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RE: [XTalk] HJ & Pesach

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  • Raphael Robert M
    I don t think so. IMO precise chronology of all these events would not be convincing to a lot of scholars. The reason being that serious scholarship does not
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 27, 2000
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      I don't think so. IMO precise chronology of all these events would not be
      convincing to a lot of scholars. The reason being that serious scholarship
      does not adhere to the position that the Gospel accounts are historical
      biography in the modern sense. The word "gospel" means "good news". The
      objective of the gospel narratives was to announce the "good news" of
      salvation; that is, a religious message to hears and readers of the ancient
      world. This is not the same as a modern historical biography.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Richard Mallett [mailto:100114.573@...]
      Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2000 6:45 PM
      To: Blind.Copy.Receiver@...
      Subject: Re: [XTalk] HJ & Pesach


      A Harmony of the Gospels by AT Robertson has the following chronology :-

      Friday afternoon - arrival at Bethany
      Saturday - not recorded
      Sunday - triumphal entry into Jerusalem
      Monday - fig tree cursed and temple cleansed
      Tuesday - fig tree found to have withered
      Tuesday - Jesus challenged by Sanhedrin
      Tuesday - the widow's mite
      Tuesday afternoon - eschatological discourse on the Mount of Olives
      Tuesday evening - Mary anoints Jesus
      Tuesday night - Judas plots with rulers
      Wednesday - not recorded
      Thursday afternoon - preparation for Paschal meal
      Thursday evening - Paschal meal
      Thursday night - Gethsemane
      Friday morning before dawn - Jesus arrested
      Friday morning before dawn - Jesus tried by Caiaphas and Sanhedrin
      Friday early morning toward sunrise - Jesus appears before Pilate
      Friday before 9 am - the way of the cross
      Friday 9 am to 3 pm - crucifixion
      Friday before 6 pm - Jesus is buried
      Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon - the women watch by the tomb
      Saturday late afternoon / early evening - the women visit the tomb
      Sunday morning early - the angels announce the resurrection
      Sunday - Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene
      Sunday afternoon - Jesus appears to two disciples on the way to Emmaus
      Sunday evening - the report of the two disciples and of the appearance
      to Peter
      Sunday evening - the appearance to the disciples, except Thomas
      Sunday following - the convincing of Thomas

      Is this chronology generally held by scholars ?

      Richard.


      E-mail from: Richard Mallett, 27-Apr-2000

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    • Mahlon H. Smith
      ... Greetings Tom, I agree with your assessment of Mark. I don t for a moment take Mark or the Markan passion narrative as history but rather as a
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 27, 2000
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        Tom Simms wrote:

        > I have watched the List deal with the accounts of the New Testa-
        > ment as if they were historically accurate. Your caveat above
        > where I've broken in, would be well founded if the text your were
        > discussing were not a piece of after the fact writing and, as you
        > have just pointed out, polemical on its face.

        Greetings Tom,

        I agree with your assessment of Mark. I don't for a moment take Mark or
        the Markan passion narrative as history but rather as a propagandistic
        (in its most basic sense) story with very identifiable biases. When it
        comes to the question of the circumstances of HJ's last days I have long
        favored GJohn in those particulars where it disagrees with the synoptics
        (crucifixion prior to Passover, no formal Jewish trial). That is partly
        why I object to attempts homogenize John & the synoptics & to extracting
        random details from the narratives of any gospel as if they were
        historical facts. The details of Mark's narrative have to be interpreted
        within the framework of the Markan story & those in John the same. As I
        said in a previous post these narratives are mutually exclusive. Both
        cannot be literally true but both may be laced with speculative fiction.
        Which elements are fictitious & which not can only be determined by
        rigorous testing. Until that is done any speculation about the
        circumstances of HJ's last supper is just that: pure unverifiable
        speculation.

        Shalom!

        Mahlon
        --

        *********************

        Mahlon H. Smith, http://religion.rutgers.edu/mh_smith.html
        Associate Professor
        Department of Religion Virtual Religion Index
        Rutgers University http://religion.rutgers.edu/vri/
        New Brunswick NJ

        Into His Own: Perspective on the World of Jesus
        http://religion.rutgers.edu/iho/

        A Synoptic Gospels Primer
        http://religion.rutgers.edu/nt/primer/

        Jesus Seminar Forum
        http://religion.rutgers.edu/jseminar/
      • Mark Goodacre
        One or two items may be of interest to the list. The following are full text reproductions available on the web: C. H. Dodd s _The Apostolic Preaching and Its
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 28, 2000
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          One or two items may be of interest to the list. The following are
          full text reproductions available on the web:

          C. H. Dodd's _The Apostolic Preaching and Its Development_ is
          now available on the Religion-Online Site:
          http://www.religion-online.org/cgi-bin/relsearchd.dll?action=showitem&id=545

          Marcus Borg's _Jesus: A New Vision_ is also available in a full text
          reproduction:
          http://www.religion-online.org/cgi-bin/relsearchd.dll?action=showitem&id=559

          I've made those and also a nice old textbook by Richard Heard,
          _Introduction to the New Testament_, featured links this month on
          my NT Gateway, the new URL for which, let me remind you, is:

          http://www.ntgateway.com

          There are several other fresh items that may be of interest there.
          Suggestions & comments always, of course, gratefully received.

          Mark
          ---------------------------
          Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
          Dept of Theology
          University of Birmingham Fax.: +44 (0)121 414 6866
          Birmingham B15 2TT Tel.: +44 (0)121 414 7512

          http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
          All-in-One Biblical Resources Search
          New Testament Gateway
          Mark Without Q
          Aseneth Home Page
        • Mark Cameron
          ... From: Mahlon H. Smith To: Sent: Friday, April 28, 2000 12:14 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] HJ & Pesach
          Message 4 of 12 , May 1 10:34 AM
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Mahlon H. Smith <mahlonh.smith@...>
            To: <crosstalk2@egroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, April 28, 2000 12:14 AM
            Subject: Re: [XTalk] HJ & Pesach


            > Tom Simms wrote:
            >
            > > I have watched the List deal with the accounts of the New Testa-
            > > ment as if they were historically accurate. Your caveat above
            > > where I've broken in, would be well founded if the text your were
            > > discussing were not a piece of after the fact writing and, as you
            > > have just pointed out, polemical on its face.
            >
            > Greetings Tom,
            >
            > I agree with your assessment of Mark. I don't for a moment take Mark or
            > the Markan passion narrative as history but rather as a propagandistic
            > (in its most basic sense) story with very identifiable biases. When it
            > comes to the question of the circumstances of HJ's last days I have long
            > favored GJohn in those particulars where it disagrees with the synoptics
            > (crucifixion prior to Passover, no formal Jewish trial). That is partly
            > why I object to attempts homogenize John & the synoptics & to extracting
            > random details from the narratives of any gospel as if they were
            > historical facts. The details of Mark's narrative have to be interpreted
            > within the framework of the Markan story & those in John the same. As I
            > said in a previous post these narratives are mutually exclusive. Both
            > cannot be literally true but both may be laced with speculative fiction.
            > Which elements are fictitious & which not can only be determined by
            > rigorous testing. Until that is done any speculation about the
            > circumstances of HJ's last supper is just that: pure unverifiable
            > speculation.
            >
            > Shalom!
            >
            > Mahlon

            I don't believe that one can simply extract random details from the
            synoptics and John and then try to harmonize them into an historical
            account, and this is not what I was attempted to do. My interest in
            Jaubert's Essene Passover thesis is not motivated by a desire to harmonize
            GJohn's crucifixion on the eve of Passover with the synoptic account of the
            Last Supper as a Passover meal.

            However, neither can one consider Mark and John to be entirely indepedent
            authorial creations, as I believe that both Mark and John draw on a common
            underlying passion source. Both evangelists seem to depart from this source
            at different places in their narratives to add other traditions they have
            heard, or emphasize their own theological points, so the final narratives
            are quite different. But the seams indicating the presence of underlying
            sources are most present where the evangelists are dealing with questions of
            chronology.

            Let's look at four places where I think there is evidence of a common
            chronology at work, but with changes by one or other evangelist:

            1. Mark 14:1 / John 12:1 - two / six days before the feast of passover,
            followed by an account of the meal at Bethany

            2. Mark 14:12 / John 13:1-2 - a supper with the apostles which either was
            the passover seder (Mark) or connected with passover (John)

            3. Mark 15:33 / John 19:14 - Jesus on the cross from the sixth to ninth
            hour (Mark) / Pilate judges Jesus at the sixth hour (John)

            4. Mark 15:42 / John 19:42 - Jesus removed from the cross because of the
            day of preparation - preparation for the Sabbath (Mark) or Passover (John).

            These parallelisms are more than coincidences, but cannot be explained by
            Johannine dependence on Mark, as I will attempt to show. The only remaining
            hypothesis is a common source, which then raises the question of the
            chronology of the common source, which I turn to the Jaubert thesis to
            resolve.

            The fourth coincidence is in my view the strongest evidence for a common
            passion source. The "day of preparation" or parasceve is usually connected
            with the Passover. While one can refer to the day before sabbath as the day
            of preparation, it is an uncommon usage. Therefore it is likely that John's
            chronology follows the common source at this point, while Mark added in
            "that is the day before the sabbath" to keep his source's chronology
            consistent with his own chronology of the last supper as passover meal. And
            unless one posits Markan dependence on John, this means a common source
            older than both Gospels.

            If we accept the hypothesis of a common source, the other parallels fall
            into place.

            In the third parallel, the "sixth hour" is the only specific hour reference
            in GJohn. It is clearly linked to the slaughter of the paschal lamb in the
            Temple courtyard at the same time that Jesus' is being judged in Pilate's
            courtyard. I am inclined to think that this is not a Johannine feature, but
            a feature of the source which connected Christ's death to the sacrifice of
            the paschal lamb (which John may have emphasized even more.)

            Mark takes this one hour reference and builds up a whole hour-by-hour
            chronology based on the Roman watches for the passion events, but he loses
            the paschal significance of Christ being sacrificed at the same time as the
            lamb.

            The second parallel shows that even in John, the last supper is linked to
            the passover, even though it is not portrayed as a passover meal. Mark,
            OTOH, emphasizes that the lamb was sacrificed on the day of the last supper
            (perhaps attempting to explain why he does not have the paschal sacrifice
            theme in his portrayal of the judgment and crucifixion). But I suspect that
            in the underlying source the meal was portrayed as a passover meal without
            much explanatory comment. This obviously seemed to be a contradiction
            between the last supper and the crucifixion as being on the eve of passover,
            one which John solved by being vague about the last supper, and which Mark
            solved by clearly making the last supper the first day of unleavened bread.

            The first parallel I believe shows the original starting point of the
            passion narratives - something like "X days before the passover, Jesus came
            to Bethany." I suspect that John is correct and that it was six days
            before, but Mark changed this to two to fit his compressed chronology. I
            agree with Mahlon that Mark's Gospel implies a Thursday last supper, but I
            do not believe that this was in the underlying source.

            Unlike Mahlon, I am inclined to regard Mark's marginal comments about the
            man carrying water, the young man running away naked, etc. as minor
            traditions that Mark has worked in on the basis of personal testimonies
            which he added to the underlying source story. Since the man carrying water
            story clearly defines the last supper as a passover meal, Mark had to make
            that more explicit in his Gospel about this than the underlying source was,
            which may have fudged on the difference between the Essene and Temple
            calendar because of the different kinds of Jews amongst its putative
            audience - the early Jerusalem Church. John relies on the Temple calendar,
            appropriately to a Gospel in which the unnamed eyewitness disciple was
            "known to the high priest" (John 18:14).

            Some may quibble with my reconstruction here, but my most important point is
            that a reconstruction of the common underlying tradition is necessary. We
            cannot interpret all of the contradictory elements of Mark and John as their
            own narrative or theological features which they invented independently, as
            they were working from a common template. We have to discover this template
            first before we can identify particular Markan or Johannine features.

            Mark Cameron
            Ottawa, Canada
          • Mark Cameron
            ... From: Mahlon H. Smith To: Sent: Friday, April 28, 2000 12:14 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] HJ & Pesach
            Message 5 of 12 , May 2 6:12 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Mahlon H. Smith <mahlonh.smith@...>
              To: <crosstalk2@egroups.com>
              Sent: Friday, April 28, 2000 12:14 AM
              Subject: Re: [XTalk] HJ & Pesach


              > Tom Simms wrote:
              >
              > > I have watched the List deal with the accounts of the New Testa-
              > > ment as if they were historically accurate. Your caveat above
              > > where I've broken in, would be well founded if the text your were
              > > discussing were not a piece of after the fact writing and, as you
              > > have just pointed out, polemical on its face.
              >
              > Greetings Tom,
              >
              > I agree with your assessment of Mark. I don't for a moment take Mark or
              > the Markan passion narrative as history but rather as a propagandistic
              > (in its most basic sense) story with very identifiable biases. When it
              > comes to the question of the circumstances of HJ's last days I have long
              > favored GJohn in those particulars where it disagrees with the synoptics
              > (crucifixion prior to Passover, no formal Jewish trial). That is partly
              > why I object to attempts homogenize John & the synoptics & to extracting
              > random details from the narratives of any gospel as if they were
              > historical facts. The details of Mark's narrative have to be interpreted
              > within the framework of the Markan story & those in John the same. As I
              > said in a previous post these narratives are mutually exclusive. Both
              > cannot be literally true but both may be laced with speculative fiction.
              > Which elements are fictitious & which not can only be determined by
              > rigorous testing. Until that is done any speculation about the
              > circumstances of HJ's last supper is just that: pure unverifiable
              > speculation.
              >
              > Shalom!
              >
              > Mahlon


              I don't believe that one can simply extract random details from the
              synoptics and John and then try to harmonize them into an historical
              account, and this is not what I was attempting to do. My interest in
              Jaubert's Essene Passover thesis is not motivated by a desire to harmonize
              GJohn's crucifixion on the eve of Passover with the synoptic account of the
              Last Supper as a Passover meal.

              However, neither can one consider Mark and John to be entirely indepedent
              authorial creations, as I believe that both Mark and John draw on a common
              underlying passion source. Both evangelists seem to depart from this source
              at different places in their narratives to add other traditions they have
              heard, or emphasize their own theological points, so the final narratives
              are quite different. But the seams indicating the presence of underlying
              sources are most present where the evangelists are dealing with questions of
              chronology.

              Let's look at four places where I think there is evidence of a common
              chronology at work, but with changes by one or other evangelist:

              1. Mark 14:1 / John 12:1 - two / six days before the feast of passover,
              followed by an account of the meal at Bethany

              2. Mark 14:12 / John 13:1-2 - a supper with the apostles which either was
              the passover seder (Mark) or connected with passover (John)

              3. Mark 15:33 / John 19:14 - Jesus on the cross from the sixth to ninth
              hour (Mark) / Pilate judges Jesus at the sixth hour (John)

              4. Mark 15:42 / John 19:42 - Jesus removed from the cross because of the
              day of preparation - preparation for the Sabbath (Mark) or Passover (John).

              These parallelisms are more than coincidences, but cannot be explained by
              Johannine dependence on Mark, as I will attempt to show. The only remaining
              hypothesis is a common source, which then raises the question of the
              chronology of the common source, which I turn to the Jaubert thesis to
              resolve.

              The fourth coincidence is in my view the strongest evidence for a common
              passion source. The "day of preparation" or parasceve is usually connected
              with the Passover. While one can refer to the day before sabbath as the day
              of preparation, it is an uncommon usage. Therefore it is likely that John's
              chronology follows the common source at this point, while Mark added in
              "that is the day before the sabbath" to keep his source's chronology
              consistent with his own chronology of the last supper as passover meal. And
              unless one posits Markan dependence on John, this means a common source
              older than both Gospels.

              If we accept the hypothesis of a common source, the other parallels fall
              into place.

              In the third parallel, the "sixth hour" is the only specific hour reference
              in GJohn. It is clearly linked to the slaughter of the paschal lamb in the
              Temple courtyard at the same time that Jesus' is being judged in Pilate's
              courtyard. I am inclined to think that this is not a uniquely Johannine
              feature,
              but a feature of the source which connected Christ's death to the sacrifice
              of the paschal lamb (which John may have emphasized even more.)

              Mark takes this one hour reference and builds up a whole hour-by-hour
              chronology based on the Roman watches for the passion events, but he loses
              the paschal significance of Christ being sacrificed at the same time as the
              lamb.

              The second parallel shows that even in John, the last supper is linked to
              the passover, even though it is not portrayed as a passover meal. Mark,
              OTOH, emphasizes that the lamb was sacrificed on the day of the last supper
              (perhaps attempting to explain why he does not have the paschal sacrifice
              theme in his portrayal of the judgment and crucifixion). But I suspect that
              in the underlying source the meal was portrayed as a passover meal without
              much explanatory comment. Their obviously seemed to be a contradiction
              between the last supper and the crucifixion as being on the eve of passover,
              one which John solved by being vague about the last supper, and which Mark
              solved by clearly making the last supper the first day of unleavened bread.

              The first parallel I believe shows the original starting point of the
              passion narratives - something like "X days before the passover, Jesus came
              to Bethany." I suspect that John is correct and that it was six days
              before, but Mark changed this to two to fit his compressed chronology. I
              agree with Mahlon that Mark's Gospel implies a Thursday last supper, but I
              do not believe that this was in the underlying source.

              Unlike Mahlon, I am inclined to regard Mark's marginal comments about the
              man carrying water, the young man running away naked, etc. as minor
              traditions that Mark has worked in on the basis of personal testimonies
              which he added to the underlying source story. Since the man carrying water
              story clearly defines the last supper as a passover meal, Mark had to make
              that more explicit in his Gospel than the underlying source was,
              which may have fudged on the difference between the Essene and Temple
              calendar because of the different kinds of Jews amongst its putative
              audience - the early Jerusalem Church. John relies on the Temple calendar,
              appropriately to a Gospel in which the unnamed eyewitness disciple was
              "known to the high priest" (John 18:14).

              Some may quibble with my reconstruction here, but my most important point is
              that a reconstruction of the common underlying tradition is necessary. We
              cannot interpret all of the contradictory elements of Mark and John as their
              own narrative or theological features which they invented independently, as
              they were working from a common template. We have to discover this template
              first before we can identify particular Markan or Johannine features.

              Mark Cameron
              Ottawa, Canada
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