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

Re: [XTalk] Re: Markan Fabrications

Expand Messages
  • Ted Weeden
    ... My response: Let me put it differently. I have not seen any convincing evidence that Jesus linked himself with the aspirations of Jewish messianism. Nor
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 1, 2000
      Re: Markan Fabrications

      Ron Price wrote:

      >Ted Weeden wrote: >very few scholars today that I know of would claim

      that Jesus in any way >linked himself with the aspirations of Jewish Messianism. >Ted, > This is true. But the majority is not always right.

      My response:

      Let me put it differently. I have not seen any convincing evidence that Jesus linked himself with the aspirations of Jewish messianism. Nor have I found any convincing evidence that the early church linked Jesus with Jewish political messianism during his earthly life. The church did link Jesus with messianism following his death and thus called him "Christ" or "the Christ" with respect to his resurrection/exaltation: Paul, among others.

      > With the help of the Son of man figure and the eschatological >enthronement of that figure (Dan. 7:13f., here I am slightly amplifying >on Hahn), Jesus became viewed as the Christ ....... >Are you claiming

      that the Danielic title "Son of Man" was applied to Jesus before >the title "Messiah"? >If so, you are on slippery ground. The title "Messiah" is much better attested.

      My response:

      No. I am not claiming that the Danielic title "Son of Man" was applied to Jesus before the title "Messiah." What I am suggesting is that the movement to enthronement as Messiah, among some Christians, was suggested by the imagery of coming on the clouds (vertical movement), being presented to God and being given kingship, as it is choreographed in 7:13. That imagery is, I think, behind the reply of Jesus to the high priest, after Jesus acknowledges that he is the "Christ" (14:62). >Finally the term "Christ" became applied to Jesus miracle-working >ministry ....... The earliest written attestation of Jesus' miracles is in Mark, ca. 70 CE. The earliest written attestation of the title "Christ" being applied to Jesus is in 1 Thess, ca. 50 CE. Your argument is contrary to this plain evidence. Anyway, if miracles were attributed to Jesus *before* he was proclaimed as Messiah, what prompted people to attribute miracles to him? You put a lot of weight on: > ....... the Signs Source, which later became the Signs Gospel ....... I don't believe there was any such thing. "In recent exegesis ....... the existence of a 'semeia source' or 'Signs Gospel' has rightly been seen as problematic." (U.Schnelle, _The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings_ , ET: London, SCM, 1998, p.494). Schnelle provides references and arguments which are too long to repeat here.

      My response:

      I acknowledge that the "semeia source" is discounted as a reality by some. have not read Schnelle, but need to do so. Nevertheless, in my judgment there is strong evidence for some miracle story source which enumerated miracles of Jesus as signs, and which John used and even preserved the source's actual enumeration following the Cana story (2:1-11) and the story of the healing of the official's son (4:46-54). I think that a good case has been made that the source concluded with something like the conclusion of John 20:30f. At least I think it sought to use the signs as evidence for belief in Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of God."

      Now to Mark and the connection with Christ and miracles. In the application of what I call "hearer-response criticism" (see my 5/29 post to Bob Schacht), I work under the presupposition that the Markan text was read (it might have originality been orality which was then transformed into textuality, (see Werner Kelber, _The Oral and the Written Gospel_ and Richard Horsley and Johnathan Draper,_Whoever Hears You Hears Me_) to hearers who were for the most part illiterate and unable to access the text without someone reading or performing the text( if it were originally orality). My presupposition also is that the author developed his drama knowing that it would be, by and large, heard in a community assembly, as it was read by a literate leader of the congregation, maybe Mark himself (herself?), rather than read individually and in private.

      Thus it was Mark's purpose, as I see it, to win over his hearers to his christological interpretation of Jesus through the persuasiveness of his drama. As I said in my essay, he constructed his drama in the form and via the function of a lengthy parable. As in the parables of Jesus (which Mark used as a model), parables of reversal in particularly, the hearers are introduced to one worldview, one known well to them, and then, once hooked and feeling the worldview confirmed, the parabler turns the tables by introducing an unexpected and unsuspected twist that suddenly launches the hearers into an entirely different worldview, a worldview which stands in radical tension with the former worldview set up by the parabler. In my interpretation of the Markan gospel, Mark used this parabolic approach to present dramatically Jesus in the first half of his narrative as a successful miracle worker, whom some humans in the drama have begun to suspect has unusual supernatural powers. Demonic forces even recognize Jesus christologically as "the Son of God" as a result of Jesus’ power to exorcize them. That presentation of Jesus, as I suggested in my essay, fits well the profile of a divine man in Greco-Roman culture, as well as a divine-man christology which certain Christians developed to win converts in that culture. I contend that that was what Mark’s opponents were trying to do with their divine-man christology.

      Now, the question often asked with respect to Peter’s confession is, when he acclaimed Jesus as "the Christ," what did he mean by "the Christ." It is often assumed that his confession was ideologically informed by traditional Jewish political messianism. Thus, it is concluded that in the Markan drama that, when Peter used the title "Christ," he imaged Jesus as a political messiah in the tradition of David. But to conclude that is what Peter, in the Markan drama, was thinking of when he made his confession, is reading into the drama what is not there. There is nothing in the profile of Jesus which Mark dramatizes prior to the Petrine confession that would lead his hearers to think that Jesus in any way should be associated with traditional Jewish political messianism. Since the only presentation of Jesus in the first half of the drama is as a divine man, and since the demonic forces in effect make christological confessions to Jesus, therefore when, as Mark scripts the drama, Peter makes his surprising confession and names Jesus as "the Christ," that confession, according to the dramatic logic, can only have been made on the basis of Peter’s experience and recognition of Jesus as a divine-man "Christ."   In the world of Mark’s drama, there is no other christological profile of Jesus presented for Peter to have chosen from. Consequently, in my judgment, Mark intentionally leads his hearers in the real world into believing that Peter's confession was based upon Jesus’ success as a divine man.

      Of course the hearers in the real world are free to impute anything they wish to Peter’s confession. But the logic of the narrative world permits only one conclusion for the real world hearers to make, namely, Peter, in making his confession, proclaims Jesus to be a "divine man" Christ. So as an effective parabler, Mark leads his hearers, by virtue of Peter’s confession, into believing that the "divine man" christology is the right christology by which to identify Jesus. Mark then pulls the rug out from under his hearers by having Jesus censor Peter's confession. In so doing, Mark has Jesus denounce as the wrong christology that which his hearers had been led to believe by Peter’s confession and the dramatic worldview in which it was presented to be the right christology. It is at that point that Mark introduces, via Jesus, Mark’s own surprising suffering servant christology and the Markan worldview of suffering-servant christology and discipleship. Thus the title "Christ" at the point of Peter's confession is meant by Mark to be a confession to a "divine man" christology. "Christ" in Mark's gospel carries none of the traditional Judean overtones of political messianism.

      Now to my point about the concluding christological proclamation of the Gospel of John (20:30f.). I am at this point branching out on a hypothesis I am considering. At present I only have interesting leads and a strong hunch guiding me in this hypothesis. But I present it to get your feedback as well as others. My philosophical patron saint, Alfred North Whitehead, once said that the most important thing about a proposition is not whether or not it is true or false but that it is interesting. This proposition interests me. I am not ready to make the most convincing case to prove it true, nor am I at this point ready to dismiss it as probably false. So here goes my interesting proposition.

      As I have stated, I think a case can be made, and has been made, for Jn. 20:30f, having originally been the conclusion to a pre-Johannine source which has been dubbed the "Signs Source." What interests me about Jn 20:30f. is its christological proclamation, INSOUS ESTIN hO CRISTOS hO hUIOS TOU QEOU ( "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,"), and the relationship between that christological proclamation and the christological statement with which Mark opens his gospel (Mk. 1:1), INSOU CRISTOU hUIOS QEOU ("of Jesus Christ, the Son of God"). Except for Mark’s anarthrous rendering of the titles, the two christological declarations (Jn. 20:31; Mk. 1:1) are exactly alike. The declarations have been constructed by linking in tandem relationship two independent titles: "Christ"and "Son of God." The two titles are linked in precisely that sequence in both declarations.

      Now pointing out the commonality shared by these two declarations may appear to be a lot of fuss about nothing, until the rarity of this combination of christological titles in this sequence is recognized. My concordance "search engine" came up with this astonishing information. In the NT the title "Christ" occurs in the NT 516 times and the title "Son of God" occurs 56 times. But these two titles appear together in combination as "Christ, Son of God" or "the Christ, the Son of God" only five times (Mk. 1:1; Mt. 16:16; 26:63; Jn. 11:27; 20:31). They appear once together in combination with God referred to euphemistically as EULOGHTOS (Mk. 14:61), namely, hO CRISOTOS TOU hOIOU EULOGHTOU ("The Christ, the Son of the Blessed One") which is essentially the same rendering of the linked titles. There is one other occurrence of these titles in tandem relationship, but in reverse sequence, namely, in II Cor. 1:19: hO TOU QEOU GAR hUIOS INSOUS CRISTOS ("For the Son of God, Jesus Christ").

      Now I find it statistically quite striking that these two titles, one appearing 516 times and the other 56 times in the NT, are only linked together seven times as a christological statement or proclamation, and in six of those times they are linked in the same sequence of titles. The carbon-copy character of this christological phenomenon can be seen most clearly when, leaving aside the occurrence in II Cor. 1:19, six of the instances of its manifestation are arranged synchronically and in the chronological order of their narrative appearance. I treat Jn 20:31 in this pattern as the Signs Source, and identify it as SS 20:31.

      SS 20:31

      INSOUS ESTIN hO CRISTOS hO hUIOS TOU QEOU

      Mk. 1:1

      INSOU CRISTOS hUIOS QEOU

      Mk. 14:61

      SU EI hO CRISTOS hO hUIOS TOU EULOGHTOU

      Mt. 16:16

      SU EI hO CRISTOS hO hUIOS TOU QEOU TOU ZWNTOS

      Mt. 26:63

      SU EI hO CRISTOS hO hUIOS TOU QEOU

      Jn. 11:27

      SU EI hO CRISTOS hO hUIOS TOU QEOU

      I draw the following observations from this pattern. First, the pattern remains consistent with respect to the tandem relationship and the specific way the titles are cited, except for the Markan variations. Mark renders the titles, as I noted already, anarthrously in 1:1 and renders QEOU euphemistically as EULOGHTOU in 14:61. Second, given Markan priority, Matthew’s use of these combined titles, I conclude, is influenced by the Markan use in 1:1 and 14:61. In Mt. 16:16, Matthew expands the Markan Petrine confession from SU EI O CRISTOS (8:29) to hO CRISTOS hO hUIOS TOU QEOU TOU ZWNTOS. This expansion of the Markan Petrine confession is likely influenced by either Mk. 1:1 or 14:61. In Mt. 26:63, Matthew changes Mark’s SU EI hO CRISTOS hO hUIOS TOU EULOGHTOU (14:61) to SU EI hO CRISTOS hO hUIOS TOU QEOU. Thus Matthew’s employment of the titles is not an instance of an original use or independent origin of the titles. The occurrence of these titles in combination in John 11:27, which occurs as a Marian christological confession in the context of the story of the raising of Lazarus, is likely dependent upon John’s appropriation of the confession from his Sign Source’s conclusion. Since I think John was dependent upon Mark, it could be that John scripted the Marian confession to Jesus under the influence of both the Signs Source and Mark.

      Thus, I see two likely trajectories for the use of this rare combination of two titles, with both trajectories originating from the Sign Source’s conclusion. One trajectory follows a route from the Signs Source to Mark to Matthew. The similarity between the miracle cycles in Mark and those attributed to the Signs Source leads me to believe that Mark had some version of the Signs Source, as I indicated in my last post to you. The other trajectory follows a path from the Signs Source to John. That leads me to a third observation.

      Since, as I see it, both trajectories of this christological construct, "the Christ, the Son of God," originate with the Signs Source, and since this christological construct is, according to the Signs Source, a confession of belief in Jesus sought as a result of the evidence of the miracles Jesus has performed, then is it possible that this christological construct was created originally by those who envisioned in it a way to communicate and titularly encapsulate their divine-man christological orientation?  In other words, was the christological declaration, "the Christ, the Son of God" or "Christ, Son of God" as anarthrously expressed in Mk. 1:1, a christological *terminus technicus* devised and usede by those espousing and promulgating a divine-man christology?  I think so. What leads me to that conclusion?

      It is clear that there was a strong interest among some early followers of Jesus to tell stories which cited his extraordinary power evidenced in his miraculous feats. Just the number of miracle stories alone in the four canonical gospels would attest to that, to say nothing of the extra-canonical writings, such as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Thus miracle stories seem often to have been organized in groups or cycles to highlight some christological and/or soteriological purpose (cf. Gerd Theissen, _The Gospels in Context_, 97-112). Aside from the Signs Source known through John, there is also the miracle-cycle tradition identified by Paul Achtemeier ("Toward the Isolation of Pre-Markan Miracle Catenae>" JBL, 89:265-291; "The Origin and Function of the Pre-Markan Miracle Catenae," JBL, 91:198-221) as source which Mark drew upon for inclusion in the first half of his gospel, a source I think Mark derived from his opponents. A number of the miracles in this pre-Markan miracle-cycle tradition are quite similar to the miracle stories in the Gospel of John that have been attributed to the Sign Source. This early Christian interest in the presentation of Jesus as a miracle worker stands in marked contrast to the Q Gospel and the Gospel of Thomas which are concerned solely with the profile of Jesus as the voice of divine wisdom and show virtually no interest in Jesus as a miracle worker– the story of the healing of the centurion’s son in Q representing the one exception.

      Gerd Theissen makes a case for the likelihood that many of the miracle stories associated with Jesus, particularly those in Mark, were first promulgated by early Christinas in the Syrio-Palestinian area (105). It was not long before these Christians began to expand their evangelistic enterprise outside of Galilean Jewish enclaves into Gentile territory. The healing of the demoniac in the Decapolis and the healing of the Syro-Phoenician woman’s daughter are two examples to the point (see Theissen, 61-80, 109-112). When they moved from Jewish community to Gentile area to reach Gentiles they were in Theissen’s terminology "crossing the boundaries" (60ff.). They crossed over into non-Jewish and largely Hellenistic culture. It was there in the Greco-Roman culture that they found receptive ears to their preaching about Jesus with their stories of his miraculous feats. Such a profile of Jesus meshed well with the Greco-Roman profile of what constitutes a divine-man hero, one who is, as Dieter Betz succinctly puts it ("Jesus as Divine Man,"_Jesus and the Historian_, 116), "the epiphany of the divine,"... "is exceptionally gifted and extraordinary in every respect," and "is in command both of a higher, revelational wisdom and of the divine power (DYNAMIS) to do miracles."

      According to Gregory Riley (_One Jesus, Many Christs_, 10), ...the cult of heroes was the single most common and important religious aspect of the world of early Christians. Every home has its *lares*, the heroes of the household, the founding ancestors. Every town had its protecting hero, every district and tribe, every crossroads, points of land, grove and mountain pass"(59). "So...the Gospel stories of the life of Jesus were set [by early Christians] in the mold of the tales of the ancient heroes"of Greco-Roman culture (20). By casting Jesus as a divine man, evidenced in his ability to perform miraculous feats, these early Jewish Christians of a divine man persuasion knew that they would immediately attract the interest of their Greco-Roman public in their hero Jesus.

      But these Christians were more than just interested in proclaiming the miraculous ability of Jesus. They wanted the people they preached to about Jesus to believe him. That is exactly the purpose behind the Signs Source’s recounting the miracles of Jesus, as is made evident in its conclusion: "...these [signs] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name" (20:31). So then, the primary purpose in recounting the miracles of Jesus was to evoke belief in Jesus. But belief in Jesus as what?

      I surmise that when these miracle stories about Jesus were told in a primary Jewish environment they were told so that the hearers would believe in Jesus as the Messiah, but not as a political Messiah. Rather these miracle tellers imaged Jesus as a Messiah in mold of Moses, and as the one who fulfilled the prophecy of Deut. 18:15: "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people." Dieter Georgi has shown how the divine-man opponents of Paul in Corinth (II Corinthians) modeled their divine-man christology after the divine man "par excellence, Moses" (_The Opponents of Paul in Second Corinthians_, 124ff., 271ff.). The divine-man opponents of Paul us the title "Christ" to encapsulate their divine-man christological orientation.

      The title "Christ," as I see it, worked fine christologically and soteriologically as long as the Christian evangelist of a divine-man persuasion was in a Jewish environment, or among Gentile "God-fearers" who were steeped in the Jewish heritage and the meaning that the title "Christ" evokes from an awareness of that heritage. However, in an environment where the Jewish heritage was not well known, they ran into a problem in evoking belief in Jesus as "the Christ." The title "‘Christ,’" Riley states (10), "meant nothing at all like ‘Messiah’ outside of [Judaism].... The very idea of a messiah, with its eschatological, religious and political implications, did not exist at all in the rest of the world. Among the Romans and Greeks the word ‘Christ’ sounded like the slave name Chrestus (meaning ‘useful’)."

      I surmise that these early Christians, promulgating their gospel of Jesus, the great miracle worker, as the "Christ," soon discovered that their message was not winning converts as they thought it would when they "crossed the boundaries" from their own Jewish milieu and culture into Greco-Roman culture. They realized that, while their potential converts were receptive to their claims that Jesus was a great miracle worker, a true divine man, to expect then for these potential converts to believe in Jesus as "the Christ" made no sense to the potential converts. These Gentiles did not understand what was meant by the term "Christ" and may have even thought the Christian preachers were asking them to believe in a slave named "Chrestus." So, as I picture it, these Christian evangelists recognized that they had to come up with a title which would make sense to their hearers, a title that would resonate with a culture that revered and often worshiped their divine man heroes, whom they believed, by virtue of their extraordinary feats, were sons of gods.

      Therefore, these divine-man Christians, in the interest of their evangelistic enterprise, accommodated themselves to the ideology of the Greco-Roman culture and began to refer to Jesus as "the Son of God." When they did that their potential converts understood what they were talking about. The adoption "Son of God," as a title for Jesus as the Messiah was not incapable with such a practice already in Jewish tradition. The psalmist, in referring to the enthronement of God’s anointed one, proclaimed, "You are my son. Today I have begotten you’ (Ps. 2:7). Thus, the choice of the title "Son of God" as a christological title for Jesus not only solved these Christians' evangelistic problem, but it also served as an effective bridge title, linking their Jewish tradition with Greco-Roman culture in their missionary enterprise.

      However, I also surmise that these Hellenistic Jewish-Christians did not want to abandon their Jewish messianic heritage that envisioned Jesus, their divine man, as the Christ. So they decided to preserve that title "Christ" while at the same time adopting the title "Son of God," required to evangelize their potential converts into belief in Jesus. Thus, they developed a hybrid christological title, h0 CRISTOS hO hUIOS QEOU or anarthrously, CRISTOS hUIOS QEOU, something like couples do today, if I may use an anachronistic analogy, when they marry and create hyphenated surnames for themselves as a married couple in order preserve the surnames each brought to the marriage.

      To complete the facets of my theory, I would go on to suggest that the christological declaration which begins Mark’s gospel: "The beginning of the gospel CRISTOU hOIOS QEOU was the christological title which Mark’s divine-man opponents used to refer christologically to Christ, a hybrid title they had developed for their missionary efforts among Gentiles. I further surmise that they came into Mark’s community in the area of Caesarea Philippi using this title for Jesus and espousing with it their divine-man christology in opposition to Mark and his suffering-servant christology. As part of Mark’s schema for unmasking his opponents’ christolology as false, he, in true parabolic fashion introduced his opponents’ title at the outset (1:1) and then at the moment of parabolic reversal proceeded to describe Jesus as God’s suffering-servant who acknowledges "the Christ, the Son of God" (14:61f.) as an acceptable christological identification of himself when it is properly understood in terms of his own self-defined christology of suffering servanthood.

      But what about Paul’s use of the terms "Christ" and "Son of God" in tandem (II Cor. 1:19), albeit in reverse sequence to that which is found in the Signs Source, Mark and Matthew, as noted above. Two curious features about Paul’s use of these to christological titles. First, Paul uses these two christological titles frequently, but separately, throughout his correspondence to his churches. The only exception to that Pauline practice is Only in II Cor. 1:19 does he link them together: hO TOU QEOU GAR hUIOS INSOUS CRISTOS. Second, II Cor. 1:19 is part of the third and final letter Paul addresses to the Corinthians in which he deals with the divine-man problem that has wracked the church, challenged and called his apostleship into question. In this third letter and final letter, he expresses his renewed confidence in the future of his relationship with the Corinthians now that Titus has reported back to him that they are once again in his christological and apostolic camp (see Georgi). Is it mere coincidence that Paul uses this joint christological title, even cited in reverse, of divine-man christology in a letter of reconciliation with his church?. I think not. It is now safe for Paul to use that christological construct, or at least allude to it, because his church has returned to Paul’s cruciform interpretation of apostleship and christology.

      Ted

    • Mark Goodacre
      ... Thankyou very much for this and other posts in the thread, which I am now beginning to get a chance to look at. I emerge very briefly from unavoidable
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 1, 2000
        On 1 Jun 00, at 16:42, Ted Weeden wrote:

        > This early Christian
        > interest in the presentation of Jesus as a miracle worker stands in marked
        > contrast to the Q Gospel and the Gospel of Thomas which are concerned
        > solely with the profile of Jesus as the voice of divine wisdom and show
        > virtually no interest in Jesus as a miracle worker- the story of the
        > healing of the centurion's son in Q representing the one exception.

        Thankyou very much for this and other posts in the thread, which I
        am now beginning to get a chance to look at. I emerge very briefly
        from unavoidable lurker status to comment on the above paragraph.
        I agree with you about the Gospel of Thomas, but disagree about
        Q. Q does not have "virtually no interest in Jesus as a miracle
        worker". On the contrary, it repeatedly characterises his ministry
        as a miracle-working one. You rightly mention the Centurion's
        Boy, but note also:

        Q 7.18-23: Jesus is asked if he is "the coming one" and replies by
        means of a group of healings following the pattern of Isa. 35 & 61.
        This is at the culmination of several chapters of Q material at the
        outset of which was John's prophecy of "the coming one". And
        now "the coming one" is identified as a miracle worker. When it
        comes to Jesus' identity, miracle working is clearly key.

        Q 10.9: disciples are exhorted to "heal the sick" and proclaim the
        kingdom.

        Q 10.13: Jesus issues woes on Chorazin & Bethsaida because of
        their responses not to his words but to his miracles: "if the mighty
        works done in you had been done in . . ."

        Q 11.14: Jesus casts out a demon

        Q 11.15-23: Beelzebub Controversy, focusing on Jesus' exorcisms
        and featuring the most blatant link in the Synoptic tradition
        between healing & the coming of the kingdom, 11.20: "if I by the
        finger of God cast out demons, then be sure that the kingdom of
        God has come upon you".

        I submit, therefore, that Q is not only interested in Jesus' miracles
        but also sees them as one of the things that defines his identity
        (as "coming one"), proclamation (of the kingdom of God) and
        mission (the disciples).

        (I should add as footnote that I do not at the moment subscribe to
        the Q hypothesis, but like nevertheless to attempt to understand it
        in the hope that some day I might be convinced.)

        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
        Homepage
        http://www.ntgateway.com
        The New Testament Gateway
      • Ted Weeden
        ... marked ... My response: You are correct, Mark, in drawing attention to the Q references to miracle working of Jesus. I wrote in haste at that point. I
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 1, 2000
          Mark Goodacre wrote:

          > On 1 Jun 00, at 16:42, Ted Weeden wrote:
          >
          > > This early Christian
          > > interest in the presentation of Jesus as a miracle worker stands in
          marked
          > > contrast to the Q Gospel and the Gospel of Thomas which are concerned
          > > solely with the profile of Jesus as the voice of divine wisdom and show
          > > virtually no interest in Jesus as a miracle worker- the story of the
          > > healing of the centurion's son in Q representing the one exception.
          >
          > Thankyou very much for this and other posts in the thread, which I
          > am now beginning to get a chance to look at. I emerge very briefly
          > from unavoidable lurker status to comment on the above paragraph.
          > I agree with you about the Gospel of Thomas, but disagree about
          > Q. Q does not have "virtually no interest in Jesus as a miracle
          > worker". On the contrary, it repeatedly characterises his ministry
          > as a miracle-working one. You rightly mention the Centurion's
          > Boy, but note also:
          >
          > Q 7.18-23: Jesus is asked if he is "the coming one" and replies by
          > means of a group of healings following the pattern of Isa. 35 & 61.
          > This is at the culmination of several chapters of Q material at the
          > outset of which was John's prophecy of "the coming one". And
          > now "the coming one" is identified as a miracle worker. When it
          > comes to Jesus' identity, miracle working is clearly key.
          >
          > Q 10.9: disciples are exhorted to "heal the sick" and proclaim the
          > kingdom.
          >
          > Q 10.13: Jesus issues woes on Chorazin & Bethsaida because of
          > their responses not to his words but to his miracles: "if the mighty
          > works done in you had been done in . . ."
          >
          > Q 11.14: Jesus casts out a demon
          >
          > Q 11.15-23: Beelzebub Controversy, focusing on Jesus' exorcisms
          > and featuring the most blatant link in the Synoptic tradition
          > between healing & the coming of the kingdom, 11.20: "if I by the
          > finger of God cast out demons, then be sure that the kingdom of
          > God has come upon you".
          >
          > I submit, therefore, that Q is not only interested in Jesus' miracles
          > but also sees them as one of the things that defines his identity
          > (as "coming one"), proclamation (of the kingdom of God) and
          > mission (the disciples).
          >
          > (I should add as footnote that I do not at the moment subscribe to
          > the Q hypothesis, but like nevertheless to attempt to understand it
          > in the hope that some day I might be convinced.)

          My response:

          You are correct, Mark, in drawing attention to the Q references to miracle
          working of Jesus. I wrote in haste at that point. I meant to say that Q
          does not have an interest in narrating miracle stories, with the exception
          of story of the healing of the centurion's son, in contrast to those early
          Christians who told miracle stories as a way of presenting Jesus as a divine
          man.

          Thank you for the correction.

          Ted
        • Jeff Peterson
          ... Nils Dahl argued in his seminal essay The Crucified Messiah that the placard The King of the Jews above Jesus cross -- a sufficiently embarrassing
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 2, 2000
            > Ted Weeden wrote:

            > Let me put it differently. I have not seen any convincing evidence
            > that Jesus linked himself with the aspirations of Jewish messianism.
            > Nor have I found any convincing evidence that the early church linked
            > Jesus with Jewish political messianism during his earthly life. The
            > church did link Jesus with messianism following his death and thus
            > called him "Christ" or "the Christ" with respect to his
            > resurrection/exaltation: Paul, among others.

            Nils Dahl argued in his seminal essay "The Crucified Messiah" that the
            placard "The King of the Jews" above Jesus' cross -- a sufficiently
            embarrassing detail that we can be confident the early church didn't
            invent it -- indicates that one significant interpretation of Jesus'
            ministry by his contemporaries was messianic. Unless his death was a
            sheer misunderstanding (as Mack and others have suggested), this would
            suggest that he in some way associated himself with the messianic hopes
            of Israel. The participation of Jesus' most prominent disciple Peter in
            a mission proclaiming him as Messiah would make plausible a degree of
            continuity between proclaimer and proclaimed on this point, wouldn't it?

            Jeff Peterson
            Institute for Christian Studies
            Austin, TX
          • Robert M Schacht
            On Sat, 3 Jun 2000 16:29:24 -0400 David C. Hindley ... (Many paragraphs of quotes deleted) ... David, I am a bit puzzled here about why you have quoted at
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 3, 2000
              On Sat, 3 Jun 2000 16:29:24 -0400 "David C. Hindley"
              <dhindley@...> writes:
              > Ted,
              >
              > Last night I spent a little time cutting, pasting and pruning your
              > recent responses to Richard Anderson, Ron Price and myself, in order
              > to try to understand what kind of christology you think the
              > opponents
              > of the author of Mark had.
              >

              (Many paragraphs of quotes deleted)

              > My response:
              >
              > While I have not read Georgi (his book is not in stock at either
              > Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at the libraries I haunt) I have generally
              > not found convincing those studies which identify a high degree of
              > Hellenization in the ideas held by or about the person of Jesus in the
              > letters of Paul or in the Gospels.

              David,
              I am a bit puzzled here about why you have quoted at such great length,
              and then commented on only one thing, for which the first few sentences
              of quotes would have been quite sufficient. Or am I missing something?

              >I am also hesitant to accept the
              > proposals of Crossan and others who see Galilee as a place where
              > Jewish residents borrowed freely from Hellenistic and Roman culture
              > and practices.

              Why?

              > My reading of Josephus and the few other
              > contemporaneous sources available makes me believe that it was much
              > more likely the original followers of Jesus had a political messianic
              > vision of him than a mystical one.

              What evidence do you find in Josephus for that? Or, what other
              contemporaneous sources are you thinking of?

              >
              > In my opinion, they have overstepped themselves in their use of
              > cross-cultural anthropology. I do not object to using it to produce an
              > explanation that incorporates the known evidence (after all, that is
              > "history"), but I do have problems with using it to generate covering
              > laws which are in turn used to reconstruct "history" that is otherwise
              > not attested, especially when these reconstructions are treated the
              > same as the former category of explanation.

              Can you cite any "covering law" that Crossan has proposed in this regard?
              I don't recall any. What do you mean by "overstepping"? I, too, have some
              considerations about how Crossan used cross-cultural anthropology, but I
              wouldn't call it "overstepping", and I am very glad of his attempt to
              include it in his attempts at triangulation of data. Besides, I'm not
              sure your "otherwise not attested" charge is fair, given Chapter 12 of
              BOC. Just what about his construction is that you find unconvincing?
              Please provide some concrete specifics about his reconstruction that you
              disagree with. Or is your disagreement only at the methodological level?

              > However, I will concede that I have yet to fully develop a personal
              position on the
              > subject of the application of anthropology to historical
              reconstruction.

              Well, good! I'm glad to see that you have not completely closed that
              door.

              Bob
            • Richard Anderson
              Robert: David quoted Richard Anderson and Ron Price because he wants to involve us in the discussion or as a compliment of sorts! Richard H. Anderson
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 4, 2000
                Robert: David quoted Richard Anderson and Ron Price because he wants to
                involve us in the discussion or as a compliment of sorts!

                Richard H. Anderson
              • Richard Anderson
                What Ted Weeden has to say is provocative but there is a certain tunnel-vision involved. He says that he is not aware of any evidence for the high regard in
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 4, 2000
                  What Ted Weeden has to say is provocative but there is a certain
                  tunnel-vision involved. He says that he is not aware of any evidence for the
                  high regard in which James was held in the Jerusalem community excepting
                  GThomas 12/13. What about Josephus? But citing GThomas raises another
                  question. GThomas does not presuppose a theology of the cross but proclaims
                  the presence of divine wisdom. In 1 Cor., Paul criticizes certain groups of
                  people who claimed to possess special wisdom in the name of individual
                  followers of Jesus. Whether or not Mark and Luke are followers of Paul, the
                  writings bearing their names certainly have been influenced by what each
                  understood to the message of Paul.

                  Are the (Weedon) opponents in Mark, persons who claimed to possess secret
                  special wisdom? Are we to understand the GMark as a ridicule of those who
                  claim to have secret wisdom?

                  Richard H. Anderson
                  http://www.geocities.com/gospelofluke
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.