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Re: [XTalk] Peter in Mk vs Mt

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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