Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: [XTalk] Historical method (Crossan)

Expand Messages
  • Jacob Knee
    Just to be clear - if a copy of Q was found - would it then move from being theory laden to being hard historical data ? Is there actually anything to hard
    Message 1 of 97 , Mar 1, 2002
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Just to be clear - if a copy of Q was found - would it then move from being
      'theory laden' to being 'hard historical data'?

      Is there actually anything to 'hard historical data' other than texts that
      happen to have been preserved?

      Best wishes,
      Jacob Knee
      (Cam, Glos.)


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Rikki E. Watts [mailto:rwatts@...]
      Sent: 28 February 2002 21:34
      To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [XTalk] Historical method (Crossan)


      [snip]

      I would suggest that the distance between whole texts and parts of texts is
      perhaps wider than might at first appear. First, what we actually have are
      composite but complete jigsaws. Parts of texts, including Q are already part
      of the process of historical explanation, not the data of history. That is,
      they are already theory laden and for that reason do not properly belong to
      the preliminary step of the experience of hard historical data but to second
      step of the historical explanation of the hard data. To grant them the
      status of hard texts is to confuse categories. You are right, historical
      explanation (source/redaction) is an essential part of the process but not
      the first place. One does not start here because of the danger of confusing
      hypothetical construct with historical data. Or at least so it seems to me.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Rikk
    • Frank McCoy
      ... Dear Bill Arnold: PART I VERSES 3-9 What is attributed to Jesus in John 3:3-9 appears to reflect Philonic thought rather than Pharisaic thought. Indeed,
      Message 97 of 97 , Mar 22, 2002
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        --- Bill Arnold <barnold_pb@...> wrote:
        > Hi, Bible Scholars and Students,
        >
        > Jan Sammer writes, "This is too wide a topic to go
        > into in this connection,
        > but it appears that Jesus expected to become the
        > Messiah upon his own
        > resurrection. This is not as odd as it may at first
        > appear since the
        > resurrection of the dead in the coming world age was
        > a cornerstone of
        > mainstream Pharisaic beliefs. This resurrection is
        > the second birth,
        > not of woman, characteristic of the Kingdom. This
        > idea in my opinion
        > goes back to the historical Jesus and was only
        > imperfectly
        > understood by the evangelists."
        >
        > Would anyone care to comment of the relationship, if
        > any, between Pharisaic
        > beliefs and the dialogue between the Pharisee
        > Nicodemus and Jesus, KJV,
        > John, C 3, Vs. 1-21, particularly, Vs. 3-7,
        >
        > 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily,
        > I say unto thee, Except
        > a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of
        > God."
        >
        > 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, "How can a man be born
        > when he is old? can he
        > enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be
        > born?"
        >
        > 5 Jesus answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
        > Except a man be born of
        > water and _of_ the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
        > kingdom of God."
        >
        > 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and
        > that which is born of the
        > Spirit is sprit."
        >
        > 7 "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born
        > again."
        >


        Dear Bill Arnold:

        PART I VERSES 3-9

        What is attributed to Jesus in John 3:3-9 appears to
        reflect Philonic
        thought rather than Pharisaic thought. Indeed, ISTM,
        what we have, in
        Nicodemus, is an example of a Pharisee unsuccessfully
        trying to understand
        an element of Philonic thought that is alien to
        Pharisaic thought.

        Let us look at verse 3, "Jesus answered and said unto
        him, 'Verily,
        verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again,
        he cannot see the
        kingdom of God.'"

        What does it mean to be born again?

        Well, in terms of Philo's teachings, "to be born
        again" means "to be called
        above".

        In Exodus (Book II, 46), regarding Exodus 24:16 ("And
        the glory of God came
        down upon the mount Sina, and the cloud covered it six
        days; and the Lord
        called Moses on the seventh day out of the midst of
        the cloud."), Philo asks
        the question, "Why is the mountain covered with a
        cloud for six days, and
        Moses called above on the seventh day?", and gives, as
        a part of his answer,
        "But the calling above of the prophet is a second
        birth better than the
        first. For the latter is mixed with a body and had
        corruptible parents,
        while the former is an unmixed and simple soul of the
        sovereign, being
        changed from a productive to an unproductive form,
        which has no mother but
        only a father, who is (the Father) of all."

        Here, Philo speaks of how the calling above of Moses
        was his second birth--a
        birth in which his sole parent was God.

        Further, it was a rebirth in the soul alone.

        Finally, it involved Moses' entry into the cloud.
        That is to say, it
        involved Moses' entry into Wisdom--for, in Philonic
        thought, this cloud, in
        which resides God, is Wisdom.

        So, in Exodus (Book II, 23), Philo states, "This is
        said in reference to the
        dissolution and rapture of the most perfect and
        prophetic mind, for which it
        is fitting and lawful to enter the dark cloud and to
        dwell in the forecourt
        of the palace of the Father."

        This dark cloud, as it is the palace of God and has a
        forecourt, is the
        Wisdom, as the heavenly tabernacle/temple, where
        dwells God. So, in Cong
        (116), Philo states, "And further on he will
        speak of God's dwelling place, the skenen
        (tent/tabernacle), as being 'ten curtains' (Ex. xxvi.
        1), for to the structure which includes the whole of
        Wisdom the perfect number ten belongs, and Wisdom is
        the court and palace of the All-ruler, the sole
        Monarch, the Soveregn Lord."

        So, to summarize, according to Philo, the calling
        above of a person is the
        second birth of this person. It is a birth in the
        soul alone. One's sole
        parent in it is God. In it, one's soul is called up
        above into the Wisdom
        that is the palace and residence of God as the All
        Ruler, sole Monarch, and
        sovereign Lord.

        This readily relates to 3:3--in which, it is declared,
        one must be reborn
        before one can see the Kingdom of God. This rebirth,
        I suggest, is one's
        calling above. As such, it is a rebirth in the soul
        alone and one's sole
        parent in it is God. In it, one's soul, even though
        it (in one sense)
        remains in the body, yet, (in another sense) has been
        called above into
        Wisdom as the heavenly tablernacle/temple. As this
        heavenly
        tabernacle/temple, this Wisdom is the Kingdom of God
        in its strictest sense,
        i.e., in the sense of being the realm in which God,
        the All Ruler,
        permanently resides. Therefore, as a consequence of
        this rebirth, one "sees"
        the Kingdom of God.

        Next, let us turn to verse 4, "Nicodemus saith unto
        him, 'How can a man be
        born when he is old? can he enter the second time into
        his mother's womb,
        and be born?'"

        Here, Nicodemus is perceptive enough to realize that
        Jesus is not referring
        to one's bodily resurrection at the End. However, he
        fails to perceive that
        what Jesus is talking about is a second birth in the
        soul alone and in which
        one's sole parent is God. This is because such a
        notion is alien to
        Pharisaic thought. So, he comes to the erroneous
        conclusion that Jesus must
        be referring to a second birth of oneself by one's
        mother!

        Next, let us turn to verses 5-7: 5, "Jesus answered,
        'Verily, verily, I say
        unto thee, Except a man be born of water and _of_ the
        Spirit, he cannot
        enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of
        the flesh is flesh;
        and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7
        Marvel not that I said
        unto thee, Ye must be born again.'"

        There is an inherent tension between verses 5 and 6 in
        that verse 5 states
        that rebirth is through water and Spirit, while verse
        6 seems to assume that
        rebirth is solely through the Spirit.

        Some think that "of water and" is a late addition to
        verse 5. This is
        possible, although I think it unlikely because it is
        found in all existing
        copies of John.

        What I suggest is that "of water and Spirit" contains
        two references to one
        and the same thing. In this case, it means this, "of
        the spiritual water
        that is the Spirit" just as the phrase "the Lord and
        Father (James 3:11)"
        apparently means, "the Lord who is the Father".

        Indeed, the idea that the Spirit is a type of
        spiritual water was widespread
        in Judaism at the time of Jesus.

        For example, according to both the Markan and Q
        traditions, John the Baptist
        spoke of a Coming One who will baptize with the
        Spirit--the implication
        being that the Spirit is the superior spiritual analog
        to the physical water
        with which John baptized those who came to him.

        Again, in Essenic thought, the Spirit was deemed to be
        a spiritual water.
        So, in their The Community Rule, it is said, "He
        (i.e., God) will cleanse
        him of all wicked deeds with the spirit of holiness;
        like purifying waters
        He will shed upon him the spirit of truth (to cleanse
        him) of all
        abomination and injustice. And he shall be plunged
        into the spirit of
        purification,...".

        Too, in Philonic thought, the Spirit was deemed to be
        the Wisdom and to be,
        as such, a spiritual water. So, in Deus (2-3), Philo
        states, "It is after
        that Spirit (has gone) that the angels or messengers
        (of falsehood) go into
        the 'daughters of men'. For while the soul is
        illumined by the bright and
        pure rays of Wisdom, through which the sage sees God
        and His potencies, none
        of the messengers of falsehood has access to the
        (human) reason, but all are
        barred from passing the bounds *which the lustral
        water has consecrated."*
        (my emphasis).

        If, as suggested, the phrase "of water and the Spirit"
        means "the spiritual
        water that is the Spirit", then the strong tension
        between verses 5 and 6
        disappear: for, in this case, both of them relate that
        one's rebirth is
        accomplished (by God) through the Spirit.

        Indeed, according to Philo, God accomplishes the
        calling above (i.e., second
        birth) through the Spirit. So, in Plant. (23-26),
        Philo states, "This is
        why those who crave for Wisdom and Knowledge
        (Episteme) with insatiable
        persistence are said in the Sacred Oracles to have
        been called upwards; for
        it accords with God's ways that those who have
        received His down-breathing
        should be called up to Him. For when trees are whirled
        up, roots and all,
        into the air by hurricanes and tornadoes, and heavily
        laden ships of large
        tonnage are snatched up out of mid-ocean, as though
        objects of very little
        weight, and lakes and rivers are borne aloft, and
        earth's hollows are left
        empty by the water as it is drqwn up by a tangle of
        violently eddying winds,
        it is strange if a light substance like the mind is
        not rendered buoyant and
        raised to the utmost height by the native force of the
        Divine Spirit,
        overcoming as it does in its boundless might all
        powers that are here below.
        Above all is it strange if this is not so with the
        mind of the genuine
        philosopher. Such an one suffers from no weight of
        downward pressure
        towards the objects dear to the body and to earth.
        From these he has ever
        made an earnest effort to sever and estrange himself.
        So he is borne upward
        insatiably enamoured of all holy happy natures that
        dwell on high.
        Accordingly Moses, the keeper and guardian of the
        mysteries of the Existent
        One, will be one called above; for it is said in the
        Book of Leviticus, 'He
        called Moses up above' (Lev. i. 1). One called above
        will Bezeleel also be,
        held worthy of a place in the second rank. For him
        also does God call up
        above for the construction and overseeing of the
        sacred works (Exod. xxxi. 2
        ff.)."

        I think we are now in a position to interpret verses
        5-7: 5, "Jesus
        answered, 'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a
        man be born of water
        and _of_ the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom
        of God. 6 That which
        is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born
        of the Spirit is spiri
        t. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born
        again.'"

        There are two types of birth. The first is when you
        are born in a bodily
        sense of your mother. The second is when you are
        reborn in the soul by God
        through the Spirit that is a spiritual water. This
        second is the superior
        birth, for it enables one's soul to enter into Wisdom,
        i.e., the Kingdom of
        God.

        Once entered into Wisdom, the soul can then go on
        spiritual journeys that
        are completely unknowable to those souls still
        completely earthbound. This
        is why it is added in verse 8, "The wind blows where
        it wills, and you hear
        the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes
        or whither it goes; so
        it is with evey one that is born of the Spirit." Like
        the wind that comes
        from where we know not and goes to where we know not,
        the reborn soul goes
        on spiritual journeys through Wisdom that are
        unbeknowst to those souls
        still completely earthbound.

        All of this is alien to Pharisaic thought so,
        naturally, it leaves Nicodemus
        completely baffled: which is why he asks in verse 9,
        "How can this be?"

        PART II JOHN 3:10-21

        Let us look at John 3:10-11, where Jesus tells
        Nicodumus, "Are you a teacher
        of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? Truly,
        truly, I say to you,
        we speak what we know, and bear witness to what we
        have seen, but you
        (plural) do not receive our testimony."

        As can be seen, this passage begins with Jesus as an
        individual speaking to
        Nicodumus as an individual. However, it ends with
        Jesus speaking on behalf
        of others (the "we") to a group ("you" in a plural
        sense).

        What I suggest is that we have, here, a shift in the
        identity of Jesus. In
        the beginning of this passage, he is himself. However,
        by the end of it he
        symbolicaly represents James the Just as the head of
        the Jerusalem Church
        Council (the "we").

        What I suggest is that we have, here, a shift in the
        identity of Nicodumus.
        In the beginning of this passage, he is himself as a
        teacher of Israel.
        However, by the end of it he symbolically represents
        all the teachers of
        Israel.

        As a result, I suggest, 3:10-11 ends with James the
        Just, acting in his
        role as the head of the Jerusalem Church Council,
        telling Nicodemus that he
        and the other teachers of Israel do not receive (i.e.,
        understand and
        accept) what is taught by the Jerusalem Church
        Council.

        The speech by Jesus to Nicodemus continues,
        uninterrupted, until 3:21. I
        suggest that, in this continuation of the speech,
        "Jesus" continues to
        symbolically represent James the Just.

        If so, then it is James the Just who proclaims, to us,
        the majestic words
        of 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his
        only begotten Son,
        that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
        have everlasting life
        (KJV)."

        Of course, it is widely recognized that, at some point
        in the monologue
        found in 3:10-21, the speaker ceases to be Jesus. It
        is most commonly
        thought that the switch occurs either in verse 13 or
        else in verse 16. It is
        also most commonly thought that, after the switch, the
        speaker is the author
        of John.

        What I am suggesting is that the switch occurs right
        away, in verses 10-11
        and that, after the switch, the speaker is James. That
        there is no evident
        "seam" in either verse 13 or verse 16 lends support to
        the idea that the
        switch takes place earlier than either verse.

        Too, note that, in 3:13-15, "Jesus" states, "No one
        has ascended into
        heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of
        Man. And as Moses
        lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the
        Son of Man be lifted
        up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life
        (RSV)."

        As far as I know, neither of these two doctrines are
        ascribed to Jesus in
        any of the other gospels. Therefore, I suggest, they
        are two doctrines
        formulated in a post-crucifixion sitz im leben. This
        lends support to the
        idea that "Jesus" becomes James in 3:10-11 and that
        this continues to be the
        case through 3:21. In this case, these two doctrines
        were formulated by
        the Jerusalem Church Council headed by James--thereby
        explaining why they
        are nowhere else attributed to Jesus.

        (Note: The first doctrine might be incorrectly
        rendered in the RSV. In The
        Johannine Son of Man (pp. 54-55), Francis J. Moloney
        states, "A more
        satisfactory solution is suggested by Bernard.
        Westcott and Lagrange. Jesus
        does not say that *he* has ascended, but that no one
        (oydeis) has
        ascended....The first part of John 3,13, then, is a
        denial of the
        possiblility of any human agent for the revelation of
        the things from above.
        To act as a revealer a human would have to ascend to
        heaven to learn these
        things. This possibility, in accordance with orthodox
        tradition, is denied.
        There is one exception to this--the Son of Man. The
        point made is not that
        the Son of Man has ascended (which he has done, and
        this is duly noted by an
        early commentator who adds: 'he who is in heaven') but
        that he descended."
        Even as rendered this way, the first doctrine is not
        attributed to Jesus in
        any of the other gospels. In particular, in none of
        them does he speak of
        the Son of Man as having descended from heaven in the
        person of himself.
        So, even as rendered this way, the first doctrine
        appears to be a
        post-crucifixion creation and, so, might have been
        formulated and preached
        by the Jerusalem Church Council.)

        Also, in support of the idea that, in 3:10-21, "Jesus"
        becomes James, it is
        noteworthy that there are several other passages in
        John where this appears
        to be the case. One of these is 10:1-5

        Let us look at the Second Apocalypse of James (55),
        where Jesus tells James,
        "And those who wish to enter, and those who seek to
        walk in the way that is
        before the door, open the good door through you. And
        they follow you; they
        enter [and you] escort them inside, and give a reward
        to each one who is
        ready for it. For you are not the redeemer nor a
        helper of strangers. You
        are an illuminator and a redeemer of those who (are)
        mine, and now of those
        who (are) yours."

        This directly relates to John 10:1-5, where Jesus
        states, "Amen. Amen. I
        say to you, he that enters in not by the door into the
        fold of the sheep,
        but climbs up elsewhere, he is a thief and a robber;
        but he that enters in
        by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the
        door-keeper opens, and
        the sheep hear his voice, and his own sheep he calls
        by name, and leads them
        out. And when his own sheep he puts forth, he goes
        before them; and the
        sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But a
        stranger in no way
        should they follow, but will flee from him, because
        they know not the voice
        of strangers."

        Obviously, the author of the Second Apocalypse of
        James understood that,
        in 10:1-5, Jesus symbolically represents James:
        thereby making it a
        declaration, by James, that he, rather than being a
        thief and a robber, is
        the shepherd of the sheep--these sheep being his in
        the sense that they are
        the sheep of Jesus entrusted to his care.

        Further, there is good reason to believe that, in
        fact, James should be
        understood to be the true speaker in 10:1-5. That is,
        in this case, we can
        readily determine the nature of the door and the
        identity of the strangers
        who are thieves and robbers. So, in The History of the
        Church (Book 2,
        Sect. 23), Eusebius thusly quotes Hegesippus,
        "Representatives of the seven
        popular sects described by me asked him (i.e., James)
        what was meant by 'the
        door of Jesus', and he replied that Jesus was the
        Saviour." Thus, if James
        be the true speaker in 10:1-5, then, in this passage,
        the door is Jesus in
        his role as the Saviour and the strangers (who are
        thieves and robbers) are
        the non-Christian Jewish religious leaders.

        Indeed, in line with this, in 10:7-8, Jesus (now
        speaking as himself)
        declares himself to be the door of the sheep and
        speaks of the Jewish
        religious leaders before himself as being thieves and
        robbers, "Amen. Amen.
        I say to you, that I am the door of the sheep. All
        whoever came before me
        are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear
        them."

        Regards,

        Frank McCoy
        1809 N. English Apt. 17
        Maplewood, MN USA 55109





        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Yahoo! Movies - coverage of the 74th Academy Awards´┐Ż
        http://movies.yahoo.com/
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.