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Re: [XTalk] historical method

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 of 23 , Jan 9, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                --- 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 7 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 8 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 9 of 23 , Jan 10, 2001
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                      --- 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 10 of 23 , Jan 10, 2001
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                        --- 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 11 of 23 , Jan 10, 2001
                        • 0 Attachment
                          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 12 of 23 , Jan 10, 2001
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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 13 of 23 , Jan 11, 2001
                            • 0 Attachment
                              --- 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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 20 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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