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Re: [XTalk] Examining the Cross Gospel

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 of 7 , Feb 5, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 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 6 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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