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Re: [XTalk] Philonic influence

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  • Robert M. Schacht
    ... Frank, First, Merry Christmas! I wish you all the best in this holiday season, and a Happy New Year! What I was saying is that it is not enough for an idea
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 28, 2001
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      At 08:57 AM 12/24/01, McCoy wrote:

      >[Frank]
      >
      >...The bottom line: What you are telling me is that, for me to give the
      >readers, including yourself, an adequate reason for thinking that these
      >sayings *ought* to be interpreted in terms of Philonic thought, I must do
      >what is impossible for me to do, i.e., demonstrate that uniquely Philonic
      >ideas are present in these saying attributed to Jesus.
      >
      >Setting the bar much lower, what are your requirements for me to give the
      >readers, including yourself, adequate reason for thinking that these
      >saying*might* have been influenced by Philonic thought?

      Frank,
      First, Merry Christmas! I wish you all the best in this holiday season, and
      a Happy New Year!

      What I was saying is that it is not enough for an idea to be plausible. The
      evidence for it must be greater than for rival hypotheses, such as that the
      ideas to which you refer could just as easily have been derived from
      OT/Apocrypha sources.
      The issue is this:
      Let's say, for a given passage, you show that it bears a similarity to
      thoughts, words, etc. in Philonic thought.
      Then, say, Loren comes along and says that for the same passage, he can
      show that it bears an equal similarity to thoughts, words, etc. in the OT,
      or in other pre-Christian Jewish literature of the apocrypha. How are we to
      decide between your proposal and "Loren's"? Unless you can show that the
      similarity is to *unique* aspects of Philonic thought, or to unique
      sequences of words in Philonic thought, then I don't see any objective or
      definitive way for us to choose between the rival hypotheses, and it
      becomes merely a matter of which theory we "like." The "bar" I am proposing
      is not really so unreasonably high. I am only asking what any critical
      scholar would ask of an alleged literary dependence of one source on
      another. If you are not claiming literary dependence, then exactly what is
      it that you are claiming? And how can we tell which hypothesis is to be
      preferred-- e.g., Philonic influence vs. OT/Apocrypha influence?


      >...Cumulative effect can be telling. As the number of Philonic ideas to be
      >found in sayings attributed to Jesus in the gospels increases, the
      >probability that Philonic thought influenced at least some of these sayings
      >increases....

      But you are assuming what is to be proved. How do we really know that they
      are *Philonic* ideas? It does not follow equally that if enough ideas are
      *attributed* to Philonic thought, then does it really increase the
      probability that they actually were influenced by *Philonic* thought (and
      not by some common tradition)?

      "Cumulative weight" counts in the Synoptics where there is sufficient
      word-for-word similarity between Matthew and Luke, on the one hand, and
      Mark on the other hand, to lend weight to the hypothesis that Matthew and
      Luke not only had access to pieces of GMark, but had the entire gospel at
      their disposal. The "weight" of the Access-to-GMark hypothesis accumulates
      because each item shows word-for-word correspondence, and there are many
      such items.

      I am not, in principle, opposed to the idea that Philonic thought
      influenced certain ideas in the NT. In fact, I suspect that Philonic
      thought has not usually been given as much consideration as it deserves,
      and that real influences existed. But maybe not as much consideration as
      you have proposed. I do not agree that if you pile up enough half-baked
      ideas, they add up to a good idea.

      Bob


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • FMMCCOY
      ... From: Robert M. Schacht To: Sent: Friday, December 28, 2001 10:49 PM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Philonic
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 5, 2002
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Robert M. Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
        To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, December 28, 2001 10:49 PM
        Subject: Re: [XTalk] Philonic influence


        > At 08:57 AM 12/24/01, McCoy wrote:
        >
        > >[Frank]
        > >
        > >...The bottom line: What you are telling me is that, for me to give the
        > >readers, including yourself, an adequate reason for thinking that these
        > >sayings *ought* to be interpreted in terms of Philonic thought, I must do
        > >what is impossible for me to do, i.e., demonstrate that uniquely Philonic
        > >ideas are present in these saying attributed to Jesus.
        > >
        > >Setting the bar much lower, what are your requirements for me to give the
        > >readers, including yourself, adequate reason for thinking that these
        > >saying*might* have been influenced by Philonic thought?
        >
        > Frank,
        > First, Merry Christmas! I wish you all the best in this holiday season,
        and
        > a Happy New Year!
        >

        Bob, a Happy New Year to you as well!

        [Bob]
        > What I was saying is that it is not enough for an idea to be plausible.
        The
        > evidence for it must be greater than for rival hypotheses, such as that
        the
        > ideas to which you refer could just as easily have been derived from
        > OT/Apocrypha sources.
        > The issue is this:
        > Let's say, for a given passage, you show that it bears a similarity to
        > thoughts, words, etc. in Philonic thought.
        > Then, say, Loren comes along and says that for the same passage, he can
        > show that it bears an equal similarity to thoughts, words, etc. in the OT,
        > or in other pre-Christian Jewish literature of the apocrypha. How are we
        to
        > decide between your proposal and "Loren's"? Unless you can show that the
        > similarity is to *unique* aspects of Philonic thought, or to unique
        > sequences of words in Philonic thought, then I don't see any objective or
        > definitive way for us to choose between the rival hypotheses, and it
        > becomes merely a matter of which theory we "like." The "bar" I am
        proposing
        > is not really so unreasonably high. I am only asking what any critical
        > scholar would ask of an alleged literary dependence of one source on
        > another. If you are not claiming literary dependence, then exactly what is
        > it that you are claiming? And how can we tell which hypothesis is to be
        > preferred-- e.g., Philonic influence vs. OT/Apocrypha influence?

        [Frank]
        I am not trying to base the argument that Philonic thought influenced the
        thought of the real Jesus on literary dependency. Even if Jesus
        had come to some knowledge about Philonic thought by reading some of his
        works (as opposed to learning about Philonic thought from one
        or more tutors), it is highly unlikely that, when speaking before crowds of
        peasants or, even, speaking to his disciples, Jesus would have made
        statements that have a literary dependency on Philo. Further, ISTM, even if
        it could be proved that a saying attributed to Jesus has a literary
        dependency on Philo, this all but guarantees that this saying is either the
        invention of an early Christian or else a corrupt version of a saying that
        originated with Jesus. I say this because it is *highly improbable* that a
        saying of Jesus originally uttered by him with sufficient evidence in its
        wording to demonstrate a literary dependence on Philo would have been orally
        transmitted through many people with sufficient accuracy to preserve enough
        of the evidence of literary dependence for us to recognize it. So, the
        bottom line, ISTM. is this: It is unlikely that Jesus, even if he had read
        some works of Philo, made any oral statements that had a literary dependence
        on Philo and, even if he had, any such oral statements would not have been
        orally transmitted with sufficient fidelity to preserve the evidence of the
        literary dependence.

        Now, given the condition you stipulate (i.e., the analysis of a single
        passage), unless one of the two hypotheses can be proven to be invalid, both
        remain valid hypotheses. Due to the subjective factors that go into the
        weighing of the evidence, two people might look at the same evidence and one
        conclude that it favors the Philonic influence hypothesis while the other
        concludes that it favors the OT/Apocrypha influence hypothesis. That's the
        way, ISTM, things work in the real world of research into passages in the
        NT--rarely is there a knockout blow or, even, a TKO that enables one
        hypothesis to be declared the undisputed champion and a split decision is
        very common.. .

        Having said this, I would like to add that, ISTM, in the postulated
        situation you pose, there are at least seven hypotheses that should be
        entertained. These are: (1) the hypothesis that the saying reflects
        Philonic thought, (2) the hypothesis that the saying is based on OT/
        Apocryphal passages as interpreted in terms of Philonic thought, (3) the
        hypothesis that the saying is based on first century CE non-Philonic
        thought, (4) the hypothesis that the saying is based on OT/Apocryphal
        passages as interpreted in terms of non-Philonic first century CE thought,
        (5) the hypothesis that the saying reflects a mixture of Philonic thought
        and non-Philonic first century CE thought), (6) the hypothesis that the
        saying is based on OT/Apocryphal passages as interpreted in terms of a
        mixture of Philonic thought and non-Philonic first century CE thought, and
        (7) the hypothesis that the saying is solely based on the BCE thought found
        in the OT/Apocrypha. Logically, many more hypotheses are feasible. Your
        dualism of (1) vs. (7) is, ISTM, grossly inadequate and, what is even more
        important, can mislead the unwary into thinking that Philonic thought and
        OT/Apocryphal thought are mutually exclusive. Actually, almost all the
        elements of Philonic thought (including his concepts of Sophia and the
        Logos), have roots in the Septuagint--which contains both the OT and the
        Apocrypha--and many of his essays are permeated with citations from the
        Septuagint.

        When one goes beyond the analysis of one saying attributed to Jesus to the
        generic level of all sayings attributed to Jesus, it could very well be the
        case that both the hypothesis that Jesus was influenced by OT/Apocryphal
        thought and the hypothesis that Jesus was influenced by Philonic thought are
        true. Of course, even if it could be demonstrated that both are true, there
        still would remain the question of the relative degree of influence of each
        on Jesus.

        I would also like to add that, when it comes to a general hypothesis, such
        as the hypothesis that the real Jesus of history had been influenced by
        Philonic thought, the question of whether a particular saying attributed to
        Jesus has been influenced by Philonic thought is but a skirmish in a much
        more general war. So, even if the battle is lost on that one saying, it has
        little outcome on the war itself. Further, as the number of sayings
        attributed to Jesus that are consistent with this hypothesis increase, the
        probability that the hypothesis is correct also increases. This is
        particularly true of sayings that are most likely to be primitive (The
        problem here, of course, is that it is difficult to get a consensus, on any
        one given saying, as to how primitive it is. Still, with some, such as the
        Parable of the Mustard Seed, there does seem to be close to general
        agreement that it probably is primitive).

        Finally, I would like to point out that, on past posts to X-talk, I have
        made at least three very specific hypotheses regarding the possible
        influence of Philonic thought on Jesus. One is that the real Jesus of
        history believed himself to be Philo's Logos incarnate in the flesh. The
        second is that the real Jesus of history took what he called the Kingdom to
        be what Philo called Wisdom and, since Philo deemed the virtues/words of God
        to be of the very self of Wisdom, to also be what Philo called the
        virtues/words of God. The third is that the real Jesus of history knew of,
        and accepted, Philo's idea that the virtues/words of God can grow and
        multiply in receptive human souls. The first hypothesis hasn't been
        challenged in any serious sense. The second and third have been challanged,
        but no one has yet been able to demonstrate that either one must be wrong
        or, ISTM, even demonstrated that either one is weaker than any other rival
        hypothesis. Indeed, ISTM, no rival hypothesis has been put forward which
        explains the over-all evidence as well as either one of these two
        hypotheses.

        [Frank]
        > >...Cumulative effect can be telling. As the number of Philonic ideas to
        be
        > >found in sayings attributed to Jesus in the gospels increases, the
        > >probability that Philonic thought influenced at least some of these
        sayings
        > >increases....

        [Bob]
        > But you are assuming what is to be proved. How do we really know that they
        > are *Philonic* ideas? It does not follow equally that if enough ideas are
        > *attributed* to Philonic thought, then does it really increase the
        > probability that they actually were influenced by *Philonic* thought (and
        > not by some common tradition)?

        [Frank]
        I am assuming nothing. If an idea is present in Philonic thought, then it
        is a Philonic idea. This is a no brainer.

        Of course, unless a Philonic idea is unique to Philonic thought, then it is
        also the idea of one or more other systems of thought as well. So, a
        Philonic idea might also be an Essenic idea, a Sadducic idea, a Cynic idea,
        etc..

        The bottom line, while all Philonic ideas are found in Philonic thought,
        almost all (if not all) Philonic ideas are also found outside of Philonic
        thought and, therefore, the presence of a Philonic idea in a saying
        attributed to Jesus is not necessarily the presence of Philonic thought in
        that saying. Indeed, rather, it is highly probable that it came to Jesus
        through another system of thought, e.g., Essenic thought.

        Still, ISTM, as the number of Philonic ideas in saying attributed to Jesus
        increases, the probability that we are dealing with a genuine influence of
        Philonic thought on this saying increases. On a more generic level, ISTM,
        as the percentage of Philonic ideas in sayings attributed to Jesus
        increases, the probability that there is a genuine influence of Philonic
        thought on these sayings increases.

        [Bob]
        > "Cumulative weight" counts in the Synoptics where there is sufficient
        > word-for-word similarity between Matthew and Luke, on the one hand, and
        > Mark on the other hand, to lend weight to the hypothesis that Matthew and
        > Luke not only had access to pieces of GMark, but had the entire gospel at
        > their disposal. The "weight" of the Access-to-GMark hypothesis accumulates
        > because each item shows word-for-word correspondence, and there are many
        > such items.

        [Frank]
        You appear to presume, here, that cumulative weight can *only* count where
        similarity in written wording (i.e., literary dependency) can be proved.
        By what line of reasoning do you arrive at this conclusion?

        [Bob]
        > I am not, in principle, opposed to the idea that Philonic thought
        > influenced certain ideas in the NT. In fact, I suspect that Philonic
        > thought has not usually been given as much consideration as it deserves,
        > and that real influences existed. But maybe not as much consideration as
        > you have proposed. I do not agree that if you pile up enough half-baked
        > ideas, they add up to a good idea.
        >
        [Frank]
        Certainly, as Philonic thought was present in early first century CE
        Judaism, and as the real Jesus had been an early first century CE Jew, there
        is, in principle, the possibility that the real Jesus had been influenced by
        Philonic thought.

        Please amplify on your last sentence. In particular, please give several
        specific examples of the half-baked ideas you are referring to and identify
        the one good idea that they do not add up to.


        Frank McCoy
        1809 N. English Apt. #17
        Maplewood, MN USA 55109
      • Bob Schacht
        ... Frank, This misses the mark somewhat. I m not yet ready to assess whether *Jesus* was influenced by Philo. What I meant was first, how do we determine if
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 5, 2002
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          At 10:13 AM 1/5/02 -0600, FMMCCOY wrote:

          >----- Original Message -----
          >From: "Robert M. Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
          >To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
          >Sent: Friday, December 28, 2001 10:49 PM
          >Subject: Re: [XTalk] Philonic influence
          >
          >
          >[Bob]
          > > What I was saying is that it is not enough for an idea to be plausible.
          >The
          > > evidence for it must be greater than for rival hypotheses, such as that
          >the
          > > ideas to which you refer could just as easily have been derived from
          > > OT/Apocrypha sources.
          > > The issue is this:
          > > Let's say, for a given passage, you show that it bears a similarity to
          > > thoughts, words, etc. in Philonic thought.
          > > Then, say, Loren comes along and says that for the same passage, he can
          > > show that it bears an equal similarity to thoughts, words, etc. in the OT,
          > > or in other pre-Christian Jewish literature of the apocrypha. How are we
          >to
          > > decide between your proposal and "Loren's"? Unless you can show that the
          > > similarity is to *unique* aspects of Philonic thought, or to unique
          > > sequences of words in Philonic thought, then I don't see any objective or
          > > definitive way for us to choose between the rival hypotheses, and it
          > > becomes merely a matter of which theory we "like." The "bar" I am
          >proposing
          > > is not really so unreasonably high. I am only asking what any critical
          > > scholar would ask of an alleged literary dependence of one source on
          > > another. If you are not claiming literary dependence, then exactly what is
          > > it that you are claiming? And how can we tell which hypothesis is to be
          > > preferred-- e.g., Philonic influence vs. OT/Apocrypha influence?
          >
          >[Frank]
          >I am not trying to base the argument that Philonic thought influenced the
          >thought of the real Jesus on literary dependency. Even if Jesus
          >had come to some knowledge about Philonic thought by reading some of his
          >works (as opposed to learning about Philonic thought from one
          >or more tutors), it is highly unlikely that, when speaking before crowds
          >of peasants or, even, speaking to his disciples, Jesus would have made
          >statements that have a literary dependency on Philo. Further, ISTM, even
          >if it could be proved that a saying attributed to Jesus has a literary
          >dependency on Philo, this all but guarantees that this saying is either
          >the invention of an early Christian or else a corrupt version of a saying
          >that originated with Jesus. I say this because it is *highly improbable*
          >that a saying of Jesus originally uttered by him with sufficient evidence
          >in its wording to demonstrate a literary dependence on Philo would have
          >been orally transmitted through many people with sufficient accuracy to
          >preserve enough of the evidence of literary dependence for us to
          >recognize it. So, the bottom line, ISTM. is this: It is unlikely that
          >Jesus, even if he had read some works of Philo, made any oral statements
          >that had a literary dependence on Philo and, even if he had, any such oral
          >statements would not have been orally transmitted with sufficient fidelity
          >to preserve the evidence of the literary dependence.

          Frank,
          This misses the mark somewhat. I'm not yet ready to assess whether *Jesus*
          was influenced by Philo. What I meant was first, how do we determine if the
          authors of the Gospels, whom we refer to for convenience as Mark, Matthew,
          Luke, and John, were influenced by Philo? This was the question that I
          assumed we were discussing (incorrectly, it seems). Thus, in order to
          determine if *Jesus* was influenced by Philo, you would have to show that
          the Philonic influences that you observe in the Gospels was due to Jesus
          and not to those who were writing about him.


          >Now, given the condition you stipulate (i.e., the analysis of a single
          >passage), unless one of the two hypotheses can be proven to be invalid,
          >both remain valid hypotheses. ...
          >
          >Having said this, I would like to add that, ISTM, in the postulated
          >situation you pose, there are at least seven hypotheses that should be
          >entertained. These are: (1) the hypothesis that the saying reflects
          >Philonic thought, (2) the hypothesis that the saying is based on OT/
          >Apocryphal passages as interpreted in terms of Philonic thought, (3) the
          >hypothesis that the saying is based on first century CE non-Philonic
          >thought, (4) the hypothesis that the saying is based on OT/Apocryphal
          >passages as interpreted in terms of non-Philonic first century CE thought,
          >(5) the hypothesis that the saying reflects a mixture of Philonic thought
          >and non-Philonic first century CE thought), (6) the hypothesis that the
          >saying is based on OT/Apocryphal passages as interpreted in terms of a
          >mixture of Philonic thought and non-Philonic first century CE thought, and
          >(7) the hypothesis that the saying is solely based on the BCE thought
          >found in the OT/Apocrypha. Logically, many more hypotheses are feasible.

          Well, yes, and I suppose we could entertain the hypothesis that the cow
          jumped over the moon. I do not want to get into the business of enumerating
          myriad hypotheses, and then equalizing them all by asserting that, well,
          they're all *possible* and then jumping to the conclusion that one is as
          good as any of the others.

          > Your dualism of (1) vs. (7) is, ISTM, grossly inadequate and, what is
          > even more important, can mislead the unwary into thinking that Philonic
          > thought and OT/Apocryphal thought are mutually exclusive.

          I never meant to suggest this. Indeed, it seems like it is rather your
          claim that these can be distinguished. So then, I think, it is up to *you*
          to show how they can be distinguished. But you seem to prefer not to do
          that. You seem to go to great lengths to stamp "Philo" on ideas that can at
          best be described as OT/Apocrypha/Philo.

          > Actually, almost all the elements of Philonic thought (including his
          > concepts of Sophia and the Logos), have roots in the Septuagint--which
          > contains both the OT and the Apocrypha--and many of his essays are
          > permeated with citations from the Septuagint.

          Indeed, it is as an exegete that Philo is perhaps best known.


          >When one goes beyond the analysis of one saying attributed to Jesus to the
          >generic level of all sayings attributed to Jesus, it could very well be
          >the case that both the hypothesis that Jesus was influenced by
          >OT/Apocryphal thought and the hypothesis that Jesus was influenced by
          >Philonic thought are true. Of course, even if it could be demonstrated
          >that both are true, there still would remain the question of the relative
          >degree of influence of each on Jesus.

          Exactly. And in my response to you I merely suggested that one cannot
          assess the *relative* influence by the methods you were using. Next,
          skipping over some old ground where you merely restate what you have stated
          before,


          >...Finally, I would like to point out that, on past posts to X-talk, I
          >have made at least three very specific hypotheses regarding the possible
          >influence of Philonic thought on Jesus. One is that the real Jesus of
          >history believed himself to be Philo's Logos incarnate in the flesh.

          It is easier to see that the author of GJohn considered this to be so, than
          it is to demonstrate that Jesus himself believed it. There is much more
          evidence for the former than for the latter. If what you say is true, why
          was this remarkable fact passed over in silence by Mark, Matthew and Luke?
          Or have I failed to remember some analysis of yours that claimed that
          Jesus/Logos Christology is also evident in the other Gospels?


          > The second is that the real Jesus of history took what he called the
          > Kingdom to be what Philo called Wisdom and, since Philo deemed the
          > virtues/words of God to be of the very self of Wisdom, to also be what
          > Philo called the virtues/words of God.

          If you have accomplished anything in this regard (which I do not concede),
          it would probably be more accurate to say that the authors of the Synoptic
          Gospels saw some connection between Jesus' Kingdom and Philo's Wisdom. But
          it seems to me that they more likely had in mind OT/Apocrypha ideas about
          Wisdom more than Philo's version of those ideas.

          >The third is that the real Jesus of history knew of,
          >and accepted, Philo's idea that the virtues/words of God can grow and
          >multiply in receptive human souls. The first hypothesis hasn't been
          >challenged in any serious sense.

          Then you don't recognize a serious challenge when you see it.

          > The second and third have been challanged, but no one has yet been able
          > to demonstrate that either one must be wrong or, ISTM, even demonstrated
          > that either one is weaker than any other rival hypothesis.

          I am sorry to point out that this is an oft-repeated tactic of many
          crackpots, and I am loath to see you in their company. That is, they
          propose some loony idea, and then assert that is the responsibility of the
          *others* to prove them wrong. This is putting the shoe on the wrong foot.
          It is *your* responsibility, not ours, to make the case that your theory is
          stronger than rival hypotheses. You typically do this not by taking any
          rival hypotheses seriously, but making claim after claim for your
          hypothesis, apparently in the hope that if you repeat it often enough,
          people will start thinking it might be true, and you won't have to take
          rival hypotheses seriously. You will get more traction for your ideas,
          IMHO, if you are able to show why we should consider rival hypotheses more
          flawed than your own.

          > Indeed, ISTM, no rival hypothesis has been put forward which
          >explains the over-all evidence as well as either one of these two
          >hypotheses.

          Loren wasn't exactly silent when he proposed that OT/Apocrypha influences
          account for the over-all evidence as well as, or better than, your
          hypotheses. Just because he did not go on at length like you have done does
          not mean that his hypothesis has less merit. And for the rest of us, don't
          confuse silence for agreement.


          >[Frank]
          > > >...Cumulative effect can be telling. As the number of Philonic ideas
          > to be
          > > >found in sayings attributed to Jesus in the gospels increases, the
          > > >probability that Philonic thought influenced at least some of these
          >sayings
          > > >increases....
          >
          >[Bob]
          > > But you are assuming what is to be proved. How do we really know that they
          > > are *Philonic* ideas? It does not follow equally that if enough ideas are
          > > *attributed* to Philonic thought, then does it really increase the
          > > probability that they actually were influenced by *Philonic* thought (and
          > > not by some common tradition)?
          >
          >[Frank]
          >I am assuming nothing. If an idea is present in Philonic thought, then it
          >is a Philonic idea. This is a no brainer.

          It is also not true. Suppose I write that I think democracy is a good
          thing. Does that mean that democracy is a Schacht idea? There is a big
          difference between an idea that crosses someone's mind, and an idea that is
          created by someone. The latter merits credit; the former scarcely matters.


          >Of course, unless a Philonic idea is unique to Philonic thought, then it
          >is also the idea of one or more other systems of thought as well. So, a
          >Philonic idea might also be an Essenic idea, a Sadducic idea, a Cynic
          >idea, etc..

          Precisely. And if that is the case, what is the point of calling it a
          Philonic idea?

          >The bottom line, while all Philonic ideas are found in Philonic thought,
          >almost all (if not all) Philonic ideas are also found outside of Philonic
          >thought and, therefore, the presence of a Philonic idea in a saying
          >attributed to Jesus is not necessarily the presence of Philonic thought in
          >that saying.

          This seems to contradict your claims made above.

          > Indeed, rather, it is highly probable that it came to Jesus
          >through another system of thought, e.g., Essenic thought.

          And indeed, if this is so, what is the point of calling it a Philonic
          thought rather than an Essenic thought?

          >Still, ISTM, as the number of Philonic ideas in saying attributed to Jesus
          >increases, the probability that we are dealing with a genuine influence of
          >Philonic thought on this saying increases. ...

          This is baloney, because you have just admitted above that "Philonic ideas"
          don't necessarily originate with Philo, and could have, and probably were,
          obtained from elsewhere. Therefore it reduces your claim to a deceptive
          triviality.

          Enough.

          The Anchor Bible Dictionary identifies about 3 areas of interest in NT
          discussions regarding Philo:
          * Influence on the Logos of John;
          * Influence on Hebrews;
          * Influence on exegetical methods.
          It might be more interesting for you to discuss how Philo's exegetical
          methods influenced, say, the exegetical style of GMatthew.

          Bob


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        • Walter Mattfeld
          I have found the recent discussions on Philonic thought quite fascinating as I have an article positing the presence of Greek thought and concepts in the New
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 5, 2002
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            I have found the recent discussions on Philonic thought quite fascinating as
            I have an article positing the presence of Greek thought and concepts in the
            New Testament which appears to me, to be non-Hebraic (not found in the OT).
            Those with an interest in this subject may access the following url
            http://www.bibleorigins.net/Presuppositions.html

            All the best, Walter

            Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
            Walldorf by Heidelberg
            Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany
            www.bibleorigins.net


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
            To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2002 4:42 AM
            Subject: Re: [XTalk] Philonic influence?
          • FMMCCOY
            ... From: Bob Schacht To: Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2002 9:42 PM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Philonic
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 6, 2002
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
              To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2002 9:42 PM
              Subject: Re: [XTalk] Philonic influence?

              > [Frank]
              > >...Finally, I would like to point out that, on past posts to X-talk, I
              > >have made at least three very specific hypotheses regarding the possible
              > >influence of Philonic thought on Jesus. One is that the real Jesus of
              > >history believed himself to be Philo's Logos incarnate in the flesh.
              >
              [Bob]
              > It is easier to see that the author of GJohn considered this to be so,
              than
              > it is to demonstrate that Jesus himself believed it. There is much more
              > evidence for the former than for the latter. If what you say is true, why
              > was this remarkable fact passed over in silence by Mark, Matthew and Luke?
              > Or have I failed to remember some analysis of yours that claimed that
              > Jesus/Logos Christology is also evident in the other Gospels?

              [Frank]
              I have made posts outlining evidence that Mark's Jesus is Philo's Logos
              incarnate in the flesh as the Essenes' Branch of David (e.g., see the posts
              of 7-25, 7-31, 8-2, and 8-5). In my last post to Loren, I point out
              evidence that Jesus is Philo's Logos in the parable of the wise and foolish
              virgins (from Matthew). I have pointed out in past posts that there is
              evidence of a Logos christology in parts of Luke's infancy narrative.

              As respects the Q tradition there is evidence of a Logos Christology in Luke
              10:22-24, "And, having turned to his disciples, he said, 'All things were
              delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows who is the Son except the
              father, and who is the Father except the Son and he to whomsever may will
              the Son to reveal (Him). And, having turned apart to his disciples, he
              said, 'Blessed (are) the eyes that see what you see. For, I say to you,
              many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and saw not, and to
              hear what you hear, and heard not.'"

              In his essay, Fuga (108-11), Philo declares that the Logos has God as his
              Father and rules the Cosmos as God's Viceroy. Hence, Jesus, by calling
              himself the Son of Father and by declaring that "all things were delivered
              to me by my Father", gives himself attributes that are also attributes of
              Philo's Logos.

              In Jesus' statement, "And no one knows who is the Son except the Father,
              and who is the Father except the Son", he might be speaking as the
              Logos--who has a uniquely intimate association with God. So, in Fuga (101),
              Philo declares, the Logos "is placed nearest, with no intervening
              distance, to the alone truly Existent One."

              In his statement, "And no one knows...who is the Father except the Son and
              he to whomsoever He may will the Son to reveal (Him)", he might be speaking
              as the Logos: who acts as the divine intermediary between man and God. So,
              in Heres (205-206), Philo states, "This same Logos both pleads with the
              immortal as suppliant for afflicted mortality and acts as ambassador of the
              ruler to the subject. He glories in this prerogative and proudly dscribes
              it in these words 'I stood between the Lord and you' (Deut. v. 5)..".

              In his statement, "For, I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see
              what you see, and saw not, and to hear what you hear, and heard not", he
              might be speaking as the Logos. If so, then he is referring to the fact
              that the Logos, being the Word of God, personifies the speech of God and,
              therefore, speaks the words of God. In this case, it is a statement that
              his disciples, unlike all those before them, both see the Word of God as
              personified in His Logos and hear this Word of God as uttered in its purest
              form by this Logos.

              (Note: Two of the above three quotes from Philo come from Fuga 101 and Fuga
              108-11. It is noteworthy that, as I point out in a post (i.e., "John
              2:1-4:54") of Dec. 19, there is evidence that the author of John had read
              Fuga 77-114)

              There also are, I would like to point out, some passages in GTh which might
              have a Logos Christology.

              For example, in GTh 77, Jesus says, "It is I who am the light which is above
              them all. It is I who am the All. From Me did the All come forth, and unto
              Me did the All extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the
              stone, and you will find me there."

              When this saying is interpreted in terms of Philo's teaching, Jesus
              speaks as Philo's Logos.

              For example, let us take the first sentence, "It is I who am the light
              which is above them all." Similarly, the Logos is a light which is above
              them all. So, in Som i, 75, Philo states, "For the model or pattern (of the
              visible light) was the Logos, which contained all His Fullness--light, in
              fact."

              Again, let us take the second sentence, "It is I who am the All." Here,
              Jesus might speak as the Logos: the Image of God, who is the
              incorporeal All beheld by the mind, of which the corporeal All beheld by
              sense-perception is a copy. So, in Op. 25, Philo declares, "The whole
              creation, this entire world perceived by our senses (seeing that it is
              greater than any human image) is a copy of the
              Divine Image. It is manifest that the archetypal seal also which we aver to
              be the world descried by the mind, would be the very Logos of God."

              Too, let us look at the first part of the third sentence, "From Me did
              the All come forth." Similarly, it is from the Logos that the corporeal All
              came forth. So, in Sacr. 8, Philo speaks about "that Logos by which also
              the whole universe was formed."

              Also, let us look at the close to this saying, "And unto Me did the All
              extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you
              will find me there." Similarly, the Logos extends himself throughout the
              corporeal All and all its parts. Thus, in Plant. 9, Philo states, "The
              evelasting Logos of the eternal God is the very sure and staunch prop of the
              Whole. He it is, who extending himself from the midst to its utmost bounds
              and from its extremities to the midst again, keeps up though all its length
              Nature's unvanquished course, combining and compacting all its parts. For
              the Father Who begat Him constituted His Logos such a Bond of the Universe
              as none can break."

              The bottom line: Evidence of a Logos Christology can be found in all the
              canonical gospel traditions and in the Thomas tradition as well. Thats a
              lot of smoke spread through a goodly number of what might be independent
              gospel traditions, so there's the possiblity, ISTM, of a fire, i.e., of an
              underlying reality that the real Jesus did claim to be Philo's Logos
              incarnate on earth.

              > >[Bob]
              > > > But you are assuming what is to be proved. How do we really know that
              they
              > > > are *Philonic* ideas? It does not follow equally that if enough ideas
              are
              > > > *attributed* to Philonic thought, then does it really increase the
              > > > probability that they actually were influenced by *Philonic* thought
              (and
              > > > not by some common tradition)?
              > >

              > >[Frank]
              > >I am assuming nothing. If an idea is present in Philonic thought, then
              it
              > >is a Philonic idea. This is a no brainer.
              >
              [Bob]
              > It is also not true. Suppose I write that I think democracy is a good
              > thing. Does that mean that democracy is a Schacht idea? There is a big
              > difference between an idea that crosses someone's mind, and an idea that
              is
              > created by someone. The latter merits credit; the former scarcely matters.

              [Frank]
              .It's now clear to me that the term "Philonic idea" is ambigous, since you
              and I have differing conceptualizations as to its meaning.

              Because the term "Philonic idea" is ambiguous I should not have used it in
              past posts and I apologize to you and to the other X-talk listers for having
              done so. In future posts, I will try to avoid this term and will try to
              only speak of ideas held by Philo. Feel free to jump all over me if, in a
              future post, I forget this and fall back on old ways!

              Frank McCoy
              1809 N. English Apt. 17
              Maplewood, MN USA 55109
            • Bob Schacht
              ... Frank, I apologize for not remembering that you had addressed these issues. It was careless of me not to check. ... Thanks for your clarification! I think
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 6, 2002
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                At 06:48 PM 1/6/2002 -0600, Frank McCoy wrote:

                >----- Original Message -----
                >From: "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
                >To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                >Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2002 9:42 PM
                >Subject: Re: [XTalk] Philonic influence?
                >
                >
                >[Bob]
                > > It is easier to see that the author of GJohn considered this to be so, than
                > > it is to demonstrate that Jesus himself believed it. There is much more
                > > evidence for the former than for the latter. If what you say is true, why
                > > was this remarkable fact passed over in silence by Mark, Matthew and Luke?
                > > Or have I failed to remember some analysis of yours that claimed that
                > > Jesus/Logos Christology is also evident in the other Gospels?
                >
                >[Frank]
                >I have made posts outlining evidence that Mark's Jesus is Philo's Logos
                >incarnate in the flesh as the Essenes' Branch of David (e.g., see the posts
                >of 7-25, 7-31, 8-2, and 8-5). In my last post to Loren, I point out
                >evidence that Jesus is Philo's Logos in the parable of the wise and foolish
                >virgins (from Matthew). I have pointed out in past posts that there is
                >evidence of a Logos christology in parts of Luke's infancy narrative....
                >The bottom line: Evidence of a Logos Christology can be found in all the
                >canonical gospel traditions and in the Thomas tradition as well. Thats a
                >lot of smoke spread through a goodly number of what might be independent
                >gospel traditions, so there's the possiblity, ISTM, of a fire, i.e., of an
                >underlying reality that the real Jesus did claim to be Philo's Logos
                >incarnate on earth.

                Frank,
                I apologize for not remembering that you had addressed these issues. It was
                careless of me not to check.


                > > >[Bob]
                > > > > But you are assuming what is to be proved. How do we really know
                > that they
                > > > > are *Philonic* ideas? It does not follow equally that if enough
                > ideas are
                > > > > *attributed* to Philonic thought, then does it really increase the
                > > > > probability that they actually were influenced by *Philonic*
                > thought (and
                > > > > not by some common tradition)?
                > > >
                >
                > > >[Frank]
                > > >I am assuming nothing. If an idea is present in Philonic thought, then it
                > > >is a Philonic idea. This is a no brainer.
                > >
                >[Bob]
                > > It is also not true. Suppose I write that I think democracy is a good
                > > thing. Does that mean that democracy is a Schacht idea? There is a big
                > > difference between an idea that crosses someone's mind, and an idea that is
                > > created by someone. The latter merits credit; the former scarcely matters.
                >
                >[Frank]
                >It's now clear to me that the term "Philonic idea" is ambigous, since you
                >and I have differing conceptualizations as to its meaning.
                >
                >Because the term "Philonic idea" is ambiguous I should not have used it in
                >past posts and I apologize to you and to the other X-talk listers for having
                >done so. In future posts, I will try to avoid this term and will try to
                >only speak of ideas held by Philo. Feel free to jump all over me if, in a
                >future post, I forget this and fall back on old ways!

                Thanks for your clarification! I think we understand each other better now.

                I would also like to take this opportunity to clarify what I meant when I wrote

                >I am sorry to point out that this is an oft-repeated tactic of
                >many crackpots, and I am loath to see you in their company. That is, they
                >propose some loony idea, and then assert that is the responsibility of
                >the *others* to prove them wrong. This is putting the shoe on the wrong
                >foot. It is *your* responsibility, not ours, to make the case that your
                >theory is stronger than rival hypotheses.

                I very much regret the tone of this statement. I did not mean to imply
                guilt by association, or that your ideas are "loony," or that you are some
                kind of crackpot. I meant only to draw attention to the tactic of claiming
                that a theory is to be assumed true until proven false, so that the "burden
                of proof," so to speak, falls not on the proposer of the theory, but on the
                proposer's audience (to disprove the claim). I appreciate the patience with
                which you marshall data in favor of your theories, even if I am reluctant
                to come to the same conclusions. And by our recent exchanges, I can see
                that you do not really appear to be claiming what I thought you were
                claiming, and appreciate your taking the time to set me straight. So
                perhaps our understanding is not as far apart as I had thought.

                Thanks,
                Bob


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