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  • Gordon Raynal
    Listed below is what I consider the core of the historical data that tells us the gist about Jesus in terms of events/ deeds. Understand, of course, that as
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 26, 2001
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      Listed below is what I consider the core of the historical data that
      tells us the gist about Jesus in terms of events/ deeds. Understand, of
      course, that as Julian Hills has nicely noted, "words are repeated,
      events are reported," hence even in these snippets we have the framing
      of events/ deeds only via reporters and finally literary framer(s). For
      now, rather than writing out the verses I'll simply list them and give a
      descriptive phrase:

      1. Mk. 1:9 Baptism by John
      2. Mk. 1:14 Jesus begins in Galilee
      3. Mk. 2:1-2, 15-17c Capernaum center for "parabolic meals"
      4. Mk. 4:1-9, 21-32 Lakeside parabling
      5. Mk. 6:1-4 Nazareth rejection.
      6. Q/Lk. 10:3-9 two by two mission strategy
      7. Mk. 9:33-37, 50 last days in Galilee
      8. Mk. 12:1-9a, 12 parabling in Jerusalem at Passover
      9. Mk. 15:25 crucified
      10. Mk. 15:40-41 women witness death

      so... this is what I have in mind and would like to see others core
      resource lists. Again, the words "Top 10" will come later on this week.

      Gordon Raynal
      Inman, SC

      **a reminder... my @home service dies on 11/30 and I may not be back up
      til after 12/4... so if you take this up, do it in that interval, then
      please save a copy and forward it to me once I get my new email address.
      I'd like to keep a copy of all of these and printing them from the
      egroup site is a pain! Thanks.
    • Loren Rosson
      List, Gordon and I have been discussing some of our top-10 items off-list, and I wanted to pursue the question of Jesus continuity with John the Baptist
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 27, 2001
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        List,

        Gordon and I have been discussing some of our "top-10"
        items off-list, and I wanted to pursue the question of
        Jesus' continuity with John the Baptist on-list, and
        at more length. I see strong continuities between the
        two and believe, moreover, that John was Jesus' actual
        mentor. Gordon credits the baptism event itself while
        denying that Jesus had ever been an actual follower of
        John. Here are some points to consider:

        1. TOLL COLLECTORS John, like Jesus after him,
        apparently didn�t believe that toll collectors had to
        give up their occupation in order to be inherit the
        kingdom (Lk 3:10-14). Granted this is special L
        material, but it might be a bit desperate to argue
        that -- after historically accurate statements in L
        about regional rulers during the period -- those
        concerning John's teaching are simply agenda-driven
        inventions. Given that Jesus followed John in offering
        alternative and inexpensive atonement (one by
        immersion, the other by healing), it stands to reason
        that he also followed John in having compassion on the
        various "low-lives" who most benefited from said
        alternative atonement.

        2. BAPTISM Indeed, far from creating fictional
        continuities, much of the gospel-writers'
        editorializing seems to undermine these links between
        the Baptist and Nazarene. Think of Jn 4:2, which
        undermines Jn 3:22-24. I can imagine no sane reason
        why the fourth gospel writer would have invented the
        tradition of Jesus and his disciples baptizing; that
        would put him on par with (rather than elevate him
        above) John. Where the fourth gospel writer does
        deceive us is with the fiction of John and Jesus
        baptizing simultaneously. Joan Taylor, in "The
        Immerser", explains this as an attempt to "neutralize
        criticism from Jews at the end of the first century in
        regard to Jesus and Christian baptism... Their
        missions, side by side, indicate a happy harmony..."
        (p 296). Jesus and the disciples probably began
        baptizing after John's imprisonment. I wonder,
        however, for how long they kept up the practice.

        3. THE LORD'S PRAYER I've always been fascinated by
        the request of the disciples in Lk 11:1: "Teach us to
        pray [just as? exactly as?] John taught his own
        disciples." Luke's version of the Lord's Prayer then
        follows. Whether we accept a translation of "just as"
        or "exactly as", it's hard to imagine Luke wanting to
        create a bogus account of Jesus copy-catting John. I'm
        inclined to believe that at least a kernel of the
        Lord's Prayer goes back to the Baptist. (Jeffrey, go
        ahead and pounce.)

        4. "THE LEAST IN THE KINGDOM" The saying in Q, that
        "among those born of women no one is greater than
        John, but one who is least in the kingdom is greater
        than he" (Mt 11:11/Lk 7:28). This could be a product
        of the early church, but I'm persuaded by John Meier
        that it's an historically authentic "dialectical
        negation", in which Jesus is not undermining John --
        far from it: he's praising his mentor -- but rather
        pointing to the favor bestowed on the "least" in the
        kingdom. (This, of course, coheres with Jesus'
        reversal-of-fortune statements elsewhere.) Meier
        writes: "While the Western mind tries to draw
        distinctions by a careful setting of degrees of
        difference, the Semitic mind will often oppose two
        extremes, neither of which is to be taken absolutely,
        but only in tandem with the other extreme. An example
        of this dialectical negation can be found in the
        complaint of Jesus the Revealer in Jn 3:32-33: 'No one
        accepts his [Jesus'] testimony; he who does accept his
        testimony has certified that God is truthful.'
        Strictly speaking, the two halves contradict each
        other, but they are meant to be taken together as two
        sides of one truth. The two halves of Mt 11:11/Lk 7:28
        should perhaps be understood in the same way as a
        typically Semitic dialectical negation." (Marginal
        Jew, Vol II, p 143) Meier goes on to note the rather
        obvious difficulty in imagining the early church
        inventing an account which extols John as the
        "greatest born among women"! So this saying further
        testifies to Jesus as having been seriously influenced
        by the Baptist's vision.

        5. RHETORIC AND INSULTS Finally, let's not forget
        that Jesus was well steeped in the Baptist's fiery
        rhetoric and abusive language. Calling your enemies a
        "brood of vipers" (snake-bastards) was, like any
        attack on someone's lineage, vile and vulgar in
        antiquity. When you get right down to it, John and
        Jesus had dirty mouths. The latter was a good student
        indeed.

        The conclusion presses that Jesus had been a devout
        follower of John the Baptist. He was not simply
        baptized by him in a one-time event which calls to
        mind something like the "folks who went to Louis
        Farrakhan's Million Man March who were neither
        followers of Farrakhan nor Muslims" (as Gordon Raynal
        put it to me off-list). One has to explain away a lot
        of material in Q, Luke, John as later interpolation.
        Having said all this, I certainly acknowledge -- what
        I'm about to say hardly qualifies as nightly news --
        that Jesus took the Baptist's vision of the kingdom in
        new directions. He came to the believe that the
        kingdom could be experienced, to some degree, in the
        present age: while John fasted in apocalyptic
        asceticism, Jesus feasted, celebrating in the
        here-and-now, believing that the future kingdom was
        already breaking into the present age through his
        ministry of healing (Mt. 12:28/Lk. 11:20). He rejected
        fasting in anticipation of the kingdom�s full
        disclosure in the future -- when everyone would feast
        in the messianic banquet (Mt. 8:11-12/Lk. 13:28-29).
        And despite following his mentor with uncharitable
        rhetoric and abuse (the diatribes against Chorazin,
        the threats of doom against the temple, etc.), Jesus
        eschews at least some of the language particular to
        John's vision. He never says that "the winnowing fork
        is in his hand" or that "the chaff is soon going to
        burn with unquenchable fire").

        So I'm firmly allied with those who recognize many
        continuities between the Baptist and the Nazarene.

        Loren Rosson III
        Nashua NH
        rossoiii@...

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      • Steve Black
        Loren Rosson III ... I know this kind of your pet theory , but I have an alternative theory that I wonder about. I firstly acknowledge the honor/shame model
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 27, 2001
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          Loren Rosson III
          >
          >5. RHETORIC AND INSULTS Finally, let's not forget
          >that Jesus was well steeped in the Baptist's fiery
          >rhetoric and abusive language. Calling your enemies a
          >"brood of vipers" (snake-bastards) was, like any
          >attack on someone's lineage, vile and vulgar in
          >antiquity. When you get right down to it, John and
          >Jesus had dirty mouths. The latter was a good student
          >indeed.
          >
          >

          I know this kind of your "pet theory", but I have an alternative
          theory that I wonder about.

          I firstly acknowledge the honor/shame model is a useful one. My
          belief is that like all models, it must be supplemented with other
          models. By itself it will give a skewed version.

          Any how, my theory...

          Perhaps Jesus engaged in robust debate not unlike other Rabbi's have
          then and since then. These would be not polemically charged as they
          are now recorded in the gospels, but would be , as I said, robust.
          Neusner says that the greatest compliment a Rabbi can pay another is
          to debate them. Most of Jesus' debates would have been issues that
          were already being debated by rabbi's at that time (Sabbath
          observation, divorce, etc). The early church, however, when it came
          to possess this material simply did not understand this ethic of
          Jewish debate (for many reasons, not the least a serious falling out
          with the "synagogue"), and understood it in polemic ways that the HJ
          may never have even remotely intended. Thus a vigorous debate about
          Sabbath (representing one position among many that was ALREADY
          considered as an acceptable possibility) became a far more sinister
          denunciation of Judaism. (Which I find very unbelievable out of the
          lips of the HJ!)
          --
          Steve Black
          Vancouver, BC
        • David C. Hindley
          ... tells us the gist about Jesus in terms of events/ deeds. Understand, of course, that as Julian Hills has nicely noted, words are repeated, events are
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 27, 2001
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            --- In crosstalk2@y..., Gordon Raynal <scudi@h...> wrote:

            >>Listed below is what I consider the core of the historical data that
            tells us the gist about Jesus in terms of events/ deeds. Understand,
            of course, that as Julian Hills has nicely noted, "words are repeated,
            events are reported," hence even in these snippets we have the framing
            of events/ deeds only via reporters and finally literary framer(s).
            For now, rather than writing out the verses I'll simply list them and
            give a descriptive phrase:

            1. Mk. 1:9 Baptism by John
            2. Mk. 1:14 Jesus begins in Galilee
            3. Mk. 2:1-2, 15-17c Capernaum center for "parabolic meals"
            4. Mk. 4:1-9, 21-32 Lakeside parabling
            5. Mk. 6:1-4 Nazareth rejection.
            6. Q/Lk. 10:3-9 two by two mission strategy
            7. Mk. 9:33-37, 50 last days in Galilee
            8. Mk. 12:1-9a, 12 parabling in Jerusalem at Passover
            9. Mk. 15:25 crucified
            10. Mk. 15:40-41 women witness death

            so... this is what I have in mind and would like to see others core
            resource lists. Again, the words "Top 10" will come later on this
            week.<<

            To be honest, I am not even able to come up with 10 events that I
            could be certain originated with Jesus. Keeping with my opinion that
            the gospel accounts seem more like apologies directed towards
            outsiders than edifying biographies intended for the faithful, I
            consider much that others think are bona-fide details to be more on
            the line of creative inventions. My shorter list would look like this:

            1) Jesus was a Jew, and did his thing in the tetrarchy of Galilee,
            the Roman province of Judea, and in other areas of Coele Syria
            2) He had some sort of connection with John the Baptist
            3) There was a controversy over his lineage (for comparison, wasn't
            it Africanus or Hegesippus who reported an account of
            the "desposyni," who are supposed to be relations of Jesus, casting
            doubt on Herod's lineage as a tactic to explain why Jesus' own
            lineage could not be verified by means of public records, because
            Herod supposedly destroyed them to hide his own illegitimate birth?)
            4) Jesus was executed by the Romans by means of crucufuxion

            These would constitute the basic "facts" commonly known to or at
            least believed by the Roman authorities and most/many Jews or
            Gentiles.

            That the authors of the gospels acknowledged them, rather than flatly
            denied them, suggests to me that they were considered embarassments
            that needed explanation, and hence have a high probability of being
            true or based on actual events.

            Of course, the *significance* of these four basic "facts" about Jesus
            is open to debate, but lets not go there. <g>

            Sincerely,

            Dave Hindley
            Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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