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

Re: [XTalk] Word pictures in the synoptics

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 20 , Feb 9, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      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]
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
      >
      > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
    • 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 2 of 20 , Feb 9, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 20 , Feb 9, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 20 , Feb 9, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 20 , Feb 10, 2011
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 20 , Feb 10, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                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 7 of 20 , Feb 10, 2011
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 of 20 , Feb 10, 2011
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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 9 of 20 , Feb 11, 2011
                    • 0 Attachment
                      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 10 of 20 , Feb 11, 2011
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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
                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.