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Re: [XTalk] "Good News"

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  • 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 1 of 25 , May 13, 2009
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      Hi Bruce,
      On May 13, 2009, at 4:08 AM, E Bruce Brooks wrote:

      >

      Just a few brief responses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

      Gordon Raynal
      Inman, SC
      >
    • Gordon Raynal
      Hi Bob, ... Thanks for the correction. I stand corrected, then. When you say, I think he also drew attention to the resurrection as a standard part of the
      Message 2 of 25 , May 13, 2009
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        Hi Bob,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC

        Cheers to you as well!



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

          [snip]

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          So howcum we don't hear much about that?

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

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

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

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

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

          Aloha,
          Bob


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Gordon Raynal
          Good Morning Bob, I must say that this is one of the most enjoyable conversations we ve had on Crosstalk2. I think it is very helpful to see the two
          Message 4 of 25 , May 14, 2009
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            Good Morning Bob,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Peace!

            Gordon Raynal
            Inman, SC
            >
            > Aloha,
            > Bob
            >
            >
          • John E Staton
            Oddly enough, Gordon, all but one of your list of reconcilers were actually leaders of ideological movements (Rabin being the exception). Granted that. for
            Message 5 of 25 , May 14, 2009
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              Oddly enough, Gordon, all but one of your list of "reconcilers" were
              actually leaders of "ideological movements" (Rabin being the exception).
              Granted that. for Ghandi, reconciliation was part of the ideology. Maybe
              that was so for Jesus, also. But that means that the dynamics which
              apply to ideological leaders apply to them also. Jesus was arguing for a
              whole new interpretation of Torah, which was radical in his situation
              (thought perhaps not unique). This means his followers had a message to
              preach (and not just gnomic wisdom either!), as well as a practice to share.

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

              Best Wishes

              --
              JOHN E STATON (BA Sheffield; DipTheol. Bristol)
              Hull, UK
              www.christianreflection.org.uk
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            • Gordon Raynal
              Hi John, ... First, don t you think Jesus was a lifelong Jew? I do. And I don t want to reduce that to an ideology. Second, I don t think Jesus wisdom
              Message 6 of 25 , May 14, 2009
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                Hi John,


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

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

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

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


                >
                > Best Wishes

                and to you,

                Gordon Raynal
                Inman, SC
                >
              • Richard Fellows
                I used to partition 2 Corinthians, but I would like now to offer the following explanation for the difference in mood between chapters 1-9 and 10-13. In 2
                Message 7 of 25 , May 14, 2009
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                  I used to partition 2 Corinthians, but I would like now to offer the
                  following explanation for the difference in mood between chapters 1-9
                  and 10-13.

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

                  Does this make sense?

                  Richard Fellows
                  Vancouver
                • John E Staton
                  Gordon, Of course Jesus was being a good Jew! The same could be said of most of the radical Jewish groups around at the same time: the Qumran group, the
                  Message 8 of 25 , May 19, 2009
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                    Gordon,
                    Of course Jesus was being a good Jew! The same could be said of most of
                    the radical Jewish groups around at the same time: the Qumran group, the
                    Pharisees etc, all recalling Judaism to its roots and all doing it in a
                    different manner. All these groups (including the Jesus movement)
                    thought their co-religionists had lost their way and were recalling them
                    to the "right path" - though they all had different views of what the
                    right path was!

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

                    Best Wishes

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

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                  • Gordon Raynal
                    Hi John, ... In like fashion with the term, ideology, I don t want to now get stuck in our, perhaps, differing understandings of radical. But are you
                    Message 9 of 25 , May 19, 2009
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                      Hi John,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

                      take care,
                      Gordon Raynal
                      Inman, SC
                      >
                    • Richard Fellows
                      The Judean church leaders wrote a letter affirming Gentile liberty (Acts 15:19-29). Paul delivered this letter to the south Galatian churches and
                      Message 10 of 25 , Jun 15, 2009
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                        The Judean church leaders wrote a letter affirming Gentile liberty
                        (Acts 15:19-29). Paul delivered this letter to the south Galatian
                        churches and simultaneously circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3-4). I
                        suggest that this made the Galatian believers confused about what Paul
                        actually believed and that Paul's letter to them is his response to
                        this confusion. Paul circumcised Timothy to help him gain an audience
                        with Jews, but Paul could not explain that that was his motive, for
                        the Jews whom he hoped to bring to Christ would not have responded
                        favorably. At some point after Paul left Galatia some there said,
                        "Paul circumcised Timothy, so he must believe in circumcision, so it's
                        OK for other Gentile believers to be circumcised. It is true that he
                        preached Gentile liberty, but he must have done so only to please the
                        Jerusalem church leaders who had written that letter. The real Paul
                        believes in circumcision."

                        These rumors in Galatia explain the letter:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                        Does this work?

                        Richard Fellows
                        Vancouver.


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Kenneth Litwak
                        Richard,    That s an interesting idea, but I m not quite convinced.  I see no way that Gal 2:1-10 and Acts 15 could refer to the same event.  Rather, I am
                        Message 11 of 25 , Jun 24, 2009
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                          Richard,

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

                          Ken Litwak

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

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

















                          The Judean church leaders wrote a letter affirming Gentile liberty

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

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

                          suggest that this made the Galatian believers confused about what Paul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                          believes in circumcision. "



                          These rumors in Galatia explain the letter:



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

                          circumcision? ". The believers thought Paul supported circumcision.

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

                          admitting here that he had recommended circumcision to Timothy?



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

                          not done out of obedience to the Jerusalem leaders.



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

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

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

                          of the apostles: his preaching and writing derived from the

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

                          insincerely to please the Jerusalem apostles.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



                          Does this work?



                          Richard Fellows

                          Vancouver.



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































                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Richard Fellows
                          Thanks, Ken, I agree with much of what you write. Also, I take Acts to be historical, and it is precisely for that reason that I equate Gal 2 with Acts 15
                          Message 12 of 25 , Jul 23, 2009
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                            Thanks, Ken,

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

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

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

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

                            I have made my proposal available on the web here:

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

                            Richard Fellows
                            Vancouver.

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

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


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