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Salvation Re: [XTalk] comparing betas with alphas

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... [snip] ... I think you may have a soteriological problem here, and perhaps you re not really letting your sources do as much of the work as you intend. I
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 16, 2010
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      At 01:01 AM 12/16/2010, E Bruce Brooks wrote:
      >To: Crosstalk
      >Cc: GPG
      >In Response To: David Mealand
      >On: Alpha and Beta
      >From: Bruce

      [snip]

      >BRUCE: Here as everywhere in historical research, all I can think of is to
      >let the sources do the work for us. What they feel important about, we are
      >probably entitled to take as important too. One thing they take as important
      >is certainly the faith vs works controversy (eg the Epistle of Jacob vs the
      >Epistle of Paul to the Romans, where both sides are visibly upset - red in
      >the face and sputtering - about the other's opinion). This is the more
      >likely to be an important issue since it touches on who gets into Heaven,
      >which was probably a big deal, and less on what you have for lunch, or who
      >you have it with, which is nearer the small housekeeping end of the scale....

      I think you may have a soteriological problem here, and perhaps
      you're not really letting your sources do as much of the work as you intend.
      I think you're assuming that the main problem of "salvation" was
      focused on "who gets into heaven," which, ISTM, is a somewhat
      anachronistic view of soteriology based on later theological
      controversies-- or at least a partisan issue of concern to some
      groups but not others. I will grant you the pericope of the Rich Man
      and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31, no parallels), but for many First Century
      Jews, IIRC, "salvation" was as much a *worldly and collective
      political* issue as an *otherworldly and individual* issue. Think of
      the zealots, for example. The Jesus Seminar was divided even about
      whether the Rich Man and Lazarus pericope is traceable to Jesus
      himself. There's a danger in viewing First Century theological issues
      from the perspective of later theological controversies. Luke seems
      more interested in salvation (soterios?) than the other gospels, so
      this seems to be a Lukan issue.


      Bob Schacht
      Northern Arizona University

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Thomas Kopecek
      I d add to what Bob has said that a good deal of the salvation language of the earliest churches was eschatological, that is, it looked forward to experiencing
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 16, 2010
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        I'd add to what Bob has said that a good deal of the salvation language of the earliest churches was eschatological, that is, it looked forward to experiencing the New Age that Jesus would inaugurate when he would 'come again'. Now, of course, Paul, who generally held to this view IMO, does also speak about "the Jerusalem above," but it appears that he meant roughly what the Apocalypse of John meant in its ch 21.

        Tom

        ________________
        Thomas A. Kopecek
        1536 Elk Horn Drive
        Otley, Iowa 50214-8513


        -----Original Message-----
        From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bob Schacht
        Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 10:30 AM
        To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Salvation Re: [XTalk] comparing betas with alphas

        At 01:01 AM 12/16/2010, E Bruce Brooks wrote:
        >To: Crosstalk
        >Cc: GPG
        >In Response To: David Mealand
        >On: Alpha and Beta
        >From: Bruce

        [snip]

        >BRUCE: Here as everywhere in historical research, all I can think of is to
        >let the sources do the work for us. What they feel important about, we are
        >probably entitled to take as important too. One thing they take as important
        >is certainly the faith vs works controversy (eg the Epistle of Jacob vs the
        >Epistle of Paul to the Romans, where both sides are visibly upset - red in
        >the face and sputtering - about the other's opinion). This is the more
        >likely to be an important issue since it touches on who gets into Heaven,
        >which was probably a big deal, and less on what you have for lunch, or who
        >you have it with, which is nearer the small housekeeping end of the scale....

        I think you may have a soteriological problem here, and perhaps
        you're not really letting your sources do as much of the work as you intend.
        I think you're assuming that the main problem of "salvation" was
        focused on "who gets into heaven," which, ISTM, is a somewhat
        anachronistic view of soteriology based on later theological
        controversies-- or at least a partisan issue of concern to some
        groups but not others. I will grant you the pericope of the Rich Man
        and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31, no parallels), but for many First Century
        Jews, IIRC, "salvation" was as much a *worldly and collective
        political* issue as an *otherworldly and individual* issue. Think of
        the zealots, for example. The Jesus Seminar was divided even about
        whether the Rich Man and Lazarus pericope is traceable to Jesus
        himself. There's a danger in viewing First Century theological issues
        from the perspective of later theological controversies. Luke seems
        more interested in salvation (soterios?) than the other gospels, so
        this seems to be a Lukan issue.


        Bob Schacht
        Northern Arizona University

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



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      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Crosstalk Cc: GPG In Response To: Bob Schacht On: Soteriology From: Bruce BOB: I think you re assuming that the main problem of salvation was focused on
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 16, 2010
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          To: Crosstalk
          Cc: GPG
          In Response To: Bob Schacht
          On: Soteriology
          From: Bruce

          BOB: I think you're assuming that the main problem of "salvation" was
          focused on "who gets into heaven," which, ISTM, is a somewhat anachronistic
          view of soteriology based on later theological controversies--

          BRUCE: Undoubtedly also of later concern, including to some people now
          living. The question is whether it also occurred to people in the 1c. I find
          it in the preaching of John the Baptist. Don't you?

          BOB: . . .or at least a partisan issue of concern to some groups but not
          others.

          BRUCE: If even some, then I think we are in business in the 1c. There were
          probably few propositions which everybody at the time would have agreed on.
          As long as the question of saved vs damned is on the map, I think the
          previous position will stand. And can this be proved? I note inter alia the
          hellfire section of Mark: Better to go to heaven with one eye than to be
          cast into Hell with two. To what personal or collective concern does this
          probably relate?

          BOB: I will grant you the pericope of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke
          16:19-31, no parallels),

          BRUCE: An extreme Lukan poverty = virtue position, visible elswhere in Luke
          and thus not some kind of scribal error, but perhaps a little off to one
          side of the mainstream. It is however its own stream: it has near precedents
          in the angrier layers of the Epistle of James/Jacob. I warmly recommend
          reading this piece. But I don't think it is vital for the current main
          question. That question, if I have not lost track of the thread, is, Did
          people at this time care where they went when they died? And did some people
          associate their hope of a good outcome with Jesus? I have to think the
          answer is Yes.

          BOB: . . .but for many First Century Jews, IIRC, "salvation" was as much a
          *worldly and collective political* issue as an *otherworldly and individual*
          issue.

          BRUCE: Sure. But we are here talking, or anyway I am trying to talk, about
          First Century Christians, of one stripe or another. The existence of Jews
          does not disprove the existence of Christians. (And Bob's formulation leaves
          room for diversity of opinion among even Jews, which seems to be handsomely
          well documented elsewhere).

          The existence of one viewpoint does not disprove the existence of another
          viewpoint.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • E Bruce Brooks
          To: Crosstalk Cc: GPG In Response To: Tom Kopacek On: Eschatology From: Bruce TOM: I d add to what Bob has said that a good deal of the salvation language of
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 16, 2010
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            To: Crosstalk
            Cc: GPG
            In Response To: Tom Kopacek
            On: Eschatology
            From: Bruce

            TOM: I'd add to what Bob has said that a good deal of the salvation language
            of the earliest churches was eschatological, that is, it looked forward to
            experiencing the New Age that Jesus would inaugurate when he would 'come
            again'.

            BRUCE: Right away I am having trouble. I have always found the word
            "eschatology" difficult, because it can mean different things at different
            times. Torrey tells us that the only meaning likely to be attached to
            "Messiah" by Jews of Jesus's time was the Davidic ruler who would restore
            the temporal dominance of Israel, in what would be otherwise a continuation
            of the present world. The thing Tom describes looks somewhat like that,
            though he can best gloss his phrase New Age. John the B seems to have
            preached the end of the world as we know it, and some of the later 1c
            Christian texts openly stipulate that the present world will end in fire.
            The judgement attendant on such a conclusion, I suppose, would be the final
            disposition of people now living (and those dead, who were provided for in
            some options); they will get sorted into Heaven and Hell piles. Third, the
            End Days can come for each person when he dies. Fourth, the New Age might be
            the ongoing small community of believers in their present condition, though
            maybe with fewer lions and less starvation. And there are probably others.

            The fact that this sort of variety can be attested within the same Christian
            century, and sometimes even within the same Christian text, only adds to the
            confusion. But I would rather have the confusion than the term that serves
            as a blanket for all or part of it, and I invite a paraphrase here.

            TOM: Now, of course, Paul, who generally held to this view IMO, does also
            speak about "the Jerusalem above," but it appears that he meant roughly what
            the Apocalypse of John meant in its ch 21.

            BRUCE: See? 1c variant theories as to what exactly is expected, and even
            Paul seems to hold, or at least to acknowledge, different possibilties at
            different times. Has anybody ever mapped that variation against the timeline
            of Paul's writings? If so, I would love to know how they came out.

            "My Kingdom is not of this world," that's one late 1c rationalization of the
            failure of something or other to happen. "A thousand years are as one day to
            God" is another, and perhaps not a very compatible, way of living with the
            failure of that same thing - or maybe a different thing; how do I know?

            It seems to me, accordingly, that it would be helpful to identify the
            different options with different terms. Thus, the political Davidic
            Restoration scenario, which certainly existed in the minds of some, might be
            called the Messianic option. The end of the world in fire (or other suitable
            element; I guess water had already been used) and the final judgement of
            living and dead could be called, maybe, Apocalyptic. I await lexical
            suggestions from my betters. I just don't feel comfortable discussing the
            issue until I know exactly which issue someone (or some text they are
            citing) has in mind.

            Respectfully requested,

            Bruce

            E Bruce Brooks
            Warring States Project
            University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          • Thomas Kopecek
            Bruce: The subject of this post may be an old issue given the flow of the Alpha Christianity thread, but I m old too and so often can get to things only
            Message 5 of 17 , Dec 16, 2010
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              Bruce:

              The subject of this post may be an 'old' issue given the flow of the Alpha Christianity thread, but I'm old too and so often can get to things only slowly.

              I'm talking about the question of terminology I raised way back when. I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree. Unless you can explain why I am mistaken, what you call 'Alpha Christianity' I am going to consider simply 'Type A followers--or, perhaps, devotees--of Jesus' and what you call 'Beta Christianity' I'm going to consider 'Type B followers (or devotees) of Jesus'. Given your claim in your Tues, Dec 14 response to Bob Schacht that you are using " 'Christian' as the name for the followers of Jesus, irrespective of their specific beliefs within the available spectrum," and, I would add, irrespective of whether there is any evidence that they themselves called themselves Christian, your usage is fine with me.

              Yet I must register that I feel somewhat uncomfortable calling those persons Christians who referred to themselves otherwise. For example, one might construct an argument from Acts that the followers of Jesus about whom the author of that document is writing viewed themselves not as 'Christians' but as members of "The Way", a name, it appears, also employed by the members of the Qumran community. Some scholars, of course, argue that the term Christian as it is introduced in Acts 11:26 seems to be a term that 'outsiders' first used of the 'disciples of Jesus' (which, indeed, coheres with the other instance of the term in Acts, that is, in Acts 26:28, when "King Agrippa" is presented as saying to Paul, "Are you so quickly persuading me to become a Christian?"). But at least the one other use of the term in the NT is employed by an 'insider', that is, by the author of 1 Peter at 4:16: "However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name."

              Tom

              ________________
              Thomas A. Kopecek
              1536 Elk Horn Drive
              Otley, Iowa 50214-8513




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Thomas Kopecek
              Bruce (or any one else on the list with the resources): Toward the end of Bruce s Alpha Christianity 5 pages he gives at least a partial list of Alpha
              Message 6 of 17 , Dec 18, 2010
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                Bruce (or any one else on the list with the resources):

                Toward the end of Bruce's 'Alpha Christianity 5 pages' he gives at least a partial list of 'Alpha Christianity' sources that have been, as he phrases it, "orthodoxized" by, I presume, 'Beta Christianity'. One of the items in this list is titled "The Hymn in Philippians 2 as reconstructed by Lohmeyer".

                I don't have access to the Lohmeyer text on which Bruce is drawing. If Bruce has a scan of the pages that contain the reconstruction, I'd appreciate seeing them. Failing that, if Bruce could paraphrase Lohmeyer's case for his reconstruction, that would be helpful. And failing a paraphrase, if Bruce--or anyone else on the list--could post at least the reconstruction itself, it might eventually help keep the thread alive.

                Tom

                ________________
                Thomas A. Kopecek
                1536 Elk Horn Drive
                Otley, Iowa 50214-8513
              • jgibson000@comcast.net
                ... I don t have Lohmeyer s text immediately available, but I do have Gerald F. Hawthorne summary of what Lohmeyer said: Lohmeyer sees the hymn as composed of
                Message 7 of 17 , Dec 18, 2010
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                  On 12/18/2010 4:05 PM, Thomas Kopecek wrote:
                  > Bruce (or any one else on the list with the resources):
                  >
                  > Toward the end of Bruce's 'Alpha Christianity 5 pages' he gives at least a partial list of 'Alpha Christianity' sources that have been, as he phrases it, "orthodoxized" by, I presume, 'Beta Christianity'. One of the items in this list is titled "The Hymn in Philippians 2 as reconstructed by Lohmeyer".
                  >
                  > I don't have access to the Lohmeyer text on which Bruce is drawing. If Bruce has a scan of the pages that contain the reconstruction, I'd appreciate seeing them. Failing that, if Bruce could paraphrase Lohmeyer's case for his reconstruction, that would be helpful. And failing a paraphrase, if Bruce--or anyone else on the list--could post at least the reconstruction itself, it might eventually help keep the thread alive.
                  >
                  I don't have Lohmeyer's text immediately available, but I do have Gerald
                  F. Hawthorne' summary of what Lohmeyer said:

                  Lohmeyer sees the hymn as composed of six strophes of three lines
                  each, with the first three strophes proclaiming the humiliation of
                  Christ (vv 6–8) and the last three his exaltation (vv 9–11): A (v
                  6); B (v 7a–b); C (vv 7c–8, but omitting the words θανάτου δὲ
                  σταυροῦ, “even death on a cross,” as not being part of the original
                  hymn); D (v 9); E (v 10); F (v 11; cf. Héring, RHPR 16 [1936]
                  196–209; Benoit, Bonnard, Beare).


                  I hope this is helpful until someone can provide a scan.

                  Jeffrey

                  --
                  Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
                  1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
                  Chicago, Illinois
                  e-mail jgibson000@...
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