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[XTalk] Examining the Cross Gospel

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  • Antonio Jerez
    I would like to applaud Brian Trafford for what I see as an excellent rebuttal of the Cross gospel hypothesis. This is what X-talk is all about at its best.
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 2, 2002
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      I would like to applaud Brian Trafford for what I see as an excellent
      rebuttal of the Cross gospel hypothesis. This is what X-talk is all about
      at its best.
      I've always thought that Crossan's speculations about Jesus rotting on a
      cross is ridiculous. Although I don't believe for a moment in a resurrection
      I think the spread of Christianity after the crucifixion would be totally unexplainable
      if Jesus body had not been recovered, buried and then in some way dissappeared.
      From a psychological and theological viewpoint (firstcentury Jwish notions about
      resurrection) the Jesus movement could never have taken off if their leader had
      been widely known to have been left rotting on a cross.

      Best wishes


      Antonio Jerez



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • lisoa1
      I agree with most of what you say, The question of the disappearing of the body is the most difficult. If the disciples were in some way responsible for the
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 3, 2002
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        I agree with most of what you say, The question of the disappearing of the
        body is the most difficult. If the disciples were in some way responsible
        for the body "disappearing" then we have to assume that they were living
        (and dying ) a lie. I am not for one moment proposong that therfor we have
        to believe in the resurection, like you I have questions on that matter,
        however something happend that made the disciples, who would not have been
        predisposed to a ressurection idea, and who were probabley on the verge of
        giving up and returning to Galilee, suddenly start preaching of a
        ressurection and carrying on. I think some work needs to be done to examine
        this phenomena

        Alistair Marshall
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Antonio Jerez <antonio.jerez@...>
        To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 11:40 PM
        Subject: [XTalk] Examining the Cross Gospel


        > I would like to applaud Brian Trafford for what I see as an excellent
        > rebuttal of the Cross gospel hypothesis. This is what X-talk is all about
        > at its best.
        > I've always thought that Crossan's speculations about Jesus rotting on a
        > cross is ridiculous. Although I don't believe for a moment in a
        resurrection
        > I think the spread of Christianity after the crucifixion would be totally
        unexplainable
        > if Jesus body had not been recovered, buried and then in some way
        dissappeared.
        > >From a psychological and theological viewpoint (firstcentury Jwish
        notions about
        > resurrection) the Jesus movement could never have taken off if their
        leader had
        > been widely known to have been left rotting on a cross.
        >
        > Best wishes
        >
        >
        > Antonio Jerez
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
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      • William Arnal
        ... Why not? ... We don t know at all that this is actually what happened. We ASSUME it. Bill ___________________________ William Arnal Department of Religion
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 3, 2002
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          Alistair Marshall writes:

          >however something happend that made the disciples, who would not have >been
          >predisposed to a ressurection idea,

          Why not?

          >giving up and returning to Galilee, suddenly start preaching of a
          >ressurection and carrying on.

          We don't know at all that this is actually what happened. We ASSUME it.

          Bill
          ___________________________
          William Arnal
          Department of Religion
          University of Manitoba

          "Well, I can see I'm not in Paris"
          -- Ernest Hemingway, on landing in Winnipeg



          _________________________________________________________________
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        • Ted Weeden
          ... Brian, before I begin to respond to your point here, let me state that due to the length of your post-reply to my thesis and my desire to respond
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 4, 2002
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            Brian Trafford wrote on Saturday, February 2, 2002:

            > 1) To quote from the chief proponent of the CG theory, "I take it for
            > granted that early Christianity knew nothing about the passion beyond
            > the fact itself." (J. D. Crossan, _The Historical Jesus_, [New York:
            > HarperCollins, 1992], pg. 387). Ted accepts this statement without
            > qualification in his own post, so in this essay I will take Crossan's
            > supporting arguments to be his as well.

            Brian, before I begin to respond to your point here, let me state that due to
            the
            length of your post-reply to my thesis and my desire to respond thoughtfully and
            as comprehensively as I can and keep my response within reason for a post, I
            have not responded to every issue you raise about my thesis and Crossan's CG
            theory. Some of your points I will respond to in future posts. But for now I
            proceed with the following.

            With respect to the Crossan quote above and my acceptance of it as a statement
            of my own position let me note that I am not alone. See also my reference to
            Helmut Koester and the Fellows of the Jesus Seminar in my XTalk response
            (2/02/02) to Bob Schacht and see also my response to him forthcoming about
            whether the followers of Jesus would likely have known more than the "*dass*" of
            Jesus' crucifixion, a response to Bob's further probing of the issue.

            > 2) Within the Gospel of Peter, an earlier clear strata is
            > discernable, and can be identified as belonging to the mid-1st
            > Century (c. 50 CE), as opposed to the obvious 2nd Century CE dating
            > of GPeter itself. .

            Crossan dates CG in the early 40's (see e.g., _The Birth of Christianity_, 511)

            [Much text snipped]

            > Yet any careful reading of the PN
            > in GMark, GJohn and GPeter will show us far more parallels between
            > the first two, than between either of them and the latter.

            The issue in my thesis is not whether there are parallels between Mark and John,
            nor whether those parallels correspond more closely to each other than to
            the Gospel of Peter. The issue for me in the thesis I am proposing is the
            issue of whether there is significant evidence of narrative, motif and
            ideational connection between Mark and one continuous, coherent story in the
            Gospel of Peter, the story of the guard at the sepulcher (Pt. 8:28-33; 9:34-37;
            10:38-42; 11:43-11:49 (CG, according to Crossan, as I noted in my essay, did not
            contain Pt. 11:43-44), to suggest that Mark used it to compose his empty-tomb
            story. It is a story which Crossan argues is a part of CG, and which Raymond
            Brown (_Death of a Messiah_, 1287, 13075f., 1307), Frans Neirynck, ("The
            Historical Jesus Reflections on an Inventory," _ETL_, 70:229), and the Fellows
            of the Jesus Seminar (vote: pink; see "The Jesus Seminar Voting Records: Passion
            Narrative," in _Forum_, 1, 1 (1998), 232 and the papers by Crossan ["The Gospel
            of Peter & the Canonical Gospels, _Forum_, 7-51] and Arthur J. Dewey ["The
            Passion Narrative of the Gospel of Peter, _Forum_, 53-70] which served as the
            basis), all agree is a story that emerged in the Christian tradition independent
            of the tradition behind the canonical Gospels and the canonical Gospels
            themselves. That story is the primary text that I am concerned with at this
            point for purposes of my thesis, though I did refer to CG 6:21 as containing an
            early tradition, found also in Acts 13:29 and, I add here, with overtones of
            that tradition also reverberating in Jn. 19:31 (so also: Hans Grass,
            _Ostergeschehen und Osterberichte_, 179-183), tradition that held that Jesus's
            body was taken down from the cross by those who pursued his crucifixion (see
            Crossan's CG 2:5) and that his body was then buried, contrary to the canonical
            tradition, by Jesus' enemies.

            > Given Crossan's highly implausible reasons for rejecting
            > of the evidence available to us, plus the fact that the belief that
            > Jesus' was buried in a tomb is in no way an extraordinary claim in
            > need of extraordinary evidence, one is left to wonder why we must
            > reject *all* of the evidence that tells us that Jesus *was* buried in
            > a tomb, and accept, instead, the 20th Century hypothesis that he was
            > left to rot on the cross instead. In other words, what we have is a
            > set of evidence, as found in the Gospels (including Crossan's
            > hypothetical CG), in which there is unanimous agreement that Jesus
            > was buried in a tomb by Joseph (of Ariamathea). Against this we
            > have an hypothesis that suggests that he was left on the cross,
            > contravening all known Jewish burial laws, as well as the one piece
            > of hard historical evidence on the burial of another early 1st
            > Century CE Jew, and for which we have no supporting evidence at all
            > beyond the hypothesis itself.

            I will address your response here when I submit my position on the burial story
            as the last part of my thesis.
            [snip]

            > The first reason to reject early dating is the extremely high
            > Christology found in the text (itself indicative of a late dating),
            > including the extracted portions Crossan identifies as the CG. Again
            > I will rely upon Brown to help make this point clearly:
            >
            > "The personal name of Jesus is never used, nor even `Christ.' `Lord'
            > is the most consistent designation (14 times); also `Son of God' (4
            > times). Those who scourge Jesus refer to him as the Son of God
            > (3:9); a co-crucified wrongdoer recognizes that he is the "Savior of
            > men' (4:13); all the Jewish people recognize how just he was (8:28);
            > Roman soldiers and Jewish elders who were trying to safeguard the
            > tomb have to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God (10:38, 11:45),
            > as does Pilate (11:46). The divine power is so inherent in Jesus
            > that when his dead body touches the earth it quakes (6:21); and his
            > raised body stretches from earth to above the heavens, outdistancing
            > the angels (10:40)."
            > (Ibid. pg. 1338-9)
            >
            > In looking at this list, we can find no evidence of any other 1st
            > Century Christian text that never refers to Jesus by name, and only
            > by title of "Lord" alone.

            Have you considered the Didache, a first century text that is independent of all
            of the canonical Gospels and may well predate them all (see below on this),
            where the name of Jesus appears only five times ("Jesus, your child" = 9:2, 3;
            10:2, 3=your child; and "Jesus Christ"= 9:4), all in Eucharistic prayers? But
            the most common way of speaking of Jesus in the Didache is with the title
            "Lord," by itself, on fifteen occasions (1:1; 9:5: 10:5, 6; 11:2, 5, 8; 12:1;
            14:1; 15:1; 16:2; 16:7), and possibly eighteen occasions if the title "Lord" in
            4:12,13 and 6:2 is intended as a title for Jesus and not God. Moreover, the
            title "Christ" is only used twice, once by itself (12:5) and once in combination
            with "Jesus" in the doxology at the conclusion of the Eucharistic prayer in
            chapter 9 (9:5).

            [snip]

            > Son of God' is more common, but not in the Gospel of Mark (where its
            > inclusion in Mark 1:1 is often seen as a later scribal interpolation
            > or redaction), where it is used only once (3:11) indisputably, and
            > then, certainly never in the PN. Since Ted wishes to argue only for
            > Marcan dependence, this double omission (of the use of the
            > title "Lord" or "Son of God" is telling (Lord is used only in 16:19-
            > 20, which is universally recognized as later interpolations to the
            > original Gmark).

            With reference to your contention that the title "Lord," as applied to Jesus, is
            an omission in Mark: how, Brian, do you explain the occurrence of
            "Lord" as a title which Jesus uses twice with reference to himself in Mk. 5:19;
            11:13, a title which Mark applies to Jesus in his use of Isa. 40:3 in Mk. 1:2,
            a title used for Jesus in the context of the christological dispute as to
            whether Jesus should be titled "Son of David" (12:36f.)," as well as possible
            uses, or inferences, of the title "Lord" being applied to Jesus in the
            Syrophoenician woman's address to him (7:28; KURIOS here could just mean "sir")
            and or perhaps ascribed to Jesus in his saying about the Sabbath (2:28)?

            With respect to your contention that the title "Son of God" is not a title Mark
            is interested in applying to Jesus, how then do you explain Mk. 15:39,
            namely, KENTRURIWN . . . EIPEN: ALHQWS OUTOS hO ANQRWPOS hUIOS QEOU HN
            ("the centurion . . . said, 'Truly this man was the Son of God.'"), the
            christological climax to Mark's Gospel?

            [snip]

            > Another argument for later 2nd Century dating is the term "the Lord's
            > Day" (12:50), an expression found no where else in 1st Century
            > documents (unless one accepts Revelation/The Apocalypse of John as
            > 1st Century, and here it is used only once, in 1:10), but extremely
            > common in the 2nd and later when Christians had finally broken with
            > all Jewish traditions regarding the Sabbath. Parallels to 2nd
            > Century documents are too numerous to list here, but are easily
            > found. In fact, the expression used in 1st Century documents is
            > simply the "first day of the week" (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2),
            > and even then only Acts uses it in the context of it being a day for
            > Christians to gather together in fellowship and to break bread, and
            > not specifically in observance of a new Sabbath day.

            If "the term "the Lord's Day" is "an expression found nowhere else in 1st
            Century documents," how do you explain Didache 14:1, namely, "On every Lord's
            Day--- his special day--- come together and break bread and give thanks. . . .?"
            See below on the dating of The Didache.

            > Finally, we have evidence within GPeter that the author has no real
            > knowledge of 1st Century Judaism, the OT Scriptures, including the
            > LXX [snip}

            Brian, I have difficulty understanding how you can say that the Gospel of Peter
            has no real knowledge of "the OT Scriptures, including the LXX, when Crossan
            (|The Gospel That Spoke_, 115-159) has demonstrated to the contrary. And are
            you of Helmut Koester's (_Ancient Christian Gospels_, 220-230) exploration of
            the Gospel of Peter's use of the LXX? Koester, independent of Crossan, also
            persuasively shows that Peter drew upon a tradition that did use the LXX, a
            tradition that is markedly different from that found in the canonical Gospels.

            For example (see Koester, 221-227), Peter uses Dt. 21:6-7 in its handwashing
            scene (1:1), but not "the mockery of prayer" based upon Dt, 21:8. Furthermore,
            Peter uses Susanna 46 (Theodotion: KAQAROS EGW APO TOU hAIMATOS TAUTHS)
            for Pilate's declaration of innocence in 11:46 (EGW KATQAREUW TOU hAIMATOS
            TOU hUIOU TOU QEOU), whereas, by contrast, Matthew uses LXX Ps. 25:5-6 for
            Pilate's handwashing and declaration of innocence. Peter (3:6-9) uses Isa.
            50:6 and Zech 12:10 and the scapegoat ritual, similar to the Epistle of Barnabas
            (7:7-11). In doing so the Gospel of Peters evidences a closer following of the
            exegetical elements of the scapegoat tradition than do the canonical Gospels
            (Koester, 227).

            To cite another example, the Gospel of Peter (5:16) uses LXX Ps. 68:22 to depict
            the offering of the mixed drink of gall and vinegar to Jesus. In this he
            follows again a tradition that is also found in the Epistle of Barnabas
            (Barnabas 7:3a, 5a;). But of the canonicals, only Mark and Matthew cite a
            mixed drink offered to Jesus and neither follows LXX Ps 68:21 exactly in
            depicting the nature of drink. Mark (15:23) describes the mixed drink as wine
            and myrrh, and Matthew (27:34) describes it as a mixture of wine and gall (LXX
            Ps. 68:21). All of the canonicals cite another offer of a drink to Jesus,
            vinegar (LXX 68:22)alone (Mk. 15:36/Mt. 27:48/Lk. 23:36/ Jn. 19:29-30).

            It is clear from these examples that the Gospel of Peter knows and uses the LXX
            and other Jewish writings and traditions available in the first century CE, as
            well
            as drawing upon a very early exegetical tradition which used LXX texts and
            other texts to interpret and describe the passion of Jesus, a very early
            exegetical tradition which is also found in the Epistle of Barnabas (see
            below).

            [snip]

            > "The third major change made by Mark was a better `historization' of
            > the Cross Gospel's account. Herod Antipas is removed completely from
            > the story, and Pontius Pilate is now in full charge. And soldiers,
            > not people conduct the crucifixion. PILATE MUST BE IN CHARGE, SINCE
            > NOTHING ELSE IS HISOTICALLY PLAUSIBLE." (emphasis mine)
            > (J. D. Crossan, _The Historical Jesus_, pg. 390).
            >
            > As for why Mark *had* to make this change to remain historically
            > plausible in the 70's, but the author of the CG, supposedly written
            > in the 50's, is not bothered by this *exact* historical
            > implausibility (especially as Crossan would have us believe that both
            > authors are just making the entire thing up as they go), Crossan
            > never really explains. [snip]

            Have you read Crossan's proposal for the *Sitz im Leben* of the 40's that he
            believes generated CG (_Birth,_504-511)? I am now inclined to see it
            differently, but I will present that at another time.
            [snip]

            > As for it being authored later than Canonical Mark, we can safely say
            > that this is certain. Thus, Crossan's second premise, like the first,
            > fails completely.

            You are ready to conclude that without considering the other parts of my thesis
            which suggest the opposite?

            [snip]

            > ...one would expect to see at
            > least some agreements in vocabulary and word order between the
            > Canonicals and GPeter. In the case of Mark, we have nothing.

            I will suggest something, if you will be open to considering the parts of my
            thesis I have not as yet shared. The argument for my thesis is a cumulative
            argument.

            [snip]

            > Next, on a purely textual level, Crossan wishes to argue that GPeter
            > 2:3 is a part of the latest stage in that gospel's composition, yet
            > this exact passage is found in Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2949! One is left
            > to wonder how far a speculation is allowed to run before some
            > expectation of actual supporting evidence is demanded. (See
            > Crossan's _The Historical Jesus_ pg. 385-7 for an outline of the CG
            > found within GPeter. He lists 1:1-2, 2:5b-6:22, 7:25, 8:28-10:42,
            > 11:45-49 as the original CG).

            Crossan does not say in _HJ_ that the verses you cite are "an *outline* of the
            CG," rather he says that CG can be found in the Gospel of Peter. What he
            states is that CG can be found within those verses of GPet. I make this rather
            subtle distinction to make clear what part of GPet. Crossan attributes to CG.
            For Crossan does not consider GPet. 11:43-44 to be a part of CG. He considers
            it to be a secondary redactional insertion (see his _Spoke_, 21, 24-25, 291,
            394). The rest of the passages you cite he does consider to be CG. For the
            complete text of Crossan's CG see his _Spoke_, 409-412, and _Who Killed
            Jesus_, 224-227 .

            [snip]

            > I owe thanks to J. P. Meier's detailed examination of the
            > single instance where GPeter and a Canonical Gospel *do* agree in
            > vocabulary and word order, namely Matthew 27:64 and GPeter 8:30 (note
            > that this is a part of Crossan's Cross Gospel as well). In my view
            > Meier shows conclusively how the former almost certainly was
            > dependent upon the latter. (I offer this on the basis of general
            > agreement that Matt follows Mark, and therefore and indication of
            > dependence of the CG on Matt would settle the question of which came
            > first).
            >
            > "When it comes to who is dependent on whom (for this passage), all
            > the signs point to Matthew's priority. `His disciples' (referring to
            > Jesus' disciples) is a common phrase in Matthew, and of course the
            > word `disciple' itself is extremely common in Matthew (73x, more than
            > any other NT book). In contrast, the word `disciple' never occurs
            > elsewhere in Crossan's Cross Gospel. Similarly, the verb `to steal'
            > (klepto) occurs four other times in Matthew, but nowhere else in the
            > Gospel of Peter. Also, the conjunction `lest' (mepote) occurs seven
            > other times in Matthew; it occurs once again in Gospel of Peter 15,
            > but in a somewhat different construction (object clause of a verb of
            > fearing). The use of the participle `coming' (elthontes) as an
            > accompaniment to a principle verb of action occurs twenty-seven times
            > elsewhere in Matthew, but nowhere else in the Gospel of Peter. IN
            > SHORT, THE CLAUSE IS A TISSUE OF MATTHEAN VOCABULARY AND STYLE, A
            > VOCABULARY AND STYLE ALMOST TOTALLY ABSENT FROM THE REST OF THE
            > GOSPEL OF PETER." (emphasis mine)
            > (J. P. Meier, _A Marginal Jew_, Vol. 1, [New York: Doubleday, 1991]
            > pg. 117)
            >
            > Of course, one must also remember that Meier is talking about a
            > possible example of dependence between Matt and GPeter that is not
            > found in Mark. Thus, even IF Meier could be proven wrong here, it
            > would not strengthen the case for Marcan dependence on the CG. As it
            > is, since the case for dependence of this part of the CG on Matthew
            > is clearly demonstrated, then this serves as one more nail in the
            > coffin for the foundation to Crossan's entire thesis.

            First of all, over against Meier, on the-guard-at-the-sepulcher story, I
            cite Raymond Brown's analysis of its independent origin from part two of my
            thesis: "[T]he author of _G Pet_ drew not only on Matt but on an independent
            form of the guard-at-the-sepulcher story, and in the _G Pet_ 8:28-11:49 the
            basic story is still found consecutively (even if the details are modified by
            later developments). Matt, however, divided up the guard story to constitute
            [in Matthew's schema of five episodes (27:57-28:20) paralleling the five
            episode-schema of his infancy narrative] the second episode (27:62-66 before the
            resurrection) and the fourth episode (28:11-15 after the resurrection) in the
            burial-resurrection narrative" (1287; see also 13075f.). And then Brown
            observes once more, and more fully (1307):

            "[W]hen one compares the Matthean account of the guard at the sepulcher
            [27:62-66; 28:2-4, 11-15] that is some ten verses in length with the
            twenty-two-verse account in _GPet_ (over one-third the length of the total _G
            Pet_ PN!), one notices that no other part of the _GPet_ passion or resurrection
            account has been expanded so extensively by comparison with a corresponding
            canonical scene. Therefore, on the presumption that the author of _GPet_ acted
            with some consistency, we have the right to suspect that here he had a source
            besides Matt, namely, a more developed account of the guard at the sepulcher.
            (That point is also supported by the consecutiveness of the story in _GPet._)
            The supplying of the centurion's name, the seven seals, the stone rolling off by
            itself, the account of the resurrection with the gigantic figures, the talking
            cross, the confession of Jesus as God's Son by the Jewish authorities, and their
            fear of their own people-w all those elements could plausibly have been in the
            more developed form of the story known to the author of _GPet_ and absent from
            the form known to Matt."

            Not only do I find Brown, no friend of Crossan's CG, has offered a more
            compelling explanation of the relationship of G Pet. 8:28-11:49 to Mt.
            27:62-66; 28:2-4, 11-15, but I also find that Meier has jumped too quickly to
            judgment with regard to his view that G Pet. 8:28-11:49 is dependent on Mt.
            27:62-66; 28:2-4, 11-15 and has not sufficiently given all the evidence its full
            day in court. You may recall that on page 117 of Meier's _A Marginal Jew_, I,
            that he cites endnote # 27 at the conclusion of the first paragraph following a
            comment on Crossan's CG. Here is the text of that endnote (p. 146f.):

            "Koester (_Ancient Christian Gospels_, 220-40) takes a somewhat different
            approach. When examples of Matthean redactional reworking of Mark seem likely
            in the _Gospel of Peter_ (e.g., Pilate's washing of his hands during the trial),
            Koester takes the view that both Matthew and the _Gospel of Peter_ represent
            independent expressions of the same exegetical tradition that expanded the core
            narrative of Jesus' death by reflecting on various OT texts. When this type of
            explanation has to be employed repeatedly to save us from the embarrassment that
            the _Gospel of Peter_ echoes redactional passages from the canonical Gospels,
            credulity is strained to the breaking point. Koester's position is weakened by
            a convoluted theory of the tradition-history of OT allusions that relies heavily
            on the _Epistle of Barnabas_. The latest possible date of _Barnabas is still
            disputed among scholars and makes its use for writing the prehistory of the
            Passion Narratives questionable."

            Now quite frankly I have problems with Meier's summary dismissal of Koester
            position without engaging what I have shown above to be rather compelling
            evidence that the Gospel of Peter, in a narrative section other than the
            guard-at-the-sepulcher story, which is my primary focus of attention, does draw
            upon a tradition independent of anything found in the canonical Gospel
            tradition. Furthermore, I do not find Koester engaged in an effort "to save
            us from . . . embarrassment." But even more disturbing to me is the way he
            dismisses Koester's argument as "a convoluted theory" when Koester shows
            parallels existing between the Gospel of Peter and the Epistle of Barnabas
            which indicate to him that both were drawing upon the same tradition, and then
            Meier refers to Quasten's _Patrology_, I: 90-91 against Koester with
            respect to the date of the Epistle to Barnabas. When those pages in Quasten
            are consulted, Quasten does not make an airtight case for Meier's repudiation
            of Koester's theory. In fact Quasten could be considered a witness in
            defense of Koester's theory. Let me explain.

            In wrestling with the issue of a likely *terminus post quem* for the composition
            of Barnabas, Quasten (90f.,), as Meier correctly observes, notes that the date
            for Barnabas is much in dispute. Quasten believes "that the work originated . .
            . [in] the last year of Hadrian's reign (138)." A late date such as that, I
            would agree, might suggest that "Koester theory is weakened" by his reliance on
            Barnabas if that epistle is dated as late as 138 CE. But then Quasten goes on
            to state the following (91):

            "The exposition [in the Epistle of Barnabas] of the Two Ways, that of good and
            that of evil, was drawn from the same source as the Didache. Nevertheless *we
            can be certain* [emphasis: mine] that the author did not use the Didache.. The
            analysis of Barnabas' Epistle leads to the conclusion that he had at his
            disposal not only *this common source* [emphasis: mine] and the Sacred
            Scriptures but also others that cannot now be identified."

            That important statement, namely, that Barnabas shared a common source with the
            Didache places an entirely different light on Koester's theory. For it
            suggests that in the case of the common source shared by Barnabas and the
            Didache, that that source not only antedates Barnabas (138 CE), per Quasten, but
            also the Didache. . Crossan in his _Birth_ (383-387) brings us up to date with
            respect to the conclusions now being drawn by Didache scholars about the
            relationship of the Didache to the canonical Gospel tradition and the likely
            time when the Didache was composed. With respect to dependency, the Didache,
            according to these scholars, is completely independent of the canonical
            tradition, but it is dependent upon an early Christian tradition or traditions.
            With respect to date, the time of the composition of the Didache is proposed by
            one respected Didache scholar, Jean-Paul Audet, as between 50 and 70 CE.

            The fact that a consensus is beginning to form among Didache scholars that the
            Didache is completely independent of the Synoptic tradition and John, the
            likelihood that the Didache was composed between the 50's and 70's, the fact
            that the Didache contains a tradition, which, according to Quasten is also found
            in Epistle of Barnabas, suggest that Koester's theory may not be as weak and
            convoluted as Meier declares. While it is true that Quasten speaks of the
            tradition about the Two Ways in its respective variations in both Barnabas and
            the Didache, Quasten also noted that there are other unidentified sources. All
            of that opens the door to a certain plausibility that Koester and Crossan's
            position may in fact be right. The tradition found in the Gospel of Peter, which
            has exegetical and LXX textual similarity to Barnabas, may in fact not only be
            independent of the canonical Gospels but antedate their composition. Moreover,
            I have already, drawing upon Crossan, suggested that to be the case with respect
            to the Gospel of Peter presenting, via 6:21 and 8:28-33, an early Christian
            tradition, reflected in Acts 13:29, that initially described Jesus' burial to
            have been accomplished by his enemies, a view that was later altered by the
            canonical Gospels to Jesus' burial by his "friends." Note also the
            correspondence I have drawn above between the christological titles ("Lord" and
            "Son of God,") in CG and the Didache. The "age" of the christological titles
            in
            CG is as much first century CE as the Didache's use of the same titles. Space
            does not permit me to pursue any of these suggestions in detail.

            [snip]

            > Based on my arguments above, we can safely conclude that the three
            > underlying premises of Crossan's entire Cross Gospel thesis fail. On
            > this basis, his arguments, and any others (like Weeden's) built upon
            > them, must be likewise rejected.

            Since I have not presented but a small portion of my thesis, have you not rushed
            to judgment, denying me the witnesses other witnesses in support of my thesis?

            Thank you, Brian, for engaging me on these important matters and contributing to
            my thinking on them.

            Ted Weeden
          • bjtraff
            Hello Ted Like you, I had to snip liberally. With luck I have still managed to address most of your key points in the first half of your response to me. ... a
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 5, 2002
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              Hello Ted

              Like you, I had to snip liberally. With luck I have still managed to
              address most of your key points in the first half of your response to
              me.

              --- In crosstalk2@y..., "Ted Weeden" <weedent@e...> wrote:

              Ted:
              > With respect to the Crossan quote above and my acceptance of it as
              a statement of my own position let me note that I am not alone. See
              also my reference to Helmut Koester and the Fellows of the Jesus
              Seminar in my XTalk response

              Me:
              I am aware that you are not alone in your position Ted, nor have I
              intended to make it appear that your views are unique to you and
              Crossan. I have, however, tried to confine my arguments as much as
              possible to those of Dom Crossan, and by extension, yourself.
              Further, I have specifically addressed the question of the premises
              that underlie your arguments, as these serve as the foundation of
              your entire thesis.

              Ted:
              > The issue in my thesis is not whether there are parallels between
              Mark and John, nor whether those parallels correspond more closely to
              each other than to the Gospel of Peter.

              Me:
              I understand your thesis, but my point remains that if we elect to
              say that no one knew anything about the Passion, and those that did
              know did not care, then we have lost all control over the data.
              Everyone can freely postulate whatever they wish, and no effective
              controls will remain to challenge the thesis. The illustration of
              John and Mark was intended to underscore this point, and if we
              accepted your premise here, leave open the possibility (seemingly
              left unexplored by Crossan) that John served as the source for Mark.

              I must say that I am disappointed that you have elected not to
              respond (at least thus far) to the charge that the rejection of the
              idea that anyone either knew of, or cared about, the Passion of Jesus
              leaves us with no effective controls by which to test your thesis.
              After all, if anyone can say that the author of Mark (or John, or the
              CG) was free to make up any detail he chose without fear of being
              challenged by those "in the know", then what possible means is left
              to say that their thesis is incorrect?

              Ted:
              > …It is a story which Crossan argues is a part of CG, and which
              Raymond Brown (_Death of a Messiah_, 1287, 13075f., 1307), Frans
              Neirynck, ("The Historical Jesus Reflections on an Inventory,"
              _ETL_, 70:229), and the Fellows of the Jesus Seminar (vote: pink;
              see "The Jesus Seminar Voting Records: Passion Narrative," in
              _Forum_, 1, 1 (1998), 232 and the papers by Crossan ["The Gospel
              of Peter & the Canonical Gospels, _Forum_, 7-51] and Arthur J. Dewey
              ["The Passion Narrative of the Gospel of Peter, _Forum_, 53-70] which
              served as the basis), all agree is a story that emerged in the
              Christian tradition independent of the tradition behind the canonical
              Gospels and the canonical Gospels themselves.

              Me:
              I am left to wonder what you hoped to achieve with your inventory of
              scholarly names here. After all, in the case of Brown, I have
              already shown why he rejected Marcan dependence on the CG, while in
              the case of Neirynck, his contention is that the CG used Mark, not
              the other way around.

              Was there a independent tradition behind the PN's of the Canonical
              Gospels? Probably yes, and I have not argued otherwise. What I do
              reject, is that the CG forms the basis of that PN, and from your list
              you have not gained any real support for your own claims.

              Ted:
              > That story is the primary text that I am concerned with at this
              point for purposes of my thesis, though I did refer to CG 6:21 as
              containing an early tradition, found also in Acts 13:29 and, I add
              here, with overtones of that tradition also reverberating in Jn.
              19:31 (so also: Hans Grass, _Ostergeschehen und Osterberichte_, 179-
              183), tradition that held that Jesus's body was taken down from the
              cross by those who pursued his crucifixion (see Crossan's CG 2:5)
              and that his body was then buried, contrary to the canonical
              tradition, by Jesus' enemies.

              Me:
              But the Marcan tradition gives us no indication that Jesus was buried
              by a friend. In fact, Brown (and I) argue that Joseph was not a
              friend of Jesus, but merely a pious and observant Jew intent on
              keeping the Deuteronomic law regarding proper burial of the dead. I
              think your argument often becomes confused as you move back and forth
              between arguments regarding the wider Canonical tradition, and the
              much narrower focus of Mark's account. Given your limited goal of
              hoping to establish a link between Mark and the CG, it would probably
              be helpful if you were to remain focused on Mark alone, as much as
              possible, together with how you see it linked to the CG.


              {Snip my comment on how the evidence supports burial in a tomb)
              Ted then said:
              > I will address your response here when I submit my position on the
              burial story as the last part of my thesis.

              Me:
              Fair enough.

              Ted:
              > [snip]

              Me:
              I had to look up what you snipped here Ted. I see that it was my
              quotation of Brown re: the possible redactions and interpolations of
              later copyists of the extant copy of GPeter available to us today.
              This is not a small argument, and one that needs to be addressed by
              proponents of CG or GPeter primacy. I hope you will do this at some
              point.

              Me, quoting Brown:
              > > {Snip} (Ibid. pg. 1338-9)

              > > In looking at this list, we can find no evidence of any other 1st
              > > Century Christian text that never refers to Jesus by name, and
              > > only by title of "Lord" alone.

              Ted replied:
              > Have you considered the Didache, a first century text that is
              independent of all of the canonical Gospels and may well predate them
              all (see below on this),

              Me:
              I know you argue this later, but I will say that I do not consider
              the Didache to be more than *late* first century, and more probably
              c. 100 CE. Further I think it is heavily dependent on at least some
              of the Canonicals. All of that said, I do not wish to hopelessly bog
              this discussion down in arguments over dating of the Didache.
              Suffice to say, *if* as I believe, this document can be shown to be
              late and probably dependent on the Gospels, then the CG, by your own
              equation, would also be late and dependent on the Gospels.

              Ted:
              > [snip]

              Me:
              Here again I looked up what you snipped, and I see that my examples
              from Paul (an obviously 1st Century source) are snipped. Again I
              would remind you that we have a set of documents that have been dated
              to the mid 1st Century with certainty, while your reliance upon the
              Didache merely leaves you hoping for a friendly dating of a much less
              certain document, especially as one *must* also to claim priority
              over, and independence from, the Canonicals (each a dubious claim to
              say the least).

              Me originally:
              > > Son of God' is more common, but not in the Gospel of Mark (where
              its inclusion in Mark 1:1 is often seen as a later scribal
              interpolation or redaction), where it is used only once (3:11)
              indisputably, and then, certainly never in the PN. Since Ted wishes
              to argue only for Marcan dependence, this double omission (of the use
              of the title "Lord" or "Son of God" is telling (Lord is used only in
              16:19-20, which is universally recognized as later interpolations to
              the original Gmark).

              Ted replied:
              > With reference to your contention that the title "Lord," as applied
              to Jesus, is an omission in Mark: how, Brian, do you explain the
              occurrence of "Lord" as a title which Jesus uses twice with reference
              to himself in Mk. 5:19; 11:13, a title which Mark applies to Jesus
              in his use of Isa. 40:3 in Mk. 1:2, a title used for Jesus in the
              context of the christological dispute as to whether Jesus should be
              titled "Son of David" (12:36f.),"

              Me again:
              I have to break these down:

              Mark 5:19 RSV: But he refused, and said to him, "Go home to your
              friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he
              has had mercy on you."

              Here Jesus is talking about what God has done specifically, and not
              himself. I do not know why you have offered it.

              Mark 11:3 RSV (assuming 13 was a typo) If any one says to you, 'Why
              are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord has need of it and will send it
              back here immediately.'"

              Here again I would argue that Jesus is referring to God, and not
              necessarily himself. I fear you are viewing these passages through
              later Christian christological glasses, rather than in the context of
              1st Century Jewish Christian (IOW Marcan) eyes. If, on the other
              hand, Jesus is referring to himself, it is in a very oblique way, and
              certainly not in a manner that would suggest he is claiming equality
              with God.

              Mark 1:2-3 RSV As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I
              send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the
              voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord,
              make his paths straight--"

              Once again I see the same possible error, in which you are equating
              Jesus with God, but in the context of later christological beliefs,
              not necessarily those of Mark himself. I am not saying that this is
              necessarily wrong, but when we compare the *clear* high christology
              of the CG with that contained in Mark, we are left with a distinctly
              lower form of christology in the latter. All of that said, I should
              have been more careful in my phraseology, and said that Jesus is
              never directly addressed as "Lord" (as in Lord God) in Mark, and is
              much more commonly referred to as simply Jesus, something we would
              expect from an early, and lower christology. The CG, by contrast,
              never uses the name Jesus, or Christ, the two names/titles applied to
              Jesus far and away more often in *known* 1st Century documents.

              Ted:
              > as well as possible uses, or inferences, of the title "Lord" being
              applied to Jesus in the Syrophoenician woman's address to him (7:28;
              KURIOS here could just mean "sir") and or perhaps ascribed to Jesus
              in his saying about the Sabbath (2:28)?

              I did miss 7:28, though I would agree that it almost certainly is
              meant as "sir", as there is no way that this woman could have thought
              of Jesus as God at this point in the conversation. In the case of
              2:28 (Lord of the Sabbath), this is perhaps the best possible claim,
              and certainly one of the highest christological statements in Mark,
              but it is still different in quality from that which is presented to
              us in the CG.

              Ted:
              > With respect to your contention that the title "Son of God" is not
              a title Mark is interested in applying to Jesus, how then do you
              explain Mk. 15:39, namely, KENTRURIWN . . . EIPEN: ALHQWS OUTOS hO
              ANQRWPOS hUIOS QEOU HN ("the centurion . . . said, 'Truly this man
              was the Son of God.'"), the christological climax to Mark's Gospel?

              Me:
              Agreed. I stand corrected, though this remains the only clear example
              in *all* of GMark, aside from 3:11 where Mark uses this title.
              Considering he never places it on the lips of anyone else in the rest
              of his gospel, this does seem to indicate a lower christology than is
              found in CG.

              Ted:
              > If "the term "the Lord's Day" is "an expression found nowhere else
              in 1st Century documents," how do you explain Didache 14:1,
              namely, "On every Lord's Day--- his special day--- come together and
              break bread and give thanks. . . .?"
              See below on the dating of The Didache.

              Me:
              As I have stated previously, the Didache is too late to be of help to
              your argument here. Speculating on an early dating for the Didache
              in order to bolster an argument for an early dating of the CG is
              little more than special pleading.

              I wrote:
              > > Finally, we have evidence within GPeter that the author has no
              real knowledge of 1st Century Judaism, the OT Scriptures, including
              the LXX [snip}

              Ted replied:
              > Brian, I have difficulty understanding how you can say that the
              Gospel of Peter has no real knowledge of "the OT Scriptures,
              including the LXX, when Crossan (|The Gospel That Spoke_, 115-159)
              has demonstrated to the contrary.

              Me:
              First, I am going to take by your silence that you admit that GPeter
              (and by extension the CG) has no real knowledge or understanding of
              1st Century Judaism or Palestinian politics. Again I must restate my
              disappointment that you snipped this last bit, where I finished my
              above (now truncated sentence) with the words "or even of basic
              political facts in Palestine c. 30 CE."

              Any argument that rests on an early dating (c. 40-60 CE) for the CG,
              yet fails to address this key fact, is going to be severely, if not
              fatally, weakened. Crossan's own admission of Pilate being subject
              to "king" Herod as "historically implausible" even to a supposedly
              later author like Mark tells us this. I hope you will address this
              evidence decisively in some future post. Ignoring it will neither
              make it go away, nor strengthen your overall presentation.

              Now that said, does Crossan argue that the author of the CG knew his
              Judaism and LXX well? I would be surprised if he did not, but this
              hardly makes the case true. I will point out one ENORMOUS error, and
              leave it as testimony that the arguments to the contrary of Crossan
              and Koester et al will not make any more convincing.

              In GPeter 8:28-9:34, 10:38 (all part of the CG) we have scribes
              Pharisees and elders spending their Sabbath (during Passover no
              less!) guarding a tomb! Such an idea is so incredible as to be
              literally beyond belief. No one even remotely familiar with Jewish
              laws and practices would have ever dreamed up such an event.

              Needless to say, in the face of this evidence (and more that I will
              discuss below), I would say that the case of knowledge of the LXX by
              the author of the CG is far from proven.

              Ted:
              > For example (see Koester, 221-227), Peter uses Dt. 21:6-7 in its
              handwashing scene (1:1), but not "the mockery of prayer" based upon
              Dt, 21:8.

              Me (Looking at the verses themselves):

              GPeter 1:1 But the Jews none washed his hands, neither Herod nor one
              of his judges. And since they di not desire to wash, Pilate stood up…

              Deuteronomy 21:6-7 And all the elders of that city nearest to the
              slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was
              broken in the valley; and they shall testify, 'Our hands did not shed
              this blood, neither did our eyes see it shed.

              This is an excellent example of why most commentaries must be read
              with an actual Bible in hand. This law, of course, is specifically
              about how the elders are to behave is someone is found slain/murdered
              in an open field, and where the murderer is unknown. *IF* the author
              of the CG somehow tried to connect this with his passage in GPeter
              1:1, then we would be hard pressed to see anything in his choice of
              words, or even subject matter. Koester's argument would seem to rely
              upon what would hopefully have been said before verse 1:1, but, of
              course, we cannot know what was written there, since no copies exist
              that are known to us today. In any event, we have no connection that
              can even be thought of as implied between the two texts.

              Ted:
              > whereas, by contrast, Matthew uses LXX Ps. 25:5-6 for Pilate's
              handwashing and declaration of innocence. Peter (3:6-9) uses Isa.
              50:6 and Zech 12:10 and the scapegoat ritual, similar to the Epistle
              of Barnabas (7:7-11). In doing so the Gospel of Peters evidences a
              closer following of the exegetical elements of the scapegoat
              tradition than do the canonical Gospels (Koester, 227).

              Me (again using the actual texts):
              GPeter 3:6-9 But having taken the Lord, running, they were pushing
              him and saying, "Let us drag along the Son of God now that we have
              power over him." And they clothed him with purple and sat him on a
              chair of judgment, saying, "Judge justly, King of Israel," And a
              certain one of them, having brought a thorny crown, put it on the
              head of the Lord. And others who were standing there were spitting
              in his face, and other slapped his cheeks. Others were jabbing him
              with a reed; and some scourged him saying, "with such honor let us
              honor the Son of God!"

              Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who
              pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

              Zechariah 12:10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the
              inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so
              that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn
              for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him,
              as one weeps over a first-born.

              I can only think that you have offered us a set of typos Ted, as I
              cannot see the links that you propose. At the same time, it is not
              hard, in reading these passages in GPeter, to see a link to what we
              find in the Canonicals. Thus, a possible case for dependence may be
              possible, but as to in which direction, one is not yet able to say.

              As for demonstrations that CG is written with intimate knowledge of
              the LXX, I think that by now it is well demonstrated that they knew
              little beyond perhaps what could be gleaned (intentionally or not)
              from the Canonical Gospels. Now I hope you have a better
              understanding of why Meier rejected Koester's arguments as convoluted
              and implausible.

              > To cite another example, the Gospel of Peter (5:16) uses LXX Ps.
              68:22 to depict the offering of the mixed drink of gall and vinegar
              to Jesus.

              Me:
              This conclusion merely begs the question. Even as you have yet to
              establish that the CG is early and independent of the Canonicals, you
              use as an argument a passage that is more easily derived from a
              Canonical account.

              GPeter 5:16 And someone of them said, "Give him to drink gall with
              vinegary wine." And having made a mixture, they gave to drink.

              Psalm 68:21 RSV They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they
              gave me vinegar to drink.

              Mark 15:36 RSV And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put
              it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Wait, let us see
              whether Eli'jah will come to take him down."

              From among these passages, how can we reasonably decide which is the
              most probable source? The only way we can say difinitively that
              GPeter is using the Psalm, instead of GMark (or GMatt) is to
              demonstrate on other grounds that the CG is earlier than these other
              two texts. Assuming this is the case does not strengthen the
              argument, especially as the evidence would seem to point (at least at
              this point) towards a later dating for the CG, and its dependence on
              the Canonicals to some degree.

              Ted:
              > It is clear from these examples that the Gospel of Peter knows and
              uses the LXX and other Jewish writings and traditions available in
              the first century CE, as well as drawing upon a very early exegetical
              tradition which used LXX texts and other texts to interpret and
              describe the passion of Jesus, a very early exegetical tradition
              which is also found in the Epistle of Barnabas (see below).

              Me:
              As you can see from my responses, this is far from clear Ted. In
              fact, I would say that the case is weaker than ever for GPeter's
              knowledge of the LXX. Further, as I noted previously, the obvious
              lack of awareness of early Judaism, and especially of early 1st
              Century Palestinian politics is extremely damning, and should lead us
              to reject as probable an early dating for GPeter or the CG.

              I need to stop now as it is extremely late. I will go through the
              remainder of your post when next I have time, but I have company
              coming to visit, and that means it may not be until the weekend (at
              the earliest). Rest assured that I am willing to grant you all the
              time you need to develop your argument fully, but also remember that
              even the most grandiose of palaces or castles, if built upon a
              foundation of sand, will soon come tumbling down. The foundational
              arguments for your belief in the priority of the Cross Gospel is
              where you remain most vulnerable, and until you have addressed all of
              this evidence in its entirety, you will have a very long way to go
              before gaining new adherents to your theories.

              Be well Ted, and good night.

              Brian Trafford
              Calgary, AB, Canada
            • Ted Weeden
              ... I have posted my methodological presuppositions, Mark and CG: Methodological Presuppostions, which address in part the issue you raise here. I think
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 7, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                Brian Trafford wrote on Tuesday, February 05, 2002:

                > Me:
                > I understand your thesis, but my point remains that if we elect to
                > say that no one knew anything about the Passion, and those that did
                > know did not care, then we have lost all control over the data.
                > Everyone can freely postulate whatever they wish, and no effective
                > controls will remain to challenge the thesis.

                I have posted my methodological presuppositions, "Mark and CG: Methodological
                Presuppostions," which address in part the issue you raise here. I think there
                are some controls as I pointed out in that essay, but they are the controls such
                as the criteria used in the quest for the historical Jesus. I will soon post
                my position as to why I think it is unlikely the disciples did not initially
                concern themselves with more than the *dass* of the crucifixion.

                .> John and Mark was intended to underscore this point, and if we
                > accepted your premise here, leave open the possibility (seemingly
                > left unexplored by Crossan) that John served as the source for Mark.

                I think there is dependency evident between John and Mark, but it is clear in my
                working with both texts that it is John who is dependent upon Mark. I hope to
                demonstrate that once I get through the presentation of my thesis on Mark and
                CG.


                > I must say that I am disappointed that you have elected not to
                > respond (at least thus far) to the charge that the rejection of the
                > idea that anyone either knew of, or cared about, the Passion of Jesus
                > leaves us with no effective controls by which to test your thesis.
                > After all, if anyone can say that the author of Mark (or John, or the
                > CG) was free to make up any detail he chose without fear of being
                > challenged by those "in the know", then what possible means is left
                > to say that their thesis is incorrect?

                See my methodological presuppositions. And who is left in the "know" in 70 CE
                or so when I think Mark was written. I know you date Mark in the 50's. I need
                to yet get back to you to indicate how I see the Markan text addressing issues
                that happened post 68 CE, and also why Mk. 13 could not, in my judgment, contain
                the sayings of the historical Jesus. I regret that I got diverted to other
                issues and broke off this dialogue between us on Mk. 13 and the dating of Mark.
                I will yet return to it.

                [snip]

                > I am left to wonder what you hoped to achieve with your inventory of
                > scholarly names here. After all, in the case of Brown, I have
                > already shown why he rejected Marcan dependence on the CG, while in
                > the case of Neirynck, his contention is that the CG used Mark, not
                > the other way around.

                I am not trying to stack the deck by presenting the list of scholars. I am only
                indicating that others have been thinking in the direction I am working on.
                The reason I cite Brown and Neirynck is not because they would support my thesis
                that Mark used CG, nor Crossan's CG thesis, but they recognize that
                "the-guard-at-the-sepulcher story" is a coherent, cohesive tradition that
                emerged independent of the canonical tradition. It is the independence and
                integrity of that story that is important to my thesis, not its direct
                relationship to any other early Christian tradition or document at this point,
                except for the Gospel of Mark.

                Was there a independent tradition behind the PN's of the Canonical
                > Gospels? Probably yes, and I have not argued otherwise. What I do
                > reject, is that the CG forms the basis of that PN, and from your list
                > you have not gained any real support for your own claims.

                I have not finished presenting my argument. My methodological presuppositions
                begin to trace the general outlines of the direction I am headed in the
                argument, but I have not filled in but one suggested detail with respect to Mk.
                16:6 and CG. I have acknowledged that by itself the "error" in 16:6 does not
                make the case for my thesis. But when the whole thesis is presented, it does
                play its part in highlighting what I think is the cogency of the thesis. I
                acknowledge that I could be wrong. And you or others may point that out
                convincingly when I have disclosed the whole "ball of wax." That will be an
                important service to me if that turns out to be the case. I have enough
                self-critical judgment, I believe, to know when an argument cannot be sustained.
                I have given up on theories before when counter evidence proves I was wrong.

                [snip]

                > But the Marcan tradition gives us no indication that Jesus was buried
                > by a friend. In fact, Brown (and I) argue that Joseph was not a
                > friend of Jesus, but merely a pious and observant Jew intent on
                > keeping the Deuteronomic law regarding proper burial of the dead. I
                > think your argument often becomes confused as you move back and forth
                > between arguments regarding the wider Canonical tradition, and the
                > much narrower focus of Mark's account. Given your limited goal of
                > hoping to establish a link between Mark and the CG, it would probably
                > be helpful if you were to remain focused on Mark alone, as much as
                > possible, together with how you see it linked to the CG.

                I agree that Mark does not present Joseph as a friend, in the sense of being an
                associate, acqaintance, etc. I think a better designation is "fellow seeker
                after the kingdom" or some such dubbing. But Joseph is not painted by Mark in
                his burial story as an adversary of Jesus, even though he participated in the
                judgment against him. I think, as I pointed out in my post on presuppositions
                that the earliest tradition was burial by enemies and that evolved finally to
                burial by friend/disciple.

                [snip]

                Brian, quoting Brown:

                > > > In looking at this list, we can find no evidence of any other 1st
                > > > Century Christian text that never refers to Jesus by name, and
                > > > only by title of "Lord" alone.
                >
                > Ted replied:
                > > Have you considered the Didache, a first century text that is
                > independent of all of the canonical Gospels and may well predate them
                > all (see below on this),
                >
                Brian:
                > I know you argue this later, but I will say that I do not consider
                > the Didache to be more than *late* first century, and more probably
                > c. 100 CE. Further I think it is heavily dependent on at least some
                > of the Canonicals. All of that said, I do not wish to hopelessly bog
                > this discussion down in arguments over dating of the Didache.
                > Suffice to say, *if* as I believe, this document can be shown to be
                > late and probably dependent on the Gospels, then the CG, by your own
                > equation, would also be late and dependent on the Gospels.

                I only reported in my post the developing consensus among Didache scholars that
                the traditions in the Didache emerged independent of the canonical Gospels and
                that the Didache may well predate Mark. I reported this from Crossan. I have
                found Crossan reliable in his reporting and thus accept the fact that this is
                the direction of a number of Didache scholars. Thus your argument must be with
                them and not with me with regard to dependency and the dating of the Didache.
                Have you explored their position and found it wanting. If so, I would like to
                know the weakness in their position, as you have examined it..

                [snip]

                Brian originally:
                > > > Son of God' is more common, but not in the Gospel of Mark (where
                > its inclusion in Mark 1:1 is often seen as a later scribal
                > interpolation or redaction), where it is used only once (3:11)
                > indisputably, and then, certainly never in the PN. Since Ted wishes
                > to argue only for Marcan dependence, this double omission (of the use
                > of the title "Lord" or "Son of God" is telling (Lord is used only in
                > 16:19-20, which is universally recognized as later interpolations to
                > the original Gmark).

                Brian in response to Ted citing passages in which the title of "Lord" is applied
                to Jesus:

                > Mark 5:19 RSV: But he refused, and said to him, "Go home to your
                > friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he
                > has had mercy on you."
                >
                > Here Jesus is talking about what God has done specifically, and not
                > himself. I do not know why you have offered it.

                I offered it because from the point of view of Mark's narrative world it is
                Jesus who has exocised the man and restored him to health. The story indicates
                that the healed man begged Jesus to allow him to join Jesus and Jesus refers to
                himself in this narrative context as "Lord," in my view. The historical Jesus,
                in my view, never used any christological title, any exalted title, for the
                matter, in reference to himself. But in Mark's narrative world, the Markan
                Jesus does refer to himself by using christological titles, such as Son of the
                Human and Lord.

                > Mark 1:2-3 RSV As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I
                > send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the
                > voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord,
                > make his paths straight--"
                >
                > Once again I see the same possible error, in which you are equating
                > Jesus with God, but in the context of later christological beliefs,
                > not necessarily those of Mark himself. I am not saying that this is
                > necessarily wrong, but when we compare the *clear* high christology
                > of the CG with that contained in Mark, we are left with a distinctly
                > lower form of christology in the latter. All of that said, I should
                > have been more careful in my phraseology, and said that Jesus is
                > never directly addressed as "Lord" (as in Lord God) in Mark, and is
                > much more commonly referred to as simply Jesus, something we would
                > expect from an early, and lower christology. The CG, by contrast,
                > never uses the name Jesus, or Christ, the two names/titles applied to
                > Jesus far and away more often in *known* 1st Century documents.

                In Mark's incorporating of Isa. 40:3 and placing the prophecy on JB's lips he
                has clearly, in my view, depicted John as the voice who prepares the way for the
                Lord, namely Jesus.

                > I did miss 7:28, though I would agree that it almost certainly is
                > meant as "sir", as there is no way that this woman could have thought
                > of Jesus as God at this point in the conversation. In the case of
                > 2:28 (Lord of the Sabbath), this is perhaps the best possible claim,
                > and certainly one of the highest christological statements in Mark,
                > but it is still different in quality from that which is presented to
                > us in the CG.

                The issue is christology and in the narrative world of some of Mark's stories
                Jesus is referred to, and refers to himself, as "Lord."

                [snip]

                > Ted:
                > > If "the term "the Lord's Day" is "an expression found nowhere else
                > in 1st Century documents," how do you explain Didache 14:1,
                > namely, "On every Lord's Day--- his special day--- come together and
                > break bread and give thanks. . . .?"
                > See below on the dating of The Didache.
                >
                > Me:
                > As I have stated previously, the Didache is too late to be of help to
                > your argument here. Speculating on an early dating for the Didache
                > in order to bolster an argument for an early dating of the CG is
                > little more than special pleading.

                I am not special pleading and speculating myself. I am making recourse to the
                growng consensus of Didache scholars, as I noted above. If you disagree with
                their judgment, then in fairness to them, I think, the evidence needs to be
                presented to refute their judgment.

                Brian:

                > > > Finally, we have evidence within GPeter that the author has no
                > real knowledge of 1st Century Judaism, the OT Scriptures, including
                > the LXX [snip}
                >
                > Ted replied:
                > > Brian, I have difficulty understanding how you can say that the
                > Gospel of Peter has no real knowledge of "the OT Scriptures,
                > including the LXX, when Crossan (|The Gospel That Spoke_, 115-159)
                > has demonstrated to the contrary.
                >
                Brian:
                > First, I am going to take by your silence that you admit that GPeter
                > (and by extension the CG) has no real knowledge or understanding of
                > 1st Century Judaism or Palestinian politics. Again I must restate my
                > disappointment that you snipped this last bit, where I finished my
                > above (now truncated sentence) with the words "or even of basic
                > political facts in Palestine c. 30 CE."
                >
                > Any argument that rests on an early dating (c. 40-60 CE) for the CG,
                > yet fails to address this key fact, is going to be severely, if not
                > fatally, weakened. Crossan's own admission of Pilate being subject
                > to "king" Herod as "historically implausible" even to a supposedly
                > later author like Mark tells us this. I hope you will address this
                > evidence decisively in some future post. Ignoring it will neither
                > make it go away, nor strengthen your overall presentation.

                Where does Crossan say that Pilate was "subject to 'king' Herod?" If he states
                that, I have missed it. What I find Crossan saying (_Spoke_, e.g., 51-53, 91,
                95f., 98-100, 112) with respect to CG 1:1f., the only text in which Pilate and
                Herod are mentioned together, is that Pilate did not favor the execution of
                Jesus, so he "arose," implying he removed himself from making a judgment against
                Jesus. Herod then assumed responsibility for seeing that Jesus was crucified.
                Later CG clearly exonerates Pilate of any responsibility of Jesus' death in
                Pilate's declaraton that his hands are clean (11:46).

                > Now that said, does Crossan argue that the author of the CG knew his
                > Judaism and LXX well? I would be surprised if he did not, but this
                > hardly makes the case true. I will point out one ENORMOUS error, and
                > leave it as testimony that the arguments to the contrary of Crossan
                > and Koester et al will not make any more convincing.
                >
                > In GPeter 8:28-9:34, 10:38 (all part of the CG) we have scribes
                > Pharisees and elders spending their Sabbath (during Passover no
                > less!) guarding a tomb! Such an idea is so incredible as to be
                > literally beyond belief. No one even remotely familiar with Jewish
                > laws and practices would have ever dreamed up such an event.

                I see this as a possible attack on the Judean establishment, and, note, we are
                dealing with the narrative world and not the real world. This is one more
                narrative indication of the hypocrisy of the religious leaders as they pursue
                their ungodly act against Jesus?

                > Needless to say, in the face of this evidence (and more that I will
                > discuss below), I would say that the case of knowledge of the LXX by
                > the author of the CG is far from proven.

                Brian, I cannot address all of the challenges which you make to Koester's citing
                of verses in which the Gospel of Peter reflects a closer dependency or a
                different dependency on the LXX in passages which have parallels in the
                Synoptics. But let me note one that I think seriously undermines your position
                contra Koester. I snip to that passage. You introduce this passage by making
                the following summary of passages you have just argued do not support Koester's
                case.

                Brian:
                > As for demonstrations that CG is written with intimate knowledge of
                > the LXX, I think that by now it is well demonstrated that they knew
                > little beyond perhaps what could be gleaned (intentionally or not)
                > from the Canonical Gospels. Now I hope you have a better
                > understanding of why Meier rejected Koester's arguments as convoluted
                > and implausible.

                Ted:
                > > To cite another example, the Gospel of Peter (5:16) uses LXX Ps.
                > 68:22 to depict the offering of the mixed drink of gall and vinegar
                > to Jesus.

                Brian:
                > This conclusion merely begs the question. Even as you have yet to
                > establish that the CG is early and independent of the Canonicals, you
                > use as an argument a passage that is more easily derived from a
                > Canonical account.
                >
                > GPeter 5:16 And someone of them said, "Give him to drink gall with
                > vinegary wine." And having made a mixture, they gave to drink.
                >
                > Psalm 68:21 RSV They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they
                > gave me vinegar to drink.
                >
                > Mark 15:36 RSV And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put
                > it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Wait, let us see
                > whether Eli'jah will come to take him down."
                >
                > >From among these passages, how can we reasonably decide which is the
                > most probable source?

                Brian, you cite Ps. 68:21 RSV. I do not think you meant Ps. 68:21 RSV but
                rather Ps. 69:21 RSV in your illustration that the author of CG (whom I think is
                the author of this Petrine text) does not accurately represent or know his LXX,
                specifically, in this case LXX Ps. 68:22. Let us look at the actual LXX text,
                and not the RSV translation of Mark 15:36 which you have supplied and which is
                more dependent on the Hebrew text of Ps. 69:21. Here is how the LXX text of
                Ps. 68:22 reads: KAI EDWKAN EIS TO BRWMA MOU *COLHN* KAI EIS THN DIYAN
                MOU EPOITISAN ME OXOS. The word *COLHN* which I have enclosed in
                asterisks is properly translated "gall." Now consider CG (or the Gospel of
                Peter) 5:13: KAI TIS AUTWN EIPEN: "POTISATE AUTON *COLHN* META OXOUS.
                Notice that COLHN appears in the Greek text in CG 5:13, which is directly
                dependent upon LXX Ps. 68:22. Thus Koester's argument is not overturned. CG
                renders LXX Ps. 68:22 more faithfully than does Mark. The author of CG knows
                his LXX.

                [snip]

                Ted Weeden
              • bjtraff
                Okay, these posts are getting so long that responding to all of them (and doing them any kind of justice) is becoming a near impossible task. I will therefore
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 7, 2002
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                  Okay, these posts are getting so long that responding to all of them
                  (and doing them any kind of justice) is becoming a near impossible
                  task. I will therefore confine my response to Ted's latest post to a
                  few issues that are unique here, then focus my energies on replying
                  to his entry on methodological presuppostions where our real
                  differences will come to the fore. After all, it is there that I
                  think our most profound disagreements exist, and there that Ted's
                  overall case is most vulnerable.

                  --- In crosstalk2@y..., "Ted Weeden" <weedent@e...> wrote:

                  > I have posted my methodological presuppositions, "Mark and CG:
                  > MethodologicalPresuppostions," which address in part the issue you
                  > raise here.

                  Yes I know you have, and as I stated above, I will be returning to
                  that post after this one. I will say, however, thank you for taking
                  the time and effort to do that for us.

                  > See my methodological presuppositions. And who is left in
                  > the "know" in 70 CE or so when I think Mark was written. I know
                  > you date Mark in the 50's. I need to yet get back to you to
                  > indicate how I see the Markan text addressing issues
                  > that happened post 68 CE, and also why Mk. 13 could not, in my
                  > judgment, contain the sayings of the historical Jesus. I regret
                  > that I got diverted to other issues and broke off this dialogue
                  > between us on Mk. 13 and the dating of Mark. I will yet return to
                  > it.

                  No problem Ted. My own essays on the Pastorals appears to have been
                  hopelessly sidetracked in the midst of all of this as well, and in
                  spite of my own wishes will just have to wait. Eventually this too
                  will pass, however, and we will be able to return to other areas of
                  interest. :-)

                  > The reason I cite Brown and Neirynck is not because they would
                  > support my thesis that Mark used CG, nor Crossan's CG thesis, but
                  > they recognize that "the-guard-at-the-sepulcher story" is a
                  > coherent, cohesive tradition that emerged independent of the
                  > canonical tradition. It is the independence and integrity of that
                  > story that is important to my thesis, not its direct relationship
                  > to any other early Christian tradition or document at this point,
                  > except for the Gospel of Mark.

                  I happen to think (or at least would like to think) that the guards
                  at the tomb story may also predate Matthew, but obviously reject the
                  CG as its source. Quite frankly, I would like to think that it is
                  not a Matthean invention, but I see no means by which to demonstrate
                  it from the evidence available to us today. In any case, as this is
                  central to your thesis, it is necessary for you to establish the
                  early origin of this story. No doubt we will return to this point at
                  a later date, though.

                  > I only reported in my post the developing consensus among Didache
                  > scholars that the traditions in the Didache emerged independent of
                  > the canonical Gospels and that the Didache may well predate Mark.
                  > I reported this from Crossan. I have found Crossan reliable in his
                  > reporting and thus accept the fact that this is the direction of a
                  > number of Didache scholars. Thus your argument must be with
                  > them and not with me with regard to dependency and the dating of
                  > the Didache. Have you explored their position and found it
                  > wanting. If so, I would like to know the weakness in their
                  > position, as you have examined it..

                  My apologies Ted, but my time is not yet unlimited, though I would be
                  more than happy to debate this issue at a future date. Some things,
                  sadly, will have to wait.

                  My point, here, however, remains, that where we have texts that we
                  can firmly and certainly date to the 1st Century (i.e. Paul, the
                  Synoptics, Acts, even Hebrews), the language and christology is
                  notably different (and lower) from what we find in GPeter and the
                  CG. The language of GPeter is also notably 2nd Century. But I am
                  going to stop now before these posts become multi-volume tomes... ;-)

                  > I offered it because from the point of view of Mark's narrative
                  > world it is Jesus who has exocised the man and restored him to
                  > health. The story indicates that the healed man begged Jesus to
                  > allow him to join Jesus and Jesus refers to himself in this
                  > narrative context as "Lord," in my view. The historical Jesus,
                  > in my view, never used any christological title, any exalted title,
                  > for the matter, in reference to himself. But in Mark's narrative
                  > world, the Markan Jesus does refer to himself by using
                  > christological titles, such as Son of the Human and Lord.

                  This is perhaps a small point, but I think it is bad translational
                  methodology to change "Son of Man" to "Son of the Human". It may be
                  more politically correct, and even reflect some of the general
                  context of the expression, but it requires us to change the actual
                  meaning of a word, and that is not sound translation.

                  As for how Mark's christology can be shown to reflect a Jesus as Lord
                  God, I think you and I will have to agree to disagree at this point,
                  and wait on future arguments.

                  > In Mark's incorporating of Isa. 40:3 and placing the prophecy on
                  > JB's lips he has clearly, in my view, depicted John as the voice
                  > who prepares the way for the Lord, namely Jesus.

                  Again we will have to agree to disagree. Clearing the way for the
                  Lord, can easily mean clearing the way for God's "Anointed One"
                  without equating that Anointed One with God.

                  I wrote:
                  >>Any argument that rests on an early dating (c. 40-60 CE) for the CG,
                  >> yet fails to address this key fact, is going to be severely, if not
                  >> fatally, weakened. Crossan's own admission of Pilate being subject
                  > > to "king" Herod as "historically implausible" even to a supposedly
                  >> later author like Mark tells us this. I hope you will address this
                  > > evidence decisively in some future post. Ignoring it will neither
                  > > make it go away, nor strengthen your overall presentation.

                  Ted replied:
                  > Where does Crossan say that Pilate was "subject to 'king' Herod?"
                  > If he states that, I have missed it.

                  I think you have misunderstood what I said. In _The Historical
                  Jesus_ Crossan tells us that Mark had to make the account more
                  historically plausible (CHJ pg. 390). Considering in Crossan's
                  theory Mark is writing decades after the CG, and seemingly to an
                  audience that is no more interested in real facts in their stories
                  than is CG's, this is an astonishing admission. After all, if Mark
                  found it historically implausible to make Pilate subject to Herod,
                  and therefore needed to change it, then the author of the CG should
                  also have had the wit and wisdom to do this. I understand that you
                  think that both men were just making their stories up as they went
                  along, but this is still a bizarre scenario in which not only is the
                  author of the CG clueless about the political realities of what
                  happened only a few years prior to his supposed writing, but his
                  audience must also have been a bunch of empty heads without enough of
                  a clue to spot a brutal error in fact.

                  > I see this (the elders and Pharisees camping out in a graveyard on
                  > the Sabbath of the Passover) as a possible attack on the Judean
                  > establishment, and, note, we are dealing with the narrative world
                  > and not the real world. This is one more narrative indication of
                  > the hypocrisy of the religious leaders as they pursue their ungodly
                  > act against Jesus?

                  Yes, I understand what you are saying, and recognize as well how
                  convenient it is to simply call a gross error in fact a non-issue on
                  the grounds that the author did not give a fig about facts in any
                  case. I just do not find such an argument credible is all. I
                  honestly do not see how you can either.

                  > Brian, you cite Ps. 68:21 RSV. I do not think you meant Ps. 68:21
                  > RSV but rather Ps. 69:21 RSV in your illustration that the author
                  > of CG (whom I think is the author of this Petrine text) does not
                  > accurately represent or know his LXX, specifically, in this case
                  > LXX Ps. 68:22. Let us look at the actual LXX text, and not the
                  > RSV translation of Mark 15:36 which you have supplied and which is
                  > more dependent on the Hebrew text of Ps. 69:21. Here is how the
                  > LXX text of Ps. 68:22 reads: KAI EDWKAN EIS TO BRWMA MOU
                  > *COLHN* KAI EIS THN DIYAN MOU EPOITISAN ME OXOS. The word
                  > *COLHN* which I have enclosed in asterisks is properly
                  > translated "gall." Now consider CG (or the Gospel of Peter) 5:13:
                  > KAI TIS AUTWN EIPEN: "POTISATE AUTON *COLHN* META OXOUS.
                  > Notice that COLHN appears in the Greek text in CG 5:13, which is
                  > directly dependent upon LXX Ps. 68:22. Thus Koester's argument is
                  > not overturned. CG renders LXX Ps. 68:22 more faithfully than
                  > does Mark. The author of CG knows his LXX.

                  You are right Ted, I did mean Psalm 69:21. But the dependence you
                  wish to show with the LXX here still neglects the basic fact that
                  GPeter does not use the same vocabulary and word order of the LXX.
                  Nor does GPeter mention any food. At most you can point to a couple
                  of similar words, especially COLHN, but this is not how dependence is
                  shown. Meier's far more exhaustive demonstration of how GPeter 8:30
                  depends on Matt 27:64b is such an example. In Meier's case we have
                  obvious signs of dependence based on vocabulary, word order and
                  context. In Koester's examination of GPeter and the LXX we have a
                  clear case of reaching a conclusion, then justifying it as best as
                  possible from a real paucity of evidence, coupled with generous
                  amounts of special pleading.

                  Let's lay down the two sentences again, side by side (so to speak, I
                  have no idea how to do a true side by side table in this format):

                  LXX Psalm 68:21
                  KAI EDWKAN EIS TO BRWMA MOU COLHN KAI EIS THN DIYAN MOU EPOTISAN ME
                  OXOS
                  GPeter 5:16
                  KAI TIS AUTWN EIPEN POTISATE AUTON COLHN META OXOUS

                  As we can see, the words that match are KAI (and), COLHN (gall) and
                  arguably OXOS/OXOUS (vinegar). That's it! Two (or three) words (out
                  of fifteen in Psalm 69:21 and eight in GPeter), one of which is a
                  regularly used conjunction! From this we are to see dependence?

                  As a final point, let's look at the Greek of Matthew 27:34a
                  EDWKAN AUTW PIEIN OINON META COLHN MEMIGMENON

                  In this case we again see a different word order from both of the
                  above, but of the seven words used in Matt OXOS/OINON, META (with),
                  AUTW(N) and COLHN are present. Most importantly, the context and
                  sense of the entire passage found in Matt is much closer to what we
                  see in GPeter, as both tells us that the vinegar/wine was mixed
                  together with gall and given to him (Jesus) to drink. In Psalms the
                  gall is in the food, not the vinegar.

                  Given the evidence, I hope you will forgive me my skepticism Ted, but
                  I think Meier's dismissal of Koester's work here is quite apt.

                  Now, as a final note, I see again that you have failed to address
                  several of my most critical points in my prior posts. Recognizing
                  the danger of repeating myself yet again, I will list them one more
                  time in simple point form. All that I will say is that if your set
                  of essays fails to address these points, it will always remain
                  subject to severe criticism and in my view, will be fatally
                  undermined. Those points again are:

                  1. The late (8th Century) dating of the only extant copy of GPeter
                  leaves open the very real possibility that this text has been
                  hopelessly corrupted by later scribes, especially as possible
                  controls over the texts would have been more lax, given the
                  heterodox nature of this text in the first place (see Brown _Death
                  of the Messiah_, pg. 1321)
                  2. The examples of Paul's language and christology clearly differ
                  from that of GPeter and the CG.
                  (See my post of February 2 for my full treatment of these arguments
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2/message/8944 )

                  Again I will restate, ignoring arguments and evidence that runs
                  strongly counter to one's thesis does not make this evidence
                  disappear. Quite honestly, in the case of point (1) I do not see how
                  there can be an effective response. The fact is that the only extant
                  text available to us is 8th Century, and cannot be checked against
                  anything longer than a couple of lines that dates earlier. And for
                  point (2) perhaps there is an explanation, though I cannot think of
                  one. But as you are the one proposing the new thesis, it incumbent
                  upon you to will address this evidence, and failing to do so, to
                  qualify or modify your thesis accordingly (if not to withdraw it
                  entirely).

                  My next post will address your methodological presuppositions.

                  Brian Trafford
                  Calgary, AB, Canada
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