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Re: Peter in Mk vs Mt

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  • 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 1 of 23 , Jan 11, 2001
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      --- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@m...>
      wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

      Tom

      ---
      Thomas A. Kopecek
      Professor of Religion
      Central Col
    • Ted Weeden
      The recent exchanges on Xtalk ( between Tom Kopecek, Stephen Carlson, Bob Schacht and Mark Goodacre) concerning the Matthean portrait of Peter vs. the Markan
      Message 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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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