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Re: [XTalk] Top 10 list of HJ facts

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  • Loren Rosson
    ... Gordon, I appreciate what you re getting at here, but I see a slight advantage of a general facts list over a specific sayings list . As we all know,
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 25, 2001
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      Gordon Raynal wrote:

      > What you've done is what
      > I'd call a third category... sketching your
      > interpretation of "basic
      > facts." I'm all for adding this as a list, too, but
      > first I'd just like
      > to see the actual data/ resources that are drawn
      > upon.

      Gordon, I appreciate what you're getting at here, but
      I see a slight advantage of a general "facts list"
      over a specific "sayings list". As we all know,
      scholars can seldom agree on the authenticity of
      individual sayings or deeds. It's easier to establish
      common ground on the basis of more general items which
      are well-attested. For instance, consider my points
      #4-6:

      > > -- Having no ascribed honor, he acquired honor in
      > > public by:
      > >
      > > 4. Exorcising the mad and healing the sick.

      Disagreement on individual healings and exorcisms will
      continue, but the fact that so many are attested in
      the gospels yields a secure result -- that is, the
      rather inescapable conclusion that Jesus enjoyed the
      reputation of a successful exorcist-healer. Save a
      very few -- like you (!) and Burton Mack -- not too
      many deny Jesus' role as a healer. (You will no doubt
      have a few things to say on this point.)

      > >
      > > 5. Telling powerfully suggestive (and subversive)
      > > parables.

      Again, what one scholar takes to be an authentic
      parable, another will deny. The case of the parables
      is especially telling, because there are so many
      singly attested stories which are widely regarded as
      genuine. (It seems that all of a sudden the criterion
      of multiple attestation is thrown out the window in
      favor of this "voice" of Jesus everyone wants to hear
      in these stories.) But in any case, most would agree
      that many of the parables go back to Jesus.

      > >
      > > 6. Besting and outwitting various opponents in
      > > challenge-and-riposte. (I.e. He was a master of
      > > insults, counter-challenges, counter-questions,
      > > rhetoric-rebuttal, and scriptural one-upsmanship.)

      I have in mind the challenges over sabbath-healing,
      divorce, handwashing, the Beelzebub controversy, the
      question of paying taxes to Casar, etc. Surely at
      least some, if not many, of these conflicts are
      historical, and we may draw inferences from the
      certain kind of debate patterns and ripostes which
      crop up in the accounts.

      But I am open to other lists as well. Thanks,

      Loren Rosson III
      Nashua NH
      rossoiii@...

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    • David C. Hindley
      Loren, ... handwashing, the Beelzebub controversy, the question of paying taxes to Casar, etc. Surely at least some, if not many, of these conflicts are
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 25, 2001
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        Loren,

        You said:

        >>I have in mind the challenges over sabbath-healing, divorce,
        handwashing, the Beelzebub controversy, the question of paying taxes
        to Casar, etc. Surely at least some, if not many, of these conflicts
        are historical, and we may draw inferences from the certain kind of
        debate patterns and ripostes which crop up in the accounts.<<

        Perhaps, in view of the lack of consensus regarding the authenticity
        of individual sayings of (or stories about) Jesus, you might consider
        changing your request and seek a list of the top 10 *rationales* for
        determining what makes a saying more or less authentic. Then we'd be
        critiquing "criteria" (oh, the irony) and/or the underlying
        methodology.

        Respectfully,

        Dave Hindley
        Cleveland, Ohio, USA
      • Steve Black
        ... My goodness! This thread started with a promising beginning, but now I wonder how there will ever be any consensus regarding any top ten list when we can
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 25, 2001
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          >
          >
          >Perhaps, in view of the lack of consensus regarding the authenticity
          >of individual sayings of (or stories about) Jesus, you might consider
          >changing your request and seek a list of the top 10 *rationales* for
          >determining what makes a saying more or less authentic. Then we'd be
          >critiquing "criteria" (oh, the irony) and/or the underlying
          >methodology.

          My goodness!
          This thread started with a promising beginning, but now I wonder how
          there will ever be any consensus regarding any top ten list when we
          can not achieve even a consensus as to what that list ought to be;-)
          --
          Steve Black
          Vancouver, BC
        • Steve Black
          OK, now my sarcastic self has to respond... ... 1. I like it 2. It feels right 3. Its provocative 4. It denies or conflicts with Xn teaching 5. It confirms Xn
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 25, 2001
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            OK, now my sarcastic self has to respond...

            > list of the top 10 *rationales* for
            >determining what makes a saying more or less authentic.

            1. I like it

            2. It feels right

            3. Its provocative

            4. It denies or conflicts with Xn teaching

            5. It confirms Xn teaching

            6. It feels very right

            7. Oh, yah, did I mention that it feels right?

            8. It must be true - every one else believes it...

            9. It must be false - the majority is always wrong...

            10. It makes sense to me!
            --
            Steve Black
            Vancouver, BC
          • David C. Hindley
            ... 1. I like it 2. It feels right 3. Its provocative 4. It denies or conflicts with Xn teaching 5. It confirms Xn teaching 6. It feels very right 7. Oh, yah,
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 25, 2001
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              Steve Black said:

              >>OK, now my sarcastic self has to respond...
              1. I like it
              2. It feels right
              3. Its provocative
              4. It denies or conflicts with Xn teaching
              5. It confirms Xn teaching
              6. It feels very right
              7. Oh, yah, did I mention that it feels right?
              8. It must be true - every one else believes it...
              9. It must be false - the majority is always wrong...
              10. It makes sense to me!<<

              What about:

              It confirms (or conforms to) what I already believe, so it *must* be
              authentic. <g> This would appear to incorporate 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 10.

              This, IMHO, is the primary rationale of the majority of historical
              critics, and it is not confined to the conservative and evangelical
              Christians among them. The specific criterion they pick to support the
              authenticity of the saying end up being window dressing (3, 8 & 9).

              But to be serious (well, for the moment), I would think that the
              usefulness of any specific criterion would be different dependent upon
              both the genre it is found in, and also by the rhetorical use to which
              the genre was put. So to use a criterion of, say, embarrassment, may
              be affected by whether the author recounting the saying or incident
              was trying to defend his own position, or refute another party's
              position, or shape the image to appeal to the prejudices of the
              intended readers.

              As requested, Loren will end up getting arbitrary lists of specific
              sayings or stories, and as a result any inferences drawn from them
              will be, essentially, useless. For example, lets look at J. P. Meyer
              (Marginal Jew, vol 1, pp. 167-195):

              Primary (consensus)
              1) Embarrassment
              2) Discontinuity
              3) Multiple attestation
              4) Coherence
              5) Rejection & Execution

              Secondary (dubious)
              6) Traces of Aramaic
              7) Palestinian environment
              8) Vividness of narration
              9) Tendencies in the developing synoptic tradition
              10) Historical presumption

              The historical value of each pericope will be affected by how the
              authors under consideration emplotted their account (as a comedy, or a
              romance, etc), by their argumentative strategy, and by the ideological
              implication of their account of the past, in the sense that it affects
              the reader's comprehension of the present. Consequently, the value of
              any one of these criterion will vary depending on these factors.

              Respectfully,

              Dave Hindley
              Cleveland, Ohio, USA
            • Gordon Raynal
              Steve, Dave, Loren... all Thanks for your posts... and Steve, thanks for the funny;)! To all I d just like to see core data bases. Choosing 10 sayings and 10
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 25, 2001
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                Steve, Dave, Loren... all

                Thanks for your posts... and Steve, thanks for the funny;)! To all I'd
                just like to see core data bases. Choosing 10 sayings and 10 pericopes
                is, of course, rather artificial... but already to a rather straight
                forward request comes "summarizing and surmising." I'm all for this,
                too, but I still want to push one and all to put forth the selection of
                words and deeds from the ancient resources that folks see as "core"/
                "the gist"/ "the heart of the matter" that leads to the summarizing and
                surmising. SO! I'll stick with my request. I do hope we will get many
                responses... and perhaps we can prevail on folks like Crossan, Mack,
                Saunders, Friedrickson, Borg, Wright and others to give us their lists.
                I'm just fascinated to see what folks will put down and what possible
                data that might be held in common.

                Gordon

                Steve Black wrote:
                >
                > OK, now my sarcastic self has to respond...
                >
                > > list of the top 10 *rationales* for
                > >determining what makes a saying more or less authentic.
                >
                > 1. I like it
                >
                > 2. It feels right
                >
                > 3. Its provocative
                >
                > 4. It denies or conflicts with Xn teaching
                >
                > 5. It confirms Xn teaching
                >
                > 6. It feels very right
                >
                > 7. Oh, yah, did I mention that it feels right?
                >
                > 8. It must be true - every one else believes it...
                >
                > 9. It must be false - the majority is always wrong...
                >
                > 10. It makes sense to me!
                > --
                > Steve Black
                > Vancouver, BC
                >
                >
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              • Rikki E. Watts
                Don¹t mean to rain on the parade, but it seems to me that the scholarly world has been doing this kind of thing for decades. One group ‹ E. P. Sanders,
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 25, 2001
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                  Don¹t mean to rain on the parade, but it seems to me that the scholarly
                  world has been doing this kind of thing for decades. One group ‹ E. P.
                  Sanders, Meier, et al ‹ thinks they have reached a consensus on a minimum of
                  data, others like Crossan think not. Usually when results are as
                  mixed/contradictory as this it suggests that the problem lies with the
                  method. Perhaps time would be better spent thinking through a new approach?

                  Rikk

                  on 25/11/01 8:58 AM, Steve Black at sblack@... wrote:

                  > OK, now my sarcastic self has to respond...
                  >
                  >> > list of the top 10 *rationales* for
                  >> >determining what makes a saying more or less authentic.
                  >
                  > 1. I like it
                  >
                  > 2. It feels right
                  >
                  > 3. Its provocative
                  >
                  > 4. It denies or conflicts with Xn teaching
                  >
                  > 5. It confirms Xn teaching
                  >
                  > 6. It feels very right
                  >
                  > 7. Oh, yah, did I mention that it feels right?
                  >
                  > 8. It must be true - every one else believes it...
                  >
                  > 9. It must be false - the majority is always wrong...
                  >
                  > 10. It makes sense to me!
                  >

                  Dr. Rikki E. Watts (Cantab) Ph. (604) 224 3245
                  Associate Professor of NT Fax. (604) 224 3097
                  Regent College
                  5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 2E4



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Bob Schacht
                  ... Gordon, I don t have time to do a comprehensive or thoroughly considered list, so here s a partial list: 1. Jesus was a Galilean Israelite ( I won t write
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 25, 2001
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                    At 08:38 AM 11/25/01 -0500, Gordon Raynal wrote:
                    >Loren,
                    >
                    >Thanks for "getting the ball rolling." Your little summary makes for a
                    >very nice sketch of your understanding of HJ. What you've done is what
                    >I'd call a third category... sketching your interpretation of "basic
                    >facts." I'm all for adding this as a list, too, but first I'd just like
                    >to see the actual data/ resources that are drawn upon. So... (to you and
                    >all)... my suggestion is to do "a top 10" of words and "a top ten"
                    >Scriptural scenes that get at the core/ gist for each respondents data
                    >base for making a constructive historical sketch. I'm really interested
                    >in seeing what actual data people choose and what a sample as this might
                    >show about commonalties and differences.
                    >
                    >So... thanks again for getting the ball a rolling and I hope you and all
                    >will chew on this and come up with the two "data" categories I suggest
                    >and the third interpretive category you have provided.
                    >
                    >Gordon

                    Gordon,
                    I don't have time to do a comprehensive or thoroughly considered list, so
                    here's a partial list:

                    1. Jesus was a Galilean Israelite ( I won't write "Jew" because at that
                    time that also meant "Judean.")

                    2. Jesus was influenced by John the Baptist, and knew him directly.

                    3. Jesus had a circle of friends who often traveled with him. Some were
                    regular companions, who became known as his disciples.

                    4. In his travels, Jesus often spoke of the Kingdom of God, and attached
                    much importance to it.

                    5. The core of Jesus' message also included emphasis on love, as expressed
                    in the Great Commandment (Mark 12:30-31; Matthew 22:37-39; Luke 10:27), the
                    New Commandment (John 13:34-35), and even to love your enemies (Luke 6:27,
                    Matt 5:43-48 ), which the JSem considers close to the heart of the
                    teachings of Jesus (T5G p. 147). Even though the JSem voted Mark 12:30-31
                    gray, they thought that the ideas expressed in those verses represented
                    Jesus' own views (T5G p. 104).

                    6. Just as important as any sayings of Jesus were the signs and wonders,
                    particularly the healings and exorcisms. Evidence is provided by the Signs
                    Gospel, and a possible double cycle of "miracles" described in Acts of
                    Jesus pp. 388-9.

                    7. Jesus also had a reputation as a story-teller, particularly in the genre
                    of "parables."


                    8. Although a Galilean, one of the most important events of Jesus' life was
                    one or more journeys to Jerusalem.

                    9. As a result of collusion between Roman and Jewish authorities, Jesus was
                    apprehended and crucified in Jerusalem.

                    10. After his crucifixion, Jesus was buried in a tomb, apparently due to
                    the intervention of someone identified in all 4 canonical gospels as Joseph
                    of Arimathaea. The Gospel of Peter also refers to this Joseph, although
                    without the Arimathaea information. A few days later, on the first day of
                    the week or The Lord's Day, the tomb is found empty, the stone has been
                    removed, and Mary Magdala is present. These elements are common to the
                    Triple Tradition, GJohn, and GPeter (AJ p. 465).

                    These are near the top of my list, although there may be other items which
                    I would also rank at this level.

                    I know others will disagree.

                    Bob

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


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Gordon Raynal
                    Bob, Thanks for your summary. Along with Loren s I ll print this out for a beginning collection of summaries. At present I m not interested in debating
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 26, 2001
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                      Bob,

                      Thanks for your summary. Along with Loren's I'll print this out for a
                      beginning collection of summaries. At present I'm not interested in
                      debating these, just seeing how folks see the core and "add it all up."
                      To one and all, I'm going to send a post with what I have in mind about
                      listing just a core data base from the records alone. I'm going to
                      start with deeds and when I have an opportunity later in the week I'll
                      go to words.

                      Gordon

                      Bob Schacht wrote:

                      > >Gordon
                      >
                      > Gordon,
                      > I don't have time to do a comprehensive or thoroughly considered list, so
                      > here's a partial list:
                      >
                      > 1. Jesus was a Galilean Israelite ( I won't write "Jew" because at that
                      > time that also meant "Judean.")
                      >
                      > 2. Jesus was influenced by John the Baptist, and knew him directly.
                      >
                      > 3. Jesus had a circle of friends who often traveled with him. Some were
                      > regular companions, who became known as his disciples.
                      >
                      > 4. In his travels, Jesus often spoke of the Kingdom of God, and attached
                      > much importance to it.
                      >
                      > 5. The core of Jesus' message also included emphasis on love, as expressed
                      > in the Great Commandment (Mark 12:30-31; Matthew 22:37-39; Luke 10:27), the
                      > New Commandment (John 13:34-35), and even to love your enemies (Luke 6:27,
                      > Matt 5:43-48 ), which the JSem considers close to the heart of the
                      > teachings of Jesus (T5G p. 147). Even though the JSem voted Mark 12:30-31
                      > gray, they thought that the ideas expressed in those verses represented
                      > Jesus' own views (T5G p. 104).
                      >
                      > 6. Just as important as any sayings of Jesus were the signs and wonders,
                      > particularly the healings and exorcisms. Evidence is provided by the Signs
                      > Gospel, and a possible double cycle of "miracles" described in Acts of
                      > Jesus pp. 388-9.
                      >
                      > 7. Jesus also had a reputation as a story-teller, particularly in the genre
                      > of "parables."
                      >
                      > 8. Although a Galilean, one of the most important events of Jesus' life was
                      > one or more journeys to Jerusalem.
                      >
                      > 9. As a result of collusion between Roman and Jewish authorities, Jesus was
                      > apprehended and crucified in Jerusalem.
                      >
                      > 10. After his crucifixion, Jesus was buried in a tomb, apparently due to
                      > the intervention of someone identified in all 4 canonical gospels as Joseph
                      > of Arimathaea. The Gospel of Peter also refers to this Joseph, although
                      > without the Arimathaea information. A few days later, on the first day of
                      > the week or The Lord's Day, the tomb is found empty, the stone has been
                      > removed, and Mary Magdala is present. These elements are common to the
                      > Triple Tradition, GJohn, and GPeter (AJ p. 465).
                      >
                      > These are near the top of my list, although there may be other items which
                      > I would also rank at this level.
                      >
                      > I know others will disagree.
                      >
                      > Bob
                      >
                      > Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
                      > Northern Arizona University
                      > Flagstaff, AZ
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