2427[gthomas] Re: Jewishness of GOT
- Mar 11, 2000On Fri, 10 Mar 2000, Michael Grondin wrote:
> Yuri-Yes, Mike, this is what I'm doing.
> Our discussion (like too many others) has no doubt suffered from a
> failure to clearly define the central terms involved. What does it
> mean, for example, to say that a text is "Jewish-Christian" or
> "Gentile-Christian"? But there are other problems as well. One is that
> you are trying to draw a conclusion based on general historical
> rather than on the internal evidence of the text itself. As IWhile I think GOT was written before 100, I also think it was probably
> understand it, your argument amounts to saying that (1) Christianity
> was "almost entirely" Jewish-oriented prior to at least 100, and (2)
> GOT was written before 100, therefore (3) GOT is almost certainly
> "Jewish" (whatever that means).
re-edited after 100.
> I agree with (2) and disagree with (1), but more than that, I'd pointBut you will have to agree that with the study of early Christianity if
> out that this is a probabilistic argument - which means that both its
> premises and its conclusion are only probable. However strong you make
> the probability of the premises, GOT might still be one of the
> exceptions to the probabilistic conclusion
only we could always be so lucky as to be able to establish a
"probabilistic conclusion". Keep in mind that we are trying to solve a big
jigsaw puzzle with most pieces missing. If, under these circumstances, we
can still establish something as probable, I think we've done pretty well.
> - written, say, in some little out-of-the-way pocket of GentileBut I think I've already refuted this. Comparing GOT text with other
> Xianity in Syria.
Syrian texts from the same time shows that this was a mainstream textual
tradition in Syria, not some little pocket.
> In any case, whether GOT is or is not an exception to the argument canAs I said before, when we are trying to solve a big jigsaw puzzle with
> be so easily determined by internal textual evidence (or so it seems),
> that one wonders why you even bother to approach the question from
> this indirect angle?
most pieces missing, every bit of evidence is important.
> I've deliberately avoided responding to every point of thisWhere's the inconsistency?
> discussion, because some of them would soon lead very far away from
> the central question. I'll have to leave it up to the reader to judge
> the relative persuasiveness of most of the point-counterpoints. But I
> would like to put a couple of your statements - which relate to
> premise (1) above - side-by-side and see how you would resolve their
> apparent inconsistency:
> (A) "Paul's influence came to be dominant very gradually in the years
> (B) "NT is mostly a Pauline document (in its final redaction)."
> The combination of the above statements implies, of course, that allSupposedly? Supposedly for who?
> of the books of the NT received their final redaction much closer to
> 150 than 100 (before which they were supposedly
> written). I assume you're taking advantage of the fact that noOf course not. It's a minority view in our time.
> manuscripts or clear references have been found predating 150, but I
> think you should at least admit in all honesty that your view is not
> widely shared,
> and doesn't have much positive evidence going for it.Plenty of evidence. Quite a few scholars in fact think that Lk and Jn may
date from ca 110. Not such a small minority.
> This doesn't mean that you're wrong, of course, but it does mean thatArguments for late dating? You can find them in Loisy.
> your arguments have to be stronger than otherwise might be called for.
> In fact, a strong positive case has to be made - not just an assertion
> and associated fending-off of objections. That's the burden that those
> of us who find ourselves occasionally in the minority have to be
> willing to bear, if we're interested in making our point, and not just
> tilting at windmills.
> I could be wrong, but I believe that most scholars would say thatBut this is merely an appeal to authority.
> whatever "Gentile" aspects are to be found in the NT were already
> basically there prior to 100.
> That surely implies that Pauline/Gentile influence must have beenSure it would have declined. But how rapidly?
> great prior to 100, and such an implication is consistent with what
> seems to be a commonsensical view that Jewish influence would have
> necessarily declined rapidly after the first Jewish war.
> Indeed, it would have been at this time (66-75) that it would haveWhy?
> been most politic for Xn writers to stress the differences between
> their movement and Judaism proper,
Also your assumption seems to be that there was a substantial difference
between "their movement" and "Judaism proper" already before 66-75, which
makes your argument somewhat circular.
> and to invent stories of favorable attitudes and actions by individualWhy? You mean they suddenly started to love the Romans after Israel and
> Romans during the time of Jesus.
Jerusalem were devastated?
> The only alternative that I can see is to maintain that the "Pauline"Not at all. As I said before, my position is that Paul's influence came to
> stuff wasn't added until around 60-80 years later (and non-Pauline
> stuff removed?),
be dominant very gradually in the years 70-150.
> but I can't imagine where one would find the evidence necessary toMany arguments can be made for my position, as opposed to the one you seem
> present any kind of a strong case for THAT position (quoting Loisy
> doesn't count <g>). One could make a WEAK case, of course, but why
to be attributing to me.
> In any case, much of this is beside the point. If you have someWell, I'm talking about the important watershed, i.e. When was Jesus
> criteria by which one could judge whether a text is "Jewish-Christian"
> or "Gentile-Christian", I think the best course of action would be to
> lay them out, so we can discuss their validity, and then apply them to
> the text itself.
movement opened wide to Gentiles, and Torah-adherence was abandoned? Paul
seems to be associated with this strongly as "most scholars think". Also,
When did antisemitic passages get added to our canonical texts? This, to
me, is the difference between "Jewish-Christian" and "Gentile-Christian"
in a nutshell.
> The indirect probability approach you've adopted is just doublyWhich one? A or B?
> unconvincing to me: first, because one of its premises is highly
> and second, because even if the argument is sound, it doesn't proveBut as I say, this sort of an argument, if established on the grounds of
> what you want it to prove, namely that the GOT is "Jewish" (whatever
> that means).
genereal probability, would be difficult to ignore.
Yuri Kuchinsky | Toronto | http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm
Biblical history list http://www.egroups.com/group/loisy - unmoderated
The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
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