Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [XTalk] Re: "Good News"

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 25 , May 13, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 25 , May 13, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 25 , May 13, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 25 , May 14, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 25 , May 14, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 25 , May 14, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                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
                ----------


                ----------


                No virus found in this outgoing message.
                Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                Version: 8.5.329 / Virus Database: 270.12.28/2113 - Release Date: 05/13/09 18:04:00


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • 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 7 of 25 , May 14, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 of 25 , May 14, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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 9 of 25 , May 19, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      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

                      ----------


                      ----------


                      No virus found in this outgoing message.
                      Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                      Version: 8.5.329 / Virus Database: 270.12.33/2120 - Release Date: 05/18/09 06:28:00


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • 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 10 of 25 , May 19, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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 11 of 25 , Jun 15, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          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 12 of 25 , Jun 24, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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 13 of 25 , Jul 23, 2009
                            • 0 Attachment
                              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]
                            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.