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Re: [XTalk] Word pictures in the synoptics

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  • Ronald Price
    ... Bob, Occasionally I agree with them, but ³follow² ? I don¹t think so. ... I agree. But this only ticks a hypothetical background and I think we need to
    Message 1 of 20 , Feb 9, 2011
      Bob Schacht wrote:

      > Ron is here following the Jesus Seminar .....
      >
      Bob,

      Occasionally I agree with them, but ³follow² ? I don¹t think so.

      > .....it is entirely reasonable to supposed that Jesus told stories, not just
      > aphorisms.

      I agree. But this only ticks a hypothetical background and I think we need
      to go further than this. So here is another JSem statement with which I
      agree (Five Gospels, p.25):

      ³Only sayings and parables that can be traced back to the oral period, 30-50
      CE, can possibly have originated with Jesus.²

      I put it to you that none of the longer synoptic parables can be traced back
      to this period.

      The crux here may be illustrated by the JSem¹s take on ³The Samaritan². Here
      it seems that they have not followed their own rule. For their claim that
      dialogue and parable must have circulated separately prior to Luke is hardly
      enough to constitute a tracing back of 50 years or so.

      Ron Price,

      Derbyshire, UK

      http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ronald Price
      ... I was trying to be more general. But ³Hebrew poetry² is fine by me. ... That¹s easy. Among the logia sayings reconstructed on the web page below, I
      Message 2 of 20 , Feb 9, 2011
        Gordon Raynal wrote:

        > ..... I note, however, that your connection point is to "Semitic poetry" and
        > not the aphorisms and proverbs found in the Hebraic tradition. Why not this
        > connection?
        >
        I was trying to be more general. But ³Hebrew poetry² is fine by me.

        > I would be most interested to hear your take on the selection of
        > sayings that gets to "the gist" of this early "voice print."
        >
        That¹s easy. Among the logia sayings reconstructed on the web page below, I
        think those in sections A, B and C probably all go back to the HJ.

        Ron Price,

        Derbyshire, UK

        http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_sQet.html




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Matson, Mark (Academic)
        ... I understand this is what you are proposing. But I tend to see the sitz im leben arguments as somewhat circular. We deduce the sitz im leben based on the
        Message 3 of 20 , Feb 9, 2011
          Ron Price wrote:

          > In theory this seems entirely reasonable. But I think there are two
          > practical considerations which weigh against the idea of these longer
          > parables being adaptations deriving from Jesus. Firstly some of these
          > parables appear to be closely tied to the author or his Sitz im Leben.
          > Thus Goulder reckons that the stylistic features of the Good Samaritan
          > story are so much its essential ³stuff² that if they were taken away,
          > nothing would be left. From a rather different angle, the killing of the
          > son in Mark¹s Vineyard parable so closely reflects the Pauline (Christian)
          > view that God sent his son, only to be rejected and killed, that it would
          > become rather pointless without this episode.

          I understand this is what you are proposing. But I tend to see the sitz im leben arguments as somewhat circular. We deduce the sitz im leben based on the text, then decide what in the text is valid based on our assessment of the sitz im leben.

          But I do think (a) some of the parables may well show more of the evangelist's interest (ie., be more compositions than "oral tradition"). This has to be decided, though, on a parable by parable basis. Part of my reaction earlier was what I sensed was a wholesale categorization. The Good Samaritan may well be embellished by Luke to the point little is left, though the central point of who is one's neighbor fits well with what I would consider core Jesus teaching.

          The vineyard parable, though, strikes me as quite possibly pure Jesus material. Granted, it is allegorical. Quite possibly the identification of the "son" could be a later embellishment of Mark. But the use of a story to suggest that the Jewish leadership had misused its role as leaders, and using a vineyard motif to do it, seems very likely. And the eschatological judgment motif fits with one aspect of Jesus' teaching.


          > Secondly if we think that these longer parables did come from Jesus, we
          > should be asking how they were transmitted. The only option appears to be
          > oral tradition. But can we really believe that they would have survived
          > the four or five decades while the Jesus movement was being transformed
          > from a local sect into a widespread major religion? While realizing that
          > there has been much ink spilt on this topic, I can only indicate my own
          > negative view of the reliability of oral tradition in these circumstances.

          And here you have put your finger on a major disagreement I have with your approach. I don't think it unlikely at all that over a period of 4 to 5 decades that story-parables would not survive. They aren't that long. The research of Lord and Parry with Serbo-Croatian epic tales suggest that long connected stories survive just fine, with a certain amount of flexible variation, if the stories emphasize important features worth passing on.

          I guess one question is the term "reliability". Are we talking about exact word for word reliability? I wouldn't count on that either. But if we mean the essence of the saying, then I can see such oral stories being maintained well for quite some time. Especially of those telling the story thought their originator had been raised from the dead and was soon to bring about a new kingdom of God! Surely that would have been a tonic to add a little more importance to the stories.

          Mark A. Matson
          Academic Dean
          Milligan College
          423-461-8720
          http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm
        • Gordon Raynal
          Ron, Just a quick note to say thank you for sending this link anew. I looked at this several years ago. I m glad to have it again and want to spend some time
          Message 4 of 20 , Feb 9, 2011
            Ron,

            Just a quick note to say thank you for sending this link anew. I
            looked at this several years ago. I'm glad to have it again and want
            to spend some time with it before I respond further.

            Gordon Raynal
            Inman, SC
            On Feb 9, 2011, at 7:03 AM, Ronald Price wrote:

            > Gordon Raynal wrote:
            >
            >> ..... I note, however, that your connection point is to "Semitic
            >> poetry" and
            >> not the aphorisms and proverbs found in the Hebraic tradition. Why
            >> not this
            >> connection?
            >>
            > I was trying to be more general. But “Hebrew poetry” is fine by me.
            >
            >> I would be most interested to hear your take on the selection of
            >> sayings that gets to "the gist" of this early "voice print."
            >>
            > That’s easy. Among the logia sayings reconstructed on the web page
            > below, I
            > think those in sections A, B and C probably all go back to the HJ.
            >
            > Ron Price,
            >
            > Derbyshire, UK
            >
            > http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_sQet.html
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
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          • Ronald Price
            ... Mark, Doubtless most commentators would agree with you. But to me there is a major snag, because having tried to reconstruct the original collection of the
            Message 5 of 20 , Feb 9, 2011
              Mark Matson wrote:

              > The Good Samaritan may well be embellished by Luke to the point little is
              > left, though the central point of who is one's neighbor fits well with what I
              > would consider core Jesus teaching.
              >
              Mark,

              Doubtless most commentators would agree with you. But to me there is a major
              snag, because having tried to reconstruct the original collection of the
              sayings of Jesus, it¹s not just that I find no longer parables (a stylistic
              consideration), but also I find not a single saying in which Jesus commends
              any outside group. The nearest is when standards followed by tax collectors
              and Gentiles are accepted as a sort of norm which the followers of Jesus
              should aim to exceed. Also crucial in this case is my conclusion that the
              reference to Samaritans in Mt 10:5b belongs to the original mission
              instructions, and the Good Samaritan parable is hardly consistent with the
              instruction to bypass Samaritan towns.

              > The vineyard parable, though, strikes me as quite possibly pure Jesus
              > material. Granted, it is allegorical. Quite possibly the identification of
              > the "son" could be a later embellishment of Mark. But the use of a story to
              > suggest that the Jewish leadership had misused its role as leaders, and using
              > a vineyard motif to do it, seems very likely. And the eschatological judgment
              > motif fits with one aspect of Jesus' teaching.
              >
              The allegorical nature of the parable, which appears to be unparalleled
              among the definitely early material, should raise yet more doubt about its
              authenticity. Sending the ³son² makes for a dramatic climax and doesn¹t seem
              to me like a late addition. Jesus was indeed conscious of the persecution of
              the prophets as shown in Mt 5:12 // Lk 6:23 (which we would probably both
              agree is part of an authentic saying). But here Jesus is not making a dig at
              the persecutors. Rather he is using the persecution as an illustration to
              encourage rejoicing. As I reconstruct them, the authentic Jesus sayings
              (from which I think the woes to the Pharisees should be excluded as hinted
              in my reply to Gordon ­ they¹re all in section D of the reconstructed logia)
              show no interest in history except for incidental illustrations.

              Ron Price,

              Derbyshire, UK

              http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Gordon Raynal
              Ron and all, I just want to comment on one of your lines in your response to Mark Matson and it comes in the form of a plea: ... One approach to the parables
              Message 6 of 20 , Feb 9, 2011
                Ron and all,

                I just want to comment on one of your lines in your response to Mark
                Matson and it comes in the form of a plea:
                On Feb 9, 2011, at 1:23 PM, Ronald Price wrote:

                >>
                >>
                > The allegorical nature of the parable, which appears to be
                > unparalleled
                > among the definitely early material, should raise yet more doubt
                > about its
                > authenticity.

                One approach to the parables is to understand them simply as
                allegories. That is indeed how the authors of the Narrative Gospels
                use them and there are those like Snodgrass who simply say that
                parables are a kind of allegory. I strongly urge you and all to
                consider another perspective, if nothing else than to understand why
                the scholars of the Jesus Seminar see them differently, and so see
                Jesus differently. So, I'd recommend Crossan's "In Parables" and "The
                Dark Interval." Charles Hedrick's "Parables as Poetic Fictions," B.
                Brandon Scott's, "Re-Imagining the World" and/ or "Hear Then the
                Parable," or the collection done in honor of Robert Funk, "Funk on
                Parables."

                Gordon Raynal
                Inman, SC
              • Bob Schacht
                ... It is important, in this regard, to understand the culture of the times, which could change. For example, allegories as an explanatory device waxed and
                Message 7 of 20 , Feb 9, 2011
                  At 02:38 PM 2/9/2011, Gordon Raynal wrote:
                  >Ron and all,
                  >
                  >I just want to comment on one of your lines in your response to Mark
                  >Matson and it comes in the form of a plea:
                  >On Feb 9, 2011, at 1:23 PM, Ronald Price wrote:
                  >
                  > >>
                  > >>
                  > > The allegorical nature of the parable, which appears to be
                  > > unparalleled
                  > > among the definitely early material, should raise yet more doubt
                  > > about its
                  > > authenticity.
                  >
                  >One approach to the parables is to understand them simply as
                  >allegories. That is indeed how the authors of the Narrative Gospels
                  >use them and there are those like Snodgrass who simply say that
                  >parables are a kind of allegory. I strongly urge you and all to
                  >consider another perspective, if nothing else than to understand why
                  >the scholars of the Jesus Seminar see them differently, and so see
                  >Jesus differently. So, I'd recommend Crossan's "In Parables" and "The
                  >Dark Interval." Charles Hedrick's "Parables as Poetic Fictions," B.
                  >Brandon Scott's, "Re-Imagining the World" and/ or "Hear Then the
                  >Parable," or the collection done in honor of Robert Funk, "Funk on
                  >Parables."


                  It is important, in this regard, to understand the culture of the
                  times, which could change. For example, allegories as an explanatory
                  device waxed and waned in popularity from time to time and place to
                  place. In Origen's time, IIRC, allegories were rather popular and, so
                  to speak, de rigueur. However, if you tried to use some of the same
                  allegories now, you'd be met by stares of incredulity. So among the
                  questions that one must consider are:
                  * to what extent were allegories a popularly acceptable form of
                  explanation (a) about 30 C.E. or so (b) among Jews (c) in Galilee (d)
                  who spoke Aramaic?
                  * to what extent were allegories a popularly acceptable form of
                  explanation (a) about 30 C.E. or so (b) among Jews (c) in Galilee (d)
                  who spoke Greek?
                  and ditto with (a) = 55 C.E. , 80 C.E., or 100 C.E. , (b) = among
                  Greeks, (c) = In Judea, in Egypt, or in the Diaspora, and various
                  permutations of these possibilities.

                  Perhaps some of the sources cited by Gordon control for one or more
                  of these variables.

                  Bob Schacht
                  Northern Arizona University

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Gordon Raynal
                  Ron, Thanks again for sending you understanding of a re-constructed sayings Gospel. Most interesting. I want to make two observations and so will send two
                  Message 8 of 20 , Feb 10, 2011
                    Ron,
                    Thanks again for sending you understanding of a re-constructed sayings
                    Gospel. Most interesting. I want to make two observations and so
                    will send two emails, under different titles... so this one about the
                    mission agenda).
                    On Feb 9, 2011, at 7:03 AM, Ronald Price wrote:

                    > Gordon Wrote:
                    >
                    >> I would be most interested to hear your take on the selection of
                    >> sayings that gets to "the gist" of this early "voice print."

                    Ron Wrote:
                    >>
                    > That’s easy. Among the logia sayings reconstructed on the web page
                    > below, I
                    > think those in sections A, B and C probably all go back to the HJ.

                    In B4, which you do attribute as going back to HJ, your create your
                    understanding of the Mission Agenda saying by choosing different parts
                    of the sayings cluster from the Synoptic Gospels. You take, "Go
                    nowhere among the Gentiles..." from Matthew 10:5. You, however,
                    change the tense of the verb in the proclamation of the significance
                    of the Agenda from, "the kingdom of God has come near" (Mt. 10:7 & Lk.
                    9) to "The Kingdom of God is getting near." In the mission you drop
                    out the charge to heal. And finally you accept as from Jesus the
                    judgment comparison about Sodom.

                    What to say? First, your own reconstruction is an amalgam. As
                    presented, it describes simply a proclamation task for the "sent
                    ones" (apostles). It is entirely circumscribed as an exclusive
                    national mission. And framing this activity with "is getting near"
                    means that the effort is rather much a promotional tour for "a coming
                    attraction," so to speak, and not something complete unto itself.
                    This certainly fits the assumption that Jesus is a prophetic figure
                    inspired by an apocalyptic hope. The problem is that you've created
                    this text.

                    Leaving aside the question of Q for a moment, save for G. Thomas, all
                    the testimonies we have of the agenda itself (Matthew, Mark and 2
                    renditions in Luke) include healing. Paul, when he talks about the
                    movement in I Cor. talks of "healers." Now, it is a separate question
                    as to what that word and the recommended task actually included, and I
                    leave that aside for now. What I want to emphasize is that you have
                    taken out 1/3 of the ***demonstration*** acts of those sent. (the
                    actions of lodging in welcoming homes (presence/ relating), dining
                    (commensality) and "healing.") The effect of this is that the mission
                    is really reduced to a proclamation movement and so the apostles are
                    now "prophets." That reframes the action of the agenda significantly.

                    Second, by changing the tense of the verb about the significance of
                    this agenda from "has come near" to "is getting near," you completely
                    reframe the point of the agenda and the expectation of what is being
                    demonstrated. Now picking up Q and going to the earliest rendition in
                    Q 1 (found in Luke 10), the significance of the actions and shared
                    relationships in a welcoming home is that there ***is*** a
                    demonstration of "the KOG come near." In plain terms, where there is
                    joy and welcome, the sharing of shalom, the delight of shared
                    commensality and where illness is tended to, then the closing
                    summation "has come near" points to those activities as exemplifying
                    "God's rule." If you will look at Psalm 103:1-5, for example, we can
                    find a description of the experience of God's presence, and the
                    complete range of recommended actions cohere with making that
                    experience come alive. This charge to "speak Peace," then has actual
                    connection to commanded actions and has real life consequences of
                    actually sharing a meaningful "peace experience."

                    Third, by accepting the Matthean framing about the exclusivity of this
                    mission, you are forced to push aside what Mark really wants to
                    emphasize with Jesus in the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman and
                    what earlier Paul was obviously excited about, namely that this
                    "ministry of reconciliation" had no boundaries, but was for the
                    world. Retrojecting a Matthean frame on top of HJ and the original
                    enactors of this mission overruns not only Paul and Mark, it also
                    actually overruns the Torah notation from Genesis 12 that God's
                    Covenant of Blessing was for the whole world and all that Prophetic
                    dreaming language of a world that is redeemed. Hence your choices
                    paint Jesus to be an ultra nationalist "talking head" prophet who
                    decided to ignore or just didn't believe the very significance of the
                    apocalyptic dreams, a world redeemed.

                    I, of course, do not think that "apocalyptic dreaming" was on Jesus'
                    mind, and one reason for that, besides the language that he majored in
                    and the clear evidence of sayings that tell otherwise, is precisely
                    the mission agenda language as we have it. "Say to them that the
                    Kingdom of God ***has*** come near." This is not a longing for a
                    future dream, but rather a call to "make it real."

                    Again, I appreciate your sharing your reconstruction. I very much
                    think it is your own and that it vitally misses not only key elements
                    of the actual mission agenda, but also misses the point of the
                    experienced significance of the agenda. Per Paul in 2 Cor. 5, I think
                    this is best described as "a ministry of reconciliation," and I think
                    it worked! This is to say, I think people experienced reconciliation
                    and hence a reconciliation movement was begun.

                    Gordon Raynal
                    Inman, SC
                    >
                  • Gordon Raynal
                    Ron, Here s my second reflection. In the note about the mission, I cut out your link for others to refer to. Sorry! Here I will leave it so as readers can
                    Message 9 of 20 , Feb 10, 2011
                      Ron,

                      Here's my second reflection. In the note about the mission, I cut out
                      your link for others to refer to. Sorry! Here I will leave it so as
                      readers can easily check out your rendition of the aphorisms of Jesus.
                      On Feb 9, 2011, at 7:03 AM, Ronald Price wrote:

                      > Gordon Raynal wrote:
                      >
                      >> ..... I note, however, that your connection point is to "Semitic
                      >> poetry" and
                      >> not the aphorisms and proverbs found in the Hebraic tradition. Why
                      >> not this
                      >> connection?
                      >>
                      > I was trying to be more general. But “Hebrew poetry” is fine by me.
                      >
                      >
                      > Ron Price,
                      >
                      > Derbyshire, UK
                      >
                      > http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_sQet.html
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      In A 8 you maintain the cluster (in short form) "other cheek," "coat
                      as well," "give to anyone who begs," "[from borrowers], do not ask
                      back," "love your enemies," "sunrise/ rain fall," and "be
                      compassionate." Matthew, Luke and the Didache work to preserve this
                      clustering in their own ways, and I would note in the Didache that
                      this is at the very heart of the interpretation of "the Way of Life"
                      and interprets the core meaning of "Love God, neighbor, self." If one
                      does accept Q, then this tight clustering of the core of these sayings
                      likewise connects to the sum of Torah as both Hillel and Jesus framed
                      it (found in Luke 6:27-30). Q/ Luke 6:31 gives Jesus positive framing
                      of "Do unto others...." Hillel had framed the core of Torah in the
                      negative, "Don't do to others."

                      My first comment is that I think this saying cluster gets us to the
                      heart of the ethos of the "ministry of reconciliation" (per Paul's
                      language). I think that both Paul's "fruits of the Spirit" in
                      Galatians 5 and James' "Wisdom from Above" are poetic ethos
                      reflections precisely on this core of sayings.

                      Second comment. Whether in Q or in your rendition of an early sayings
                      Gospel, and is true in Mark, Matthew and Luke as regards the aphorisms
                      attributed to Jesus, we find them clustered. The act of clustering
                      aphorisms changes their function. In all these works they now become
                      "proclamations" and/ or "teachings." Quite understandably, after the
                      speaker is long gone, there is clear purpose in this. One purpose is
                      simply to remember the sayings by association with similar sayings or
                      similar themes. A second purpose is to focus on proclamation and or
                      teaching. This both works to frame an understanding of Jesus as a
                      preacher and/ or teacher and serves therefore to authorize these words
                      as "original preaching/ teaching" and therefore as the curriculum for
                      the readers/ hearers of the works they are found it. These are worthy
                      and very necessary goals. Aphorisms may indeed be used to preach and
                      teach. In general terms this effect from the clustering produces the
                      moral stance and so education of the community. Allegorizing
                      aphorisms (and parables) is a key task so that one has "word pictures"
                      to direct learning and action based in this curriculum. As nearly 2
                      millennia of lessons and sermons show, a lot has been made out of the
                      aphorisms (and parables) by this starting with the clustered sayings
                      as proclamation/ teaching. All good. One need not plumb behind
                      this... except...

                      Aphorisms are wisdom words. They are word puzzles. Spoken aloud they
                      are a form of present tense speech and interaction communication. At
                      the living level of communication with others, the use of such
                      language forms is not so much about educating (you can think about a
                      conversation/ interaction later), but about "puzzling" together "in
                      the moment." The aim of such is "to make sense." And obviously the
                      importance of "making sense" is not some abstract activity, but a real
                      life encounter issue.

                      Consider this analogy. At cross roads on streets there are (or should
                      be) "Stop" signs. Now that sign is indicative of laws. One may see
                      the sign and inquire into such issues as public safety, the state of
                      the courts, the justness of it being placed on one corner and not
                      another (who has the right away at a given intersection), etc. But
                      the ***immediate*** purpose of this sign is to get you to do something
                      when you see the sign. If you don't do that something, you could well
                      be dead!

                      Now that analogy is to a present tense "command" example. A "Stop"
                      sign is not a puzzle:)! The word commands. The color red commands
                      (and so stop lights don't need the word written on them). The
                      octagonal shape commands. All of this is for a very good reason, of
                      course.

                      Continuing on. There are times in life, although dangerous, that one
                      should ignore the Stop Sign. Ambulances and firetrucks, for instance
                      are allowed to do this so lives can be saved. Hence they are armed
                      with loud sirens and when they are blaring, one needs to pull over to
                      the side, not proceed across an otherwise clear street ahead until one
                      knows where they are and their path. The command to Stop in that sign
                      is therefore conditional. Real life is not at simple as even a stop
                      and go sign.

                      And now to the meat of the matter. In this analogy, imagine someone
                      going around and painting the Stop signs green! If not done as an act
                      of vandalism or outright banditry, that would ***really*** present
                      drivers with a puzzle. The word would say "Stop," the color would
                      say, "Go!" What would the sign actually be communicating? This
                      puzzling sign would serve to challenge the whole basic education about
                      safe driving and traffic flow!

                      Now, admittedly this is an absurd example, but it allows me to get to
                      the point. "Love your enemies" said out loud and heard as a wisdom
                      puzzle is indeed quite the puzzle. Per the many who have said it (and
                      I heard it out the mouth of Robert Funk, for example), "if you love
                      others, they're not your enemies." As a word puzzle it blows up the
                      usual ways in which basic human interactions occur. So what's the
                      point of doing that?

                      Well, obviously, somethings in life... like safely driving down the
                      street are as simple as learning and following commands (one
                      exception, if you're going to be an ambulance or fire truck driver).
                      Life typically is about problems and solutions and "command language"
                      is all about "the typical circumstances in life." But then we also
                      face in "real life" situations and circumstances for which problem/
                      solution and so, command and obedience is simply inadequate. Simple
                      right and wrongs, even if they are discoverable, are not adequate to
                      figuring out the best course of actions given the circumstances. It
                      takes "puzzling" to figure that out. Best of all, if persons are
                      awakened to puzzling together, then the chosen course of action has
                      the potential, at least, to resolve the puzzle in the best manner
                      possible. Therefore, speech that can arouse such puzzling, especially
                      in significantly confusing times, has the potential ("if one has ears
                      to hear!") to help foster "a common sense." And when typical "common
                      sense" fails, then "extraordinary good sense" is the order of the
                      day. If and when that is found, well that is just amazing.

                      Understanding how wisdom language works is not about philosophizing or
                      theologizing abstractions, it is all about "making sense" in the here
                      (and hear) and now. When the issue of the circumstances cry out for
                      "reconciliation," then the potency of language that enables such a
                      social interaction to come alive is potentially amazing. To say the
                      least (watch what is going on now in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen) ***real
                      reconciliation*** is one tremendously tough puzzle to figure out.
                      Multi-party spirit reigns. If a voice arrives that effectively will
                      unite the voices in discord, ***then*** some real progress can be made
                      towards the new day of freedom. When the realities of finding the
                      cords that bind are effected (thus overwhelming the sense of discord),
                      something amazing can happen. Let us hope some one or ones are able
                      to effect this.

                      Back to Jesus. To insist on listening to each aphorism on its own is
                      not a plea to forget the effectiveness and meaning found in the
                      clustering of the sayings towards moral edification. That is a
                      valuable thing unto itself. But to not plumb behind that clustering
                      and past that educational (problem/ solving) function is to miss the
                      present tense function of the language. It is to actually miss Jesus'
                      voice at the most vital level for it is to miss the opportunity to be
                      more than educated. It is to miss the invitation to puzzle together.

                      "Love your enemies" is a WHOPPER of a word puzzle! Per the Jesus
                      Seminar, it pretty much sums the center of the puzzle that Jesus
                      raised. (see "The Five Gospels" page 147). And so finally to your
                      division of aphorisms from parables, the very reason "Good Sam" makes
                      it to the list of authentic Jesus speech even though we only have it
                      from Luke, is that heard as a parable, and not just a moral admonition
                      about being nice to strangers, it very much enlivens the very heart of
                      the "Love your enemies" puzzle. Even if Luke created the parable, it
                      ***is not*** an allegory. It is a jaw dropping puzzle.

                      To conclude, I'd rather like to leave you with the image of Jesus
                      going around Galilee, Herod Philip's domain, up into the region of
                      Tyre and finally down to Jerusalem painting all the Stop Signs green.
                      Some thought he was a criminal. Some thought he was insane. Some
                      didn't get it. Some got it and were horrified. But, now connecting
                      to that Mission Agenda, some really "got it" and shared home and table
                      and experienced social/ relational healing. That was "real stuff,"
                      not some future hope. That was reconciliation experienced and
                      enlivened in the sharing. As opposed to "Party Spirit," that was
                      "Shalom Shared." And far from being some pontificating on grand ideas
                      or simply teaching Jewish ethics, this was then and now dangerous (run
                      the list of those who turned to at least some aspects of real
                      reconciliation work: Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr.,
                      Malcolm X after he returned from Mecca, Anwar Sadat, Rabin, it is
                      often deadly work where precisely those on the inside get most upset
                      and murderous). Historically Jesus belongs with that group of folks.
                      And my point here is that this was not a moral education movement, nor
                      a dreaming of the future movement, as the actual mission agenda words
                      show. And further, the language of aphorisms and parables precisely
                      worked to foster the movement. Reconciliation is never simply "a
                      problem to be solved." It is a kind of healing that must be figured
                      out. Whether in marital therapy or all the way up to the contest of
                      nations, "problem/ solution" thinking is necessary, but never enough.
                      Engagement in real puzzling is what is needed and that is precisely
                      the value of the language heard as word puzzles. Whatever one's
                      source theories.... however valuable the words brought together are
                      for proclamation and educational purposes, to not slow down and to not
                      listen to each saying on its own... in the present tense... in the
                      present circumstances... is to miss the very core of how the language
                      functions. I'm not in any way for underrating the other uses of the
                      language. But, I am very much for "trying to hear." That means... a
                      saying at a time... a parable at a time... and the willingness to "let
                      the puzzle sink in."

                      Your own listing nicely preserves the core language of Jesus. I don't
                      think any such animal ever existed, but that actually doesn't bother
                      me much. As is evident in this note, I ardently hope that folks will
                      take the time to not start with bundles or clumps or particular
                      Gospels, but simply listen and be puzzled.

                      Gordon Raynal
                      Inman, SC
                    • Ronald Price
                      ... Gordon, Thanks for expressing an interest. ... The Critical edition of Q is an amalgam. Why would you expect my reconstruction be any different in this
                      Message 10 of 20 , Feb 10, 2011
                        Gordon Raynal wrote:

                        > Thanks again for sending you understanding of a re-constructed sayings
                        > Gospel. Most interesting.

                        Gordon,

                        Thanks for expressing an interest.

                        > In B4, which you do attribute as going back to HJ, your create your
                        > understanding of the Mission Agenda saying by choosing different parts
                        > of the sayings cluster from the Synoptic Gospels ... your own reconstruction
                        > is an amalgam.

                        The 'Critical edition of Q' is an amalgam. Why would you expect my
                        reconstruction be any different in this respect?

                        > The problem is that you've created this text.

                        Of course I have. That's what reconstruction is all about, recreating what
                        is deemed to be the original from the various extant texts.

                        > ..... You, however,
                        > change the tense of the verb in the proclamation of the significance
                        > of the Agenda from, "the kingdom of God has come near" (Mt. 10:7 & Lk.
                        > 9) to "The Kingdom of God is getting near."

                        The context (B7, from Mt 10:23) indicates that this is the original meaning.
                        The change of tense probably suited the synoptic writers, and especially
                        Luke (c.f. the Lukan agenda reflected in Lk 11:20; 17:21)

                        > In the mission you drop out the charge to heal.

                        Yes I do. In my opinion this is clearly derived from Mark, who was the first
                        to claim that Jesus had been a healer. Note how in Mark the basic
                        instructions (6:8-11) make no mention of healing. Mark redactionally wrapped
                        the healing around the outside (vv.7 & 12-13).

                        > It is entirely circumscribed as an exclusive national mission.

                        So you think the original mission was to the whole world? That seems a tad
                        over ambitious to me. Twelve men to evangelize the whole world? I don't
                        think so. In any case this view is contradicted by certain texts which
                        Matthew retained, but Luke deemed inappropriate for the mission to the
                        Gentiles.

                        > And framing this activity with "is getting near"
                        > means that the effort is rather much a promotional tour for "a coming
                        > attraction," so to speak, and not something complete unto itself.

                        Indeed. This seems to be indicated by Mt 10:23b.

                        > Leaving aside the question of Q for a moment, save for G. Thomas, all
                        > the testimonies we have of the agenda itself (Matthew, Mark and 2
                        > renditions in Luke) include healing.

                        And Matthew and Luke both copied many of the Markan stories about healing,
                        so it is not surprising that they would adjust the mission statement in line
                        with the Markan version to match the stories.

                        > ..... What I want to emphasize is that you have
                        > taken out 1/3 of the ***demonstration*** acts of those sent. (the
                        > actions of lodging in welcoming homes (presence/ relating), dining
                        > (commensality) and "healing.") The effect of this is that the mission
                        > is really reduced to a proclamation movement and so the apostles are
                        > now "prophets." That reframes the action of the agenda significantly.

                        Indeed. The mission was about a message, just as the Christian mission has
                        been in modern times except for some evangelicals who claim to be able to
                        heal. On scientific grounds we must judge the latter to be a sham.

                        > where illness is tended to .....

                        You sound like Burton Mack. The gospel writers had no such inhibitions, and
                        I cannot believe that the "healing" to which the synoptics refer is merely
                        tending the sick. When Mark refers to healing he is clearly referring to
                        miraculous healing (Mk 6:13). Mack's 'pay attention to the sick'
                        interpretation is a liberal fudge.

                        > Third, by accepting the Matthean framing about the exclusivity of this
                        > mission, you are forced to push aside what Mark really wants to
                        > emphasize with Jesus in the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman and
                        > what earlier Paul was obviously excited about, namely that this
                        > "ministry of reconciliation" had no boundaries, but was for the
                        > world.

                        I am not pushing anything aside, but carefully placing texts in their
                        appropriate historical context. We then have the natural sequence: the
                        original mission to Israel instigated by Jesus and his first followers was
                        transformed by Paul and the synoptic writers into a mission to the world.
                        The story of the Syro-Phoenician woman was a part of the latter
                        transformation.

                        > Retrojecting a Matthean frame on top of HJ and the original
                        > enactors of this mission .....

                        The frame was correctly retained by Matthew. Mark and Luke omitted it
                        because it contradicted their Paul-inspired vision of a worldwide mission.

                        > Hence your choices paint Jesus to be an ultra nationalist

                        Well he was surely a nationalist. Christ = Messiah = God's anointed king.
                        Had his vision not included an element of nationalism, he would not have
                        been crucified.

                        > ... "talking head" prophet who
                        > decided to ignore or just didn't believe the very significance of the
                        > apocalyptic dreams, a world redeemed.

                        Jesus was expecting the imminent arrival of the kingdom - there wasn't even
                        going to be time to evangelize all the towns in Israel. So what would have
                        been the point of planning a world mission?

                        > I, of course, do not think that "apocalyptic dreaming" was on Jesus'
                        > mind, and one reason for that, besides the language that he majored in
                        > and the clear evidence of sayings that tell otherwise, is precisely
                        > the mission agenda language as we have it. "Say to them that the
                        > Kingdom of God ***has*** come near." This is not a longing for a
                        > future dream, but rather a call to "make it real."

                        You make a great deal about the tense, but it really doesn't make a lot of
                        difference. The real question is whether the kingdom is near in space or in
                        time. My wording "is getting near" unambiguously indicates the latter
                        because that's what the whole context implies, and if you're unhappy with Mt
                        10:23b, then look at e.g. Lk 17:30, where "on the day" refers to a future
                        time, not a place.

                        The net result of my interpretation and my consequent reconstruction is a
                        realistic historical sequence for the emergence of the new religion of
                        Christianity out of the older religion of Judaism, and that's in addition to
                        a credible sayings source, which Q as normally reconstructed is certainly
                        not.

                        Ron Price,

                        Derbyshire, UK

                        http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/
                      • Gordon Raynal
                        Hi, I appreciate your response in contrasting our differences. I ll let most of them stand for others to see and or comment on the list. ... For the record
                        Message 11 of 20 , Feb 10, 2011
                          Hi,

                          I appreciate your response in contrasting our differences. I'll let
                          most of them stand for others to see and or comment on the list.
                          On Feb 10, 2011, at 12:07 PM, Ronald Price wrote:

                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >> In the mission you drop out the charge to heal.
                          >
                          > Yes I do. In my opinion this is clearly derived from Mark, who was
                          > the first
                          > to claim that Jesus had been a healer. Note how in Mark the basic
                          > instructions (6:8-11) make no mention of healing. Mark redactionally
                          > wrapped
                          > the healing around the outside (vv.7 & 12-13).

                          For the record regarding whether or not Jesus was a talented folk
                          healer, I don't know. I'm fine either way. There's no point arguing
                          that the Q rendition is the earliest gathering of the whole agenda
                          (the Thomas version is the earliest and simplest, in my view).
                          Whatever the medical level of care Jesus or these earliest folks
                          offered (whether praying with/ for individuals or "casting out
                          demons"), the central gist of the "healing" in the text is certainly
                          "social healing." And this is simply derived from not only Paul's
                          description of the movement, but also a whole cluster of sayings/
                          scenes that serve to sum up the mission. Certainly by the time
                          Corinthians was written, however, there were medicinal healers
                          actively involved in the movement.
                          >
                          >> It is entirely circumscribed as an exclusive national mission.
                          >
                          > So you think the original mission was to the whole world? That seems
                          > a tad
                          > over ambitious to me. Twelve men to evangelize the whole world? I
                          > don't
                          > think so. In any case this view is contradicted by certain texts which
                          > Matthew retained, but Luke deemed inappropriate for the mission to the
                          > Gentiles.

                          I perhaps didn't say this well. I think the initiation and praxis was
                          regional (again Galilee, the region of Tyre-Sidon, Herod Philips
                          domain, Samaria and Judea). But I think Jesus understood quite well
                          the implication of Torah and the Prophets. Matthew, especially, is
                          emphasizing the unique focus on Israel. This a part of his theology,
                          and in my view represents the important arguments that were going on
                          in the 80's and 90's.

                          >
                          >
                          >> And framing this activity with "is getting near"
                          >> means that the effort is rather much a promotional tour for "a coming
                          >> attraction," so to speak, and not something complete unto itself.
                          >
                          > Indeed. This seems to be indicated by Mt 10:23b.

                          So, a plain statement is in the text is changed on the basis of "an
                          indication" outside the text? I certainly don't think Mt. 10:23b
                          belongs to HJ.
                          >
                          >>
                          >
                          >> ..... What I want to emphasize is that you have
                          >> taken out 1/3 of the ***demonstration*** acts of those sent. (the
                          >> actions of lodging in welcoming homes (presence/ relating), dining
                          >> (commensality) and "healing.") The effect of this is that the
                          >> mission
                          >> is really reduced to a proclamation movement and so the apostles are
                          >> now "prophets." That reframes the action of the agenda
                          >> significantly.
                          >
                          > Indeed. The mission was about a message, just as the Christian
                          > mission has
                          > been in modern times except for some evangelicals who claim to be
                          > able to
                          > heal. On scientific grounds we must judge the latter to be a sham.

                          A clear statement of our fundamental disagreement.
                          >
                          >> where illness is tended to .....
                          >
                          > You sound like Burton Mack. The gospel writers had no such
                          > inhibitions, and
                          > I cannot believe that the "healing" to which the synoptics refer is
                          > merely
                          > tending the sick. When Mark refers to healing he is clearly
                          > referring to
                          > miraculous healing (Mk 6:13). Mack's 'pay attention to the sick'
                          > interpretation is a liberal fudge.

                          I don't mind sounding like Mack in this regard. It is not "a liberal
                          fudge," it a fair description of a social movement centered on
                          "reconciliation."
                          >
                          >>
                          >
                          >> Hence your choices paint Jesus to be an ultra nationalist
                          >
                          > Well he was surely a nationalist. Christ = Messiah = God's anointed
                          > king.
                          > Had his vision not included an element of nationalism, he would not
                          > have
                          > been crucified.

                          I would urge you to re-read precisely the prophetic hope language
                          regarding the Promised King and I would also remind you that the term
                          "Messiah" is used to talk about Cyrus of Persia! Even if Jesus were
                          centrally formed by the apocalyptic dreams of the Israelite
                          apocalyptic materials, that language is very much about the
                          restoration of the whole of creation. And in terms of service to the
                          world, Daniel is renowned for that!
                          >
                          >> ... "talking head" prophet who
                          >> decided to ignore or just didn't believe the very significance of the
                          >> apocalyptic dreams, a world redeemed.
                          >
                          > Jesus was expecting the imminent arrival of the kingdom - there
                          > wasn't even
                          > going to be time to evangelize all the towns in Israel. So what
                          > would have
                          > been the point of planning a world mission?

                          According to your gathering of the language. I simply do not buy this.
                          >
                          >> I, of course, do not think that "apocalyptic dreaming" was on Jesus'
                          >> mind, and one reason for that, besides the language that he majored
                          >> in
                          >> and the clear evidence of sayings that tell otherwise, is precisely
                          >> the mission agenda language as we have it. "Say to them that the
                          >> Kingdom of God ***has*** come near." This is not a longing for a
                          >> future dream, but rather a call to "make it real."
                          >
                          > You make a great deal about the tense, but it really doesn't make a
                          > lot of
                          > difference. The real question is whether the kingdom is near in
                          > space or in
                          > time. My wording "is getting near" unambiguously indicates the latter
                          > because that's what the whole context implies, and if you're unhappy
                          > with Mt
                          > 10:23b, then look at e.g. Lk 17:30, where "on the day" refers to a
                          > future
                          > time, not a place.
                          >
                          > The net result of my interpretation and my consequent reconstruction
                          > is a
                          > realistic historical sequence for the emergence of the new religion of
                          > Christianity out of the older religion of Judaism, and that's in
                          > addition to
                          > a credible sayings source, which Q as normally reconstructed is
                          > certainly
                          > not.

                          It certainly represents a reconstruction of Christianity. We will
                          continue to disagree about not only the core nature of the mission,
                          but also the sequence.

                          Thanks again for sharing your link.

                          Gordon Raynal
                          Inman, SC
                          >



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Ronald Price
                          ... Gordon, That¹s not too dissimilar from Mt 10:5b. ... That may be so, but I think Jesus had enough problems trying to find God¹s solution for his
                          Message 12 of 20 , Feb 11, 2011
                            Gordon Raynal wrote:

                            > I think the initiation and praxis was regional (again Galilee, the region of
                            > Tyre-Sidon, Herod Philips domain, Samaria and Judea).
                            >
                            Gordon,

                            That¹s not too dissimilar from Mt 10:5b.

                            > But I think Jesus understood quite well
                            > the implication of Torah and the Prophets.
                            >
                            That may be so, but I think Jesus had enough problems trying to find God¹s
                            solution for his compatriots. If he thought that the imminent arrival of the
                            kingdom would affect the whole world, it was surely a secondary effect. If I
                            remember correctly, the restoration of Israel was assumed to be first in the
                            prophetic pronouncements.

                            > So, a plain statement is in the text is changed on the basis of "an
                            > indication" outside the text?

                            I¹m not so much changing the text as trying to reconstruct the underlying
                            text, and I may not have got all the wording exactly right. Anyway, here is
                            another try at my reasoning.

                            (1) There are some authentic statements about the kingdom which are
                            ambiguous as regards timing, but those that are clear point to a future
                            coming, A21, C1, C12, c.f. C21.
                            (2) The redactional tendency to portray the kingdom as having arrived is
                            already clear in Matthew (Mt 11:11-12) and in Luke (Lk 17:21).
                            (3) On Mk 1:15, Hooker makes the perceptive comment that when asking about
                            the meaning of particular words, we are asking questions about Mark¹s use of
                            language, not about the words of Jesus. (Admittedly I believe there was an
                            intermediate stage here, namely putting in writing the sayings of Jesus, and
                            that does complicate the issue.)
                            (4) Unlike the majority of commentators, I take the sayings collection to
                            have been in Aramaic. So there is often an inevitable slight change in
                            meaning between what was written in the collection and what the synoptic
                            authors wrote in Greek.
                            (5) I believe Jesus was seriously concerned about the plight of his people
                            under the yoke of the Roman occupation. I cannot therefore picture him
                            indicating that the kingdom had in any sense come already. There may be a
                            partial analogy in Egypt right now.

                            By the way, in criticizing some evangelicals who claim to be able to heal, I
                            was not of course referring to what you call Œsocial healing¹, but rather to
                            claims of miraculous healing.

                            Ron Price,

                            Derbyshire, UK

                            http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Gordon Raynal
                            Hi Ron, Thanks for the continuing dialogue. Let me say that I think you are doing a good job of painting out the understanding of Jesus that begins with the
                            Message 13 of 20 , Feb 11, 2011
                              Hi Ron,

                              Thanks for the continuing dialogue. Let me say that I think you are
                              doing a good job of painting out the understanding of Jesus that
                              begins with the understanding that the key is found in "the imminent
                              expectation" of the Kingdom of God. Ever since Schweitzer this has
                              certainly garnered the majority appreciation of those specifically
                              working on the Historical Jesus/ Early Christianity questions/
                              issues. As you noted yesterday and is certainly true, starting with
                              these sayings/ this part of the Israelite tradition and so this
                              mindset for Jesus, one can assuredly paint out a plausible
                              reconstruction of the historical figure of Jesus, his earliest
                              followers and the development of a new religion out of an old one. I
                              certainly see no end in sight of the basic contest of starting points
                              and the result "word picturings." And I am fine with that because of
                              the richness of the literature we have access to (multiple
                              perspectives increase the vantage points to understand it) and because
                              even amidst the different perspectives there are a number of
                              commonalities which the diversity helps us understand in richer ways.

                              This said, then a couple of responses.
                              On Feb 11, 2011, at 10:22 AM, Ronald Price wrote:

                              >>
                              >>
                              > That may be so, but I think Jesus had enough problems trying to find
                              > God’s
                              > solution for his compatriots. If he thought that the imminent
                              > arrival of the
                              > kingdom would affect the whole world, it was surely a secondary
                              > effect. If I
                              > remember correctly, the restoration of Israel was assumed to be
                              > first in the
                              > prophetic pronouncements.

                              "If he thought that..." is, of course at the center of our dispute.
                              I, of course, think that the "center of thought" is found in the "here
                              and now" nature of wisdom communication, in the directed action of the
                              mission agenda as exemplifying/ making alive forgiveness/ redemption/
                              reconciliation (not sorta making it happen, but actually making it
                              alive), and then in the specific aphorisms that precisely indicate
                              this "here and now/ hear now!) sayings.

                              Bottom line, there are both anticipation and realization sayings
                              attributed to Jesus. Generally "your school of thought," sees "the
                              anticipation" sayings at the critical heart of the matter and then
                              "the realization" sayings the later reflections of the community.
                              Those of my school of thought see it exactly the opposite. Therefore,
                              not to endlessly argue, but rather to "paint it out," then simply
                              consider this alternative. And I do this, probably overly
                              simplistically, but simply here for a short note to show the alternate
                              plausible modeling:

                              Situation: The Israelite homeland had been essentially a province of
                              the Rome since Pompey came in and basically overwhelmed a Civil War,
                              siding with Hyracanus II and his Pharisee faction against Aristobulus
                              II and his Saducee faction. Thereafter between the parties known to
                              us from Josephus and the Jewish and Christian writings, there was all
                              manner of internal conflict between the political leaders, the Temple
                              establishment, the majority Pharisee Party (parties?), the Saducees,
                              the Essenes and such as "bandits, prophets, messianic wannabees" (per
                              Horsely's language). And never forgetting that the religion of Israel
                              was an international religion (Jews dispersed from old Babylon all the
                              way to Spain), and never forgetting either, the old "family" divide
                              between "Jews" and "Samaritans," the situation was complex,
                              multifaceted and there were sharp internal divides. The example of
                              the conflicts at the death of Herod the Great, as Josephus reports,
                              were but one example of the complexity and the contest of voices.

                              This noted, focus on "the anticipation" sayings leads to various kinds
                              of portraitures of Jesus best understood in relationship to the voices
                              "for Liberation," in some manner. In your above statement you use the
                              language of "trying to find God's solutions for his compatriots."
                              And, of course, I'm really interested in how expansive your and
                              anyone's understanding "of compatriots" is? Galileans? Galileans and
                              Judeans? All Jews in the Diaspora and the homeland? The question of
                              "national"/ "international" very much relates to "the Jewish
                              situation." (Obviously, according to Josephus, for example, there were
                              a lot of Jews quite happy to live in Rome.) At any rate, those who
                              focus on the anticipation language regarding an actual change in the
                              political circumstances, obviously have to admit that this
                              "anticipation" was utterly wrong. For those who say it's all about
                              some sort of "religious or spiritual liberation" and really an "after
                              life," then Jesus can either be excused for his wrongness about the
                              imminent timing issue or focus can be placed that his "imminent"
                              language was about quickly arousing a movement and that his head was
                              actually into "only the Father knows the hour." In broad strokes
                              those are the basic options. And so the understanding of the ordering
                              of texts basically proceeds in a fashion of a forceful anticipation
                              movement that inexorably became an institutionalized movement that
                              later led to the explosion of all kinds of writings and factions. For
                              example, pretty much the Gospel of Thomas has to be late, dependent
                              and basically quasi heretical, if not outright heretical on this
                              modeling.

                              And so quickly, the alternative of " here and now reconciliation"
                              movement. In the above situation, the very nature of the question of
                              "what defines us" was huge! And in such circumstances, having a clear
                              vision of identity that effectively communicates is sure to get
                              attention, if effectively shared. Second, a reconciliation movement,
                              in principle, is about gathering as much diversity that can
                              cooperatively function together as possible. Such movements are by
                              their very nature very dicey, because "Party Spirit" can blow them
                              apart. But where actually effective a new kind of identity can be
                              effected that supersedes the former divided understandings of
                              identity. And effectively this kind of effort can even have effects
                              reaching far beyond the original particular situation and issues. And
                              this is the picturing that I favor as original. And therefore I find
                              it no surprise at all that there was quite the diversity of writings,
                              because reconciliation movements even when effective gather
                              individuals and groups from a number of perspectives who continue to
                              use their primary interpretive lens to communicate about the new
                              movement they are a part of. And in my view, this is what we see.
                              The literature we have shows Jesus being "pictured" from a whole
                              variety of lens and thus quite naturally he was variously titled,
                              "Christ," "Son of God," "Son of Man," "High Priest after the Order of
                              Melchizedek," etc. etc.... I do not think we have the founding of a
                              particularly ideological movement that was reframed, rather a
                              reconciliation movement that brought together a whole array of Jewish
                              voices who left us this rich heritage of reflections.

                              I'll simply end this very sketchy reply with this note. I have no
                              need to Q to come up with this. I don't even need to go outside the
                              Canonical materials and extant texts therein. But the two gems that
                              absolutely do help me sketch this out are Thomas and the Didache. And
                              sometimes for a thought experiment I'd ask you to simply do a sayings
                              comparison between Thomas and Mark. The tradition way of seeing the
                              relationship will be to suggest that Thomas shows a later
                              "spiritualizing" or Gnosticizing redaction of the more pure Markan
                              forms. I think that has the order wrong ***as regards*** a comparison
                              of the individual sayings/ stories. (I do think Extant Thomas is
                              later than Mark and shows a clear redaction spin put on many of the
                              sayings, but I quite think the there is a core in Thomas that is
                              indeed pre-Markan.) So, forgetting Q and your own reconstructed
                              sayings Gospel, I urge you to do a comparison of these two actual
                              texts and not ones based on theoretical constructions. And again,
                              simply try reading the individual sayings in both orderings.
                              >
                              >> So, a plain statement is in the text is changed on the basis of "an
                              >> indication" outside the text?
                              >
                              > I’m not so much changing the text as trying to reconstruct the
                              > underlying
                              > text, and I may not have got all the wording exactly right. Anyway,
                              > here is
                              > another try at my reasoning.

                              But you do change the wording of the sayings as is presented in the
                              literature.
                              >
                              >
                              > (5) I believe Jesus was seriously concerned about the plight of his
                              > people
                              > under the yoke of the Roman occupation. I cannot therefore picture
                              > him
                              > indicating that the kingdom had in any sense come already. There may
                              > be a
                              > partial analogy in Egypt right now.

                              Again, I'm wondering the extent of his concern went and what it would
                              look like, if say the Antipas, the Sanhedrin and the majority of the
                              Pharisees had welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem. What would that have
                              looked like?

                              But from my perspective... the creation of an effective reconciliation
                              work clearly gives evidence to Sabbath made alive in the world. My
                              actual preference what what the phrase "Kingdom of God" is indicative
                              of is "the Ruling Suasion of YHWH Elohim's Shalom made alive." (Or
                              something like that!) In the Israelite Wisdom heritage such as
                              Proverbs 3:14-18 and in the Psalmic heritage Psalm 85 do nice jobs of
                              expressing the sense and the poetry of what this makes for in life.
                              >
                              > By the way, in criticizing some evangelicals who claim to be able to
                              > heal, I
                              > was not of course referring to what you call ‘social healing’, but
                              > rather to
                              > claims of miraculous healing.

                              I understand. I really have no clue if Jesus himself was a talented
                              folk healer or not. That the movement made this a specific priority
                              was obviously early and important.

                              Gordon Raynal
                              Inman, SC
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