RE: [XTalk] GOSPEL (OF THE KINGDOM) OF GOD: Source Dating, Mission, Message and "eschatology"
Thank you for your post. As always you very articulately present your position, which is pretty close to the main thrust of the Jesus Seminar. I think you and I have tossed some of these issues around before, and you know I tend to see the center of gravity in the gospels a bit differently.
Respecting your request not to debate, and avoiding the apocalyptic issue entirely, your post prompted a more methodological question. Central to your construction below is the oral tradition stage ("from orality the literature we do have has various kinds of oral formula: repeated sayings in lists, credo/ motto like
formula, poems/ hymns, prayers, ritual formula"). How much confidence do we place in this form-critical construction? Is the short period of time ( no more than 50 years in your dating to Mark, and "early Mark" must be even earlier) really enough to start developing oral formula?
Or, rather than a question, let me suggest a very different way of imagining this. Granted there are oral stories (but perhaps not achieving the kind of uniformity form criticism suggests), Mark (and independently John) created stories about Jesus that were coherent stories but based (in part) on the various stories being passed around... even some eyewitness testimony (cf. Bauckham used cautiously).
My point here is to emphasize the creative role of Mark in creating a unified story. And the point of that story is more "evangelistic" -- create in the hearers/readers the desire to become faithful disciples (good earth according to the parable of the sower). To me this makes more sense of narrative structure, which is more coherent than the normal approach of "beads on a string" of classical form criticism, or multiple redactions and versions would tend to permit.
As always your comments are welcome. My central point is questioning oral shaping which seems central to your ideas.
Mark A. Matson
Gordon Raynal wrote:
You have laid out your Source framework. Again, I'm not interested in
debating this with you. But for the sake of the list, I'll offer my
take on an alternative. No doubt, it stands very much in contrast to
your view because I entirely disagree about your dating of the
sources, your understanding of the genre of Mark, and also what
Mark's "mission message" actually is. And so, simply for the sake of
laying out a very different understanding of what's in this
literature, here goes:
Source: Jesus and a company of friends. We have no documentation
from circa 27 to 30/31 C.E.
Alpha Sources: from orality the literature we do have has various
kinds of oral formula: repeated sayings in lists, credo/ motto like
formula, poems/ hymns, prayers, ritual formula
Beta Sources: redacted sayings with Scriptural reflections (the Q
Sermon, being a prime example and another is Paul's "died/ buried,
rose according to the scriptures in I Cor. 15) and an early listing of
a collection of sayings (found in G. Thomas)
Gamma Sources: Organized Sayings Gospels, Paul's authentic letters
(minus interpolations), an early version of the Didache, and I'm still
for arguing that at least some of the Epistle of James represents the
thought of James the Just.
Delta Sources: Mark and John (an early version thereof), such as
Hebrews, the early Deutero-Paulines, Barnabas, G. Peter
Epislon Sources: Matthew, G. Mary, G., A second edition of John,
I'd date Mark ca. 80 to 85 and early John about the same time. As for
genre? Both, in my view, are theological wisdom stories (akin in the
antecedent tradition to the likes of Jonah and Ruth).
As for the Mission Agenda? Here is the order of I would suggest for
what we have:
(and I note them in the references as we have them presently ordered)
earliest rendition: Thomas 14:4 a, b, c "When you go into any region
and walk about the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they
formalized in Q 1: (as found in Luke 10:3-9)... and this is
essentially maintained across Q 2 and Q3.
referenced by Paul in I Cor. as to the apostolic mention in 9:1-7.
And I Cor. 12:27 ff. gives us insight on the growing number of roles
some 20 years out.
the Didache 11, 12 and 13 has a most interesting commentary for "the
rules of the road and house." I think that at least some of this is
from the 50's, but as the whole text is late 1st/ early 2nd century,
it shows the continuing relevance of these words across 3 or 4
Mark... ca. 80-85 (in my view) formalizes the mission as "the Mission
of the 12" in Mk. 6:7-13.
ca. 90 to 100 we find Matthew essentially repeating this Mission and
then giving it new dimensions in the "Great Commission"
ca. 120 we have Luke reframing the Q data and doubling the original
sendings to the 12 and the 70/ 72.
- <<Ariel, D.T., A Survey of Coin Finds in Jerusalem,
Liber Annuus 32, 1982, pp 273-326.
Unless we have an old print copy in the pre-1985 stack here,
the data for denarii in Jerusalem is out of reach
just now, so, at least for the time being, I'll just shift to your
view that there weren't that many around in the city.
I'm having trouble getting hold of it as well, so I'll have to go by
memory, unfortunately. I did contact Ariel himself, but he's got nothing beyond
a single paper copy. While it's not strictly on topic, I do have H Gitler's
'A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF NUMISMATIC EVIDENCE FROM EXCAVATIONS IN JERUSALEM'
(Liber Annuus 1996), which covers bronze coinage from the city. No
imperial bronze is recorded from before the 4th Century, after the abolition of
the provincial mints, and their replacement with imperial ones.
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