Gospel famously has two key summary messages about what Jesus
      is asking his followers to hold on to and pass on:

      John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do
      not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and
      do not let them be afraid."

      John 15:12-15 and just citing verse 12: This is my commandment, that
      you love one another as I have loved you."

      John of Patmos also communicates the message this way: Revelation
      1:4-7: "Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is
      to come, from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from
      Jesus Christ, the faithful witness...." (cut to highlight the Peace
      of God messaging).

      The Didache opens with that core set of aphorisms found in the Q
      sermon and Matthew's Sermon on the Mount pitched as "The Way of
      Life." ( I do rather think that a much earlier version of this was
      produced, but our full text comes from sometimes around the turn of
      the century.)

      Finally, in the Gospel of Luke the Q sermon core is framed in "the
      Sermon on the Plain" and as I have noted in Acts, the final words are
      about proclaiming the Kingdom of God without hindrance in Rome,
      itself. Once more Acts 28:31: "... proclaiming the kingdom of God
      and teachinig about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and
      without hindrance."

      These texts lay out in various ways what I take to be the core "Good
      News of the Gospel." These various summary ways of stating "the
      gist" of God's ruling presence were for these folks "good news"...
      not simply as ideation, but as personal relational, social
      relational, ethos and praxis good news. Find this company, seek to
      share the ethos and practices, then per Jesus one would experience
      "the Kingdom of God come near."

      What I'll simply note here about later renderings of Jesus as the
      embodiment of all of this is that we find a pattern of continuing
      back tracing going on. Such as the simple mottos and credos and
      listings of Jesus' speech celebrate Jesus as the speaker/ inspirer of
      this "Peace of God" shared experience. (Along the way in the Gospel
      stories we find Jesus called, "teacher.") Paul will set Jesus
      becoming the Christ in terms of God's raising of his son Jesus in
      Romans 1. Mark will push this back to Jesus' baptism. Matthew will
      push it back to his birth and that genealogy will take us to
      Abraham. Both John and Luke will in different ways take this back to
      the creation itself, John favoring the wisdom motif of "In the
      beginning was the WORD" from Genesis 1 and Luke favoring a genealogy
      back to Adam in Genesis 2 (both were probably inspired to this by
      Paul's "first Adam/ second Adam" musings in Romans 5, although I
      wonder if Paul didn't learn that trope from one of his teachers.)
      These iconic renderings, none to surprisingly, press one further and
      further back until we finally get to the God of Israel's original
      "sabbath work." What I'll end on is that Luke will tell the lovely
      story of the heavenly host of angels coming to first proclaim "the
      Good News" at Jesus' birth. And what is that message?
      Luke 2:14: "Glory to God in highest heaven, and on earth peace among
      those whom he favors." (this and all quotes from the NRSV).

      Bob, that is my idea about what the Good News was and was about and
      so, how it was forwarded in evermore creative ways.

      Gordon Raynal
      Inman, SC
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Crosstalk In Response to: Gordon Raynal On: Key Jesus Sayings From: Bruce GORDON: KEY aphorism from Jesus (circa 26-30 C.E.): Love your enemies. BRUCE:
      Message 2 of 25 , May 11 9:06 AM
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        To: Crosstalk
        In Response to: Gordon Raynal
        On: Key Jesus Sayings
        From: Bruce

        GORDON: KEY aphorism from Jesus (circa 26-30 C.E.): "Love your enemies."

        BRUCE: Citation??
      • Gordon Raynal
        Hi, Bruce, Sorry, we of course have no voice recording:)! But I should have put the multiple textual citings from Q, Matthew and Luke (Luke 6:27b for one
        Message 3 of 25 , May 11 9:43 AM
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          Hi, Bruce,
          Sorry, we of course have no voice recording:)! But I should have put
          the multiple textual citings from Q, Matthew and Luke (Luke 6:27b for
          one citation). and the Didache. And I'd argue that the Johannine
          take on this in "the love commandment" is rooted in Jesus' original
          oral aphorism and that Paul's great "love poem" in I Cor. 13 works
          off of this original aphorism.

          Does that help?

          Gordon Raynal
          Inman, SC

          On May 11, 2009, at 12:06 PM, E Bruce Brooks wrote:

          > To: Crosstalk
          > In Response to: Gordon Raynal
          > On: Key Jesus Sayings
          > From: Bruce
          >
          > GORDON: KEY aphorism from Jesus (circa 26-30 C.E.): "Love your
          > enemies."
          >
          > BRUCE: Citation??
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
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        • E Bruce Brooks
          To: Crosstalk Cc: GPG; WSW In Response To: Gordon Raynal On: Love From: Bruce In response to my query on the textual basis for regarding love your enemies as
          Message 4 of 25 , May 11 11:48 AM
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            To: Crosstalk
            Cc: GPG; WSW
            In Response To: Gordon Raynal
            On: Love
            From: Bruce

            In response to my query on the textual basis for regarding "love your
            enemies" as a KEY Jesus saying, we had:

            GORDON: I should have put the multiple textual citings from Q, Matthew and
            Luke (Luke 6:27b for
            one citation). and the Didache. And I'd argue that the Johannine take on
            this in "the love commandment" is rooted in Jesus' original oral aphorism
            and that Paul's great "love poem" in I Cor. 13 works off of this original
            aphorism.

            BRUCE: It may work off it, but that does not make the aphorism in question
            original. What you cite as its witnesses are all Second Tier Gospel era
            materials: Matthew, Luke, a selection from both of them (the supposed "Q"),
            and in some of the previously mentioned aphorisms, a selection from these
            and others of similar nature (Thomas). I think what it comes down to is that
            the Jesus here being documented is the Second Tier Jesus, the Nice Jesus,
            the Sermon on the Mount Jesus. No weight is being given, and indeed no
            attention is being paid, to the supposedly earliest source for Jesus, namely
            Mark. To me, that pattern of reliance almost guarantees a late rather than
            an early idea of Jesus's teachings.

            Multiple attestation is a criterion that has been used for centuries. But if
            the multiple attestation excludes the earliest sources, then what the
            multiplicity is most likely to attest is a development, however eventually
            popular, and not an originality. No?

            It seems to me also that the "love" sayings here assembled do not all point
            in the same direction. An injunction to love your neighbor, to love your
            brother, etc, does not go beyond the limits of inherited Jewish ethics; it
            can in fact be seen as a summa of inherited Jewish ethics. The extension of
            that commandment outside the community, to "enemies," seems to me radical.
            It is this radicalism which pervades the Second Tier sources. I don't find
            it in the First Tier. Though I am always open to citations to the contrary.

            That radicalism is familiar too, but perhaps in other directions than
            inherited Jewish ethics. A Chinese-acquainted reader taking up Mark finds
            Mark interesting, but no more. When that reader comes to Matthew or Luke,
            however, the atmosphere changes. One starts recognizing things. Things to
            which one coulds assign chapter and verse in the Chinese popular literature
            of a few centuries earlier. Ethical principles esteemed as such in the
            culture at the other end of the Silk Route. Is this reader result indicative
            of anything? I would suspect that it indicates that at the level of the
            Second Tier, nascent and developing Christianity was coming into contact
            with something exotic and different, but which it felt it could use. Matthew
            and Luke can be read as different ways of integrating this new and exotic
            something into previous tradition.

            Or so it looks from here.

            Bruce

            E Bruce Brooks
            Warring States Project
            University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          • Gordon Raynal
            Hi Bruce, ... Interesting that in your dating schema you place Mark as a first tier Gospel. I think Mark was written about 80 to 85 C.E. In terms of genre,
            Message 5 of 25 , May 11 2:02 PM
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              Hi Bruce,

              On May 11, 2009, at 2:48 PM, E Bruce Brooks wrote:

              > To: Crosstalk
              > Cc: GPG; WSW
              > In Response To: Gordon Raynal
              > On: Love
              > From: Bruce
              >
              > In response to my query on the textual basis for regarding "love your
              > enemies" as a KEY Jesus saying, we had:
              >
              >
              >
              > BRUCE: It may work off it, but that does not make the aphorism in
              > question
              > original. What you cite as its witnesses are all Second Tier Gospel
              > era
              > materials: Matthew, Luke, a selection from both of them (the
              > supposed "Q"),
              > and in some of the previously mentioned aphorisms, a selection from
              > these
              > and others of similar nature (Thomas). I think what it comes down
              > to is that
              > the Jesus here being documented is the Second Tier Jesus, the Nice
              > Jesus,
              > the Sermon on the Mount Jesus. No weight is being given, and indeed no
              > attention is being paid, to the supposedly earliest source for
              > Jesus, namely
              > Mark. To me, that pattern of reliance almost guarantees a late
              > rather than
              > an early idea of Jesus's teachings.

              Interesting that in your dating schema you place Mark as "a first
              tier Gospel." I think Mark was written about 80 to 85 C.E. In terms
              of genre, I think it is best described as a kind of elongated parable
              wherein Jesus is presented as embodying the beliefs, values and core
              practices of this Jewish reconciliation movement.
              >
              > Multiple attestation is a criterion that has been used for
              > centuries. But if
              > the multiple attestation excludes the earliest sources, then what the
              > multiplicity is most likely to attest is a development, however
              > eventually
              > popular, and not an originality. No?

              Multiple attestation is one important criterion, but not the only. I
              do accept the Q hypothesis and therefore I think we find it in Q,
              Matthew, Luke and a form of it in the Didache directly, and then the
              associated "takes" on the central gist of the saying in the
              previously mentioned other works, as well. But if one leaves aside
              Q, I would still point to this aphorism as being central to the gist
              of the developing reconciliation movement because of what I
              understand to be the gist of the movement. Actually, I've often
              toyed with the idea that one of the original associates might be the
              author of the aphorism in response to one of Jesus' parables. But as
              it is there in that key sayings cluster, I'll assign it to Jesus.
              >
              > It seems to me also that the "love" sayings here assembled do not
              > all point
              > in the same direction. An injunction to love your neighbor, to love
              > your
              > brother, etc, does not go beyond the limits of inherited Jewish
              > ethics; it
              > can in fact be seen as a summa of inherited Jewish ethics.

              Two things: first I do understand the original as an aphorism, which
              is to say wisdom word puzzling tool. As such I think it is a tart
              phrase that opens up the wide and deep subject of love. If you're
              interested in how I understand wisdom communication, then see the
              latest "4th R" and the next issue. Second, I do think this aphorism
              does indeed point to the heart of inherited Jewish ethics. And so to
              Mark... see below...
              > The extension of
              > that commandment outside the community, to "enemies," seems to me
              > radical.
              > It is this radicalism which pervades the Second Tier sources. I
              > don't find
              > it in the First Tier. Though I am always open to citations to the
              > contrary.

              Mark deals with this heart with Jesus in Jerusalem and in on a debate
              about the gist of the Torah. (Mark 12:28-34). I'll simply note how
              Mark's Jesus concludes this pericope: "When Jesus saw that he
              answered wisely, he said to him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of
              God.' After that no one dared ask him any question."
              >
              > That radicalism is familiar too, but perhaps in other directions than
              > inherited Jewish ethics. A Chinese-acquainted reader taking up Mark
              > finds
              > Mark interesting, but no more. When that reader comes to Matthew or
              > Luke,
              > however, the atmosphere changes. One starts recognizing things.
              > Things to
              > which one coulds assign chapter and verse in the Chinese popular
              > literature
              > of a few centuries earlier. Ethical principles esteemed as such in the
              > culture at the other end of the Silk Route. Is this reader result
              > indicative
              > of anything? I would suspect that it indicates that at the level of
              > the
              > Second Tier, nascent and developing Christianity was coming into
              > contact
              > with something exotic and different, but which it felt it could
              > use. Matthew
              > and Luke can be read as different ways of integrating this new and
              > exotic
              > something into previous tradition.

              Your choice in this reply is to frame it in terms of radicalism and
              interestingly move towards more radicalism in your suggested "second
              tier." "Radicalism" is an outside assessment frame of reference and
              I'll leave that to your judgments. From my standpoint, what we're
              talking about historically is the development within Judaism of a
              reconciliation movement that has deep ideational roots within their
              heritage and the etching together of a social networking in that
              particular era. Historically I don't think we can say a lot about
              Jesus, nor can we know all that many details about the earliest
              years. I do, however, think we have enough materials to sketch
              together a basic picture of the espoused messaging (ideology), ethos
              and praxis that was aroused by a group of Jewish associates, of whom
              Jesus was understood to be the key (but not only) "voice."

              Gordon Raynal
              Inman, SC
              >
              > Or so it looks from here.
              >
              > Bruce
              >
              > E Bruce Brooks
              > Warring States Project
              > University of Massachusetts at Amherst
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
              >
              > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-
              > subscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
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              >
              >
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            • E Bruce Brooks
              To: Crosstalk In Response To: Gordon Raynal On: Markan Priority From: Bruce GORDON: Interesting that in your dating schema you place Mark as a first tier
              Message 6 of 25 , May 11 2:52 PM
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                To: Crosstalk
                In Response To: Gordon Raynal
                On: Markan Priority
                From: Bruce

                GORDON: Interesting that in your dating schema you place Mark as "a first
                tier Gospel." I think Mark was written about 80 to 85 C.E. In terms of
                genre, I think it is best described as a kind of elongated parable
                wherein Jesus is presented as embodying the beliefs, values and core
                practices of this Jewish reconciliation movement.

                BRUCE: Your date for Mark is meaningless without your dates for Matthew and
                Luke. What would those be?


                E Bruce Brooks
                Warring States Project
                University of Massachusetts at Amherst
              • Gordon Raynal
                Bruce, I m not really interested in getting to a debate about the dating. But my best estimate is that Matthew is from circa 90 to 100 C.E. and Luke is from
                Message 7 of 25 , May 11 4:56 PM
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                  Bruce,
                  I'm not really interested in getting to a debate about the dating.
                  But my best estimate is that Matthew is from circa 90 to 100 C.E. and
                  Luke is from circa 120 C.E. with Acts following after that.

                  Gordon Raynal
                  Inman, SC
                  On May 11, 2009, at 5:52 PM, E Bruce Brooks wrote:

                  > To: Crosstalk
                  > In Response To: Gordon Raynal
                  > On: Markan Priority
                  > From: Bruce
                  >
                  > GORDON: Interesting that in your dating schema you place Mark as "a
                  > first
                  > tier Gospel." I think Mark was written about 80 to 85 C.E. In
                  > terms of
                  > genre, I think it is best described as a kind of elongated parable
                  > wherein Jesus is presented as embodying the beliefs, values and core
                  > practices of this Jewish reconciliation movement.
                  >
                  > BRUCE: Your date for Mark is meaningless without your dates for
                  > Matthew and
                  > Luke. What would those be?
                  >
                  >
                  > E Bruce Brooks
                  > Warring States Project
                  > University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
                  >
                  > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-
                  > subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-
                  > unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-
                  > owners@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • E Bruce Brooks
                  To: Crosstalk In Response To: Gordon Raynal On: Synoptic Dates From: Bruce GORDON: . . . my best estimate is that Matthew is from circa 90 to 100 C.E. and Luke
                  Message 8 of 25 , May 11 7:45 PM
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                    To: Crosstalk
                    In Response To: Gordon Raynal
                    On: Synoptic Dates
                    From: Bruce

                    GORDON: . . . my best estimate is that Matthew is from circa 90 to 100 C.E.
                    and Luke is from circa 120 C.E. with Acts following after that.

                    BRUCE: Then given your previous dating for Mark, and taking midpoints to
                    represent spans, we have, in terms of distance from Jesus (c30):

                    82 Mark (2 human generations)
                    95 Matthew (2.5 human generations)
                    120 Luke (3.5 human generations
                    ?? Acts (?4 human generations?)

                    and I am still surprised that Mark plays no role in your specification of
                    the actual teaching of Jesus. You seem to find that the good information
                    about Jesus was preserved for more than two human generations after Jesus,
                    and was extensively reflected in Matthew and Luke, but that this information
                    somehow bypassed Mark. To whom Matthew and Luke are nevertheless obviously,
                    and intimately, indebted.

                    Given your conclusion that the real tradition survived intact for so long,
                    unto the great grandsons of the men of Jesus's generation, how do you
                    suppose Mark missed out on it?

                    Bruce

                    E Bruce Brooks
                    Warring States Project
                    University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                  • Gordon Raynal
                    ... Hi Bruce, I m not sure why you assume I think Mark missed out. In this discussion about the movement, it s purpose, messaging, ethos and praxis, I sent a
                    Message 9 of 25 , May 12 5:49 AM
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                      On May 11, 2009, at 10:45 PM, E Bruce Brooks wrote:

                      > To: Crosstalk
                      > In Response To: Gordon Raynal
                      > On: Synoptic Dates
                      > From: Bruce
                      >
                      > GORDON: . . . my best estimate is that Matthew is from circa 90 to
                      > 100 C.E.
                      > and Luke is from circa 120 C.E. with Acts following after that.
                      >
                      > BRUCE: Then given your previous dating for Mark, and taking
                      > midpoints to
                      > represent spans, we have, in terms of distance from Jesus (c30):
                      >
                      > 82 Mark (2 human generations)
                      > 95 Matthew (2.5 human generations)
                      > 120 Luke (3.5 human generations
                      > ?? Acts (?4 human generations?)
                      >
                      > and I am still surprised that Mark plays no role in your
                      > specification of
                      > the actual teaching of Jesus. You seem to find that the good
                      > information
                      > about Jesus was preserved for more than two human generations after
                      > Jesus,
                      > and was extensively reflected in Matthew and Luke, but that this
                      > information
                      > somehow bypassed Mark. To whom Matthew and Luke are nevertheless
                      > obviously,
                      > and intimately, indebted.
                      >
                      > Given your conclusion that the real tradition survived intact for
                      > so long,
                      > unto the great grandsons of the men of Jesus's generation, how do you
                      > suppose Mark missed out on it?

                      Hi Bruce,
                      I'm not sure why you assume I think Mark missed out. In this
                      discussion about the movement, it's purpose, messaging, ethos and
                      praxis, I sent a short list of that shows the core continuity of that
                      messaging/ ethos. I'll direct you to "The Five Gospels" pp. 145-147
                      for a succinct summary of the place of the "love your enemies"
                      saying. Of course, that saying is not the only selection that
                      coheres with the central gist of the core messaging, it is simply a
                      very tart saying that pointedly opens up what this, initially loose-
                      y, goose-y reconciliation movement was about. Both Matthew and Luke
                      utilized both Q and Mark, plus the TANAK and their own imaginations
                      and whatever other unknown sources to tell the story.

                      I am wondering how you think this particular saying is different from
                      Mark's story about "the greatest commandments" in Mark 12:28-34?

                      A last point. Bob and I are presenting differing understandings of
                      the core messaging of the earliest followers of Jesus. The list of
                      questions I submitted and that he liked are a way to work through
                      thinking about "the original/ originating messaging" and its
                      development between Jesus time and the what we find in Acts. He
                      favors understanding this core messaging as being post-Easter words
                      ***about Jesus***. I favor understanding this messaging as being pre-
                      Easter and ***about "the Kingdom of God***." This list of sayings
                      and writings shows the continuity that was maintained. I have not
                      yet addressed the whole issue of diversity. I think we find a lot of
                      it and I'm not at all surprised about that in a reconciliation
                      movement! Strict ideological movements seek to gather same/ similar
                      voices to tow the party line. Today Rush Limbaugh is doing a fine
                      job of upholding such an approach. Dick Cheney just praised him over
                      Colin Powell this very weekend. The modus operandi of a
                      reconciliation movement seeks to bring diversity of views/ opinions/
                      beliefs together. The literature we have from the first 100 or so
                      years after Jesus shows that this was indeed a diverse gathering.
                      But then there was an initial start-up (Mark cites this, too... the
                      home mission program by sent pairs) and there were originating words
                      that pointed to the particular gist of the effort. More broadly than
                      just that one saying (that is found in Q1 and it's later redactions
                      and included in Matthew and Luke by their copying it from Q), we
                      find a whole series of "Kingdom of God" parables. Mark has a
                      concentration of those in chapter 4 and there spells out Jesus' use
                      of parables and how he (Mark) understood them. In this brief
                      listing, however, I turned to the close of the Galilean ministry, as
                      Mark lays out the story, to the very final words he has on Jesus'
                      lips in the HQ ***house*** in Capernaum (I am simply highlighting
                      precisely the place/ setting, for again this is a house connecting
                      mission and these words are the very last words Mark wants us to
                      focus on before Jesus heads south). What words are those? They are
                      an interpretation of the "have salt" aphorism (a wisdom saying) and
                      that are precisely about finding and sharing peace. Mark closes the
                      whole house to house mission in a house with words about sharing
                      peace. There's your core continuity in Mark! Bruce, I am going to
                      address the diversity, but this note was about the different ways the
                      continuity was maintained through words.

                      Gordon Raynal
                      Inman, SC
                      >
                      > Bruce
                      >
                      > E Bruce Brooks
                      > Warring States Project
                      > University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                      >
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                    • John E Staton
                      Gordon, The main trouble I have with your analysis is that what you portray as the original message is so obviously good news I cannot see why anybody felt
                      Message 10 of 25 , May 12 11:44 PM
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                        Gordon,
                        The main trouble I have with your analysis is that what you portray as
                        the "original message" is so obviously "good news" I cannot see why
                        anybody felt motivated to crucify Jesus. The other problem is that a
                        wandering teacher who goes about upsetting the authorities right, left,
                        and centre, looks more like a leader of an ideological movement than of
                        a reconciliation movement!

                        Best Wishes

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

                        ----------


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                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • E Bruce Brooks
                        To: Crosstalk Cc: GPG; WSW In Response To: Gordon Raynal On: The Good News From: Bruce I had noted that all Gordon s citations of key documents in his
                        Message 11 of 25 , May 13 1:08 AM
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                          To: Crosstalk
                          Cc: GPG; WSW
                          In Response To: Gordon Raynal
                          On: The "Good News"
                          From: Bruce

                          I had noted that all Gordon's citations of key documents in his version of
                          the Good News Proclamation were from Second Tier materials (Matthew/Luke),
                          and that none of them were from Mark, which, as it turns out, he agrees is
                          considerably older than the oldest of these. I had doubted the
                          methodological soundness of recovering Jesus's message from the later
                          sources, and ignoring the earlier sources. In response:

                          GORDON: I'm not sure why you assume I think Mark missed out. In this
                          discussion about the movement, it's purpose, messaging, ethos and praxis, I
                          sent a short list of that shows the core continuity of that
                          messaging/ ethos. I'll direct you to "The Five Gospels" pp. 145-147 for a
                          succinct summary of the place of the "love your enemies" saying.

                          BRUCE: I dug it out. It is the stretch of The Five Gospels which comments on
                          Mt 5:43, which (with Lk 6:27-28 and 6:32-35) is where "love your enemies"
                          first comes up textually. The Mt/Lk parallels are set out on p146, and this
                          table takes up all of p146. I never doubted that Mt and Lk are parallel in
                          this as in many other places. As for Mk, or for any other evidence that this
                          "love your enemies" saying is earlier than Mt/Lk themselves, the only
                          statement on the cited pages is this one on p147:

                          "The admonition "love your enemies" is somewhere close to the heart of the
                          teachings of Jesus to the extent that we can recover them from the
                          tradition. The Jesus Seminar ranked the admonition to love enemies the third
                          highest among sayings that almost certainly originated with Jesus (the other
                          two included the complex about turning the other cheek, Mt 5:39-42, and the
                          cluster of beatitudes, Luke 6:20-22). . . . A close comparison of Mt 5:43-48
                          with Lk 6:27-36 demonstrates that the two evangelists created independent
                          complexes out of the love saying, combined, perhaps, with other related
                          expressions that may go back to Jesus."

                          This vaguely hopeful assertion ("perhaps," "may go back"), accompanied by
                          precisely zero evidence from any agreed early source, amounts to nothing
                          more than the fact that the pious and gently nurtured people in the Jesus
                          Seminar regarded the Sermon on the Mount as the core Jesus teaching. Well, I
                          have been to Sunday School too, and I know exactly where they are coming
                          from. But that early inculcated opinion, however widely held, and however
                          fondly remembered from days of childhood, is not adult evidence for the
                          originality of the "love your enemies" saying, or for the originality of any
                          other component of the Nice Jesus construct in which Mt/Lk specialize, but
                          about which the admittedly earlier account in Mark is entirely unaware.

                          And not only unaware. The Markan Jesus is consistently adversative. He
                          opposes and offends the Pharisees. He warns his followers not to be taken in
                          by the blandishments of the Quisling Party ("Herodians"). He and his family
                          are estranged; they try to have him committed to whatever in those times
                          passed for an asylum. He physically assaults the commercial enterprises in
                          the Temple. And what he gets for all this is opposition in return, from his
                          family, the Pharisees, the Herodians, and finally from the Romans, who
                          execute him.

                          Did Jesus love the Romans? Did he love the moneychangers in the Temple? Did
                          he love the pettifogging Pharisees? Not a bit of it. He opposed them all,
                          and at what seemed to him the right moment, he attacked them all, with every
                          personal and organizational resource at his disposal. Turns out he
                          miscalculated, whence the Crucifixion, but that does not alter in the least
                          the nature of what, according to Mark, he was trying to do.

                          Now, given that this is our earliest source for Jesus, and best defines the
                          position of the Jesus movement at the moment of the Crucifixion, and then
                          given basic historical probability, what are the members of the Jesus
                          movement likely to do, in the weeks after the Crucifixion? Probably a lot of
                          things, at different places up and down Israel, but one obvious alternative
                          is to remake their peace with their neighbors and overlords, including the
                          local police barracks. Such a tactic would lead very easily to the
                          Reconciliation Message. And that in turn, in the circles which liked that
                          alternative in the first place, leads easily enough to a preaching of that
                          Reconciliation Message, not simply as current policy, but as though it had
                          been commanded by the movement founder. This rhetorical subterfuge is
                          necessary if the present policy of reconciliation is to be upheld, AND if,
                          at the same time, a perceived connection with the founder is to be
                          maintained. Cultures evolve constantly, in antiquity and also at the present
                          moment, in exactly this way: reshaping, repositioning, recombining, and
                          renewing their previous authoritative documents, whether by interpolation
                          or, in the case of Mt and Lk, by composition de novo.

                          Exactly so did the followers of Confucius, having been defeated in one
                          policy initiative (we have a book coming out on this), adopt new doctrines,
                          reconstrue their past doctrines, and reposition themselves for a position of
                          toleration under current governments, and eventually, after still further
                          adaptations and evolutions, for a position of intellectual dominance under
                          governments which were to arise only a century or so later.

                          So much, then, might have been predicted simply from general considerations;
                          a reconciliation policy is one thing that is likely to have happened in the
                          period immediately after the Crucifixion.

                          What is interesting, and what we could not have expected from general
                          considerations, is that this Reconciliation Message became dominant in at
                          least one strand of the post-Crucifixion Jesus movement, and, second, that
                          this particular strand happened to be well documented textually. For lo and
                          behold, if we turn to Matthew and Luke, the Second Tier evidential base, we
                          find them expounding, and attributing to Jesus, precisely this
                          Reconciliation Message. Which makes no sense as the message of Jesus,
                          expounded in the lifetime of Jesus, but makes all possible sense as
                          retrospectively attributed to Jesus, by a community (or several) which
                          collectively wanted to establish a modus vivendi with their neighbors.

                          There is nothing wrong with recovering this particular response to the
                          Crucifixion in all possible detail and precision. As it seems to me Gordon
                          is doing. That story too is part of history, and as such, it is a perfectly
                          valid object of historical investigation. Let me not seem to say otherwise.
                          The only thing that might arouse an objection (and I have been concerned to
                          raise just that objection) is the unwarranted step of attributing this
                          Reconciliation Message to the Historical Jesus. Just as the entire body of
                          Second Tier evidence supports and indeed defines that Message, so the entire
                          body of First Tier evidence is against it, and tells a quite different, and
                          incompatible, story.

                          It is here that John Staton's recent question seems to me entirely a propos.
                          If the Historical Jesus had lived as the Reconciliation passages in Mt/Lk
                          represent him as doing, which is, meekly and inoffensively at all times, and
                          beyond this, as preaching meekness and inoffensiveness to others as cardinal
                          doctrines of right behavior, how do you explain the Crucifixion?

                          I think the answer is: You can't. But if you take the Markan Jesus in its
                          turn, as seriously as one investigating Reconciliation Doctrine must take Mt
                          and Lk, then the answer to the Crucifixion Question becomes perfectly
                          obvious. In fact, it might be said that one motive for Mark in the first
                          place was to answer precisely that question.

                          As the years passed, or so it appears if we step back and take in all the
                          evidence at once, the Crucifixion Question gradually faded from view (it
                          became, as we say, "history"), and the question "What shall we do to inherit
                          eternal life" came to occupy the whole horizon of interest among the Jesus
                          communities. Minor elements, or even later supplied elements, of the Jesus
                          story came to the fore, and the original salient features, though not erased
                          from the Christian writings, came to be, in effect, doctrinally inert and
                          inoperative. The shift from the national future of Israel to the personal
                          future of individual believers is another explicit characteristic of the
                          Second Tier Gospels. Accompanying a widening circle of proselytizing, with
                          its increasing number of interested Greeks, none of whom cared a fig for the
                          national status of Israel, past present, or prospective.

                          It all makes sense. At least it does if one keeps the various developments
                          separate from each other, and lets each speak, in their turn, as clearly as
                          the existing evidence allows them to do.

                          Recommended herewith. At both ends of the Eurasian continent.

                          Bruce

                          E Bruce Brooks
                          Warring States Project
                          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                        • Bob Schacht
                          ... Well, no, but I can see how you got that impression. You asked what the originating proclamation was. I listed Peter s witness: * Repentance, *
                          Message 12 of 25 , May 13 2:47 AM
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                            At 02:49 AM 5/12/2009, Gordon Raynal wrote:
                            >...Bob and I are presenting differing understandings of
                            >the core messaging of the earliest followers of Jesus. The list of
                            >questions I submitted and that he liked are a way to work through
                            >thinking about "the original/ originating messaging" and its
                            >development between Jesus time and the what we find in Acts. He
                            >favors understanding this core messaging as being post-Easter words
                            >***about Jesus***.

                            Well, no, but I can see how you got that impression. You asked what the
                            "originating proclamation" was. I listed Peter's witness:
                            * Repentance,
                            * Baptism in the Holy Spirit
                            * the Promise of the HS
                            That list is remarkably NOT about Jesus. I think he also drew attention to
                            the resurrection as a standard part of his message. But I think you have
                            mis-characterized what I "favor."

                            But let's go on to your third question:

                            >1. What was the originating proclamation (messaging) of the
                            >community? What was it about?
                            >2. What social formation did the proclamation entail? What were the
                            >central practices?
                            >3. Who were the participants?

                            Who were the participants? I addressed this in my responses regarding
                            social formation.
                            Gordon, what about the participants have I not addressed in my comments on
                            social formation?

                            Cheers,
                            Bob Schacht



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Gordon Raynal
                            Hi John, ... I actually find that fascinating. Let me just run a brief modern list of those who have forwarded reconciliation work in their own circumstances
                            Message 13 of 25 , May 13 5:03 AM
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                              Hi John,
                              On May 13, 2009, at 2:44 AM, John E Staton wrote:

                              > Gordon,
                              > The main trouble I have with your analysis is that what you portray as
                              > the "original message" is so obviously "good news" I cannot see why
                              > anybody felt motivated to crucify Jesus. The other problem is that a
                              > wandering teacher who goes about upsetting the authorities right,
                              > left,
                              > and centre, looks more like a leader of an ideological movement
                              > than of
                              > a reconciliation movement!

                              I actually find that fascinating. Let me just run a brief modern
                              list of those who have forwarded reconciliation work in their own
                              circumstances and their fates. Understand that I am not claiming
                              that all the actions of the folks on this list are simply the same,
                              but that these folks eventually saw reconciliation work as essential
                              and core. I'll start with one who wasn't killed, but jailed:

                              Nelson Mandela... 27 years in jail... went on to become President of
                              South Africa and much beloved icon of reconciliation.

                              Now to those who got killed for forwarding reconciliation:

                              India: Ghandi... pretty much became the iconic 20th century
                              reconciliation figure. He rather liked "the Sermon on the Mount!"
                              Other result, your great nation ended up giving up India!
                              Israel: Rabin... and the mess endures.
                              Egypt: Sadat... the peace he made with Israel still holds with Egypt,
                              although the mess endures...
                              USA: Malcolm X... this once reviled fellow made it on a U.S.A.
                              postage stamp and is now cited favorably in "Black History Month"
                              USA: M.L. King, Jr. the USA model reconciler... and now Obama is
                              President and they are raising funds to build a monument in Washington.

                              Forwarding reconciliation in divisive times and in unstable political
                              circumstances is highly dangerous, n'est pas?

                              In terms of a wandering teacher, I honestly don't know how much Jesus
                              traveled. What I do see when I start with the proclamation of the
                              Kingdom of God messaging is an interest in forming a house network
                              that actually forms a sustained web of connections that can actually
                              endure in the aforementioned divisive times and unstable
                              circumstances. The mission action plan was workable! It could have
                              failed, but then I think the Thomas 48 pericope nicely talks about
                              the power that is involved in such a movement. The Mark 9:50 words
                              speak of this movement in terms of instilling courage. Yes,
                              reconciliation work tends to lift up the most ideal language and we
                              will find such referenced, but this mission program was imminently
                              practical and very much aimed at making a real difference in those
                              tortured times. I want to write more about this in my reply to Bob
                              today about the participants question, but here I'll just note the
                              snippet that we find Paul talking about baptizing households (I Cor.
                              16). And so again, in this model we have a place for moms and dads,
                              grannies, the feeble and kids! Such folks as these... in their
                              homes... at their lives... are so often simply overlooked, if not
                              actually forgotten. I think the program worked and that most of the
                              people who made it work are simply nameless for us.

                              Finally, I am entirely glad that you said: "the original message is
                              so obviously good news." It is. But then think about heading to
                              Gaza today and the work of getting together Israeli Jews of various
                              parties, Israeli Muslims, Israeli Christians of various stripes and
                              Palestinian Fatah and Hamas folks and forming a reconciliation
                              network that points to a higher loyalty than any those groups now
                              live out of. Making reconciliation workable is some feat, eh?
                              Exactly how long did it take for N. Ireland to achieve that? In my
                              book, Jesus and friends were some very brave gals and dudes.

                              >
                              > Best Wishes

                              and to you,

                              Gordon Raynal
                              Inman, SC
                              >
                            • Gordon Raynal
                              Hi Bruce, ... Just a few brief responses. ... You don t accept Q. The Jesus Seminar folks, the International Q project folks and I do. In my vocabulary Mark
                              Message 14 of 25 , May 13 6:17 AM
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                                Hi Bruce,
                                On May 13, 2009, at 4:08 AM, E Bruce Brooks wrote:

                                >

                                Just a few brief responses.

                                > BRUCE: I dug it out. It is the stretch of The Five Gospels which
                                > comments on
                                > Mt 5:43, which (with Lk 6:27-28 and 6:32-35) is where "love your
                                > enemies"
                                > first comes up textually. The Mt/Lk parallels are set out on p146,
                                > and this
                                > table takes up all of p146. I never doubted that Mt and Lk are
                                > parallel in
                                > this as in many other places. As for Mk, or for any other evidence
                                > that this
                                > "love your enemies" saying is earlier than Mt/Lk themselves, the only
                                > statement on the cited pages is this one on p147:

                                You don't accept Q. The Jesus Seminar folks, the International Q
                                project folks and I do. In my vocabulary Mark is 2nd tier writing,
                                not first tier. In terms of the earliest documents I would list the
                                following:

                                Q1 (see Kloppennborg or Mack)
                                Thomas 1... I think Thomas, like Q contains layers and that the
                                earliest layer goes back before the R.J. War
                                the authentic Pauline corpus which I think includes Galatians, the
                                Corinthians correspondence, Philippians, Philemon and Romans. Most
                                include I Thess., but I think this is deutero-Pauline and from the 90's.
                                an earlier version of the Didache
                                some of the materials we find in Ep. James. (I think like Paul's
                                extant letters show many a later emendation, so also with the Ep. of
                                James)

                                Let me simply say that every document we have are scholarly
                                reconstructed documents. We have not a single original monograph of
                                any of these or any of the later letters or gospels, either.

                                In addition to "whole written" documents, I also think there were
                                oral forms and other simple listings that the later narrative Gospel
                                writers had access to. Examples are lists of parables that Mark
                                utilized in Mark 4, the commemoration meal liturgical formula (we
                                find one in Paul's writings, yet another in the Didache), various
                                forms of what came to be "the Lord's Prayer" (which may go back to
                                Jesus, but it is actually a collection of individual aphorisms. See
                                Hal Taussig's book on it), such free standing stories as "cast the
                                first stone" (that we find oddly placed in John 8), then such as
                                Paul's citation of what he received to talk about Jesus' death,
                                burial and resurrection in I Cor. 15: "died according to
                                Scriptures...."). I think the motto/ credo like expressions we find
                                variously written in the Gospels, Paul's letter, James' letter and
                                the Didache also pre-date the writings.

                                I think these are the first tier materials we have access to.
                                >

                                >
                                > And not only unaware. The Markan Jesus is consistently adversative.

                                And do you think this is historical portraiture? I don't. I think
                                it reflects "Mark's" (whoever he or she was) parabolic portraiture
                                writing after the R-J war. Plus Mark's Jesus is not consistently
                                adversative. He's down right gentle with the ill, the infirmed,
                                children, and even other healers who aren't a part of the movement
                                (see Mark 9). And again, the whole Galilean mission ends on peace
                                finding words. But Mark casts his character Jesus very much in the
                                mold of the ancient prophets of Israel, most especially Elijah and
                                Elisha. Why this focus of characterization? Well several reasons,
                                but the stark fact was that the revolutionary folks won the day in
                                Palestine with the result that the Romans came in with crushing
                                force. Mark employs classical and apocalyptic prophetic
                                characterizations and motifs to make it entirely clear that the call
                                for reconciliation went unheeded by the majority. Not to be crass,
                                but there is a big, "he told you so," message in Mark.
                                >
                                >
                                > There is nothing wrong with recovering this particular response to the
                                > Crucifixion in all possible detail and precision. As it seems to me
                                > Gordon
                                > is doing. That story too is part of history, and as such, it is a
                                > perfectly
                                > valid object of historical investigation. Let me not seem to say
                                > otherwise.
                                > The only thing that might arouse an objection (and I have been
                                > concerned to
                                > raise just that objection) is the unwarranted step of attributing this
                                > Reconciliation Message to the Historical Jesus. Just as the entire
                                > body of
                                > Second Tier evidence supports and indeed defines that Message, so
                                > the entire
                                > body of First Tier evidence is against it, and tells a quite
                                > different, and
                                > incompatible, story.

                                Here I want to simply say one thing. I really do not start with
                                Jesus alone. I start with the concept of social movement and
                                messaging. The one major self description by Jesus that I think goes
                                back to him is the following. It comes in the pericope where both
                                John the Baptizer and Jesus are being talked about: "John the
                                Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say,
                                'He has a demon." This "son of Adam" has come eating and drinking,
                                and you say, "Look a glutton and drunkard, a friend of tax collectors
                                and sinners!' Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children."


                                >
                                > It is here that John Staton's recent question seems to me entirely
                                > a propos.
                                > If the Historical Jesus had lived as the Reconciliation passages in
                                > Mt/Lk
                                > represent him as doing, which is, meekly and inoffensively at all
                                > times, and
                                > beyond this, as preaching meekness and inoffensiveness to others as
                                > cardinal
                                > doctrines of right behavior, how do you explain the Crucifixion?

                                See my note to John. It's really easy to get killed for this kind of
                                work! And so to you, I find it just plain odd that you think
                                otherwise. Seriously, ponder going to Gaza today and think about
                                standing up for reconciliation. When the Pope goes (however
                                effective or on board you think any particular pope is) he goes in a
                                bullet proof Pope Mobile and surrounded by troops. Jesus and friends
                                didn't exactly have this luxury. And per the Mission program
                                equipping of "the sent ones" he wasn't for accepting it!
                                >
                                > I think the answer is: You can't.

                                No, the answer is I can explain this very easily. Highly
                                ideologically partisan groups and individuals have famously jailed
                                and/ or tortured and/or killed many "an agent of reconciliation." I
                                cited some "famous" ones. How many nameless folks have there been
                                who seek to make for reconciliation and have simply been summarily
                                eliminated???

                                Gordon Raynal
                                Inman, SC
                                >
                              • Gordon Raynal
                                Hi Bob, ... Thanks for the correction. I stand corrected, then. When you say, I think he also drew attention to the resurrection as a standard part of the
                                Message 15 of 25 , May 13 8:22 AM
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                                  Hi Bob,

                                  On May 13, 2009, at 5:47 AM, Bob Schacht wrote:

                                  > At 02:49 AM 5/12/2009, Gordon Raynal wrote:
                                  >> ...Bob and I are presenting differing understandings of
                                  >> the core messaging of the earliest followers of Jesus. The list of
                                  >> questions I submitted and that he liked are a way to work through
                                  >> thinking about "the original/ originating messaging" and its
                                  >> development between Jesus time and the what we find in Acts. He
                                  >> favors understanding this core messaging as being post-Easter words
                                  >> ***about Jesus***.
                                  >
                                  > Well, no, but I can see how you got that impression. You asked what
                                  > the
                                  > "originating proclamation" was. I listed Peter's witness:
                                  > * Repentance,
                                  > * Baptism in the Holy Spirit
                                  > * the Promise of the HS
                                  > That list is remarkably NOT about Jesus. I think he also drew
                                  > attention to
                                  > the resurrection as a standard part of his message. But I think you
                                  > have
                                  > mis-characterized what I "favor."

                                  Thanks for the correction. I stand corrected, then.
                                  When you say, "I think he also drew attention to the resurrection as
                                  a standard part of the message," when?, what do you mean by this?
                                  point me to your texts?

                                  >
                                  > But let's go on to your third question:
                                  >
                                  >> 1. What was the originating proclamation (messaging) of the
                                  >> community? What was it about?
                                  >> 2. What social formation did the proclamation entail? What were the
                                  >> central practices?
                                  >> 3. Who were the participants?
                                  >
                                  > Who were the participants? I addressed this in my responses regarding
                                  > social formation.
                                  > Gordon, what about the participants have I not addressed in my
                                  > comments on
                                  > social formation?

                                  You have addressed this in terms of core followers/ proclaimers, who
                                  per Acts, dwelt together in Jerusalem and then worked out from
                                  there. Is this correct? I am still interested in why you think Luke
                                  has that right and/or why you think you can simply conflate Matthew's
                                  ending with Luke's?

                                  But now to go on and simply bring to the fore the specific answer, I
                                  want to focus on "the homey's" as the central participants in this
                                  reconciliation movement. I am emphasizing them because a.) this is
                                  what the whole movement was about... forming a network of houses, and
                                  b.) to actually contrast how such as Dom Crossan and the Jesus
                                  Seminar more broadly emphasized the apostoloi. In my view they
                                  became far too charmed with the Cynics lifestyle and overly focused
                                  their interpretations about Jesus, "the Sent One's," and their
                                  interpretations about Jesus' aphorisms that are aimed at those folks
                                  on "a wandering lifestyle." I do think such as the sayings of
                                  Diogenes of Sinope and the other aphoristic speech of the Cynics is
                                  important. I also think we do need to consider these peripatetic
                                  philosophers in relationship to "the goers." (It is a helpful to
                                  think about this in relationship to the suggested dress and equipment
                                  of "the goers.") But I simply want to note that this was not about
                                  taking up a counter-cultural lifestyle, nor your notion of "groovy
                                  communes", but rather precisely about the making of a reconciliation
                                  network. The going and the equipment and dress do contain part of
                                  the messaging, but this, in my view, is entirely in service of "the
                                  getting somewhere and making for something." That somewhere is to
                                  the homes... and then others and then others....
                                  Also overlooked is that little notation in Mark 2:1, "When he
                                  returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was
                                  (emphasis) ***at home.*** Quite possibly and I would suggest
                                  probably, Jesus lived in Capernaum in his own house or with friends
                                  before the mission was set afoot and still while it was going on.
                                  This is a guess (that famed house in Capernaum is always called,
                                  "Peter's house," but then maybe it was Jesus'???) , but I favor it
                                  because we find Jesus returning there on last time in Mark's
                                  narrative in ch. 9 and as I've cited in several notes, "in the house"
                                  we find Mark's Jesus conclude the Galilean and places east and north
                                  mission time with the summary words about peace making. To be sure,
                                  Jesus also traveled and was a part of making this networking come
                                  alive. And let's not be literalistic about "the two's." Sometimes
                                  Jesus and a group probably did travel. Sometimes Jesus may have gone
                                  alone. Others sometimes probably went as one's, two's or three's,
                                  etc. I just don't know how long and how much Jesus actually
                                  travelled. What I do understand from this network making work is
                                  that more and more "pairs" took this up and the horizons kept getting
                                  broader and broader with more and more home's accepting. And back to
                                  the whole point... the network of homes grew. (Surely, not all the
                                  homey's joined the network!)

                                  So... key participants? The receiving home dwellers who accepted
                                  "the Peace," provided lodging, fed "sent ones," listened to the
                                  wisdom words, talked up "the Kingdom" in terms of the received
                                  tradition, accepted "the healing," and became a part of the network.
                                  Most are nameless to us, but then we do find some named home folk in
                                  the available materials. Here, let me go through just Mark for some
                                  of the noted ones:

                                  Mark 1:29 Simon Peter's house. Nameless mother-in-law healed and
                                  cooked and fed... in Capernaum
                                  Mark 2:1 Jesus' home? in Capernaum
                                  Mark 2:15 Levi's home in Capernaum
                                  (note Mark 3:19... [Jesus] he went home... Capernaum)
                                  Mark 5:19 Jesus sends the healed Gerasene Demoniac, who had been
                                  living among the tombs, home... so Gerasa?
                                  Mark 5:21ff Jesus heals in the home of Jairus
                                  (note Mark 6 does have Jesus' returning to his childhood hometown and
                                  despite the ill reception there is notation in 6:5 that there were
                                  some there who were healed)
                                  Mark 6:7ff... the notation of the 2 by 2 mission. ?? how many places
                                  did these pairs find accepting homes?
                                  Mark 6:45 ff mentions Bethsaida
                                  Mark 6:53ff. mentions Gennesaret
                                  Mark 7:24 mentions the region of Tyre
                                  Mark 7:31 mentions the region of the Decapolis
                                  Mark 8:10 mentions of the District of Dalmanutha
                                  Mark 8:22 again mentions Bethsaida
                                  Mark 8:27 mentions the villages of Caesrea Philippi
                                  Mark 9:28 mentions a boy healed at his home
                                  and Mark 9:33ff takes him back to his? house. After that it is on to
                                  Jerusalem.

                                  Now, I know that Mark frames this as Jesus forming a group of 12 who
                                  followed after him. That's Mark's Jesus and Mark's plotting.
                                  Matthew and Luke will change some of the order, but will follow
                                  Mark's plotting. John will give us a longer and very different
                                  itinerary. I do not think this is historical, nor am I claiming that
                                  Mark's stories are remembrances. His Christ is a wandering, new
                                  symbolic Israel leading (the 12), exorcist/ preacher/ teacher. In
                                  the 80's (in my view) that's how he makes for a great story that
                                  plays off of the plot of ancient Israel's story and plays off of the
                                  stories of wandering prophets, like Elijah and Elisha. What I'm
                                  interested in this listing is the suggested expansion of the network.
                                  and the naming of folks like Peter's mother-in-law, Levi, Jairus and
                                  his child. Here are but a few of the many nameless, named. And the
                                  broader listing of the places points to the extent of the network
                                  back in the 20's. It is Capernaum, Galilee centered (not Jerusalem!)
                                  and it expands all the way to the region of Tyre and Sidon, up to
                                  Caesarea Philippi and over into the Decapolis. One thing I'd suggest
                                  about the viability of this mission program is that it initially made
                                  for a healthy network of homes **away** from the troubled south...
                                  away from Antipas' power places in Sepphoris and his later capitol by
                                  the lake, and away from the large concentration of Roman forces in
                                  Jerusalem or Caesrea by the coast. Smart planning! That later we
                                  find these places cave into "the growing zealotry" that so
                                  disastrously led to the R-J War, and so the later stern rebukes of
                                  these places should come as no surprise. And that Luke would re-
                                  center the whole movement in Jerusalem should come as no surprise.
                                  (He, after all in Luke-Acts is interested in getting "the Way" far
                                  away from Palestine and precisely to it's new capitol, Rome!). But,
                                  "in the beginning," so to speak... it was a network centered in
                                  Capernaum and spread outward from there. And the core participants
                                  were those homebodies... mom's, dad's, kids, grannies, etc. who
                                  listened, fed, sheltered, talked and joined the network.

                                  Gordon Raynal
                                  Inman, SC

                                  Cheers to you as well!



                                  >
                                  > Cheers,
                                  > Bob Schacht
                                  >
                                  >
                                • Bob Schacht
                                  ... [snip] ... Sure. * Acts 2:23-24,31-32 * Acts 3:15 * Acts 4:10 * Acts 4:33 * Acts 5:30 * Acts 10:39-41 And as further testimony to the centrality of the
                                  Message 16 of 25 , May 14 1:20 AM
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                                    At 05:22 AM 5/13/2009, Gordon Raynal wrote:
                                    >Hi Bob,
                                    >

                                    [snip]

                                    >When you say, "I think he also drew attention to the resurrection as
                                    >a standard part of the message," when?, what do you mean by this?
                                    >point me to your texts?

                                    Sure.
                                    * Acts 2:23-24,31-32
                                    * Acts 3:15
                                    * Acts 4:10
                                    * Acts 4:33
                                    * Acts 5:30
                                    * Acts 10:39-41
                                    And as further testimony to the centrality of the resurrection in the
                                    originating proclamation, even Paul makes it the centerpiece of his
                                    proclamation.


                                    > >
                                    > > But let's go on to your third question:
                                    > >
                                    > >> 1. What was the originating proclamation (messaging) of the
                                    > >> community? What was it about?
                                    > >> 2. What social formation did the proclamation entail? What were the
                                    > >> central practices?
                                    > >> 3. Who were the participants?
                                    > >
                                    > > Who were the participants? I addressed this in my responses regarding
                                    > > social formation.
                                    > > Gordon, what about the participants have I not addressed in my
                                    > > comments on
                                    > > social formation?
                                    >
                                    >You have addressed this in terms of core followers/ proclaimers, who
                                    >per Acts, dwelt together in Jerusalem and then worked out from
                                    >there. Is this correct?

                                    Well, Luke's model is expanding ripples, starting from Jerusalem. I think
                                    it was a bit more zig-zaggy, starting in Jerusalem, but then bouncing
                                    around Judea, Samaria and Galilee, and then Damascus and Antioch. But I
                                    suppose that's covered by "working out from there."

                                    But remember that we began with the "originating proclamation." There were
                                    also households scattered about, in Galilee, and in Judea, where Jesus had
                                    friends who had hosted them during their travels. I look at these not in
                                    terms of "originating proclamation," but in terms of rank and file supporters.


                                    > I am still interested in why you think Luke has that right and/or why
                                    > you think you can simply conflate Matthew's
                                    >ending with Luke's?

                                    Luke *and John.* I think Luke exaggerates the length and centrality of
                                    Jerusalem in order to make it his launching pad for the expanding ripples/
                                    concentric circles. I suspect that about half the disciples went back to
                                    Galilee fairly soon (after a week? two weeks?). Peter & John probably went
                                    back and forth a bunch, trying to figure out what their place was. I
                                    suspect that they probably recruited James (The "Lord's brother") during
                                    one of those journeys, and James relocated to Jerusalem relatively
                                    permanently. I'm leaning on John somewhat for that.


                                    >But now to go on and simply bring to the fore the specific answer, I
                                    >want to focus on "the homey's" as the central participants in this
                                    >reconciliation movement. I am emphasizing them because a.) this is
                                    >what the whole movement was about... forming a network of houses, and

                                    This is obviously *your* view. Where are the "apostles" in your view? They
                                    are the ones who have been "sent".
                                    If the focus was on the "homeys," how did the followers of Jesus ever get
                                    out of Galilee? How did the "network" become a "network"? Doesn't it
                                    require some folks to get up off their butts and go somewhere?

                                    I am thinking perhaps you want a model like that of Cornelius:
                                    Acts 10:33 "Therefore I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind
                                    enough to come. So now all of us are here in the presence of God to listen
                                    to all that the Lord has commanded you to say."

                                    So maybe they just generated such positive vibes that they were *invited*
                                    to go hither and yon, like Peter went to Cornelius, thereby adding another
                                    house to the network? But if so, how did they become well-known enough for
                                    peole to want to invite them? In the case of Cornelius, it was because he
                                    had heard of things Peter was *doing*: He was running around talking and
                                    healing people. Not that Peter had great dinner parties.

                                    Or maybe you are thinking of Paul's house churches. But those didn't become
                                    house churches until Paul started preaching at them. So I don't get it.

                                    >b.) to actually contrast how such as Dom Crossan and the Jesus
                                    >Seminar more broadly emphasized the apostoloi. In my view they
                                    >became far too charmed with the Cynics lifestyle and overly focused
                                    >their interpretations about Jesus, "the Sent One's," and their
                                    >interpretations about Jesus' aphorisms that are aimed at those folks
                                    >on "a wandering lifestyle." I do think such as the sayings of
                                    >Diogenes of Sinope and the other aphoristic speech of the Cynics is
                                    >important. I also think we do need to consider these peripatetic
                                    >philosophers in relationship to "the goers." (It is a helpful to
                                    >think about this in relationship to the suggested dress and equipment
                                    >of "the goers.")

                                    No, I'm not going there. Crossan and Burton Mack's "Cynics" model doesn't
                                    work for me.
                                    But I'm not sure that I can articulate why very well.

                                    I think maybe its the message. The Jesus Seminar methodology selected for
                                    pithy aphorisms, and excluded Jewish piety because, well, it was Jewish
                                    piety and hence indistinguishable from the Jewish piety of the landscape.

                                    I think that what Jesus was trying to do was to point people towards God.
                                    And he did that mostly by talking about the Kingdom of God.

                                    Peter, impetuous fellow that he was, didn't get the message quite right.
                                    Yeah, he got the repentance part OK, and he got the Holy Spirit thing down
                                    better than anyone except Jesus himself. But the *why* part zipped right
                                    over his head. I think I'm following
                                    <http://www.amazon.com/Historical-Figure-Jesus-E-Sanders/dp/0140144994/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242288163&sr=1-2>The
                                    Historical Figure of Jesus by E.P.Sanders here. Or trying to.

                                    And I don't think that the Cynics were trying to point people towards God.
                                    The Jesus Seminar snipped that part out by their methodology.

                                    >But I simply want to note that this was not about
                                    >taking up a counter-cultural lifestyle, nor your notion of "groovy
                                    >communes", but rather precisely about the making of a reconciliation
                                    >network. The going and the equipment and dress do contain part of
                                    >the messaging, but this, in my view, is entirely in service of "the
                                    >getting somewhere and making for something." That somewhere is to
                                    >the homes... and then others and then others....

                                    IMHO that's a byproduct of what Jesus intended. Yes, reconciliation
                                    happens, but it happens as a byproduct of getting right with God. And its
                                    very difficult to get that across correctly without over-obsessing on some
                                    transcendental God who has nothing to do with Earth. Gotta balance the
                                    immanent and the transcendant.

                                    > Also overlooked is that little notation in Mark 2:1, "When he
                                    >returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was
                                    >(emphasis) ***at home.***

                                    Well, Jesus doesn't seem to have been much of a homey. He seems more
                                    interested in going someplace else than staying at home reconciling people.

                                    >Quite possibly and I would suggest
                                    >probably, Jesus lived in Capernaum in his own house or with friends
                                    >before the mission was set afoot and still while it was going on.

                                    So howcum we don't hear much about that?

                                    >....And let's not be literalistic about "the two's." Sometimes
                                    >Jesus and a group probably did travel. Sometimes Jesus may have gone
                                    >alone. Others sometimes probably went as one's, two's or three's,
                                    >etc. . . .

                                    Well, Philip went as a 'one' before he teamed up temporarily with the
                                    Ethiopian eunuch.
                                    I would not want to be rigid about the twos, but there are good reasons in
                                    human dynamics for pairs.

                                    >So... key participants? The receiving home dwellers who accepted
                                    >"the Peace," provided lodging, fed "sent ones," listened to the
                                    >wisdom words, talked up "the Kingdom" in terms of the received
                                    >tradition, accepted "the healing," and became a part of the network.
                                    >Most are nameless to us, but then we do find some named home folk in
                                    >the available materials.

                                    I would point mainly to the Didache. And the Damascus group that received
                                    Saul before he became Paul.

                                    Well, this is all I've got time for tonight.

                                    Aloha,
                                    Bob


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Gordon Raynal
                                    Good Morning Bob, I must say that this is one of the most enjoyable conversations we ve had on Crosstalk2. I think it is very helpful to see the two
                                    Message 17 of 25 , May 14 6:24 AM
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                                      Good Morning Bob,

                                      I must say that this is one of the most enjoyable conversations we've
                                      had on Crosstalk2. I think it is very helpful to see the two
                                      contrasting approaches, side by side. At the end we'll see where we
                                      are in terms of convergences. Before we move on to the next
                                      question, let me respond to these points.
                                      On May 14, 2009, at 4:20 AM, Bob Schacht wrote:

                                      > At 05:22 AM 5/13/2009, Gordon Raynal wrote:
                                      >> Hi Bob,
                                      >>
                                      >
                                      > [snip]
                                      >
                                      >> When you say, "I think he also drew attention to the resurrection as
                                      >> a standard part of the message," when?, what do you mean by this?
                                      >> point me to your texts?
                                      >
                                      > Sure.
                                      > * Acts 2:23-24,31-32
                                      > * Acts 3:15
                                      > * Acts 4:10
                                      > * Acts 4:33
                                      > * Acts 5:30
                                      > * Acts 10:39-41
                                      > And as further testimony to the centrality of the resurrection in the
                                      > originating proclamation,

                                      I begin with a big grin. Yesterday I got Bruce's note, John's note,
                                      an off-line note and yours and I responded to them in that order.
                                      When I got to your note I read the first quickly and still had "Jesus
                                      on the brain:)!," and not Peter. So, yes, of course, this is the
                                      core speech that "Luke" gives to Peter. Sorry about that!

                                      > even Paul makes it the centerpiece of his
                                      > proclamation.

                                      Now here, I'll quibble. I think Paul's salutation's present the
                                      centerpiece, the various expressions of, "Grace and Peace to you
                                      from...." That's how he begins his letters. And just taking I
                                      Corinthians, when in chapter one he talks about only preaching the
                                      cross, then what God's foolish makes for is "wisdom, and
                                      righteousness, sanctification and redemption." (I Cor. 1:30). All
                                      the way over in chapter 15, when he does talk about his view of the
                                      importance of the resurrection, he finally gets to the point of
                                      talking about that in I Cor. 56-58: "The sting of death is sin, and
                                      the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the
                                      victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved, be
                                      steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord,
                                      because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." And I
                                      want to emphasize that "excelling in the work of the Lord." What is
                                      it? Well in II Cor. 5 Paul gives his answer: v.18: "All of this is
                                      from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given
                                      to us the ministry of reconciliation." In my view, this is the
                                      centerpiece for Paul. He's all about continuing what Jesus and his
                                      friends started before Jesus died.
                                      >
                                      >>
                                      >> You have addressed this in terms of core followers/ proclaimers, who
                                      >> per Acts, dwelt together in Jerusalem and then worked out from
                                      >> there. Is this correct?
                                      >
                                      > Well, Luke's model is expanding ripples, starting from Jerusalem. I
                                      > think
                                      > it was a bit more zig-zaggy, starting in Jerusalem, but then bouncing
                                      > around Judea, Samaria and Galilee, and then Damascus and Antioch.
                                      > But I
                                      > suppose that's covered by "working out from there."
                                      >
                                      > But remember that we began with the "originating proclamation."
                                      > There were
                                      > also households scattered about, in Galilee, and in Judea, where
                                      > Jesus had
                                      > friends who had hosted them during their travels. I look at these
                                      > not in
                                      > terms of "originating proclamation," but in terms of rank and file
                                      > supporters.

                                      This interests me. So, let's talk about Peter's mother-in-law or
                                      Jairus and his daughter (and I am assuming here that they didn't go
                                      to Jerusalem). On Easter Sunday morning back up there in Capernaum
                                      were they or were they not members of "the Way?" (Again using Luke's
                                      term from Acts). Did they have to wait to hear of Jesus' fate, what
                                      God the Father did on Easter and the coming of the Holy Spirit on
                                      Pentecost 50 days later in order to be these "rank and file supporters?"
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >> I am still interested in why you think Luke has that right and/
                                      >> or why
                                      >> you think you can simply conflate Matthew's
                                      >> ending with Luke's?
                                      >
                                      > Luke *and John.* I think Luke exaggerates the length and centrality of
                                      > Jerusalem in order to make it his launching pad for the expanding
                                      > ripples/
                                      > concentric circles. I suspect that about half the disciples went
                                      > back to
                                      > Galilee fairly soon (after a week? two weeks?). Peter & John
                                      > probably went
                                      > back and forth a bunch, trying to figure out what their place was. I
                                      > suspect that they probably recruited James (The "Lord's brother")
                                      > during
                                      > one of those journeys, and James relocated to Jerusalem relatively
                                      > permanently. I'm leaning on John somewhat for that.

                                      I am glad you brought up John here. In my view it was John, who in
                                      his original Gospel ending of Chapter 20, created the Jerusalem
                                      center. Of course for John the gift of the Holy Spirit is given
                                      before Jesus' death! John really focuses the resurrection news
                                      directly on Mary Magdalene's chat with Jesus and then Thomas', eight
                                      days later, and then the original "not enough books" close. Luke
                                      liked the Jerusalem center, and more on that in just a second, but he
                                      decidedly did not like the gift of the Holy Spirit while Jesus was
                                      alive, nor Mary and Thomas being the folks who had the privilege of
                                      chatting with the resurrected Jesus! First, for Luke you just can't
                                      have the alive Jesus give the gift of the Holy Spirit. Second, Luke
                                      had to have this core resurrection proclamation centered on Peter and
                                      not Mary. Third, in Luke's time he was having to deal with full
                                      blown docetism and the Thomasine traditions (whether fairly or not)
                                      had become associated with that. Luke liked the place, but none of
                                      these things, so he wrote a completely new ending to the story.

                                      And "why Jerusalem?" In my view, Luke wrote circa 120, shortly after
                                      the rise of Hadrian. The old homeland, already once the site of a
                                      destructive war, was cooking up again towards more rebellion. The
                                      backwoods places were always troublesome hideouts for trouble
                                      makers. And Jerusalem itself was the center where the trouble showed
                                      up and exploded. Luke and Acts clearly show that this movement, that
                                      yes started in the backwoods, came to Jerusalem as a peace movement
                                      (Luke's lovely words on the lips of Jesus after the triumphal
                                      entry... a crying Jesus says, "If you, even you, had only recognized
                                      on this day the things that make for peace!" Lk. 19:42) Jesus is
                                      clearly presented as a peace bringer. And then what is founded in
                                      Jerusalem is a Spirited peace movement that has its eyes set on
                                      getting the heck out of Jerusalem and all the way to Rome, quite
                                      peacefully. Luke's Peter and Paul are mocked, jailed, beaten by both
                                      rowdy Jews inside and later outside Palestine, and then Paul by other
                                      rowdies in Asia Minor and Greece. That is no surprise to any Roman
                                      ruler! But then to come to Jerusalem, Paul comes peacefully in
                                      chains and is a model citizen in Rome. So this plot flow
                                      acknowledges "the backwoods" start and that this backwoods movement
                                      came to Jerusalem... but in peace and with no plans to stay there.
                                      After the extremely tough times that ran from Nero's reign up through
                                      the Flavian's, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian, when it became
                                      extremely important to be seen as a religion proper for the Empire
                                      (so anciently rooted and presently peaceful), Luke's narrative plan
                                      roots the Way folks, now become Christians, as meeting both
                                      criteria. Luke changes Mark and Matthew's ending and John's ending,
                                      too!
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >> But now to go on and simply bring to the fore the specific answer, I
                                      >> want to focus on "the homey's" as the central participants in this
                                      >> reconciliation movement. I am emphasizing them because a.) this is
                                      >> what the whole movement was about... forming a network of houses, and
                                      >
                                      > This is obviously *your* view. Where are the "apostles" in your
                                      > view? They
                                      > are the ones who have been "sent".
                                      > If the focus was on the "homeys," how did the followers of Jesus
                                      > ever get
                                      > out of Galilee? How did the "network" become a "network"? Doesn't it
                                      > require some folks to get up off their butts and go somewhere?

                                      Of course. Perhaps I wasn't clear, but "the sent one's" are the
                                      missionaries. But the mission agenda does not say, "bring these
                                      folks to Jesus," nor "wait, we're front men and women to tell you
                                      that Jesus is coming to see you." They went to homes to share peace,
                                      lodging, meals with talk and healing. Stay one day... and then on to
                                      the next town to find a welcoming house... and the next and the
                                      next. That is how a network was formed. The later written gospels
                                      will present Jesus as this peripatetic minister who most of the time
                                      goes with this group of 12 guys. Why this shift? Well, "the
                                      messenger becomes the message." The man of parables (and aphorisms)
                                      becomes THE PARABLE." Whether you date Mark in 70 or 80 to 85, as I
                                      do, few if any of these folks ever met Jesus. In the narrative
                                      gospels, he becomes the center of the message. Ever after Mark the
                                      central imagination of beginnings was changed. And theologically,
                                      this is correct for Christianity. The kerygma becomes centered in
                                      Jesus. But we are exploring how that came to be and hence our
                                      different views on that.
                                      >
                                      > I am thinking perhaps you want a model like that of Cornelius:
                                      > Acts 10:33 "Therefore I sent for you immediately, and you have been
                                      > kind
                                      > enough to come. So now all of us are here in the presence of God to
                                      > listen
                                      > to all that the Lord has commanded you to say."

                                      Oh, how important Cornelius is for Luke. Roman soldiers were given
                                      to all sorts of mystery cults. This was tolerable to the higher ups,
                                      if these cults didn't effect their work. The Isis cults out of Egypt
                                      and Mitracism were very, very popular. That a lead Roman soldier
                                      would find this a fully acceptable cult to join was very important
                                      news. His household joining the network bode very well for this
                                      peace movement.
                                      >
                                      > So maybe they just generated such positive vibes that they were
                                      > *invited*
                                      > to go hither and yon, like Peter went to Cornelius, thereby adding
                                      > another
                                      > house to the network? But if so, how did they become well-known
                                      > enough for
                                      > peole to want to invite them? In the case of Cornelius, it was
                                      > because he
                                      > had heard of things Peter was *doing*: He was running around
                                      > talking and
                                      > healing people. Not that Peter had great dinner parties.

                                      The really smart thing about this strategy, and lets go back to the
                                      late 20's, is that the movement spread outward from Capernaum across
                                      the Galilee, over to Herod Philip's territory (and best we can tell
                                      he had "no eyes" on Jerusalem like his brother did) and even up into
                                      southern Lebanon and perhaps even as far as Damascus. And it was a
                                      peasant home centered movement. For Mark and Matthew, as they
                                      stylized this later, "it was the Mount" there, that was the new Mount
                                      (not Moses Sinai, nor David's Zion, but rather the Mount of
                                      Beatitudes that now (per Isaiah) was "lifted up as the highest
                                      mountain." So, we have a Capernaum, Galilee center and a spreading
                                      network from there. That was a good and a strong base. Away from
                                      troublesome Jerusalem. Not focused on Sepphoris or Tiberius. The
                                      whole network concept is not "new center making" operation, but
                                      rather an ever spreading network of connected homes.
                                      >
                                      > Or maybe you are thinking of Paul's house churches. But those
                                      > didn't become
                                      > house churches until Paul started preaching at them. So I don't get
                                      > it.

                                      Does the above, help?
                                      >
                                      >> b.) to actually contrast how such as Dom Crossan and the Jesus
                                      >> Seminar more broadly emphasized the apostoloi. In my view they
                                      >> became far too charmed with the Cynics lifestyle and overly focused
                                      >> their interpretations about Jesus, "the Sent One's," and their
                                      >> interpretations about Jesus' aphorisms that are aimed at those folks
                                      >> on "a wandering lifestyle." I do think such as the sayings of
                                      >> Diogenes of Sinope and the other aphoristic speech of the Cynics is
                                      >> important. I also think we do need to consider these peripatetic
                                      >> philosophers in relationship to "the goers." (It is a helpful to
                                      >> think about this in relationship to the suggested dress and equipment
                                      >> of "the goers.")
                                      >
                                      > No, I'm not going there. Crossan and Burton Mack's "Cynics" model
                                      > doesn't
                                      > work for me.
                                      > But I'm not sure that I can articulate why very well.

                                      From my vantage point the key thing that is helpful about the
                                      Cynic's is their use of aphoristic and parabolic speech. And such as
                                      Mack, Crossan and the Jesus Seminar broadly does focus on that.
                                      Where I'm differing is in the focus that came up that has tended to
                                      center the movement still around Jesus and the sent ones and their
                                      supposed "itinerant lifestyle." I think it they are "goer's" and not
                                      taking up a lifestyle! Peter had a house, a mother-in-law, so a
                                      wife, at least at some point and probably kids and a fishing
                                      business. I don't think Jesus ever intended for them to give this up
                                      to take up a homeless lifestyle! He sent them to find more homes to
                                      join the network.
                                      >
                                      > I think maybe its the message. The Jesus Seminar methodology
                                      > selected for
                                      > pithy aphorisms, and excluded Jewish piety because, well, it was
                                      > Jewish
                                      > piety and hence indistinguishable from the Jewish piety of the
                                      > landscape.

                                      Slow way down! In the first place, Jewish piety is filled with
                                      wisdom speech. Please read Psalm 19, especially verse 7 and Psalm
                                      119, especially verse 98, and Deuteronomy 4:5-9, noting especially
                                      verse 6. From there read Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, the Wisdom of
                                      Solomon and Sirach. And what is the legacy of Solomon? He was "the
                                      what-est" man on earth? And end on Proverbs 9:1-6 about the role of
                                      the Temple in all of this. Jewish piety was ***all about*** wisdom.
                                      >
                                      > I think that what Jesus was trying to do was to point people
                                      > towards God.
                                      > And he did that mostly by talking about the Kingdom of God.

                                      And that is what wisdom speech does. As wisdom speech it points.
                                      Later, once gathered and collected into groups of sayings, then
                                      wisdom speech becomes didactic speech and affirmational speech.
                                      Those are secondary uses of wisdom speech. But you are quite right
                                      the aphoristic and parabolic speech "pointed." (I do hope you'll
                                      read my articles in the 4 R about just this).

                                      Briefly, let me simply point out where we find this memory preserved
                                      in just the Canonical materials. So here, lay aside any thought
                                      about Q or Thomas. I'll simply note the following list:
                                      In I Cor. 1... it is wisdom first that is communicated in the cross
                                      of Jesus.
                                      In Mark 4 we find a collection of Jesus' parables strung together,
                                      interpreted by Mark and then the closing words: v. 33-34 "...he did
                                      not speak to them except in parables."
                                      Matthew and Luke take Mark and (however you understand the source)
                                      expanded Jesus speech greatly with parables and aphorisms. Matthew'
                                      key sermon on the Mount presents us with a whole gathering of them.
                                      Luke puts the sermon on "the Plain." And thanks to Luke we have such
                                      as Good Sam and the Prodigal.
                                      John's whole Gospel works off of parabolic communication... Jesus is
                                      the parable and so is always doing multi-layered communication as
                                      "the Wisdom Word made flesh."
                                      And then James... the voice of the acknowledged early leader...
                                      presents us "wisdom from above."
                                      Paul, Mark, Matthew, Luke, John and James all point us to Jesus as a
                                      wisdom speaker in life and as embodying God's wisdom in death. And
                                      per James, what does this make for? "A harvest of righteousness is
                                      sown in peace for those who make peace." (James 3:18)
                                      >
                                      > Peter, impetuous fellow that he was, didn't get the message quite
                                      > right.
                                      > Yeah, he got the repentance part OK, and he got the Holy Spirit
                                      > thing down
                                      > better than anyone except Jesus himself. But the *why* part zipped
                                      > right
                                      > over his head. I think I'm following
                                      > <http://www.amazon.com/Historical-Figure-Jesus-E-Sanders/dp/
                                      > 0140144994/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242288163&sr=1-2>The
                                      > Historical Figure of Jesus by E.P.Sanders here. Or trying to.
                                      >
                                      > And I don't think that the Cynics were trying to point people
                                      > towards God.

                                      They were certainly pointing them to divine wisdom. But then the
                                      theology of the Greek world wasn't that of Israel.
                                      >
                                      > The Jesus Seminar snipped that part out by their methodology.

                                      Actually they didn't.
                                      >
                                      >> But I simply want to note that this was not about
                                      >> taking up a counter-cultural lifestyle, nor your notion of "groovy
                                      >> communes", but rather precisely about the making of a reconciliation
                                      >> network. The going and the equipment and dress do contain part of
                                      >> the messaging, but this, in my view, is entirely in service of "the
                                      >> getting somewhere and making for something." That somewhere is to
                                      >> the homes... and then others and then others....
                                      >
                                      > IMHO that's a byproduct of what Jesus intended. Yes, reconciliation
                                      > happens, but it happens as a byproduct of getting right with God.
                                      > And its
                                      > very difficult to get that across correctly without over-obsessing
                                      > on some
                                      > transcendental God who has nothing to do with Earth. Gotta balance the
                                      > immanent and the transcendant.

                                      Huh? But let's leave aside theology and stick with our subject matter.
                                      >
                                      >> Also overlooked is that little notation in Mark 2:1, "When he
                                      >> returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was
                                      >> (emphasis) ***at home.***
                                      >
                                      > Well, Jesus doesn't seem to have been much of a homey. He seems more
                                      > interested in going someplace else than staying at home reconciling
                                      > people.

                                      That's the way the stories will present him. Notably Mark's Jesus is
                                      at this for no more than a year. John's very different itinerary
                                      expands it to 3 years. Two things. First when I think of this from
                                      my perspective, please remember that "the whole idea" among Jews was
                                      ancient. And there are lots of stories in the OT of individuals
                                      doing reconciliation work. Jesus and friends weren't inventors:)!
                                      They were practicer's of "the Way" (of reconciliation). I don't
                                      think this started with Jesus' baptism on a personal level. This is
                                      rather a very Jewish thing to be about! What Jesus and friends did
                                      was make for an intentional reconciliation network and his particular
                                      genius with words made it come alive. Think how powerful speakers can
                                      really give a boost, a new start and a major summarization to an old
                                      idea. Civil Rights work had been going on for a long time. A simple
                                      refusal to stand up on a bus became a rallying point and most
                                      especially MLK, Jr.s speeches and sermons crystalized and epitomized
                                      a new day in American Civil Rights. His words "travelled."

                                      So, second. Jesus' pithy word and his tart stories "travelled."
                                      "Love your enemies." "Bless those who persecute you." "If someone
                                      strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other, as well." "...go the
                                      extra mile..." "Blessed are the destitute." "There was a man who
                                      had two sons..." Potent "pointing words" and stories. The apostles
                                      took Jesus with them! They took these little word bombs. And per
                                      your nice expression... with them they "pointed." Later on... 40 or
                                      50 years later... the stories told are of Jesus going himself and
                                      saying these words. In an economically short story, that was surely
                                      the way to tell it. But that is summarization for theological
                                      narratives, not history. Then and there, these folks were doing very
                                      "Jewish stuff"... sharing reconciliation. And Jesus spirited little
                                      words and stories were the proverbial juice of the "peace sharing."
                                      >
                                      >> Quite possibly and I would suggest
                                      >> probably, Jesus lived in Capernaum in his own house or with friends
                                      >> before the mission was set afoot and still while it was going on.
                                      >
                                      > So howcum we don't hear much about that?

                                      In Mark we get that remembered, but then in Mark's plotting, per what
                                      I have said, Jesus is the wisdom of God. He is 40/ 50 years later...
                                      the Parable of God's Rule.
                                      >
                                      >> ....And let's not be literalistic about "the two's." Sometimes
                                      >> Jesus and a group probably did travel. Sometimes Jesus may have gone
                                      >> alone. Others sometimes probably went as one's, two's or three's,
                                      >> etc. . . .
                                      >
                                      > Well, Philip went as a 'one' before he teamed up temporarily with the
                                      > Ethiopian eunuch.
                                      > I would not want to be rigid about the twos, but there are good
                                      > reasons in
                                      > human dynamics for pairs.

                                      And most especially, per Paul, these were guy/ gal teams. He was the
                                      odd bird in this and so notes it. My point here is not modern
                                      concerns, but again, this really was a family kind of a thing and NOT
                                      a male, hierarchical thing. I am going to get to the development of
                                      a bureaucracy which will naturally develop in an ongoing movement.
                                      But the heart of this whole network was again connecting
                                      households... gals, guys, kids, grannies, etc. And gals, as much as
                                      guys, could be and were "goers." None other than Paul tells us this.

                                      >
                                      >> So... key participants? The receiving home dwellers who accepted
                                      >> "the Peace," provided lodging, fed "sent ones," listened to the
                                      >> wisdom words, talked up "the Kingdom" in terms of the received
                                      >> tradition, accepted "the healing," and became a part of the network.
                                      >> Most are nameless to us, but then we do find some named home folk in
                                      >> the available materials.
                                      >
                                      > I would point mainly to the Didache. And the Damascus group that
                                      > received
                                      > Saul before he became Paul.

                                      I hope you'll spell this out a bit more.
                                      >
                                      > Well, this is all I've got time for tonight.

                                      That was a long one and so is this response. I appreciate your
                                      careful spelling out of your perspective and your willingness to
                                      consider mine.

                                      Peace!

                                      Gordon Raynal
                                      Inman, SC
                                      >
                                      > Aloha,
                                      > Bob
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • John E Staton
                                      Oddly enough, Gordon, all but one of your list of reconcilers were actually leaders of ideological movements (Rabin being the exception). Granted that. for
                                      Message 18 of 25 , May 14 7:33 AM
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                                        Oddly enough, Gordon, all but one of your list of "reconcilers" were
                                        actually leaders of "ideological movements" (Rabin being the exception).
                                        Granted that. for Ghandi, reconciliation was part of the ideology. Maybe
                                        that was so for Jesus, also. But that means that the dynamics which
                                        apply to ideological leaders apply to them also. Jesus was arguing for a
                                        whole new interpretation of Torah, which was radical in his situation
                                        (thought perhaps not unique). This means his followers had a message to
                                        preach (and not just gnomic wisdom either!), as well as a practice to share.

                                        Interestingly, your ideas seem to have a great deal in common with those
                                        of John Vincent, British Methodist scholar and pastor who attempts a
                                        kind of liberation theology in the context of Sheffield in the North of
                                        England. But he advocates a date for Mark close to the consensus (about
                                        70CE) and champions Mark as the gospel of praxis rather than preaching.
                                        I'm not entirely convinced by his ideas, either.

                                        Best Wishes

                                        --
                                        JOHN E STATON (BA Sheffield; DipTheol. Bristol)
                                        Hull, UK
                                        www.christianreflection.org.uk
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                                      • Gordon Raynal
                                        Hi John, ... First, don t you think Jesus was a lifelong Jew? I do. And I don t want to reduce that to an ideology. Second, I don t think Jesus wisdom
                                        Message 19 of 25 , May 14 7:53 AM
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                                          Hi John,


                                          On May 14, 2009, at 10:33 AM, John E Staton wrote:

                                          > Oddly enough, Gordon, all but one of your list of "reconcilers" were
                                          > actually leaders of "ideological movements" (Rabin being the
                                          > exception).
                                          > Granted that. for Ghandi, reconciliation was part of the ideology.
                                          > Maybe
                                          > that was so for Jesus, also. But that means that the dynamics which
                                          > apply to ideological leaders apply to them also. Jesus was arguing
                                          > for a
                                          > whole new interpretation of Torah, which was radical in his situation
                                          > (thought perhaps not unique). This means his followers had a
                                          > message to
                                          > preach (and not just gnomic wisdom either!), as well as a practice
                                          > to share.

                                          First, don't you think Jesus was a lifelong Jew? I do. And I don't
                                          want to reduce that to "an ideology."
                                          Second, I don't think Jesus' wisdom words are "arguing for a whole
                                          new interpretation of Torah." (see such as Mark 12:28 ff). I think
                                          he and his friends were trying to be good, reconciliation focused Jews.
                                          Third, I'm not sure what you're implying with your description of
                                          "gnomic wisdom." Expand on that. And to see what I think about
                                          this, check out the latest "4th R" and the coming issue in July.
                                          >
                                          > Interestingly, your ideas seem to have a great deal in common with
                                          > those
                                          > of John Vincent, British Methodist scholar and pastor who attempts a
                                          > kind of liberation theology in the context of Sheffield in the
                                          > North of
                                          > England. But he advocates a date for Mark close to the consensus
                                          > (about
                                          > 70CE) and champions Mark as the gospel of praxis rather than
                                          > preaching.
                                          > I'm not entirely convinced by his ideas, either.

                                          Interesting. I'll stick with 80 to 85, for Mark. And it is a story
                                          telling theological/ ethos work, in my view. A very classic wisdom
                                          story, at that. It begins with citation of Isaianic words about
                                          making for "a straight way." It ends in awe/ fear and running out
                                          into the world. "The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of" what?
                                          according to Job? And the existential question is, "what ***WAY***
                                          are they going to run?"


                                          >
                                          > Best Wishes

                                          and to you,

                                          Gordon Raynal
                                          Inman, SC
                                          >
                                        • Richard Fellows
                                          I used to partition 2 Corinthians, but I would like now to offer the following explanation for the difference in mood between chapters 1-9 and 10-13. In 2
                                          Message 20 of 25 , May 14 10:08 PM
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                                            I used to partition 2 Corinthians, but I would like now to offer the
                                            following explanation for the difference in mood between chapters 1-9
                                            and 10-13.

                                            In 2 Corinthians Titus (also known as Timothy) is sent back to Corinth
                                            to finish the collection there, with the aim of bringing it to
                                            completion (2 Cor 8:6) by delivering it to Judea (Acts 20:4). It is
                                            therefore important that the Corinthians should trust him. Paul
                                            therefore wants the Corinthians to believe that Titus had reported
                                            only good things about them. This is why Paul reserves all his harsh
                                            criticism of the Corinthians for the final four chapters, which occur
                                            after Paul has completed his response to information that he is happy
                                            to concede has come from Titus-Timothy. Titus-Timothy is a co-sender
                                            of the letter (2 Cor 1:1), so Paul must make it clear that chapters
                                            10-13 are his alone, and he does so by using mostly the first person
                                            singular and by opening the section with the words, "AUTOS DE EGW
                                            PAULOS" (I myself Paul) (10:1). 2 Corinthians is therefore a unity
                                            that is made up of two parts: chapters 1-9 are from Paul and Titus-
                                            Timothy, and chapters 10-13 are from Paul alone (to avoid any backlash
                                            against Titus-Timothy).

                                            Does this make sense?

                                            Richard Fellows
                                            Vancouver
                                          • John E Staton
                                            Gordon, Of course Jesus was being a good Jew! The same could be said of most of the radical Jewish groups around at the same time: the Qumran group, the
                                            Message 21 of 25 , May 19 1:29 AM
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                                              Gordon,
                                              Of course Jesus was being a good Jew! The same could be said of most of
                                              the radical Jewish groups around at the same time: the Qumran group, the
                                              Pharisees etc, all recalling Judaism to its roots and all doing it in a
                                              different manner. All these groups (including the Jesus movement)
                                              thought their co-religionists had lost their way and were recalling them
                                              to the "right path" - though they all had different views of what the
                                              right path was!

                                              I don't see the point in getting into a debate about preaching and
                                              teaching, You seem to be working with a very formal defintion, whereas I
                                              would include the kind of conversations you are talking about under
                                              the same heading. And I am not interested in the "what if" question
                                              because, as far as I am concerned, it never was going to happen

                                              Best Wishes

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

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                                            • Gordon Raynal
                                              Hi John, ... In like fashion with the term, ideology, I don t want to now get stuck in our, perhaps, differing understandings of radical. But are you
                                              Message 22 of 25 , May 19 5:56 AM
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                                                Hi John,

                                                On May 19, 2009, at 4:29 AM, John E Staton wrote:

                                                > Gordon,
                                                > Of course Jesus was being a good Jew! The same could be said of
                                                > most of
                                                > the radical Jewish groups around at the same time: the Qumran
                                                > group, the
                                                > Pharisees etc, all recalling Judaism to its roots and all doing it
                                                > in a
                                                > different manner. All these groups (including the Jesus movement)
                                                > thought their co-religionists had lost their way and were recalling
                                                > them
                                                > to the "right path" - though they all had different views of what the
                                                > right path was!

                                                In like fashion with the term, "ideology," I don't want to now get
                                                stuck in our, perhaps, differing understandings of "radical." But
                                                are you saying the Qumran group, the Pharisees, and whoever else
                                                included in "etc." were "radicals?" Who wasn't then? Who/ what the
                                                standard of normative Judaism in the era which radicalism (degree,
                                                kind, extent) can be assessed? Help me with this? On your scale of
                                                "radicalism" who was more radical and who was less radical and why?
                                                >
                                                > I don't see the point in getting into a debate about preaching and
                                                > teaching, You seem to be working with a very formal defintion,
                                                > whereas I
                                                > would include the kind of conversations you are talking about under
                                                > the same heading.

                                                Fine not to get into any debates you don't want to. But what I'm
                                                trying to stick up for is a careful understanding of the ways and
                                                purposes of differing forms of human communication. Wisdom words
                                                and stories have a different modus operandi than does prophetic
                                                speech, didactic speech, juridical speech, etc. Regarding wisdom
                                                speech specifically there are both "common (ordinary) sense" and
                                                "uncommon (extra-ordinary) sense" forms of it. The primary use of
                                                wisdom speech has to do with sense making. Secondary usage of such
                                                speech is used to teach, admonish, proclaim. With wisdom language it
                                                is important to pay close attention to the transitions between the
                                                primary and secondary uses. A non- Biblical example first:

                                                "Look both ways before you cross the street" is an proverb that as
                                                wisdom speech parents tell children when they are at the roadside.
                                                The immediate point of such speech is to do what? Look! Wait if
                                                cars are coming, then go when it is safe to do so. Then and there
                                                and amidst modern roads and vehicles which weigh tons it is unwise to
                                                not do this. Duh? Right? Actually not a lot of high level knowledge
                                                in such a little expression. On the level of information/ idea
                                                sharing... upon reflection, it seems all rather banal. But... if
                                                you're with your 5 year old in the front yard and the ball you're
                                                throwing goes out in the road, it is extremely wise to say this to
                                                your child! Correct? Such speech points the hearer to engage their
                                                senses and really pay attention to "what's happening" and respond
                                                with their whole being accordingly (use senses, pay attention, be of
                                                clear mind, fully feel, plan accordingly and act accordingly). To be
                                                silly you don't say such to then and there get your child to give you
                                                a dissertation on the mass of objects moving through the space-time
                                                continuum and their, (pardon the pun) impact on flesh and bones:)!

                                                The second use of the above comes when such is written down with
                                                other rules and publishes in an article, say "10 rules for safety
                                                while playing ball in the yard." Same words used, but now collected,
                                                meant as didactic and juridical speech. For your now 7 year old who
                                                is in school reading, then such would make a fine piece of literature
                                                for school age kids to remember and fully know. Same words, now
                                                different use. Now gathered with the other 9 rules such a little
                                                list, once learned, can be the whole basis for years of more advanced
                                                safety education.

                                                I trust this example isn't too laborious. It is much easier to
                                                actually show this in present company than it is to explain it via
                                                written communication. But to Jesus and friends, we have access to
                                                the wisdom words through later written collections of them.
                                                Originally, of course, this was speech and what I want to maintain is
                                                that one needs to start with the individual sayings and stories on
                                                their own, as spoken words, functioning as primary wisdom speech.
                                                From there, then it is important to pay close heed to a.) what
                                                sayings are gathered together, by whom and what contexts they are
                                                presented in, b.) how the authors are framing the didactic and
                                                juridical lessons, and so c.) the particular emendations that are
                                                added to such speech forms (whether changing, expanding, and/ or
                                                recontextualizing the sayings/ stories, and so also d.) what other
                                                kinds of OT traditions are being drawn around the sayings, and e.)
                                                what of the early communal theological ideas, ethical ideas, praxis
                                                ideas are in play in the framing of the speech, and f.) what tracing
                                                across time may be done that might tell us about development in
                                                didactics, affirmations, juridical pronouncements. So, for just one
                                                example of this:

                                                1."love your enemies" is an aphorism. as wisdom speech it is a
                                                little word bomb!
                                                2. earliest I can tell, from Q1 this is drawn together with a whole
                                                series of other sayings that are kept together across the redactions
                                                Q and preserved in Luke as a unit.
                                                3. this unit from Q is placed in what is known as "the Q sermon" (so
                                                now we've moved from orality to written collection/ from prime wisdom
                                                usage to didactic and juridical usage)
                                                4. Matthew frames this unit in terms of a very elaborate Sermon on
                                                the Mount with much Torah talk.
                                                5. Luke frames the unit as the Sermon on the Plain
                                                6. We find this unit also forwarded in the Didache with some
                                                expansions as being, "the Way of Life."


                                                And then one can talk about associated beliefs, values, practices and
                                                make a case for the relationship to the original words and the
                                                earliest written formulations and how these develop over time/ across
                                                literature... for instance the pericopes where Jesus is show to talk
                                                about the greatest commandments and such as Thomas 25.

                                                What I am after in this is careful attention to listening to the
                                                words at the level or orality and in terms of the overall context of
                                                (most especially) table fellowship in order to try to pay close heed
                                                to wisdom words in their primary usage. If one only starts with the
                                                secondary usage, then one has lopped off an essential part, indeed
                                                the most essential part, of understanding the speech and how it
                                                functioned. Said, the simplest way I know how, the power of wisdom
                                                speech is that it is language aimed at making sense. "Making sense"
                                                is something we pretty much take for granted in "normal times." But
                                                when times are hostile, divisive, unjust, frightening, etc. such is
                                                incredibly powerful speech ***as wisdom speech***.

                                                To my first example to make the point. If you as parent don't yell,
                                                "Look both ways before you cross the street," when your child is all
                                                excited about getting her ball back, that child will probably never
                                                live to go to school to study about "10 Rules of Safety!" Learning
                                                is fine, but sense is always more important! Wisdom and knowledge
                                                are ever related, but they ***are not*** the same thing.

                                                Jesus, by my estimation, was the speaker of a very large collection
                                                of these sayings. Often they are only talked about in their
                                                secondary usage. Related to this whole thread about "original and
                                                originating" Good News, I very much thing the meat of the matter is
                                                in trying to listen to these words as what they primarily are... wisdom.

                                                > And I am not interested in the "what if" question
                                                > because, as far as I am concerned, it never was going to happen

                                                Interesting. As a thought exercise, I think it is an interesting
                                                one. (Not the purpose of this list), but it is also an interesting
                                                theological exercise. That said, I'm still interested to hear you
                                                elaborate on the issue you raised, the "who Jesus was" question and
                                                my question about "what essentially defines" that answer for you.

                                                take care,
                                                Gordon Raynal
                                                Inman, SC
                                                >
                                              • Richard Fellows
                                                The Judean church leaders wrote a letter affirming Gentile liberty (Acts 15:19-29). Paul delivered this letter to the south Galatian churches and
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Jun 15, 2009
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                                                  The Judean church leaders wrote a letter affirming Gentile liberty
                                                  (Acts 15:19-29). Paul delivered this letter to the south Galatian
                                                  churches and simultaneously circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3-4). I
                                                  suggest that this made the Galatian believers confused about what Paul
                                                  actually believed and that Paul's letter to them is his response to
                                                  this confusion. Paul circumcised Timothy to help him gain an audience
                                                  with Jews, but Paul could not explain that that was his motive, for
                                                  the Jews whom he hoped to bring to Christ would not have responded
                                                  favorably. At some point after Paul left Galatia some there said,
                                                  "Paul circumcised Timothy, so he must believe in circumcision, so it's
                                                  OK for other Gentile believers to be circumcised. It is true that he
                                                  preached Gentile liberty, but he must have done so only to please the
                                                  Jerusalem church leaders who had written that letter. The real Paul
                                                  believes in circumcision."

                                                  These rumors in Galatia explain the letter:

                                                  5:11 reads, "why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching
                                                  circumcision?". The believers thought Paul supported circumcision.
                                                  Does the second "still" (ETI) in this verse indicate that Paul is
                                                  admitting here that he had recommended circumcision to Timothy?

                                                  6:17 reads, "From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry
                                                  the marks of Jesus branded on my body". Paul is saying here, "Let no-
                                                  one question my commitment, for I have the wounds to prove it".
                                                  Chrysostom understood this: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/23106.htm

                                                  5:2 reads, "Listen, I ,Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves
                                                  be circumcised, Christ will be on no benefit to you." This is a strong
                                                  statement. Here Paul over-states his position to correct the rumor
                                                  that he believed in circumcision. Paul writes, "I, Paul" to make it
                                                  clear that these are his own beliefs: he is not writing these things
                                                  to please the Jerusalem church leaders. With the "I, Paul" he detaches
                                                  himself from Silas and other Jerusalem church leaders, just as he
                                                  detaches himself from Timothy with the "I, Paul" in 2 Cor 10:1.

                                                  5:10 says, "But whoever it is that is confusing (TARASSWN) you will
                                                  pay the penalty". 5:11 shows that the confusion was the rumor that
                                                  Paul supported circumcision. The same word appears in 1:7, "there are
                                                  some who are confusing you". 1:8 read, "But even if we or an angel
                                                  from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we
                                                  proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed!". Paul, then, is here
                                                  refuting the view that he had endorsed circumcision. The charge that
                                                  he supported circumcision therefore lies behind 1:8-9 as well as 5:11.

                                                  1:8-9 in turn provides the background to 1:10-24, where Paul explains
                                                  (overstates?) that he was not an underling of the Jerusalem church
                                                  leaders. He does this to refute the view that he preached Gentile
                                                  liberty with the sole purpose of pleasing them. He makes it clear that
                                                  he had preached his gospel even before he had had much contact with
                                                  the Jerusalem leaders. Paul does this to prove that his preaching was
                                                  not done out of obedience to the Jerusalem leaders.

                                                  Gal 2:6 reads, "And from those who were supposed to be acknowledged
                                                  leaders (what they actually were makes no difference to me: God shows
                                                  no partiality)". Paul here asserts again that he was not an underling
                                                  of the apostles: his preaching and writing derived from the
                                                  revelation that he had received from God, and were not done
                                                  insincerely to please the Jerusalem apostles.

                                                  In Gal 2:11-14 Paul selects an incident that must have been very
                                                  atypical, since Acts and Gal 2:1-10 indicate that Paul and Peter were
                                                  in agreement that Gentile liberty was important. Paul here asserts his
                                                  own commitment to the cause of Gentile liberty: he opposed Peter "to
                                                  his face" and "before them all", and he stood alone even after the
                                                  other Jews fell away. Paul stresses here that his commitment to
                                                  Gentile liberty is sincere. He had taken a stand against Peter himself
                                                  on this very issue. He selects this incident because it shows that his
                                                  support for Gentile liberty was not motived by a desire to please Peter.

                                                  This understanding of Galatians seems to reconcile the letter with Acts.

                                                  Does this work?

                                                  Richard Fellows
                                                  Vancouver.


                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • Kenneth Litwak
                                                  Richard,    That s an interesting idea, but I m not quite convinced.  I see no way that Gal 2:1-10 and Acts 15 could refer to the same event.  Rather, I am
                                                  Message 24 of 25 , Jun 24, 2009
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                                                    Richard,

                                                       That's an interesting idea, but I'm not quite convinced.  I see no way that Gal 2:1-10 and Acts 15 could refer to the same event.  Rather, I am in the company of those who think that Galatians was written before the events in Acts 15.  Otherwise, it would be clear to Gentiles that, no matter what Paul did with Timothy, they did not need to keep the Law.  I would quickly add that those who take the view that Paul's autobiographical info is von Rankean history, wie es eigentlich gewesen, have adopted an invalid view of how history is written, no matter who wrote it.  To assume that Luke was stupid or invented the story out of thin air and that Paul's account must refer to the same encounter is gratuitous and disingenuous at the very least.  I don't see any way to match Galatians 2 with Acts 15.  Galatians 2 must recount a previous event, IMHO. 

                                                    Ken Litwak

                                                    --- On Mon, 6/15/09, Richard Fellows <rfellows@...> wrote:

                                                    From: Richard Fellows <rfellows@...>
                                                    Subject: [XTalk] The background to Galatians
                                                    To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
                                                    Date: Monday, June 15, 2009, 9:19 PM

















                                                    The Judean church leaders wrote a letter affirming Gentile liberty

                                                    (Acts 15:19-29). Paul delivered this letter to the south Galatian

                                                    churches and simultaneously circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3-4). I

                                                    suggest that this made the Galatian believers confused about what Paul

                                                    actually believed and that Paul's letter to them is his response to

                                                    this confusion. Paul circumcised Timothy to help him gain an audience

                                                    with Jews, but Paul could not explain that that was his motive, for

                                                    the Jews whom he hoped to bring to Christ would not have responded

                                                    favorably. At some point after Paul left Galatia some there said,

                                                    "Paul circumcised Timothy, so he must believe in circumcision, so it's

                                                    OK for other Gentile believers to be circumcised. It is true that he

                                                    preached Gentile liberty, but he must have done so only to please the

                                                    Jerusalem church leaders who had written that letter. The real Paul

                                                    believes in circumcision. "



                                                    These rumors in Galatia explain the letter:



                                                    5:11 reads, "why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching

                                                    circumcision? ". The believers thought Paul supported circumcision.

                                                    Does the second "still" (ETI) in this verse indicate that Paul is

                                                    admitting here that he had recommended circumcision to Timothy?



                                                    6:17 reads, "From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry

                                                    the marks of Jesus branded on my body". Paul is saying here, "Let no-

                                                    one question my commitment, for I have the wounds to prove it".

                                                    Chrysostom understood this: http://www.newadven t.org/fathers/ 23106.htm



                                                    5:2 reads, "Listen, I ,Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves

                                                    be circumcised, Christ will be on no benefit to you." This is a strong

                                                    statement. Here Paul over-states his position to correct the rumor

                                                    that he believed in circumcision. Paul writes, "I, Paul" to make it

                                                    clear that these are his own beliefs: he is not writing these things

                                                    to please the Jerusalem church leaders. With the "I, Paul" he detaches

                                                    himself from Silas and other Jerusalem church leaders, just as he

                                                    detaches himself from Timothy with the "I, Paul" in 2 Cor 10:1.



                                                    5:10 says, "But whoever it is that is confusing (TARASSWN) you will

                                                    pay the penalty". 5:11 shows that the confusion was the rumor that

                                                    Paul supported circumcision. The same word appears in 1:7, "there are

                                                    some who are confusing you". 1:8 read, "But even if we or an angel

                                                    from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we

                                                    proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed!". Paul, then, is here

                                                    refuting the view that he had endorsed circumcision. The charge that

                                                    he supported circumcision therefore lies behind 1:8-9 as well as 5:11.



                                                    1:8-9 in turn provides the background to 1:10-24, where Paul explains

                                                    (overstates? ) that he was not an underling of the Jerusalem church

                                                    leaders. He does this to refute the view that he preached Gentile

                                                    liberty with the sole purpose of pleasing them. He makes it clear that

                                                    he had preached his gospel even before he had had much contact with

                                                    the Jerusalem leaders. Paul does this to prove that his preaching was

                                                    not done out of obedience to the Jerusalem leaders.



                                                    Gal 2:6 reads, "And from those who were supposed to be acknowledged

                                                    leaders (what they actually were makes no difference to me: God shows

                                                    no partiality)" . Paul here asserts again that he was not an underling

                                                    of the apostles: his preaching and writing derived from the

                                                    revelation that he had received from God, and were not done

                                                    insincerely to please the Jerusalem apostles.



                                                    In Gal 2:11-14 Paul selects an incident that must have been very

                                                    atypical, since Acts and Gal 2:1-10 indicate that Paul and Peter were

                                                    in agreement that Gentile liberty was important. Paul here asserts his

                                                    own commitment to the cause of Gentile liberty: he opposed Peter "to

                                                    his face" and "before them all", and he stood alone even after the

                                                    other Jews fell away. Paul stresses here that his commitment to

                                                    Gentile liberty is sincere. He had taken a stand against Peter himself

                                                    on this very issue. He selects this incident because it shows that his

                                                    support for Gentile liberty was not motived by a desire to please Peter.



                                                    This understanding of Galatians seems to reconcile the letter with Acts.



                                                    Does this work?



                                                    Richard Fellows

                                                    Vancouver.



                                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]































                                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  • Richard Fellows
                                                    Thanks, Ken, I agree with much of what you write. Also, I take Acts to be historical, and it is precisely for that reason that I equate Gal 2 with Acts 15
                                                    Message 25 of 25 , Jul 23, 2009
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                                                      Thanks, Ken,

                                                      I agree with much of what you write. Also, I take Acts to be historical, and it is precisely for that reason that I equate Gal 2 with Acts 15 (see, for example, my recent email on chronology).

                                                      You assume (I think) that the outcome of the Acts 15 meeting would have prevented the circumcision issue from arising in (south) Galatia. But is this really a safe assumption? Following the delivery of the decree the south Galatians would know that the Judean church leaders did not support circumcision, but why must we assume that the authority of the Judean church leaders held sway in south Galatia? The decree does not make its case by appealing to any words of Jesus, so the agitators in Galatia would surely wish to question its validity. Peter, James, and the elders had never been to Galatia, so why should the Galatians accept their authority as absolute?

                                                      The scenario may have been something like this:
                                                      1. The decree was delivered to south Galatia
                                                      2. The agitators argued, "The doctrine of Gentile liberty is a mistaken inference from a single vision of Peter (whom you do not recognize). Paul (your 'father') circumcised Timothy so he actually supports circumcision, so you should be circumcised too. Paul's verbal support for Gentile liberty was just to please Peter and the others, so it does not represent an independent second witness to the will of God.
                                                      3. Paul wrote the letter in response, arguing that his revelation was independent; that he was no underling of Peter and the others on this issue; and that they should not believe the rumor that he supports circumcision.

                                                      Ken, does this answer your objection to equating Gal 2 with Acts 15? Do you see any other difficulties with the equation, or indeed with my reconstruction of the background to the letter?

                                                      I have made my proposal available on the web here:

                                                      http://members.shaw.ca/rfellows/Site/T-T_Galatians_background.html

                                                      Richard Fellows
                                                      Vancouver.

                                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                                      From: Kenneth Litwak <javajedi2@...>
                                                      Date: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 3:22 pm
                                                      Subject: Re: [XTalk] The background to Galatians
                                                      To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com

                                                      > Richard,
                                                      >
                                                      >    That's an interesting idea, but I'm not quite convinced.  I
                                                      > see no way that Gal 2:1-10 and Acts 15 could refer to the same
                                                      > event.  Rather, I am in the company of those who think that
                                                      > Galatians was written before the events in Acts 15.  Otherwise,
                                                      > it would be clear to Gentiles that, no matter what Paul did with
                                                      > Timothy, they did not need to keep the Law.  I would quickly add
                                                      > that those who take the view that Paul's autobiographical info
                                                      > is von Rankean history, wie es eigentlich gewesen, have adopted
                                                      > an invalid view of how history is written, no matter who wrote
                                                      > it.  To assume that Luke was stupid or invented the story out of
                                                      > thin air and that Paul's account must refer to the same
                                                      > encounter is gratuitous and disingenuous at the very least.  I
                                                      > don't see any way to match Galatians 2 with Acts 15.  Galatians
                                                      > 2 must recount a previous event, IMHO. 
                                                      >
                                                      > Ken Litwak


                                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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