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[Xtalk] Re: Burton Mack et al

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  • Bernard Muller
    Stevan Davies wrote: Absolutely true. But let me unpack the statement. By my hypothesis what we have is not the eventual retention of the single
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 5, 1999
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      Stevan Davies wrote:

      >
      > Absolutely true. But let me unpack the statement. By my hypothesis
      > what we have is not the eventual retention of the single manuscript
      > of the autograph of Luke-Acts ever produced by the author, but a
      > particular version of that work, the one presented to Theophilus. For
      > Theophilus Luke put together three texts that he had written at
      > separate times, Acts, 3:1-ff Luke, 1-2 Luke into chronologically
      > consecutive order and added introductions to the Gospel and to
      > Acts. It is that copy that began to circulate (probably because
      > Theophilus had sufficient wealth to order several copies made).
      >
      > Thus, certainly at the beginning of Acts Luke has taken out whatever
      > was there previously and replaced it with several sentences.

      Hum! But don't you think that if Luke's gospel came first, this
      undocumented hypothesis (and Theophilus ("lover of god"), regarded by
      many as fictitious) would not be necessary?

      > As your own letter indicates, not very much preceding gospel
      > knowledge was required. Some reference to apostles eating and
      > drinking with the risen Lord seems likely. There could have been
      > more... but speculating about texts that don't exist sans evidence
      > won't help much.

      OK, but that's one more fix up required (with Ac1:1-2). Who would have
      done it? Theophilus, according to your hypothesis.

      > The census mentioned in Luke 1-2 is famously difficult, if not
      > impossible, to equate firmly with known events of the time. Whether
      > the Acts 5:37 census is the same census seems even more
      > difficult to determine. Do you know the date of J the Galilean census?

      According to Josephus' Ant. XVIII, I, 6 and II, 1, the census occurs in
      6-7C.E, under Cyrenius, the president of Syria, right after he took
      office. Judas the Galilean revolted against the Romans at that time.
      In GLuke, the census is "the *first* census that took place while
      Quirinius was governor of Syria".
      Of course, "Luke" made a mistake (possibly deliberate): I explain in my
      page "Appendix A", that "Luke", browsing Jos' Wars, missed on the few
      words mentioning the 9 to 10 years reign of Archelaus (II, VII, 3).
      Furthermore, and among other things (all explained in my Appendix), the
      "about 30 years" (Lk3:23) confirms that Luke's had in mind the year of
      4B.C.E, after Herod the Great's death, as the date for Jesus' birth. I
      know the whole subject is very messy & complex, and I labored a lot on
      it. But it can be read in:
      http://www.concentric.net/~Mullerb/appa.shtml

      I understand that in Wars, only one Roman census in Palestine is
      mentioned. So "Luke" very likely picked up the only census recorded and
      used it to explain (dubiously) the birth in Bethlehem. Then later, the
      author used "the census" in Acts. Here it identifies when Judas' revolt
      took place. Of course, with the gospel written before Acts, "the census"
      of Judas would not require any more details and the "the" would be
      justified.


      > > e) Gmark, written later, is ignorant of Acts, and the 40 days "ate and
      > > drank".
      >
      > Right. But this doesn't prove anything. Gmark was ignorant of
      > 99% of the literature of his day, as am I.

      I forgot to add that also Gluke (in part) and GMatthew (totally) did not
      know about an early Acts and the 40 days. However they knew about Gmark
      and Q. Oh, I forgot, honest, that you think Theophilus kept everything
      under wrap up to the time GLuke parts were all done, put together and
      published by him. But why did he not publish Acts earlier?

      I wonder if you have any argument to share (from points drawn from
      within Acts and GLuke) to suggest that Acts was written before the
      gospel.

      Bernard
      http://www.concentric.net/~Mullerb/

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    • Michael Davies
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      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 5, 1999
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        > Oh, I forgot, honest, that you think Theophilus kept everything
        > under wrap up to the time GLuke parts were all done, put together and
        > published by him. But why did he not publish Acts earlier?
        > Bernard

        What sentences of mine are you responding to here?

        Steve

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      • Stephen C. Carlson
        At 10:26 AM 6/5/99 -0600, Bernard Muller wrote: Stephen C. Carlson wrote: He admits that there really isn t much to go on in dating Mark because the
        Message 3 of 15 , Jun 5, 1999
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          At 10:26 AM 6/5/99 -0600, Bernard Muller wrote:
          >Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
          >> He admits that there really isn't much to go on in dating
          >> Mark because the references to the destruction of the temple in 70 is too
          >> vague in Mark.
          >
          >Too vague? "Mark" has Jerusalem destroyed stone by stone (usually,
          >Romans were destroying rebellious cities by just torching them, no
          >more). As it looks, most people of Judea fled to the (relative) safety
          >of walled Jerusalem. There, they either died of famine during the siege
          >or were executed by the Romans after it. Some were lucky enough to
          >become slaves instead. No wonder "Mark" has Jesus advising these Judean
          >peasants to flee in the mountains and not Jerusalem. Please notice the
          >"now" in Mk13:19 which replaces a "then" from a similar passage in
          >Daniel 12:1. That's very telling.

          There is little definite detail that would betray actual knowledge
          of the destruction after 70 BC rather than rehearsal of predictions
          such as Dan. 9:26 where "the troops of the prince who is to come
          shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." It is but a simple
          inference that a stone building would be destroyed by tearing the
          blocks down. The Romas actually burnt the temple, then razed it,
          leaving a wall standing. Thus, Mk13:2 is no more problematic as
          a prediction than Rabbi Johannan ben Zakkai forty year prior to
          its destruction (B. Yoma 39b).

          As for fleeing to the walled city or to the mountains, again
          Dan. 9:26 indicates that the city would be destroyed. It makes
          sense, as a simple inference from Daniel's account, that going
          to the city (predicted to be destroyed) is not recommended.

          Finally, the "now" in Mark 13:19 is more telling to you than
          to me. It is used in the phrase hEWS NUN (until now) and takes
          places in the story line in the time of Jesus, not at the
          destruction of the temple nor at the time of Mark's composition.

          >"Mark" did not have Josephus' Wars (as "Luke" did) and likely got his
          >(few and early) information verbally. And why would "Mark" feel
          >obligated to provide a lot of accurate info about 70C.E.? I do not see
          >one reason for it. Gmatthew, written later, does not give any more of
          >those. Furthermore "Mark" might have wanted not to be too obvious.
          >However, it seems that prayers helped! The siege occured in summer, not
          >winter (Mk13:19a).

          If the purpose of dating Mark after 70 is to explain the content of
          Mark 13 better than inferences from Daniel would (e.g. specific
          knowledge of actual events), then explaining away Mark's vagueness
          by appealing to his lack of accurate knowledge undercuts, rather
          than supports, the post-70 composition hypothesis. Mark could be
          just as vague by derived his knowledge from Daniel.

          >More details in this page:
          >http://www.concentric.net/~Mullerb/appd.shtml

          Thanks for the link.

          > There is a tendency to date Mark early because of Markan
          >> priority under the Two Source Hypothesis (and the Farrer Hypothesis), but
          >> not so early as 64 because Papias' reliability is questioned.
          >
          >I do not see the connection between Papias and 64C.E. I thought that
          >Papias was a young man around 90C.E. (and then got to know presbyter
          >John) and died around 140.

          I was too brief. Papias attests to a relationship between Mark and
          Peter, who denied c. 64. However, if Papias is not to believed
          because there was no relationship between Peter and Mark, then there
          is no reason to date so early. That is the basic reasoning I was
          summarizing.

          >> For Luke, L.T.Johnson places the gospel around 80-85 which is recent
          >> enough for a companion of Paul ("we"-sections of Acts) to have written
          >> Luke-Acts and to have ignored Paul's letters, but late enough to
          >> account for the nostalgia in his works. Writing from a more
          >> conservative perspective, Johnson, however, did not discuss the
          >> fairly clear (at least in comparison with the others) references to
          >> the destruction of Jerusalem.
          >
          >According to my study, for the gospel, "Luke" had Wars (but not
          >Antiquities). Later, when writing Acts, "Luke" had Ant. I did not
          >explain that (only) in view on where "Luke" got the info, but also how
          >the author made its own historical errors.

          I think it can be argued the other way (or that there is no connection
          between Josephus' writings and Luke-Acts). For example, one website
          argues that Josephus is dependent on Luke's road to Emmaus story.

          >Notice that in the paralytic story, "Luke" is unaware on how the
          >Palestinian roofs are built. That would take "Luke" out of the "we"
          >people, accompanying Paul to Jerusalem and 2 years after, to Rome from
          >Ceasarea. Also "Luke" is very reliant on Gmark about geographical
          >details and copied its mistakes. For example, Bethany is on the Mount of
          >Olives (Lk19:29,24:50; Acts1:12) and not farther in a valley behind it.

          I see things differently, specifically in that Luke at 5:19 redacted
          Mark 2:4 to make things more intellible to Luke's readers, who are
          outside of Palestine. As for Bethany, it appears that you are
          assuming that Paul's companion has time in Jerusalem to get to know
          the area. But, this seems unwarranted Thus, these examples would not
          disqualify Luke's being a companion of Paul who briefly accompanied
          him to Jerusalem.

          I looked at Burton Mack's WHO WROTE THE NEW TESTAMENT for reasons why
          Luke should be dated in the early 2d cen., but I only read Mack's
          confident opinion and no arguments to back it up.

          Stpehen Carlson
          --
          Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
          Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
          "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

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        • Bernard Muller
          Michael Davies wrote: Oh, I forgot, honest, that you think Theophilus kept everything under wrap up to the time GLuke parts were all done, put
          Message 4 of 15 , Jun 5, 1999
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            Michael Davies wrote:
            >
            > > Oh, I forgot, honest, that you think Theophilus kept everything
            > > under wrap up to the time GLuke parts were all done, put together and
            > > published by him. But why did he not publish Acts earlier?
            > > Bernard
            >
            > What sentences of mine are you responding to here?
            >
            > Steve

            Time for me to go to bed! I misunderstood your main hypothesis, Steve.
            No, "Luke" did not provide Theophilus with 3 works at separate times,
            with Theo doing the final editing and publishing.
            Yes, "Luke" provided a complete version of his works, done at different
            times (with Acts written first and around 60) and slightly reedited, to
            Theophilus (after Gluke in two parts was written). Then Theo published
            the rearranged (by "Luke") complete works.
            I hope I got it right this time.
            I apologize for this confusion, it was not intentional.
            Of course, that raises questions like why "Luke" did not mention the 40
            days and Jesus *nailed* on the cross (Ac2:23) in the gospel. Why "Luke"
            is shy about Jesus only one apparition as "not a ghost" in the gospel
            and more confident & bold when writing Acts (earlier!), with many
            apparitions and drinking & eating sessions. Why in the gospel "Luke"
            bothered to write at length about Jesus appearing to (only) two
            otherwise unknown disciples on their way to Emmaus when in Acts Jesus is
            with his followers for some 40 days after his resurrection? Where did
            "Luke", who relied a lot on "Wars" for his gospel, got his historical
            bits for Acts (and got confused about the order of Theudas and Judas
            (Ac5:36-37) when that could be explained by some browsing on Ant. XX, V,
            1-2.)?
            Time to go in bed.
            Bernard
            http://www.concentric.net/~Mullerb/

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          • Bernard Muller
            Stephen C. Carlson wrote:There is little definite detail that would betray actual knowledge of the destruction after 70 BC rather than rehearsal of
            Message 5 of 15 , Jun 5, 1999
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              Stephen C. Carlson wrote:

              > There is little definite detail that would betray actual knowledge
              > of the destruction after 70 BC rather than rehearsal of predictions
              > such as Dan. 9:26 where "the troops of the prince who is to come
              > shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." It is but a simple
              > inference that a stone building would be destroyed by tearing the
              > blocks down.

              Maybe, but I do not read that in Daniel. Like I said, destruction
              usually mean burning, not razing.
              "Mark" is accurate on that point:
              Mk13:1a-2 "What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!" "Do you see
              all the great buildings?" replied Jesus. "Not one stone here will be
              left on one another; every one will be thrown down."

              The Romans actually burnt the temple, then razed it,
              > leaving a wall standing. Thus, Mk13:2 is no more problematic as
              > a prediction than Rabbi Johannan ben Zakkai forty year prior to
              > its destruction (B. Yoma 39b).
              >
              > As for fleeing to the walled city or to the mountains, again
              > Dan. 9:26 indicates that the city would be destroyed. It makes
              > sense, as a simple inference from Daniel's account, that going
              > to the city (predicted to be destroyed) is not recommended.

              This Da9:26 had been around for a long time and Jerusalem was not
              destroyed prior to 70C.E. The real events of 70C.E. inspired "Mark": He
              has a lot of material depending on Jerusalem & its people destruction
              and is absolutly certain of it. Some details are described during the
              days of distress, after the destruction, about false Christs and
              apocalyptic preachers (Mk13:21-23) appearing. At the end of the parable
              of the tenants, he mentioned a change of the guard:
              Mk12:9 "What then the owner [whose son was killed] of the vineyard
              [Jerusalem's temple: 12:1] do? He [God] will come and killed those
              tenants [priests, city folks?] and give the vineyard [by now God's
              worship] to others [Christian presbyters?]."

              >
              > Finally, the "now" in Mark 13:19 is more telling to you than
              > to me. It is used in the phrase hEWS NUN (until now) and takes
              > places in the story line in the time of Jesus, not at the
              > destruction of the temple nor at the time of Mark's composition.

              Jesus allegedly said that around 30C.E., his "now" time. For him, to
              talk about the events of 70C.E., "then" was correct, as in Dan12:1. The
              "now" appears after the mention of the 70 destruction. It makes sense
              that the "now" comes from the gospel's author in 70, the "now" time for
              him. Furthermore, for the mini apocalypse, "Mark" got a bit carried
              away: in Mk13:14, he has Jesus talking to readers, not the foursome.
              Obviously "Mark", in his thoughts, had become Jesus.

              > If the purpose of dating Mark after 70 is to explain the content of
              > Mark 13 better than inferences from Daniel would (e.g. specific
              > knowledge of actual events),

              I think that "Mark" had other goals than to deduct all kind of
              inferences from Daniel, about a city far away from his community. Just
              because there is a line about the destruction of Jerusalem in Daniel
              does not mean that "Mark" fiddled with it, extrapolating some stone by
              stone demolition (not in Daniel) before the real thing occured. In the
              gospel, please note, as I mentioned before, the destruction of 70
              triggers an accelerated arrival of the (long awaited) second coming
              (Mk13:20-37). We are looking post "destruction" here (as in 12:9), not
              speculations leading to it. Certainly "Mark" used Daniel (because of
              similarity between the (partial) destruction of Jerusalem in 168B.C.E.
              and the (complete) one of 70C.E.). But his gospel is not a commentary on
              it, with speculations attached.

              > but I only read Mack's
              > confident opinion and no arguments to back it up.

              Isn't it typical?

              Bernard
              http://www.concentric.net/~Mullerb/

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