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Re: [XTalk] historical method

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  • Chris G Criminger
    Hi Bob, The discussion is just getting good but I understand if you need to bail out for a while (certainly bail in whenever you want :) After today, it will
    Message 1 of 23 , Dec 18, 2000
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      Hi Bob,
      The discussion is just getting good but I understand if you need to bail
      out for a while (certainly bail in whenever you want :) After today, it
      will become more difficult for me as well time wise.

      These a some good questions so let me add a few questions of my own and
      see which direction others want to go with this:

      Bob said,
      > 1) Believing or allowing that miracles *can* happen is of little use
      > in
      > determining whether this or that one *did* happen. For example,
      > believing that there are angels and that they can appear to people
      > isn't
      > going to help us make a judgment about whether Moroni appeared to
      > Joseph
      > Smith to tell him about the golden tablets.

      RE: You rightly raised the issue earlier about worldview issues (isn't
      this one as well?)
      For example, if miracles are ruled out a priori from the beginning then
      it does not matter if any ancient writer alludes to miracles (we would
      all know from the beginning that they can't happen). But you are right
      in saying that simply allowing for the possibility of miracles does not
      answer the question of whether reported miracles in ancient documents
      happened or not (that is--------there would still have to be some way to
      substantiate them). It does seem to me that certain theological or
      nontheological prior commitments will have more determinative power than
      whatever the text may actually say (our hermeneutical condurum).

      > 2) History is not what happened in the past. It is (on my
      > definition)
      > what we can "know" (in the sense of dealing with degrees of
      > probability)
      > about the past based on public evidence. The notion of public
      > evidence
      > seems in principle to rule out appeals to the supernatural. For
      > example,
      > if a cult reported that their recently deceased leader has been
      > raised
      > from the dead, we could all agree on the public evidence that his
      > grave
      > was empty, but we would surely disagree on his resurrection, since
      > that
      > is not public evidence. It seems to me that if we allow beliefs
      > about
      > the miraculous, etc. into our historical method, we just have to let
      > different communities of belief have different histories. And that
      > seems
      > to me to be a major loss, for then we have situations in which, for
      > instance, it is a matter of history that Jesus did and did not die
      > on the
      > cross, depending on whether one is Muslim or non-Muslim. It think
      > it's
      > much better to be able to say that, using the methods of history, we
      > can
      > say that Jesus died on the cross, but that Muslims reject this
      > historical
      > finding, not because of a difference about the public evidence, but
      > because of a theological difference.
      >
      > It should be obvious that I don't have all this thought out
      > completely.
      > I'm going to have to reduce my participation in this conversation
      > for a
      > while. I hope others will join in. It's worth working on together.

      RE: But Bob, I still can't feel like what you have done in defining
      history is what Hume did in defining miracles. In other words, the
      possibility of them are ruled out from the beginning. And it seems to me
      that this process of doing this does not lead to surer results in doing
      history but it seems to this reader that there are more possible and
      conflicting interpretations given than agreed upon (in other words,
      pragmatically speaking, this does not seem to have brought consensus in
      historical studies but has only widened the door to more conflicting
      interpretations).

      And I like your idea of "public evidence" but how often does history have
      the kind of public evidence you suggest? For example, there is much of
      ancient history that is far removed from the times much less corroborated
      by many other sources (public corroboration). If it sounds historical,
      do we not question it and if it sounds supernatural, then we should
      question it? And you are right in putting the issues back between the
      age old problem of theology and history. I have not worked all this out
      either and would be interested in others suggestions are trying to hurdle
      these kinds of barriers and problems.

      Grace and Peace - Chris Criminger



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    • Chris G Criminger
      PS: I should add that I never really answered Bob s question. That is if history is defined as public viewings, can miracles be verified historically then?
      Message 2 of 23 , Dec 18, 2000
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        PS:
        I should add that I never really answered Bob's question. That is if
        history is defined as public viewings, can miracles be verified
        historically then? (as well as pseudo miracles).
        This would seem to be the task ahead then for those who say miracles can
        be verified somehow and substantiated from pseudo claims (I will have to
        think about this some more). If this can not be done then it would seem
        like then miracles do fall in the realm of the ahistorical. This does
        raise the question that Corey raised to Bob in a Jesus Seminar discussion
        and understood Bob to be saying that he did not discount some miraculous
        healings. So again, are miracles ruled out altogether (and Corey
        misunderstood you)? or are you making some kind of distinction between
        natural miracles and supernatural ones?

        Thanks in advance - Chris Criminger


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      • Robert M. Schacht
        ... I have misgivings about both sides of this debate, and don t know how to resolve it. First, Miller s definition of history bothers me because I feel
        Message 3 of 23 , Dec 23, 2000
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          On 18 Dec 2000, at 13:25, Robert J. Miller wrote:

          > 2) History is not what happened in the past. It is (on my definition)
          > what we can "know" (in the sense of dealing with degrees of
          > probability) about the past based on public evidence. The notion of
          > public evidence seems in principle to rule out appeals to the
          > supernatural.

          I have misgivings about both sides of this debate, and don't know how to
          resolve it.
          First, Miller's definition of history bothers me because I feel nervous
          about cutting ourselves loose from "what happened in the past" as the
          ultimate standard of history. What I hear Miller clearly saying is that
          things that happened that we cannot "know" about are not a part of history.
          This seems a bit myopic to me. It seems to rule out, ex cathedra, some of
          the things about Jesus that his contemporaries felt were most important. We
          are close here to what I call the tyranny of the Normal: We demand that
          someone who is known primarily for being abnormal must be judged solely by
          the standards of normal behavior, and any abnormal behavior is thrown out
          of court because it is not normal.

          Please, I realize that this is not exactly what Miller is asserting.
          Technically, what he says is epistemologically sound. What concerns me is
          1. What can we "know"? and
          2. What constitutes public evidence?
          I am interested in enlarging the boundaries of what we can know, and in an
          inclusive approach to what constitutes public evidence. I am not sure how
          to do it, but think that we need to find ways to agree about how it can be
          done. I am also concerned that if we draw too narrowly the boundaries of
          what we can know, and limit the boundaries of what constitutes public
          evidence too much, we will rule out of court precisely those things most
          interesting about the historical Jesus.

          At 01:52 AM 12/20/00 , Mark Goodacre responded to Miller:

          "I wonder if one might also add the essentially "public" nature not
          just of admissable evidence but also of the whole business of doing
          history. Given its public nature, it makes sense to aim, when we
          are writing history, at thought and expression that reaches towards
          consensus....."

          Although in some ways I like this idea, it skates perilously close to the
          idea that truth is whatever the majority says it is.

          The thing that I like about it is that it serves as a corrective on what
          often seems to me to be the individual eccentricities of individual
          scholars. And I believe that this is precisely what the "Jesus Seminar"
          attempted to do-- except that despite what we are told were the sincere
          efforts of the Seminar to recruit and retain conservative Christian
          scholars, and despite the diversity of fellows represented at the Seminar,
          it has been judged to represent a somewhat limited consensus of the field
          that is left of center. At least, more than most such enterprises, it has
          made a detailed effort.

          What other modern models of critical scholarship are there? The ones that
          come to mind are:
          1. The International Q Project;
          2. The translation committees of Biblical translations such as the New
          Revised Standard Version.

          So far as I am aware, the IQP is considered to represent a fair consensus,
          given the initial assumption of the existence of Q.
          Biblical translation committees are an interesting case. The Revised
          Standard Version had, I think, fairly wide consensus support. However, the
          New RSV, while regarded as excellent in many respects, is regarded by many
          as bending over backwards too far in the direction of political
          correctness, so I'm not sure that it enjoys the same degree of support as
          its predecessor.

          These examples are useful as revealing various approaches to reaching
          consensus.
          Nevertheless, Mark, how do you feel about the issue of relativism in this
          regard?

          Mark continued:
          " A history that is only comprehensible to those who
          share a certain (let's say Christian) worldview is actually of less
          use academically than is a history that aims at making itself
          understood by those of different backgrounds and worldviews."

          Agreed!


          <Mark>"Let me try to illustrate what I mean. I teach in a School of
          Historical Studies in a publicly funded, secular University and our
          students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs.
          When I teach the Historical Jesus, I attempt to work with
          constructions and expressions that aim (at least) to establish
          consensus based on reasoned analysis of the evidence. In the
          case of the healing and miracle stories, it seems reasonable to
          most scholars these days to claim that Jesus was known as some
          kind of healer / miracle worker. Thus, after careful analysis of the
          evidence, one can make the historical judgement "Jesus was
          probably known during his own life time as some kind of healer /
          miracle worker" without invoking philosophical discussions about
          how to define miracle, whether or not miracles are possible, etc. I
          have had atheists, agnostics, Christians, Jews and Muslims of
          different varieties in classes who would probably feel happy with
          that kind of consensus statement. As a public discourse, history
          should, I think, always think about the way it is communicating, at
          least attempting to establish consensus based on reasoned,
          informed study of the evidence."

          Agreed!


          <Mark>"Let me attempt to illustrate also from the negative examples that
          have come up. I would find it very hard work attempting to find
          reasoned consensus over the propositions "Jesus was able to walk
          on water" or "dead people rose to life when Jesus died and walked
          around Jerusalem appearing to people". While the acceptance of
          these statements would involve optimism about the historicity of
          events that do not fulfil any of the strong criteria for authenticity, the
          point in this context is that in order to be able to say these things,
          one would have to have a particular world view and a particular faith-
          stance. The historian who happens to have that world view and
          faith stance but who is nevertheless conscious of the public nature
          of his/her discourse will surely prescind from making such
          statements."

          The problem is that *all* of your examples presume a certain world view.
          The critical scholar, for example, is likely to subscribe to a secular
          materialist worldview that accepts as evidence only those reports that
          comport with what presently passes for naturalistic explanations. The only
          difference is that some of these worldviews seem more popular than others,
          or have more prestige amongst scholars than others, and the degree of
          consensus involved depends on who you ask (critical scholars only? Pew
          sitters? Unchurched laypeople? People of color? Women?)

          Then Mark or someone else wrote:
          > And that seems to me to be a major
          > loss, for then we have situations in which, for instance, it is a
          > matter of history that Jesus did and did not die on the cross,
          > depending on whether one is Muslim or non-Muslim. It think it's much
          > better to be able to say that, using the methods of history, we can
          > say that Jesus died on the cross, but that Muslims reject this
          > historical finding, not because of a difference about the public
          > evidence, but because of a theological difference.

          "Theology" cuts different ways. Atheism is a form of theology(!), and it
          carries with it certain presuppositions.
          The difficulty is in deciding which presuppositions are superior in
          something other than egocentric and ethnocentric (emic) ways.

          Now, to a certain extent here, I'm playing the devil's advocate in that I
          actually agree with (or at least understand) some of what Bob Miller says
          and some of what Mark Goodacre says, but I am also aware of some of the
          problems inherent in what both have articulated, and I don't know how to
          resolve them.
          We come again to epistemological issues.

          Thanks for some interesting thoughts!

          Bob
        • Mark Goodacre
          ... I agree that that is a potential problem if one attempts to push this too far in particular directions. However, my point has more to do with the role
          Message 4 of 23 , Jan 3, 2001
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            On 23 Dec 2000, at 8:00, Robert M. Schacht wrote:

            > At 01:52 AM 12/20/00 , Mark Goodacre responded to Miller:
            >
            > "I wonder if one might also add the essentially "public" nature not
            > just of admissable evidence but also of the whole business of doing
            > history. Given its public nature, it makes sense to aim, when we
            > are writing history, at thought and expression that reaches towards
            > consensus....."
            >
            > Although in some ways I like this idea, it skates perilously close to the
            > idea that truth is whatever the majority says it is.

            I agree that that is a potential problem if one attempts to push this
            too far in particular directions. However, my point has more to do
            with the role that consensus might play in communication and the
            establishing of fruitful discourse than with its role in making the
            most accurate approximation to the truth. In other words, what I'd
            be interested in seeing is some attempt to find ways in which we
            might be able to agree on important elements in the quest as fellow
            historians coming from very different perspectives. For example,
            what I disliked about the Borg-Wright book was their failure to draw
            attention to and then to explore important elements in the basic
            consensus that is there between them, instead choosing at each
            stage to take up quite opposing stances.

            > The thing that I like about it is that it serves as a corrective on what
            > often seems to me to be the individual eccentricities of individual
            > scholars. And I believe that this is precisely what the "Jesus Seminar"
            > attempted to do-- except that despite what we are told were the sincere
            > efforts of the Seminar to recruit and retain conservative Christian
            > scholars, and despite the diversity of fellows represented at the Seminar,
            > it has been judged to represent a somewhat limited consensus of the field
            > that is left of center. At least, more than most such enterprises, it has
            > made a detailed effort.

            The great value of the Jesus Seminar is, to my mind, that it has
            attempted to move forward by consensus on certain issues among
            certain scholars as the result of public debate. It takes seriously
            the "public discourse" that I think is a responsible part of doing
            history. As an outsider, to me the most disappointing element in it
            is that it was not able either to attract or to retain a sufficiently
            diverse enough set of participants to make the public debate and
            the resulting consensus as helpful as it otherwise might have been.

            > So far as I am aware, the IQP is considered to represent a fair consensus,
            > given the initial assumption of the existence of Q.

            I agree that it has rightly attained respect in the academy, perhaps
            largely because of the international element, especially those from
            Bamberg (Germany), though also because of the calibre of those
            like Kloppenborg who are closely involved. Incidentally, it requires
            not only the "initial assumption of the existence of Q" but also the
            assumption that it is a discreet document in Greek that is capable
            of being reconstructed, an assumption that is not shared by many
            in the academy.

            > The problem is that *all* of your examples presume a certain world view.
            > The critical scholar, for example, is likely to subscribe to a secular
            > materialist worldview that accepts as evidence only those reports that
            > comport with what presently passes for naturalistic explanations. The only
            > difference is that some of these worldviews seem more popular than others,
            > or have more prestige amongst scholars than others, and the degree of
            > consensus involved depends on who you ask (critical scholars only? Pew
            > sitters? Unchurched laypeople? People of color? Women?)

            To take your second sentence, I think one of the strengths of much
            recent historical Jesus scholarship is that it has avoided looking for
            naturalistic explanations for miracles in the gospels, often
            contenting itself with the more general claim that Jesus was known
            as a healer. And this is my point -- you won't be able, realistically,
            to alter someone's world-view, and clashes across different world
            views in this context therefore tend to be pretty pointless. But you
            might well be able, in spite of the difference in world view, to come
            to consensus on key elements of the evidence, e.g. the statement
            "Jesus was known as a healer".

            Thanks, Bob, as ever, for your helpful thoughts, and a happy new
            pedants' millennium to all on the list.

            Mark
            -----------------------------
            Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
            Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
            University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
            Birmingham B15 2TT
            United Kingdom

            http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
            Homepage
            http://NTGateway.com
            The New Testament Gateway
          • Bob Schacht
            ... Things have been quiet on XTalk this week, so let me take this opportunity to continue our brief discussion on historical method. I mostly agree with what
            Message 5 of 23 , Jan 6, 2001
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              At 02:55 PM 1/3/01 -0800, Mark Goodacre wrote:
              >... my point has more to do
              >with the role that consensus might play in communication and the
              >establishing of fruitful discourse than with its role in making the
              >most accurate approximation to the truth. In other words, what I'd
              >be interested in seeing is some attempt to find ways in which we
              >might be able to agree on important elements in the quest as fellow
              >historians coming from very different perspectives.

              Things have been quiet on XTalk this week, so let me take this opportunity
              to continue our brief discussion on historical method. I mostly agree with
              what you wrote above, with the qualification that the value of the
              resulting consensus is proportional to the diversity of those involved in
              the discussion, and the degree to which they actually listen to each other,
              respond to each other's arguments, and where the discussion actually
              evolves to a different place than the initial positions of the discussants,
              rather than merely repeating set positions. The value of the discussion
              also depends on the degree to which the participants are willing to set
              aside their personal agendae and are willing to be persuaded by logic and
              evidence.

              > For example,
              >what I disliked about the Borg-Wright book was their failure to draw
              >attention to and then to explore important elements in the basic
              >consensus that is there between them, instead choosing at each
              >stage to take up quite opposing stances.

              Agreed.

              >...The great value of the Jesus Seminar is, to my mind, that it has
              >attempted to move forward by consensus on certain issues among
              >certain scholars as the result of public debate. It takes seriously
              >the "public discourse" that I think is a responsible part of doing
              >history.

              Does it really? Or does it do so primarily in a confrontational,
              paternalistic way? As I have written before, I don't like the way they
              sometimes present opinion as fact, which has a way of shutting off debate
              and alienating readers rather than encouraging discussion. And yet, rather
              than shutting down the JSem, I would prefer to see another seminar
              established that would critically review The Five Gospels and The Acts of
              Jesus (as well as other recent literature), featuring the leading NT
              scholars who were *not* participants in the JSem, as well as a diverse
              assortment of others. I would hope that T5G and TAJ wold change the
              paradigm of the way Biblical exegesis is done. The Old Way (The
              Interpreter's Bible, the Anchor Bible, etc.) is to contract with an expert
              to do each volume-- so one scholar does Matthew, another does Mark, another
              does Luke, and another does John. Each scholar takes what he wants from the
              literature, and presents his own "expert" conclusions. There is no dialogue
              among the commentators.
              But now take, for example, the panel that was responsible for the New
              Revised Standard Version, under the leadership of Bruce Metzger, or the
              panel responsible for the Revised English Bible, chaired by Donald Coggan,
              and the Oxford study Bibles for the NRSV and REB provide brief exegetical
              notes to the text. Do they write the brief exegetical notes the old way, or
              are they the work of a panel? If by panel, surely there is a lot of
              unpublished exegesis that they discuss among themselves that is never
              published as a corporate product. I would hope that sooner or later one of
              these outfits would adopt/adapt the Jesus Seminar paradigm, which I would
              take to include the following:

              1. Clear exegetical principles-- Somewhat like the JSem's "Rules of Written
              Evidence" (T5G, pp. 16 et seq.), which consist of bulletted statements
              printed in red. However, the JSem had too many "rules", and what start out
              as rules of evidence meander off in several directions, so that the later
              bulletted items are statements of a rather different sort than the earlier
              ones (e.g., including assumptions, conclusions, and many other kinds of
              statements). Better to have a smaller, more coherent set around which there
              is a greater scholarly consensus across the spectrum of critical scholarship.

              2. A new, complete translation of each Gospel according to a consistent set
              of principles of translation e.g., so that a sentence from the Triple
              Tradition for which the underlying Greek text is identical in all three
              sources gets translated the same way in all three gospels.

              3. Marginalia indicating parallel passages and the most likely source for
              the passage.

              4. Meetings that are openly scheduled and, under certain guidelines, open
              to the public (who can listen, at least), at which the translation and
              exegesis are openly discussed.

              5. Some explicit method for reaching scholarly consensus on the exegetical
              notes.

              6. Some system for indicating degrees of probable historicity of sayings
              and/or deeds, whether red-pink-gray-black or some other system, reflecting
              the scholarly consensus derived from #4.

              7. Exegetical notes that represent consensus of the panel, rather than the
              expert opinion of one scholar (however well footnoted).

              8. A house journal, such as FORUM (ISSN 0883-4970), to report on the
              deliberations, providing an opportunity for feedback from non-participants
              (a "Letters to the editor" would be a good feature to include).

              Is this too much to hope for? Or is there some reason that only the Jesus
              Seminar can do things this way?


              >As an outsider, to me the most disappointing element in it
              >is that it was not able either to attract or to retain a sufficiently
              >diverse enough set of participants to make the public debate and
              >the resulting consensus as helpful as it otherwise might have been.....

              Agreed! (as indicated above). I had previously written:

              > > The problem is that *all* of your examples presume a certain world view.
              > > The critical scholar, for example, is likely to subscribe to a secular
              > > materialist worldview that accepts as evidence only those reports that
              > > comport with what presently passes for naturalistic explanations. The only
              > > difference is that some of these worldviews seem more popular than others,
              > > or have more prestige amongst scholars than others, and the degree of
              > > consensus involved depends on who you ask (critical scholars only? Pew
              > > sitters? Unchurched laypeople? People of color? Women?)
              >
              >To take your second sentence, I think one of the strengths of much
              >recent historical Jesus scholarship is that it has avoided looking for
              >naturalistic explanations for miracles in the gospels, often
              >contenting itself with the more general claim that Jesus was known
              >as a healer.

              Well, I'll have to take your word for it, because you are better acquainted
              with a broader range of recent historical Jesus scholarship than I am.
              However, for some reason I seem to notice that while they (at least, the
              sources I have been reading) may not "look" for naturalistic explanations
              for miracles in the gospels, much recent historical Jesus scholarship
              simply dismisses such accounts as a fabrication. Take, for example, the
              recent (mid- December) thread instigated by Bob Miller on the subject of
              Matthew 27:51-52 under the heading "invent". That is, rather than
              considering how the passage might be explained as somehow reflecting an
              historical event, the tendency often is to deny that it has any basis in
              history at all, and was merely a fabrication.

              > And this is my point -- you won't be able, realistically,
              >to alter someone's world-view, and clashes across different world
              >views in this context therefore tend to be pretty pointless.

              Worse than pointless: Discussion of differences in world-view are too often
              divisive, alienating, and often patronizing, and rather lacking in mutual
              respect.

              > But you might well be able, in spite of the difference in world view, to
              > come to consensus on key elements of the evidence, e.g. the statement
              >"Jesus was known as a healer".

              This is the right way to proceed, IMHO, because it is precise, accurate,
              and emphasizes domains of agreement rather than emphasizing differences.


              >Thanks, Bob, as ever, for your helpful thoughts, and a happy new
              >pedants' millennium to all on the list.
              >
              >Mark

              And thank you for a stimulating discussion. It has been a pleasure to see
              your active participation in recent weeks! May we all increase in
              discernment and insight as we seek the truth about the historical Jesus in
              the new millennium!

              Bob
              Robert Schacht
              Northern Arizona University
              Robert.Schacht@...

              "This success of my endeavors was due, I believe, to a rule of 'method':
              that we should always try to clarify and to strengthen our opponent's
              position as much as possible before criticizing him, if we wish our
              criticism to be worth while." [Sir Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific
              Discovery (1968), p. 260 n.*5]


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Thomas A. Kopecek
              A portion of the conversation between Bob and Mark on historical method has interested me--a small portion, in part because it came up at the end of my course
              Message 6 of 23 , Jan 7, 2001
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                A portion of the conversation between Bob and Mark on historical
                method has interested me--a small portion, in part because it came up
                at the end of my course on Christology last semester.

                Let me begin by quoting the sequences that lead into my question: I
                hope I have attributed the quotations to the right persons.

                [Schacht, I think]

                > > > The problem is that *all* of your examples presume a certain
                world view.
                > > > The critical scholar, for example, is likely to subscribe to a
                secular
                > > > materialist worldview that accepts as evidence only those
                reports that
                > > > comport with what presently passes for naturalistic
                explanations. The only
                > > > difference is that some of these worldviews seem more popular
                than others,
                > > > or have more prestige amongst scholars than others, and the
                degree of
                > > > consensus involved depends on who you ask (critical scholars
                only? Pew
                > > > sitters? Unchurched laypeople? People of color? Women?)

                [Goodacre, I think]

                > >
                > >To take your second sentence, I think one of the strengths of much
                > >recent historical Jesus scholarship is that it has avoided looking
                for
                > >naturalistic explanations for miracles in the gospels, often
                > >contenting itself with the more general claim that Jesus was known
                > >as a healer.

                [Schacht?]

                > Well, I'll have to take your word for it, because you are better
                acquainted
                > with a broader range of recent historical Jesus scholarship than I
                am.
                > However, for some reason I seem to notice that while they (at
                least,
                the
                > sources I have been reading) may not "look" for naturalistic
                explanations
                > for miracles in the gospels, much recent historical Jesus
                scholarship
                > simply dismisses such accounts as a fabrication.

                [snip]

                [Goodacre]

                > > But you might well be able, in spite of the difference in world
                view, to
                > > come to consensus on key elements of the evidence, e.g. the
                statement
                > >"Jesus was known as a healer".

                [Schacht]
                >
                > This is the right way to proceed, IMHO, because it is precise,
                accurate,
                > and emphasizes domains of agreement rather than emphasizing
                differences.

                In the last unit of my Christology course my students work through a
                couple of reconstructions of the historical Jesus on their own and
                play them off against one another in final papers. They used Sanders'
                Historical Figure and Borg's New Vision, and both a number of students
                and I had some trouble following exactly what Sanders was doing with
                Jesus' miracles at the very end of his chapter devoted to the subject.

                This *does*, I believe, bear on the issue of historical method that
                Bob and Mark have been discussing.

                Sanders argues that Mt 11:4-5 tells us Jesus' own view of his miracles
                in response to John the Baptist's question about whether Jesus was "he
                who is to come": "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind
                receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the
                deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news
                preached to them."

                Like Borg, Sanders contends that "Jesus was known as a healer." And
                he goes further and contends that Jesus saw himself as not only a
                healer but, it seems, more, given the Mt 11 quotation. Yet he also
                endorses Cicero's rejection of miracles, the modern view that effects
                need naturalistic causes, and a typical division of Jesus' miracles
                into exorcisms and healings on the one side and nature miracles on the
                other. What I don't recall Sanders discussing (maybe he did, and I
                missed it) was how "raising the dead" doesn't qualify as a nature
                miracle. Of course one could take that portion of the list
                metaphorically, but then, given the other elements in the list,
                Sanders' whole point would be vitiated--I think.

                Is Sanders here going beyond the consensus that Mark is talking
                about, is he simply avoiding the issue of the category of miracle to
                which raising the dead belongs, or what? It seems to me that Borg
                operates within what Mark is calling the consensus.

                Have I set this up incorrectly? If so, how? If I haven't, any thoughts
                from anyone?

                Tom

                BTW: Stephen Carlson and I had a very interesting exchange on
                Synoptic-L about Stephen's belief that the portrait of Peter in Mt
                is, in important respects, more negative than the portrait of Peter in
                Mk. Stephen was his usual lucid and careful self, but after awhile I
                simply faded on him, not having the time necessary to do all the
                required research and not being particularly expert in NT criticism
                to begin with. Unfortunately, no one else on Synoptic-L joined in the
                fray, and I was very much wanting to have someone who knows more than
                I do come in and seek to adjudicate between my defense of what I
                consider to be the standard position in scholarship and Stephen's
                challenge to it.

                Since Stephen originally offered his view a few years ago on
                Crosstalk (and it was not taken up), would any be interested in
                Stephen or me putting together a synopsis of the arguments we offered
                on either side (mine were very tentative indeed, since NT scholarship
                isn't my professional field) and then joining in?

                ___
                Thomas A. Kopecek
                Professor of Religion
                Central College, Pella, IA 50219
                kopecekt
              • Bob Schacht
                ... I think it might be important to note here that the difference between these two categories is that the exorcisms and healings are regarded as
                Message 7 of 23 , Jan 7, 2001
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                  At 10:10 PM 1/7/01 +0000, Thomas A. Kopecek wrote:
                  >...In the last unit of my Christology course my students work through a
                  >couple of reconstructions of the historical Jesus on their own and
                  >play them off against one another in final papers. They used Sanders'
                  >Historical Figure and Borg's New Vision, and both a number of students
                  >and I had some trouble following exactly what Sanders was doing with
                  >Jesus' miracles at the very end of his chapter devoted to the subject.
                  >
                  >This *does*, I believe, bear on the issue of historical method that
                  >Bob and Mark have been discussing.
                  >
                  >Sanders argues that Mt 11:4-5 tells us Jesus' own view of his miracles
                  >in response to John the Baptist's question about whether Jesus was "he
                  >who is to come": "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind
                  >receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the
                  >deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news
                  >preached to them."
                  >
                  >Like Borg, Sanders contends that "Jesus was known as a healer." And
                  >he goes further and contends that Jesus saw himself as not only a
                  >healer but, it seems, more, given the Mt 11 quotation. Yet he also
                  >endorses Cicero's rejection of miracles, the modern view that effects
                  >need naturalistic causes, and a typical division of Jesus' miracles
                  >into exorcisms and healings on the one side and nature miracles on the
                  >other.

                  I think it might be important to note here that the difference between
                  these two categories is that the exorcisms and healings are regarded as
                  psychosomatic (i.e., either the disease or the cure is viewed as a
                  psychological process rather than natural process)[Sanders, p.158], whereas
                  the nature miracles are viewed as non-psychological.

                  > What I don't recall Sanders discussing (maybe he did, and I
                  >missed it) was how "raising the dead" doesn't qualify as a nature
                  >miracle.

                  I don't recall either-- but maybe it depends on how dead is dead. That is,
                  what if someone is comatose and regarded as dead, but not dead by modern
                  clinical standards? Then if the person is "raised," it is a kind of healing
                  miracle rather than a nature miracle. You are not helped by the fact that
                  Sanders seems not to address "raising the dead" in his chapter on miracles,
                  instead dealing with this category in his Epilogue: the Resurrection (esp.
                  p. 278). But also I think you are trying to force Sanders to do something
                  that he really doesn't want to do, despite using the distinction between
                  healings, exorcisms, and "natural" miracles (p. 143). That is, this latter
                  distinction is primarily a modern one (Cicero notwithstanding), uncommon in
                  the first century (e.g., p. 141), and Sanders states that his purpose is to
                  understand miracles from the ancient perspective, when ideas on what was
                  "natural" and what wasn't were different from ours.

                  I note that you use the category of "raising from the dead" rather than
                  "resurrection". We tend to put "Resurrection" in a special box marked
                  "Christian belief" and then use some other term for any similar occurrence
                  (nowadays "near death experiences" are the stuff of popular books, and the
                  objective difference between these and "resurrection" is sometimes
                  unclear). But to the first century mind, being raised from the dead was, if
                  not an everyday experience, at least a part of Jewish tradition (Hebrews
                  11:35; Sanders p. 276n.6 with references on p. 311 to I Kings 17:8-14; II
                  Kings 4:18-36; Mark 5:21-43&//; Luke 7:11-17; Acts 9:36-43; John 11:5-44;
                  Philostratus, Life of Appolonius of Tyrana 4:45; Pliny, Natural History
                  26:13; Apuleius, Florida 19 ). I think I read somewhere that ancient Jewish
                  tradition held that the spirit lurked around the body for three days, so
                  that it is significant that both in the case of Lazarus and the case of
                  Jesus, our sources attempt to make the case that they were "dead" for more
                  than 3 days, so that your category of "raising from the dead" may need to
                  be subdivided. But basically the problem as described by Sanders on p. 278
                  is that both Paul and Luke, when dealing with the Resurrection of Jesus,
                  was "an experience that does not fit a known category." Whether the same
                  would apply to the other cases, such as Lazarus, I don't know.

                  >...Is Sanders here going beyond the consensus that Mark is talking
                  >about, is he simply avoiding the issue of the category of miracle to
                  >which raising the dead belongs, or what? It seems to me that Borg
                  >operates within what Mark is calling the consensus.

                  I think he's avoiding the issue; otherwise, he would have dealt with it in
                  his chapter on miracles.

                  >Have I set this up incorrectly? If so, how? If I haven't, any thoughts
                  >from anyone?

                  I'd challenge your class with the question: from the first century
                  perspective, would "raising the dead" be considered a form of healing or
                  exorcism, or something more like what we now regard as the "nature"
                  miracles? Or is this distinction anachronistic? Was the resurrection of
                  Jesus regarded as sui generis, or in the same category as the examples
                  cited in Sanders' footnote? From a first century perspective, how would
                  "raising the dead" be explained (using Sanders' footnote plus Hebrews 11:35
                  as the database).


                  >Tom
                  >
                  >BTW: Stephen Carlson and I had a very interesting exchange on
                  >Synoptic-L about Stephen's belief that the portrait of Peter in Mt
                  >is, in important respects, more negative than the portrait of Peter in
                  >Mk. Stephen was his usual lucid and careful self, but after awhile I
                  >simply faded on him, not having the time necessary to do all the
                  >required research and not being particularly expert in NT criticism
                  >to begin with. Unfortunately, no one else on Synoptic-L joined in the
                  >fray, and I was very much wanting to have someone who knows more than
                  >I do come in and seek to adjudicate between my defense of what I
                  >consider to be the standard position in scholarship and Stephen's
                  >challenge to it.
                  >
                  >Since Stephen originally offered his view a few years ago on
                  >Crosstalk (and it was not taken up), would any be interested in
                  >Stephen or me putting together a synopsis of the arguments we offered
                  >on either side (mine were very tentative indeed, since NT scholarship
                  >isn't my professional field) and then joining in?

                  Yes! Please do!

                  Bob


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Thomas A. Kopecek
                  ... [My comment] ... [Bob s response] ... That is, ... modern ... healing ... fact that ... miracles, ... Resurrection (esp. ... something ... between ...
                  Message 8 of 23 , Jan 8, 2001
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                    --- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@y...> wrote:

                    [My comment]

                    > > What I don't recall Sanders discussing (maybe he did, and I
                    > >missed it) was how "raising the dead" doesn't qualify as a nature
                    > >miracle.

                    [Bob's response]

                    > I don't recall either-- but maybe it depends on how dead is dead.
                    That is,
                    > what if someone is comatose and regarded as dead, but not dead by
                    modern
                    > clinical standards? Then if the person is "raised," it is a kind of
                    healing
                    > miracle rather than a nature miracle. You are not helped by the
                    fact
                    that
                    > Sanders seems not to address "raising the dead" in his chapter on
                    miracles,
                    > instead dealing with this category in his Epilogue: the
                    Resurrection
                    (esp.
                    > p. 278). But also I think you are trying to force Sanders to do
                    something
                    > that he really doesn't want to do, despite using the distinction
                    between
                    > healings, exorcisms, and "natural" miracles (p. 143). That is, this
                    latter
                    > distinction is primarily a modern one (Cicero notwithstanding),
                    uncommon in
                    > the first century (e.g., p. 141), and Sanders states that his
                    purpose is to
                    > understand miracles from the ancient perspective, when ideas on
                    what
                    was
                    > "natural" and what wasn't were different from ours.

                    If this was Sanders' sole purpose, then I would have thought that he
                    would have set up his chapter differently--or at least would have
                    sought to address a central ideological issue that he himself raises
                    in an ideological way. But having set up the chapter the way he does,
                    he then leave his readers with real loose ends. I was reading through
                    some of the previous Crosstalk posts on miracles in the archives, and
                    I noted Bob Miller (I think it was he) saying he was a Biblical
                    scholar (read historian?) rather than a theologian. Sanders makes a
                    similar distinction--and I do it all the time with my students. But I
                    try not to raise the kinds of ideological issues that Sanders does in
                    his chapter on miracles. And when I read modern historians of ancient
                    Greece and Rome, I don't see them being so ultra careful to dance
                    around reports of the supernatural in the way Sanders does when he
                    talks about the historical disciples of Jesus and the historical
                    Jesus. Like Miller and unlike Sanders, as historians in their
                    historical reconstructions they simply don't credit reports of
                    supernatual things like raisings from the dead.


                    >
                    > I note that you use the category of "raising from the dead" rather
                    than
                    > "resurrection". We tend to put "Resurrection" in a special box
                    marked
                    > "Christian belief" and then use some other term for any similar
                    occurrence
                    > (nowadays "near death experiences" are the stuff of popular books,
                    and the
                    > objective difference between these and "resurrection" is sometimes
                    > unclear). But to the first century mind, being raised from the dead
                    was, if
                    > not an everyday experience, at least a part of Jewish tradition
                    (Hebrews
                    > 11:35; Sanders p. 276n.6 with references on p. 311 to I Kings
                    17:8-14; II
                    > Kings 4:18-36; Mark 5:21-43&//; Luke 7:11-17; Acts 9:36-43; John
                    11:5-44;
                    > Philostratus, Life of Appolonius of Tyrana 4:45; Pliny, Natural
                    History
                    > 26:13; Apuleius, Florida 19 ). I think I read somewhere that
                    ancient
                    Jewish
                    > tradition held that the spirit lurked around the body for three
                    days, so
                    > that it is significant that both in the case of Lazarus and the
                    case
                    of
                    > Jesus, our sources attempt to make the case that they were "dead"
                    for more
                    > than 3 days, so that your category of "raising from the dead" may
                    need to
                    > be subdivided. But basically the problem as described by Sanders on
                    p. 278
                    > is that both Paul and Luke, when dealing with the Resurrection of
                    Jesus,
                    > was "an experience that does not fit a known category."

                    The categorical approach may be appropriate to Paul and Luke, but I
                    don't yet see that it is to Mt. Mt uses the same Greek work (egeiro)
                    in 11:5 of Jesus' raisings as he later does of Jesus' own
                    resurrection in chapter 28, and at first blush I see no attempt to
                    distinguish between Jesus' raisings and Jesus' own resurrection.

                    Of course, your mention of Luke *does* raise an even more serious
                    historical topic for those who believe in a Q document, since there
                    is a parallel to Mt 11:5 in Luke. I wonder how the Q crowd deal with
                    it?

                    > I'd challenge your class with the question: from the first century
                    > perspective, would "raising the dead" be considered a form of
                    healing or
                    > exorcism, or something more like what we now regard as the "nature"
                    > miracles? Or is this distinction anachronistic?

                    Surely anachronistic, no?

                    >Was the resurrection of
                    > Jesus regarded as sui generis, or in the same category as the
                    examples
                    > cited in Sanders' footnote?

                    As I said above, this seems to depend on what document one is
                    reading. At first glance Mt appears to present Jesus' resurrection in
                    just the same terms (literally) as Jesus' own self-proclaimed raisings
                    of others, whereas Lk presents it, I guess--given Luke 24 and Acts 1--
                    differently. For I take it that the resurrection connected with the
                    widow of Nain and Peter's and Paul's raisings are presented as
                    categorically different from Jesus' resurrection. If there was a Q,
                    Mt and Lk appear to be dealing with this topic in their source in
                    different ways.

                    Tom

                    ___
                    Thomas A. Kopecek
                    Professor of Religion
                    Central College, Pella, IA 50219
                    kopecekt@central
                  • Thomas A. Kopecek
                    ... in ... I ... the ... than ... offered ... scholarship ... *** Stephen Carlson and I had a conversation on Synoptic-L that developed from another
                    Message 9 of 23 , Jan 9, 2001
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                      --- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@y...> wrote:

                      > >BTW: Stephen Carlson and I had a very interesting exchange on
                      > >Synoptic-L about Stephen's belief that the portrait of Peter in Mt
                      > >is, in important respects, more negative than the portrait of Peter
                      in
                      > >Mk. Stephen was his usual lucid and careful self, but after awhile
                      I
                      > >simply faded on him, not having the time necessary to do all the
                      > >required research and not being particularly expert in NT criticism
                      > >to begin with. Unfortunately, no one else on Synoptic-L joined in
                      the
                      > >fray, and I was very much wanting to have someone who knows more
                      than
                      > >I do come in and seek to adjudicate between my defense of what I
                      > >consider to be the standard position in scholarship and Stephen's
                      > >challenge to it.
                      > >
                      > >Since Stephen originally offered his view a few years ago on
                      > >Crosstalk (and it was not taken up), would any be interested in
                      > >Stephen or me putting together a synopsis of the arguments we
                      offered
                      > >on either side (mine were very tentative indeed, since NT
                      scholarship
                      > >isn't my professional field) and then joining in?
                      >
                      > Yes! Please do!
                      >
                      > Bob

                      ***

                      Stephen Carlson and I had a conversation on Synoptic-L that developed
                      from
                      another conversation. The first concerned the extent to which Peter
                      can
                      justifiably be considered a "source" for the Gospel of Mark. In that
                      conversation I raised the topic of the negative portrait of Peter in
                      Mark,
                      which Stephen claimed, in turn, "is oversold." The conversation went
                      from there.

                      I hope others join in this, for initially I thought I could stay with
                      Stephen, but
                      For various reasons, including his superior abilities in NT
                      scholarship, I could
                      not. So here comes a slighted edited version of what transpired.

                      Tom

                      ***
                      I. FIRST EXCHANGE:

                      {Tom]
                      >>I was struck, however, by your comment that "Mark's negative
                      portrayal is
                      >>oversold (in many respects it is less negative than Matthew's)."
                      Since I'm
                      >>less dedicated to keeping up with the flood of material on NT
                      scholarship
                      >>than I'm dedicated to trying to follow the Patristic scholarship in
                      which
                      >>I'm interested. . . , I'm curious about why
                      >>you (and others on the list as well, if there are others) think
                      Matthew's
                      >>portrayal of Peter is more "negative" than Matthew's.

                      [Stephen]
                      > I outlined this provocative position of mine in a post I made to
                      > Crosstalk on July 18, 1997 but did not receive any response,
                      > favorable or critical. Maybe this time will be different. Here
                      > is a revised version:

                      > Although many would wonder how can a gospel that has Peter called
                      > the rock (Mt16:18) and Peter walking on water (Mt14:28) be more
                      > negative than Mark, I think a comparison of the two Gospels bears
                      > it out. In these two examples in Matthew, Peter's success is
                      > quickly followed by failure. Peter walks on water and sink. Peter
                      > is called the "Rock" and then the stumbling block (Mt16:23 SKANDALON
                      > *not in Mk* cf. 13:41). The literary effect is to highlight Peter's
                      > failure (in Mt compared to Mk).

                      [Tom]
                      Let me begin by again reminding Synoptic-L readers that I make no
                      claim to
                      be a NT scholar. The NT is simply a presupposition for the work I do,
                      such
                      as it is these days, in the Fathers. But with that disclaimer, let me
                      plunge
                      into the deep waters nonetheless.

                      I think the real literary effect of the sinking and skandalon
                      is to try to explain the data that occur in Mark. But such an
                      interpretation
                      depends on my view of the rest of your evidence. So to it.

                      [Stephen]
                      > In general, this pattern is consistent between the gospels. Matthew
                      > lacks Mark's vignette of Peter finding Jesus praying (Mk1:36ff).
                      > Matthew lacks Mark's passage in which Peter with James and John are
                      > allowed to see the healing of Jairus daughter (Mk5:37).

                      [Tom]
                      Mk 5:37 comes between (1) 4:34-41, especially 40-41 (where Jesus says
                      to his
                      disciples, "Have you still no faith," and they respond, "Who is this .
                      . .?")
                      and 6:1-6a, especially 6a (where Jesus is amazed by the lack of faith
                      of
                      his kin) and (2) the story of the outsider woman with the hemorrhages
                      in 5:34
                      who-- unlike the insider three disciples Peter, James, and John at the
                      raising of
                      Jairus' daughter (along with the rest of the 12 to whom the secret of
                      the
                      Kingdom of God had been revealed)--explicitly is portrayed as having
                      faith.
                      Thus, Mk 5:37, in context, is negative in its portrayal of Peter,
                      James, and
                      John.

                      I think Mt omits it precisely because the reference to the three
                      disciples
                      in Mark is negative. Finally, the presence in Mark of Peter, James,
                      and John
                      at the raising of Jairus' daughter is a foreshadowing of the
                      transfiguration
                      scene in Mark 9:2-13, which is very negative toward the inner core of
                      the
                      Three, just as 9:14-29 and 48-41 are negative toward the rest of the
                      disciples. Matthew obviously softens Mk's transfiguration story's
                      negative
                      portrait of the three.

                      [Stephen]
                      > In fact, Mark
                      ÿ at 11:21 (withered fig tree),

                      [Tom]
                      The presence in Mark 11:21 of Peter is, in my opinion, negative, for
                      after
                      Peter says, "Rabbi, look: the fig tree that you cursed has withered,"
                      Jesus
                      answers in 11:22, "Have faith in God." Jesus then goes on to talk
                      about not
                      doubting and having faith in prayer, which Peter, like the rest of the
                      12
                      mentioned back in 9:27 in a comparable passage, never does in Mark, at
                      least
                      as far as I can see (while Jesus prays later on, Peter sleeps, for
                      instance). This passage in 11:22 also echoes, as I see it, the
                      stilling of
                      the storm passage, "Have you still no faith?"

                      [Stephen]
                      >13:3 (private apocalypse),

                      [Tom]
                      Yes, Peter is present, but the point of chapter 13 is "Keep awake!"
                      This
                      immediately foreshadows 14:32-34, where Peter, James, and John
                      don't--but
                      rather fall asleep. Of course Mt would eliminate the reference to
                      Peter in
                      the parallel to Mark 13, precisely to eliminate some of the negative
                      portrayal of Peter in Mk--and thus to speak better of him.

                      [Stephen]
                      > and 16:7
                      > (resurrection to Peter and the disciples) point out Peter by name,
                      > but the Matthean parallels lack Peter's name in preference to the
                      > disciples. Thus, Mark accords an inner circle status to Peter that
                      > is attenuated in Matthew. The last example is important for Peter's
                      > credentials as an apostle according to 1 Cor. qualifications of
                      > witnessing the risen Christ. Matthew could have added a
                      resurrection
                      > story to Peter first as hinted by Mk16:7, but chose to recount an
                      > appearance to the Eleven instead.

                      [Tom, being imprecise]
                      I don't see anything in chapter 16 of Mk to be a hint of a
                      resurrection
                      appearance to Peter, for the women "said notin' to nobody." It is,
                      rather, a
                      very emphatic statement that Jesus' message that he was "leading" the
                      11,
                      especially Peter, to Galilee (14:26ff)--as reported by the young man
                      at the
                      tomb (16:7)--never got to Peter and the rest. Mt omits the reference
                      to
                      Peter precisely to speak more positively of Peter and the Eleven than
                      Mark,
                      I think.

                      [Stephen]
                      > In one case, however, the situation (one gospel has "Peter," the
                      other
                      > "disciples") is reversed: at Mt15:15 Peter does not understand the
                      parable
                      > about what defiles, but in Mk7:17 the disciples as a whole, without
                      naming
                      > Peter, do not. In a special-Matthew parable (or Matthean redaction
                      of
                      > Q), Peter is told to forgive 77 times (18:21), followed by the
                      parable of
                      > the unmerciful servant. There are also curiously pro-Judaic
                      teachings
                      > delivered to Peter in Mt but not in Mk: 17:24f. Peter and the Temple
                      > Tax, after Mt19:27, those who follow Jesus sit on 12 thrones.

                      [Tom]
                      The more positive portrayal of Peter in Mt agrees with with the Temple
                      Tax
                      story in 17:24ff and the eschatological judgment verse in 19:28, in my
                      opinion.

                      I know I haven't dealt with all of your passages, Stephen, but I'm no
                      NT
                      scholar. I'd have to give the others further thought.

                      [Stephen]
                      ÿ I hope this helped.

                      [Tom]
                      Not yet. Keep going at me, and maybe you'll be able to convince me.
                      I've
                      certainly got an open mind about the matter.

                      II. SECOND EXCHANGE

                      [Stephen]
                      Thank you very much for your response. In this message, it is
                      important to keep in mind that my thesis is that Mark's portrayal
                      of Peter is in many respects less negative than Matthew. That
                      is not to say that Mark is never negative about Peter, only that
                      I think on balance that views of Mark's negativity toward Peter
                      are overexaggerated. I am using Matthew, which few think is negative
                      toward Peter, as a basis for comparison: if Mark is indeed less
                      negative than Matthew over Peter, then Mark's remaining negativity
                      to Peter should not be considered out of place in the first century,
                      before the tendency toward hagiography became more pronounced.

                      [Tom]
                      >I think the real literary effect of the sinking and skandalon
                      >is to try to explain the data that occur in Mark. But such an
                      interpretation
                      >depends on my view of the rest of Stephen's evidence. So to it.

                      [Stephen]
                      If I wanted to lessen the negativity of Peter in this passage, I
                      would omit Jesus' calling Peter "Satan." Matthew did not do that.
                      Rather, Matthew called Peter a stumbling block, a reproach lacking
                      in Mark. Perhaps this is explaining Mark, or perhaps it is adding
                      insult to injury.

                      [Tom]
                      >Mk 5:37 comes (1) between 4:34-41, especially 40-41 (where Jesus says
                      to his
                      >disciples, "Have you still no faith," and they respond, "Who is this
                      . . .
                      >?") and 6:1-6a, especially 6a (where Jesus is amazed by the lack of
                      faith of
                      >his kin) and (2) it is the outsider woman with the hemorrhages in
                      5:34 who--
                      >unlike the insider three disciples Peter, James, and John at the
                      raising of
                      >Jairus' daughter (along with the rest of the 12 to whom the secret of
                      the
                      >Kingdom of God had been revealed)--explicitly is portrayed as having
                      faith.
                      >Thus, Mk 5:37, in context, is negative in its portrayal of Peter,
                      James, and
                      >John.

                      [Stephen]
                      Mark 4:34-41 is not a passage that singles out Peter in any way. It
                      is more negative toward the disciples generally than Matthew, but I
                      never denied that. Indeed, both are somewhat are negative (cf. Matt
                      8:26 "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?"). Thus, Mark 4:34-41
                      is not an example of Peter specifically being portrayed more
                      negatively.
                      Yes, the woman with the hemorrhages is explicitly portrayed as having
                      faith in Mark 5:34, but also in Matt 9:22. In both gospels, the
                      disciples come out less favorably by comparison than the woman.
                      Still,
                      Peter is not mentioned by name until afterwards at Mark 5:37 where
                      Jesus
                      "allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John." The
                      Matthean
                      parallel at 9:19 merely says the "disciples" before (not after as in
                      Mark) Jesus's praising of the woman. Thus, whatever force may be
                      given
                      to the comparison of the woman's faith and the disciples, Matthew
                      comes
                      out a bit more negative in that the disciple were mentioned
                      immediately
                      before the praise of the woman's faith, whereas the disciple were last
                      mentioned 26 verses earlier -- quite a removal from the context.
                      The specific naming of Peter, James, and John after the woman's
                      healing
                      in this sandwiched story play no other role than to be named as a
                      group
                      of people selected by Jesus. Thus, I don't how their mentioning is in
                      any way negative.

                      [Tom]
                      >I think Mt omits it precisely because the reference to the three
                      disciples
                      >in Mark is negative. Finally, the presence in Mark of Peter, James,
                      and John
                      >at the raising of Jairus' daughter is a foreshadowing of the
                      transfiguration
                      >scene in Mark 9:2-13, which is very negative toward the inner core of
                      the
                      >Three, just as 9:14-29 and 48-41 are negative toward the rest of the
                      >disciples. Matthew obviously softens Mk's transfiguration story's
                      negative
                      >portrait of the three.

                      [Stephen]
                      Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see what is "very negative"
                      in
                      the Transfiguration and how Matthew "obviously softens" the "negative
                      portrait" of Peter. Both Matthew and Mark state that Peter was afraid
                      (Mark 9:6, Matt 17:6) -- I don't think that would be viewed negatively
                      under the circumstances.

                      [Tom]
                      >The presence in Mark 11:21 of Peter is, in my opinion, negative, for
                      after
                      >Peter says, "Rabbi, look: the fig tree that you cursed has withered,"
                      Jesus
                      >answers in 11:22, "Have faith in God." Jesus then goes on to talk
                      about not
                      >doubting and having faith in prayer, which Peter, like the rest of
                      the 12
                      >mentioned back in 9:27 in a comparable passage, never does in Mark,
                      at least
                      >as far as I can see (while Jesus prays later on, Peter sleeps, for
                      >instance). This passage in 11:22 also echoes, as I see it, the
                      stilling of
                      >the storm passage, "Have you still no faith?"

                      [Stephen]
                      At Mark 11:21, Peter remember about the fig tree and pointed it out to
                      Jesus -- and Jesus answer *them* (KAI APOKRIQEIS hO IHSOUS LEGEI
                      *AUTOIS*),
                      referring to the disciples (cf. Mark 11:14). However one might view
                      Jesus's answer as a rebuke (I don't; I see it as instruction), it is
                      done to the disciples generally not to Peter specifically. Matthew,
                      on the other hand, has the disciples, not Peter specifically, ask a
                      question, which Jesus answered. Thus, I see Mark's mention of Peter
                      here as taking a leadership role that is lacking in Matthew.

                      [Tom]
                      > . . . the point of chapter 13 of Mark is "Keep awake!" This
                      >immediately foreshadows 14:32-34, where Peter, James, and John
                      don't--but
                      >rather fall asleep. Of course Mt would eliminate the reference to
                      Peter in
                      >the parallel to Mark 13, precisely to eliminate some of the negative
                      >portrayal of Peter in Mk--and thus to speak better of him.

                      [Stephen]
                      At Mark 13:3, Jesus predicts the Temple's destruction to Peter, James,
                      John, Andrew. In the Matthean parallel (24:3) it is to the disciples
                      generally. If Matthew wanted to eliminate the negative protrayal of
                      Peter falling asleep, would it be more effective to eliminate Matt
                      26:40 where that event occurs or to water down Peter's insider status
                      37 verses earlier? I think the purpose you have proposed for Matthew
                      is just subtle to be realistic.

                      [Tom, being imprecise J]
                      >I don't see anything in chapter 16 of Mk to be a hint of a
                      resurrection
                      >appearance to Peter, for the women "said notin' to nobody." It is,
                      rather, a
                      >very emphatic statement that Jesus' message that he was "leading" the
                      11,
                      >especially Peter, to Galilee (14:26ff)--as reported by the young man
                      at the
                      >tomb (16:7)--never got to Peter and the rest. Mt omits the reference
                      to
                      >Peter precisely to speak more positively of Peter and the Eleven than
                      Mark,
                      >I think.

                      [Stephen]
                      What about: "there you will see him, just as he told" in 16:7? That
                      has to be a hint of a resurrection appearance. At any rate, the
                      women's silence is Markan irony, because everybody knows (and knew
                      in Mark's audience) that Jesus did indeed appear to Peter and the
                      disciples. Thus, the women's failure of silence does not imply
                      that Peter and the disciples never got the word and missed out on
                      Jesus's resurrection appearance. Matthew improves the matter by
                      explicitly reciting a resurrection appear, but I can't see Matthew's
                      omission of "Peter" in favor of the disciples as a group to be
                      more positive to Peter specifically than Mark.

                      [Tom]
                      >The more positive portrayal of Peter in Mt agrees with the Temple Tax
                      >story in 17:24ff and the eschatological judgment verse in 19:28, in
                      my
                      >opinion.

                      [Stephen]
                      In Matt 17:24-27, Peter's misunderstanding of Jesus's obligation to
                      pay
                      the tax is corrected by a miracle. Positive or negative? Beat me.
                      The
                      judgment verse in 19:28 is more positive of the 12 disciples, but, as
                      to
                      Peter specifically, nope.

                      III. THIRD EXCHANGE

                      "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote:
                      > In this message, it is
                      > important to keep in mind that my thesis is that Mark's portrayal
                      > of Peter is in many respects less negative than Matthew. That
                      > is not to say that Mark is never negative about Peter, only that
                      > I think on balance that views of Mark's negativity toward Peter
                      > are overexaggerated. I am using Matthew, which few think is
                      negative
                      > toward Peter, as a basis for comparison: if Mark is indeed less
                      > negative than Matthew over Peter, then Mark's remaining negativity
                      > to Peter should not be considered out of place in the first century,
                      ÿ before the tendency toward hagiography became more pronounced.

                      [Tom]
                      Thank you, Stephen, for your careful statement of what you are trying
                      to
                      accomplish. As for the rest of your present post, I'm beginning better
                      to
                      understand the overall drift of your argument and find it ingenious.
                      While
                      not yet convinced by your case, you've certainly gotten me to look at
                      the
                      passages in new ways.

                      On the other hand, I feel myself, like Peter, beginning to sink and
                      wanting
                      to cry out, unlike Peter, Synoptic-Lers, save me. I've been a lurker
                      on this
                      list, since professionally I read the gospels through the eyes of the
                      Fathers, and almost to a man they didn't see much negativity regarding
                      the
                      Eleven in the Synoptics at all. So the debate in which I'm now engaged
                      is
                      not my cup of tea--and a tempest in a teapot to boot.

                      But, of course, I'm responsible for trying to tease your position out
                      of
                      you, Stephen. I just wish that some people more expert than I am in Mk
                      and
                      Mt would join the fray. Please!!! (Or is this not the kind of issue
                      that
                      Synoptic-Lers consider to be a central focus of the list?)

                      I'll try to keep up my courage a little bit longer.

                      [Stephen]
                      > If I wanted to lessen the negativity of Peter in this passage, I
                      > would omit Jesus' calling Peter "Satan." Matthew did not do that.
                      > Rather, Matthew called Peter a stumbling block, a reproach lacking
                      > in Mark. Perhaps this is explaining Mark, or perhaps it is adding
                      > insult to injury.

                      [Tom}
                      I agree with you that Peter's walking on the water and Peter's
                      confession
                      are intimately related. But for the time being I'll stick with viewing
                      Mt's
                      expansions as attempts to explain Mark. After all the stumbling block
                      statement comes after Mt's addition: "God forbid it, Lord. This must
                      never
                      happen to you." That appears to me to soften Mark's portrait of Peter
                      considerably--and intentionally.

                      [Stephen]
                      > Mark 4:34-41 is not a passage that singles out Peter in any way. It
                      > is more negative toward the disciples generally than Matthew, but I
                      > never denied that. Indeed, both are somewhat are negative (cf. Matt
                      > 8:26 "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?"). Thus, Mark
                      4:34-41
                      > is not an example of Peter specifically being portrayed more
                      negatively.

                      [Tom]
                      No, of course not, but I don't think, as you apparently do, that Peter
                      can
                      be so sharply distinguished from the rest of the disciples, and
                      especially
                      not James and John.

                      [Stephen]
                      > Yes, the woman with the hemorrhages is explicitly portrayed as
                      having
                      > faith in Mark 5:34, but also in Matt 9:22. [snip]
                      > The specific naming of Peter, James, and John after the woman's
                      healing
                      > in this sandwiched story play no other role than to be named as a
                      group
                      > of people selected by Jesus. Thus, I don't how their mentioning is
                      in
                      >any way negative.

                      [Tom]
                      I don't agree, obviously, for I (as I've said) see the mentioning
                      together
                      of Peter, James, and John in 5:37 as an anticipation or foreshadowing
                      of the
                      Transfiguration, which I continue to view as more negative in its
                      portrait
                      of Peter in Mk than in Mt--on which, see below.

                      [Stephen]
                      > Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see what is "very negative"
                      in
                      > the Transfiguration and how Matthew "obviously softens" the
                      "negative
                      > portrait" of Peter. Both Matthew and Mark state that Peter was
                      afraid
                      > (Mark 9:6, Matt 17:6) -- I don't think that would be viewed
                      negatively
                      > under the circumstances.

                      The issue is the order of the sayings, in my opinion, and some of the
                      particulars of the sayings. Mk has in 9:6 the words, "For Peter did
                      not know
                      what to say." That isn't in Mt, and Mt adds Peter's words to Jesus in
                      Mt
                      17:4 "if you wish." These points seem to me to support the traditional
                      case
                      against your revisionist case. Furthermore, the terror of the Three is
                      less
                      tightly connected in Mt with Peter, since it is displaced from Mt
                      17:4 to
                      Mt 17:6 (following Mt's verses). This takes the negative focus off of
                      Peter
                      which is present in Mark 9:6.

                      [Stephen]
                      > At Mark 11:21, Peter remember about the fig tree and pointed it out
                      to
                      > Jesus -- and Jesus answer *them* (KAI APOKRIQEIS hO IHSOUS LEGEI
                      *AUTOIS*),
                      > referring to the disciples (cf. Mark 11:14). However one might view
                      > Jesus's answer as a rebuke (I don't; I see it as instruction), it is
                      > done to the disciples generally not to Peter specifically. Matthew,
                      > on the other hand, has the disciples, not Peter specifically, ask a
                      > question, which Jesus answered. Thus, I see Mark's mention of Peter
                      >here as taking a leadership role that is lacking in Matthew.

                      [Tom]
                      It is precisely Mk's attribution of a leadership role to Peter that
                      highlights Peter's lack of faith, just his leadership role was
                      highlighted
                      when *he* spoke in the Transfiguration account in Mk and we were told
                      by Mk
                      that he didn't have a clue about what was going on: that is, he is the
                      leader of those to whom Jesus earlier said (and continues to say
                      throughout
                      the gospel), "Have you no faith?"--which in Matthew is changed, of
                      course,
                      to "men of little faith." At least Peter got out of the boat and tried
                      to
                      employ that little faith before he began to sink and needed to call
                      upon the
                      name of the Lord, as it were.

                      [Stephen]
                      > At Mark 13:3, Jesus predicts the Temple's destruction to Peter,
                      James,
                      > John, Andrew. In the Matthean parallel (24:3) it is to the
                      disciples
                      > generally. If Matthew wanted to eliminate the negative protrayal of
                      > Peter falling asleep, would it be more effective to eliminate Matt
                      > 26:40 where that event occurs or to water down Peter's insider
                      status
                      > 37 verses earlier? I think the purpose you have proposed for
                      Matthew
                      >is just subtle to be realistic.

                      [Tom]
                      Not too subtle in my opinion. The end of Mark 13 and the falling
                      asleep in
                      Mk 14 are very close together. Mt 24:42 and Mt 26:40 are nicely
                      separated,
                      and Peter's falling asleep in Mt is immediately qualified by
                      juxtaposing it
                      to the person with the "real" lack of faith, Judas, whose suicide is
                      added
                      in Mt 27 right after Peter's falling asleep and denial in Mt 26. Peter
                      seems
                      to me to be coming off better in Mt than in Mk--rather consistently.

                      [Tom]
                      >>I don't see anything in chapter 16 of Mk to be a hint of a
                      resurrection
                      >>appearance to Peter, for the women "said notin' to nobody." It is,
                      rather, a
                      >>very emphatic statement that Jesus' message that he was "leading"
                      the 11,
                      >>especially Peter, to Galilee (14:26ff)--as reported by the young man
                      at the
                      >>tomb (16:7)--never got to Peter and the rest. Mt omits the reference
                      to
                      >>Peter precisely to speak more positively of Peter and the Eleven
                      than Mark,
                      >>I think.

                      [Stephen]
                      > What about: "there you will see him, just as he told" in 16:7? That
                      > has to be a hint of a resurrection appearance. At any rate, the
                      > women's silence is Markan irony, because everybody knows (and knew
                      > in Mark's audience) that Jesus did indeed appear to Peter and the
                      > disciples. Thus, the women's failure of silence does not imply
                      > that Peter and the disciples never got the word and missed out on
                      > Jesus's resurrection appearance. Matthew improves the matter by
                      > explicitly reciting a resurrection appear, but I can't see Matthew's
                      > omission of "Peter" in favor of the disciples as a group to be
                      > more positive to Peter specifically than Mark.

                      [Tom]
                      I wasn't making myself clear. What I meant to say was that I see no
                      hint in
                      Mk of Peter ever going *to Galilee* to experience a resurrection
                      appearance:
                      that's where Jesus said he was leading the disciples, especially
                      Peter,
                      according to Mk 14:28 and 16:7. Did "everybody know" that Jesus "did
                      indeed
                      appear to Peter and the disciples" *there*? On this point I'm, of
                      course,
                      following a position laid out years ago by Norman Perrin, though I'm
                      not as
                      sure as he seemed to be about the significance of Galilee in the
                      scheme of
                      Markan things.

                      [Stephen]
                      > In Matt 17:24-27, Peter's misunderstanding of Jesus's obligation to
                      pay
                      > the tax is corrected by a miracle. Positive or negative? Beat me.
                      The
                      > judgment verse in 19:28 is more positive of the 12 disciples, but,
                      as to
                      >Peter specifically, nope.

                      [Tom]
                      Your logic is losing me, Stephen. If a passage is in Mt but not Mk,
                      and the
                      passage is positive toward all
                    • Thomas A. Kopecek
                      I post to Crosstalk using the web-based reply function on eGroups. Unfortunately I ve always had some parts of my posts cut off at the end--for reasons I don t
                      Message 10 of 23 , Jan 9, 2001
                      • 0 Attachment
                        I post to Crosstalk using the web-based reply function on eGroups.
                        Unfortunately I've always had some parts of my posts cut off at the
                        end--for reasons I don't understand.

                        At Bob Schacht's request I'll re-post the last couple of paragraphs
                        and hope they too are not cut off :-).

                        ***

                        [Stephen]
                        > In Matt 17:24-27, Peter's misunderstanding of Jesus's obligation to
                        pay
                        > the tax is corrected by a miracle. Positive or negative? Beat me.

                        The
                        > judgment verse in 19:28 is more positive of the 12 disciples, but,
                        as to
                        >Peter specifically, nope.

                        [Tom]
                        Your logic is losing me, Stephen. If a passage is in Mt but not Mk,
                        and the
                        passage is positive toward all the 12, how can the net effect of its
                        presence in Mt and not Mk not also be more positive toward the man
                        always
                        listed as the first of the disciples? Am I being dense?


                        Tom

                        ___
                        Thomas A. Kopecek
                        Professor of Religion
                        Central College, Pella, IA 50219
                        kopecekt@...
                      • Bob Schacht
                        ... Many thanks! First, a question: What was the date of these exchanges? Perhaps simply the month and year would suffice. Second, Stephen, assuming that this
                        Message 11 of 23 , Jan 9, 2001
                        • 0 Attachment
                          At 05:30 PM 1/9/01 +0000, Thomas A. Kopecek wrote:
                          >***
                          >
                          >Stephen Carlson and I had a conversation on Synoptic-L that developed
                          >from another conversation. The first concerned the extent to which Peter
                          >can justifiably be considered a "source" for the Gospel of Mark. In that
                          >conversation I raised the topic of the negative portrait of Peter in
                          >Mark, which Stephen claimed, in turn, "is oversold." The conversation went
                          >from there.
                          >
                          >I hope others join in this, for initially I thought I could stay with
                          >Stephen, but For various reasons, including his superior abilities in NT
                          >scholarship, I could not. So here comes a slighted edited version of what
                          >transpired.
                          >
                          >Tom

                          Many thanks!
                          First, a question: What was the date of these exchanges? Perhaps simply the
                          month and year would suffice.

                          Second, Stephen, assuming that this exchange occurred before the Ted Weeden
                          posts on GMark (mainly posted during May 2000 to XTalk), have his posts
                          changed any of your views in what follows?
                          To summarize Weeden's argument, I'll quote this epitome from his post dated
                          5/25/2000:

                          >Many of you know from my _Mark-Traditions in Conflict_ (1971,1979) that I
                          >am convinced that Mark is dramatizing his own vendetta against opponents
                          >in his community who advocate a christology radically different from
                          >Mark’s own suffering-servant christology.
                          >
                          >Mark’s opponents claim their view on christology is grounded in the
                          >tradition passed down by Peter and the Twelve. Thus Peter and the Twelve
                          >are the opponents’ authorities. Since Mark does not possess the apostolic
                          >stature that Peter and the Twelve do, the only way that he can "out trump"
                          >his opponents is to compose a drama in which (1) Jesus, the most revered
                          >and exalted authority of all, is presented as advocating Mark’s
                          >christology and (2) Peter and the Twelve are portrayed as advocating the
                          >christology of Mark’s opponents. Thus in the course of the narrative, Mark
                          >presents the disciples, dramatic surrogates for Mark’s opponents, as
                          >dense, non-comprehending "insiders" who, when they finally "get" the true
                          >christological view proclaimed by Jesus at Caesarea Philippi (8:31) and
                          >thereafter (9:31; 10:33f), oppose Jesus’ christology and finally betray,
                          >forsake and deny him.


                          I have a few quick preliminary questions below:


                          >***
                          >I. FIRST EXCHANGE:
                          >
                          >{Tom]
                          > >>I was struck, however, by your comment that "Mark's negative
                          >portrayal is
                          > >>oversold (in many respects it is less negative than Matthew's)."
                          >Since I'm
                          > >>less dedicated to keeping up with the flood of material on NT
                          >scholarship
                          > >>than I'm dedicated to trying to follow the Patristic scholarship in
                          >which
                          > >>I'm interested. . . , I'm curious about why
                          > >>you (and others on the list as well, if there are others) think
                          >Matthew's
                          > >>portrayal of Peter is more "negative" than Matthew's.
                          >
                          >[Stephen]
                          > > I outlined this provocative position of mine in a post I made to
                          > > Crosstalk on July 18, 1997 but did not receive any response,
                          > > favorable or critical. Maybe this time will be different. Here
                          > > is a revised version:

                          [snip]

                          >[Tom]
                          >Mk 5:37 comes between (1) 4:34-41, especially 40-41 (where Jesus says
                          >to his disciples, "Have you still no faith," and they respond, "Who is
                          >this . . .?") and 6:1-6a, especially 6a (where Jesus is amazed by the lack
                          >of faith of his kin) and (2) the story of the outsider woman with the
                          >hemorrhages in 5:34 who-- unlike the insider three disciples Peter, James,
                          >and John at the raising of Jairus' daughter (along with the rest of the 12
                          >to whom the secret of the Kingdom of God had been revealed)--explicitly is
                          >portrayed as having faith. Thus, Mk 5:37, in context, is negative in its
                          >portrayal of Peter, James, and John.
                          >
                          >I think Mt omits it precisely because the reference to the three
                          >disciples in Mark is negative. Finally, the presence in Mark of Peter,
                          >James, and John at the raising of Jairus' daughter is a foreshadowing of
                          >the transfiguration scene in Mark 9:2-13, which is very negative toward
                          >the inner core of the Three, just as 9:14-29 and 48-41 are negative toward
                          >the rest of the disciples. Matthew obviously softens Mk's transfiguration
                          >story's negative portrait of the three.
                          >
                          >[Stephen]
                          > > In fact, Mark
                          >ÿ at 11:21 (withered fig tree),

                          Tom or Stephen,
                          Does this last comment of Stephen's need to be restored? Or are you only
                          citing here Stephen's introduction of Mark 11:21 in evidence, and the "ÿ"
                          is simply an extraneous character?

                          >[Tom]
                          >The presence in Mark 11:21 of Peter is, in my opinion, negative, for
                          >after Peter says, "Rabbi, look: the fig tree that you cursed has
                          >withered," Jesus answers in 11:22, "Have faith in God." Jesus then goes on
                          >to talk about not doubting and having faith in prayer, which Peter, like
                          >the rest of the 12 mentioned back in 9:27 in a comparable passage, never
                          >does in Mark, at least as far as I can see (while Jesus prays later on,
                          >Peter sleeps, for instance). This passage in 11:22 also echoes, as I see
                          >it, the stilling of the storm passage, "Have you still no faith?"
                          >
                          >[Stephen]
                          > >13:3 (private apocalypse),
                          >
                          >[Tom]
                          >Yes, Peter is present, but the point of chapter 13 is "Keep awake!"...

                          [snip]

                          >[Tom]
                          >...I know I haven't dealt with all of your passages, Stephen, but I'm no
                          >NT scholar. I'd have to give the others further thought.
                          >
                          >[Stephen]
                          >ÿ I hope this helped.

                          Once again, is there text that needs to be restored here, or is the pesky
                          "ÿ" simply extraneous?

                          >II. SECOND EXCHANGE
                          >
                          >[Stephen]
                          >Thank you very much for your response. In this message, it is
                          >important to keep in mind that my thesis is that Mark's portrayal
                          >of Peter is in many respects less negative than Matthew. That
                          >is not to say that Mark is never negative about Peter, only that
                          >I think on balance that views of Mark's negativity toward Peter
                          >are overexaggerated. I am using Matthew, which few think is negative
                          >toward Peter, as a basis for comparison: if Mark is indeed less
                          >negative than Matthew over Peter, then Mark's remaining negativity
                          >to Peter should not be considered out of place in the first century,
                          >before the tendency toward hagiography became more pronounced.

                          Stephen, do you have any explanation for this Matthean negativity towards
                          Peter? In light of Weeden's analysis of Mark's anti-petrine Christology, do
                          you think that, like Mark, Matthew has a bone to pick with Peter's
                          Christology? If so, do you think it is the same bone, or a different one?

                          [Remainder of Second Exchange snipped]

                          >III. THIRD EXCHANGE
                          >
                          >"Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote:
                          > > In this message, it is
                          > > important to keep in mind that my thesis is that Mark's portrayal
                          > > of Peter is in many respects less negative than Matthew. That
                          > > is not to say that Mark is never negative about Peter, only that
                          > > I think on balance that views of Mark's negativity toward Peter
                          > > are overexaggerated. I am using Matthew, which few think is
                          >negative
                          > > toward Peter, as a basis for comparison: if Mark is indeed less
                          > > negative than Matthew over Peter, then Mark's remaining negativity
                          > > to Peter should not be considered out of place in the first century,
                          >ÿ before the tendency toward hagiography became more pronounced.
                          >
                          >[Tom]
                          >... I read the gospels through the eyes of the Fathers, and almost to a
                          >man they didn't see much negativity regarding the Eleven in the Synoptics
                          >at all.

                          Can the same be said about GMark (contra Weeden)?

                          [Much snipped]


                          >[Stephen]
                          > > In Matt 17:24-27, Peter's misunderstanding of Jesus's obligation to
                          >pay
                          > > the tax is corrected by a miracle. Positive or negative? Beat me.
                          >The
                          > > judgment verse in 19:28 is more positive of the 12 disciples, but,
                          >as to
                          > >Peter specifically, nope.
                          >
                          >[Tom]
                          >Your logic is losing me, Stephen. If a passage is in Mt but not Mk,
                          >and the passage is positive toward all

                          Tom,
                          Your summary seems to be cut off at this point; would you please supply the
                          remainder?

                          Anyway, many thanks for this dialogue. Let's see what we can do to sort
                          this out!

                          Thanks,
                          Bob


                          Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
                          Northern Arizona University
                          Flagstaff, AZ


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Thomas A. Kopecek
                          ... simply the ... The exchange occurred just a few days ago in January. ... only ... the ÿ ... The strange y is actually a in what I tried to send, so
                          Message 12 of 23 , Jan 10, 2001
                          • 0 Attachment
                            --- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@y...> wrote:

                            > Many thanks!
                            > First, a question: What was the date of these exchanges? Perhaps
                            simply the
                            > month and year would suffice.

                            The exchange occurred just a few days ago in January.


                            > > > In fact, Mark
                            > >ÿ at 11:21 (withered fig tree),
                            >
                            > Tom or Stephen,
                            > Does this last comment of Stephen's need to be restored? Or are you
                            only
                            > citing here Stephen's introduction of Mark 11:21 in evidence, and
                            the "ÿ"
                            > is simply an extraneous character?

                            The strange "y" is actually a > in what I tried to send, so it isn't
                            important. I was just citing the beginning of Stephen's sentence,
                            which I think was reproduced totally earlier.

                            > >[Tom]
                            > >Your logic is losing me, Stephen. If a passage is in Mt but not Mk,
                            > >and the passage is positive toward all
                            >
                            > Tom,
                            > Your summary seems to be cut off at this point; would you please
                            supply the
                            > remainder?
                            >
                            > Anyway, many thanks for this dialogue. Let's see what we can do to
                            sort
                            > this out!

                            I tried to supply the remainder in a Pt 2 post. Did it come through on
                            others' machines? All but my email address is visible on the archives
                            as I have access to them.

                            I hope this helps clear the underbrush.

                            And I do want to thank Mark for his interesting methodological
                            comment: he is, indeed, correct about one thing. That is, when I was
                            taught as an undergraduate, seminary student, and graduate student, I
                            don't think I ever heard the expression 'narrative criticism'. Then I
                            went on to other things, and it may well be that I'm about 45 years
                            behind the thrust of NT scholarship :-).

                            Tom

                            ___
                            Thomas A. Kopecek
                            Professor of Religion
                            Central College, Pella, IA 50219
                            kopecekt@...

                            This sentence is being typed just to test something about the way the
                            eGroup web-based system cuts things off
                          • Thomas A. Kopecek
                            ... to a ... Synoptics ... What I meant by my comment, Bob, is that as a person who works generally with ancient Greek Catholic orthodox texts I don t tend to
                            Message 13 of 23 , Jan 10, 2001
                            • 0 Attachment
                              --- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@y...> wrote:

                              > >[Tom]
                              > >... I read the gospels through the eyes of the Fathers, and almost
                              to a
                              > >man they didn't see much negativity regarding the Eleven in the
                              Synoptics
                              > >at all.
                              >
                              > Can the same be said about GMark (contra Weeden)?

                              What I meant by my comment, Bob, is that as a person who works
                              generally with ancient Greek Catholic orthodox texts I don't tend to
                              raise issues about the New Testament that the Fathers who wrote those
                              later orthodox texts didn't raise themselves. In other words, I "pull
                              a Sanders" :-). When I was speaking about the Fathers, I was not at
                              all pronouncing on my own belief regarding Mark's portrait of Peter
                              and the rest of the Eleven. Indeed, the entire thrust of my responses
                              to Stephen Carlson was to contend that Mk's portrait is uniformly
                              negative and that Mt seeks to make it more positive. This is what I
                              always thought was the "standard" scholarly position, and Mark
                              Goodacre's recent post appears to confirm that judgment.

                              When it comes to Ted's specific position on the issue of Christology
                              and GosMark's negative portrait of the disciples, I confess I don't
                              know. I read Weeden's book ages ago, I remember having problems with
                              the explication of--if I brain is not failing me--Mark 13. But i can't
                              recall what those problems were!

                              When Mark Goodacre posted his recent email about the portrait of
                              Peter in Mk and Mt, it reminded me that he once constructed an
                              argument on Crosstalk (maybe around 1996-1998) to the effect that
                              Gospel of Mark is Pauline and that the negativity toward Peter and,
                              indeed, James in the gospel can be explained in that way. I happen to
                              agree with that position. However, Mark sought also to correct what he
                              believed to be my error in seeing I Cor 1-4 as directed against
                              Apollos rather than Peter.

                              I'm consequently glad this whole subject has come up, for I recall
                              digging out and copying an article by Michael Goulder on I Cor 1-4 to
                              which Mark pointed me but then never getting around to reading it.
                              Given the exchange I had on Synoptic-L with Carlson, I hope to make
                              time to do this soon, for I've found Goulder's article in my files on
                              I Cor.

                              Tom

                              ___
                              Thomas A. Kopecek
                              Professor of Religion
                              Central College, Pella, IA
                              kopecekt@central
                            • Bob Schacht
                              ... Tom, I m sorry; I m obviously confused. Your original post on this thread on January 7 stated ... I made the false assumption that your synopsis was based
                              Message 14 of 23 , Jan 10, 2001
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                                At 03:11 PM 1/10/01 +0000, Thomas A. Kopecek wrote:
                                >--- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@y...> wrote:
                                >
                                > > Many thanks!
                                > > First, a question: What was the date of these exchanges? Perhaps
                                >simply the
                                > > month and year would suffice.
                                >
                                >The exchange occurred just a few days ago in January.

                                Tom,
                                I'm sorry; I'm obviously confused. Your original post on this thread on
                                January 7 stated

                                >Since Stephen originally offered his view a few years ago on
                                >Crosstalk (and it was not taken up), would any be interested in
                                >Stephen or me putting together a synopsis of the arguments we offered
                                >on either side (mine were very tentative indeed, since NT scholarship
                                >isn't my professional field) and then joining in?

                                I made the false assumption that your synopsis was based on the old
                                CrossTalk correspondence, rather than the more recent correspondence on
                                Synoptic-L that you had referred to in the preceding paragraph of your
                                January 7 post. Since I am not subscribed to Synoptic-L, I didn't know if
                                that more recent exchange covered the ground sufficiently that your
                                synopsis would be based only on the Synoptic-L posts. Thanks for the
                                clarification.

                                [snip]
                                Later you quoted me:

                                > > Tom,
                                > > Your summary seems to be cut off at this point; would you please
                                >supply the
                                > > remainder?...

                                And you replied:
                                >I tried to supply the remainder in a Pt 2 post. Did it come through on
                                >others' machines? All but my email address is visible on the archives
                                >as I have access to them.

                                Yes; all came through but your email address at the end of your "signature".


                                >I hope this helps clear the underbrush.

                                Yes, it does. Thanks!

                                [remainder snipped.]

                                Bob


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Stephen C. Carlson
                                ... As you are now aware, this exchange occurred last week, and it turns out that the focus on my views are on Matthew s view of Peter, with comparison to
                                Message 15 of 23 , Jan 10, 2001
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                                  At 09:00 PM 1/9/01 -0800, Bob Schacht wrote:
                                  >Second, Stephen, assuming that this exchange occurred before the Ted Weeden
                                  >posts on GMark (mainly posted during May 2000 to XTalk), have his posts
                                  >changed any of your views in what follows?

                                  As you are now aware, this exchange occurred last week, and it
                                  turns out that the focus on my views are on Matthew's view of
                                  Peter, with comparison to Mark. It is interesting to me that
                                  a gospel usually thought of as being pro-Petrine because of the
                                  "Blessed are you Peter!" passage, fails to improve Mark's portrait
                                  of Peter at many important points, omits some Peter favorable
                                  material in Mark, and reduces Peter's insider status by changing
                                  Mark's mentioning of Peter by name into a broader "disciples."
                                  There is something going on in Matthew's gospel and I'm not sure
                                  what it is. It is almost as if Matthew is siding with the 12
                                  disciples (= Jerusalem church?) against Peter, but the real target
                                  may be Paul, whom Peter accommodated.

                                  Stephen 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
                                • Thomas A. Kopecek
                                  ... If you are right (and you may be), Paul indeed may be the real target. There is a string of things that may support this, and I m just brain-storming here,
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Jan 11, 2001
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                                    --- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@m...>
                                    wrote:

                                    > There is something going on in Matthew's gospel and I'm not sure
                                    > what it is. It is almost as if Matthew is siding with the 12
                                    > disciples (= Jerusalem church?) against Peter, but the real target
                                    > may be Paul, whom Peter accommodated.

                                    If you are right (and you may be), Paul indeed may be the real
                                    target.

                                    There is a string of things that may support this, and I'm just
                                    brain-storming here, not doing anything very systematic. (1) The Great
                                    Commission comes immediately to mind, where the risen Jesus sends the
                                    disciples out to teach everything he has commanded, which surely is
                                    connected with Jesus' interpretation of Torah in Matthew, a Torah
                                    which Paul undermined: Mt earlier has omitted Mk's "Jesus declared all
                                    foods clean." (2) Paul calls the Corinthian church God's "temple,"
                                    whereas Mt includes a story which has Jesus pay his tax to the actual,
                                    physical Jewish temple while it still stood--granted Jesus' prediction
                                    of its fall (and Peter's tax was paid as well: I wonder what the
                                    historical Peter was doing about this tax?). (3) Toward the end of the
                                    Sermon on the Mount in 7:21 Jesus says, "Not every one who says to me,
                                    'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the
                                    will of my Father who is in heaven." This seems to be countering the
                                    thought-world of Romans 10:9-13: "If you confess with your lips that
                                    Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the
                                    dead, you will be saved . . . . For 'everyone who calls upon the name
                                    of the Lord will be saved.' " (4) And even Mt 7:22-23 may be aimed at
                                    claims such as those forwarded by Paul in Galatians 3:5 (within the
                                    context of Gal 3:1-5 and the whole thrust of Galatians).

                                    Thus, though you've not convinced me yet about the portrait of Peter
                                    in Matthew, Stephen, you've certainly begun to get me to think through
                                    not only your thesis but its possible implications: a pro-Paul gospel
                                    (Mark) and a pro-Jerusalem/'anti-Peter who accommodated Paul' gospel
                                    (Matthew).

                                    I guess it is time to add to this investivation a look at precisely
                                    how James is handled in Mark and Matthew. I recall Goodacre giving a
                                    list of anti-James passages in Mark some years ago on Crosstalk. What
                                    does Mt do with them--and James in general?

                                    Certainly in the later Ebionite literature buried in the
                                    Pseudo-Clementina James comes off extremely well. And Jerome quotes a
                                    passage about a resurrection appearance of Jesus which is very
                                    favorable to James (who is the one who swore the oath sworn by Jesus
                                    in canonical Mk and Mt, though regarding the bread, not the wine)--yet
                                    which is quite in contrast to the ending of canonical Matthew. But
                                    this resurrection appearance story may be Nazorean rather than
                                    Ebionite, or there may have been all sorts of branches of these
                                    movements that developed as the centuries progressed.

                                    "The Gospel called 'according to the Hebrews', which was recently
                                    translated by me into Greek and Latin, which Origen frequently uses,
                                    records after the resurrection of the Savior these words: 'And when
                                    the Lord had given the linen cloth to the servant of the priest
                                    [apparently this was the cloth in which he was embalmed] , he went to
                                    James and appeared to him. For James had sworn that he would not eat
                                    bread from that hour in which he had drunk the cup of the Lord until
                                    he should see him risen from among them that sleep [= those who are
                                    dead]. And shortly thereafter the Lord said, "Bring a table and
                                    bread!" ' And immediately it is added, 'Jesus took the bread, blessed
                                    it, and broke it, and gave it to James the Just and said to him, "My
                                    brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them
                                    that sleep." ' Jerome, De Vir. Ill. 2.


                                    I thank you very much for a most stimulating set of suggestions,
                                    Stephen.

                                    Tom

                                    ---
                                    Thomas A. Kopecek
                                    Professor of Religion
                                    Central Col
                                  • Ted Weeden
                                    The recent exchanges on Xtalk ( between Tom Kopecek, Stephen Carlson, Bob Schacht and Mark Goodacre) concerning the Matthean portrait of Peter vs. the Markan
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Jan 11, 2001
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                                      The recent exchanges on Xtalk ( between Tom Kopecek, Stephen Carlson, Bob
                                      Schacht and Mark Goodacre) concerning the Matthean portrait of Peter vs. the
                                      Markan portrait of Peter has caught my eye, particularly since my view of
                                      the way in which Mark and Matthew treat Peter has entered the discussion.
                                      Thus, I break my silence of some time in the on-going discussion on Xtalk
                                      addressing the issue of the evangelists' portrayal of Peter to offer my take
                                      on the issue.

                                      Before I do so I want to explain my long absence as a participant in the
                                      stimulating discussions on this very fine list. As many of you know, I am
                                      working on a commentary on Mark, and have from time to time floated some
                                      theses I am working on for response from members of the list. Members have
                                      been very helpful to me in raising issues which I find I must address with
                                      greater supportive evidence and cogent argumentation. In this regard I
                                      still owe Mahlon Smith a response to my position that Mark's provenance
                                      cannot have been Judea, as Mahlon argues, but Caesarea Philippi. I also
                                      still owe Stephen Carlson a response to his challenge of my position that
                                      Mark created de novo the Petrine denial. I have been delayed in mounting
                                      arguments for my positions to be sent to both Mahlon and Stephen. The
                                      delays are caused by several factors: problems with my health, professional
                                      responsibilities, my ailing mother (who at almost 91 by sheer will power
                                      continues to escape the throes of death), and finally the nature of my work
                                      on the commentary.

                                      On the latter I have been working on a number of fronts at one time, trying
                                      to piece together the many facets of Mark in a wholistic way, with what I
                                      think are new and, hopefully, convincing understandings concerning the
                                      gospel. In this regard, I have been working on a long piece (perhaps too
                                      long for this list) detailing carefully an argument for Johannine dependency
                                      upon Mark for his passion narrative and other features of his gospel (as
                                      part of my response to Stephen). I think now that I can show that John
                                      transforms Mark's suffering-servant, Son-of-Man christology into his own
                                      glorious and triumphant Son-of-Man christology. John does so as a
                                      corrective to Mark. I think John got his "hour" motif from Mark (14:41),
                                      transvalued its Markan features and used it as a supportive theme for his
                                      own christological drama and point of view.

                                      Moreover, since the Caesarea Philippi incident has just recently come under
                                      discussion, I think I can show that John borrowed Mk. 8:27-29 and adapted
                                      it for his own purposes to create the dialogue between John the Baptist and
                                      the Pharisees in John's opening scene of his gospel (1:19-22). John takes
                                      the "question" motif of Mk. 8:27-9 ("who do men/you say I am?"), slightly
                                      rephrases it ("who are you?"), uses the same personnel Mark supplies with
                                      the answers to Jesus' questions (namely, "John the Baptist," "Elijah," "one
                                      of the prophets" [Jn= "the prophet"], "the Messiah," to construct his
                                      narrative. He turns John the Baptist (vs. Mark's disciples) into the
                                      respondent, reverses the climactic end of the Markan narrative by turning
                                      Peter's "confession" that Jesus is "the Messiah" into JB's Messianic
                                      disavowing confession ("He confessed, did not deny it (allusion to Petrine
                                      denial?) but confessed, 'I am not the Messiah,'" 1:20), and leads off with
                                      it in the dialogue he created between JB and the Pharisees. He then
                                      continues with the original Markan order of Markan identity suggestions,
                                      Elijah, the prophet, which the Pharisees continue to pose to JB. Following
                                      that John draws upon the introduction to Mark's gospel to complete his
                                      opening scene (1:19-28) following his prologue (1:1-18). John adopts the
                                      the Isaianic quote of Mk. 1:3 and the Markan material on JB (1:5, 7-8) and
                                      interweaves it with his previous identity-questioning motif (1:23-28).

                                      I have been further delayed in completing this project because
                                      Kloppenborg-Verbun's _Excavating Q_, along with the recent dialogue with
                                      Bill Arnal on this list, has caused me to give another look at Q and its
                                      relation to Mark. I am now convinced that Mark knew and drew upon passages
                                      and motifs in 2Q and 3Q to as material for the developing of his
                                      introduction which is created using the Isaianic template of a new exodus to
                                      the promised land (in Mark's case, Galilee: see my Xtalk post of last
                                      spring). Specifically, Mk appropriated Q 7:27 (Lk 7:27) and intercalated
                                      it (common Markan compositional practice) between the citation of the
                                      Isaianic prophet (1:2) and his prophecy (1:3). He then adopted and adapted
                                      Q 3:16 (Lk 3:16) for his profile of JB, as Jesus' precursor (so already
                                      established by Q 7:27), with the idea to describe JB's dress as Elijah
                                      suggested by the allusion to John's dress in Q 7:25 (Lk, 7:25) and Q's
                                      identification of JB with Elijah (so Q 7:27 vis-a-vis Mal. 3:1, 4:5; see K-V
                                      [EQ]).

                                      I share all of this to indicate where my thinking is taking me and explain
                                      my absence from the Xtalk dialogue. I hope to be able to refine and fully
                                      develop these directions of my thinking and share with the rest of you for
                                      your critical and helpful assessment. It may be a while before I can do
                                      that.

                                      In the meantime, to return to the question as to whether Matthew has a more
                                      positive or negative presentation of Peter than Mark. As already noted by
                                      others in the current discussion, I hold to the position that Matthew
                                      reworks Mark's negative profile into one that treats Peter more positively.
                                      I have provided the arguments for that in my _Mark_, 1971/79: 23-51. I
                                      still stand by the arguments I made there. Unfortunately, I have not had an
                                      opportunity to access Stephen Carlson full argument, contrary to my view of
                                      Matthew's portait of Peter and have only seen recent snippets provided by
                                      Tom Kopecek. So until I do see Stephen's argument in full,I will limit my
                                      discussion in support of my thesis that Matthew gives a more positive
                                      profile of Peter than Mark to one of the key texts which has served as a
                                      focus for the debate on the list, namely the Caesarea Philippi episode (Mt.
                                      16:13-23/Mk 8:27-33). I use it now as a case in point to support my thesis.

                                      Let me begin with a look at the Caesrea-Philippi narrative as it unfolds in
                                      Mark and Matthew through Mk. 8:29 and Mt. 1620. No one that I know of would
                                      deny that the investiture of Peter by Jesus in Mt. 16:17-19 far exceeds any
                                      approbation given to Peter in this specific text or anywhere else in Mark.
                                      So up to that point in the narrative, Peter fares better at the hands of
                                      Matthew. What about following the investiture?

                                      It has been argued by Stephen Carlson and Mark Goodacre that Peter fares
                                      poorly in Matthew, more so than Mark, after the investiture. Mark argues,
                                      if I understand him corrrectly, that narrative criticism gives us a
                                      different slant on the portrait of Peter (more positive) in the Matthean CP
                                      episode when we take narrative criticism more seriously and free ourselves
                                      from slavish dependency upon redaction criticism. So let me follow Mark
                                      Goodacre's urging and address the texts from a narrative-critical following
                                      Mt. 16:19 and Mk. 8:29. I begin with the Markan text. Narrative
                                      criticism argues, among other things, that an author essentially influences
                                      the hearers/readers by setting up certain topoi, themes or motifs in advance
                                      of a point at which those topoi, motifs or themes will shape the
                                      interpertation at critical points in the narrative. And that is exactly
                                      what Mark has done with the motif of "rebuke" (EPITIMAW) in his narrative
                                      prior to the Petrine confession. The word EPITIMAW is used three times
                                      (1:25; 3:12; 4:39) prior to Mk. 8:30 and in each case it is used exclusively
                                      with respect to rebuking demons or demonic forces (the wind in 4:39) in the
                                      course of exorcism. No other meaning of EPITIMAW is given to the
                                      hearers/readers than one which is directly related to exorcising demons.
                                      It is true that the word can be translated as "charge" or "sternly order," a
                                      more "limpish" use of the word. But that is not the case in the first eight
                                      chapters in Mark. After the Caesarea Philippi the word is used again in
                                      the context of exorcism (9:25), though admittedly it has the more "limpish"
                                      meaning of "sternly ordered" as it is found in 10:13 and 10:48, the only
                                      other occurrences in the last half of the gospel. But if that is the
                                      intent of the meaning in those passages, the hearers/readers from the point
                                      of view of narrative criticism have not been offered that meaning of the
                                      word by the Markan story at the point they are introduced to the Caesarea
                                      Philippi episode.

                                      My contention is that Mark's use of the word EPITIMAW three times (rather
                                      surprising concentration of the use of the word in two verses, compared to
                                      its use throughout the gospel) in the CP episode has been intentionally
                                      nuanced by him with an exorcism interpretation. What he wants the
                                      hearers/readers to conclude is that the exchange between Peter in 8:32f. is
                                      analogous to a contest between exorcists. Peter tries to exorcise Jesus of
                                      the "demon" that would cause him to accept for himself the path of a
                                      suffering servant who would be killed by his religious adversaries. And
                                      Jesus turns, as a result of Peter's attempted exorcism of him, upon Peter
                                      and rebukes the demon in Peter, whom Jesus identifies as Satan himself. I
                                      would argue that the same "exorcistic" meaning of EPITIMAW is intended by
                                      Mark 8:30 where Jesus silences the disciples and Peter from being tempted to
                                      accept Peter's false (demonically inspired?) confession. Peter is then
                                      rejected by Jesus as Satanic, possessed by Satan, who leads Peter to think
                                      like human beings and not like God (8:33).

                                      Now let us look at how Matthew treats this exchange between Peter and Jesus.
                                      And here I draw upon redaction criticism, too, specifically with the way
                                      Matthew redacts Mark Note that Jesus only partially corrects the Petrine
                                      confession in Matthew, unlike Mark, where I think it is totally rejected by
                                      Jesus. For in Matthew, Peter's confession is not only that Jesus is the
                                      Messiah but also "the Son of the Living God (16:16). Note that following
                                      the investiture of Peter in Matthew, Jesus only rejects the "Messiah"
                                      christology, not the "Son of God" christology when Jesus commands the
                                      disciples not to tell about him. Thus Peter in Matthew is more nearly
                                      correct in his christological insight than he is in Mark- a more positive
                                      spin on Peter's perspicacity.

                                      Note also that Matthew has significantly altered the wording in which he
                                      denotes Jesus silencing the "Messiah" part of Peter's confession. Instead
                                      of following Mark and using Mark's "exorcism-laden" word EPITIMAW, Matthew
                                      (16:20) chooses to use in its place a more neutral, as far as exorcism is
                                      concerned, less heavily freighted word, DIASTELLW ("charge," "command").
                                      [Matthew uses EPITIMAW only once prior to the CP episode, namely, he follows
                                      Mark in using it to cite Jesus rebuking the wind, 8:26. Matthew does not
                                      narrate the Markan story of Jesus exorcising the unclean spirit in the
                                      Capernaum synagogue (Mk. 1:21-28, nor the Markan summary of 1:32-34]
                                      Matthew does follow Mark in using EPITIMAW when he cites Peter's rebuke of
                                      Jesus. But, curiously, he does not follow Mark in using EPITIMAW to
                                      describe Jesus' rebuke (exorcism) of Peter's satanic possession. Thus,
                                      Matthew takes the sting out of the strident exchange between Peter and Jesus
                                      in Mark. By substituting DIASTELLW for EPITIMAW in 16:20 he nuances Mark's
                                      EPITIMAW in his account toward the meaning of "sternly order" or "command"
                                      as is the meaning of DIASTELLW. Moreover, by not using EPITIMAW in his
                                      depiction of Jesus' rebuke of Peter, as is the case in Mark, Matthew changes
                                      Jesus' "exorcistic" attack on Peter to a reprimand of Peter for "tempting"
                                      (SKANDALON) Jesus to turn from his course set forth by God (16:23). Peter
                                      fares better at the hands of Matthew in this case.

                                      One final note, unlike Mark, Matthew depicts Peter as rebuking Jesus because
                                      he cannot conceive of the fact that the things which Jesus predicts will
                                      actually happen to Jesus. And he protests, unlike Mark, with a title of
                                      reverence and deference when he addresses his concern to Jesus. Namely, he
                                      calls him KURIE (16:22). Thus, while Peter in Matthew certainly does not
                                      end up in the CP episode with the same glowing depiction as in the
                                      investiture, he still fares more positively, even in his darker moments at
                                      the end of the Matthean CP episode than he does in Mark.

                                      I apologize for the length of this post. Unforrtunately I am now in haste
                                      to depart for almost a week, as I visit my ailing mother in Florida. I
                                      will be back by next Wednesday and will reply then should there be any
                                      responses to this post, and also pick up on Stephen's arguments.

                                      Ted Weeden
                                    • Jan Sammer
                                      From: Thomas A. Kopecek ... One place where Mark wields the axe against James is in 3:31-55. (Matthew renders this passage almost
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Jan 13, 2001
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                                        From: "Thomas A. Kopecek" <kopecekt@...>
                                        >
                                        > I guess it is time to add to this investivation a look at precisely
                                        > how James is handled in Mark and Matthew. I recall Goodacre giving a
                                        > list of anti-James passages in Mark some years ago on Crosstalk. What
                                        > does Mt do with them--and James in general?

                                        One place where Mark wields the axe against James is in 3:31-55. (Matthew
                                        renders this passage almost verbatim in 12:46-50, with one significant
                                        difference.). In Mark, Jesus rejects his natural family and looks at the
                                        people around him who believe in him and calls them his family. In Matthew
                                        Jesus rejects his natural family and looks at the twelve and calls them his
                                        family. My contention is that the purpose of this passage was to undercut
                                        the power wielded by Jesus' relatives in the Jerusalem Church, the most
                                        notable among whom was his brother James. However, while Mark seeks to
                                        substitute the family's authority with the authority of believers, in a
                                        spirit consistent with Paul's interests, Matthew reserves this honor for the
                                        twelve. This is consistent with Tom Kopecek's and Stephen Carlson's
                                        contention (if I understand it correctly) that Mark is more pro-Pauline than
                                        Matthew. While Mark rejects both the family and the twelve as sources of
                                        authority, Matthew is more accommodating towards the twelve, while still
                                        rejecting the family.

                                        The hostility ascribed to Jesus towards his family could be explained if at
                                        the time of the writing of these gospels James were still in a position of
                                        power, i.e., the head of the Jerusalem Church. If, as Ted Weeden contends,
                                        Mark's gospel was written to oppose the Christology (I would say,
                                        "traditional authority") of Peter and the twelve, the evidence on James
                                        further suggests that it was written in opposition to the leadership of the
                                        Jerusalem Church. Last May Mark Cameron suggested that James was the
                                        unidentified disciple in Luke's story of the Walk to Emmaus. The suppression
                                        of James in this gospel would reinforce the idea that "cutting James down to
                                        size" was among the purposes of all three synoptics. Encounters with the
                                        resurrected Jesus served as a source of authority in the post-resurrection
                                        period; thus passing over a tradition that James met with the resurrected
                                        Jesus could be seen as an attempt to undercut that authority. Of course this
                                        implies that James was still alive and in a position of power at the time
                                        that these gospels were written. Paul, too, derived his authority from an
                                        encounter with the resurrected Jesus, as did Peter. But Paul was never one
                                        of the twelve. That is why the difference in the Matthean and Markan
                                        rendering of the episode of the rejection of the family is so telling.
                                        >
                                        > Certainly in the later Ebionite literature buried in the
                                        > Pseudo-Clementina James comes off extremely well. And Jerome quotes a
                                        > passage about a resurrection appearance of Jesus which is very
                                        > favorable to James (who is the one who swore the oath sworn by Jesus
                                        > in canonical Mk and Mt, though regarding the bread, not the wine)--yet
                                        > which is quite in contrast to the ending of canonical Matthew. But
                                        > this resurrection appearance story may be Nazorean rather than
                                        > Ebionite, or there may have been all sorts of branches of these
                                        > movements that developed as the centuries progressed.
                                        >
                                        > "The Gospel called 'according to the Hebrews', which was recently
                                        > translated by me into Greek and Latin, which Origen frequently uses,
                                        > records after the resurrection of the Savior these words: 'And when
                                        > the Lord had given the linen cloth to the servant of the priest
                                        > [apparently this was the cloth in which he was embalmed] , he went to
                                        > James and appeared to him. For James had sworn that he would not eat
                                        > bread from that hour in which he had drunk the cup of the Lord until
                                        > he should see him risen from among them that sleep [= those who are
                                        > dead]. And shortly thereafter the Lord said, "Bring a table and
                                        > bread!" ' And immediately it is added, 'Jesus took the bread, blessed
                                        > it, and broke it, and gave it to James the Just and said to him, "My
                                        > brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them
                                        > that sleep." ' Jerome, De Vir. Ill. 2.
                                        >
                                        This is a most interesting parallel to the Luke's Walk to Emmaus and
                                        reinforces Mark Cameron's thesis, referred to above, that the unidentified
                                        disciple in that episode is James. It would seem that there were accounts in
                                        circulation at the time of the writing of the gospels of James' encounter
                                        with the resurrected Jesus, and that these stories served as the source of
                                        James' authority as head of the Jerusalem church. If one wanted to undercut
                                        this authority, the best way would be to suppress these stories and this is
                                        what the canonical gospels attempt to do.

                                        Jan
                                      • Thomas A. Kopecek
                                        ... explained if at ... position of ... contends, ... James ... leadership of the ... suppression ... James down to ... with the ... post-resurrection ...
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Jan 13, 2001
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                                          --- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, "Jan Sammer" <sammer@i...> wrote:

                                          > The hostility ascribed to Jesus towards his family could be
                                          explained if at
                                          > the time of the writing of these gospels James were still in a
                                          position of
                                          > power, i.e., the head of the Jerusalem Church. If, as Ted Weeden
                                          contends,
                                          > Mark's gospel was written to oppose the Christology (I would say,
                                          > "traditional authority") of Peter and the twelve, the evidence on
                                          James
                                          > further suggests that it was written in opposition to the
                                          leadership
                                          of the
                                          > Jerusalem Church. Last May Mark Cameron suggested that James was the
                                          > unidentified disciple in Luke's story of the Walk to Emmaus. The
                                          suppression
                                          > of James in this gospel would reinforce the idea that "cutting
                                          James
                                          down to
                                          > size" was among the purposes of all three synoptics. Encounters
                                          with
                                          the
                                          > resurrected Jesus served as a source of authority in the
                                          post-resurrection
                                          > period; thus passing over a tradition that James met with the
                                          resurrected
                                          > Jesus could be seen as an attempt to undercut that authority. Of
                                          course this
                                          > implies that James was still alive and in a position of power at
                                          the
                                          time
                                          > that these gospels were written. Paul, too, derived his authority
                                          from an
                                          > encounter with the resurrected Jesus, as did Peter. But Paul was
                                          never one
                                          > of the twelve. That is why the difference in the Matthean and Markan
                                          > rendering of the episode of the rejection of the family is so
                                          telling.
                                          > >
                                          > > Certainly in the later Ebionite literature buried in the
                                          > > Pseudo-Clementina James comes off extremely well. And Jerome
                                          quotes a
                                          > > passage about a resurrection appearance of Jesus which is very
                                          > > favorable to James (who is the one who swore the oath sworn by
                                          Jesus
                                          > > in canonical Mk and Mt, though regarding the bread, not the
                                          wine)--yet
                                          > > which is quite in contrast to the ending of canonical Matthew. But
                                          > > this resurrection appearance story may be Nazorean rather than
                                          > > Ebionite, or there may have been all sorts of branches of these
                                          > > movements that developed as the centuries progressed.
                                          > >
                                          > > "The Gospel called 'according to the Hebrews', which was recently
                                          > > translated by me into Greek and Latin, which Origen frequently
                                          uses,
                                          > > records after the resurrection of the Savior these words: 'And
                                          when
                                          > > the Lord had given the linen cloth to the servant of the priest
                                          > > [apparently this was the cloth in which he was embalmed] , he
                                          went
                                          to
                                          > > James and appeared to him. For James had sworn that he would not
                                          eat
                                          > > bread from that hour in which he had drunk the cup of the Lord
                                          until
                                          > > he should see him risen from among them that sleep [= those who
                                          are
                                          > > dead]. And shortly thereafter the Lord said, "Bring a table and
                                          > > bread!" ' And immediately it is added, 'Jesus took the bread,
                                          blessed
                                          > > it, and broke it, and gave it to James the Just and said to him,
                                          "My
                                          > > brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among
                                          them
                                          > > that sleep." ' Jerome, De Vir. Ill. 2.
                                          > >
                                          > This is a most interesting parallel to the Luke's Walk to Emmaus and
                                          > reinforces Mark Cameron's thesis, referred to above, that the
                                          unidentified
                                          > disciple in that episode is James. It would seem that there were
                                          accounts in
                                          > circulation at the time of the writing of the gospels of James'
                                          encounter
                                          > with the resurrected Jesus, and that these stories served as the
                                          source of
                                          > James' authority as head of the Jerusalem church. If one wanted to
                                          undercut
                                          > this authority, the best way would be to suppress these stories
                                          and
                                          this is
                                          > what the canonical gospels attempt to do.

                                          Thank you, Jan, for this reference to Mark Cameron's lengthy post in
                                          May of 2000. I wasn't reading Crosstalk then. But now I've just found
                                          and read the post in the archives and find it very stimulating.

                                          Tom

                                          ___
                                          Thomas A. Kopecek
                                          Professor of Religion
                                          Central College, Pella, IA 50219
                                          kopecekt@...

                                          *****

                                          *****

                                          *****
                                        • Bob Schacht
                                          ... In what way? The chief(?) difference is that Mark says the three were terrified , whereas in Matthew they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear.
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Jan 13, 2001
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                                            At 05:30 PM 1/9/01 +0000, Thomas A. Kopecek wrote:
                                            >[snip]
                                            >***
                                            >I. FIRST EXCHANGE:
                                            >
                                            >... Finally, the presence in Mark of Peter, James, and John
                                            >at the raising of Jairus' daughter is a foreshadowing of the
                                            >transfiguration scene in Mark 9:2-13, which is very negative toward the
                                            >inner core of the Three, just as 9:14-29 and 48-41 are negative toward the
                                            >rest of the disciples. Matthew obviously softens Mk's transfiguration
                                            >story's negative portrait of the three.

                                            In what way? The chief(?) difference is that Mark says the three were
                                            "terrified", whereas in Matthew they "fell to the ground and were overcome
                                            by fear." What am I missing? Stephen also wonders, quoting from the second
                                            exchange:
                                            >[Stephen]
                                            >Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see what is "very negative"
                                            >in the Transfiguration and how Matthew "obviously softens" the "negative
                                            >portrait" of Peter. Both Matthew and Mark state that Peter was afraid
                                            >(Mark 9:6, Matt 17:6) -- I don't think that would be viewed negatively
                                            >under the circumstances.

                                            Tom answered in the Third Exchange:
                                            >...[Tom]
                                            >
                                            >The issue is the order of the sayings, in my opinion, and some of the
                                            >particulars of the sayings. Mk has in 9:6 the words, "For Peter did
                                            >not know what to say." That isn't in Mt...

                                            This is an interesting point. Maybe the only time in the NT where Peter was
                                            at a loss for words? :-)

                                            Resuming from the first exchange:

                                            >[Stephen]
                                            > > In fact, Mark at 11:21 (withered fig tree),
                                            >
                                            >[Tom]
                                            >...Jesus then goes on to talk about not doubting and having faith in
                                            >prayer, which Peter, like the rest of the 12 mentioned back in 9:27 in a
                                            >comparable passage, never does in Mark, at least as far as I can see
                                            >(while Jesus prays later on, Peter sleeps, for instance).

                                            Peter sleeps in Mk14:37//Mt26:40, both equally negative, so far as I can see.

                                            > This passage in 11:22 also echoes, as I see it, the stilling of the
                                            > storm passage, "Have you still no faith?"

                                            Mk4:36f//Mt8:23f. But Peter is not mentioned by name.


                                            >[Stephen]
                                            > >13:3 (private apocalypse),
                                            >
                                            >[Tom]
                                            >Yes, Peter is present,

                                            But is only named explicitly in Mark (along with James, John & Andrew.)

                                            >[Stephen]
                                            > > ... In a special-Matthew parable (or Matthean redaction of
                                            > > Q), Peter is told to forgive 77 times (18:21),

                                            //Luke 17:4. Alternatively, Luke redaction of Q because he is generally
                                            more favorable to Peter?

                                            >...[Tom]
                                            >The more positive portrayal of Peter in Mt agrees with the Temple
                                            >Tax story in 17:24ff and the eschatological judgment verse in 19:28, in my
                                            >opinion. ...

                                            I think you mean 19:27 (no parallels), quoting Peter, with 19:28f// giving
                                            the favorable interpretation.


                                            >II. SECOND EXCHANGE
                                            >
                                            >[Stephen]
                                            >Thank you very much for your response. In this message, it is
                                            >important to keep in mind that my thesis is that Mark's portrayal
                                            >of Peter is in many respects less negative than Matthew. ...

                                            Then how do you account for
                                            Mt 17:24ff
                                            Mt 19:27ff
                                            which, as Tom has pointed out, seem more favorable to Peter?

                                            >...
                                            >
                                            >III. THIRD EXCHANGE
                                            > ...
                                            >
                                            >[Tom]
                                            >It is precisely Mk's attribution of a leadership role to Peter that
                                            >highlights Peter's lack of faith, just his leadership role was
                                            >highlighted when *he* spoke in the Transfiguration account in Mk and we
                                            >were told by Mk that he didn't have a clue about what was going on: that
                                            >is, he is the leader of those to whom Jesus earlier said (and continues to
                                            >say throughout the gospel), "Have you no faith?"--which in Matthew is
                                            >changed, of course, to "men of little faith." At least Peter got out of
                                            >the boat and tried to employ that little faith before he began to sink and
                                            >needed to call upon the name of the Lord, as it were.

                                            I wonder if we need to distinguish here between Peter's tendency to talk
                                            (or act) first and think later, and any hypothetical role of "leader,"
                                            which might be anachronistic. Just because someone is impulsive doesn't
                                            necessarily make him a leader. Nevertheless, your general point about
                                            whether or not Peter is being singled out by either Mark or Matthew as
                                            having (or not having) faith is worth pursuing.

                                            >...[Tom, re Mark 16:7]
                                            >I wasn't making myself clear. What I meant to say was that I see no
                                            >hint in Mk of Peter ever going *to Galilee* to experience a resurrection
                                            >appearance: that's where Jesus said he was leading the disciples,
                                            >especially Peter, according to Mk 14:28 and 16:7....

                                            Given the short ending of Mark, is this probative? Aren't you relying
                                            essentially on negative evidence?

                                            I am grateful to Tom for assembling the Three Exchanges, to share with XTalk.

                                            Generally, Stephen has made a good case for Matthew putting a negative spin
                                            on Peter.
                                            Peter doesn't emerge unscathed from *any* of the gospels. But we need to
                                            differentiate a number of factors:
                                            1. If the actual historical Peter was a bungler-- impulsive, outspoken,
                                            etc.-- then a negative portrayal is not necessarily "spin"-- it could be
                                            historical.
                                            2. If the actual historical Peter was impulsive and outspoken, then the
                                            observation that Matthew and/or Mark portray Peter as the one asking
                                            questions, etc. doesn't necessarily mean that Peter was regarded as a
                                            leader. We should be wary of retrojecting the later propaganda of the
                                            church into the gospel narratives. Leaders are measured by followers, and
                                            Peter's primary "followers" seem to have been the Boanerges brothers-- even
                                            in Acts. But this is a topic that merits more extensive study than I can
                                            give it here.
                                            3. If a gospel source seems to be putting a negative spin on Peter, we need
                                            to look for the connecting thread. Weeden has attempted to do this for
                                            GMark by connecting the negative spin to different Christologies. What is
                                            the connecting thread in GMatthew?
                                            4. I appreciate the attempts to evaluate the apparent spin in any
                                            particular passage in terms of the narrative frame and wider context.

                                            Thanks,
                                            Bob

                                            Bob


                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • Stephen C. Carlson
                                            ... For Mt 17:24ff (the Temple Tax), Peter is asked about Jesus s position on the Temple Tax, which he answers without checking with Jesus. When Peter does
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Jan 14, 2001
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                                              At 11:15 PM 1/13/01 -0800, Bob Schacht wrote:
                                              >>II. SECOND EXCHANGE
                                              >>[Stephen]
                                              >>Thank you very much for your response. In this message, it is
                                              >>important to keep in mind that my thesis is that Mark's portrayal
                                              >>of Peter is in many respects less negative than Matthew. ...
                                              >
                                              >Then how do you account for
                                              >Mt 17:24ff
                                              >Mt 19:27ff
                                              >which, as Tom has pointed out, seem more favorable to Peter?

                                              For Mt 17:24ff (the Temple Tax), Peter is asked about Jesus's
                                              position on the Temple Tax, which he answers without checking
                                              with Jesus. When Peter does so, he turns out to be wrong (kings
                                              don't tax their children), but Jesus saves his face with a
                                              miracle. Not entirely negative of Peter, but not really
                                              positive of Peter either.

                                              At Mt18:27ff, both Matt and Mark give Peter the same prominence
                                              in asking the question, but Matt has additional matter about the
                                              "12 thrones." Rather than highlighting Peter in specific compared
                                              to Mark, Matt instead highlights the disciples generally (i.e.
                                              12 thrones for 12 apostles). Matt's common choice to pump up the
                                              disciples generally (even if Peter is understood to be a member)
                                              does not affect my thesis. There are many examples of that.

                                              Stephen 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
                                            • Sean du Toit
                                              Greetings. I ve been doing a lot of reading lately on historical method and what constitutes a valid method for studying the historical Jesus. [I notice this
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Nov 18, 2002
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                                                Greetings.

                                                I've been doing a lot of reading lately on historical method and what
                                                constitutes a valid method for studying the historical Jesus. [I notice
                                                this was briefly mentioned in another post] I'm well aware of the works by
                                                Meier, Crossan & Wright on method, but was wondering if there were any other
                                                specifically historical Jesus scholars who had worked on or proposed a
                                                method of study? Or if there are any other books on historical method that
                                                are *must* reads?

                                                Any recommendations on articles, books or links would be much appreciated.

                                                Kind Regards, sean du Toit

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                                              • William Arnal
                                                ... Two in particular, that are definitely MUST-reads: Jonathan Smith, _Drudgery Divine: On the Comparison of Early Christianities and the Religions of Late
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Nov 18, 2002
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                                                  Sean du Toit wrote:

                                                  >method of study? Or if there are any other books on historical method
                                                  > >that
                                                  >are *must* reads?
                                                  >
                                                  >Any recommendations on articles, books or links would be much >apreciated.

                                                  Two in particular, that are definitely MUST-reads:

                                                  Jonathan Smith, _Drudgery Divine: On the Comparison of Early Christianities
                                                  and the Religions of Late Antiquity._ U of Chicago, 1990.

                                                  Burton L. Mack, "The Historical Jesus Hoopla," in Mack, _The Christian
                                                  Myth._ Continuum, 2001.

                                                  Bill
                                                  ___________________________
                                                  William Arnal
                                                  Department of Religious Studies
                                                  University of Regina
                                                  Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2



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