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Re: [gthomas] Dating GThom

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  • Rick Hubbard
    ... Actually, all of the last four (Fitzmyer, Menard, Guillamont and Dehandschutter) *are* using these dates to refer to the entirety of GThom, not the Greek
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 2, 2000
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      Jack Kilmon wrote:
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Andrew Smith <asmith@...>
      > To: <gthomas@egroups.com>
      > Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 2:10 PM
      > Subject: Re: [gthomas] Dating GThom
      >
      > > on 7/30/00 9:41 AM, Rick Hubbard at rhubbard@... wrote:
      > >
      > > > For the sake of illustrating the general trajectories in the discussions
      > > > about the date of GThom, it may be helpful to identify some of the
      > > > participants in the debate and the dating they suggest.
      > > >
      > > > H. Koester: 70-100 CE
      > > > R. Cameron: 50-100 CE
      > > > W. Davies: 50-70 CE
      > > > J. Fitzmyer: C. 200 CE (End of 2nd c.)
      > > > J. Menard: C. 200 CE (End of 2nd c.)
      > > > A. Guillamont C. (End of 2nd c.)
      > > > B. Dehandschutter C. (End of 2nd c.)
      > >
      > > What are these last four based on? Are they dates for the Coptic version
      > of
      > > Thomas? Or are they based on the old argument of Thomas being Gnostic, and
      > > therefore late?
      >
      > The last 4 cannot be dates estimated for the composition of GoT but
      > termini ad quem for the scribing of POxy 1 (200 CE), POxy 654 (250-300 CE)
      > and POxy 655 (200-250 CE). Surely these scholars do nor believe that
      > the Oxyrhynchus GoT's are autographs. The first three are estimates on
      > the composition of GoT. I agree with Davies.

      Actually, all of the last four (Fitzmyer, Menard, Guillamont and
      Dehandschutter) *are* using these dates to refer to the entirety of
      GThom, not the Greek (P Oxy) fragments. The methods and assumptions by
      which they reach their respective conclusions are described by J.
      Robinson in C. Hedrick & R. Hodgson, Jr. _Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism and
      Early Christianity_, Hemdrickson, (1986), pp 142-166.

      Menard's conclusions derive from a conjectured relationship between
      GThom and Syriac NT wherein Menard sees a connection between, "instances
      where the Syriac canonical gospels and the Gospel of Thomas share a
      variant from the Greek NT or where the Syriac canonical gospels present
      an ambiguous term with one of its meanings found in the GNT and the
      other in GThom." (_Nag Hammadi_, p 159). In the work cited, Robinson
      there disputes that conclusion as well as Menard's inference that
      ActsThom (3rd c.) is dependent on GThom so GThom 'could hence date from
      the end of the second century.' ((Menard, L'Evangile selon Thomas, p
      156) in _Nag Hammdi_, p 160).

      Dehandschutter's conclusions proceed from the premise that the genre of
      the synoptics is sufficiently different from GThom that the application
      of the same techniques of literary criticism to both documents yield
      skewed results. His view seems to reflect a bias in which GThom and the
      synoptics bear a different "value" in terms of their relevance to early
      Christianity. The problems with that premise seem to me to be
      self-evident.

      Fitzmyer's position is perhaps the most perplexing. Robinson cites this
      remark of Fitzmyer, "'The Greek copies are dated roughly to the first
      half of the third century AD, but the Gospel itself may well have been
      composed toward the end of the second century.'" ((Fitzmyer, _The Gospel
      According to Luke_, Doubleday, (1981), p 85) _Nag Hammadi_, p 158).
      Fitzmyer's bias toward so-called gnostic gospels in general is
      illustrated by Robinson (in the same place) by quoting the remark from
      Fitzmyer which characterizes these gospels as, "..schlock that is
      supposed to pass for 'literature'... It has been mystifying, indeed, why
      serious scholars continue to talk about the pertinence of this material
      to the study of the New Testment.'" (Proper attribution of this remark
      may be read in _Nag Hammadi_, p 158 n 85).

      In any case, the views of Koester, Cameron and Davies seem to represent
      the majority position so it would seem that one runs little risk in
      positing an early date for GThom.

      On the other hand, these two groups of scholars, who argue for
      contradicting conclusions about the date of GThom, share the assumption
      that GThom can be subjected to the same methods of compositional dating
      as other texts from the same period. Perhaps that assumption needs to be
      re-examined.

      Stephan Patterson has raised an interesting suggestion about this matter
      in _The Fifth Gospel_, Trinity (1998). He recognizes that while, "...
      some form of the gospel existed aalready before the end of the first
      century... This does not mean however that everything we now see in this
      gospel derives from this early period." (p 43). He says further, "The
      genesis of the Gospel of Thomas probably lies in the last decades of the
      first century...But this collection grew and changed." He concludes by
      saying that, "The interpreter of Thomas must always hold open the
      possibility of various time frames for individual logia." He thereafter
      cites two additonal scholars, H. Schenke and R. Valantasis, who argue
      for late dating of GThom (Schenke: after 135; Valantasis: "just after
      the turn of the first century).

      Patterson's suggestion, when seen in the context of the ongoing debate
      about the "date" of GThom, suggests that perhaps it is indeed *not*
      possible to date GThom in the traditonal way in which other pieces of
      literature from late antiquity is dated. The fluidity of the text is
      such that it may have been a work in progress for many decades and so it
      contains multiple strata of material that entered the text at different
      times.

      Or, maybe not.

      Rick Hubbard
      Humble Maine Woodsman
      >
      > Jack
      > --
      > ______________________________________________
      >
      > taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon
      >
      > Jack Kilmon
      > jkilmon@...
      >
      > http://www.historian.net
      >
      > sharing a meal for free.
      > http://www.thehungersite.com/
      >
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    • Yuri Kuchinsky
      In gthomas@egroups.com, on Aug 1, 2000, Andrew Smith wrote (in reply to ... The problem with this line of argument, Andrew, is that it leaves the area of
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 3, 2000
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        In gthomas@egroups.com, on Aug 1, 2000, Andrew Smith wrote (in reply to
        joe lieb):

        > Steve (Davies) is referring to modern scholarship, not to a general
        > view of Jesus. I understand him to be saying that the tendency in
        > modern HJ research to emphasize the Jewishness of Jesus is due to an
        > element of political correctness, which is understandable in the
        > post-Holocaust world, but which isn't really confirmed by the sources.
        > It's arguable, but I find this model quite useful.

        The problem with this line of argument, Andrew, is that it leaves the area
        of objective historical scholarship, and begins to focus on personal
        presuppositions and motivations. But this is pure speculation.

        Is there really a big tendency in modern HJ research to emphasize the
        Jewishness of Jesus? Maybe, maybe not. But was there a tendency in
        ancient HJ research to emphasize the Jewishness of Jesus? There surely
        was.

        Mt 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the
        Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

        Lk 16:17 "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the
        least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law."

        So then I guess this nasty political correctness business was already
        quite a problem 1900 years ago?

        Yes, there are all kinds of tendencies in modern HJ research. There are so
        many of them. And if one begins to focus on personal motivations of
        various researchers, then I'm afraid for all of them there can be found
        various suitably opprobrious personal motivations. But perhaps it is not
        such a good idea to go down this road.

        Best regards,

        Yuri.

        Yuri Kuchinsky | Toronto | http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

        Open biblical history list http://www.egroups.com/group/loisy - loisy-l

        To subscribe to loisy-l, send blank email to loisy-subscribe@...

        The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
        equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
      • Andrew Smith
        ... This really wasn t the point of re-posting Steve s letter. I wrote the above paragraph because Joe Lieb picked up on Steve s last sentence in the post and
        Message 3 of 15 , Aug 3, 2000
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          on 8/3/00 8:18 AM, Yuri Kuchinsky at yuku@... wrote:

          >
          > In gthomas@egroups.com, on Aug 1, 2000, Andrew Smith wrote (in reply to
          > joe lieb):
          >
          >> Steve (Davies) is referring to modern scholarship, not to a general
          >> view of Jesus. I understand him to be saying that the tendency in
          >> modern HJ research to emphasize the Jewishness of Jesus is due to an
          >> element of political correctness, which is understandable in the
          >> post-Holocaust world, but which isn't really confirmed by the sources.
          >> It's arguable, but I find this model quite useful.
          >
          > The problem with this line of argument, Andrew, is that it leaves the area
          > of objective historical scholarship, and begins to focus on personal
          > presuppositions and motivations. But this is pure speculation.
          >

          This really wasn't the point of re-posting Steve's letter. I wrote the above
          paragraph because Joe Lieb picked up on Steve's last sentence in the post
          and started to run away with it. Additonally, my post may have added to the
          confusion: when I wrote "this model" I wasn't referring to this view of
          modern scholarship, but the model of Christianity being anomian or
          antinomian in the earliest sources.

          > Is there really a big tendency in modern HJ research to emphasize the
          > Jewishness of Jesus? Maybe, maybe not. But was there a tendency in
          > ancient HJ research to emphasize the Jewishness of Jesus? There surely
          > was.

          Are Matthew and Luke trying to research the historical Jesus? Luke maybe.

          >
          > Mt 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the
          > Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."
          >
          > Lk 16:17 "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the
          > least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law."
          >
          > So then I guess this nasty political correctness business was already
          > quite a problem 1900 years ago?

          This was one of Steve's good points, which you are confirming here:-

          > 3. The presentation of Jesus as a man concerned with the Judean
          > Law in a postitive sense changes in a remarkably straight-line
          > way from the earliest sources, which advocate freedom from the
          > Law (Paul), to intermediate sources that by no means give Jesus
          > anything like a clear positive pro-Torah stance (Mark), to later
          > sources that do in fact present Jesus as a Torah teaching pharisaic
          > Judean (Matthew).
          >

          Anyway, back to the Gospel of Thomas.

          Andrew Smith
        • William Arnal
          ... It s no more (or less) pure speculation than redaction criticism. It s a reasonable area of scholarly inquiry: historiography and its various tendency at
          Message 4 of 15 , Aug 3, 2000
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            At 11:18 AM 8/3/00 -0400, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

            >The problem with this line of argument, Andrew, is that it leaves the area
            >of objective historical scholarship, and begins to focus on personal
            >presuppositions and motivations. But this is pure speculation.

            It's no more (or less) "pure speculation" than redaction criticism. It's a
            reasonable area of scholarly inquiry: historiography and its various
            tendency at various times and places. Schweitzer's book, for instance,
            advanced the field of historical Jesus scholarship immensely by focusing on
            precisely this. And several modern scholars (Sean Freyne is an excellent
            example) freely admit that contemporary issues (in Freyne's case, the
            Holocaust) do figure into their scholarship. Also: "personal" here is a
            little misleading. No one is claiming that scholar "x" believes "y" about
            the historical Jesus because of the way his parents potty-trained him, or
            some such thing. The issue is historic intellectual currents and their
            manifestation in biblical studies (as elsewhere). Moreover, while the
            accusation of bias certainly does not in itself disprove any hypothesis
            (actual direct evidence is needed for that), observing bias may tell us
            something useful about why some hypotheses are defended so vigorously, or
            why they are maintained even when the evidence for them is very weak.

            >Is there really a big tendency in modern HJ research to emphasize the
            >Jewishness of Jesus? Maybe, maybe not. But was there a tendency in
            >ancient HJ research to emphasize the Jewishness of Jesus? There surely
            >was.

            The ancient tendency to emphasize the Jewishness of Jesus could be just as,
            well, tendentious as the modern tendency. And there is in fact an opposite
            ancient tendency, i.e., to repudiate or at least minimize the Jewishness
            (whatever that means) of Jesus.

            >So then I guess this nasty political correctness business was already
            >quite a problem 1900 years ago?

            That's gratuitous. The issue is not "political correctness," it's agenda.
            The agenda which drive some aspects of the presentation of Jesus today are
            certainly not those that drove the evangelists, but that needn't prevent the
            results from being similar.

            Bill
            __________________________________
            William Arnal wea1@...
            Religion/Classics New York University

            Is there an ursine proclivity for sylvan defecation?
          • Yuri Kuchinsky
            ... Andrew, But one can argue that this is how Matthew and Luke really imagined the Historical Jesus to have been. So do you really think the way they came up
            Message 5 of 15 , Aug 4, 2000
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              On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Andrew Smith wrote:
              > on 8/3/00 8:18 AM, Yuri Kuchinsky at yuku@... wrote:

              ...

              > > Is there really a big tendency in modern HJ research to emphasize the
              > > Jewishness of Jesus? Maybe, maybe not. But was there a tendency in
              > > ancient HJ research to emphasize the Jewishness of Jesus? There surely
              > > was.
              >
              > Are Matthew and Luke trying to research the historical Jesus? Luke
              > maybe.

              Andrew,

              But one can argue that this is how Matthew and Luke really imagined the
              Historical Jesus to have been. So do you really think the way they came up
              with their picture of Jesus was so radically different from the ways our
              modern scholars come up with their own pictures of Jesus? Because in both
              cases personal presuppositions may play their roles.

              > > Mt 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the
              > > Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."
              > >
              > > Lk 16:17 "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the
              > > least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law."
              > >
              > > So then I guess this nasty political correctness business was already
              > > quite a problem 1900 years ago?
              >
              > This was one of Steve's good points, which you are confirming here:-

              [Steve:]
              > > 3. The presentation of Jesus as a man concerned with the Judean
              > > Law in a postitive sense changes in a remarkably straight-line
              > > way from the earliest sources, which advocate freedom from the
              > > Law (Paul), to intermediate sources that by no means give Jesus
              > > anything like a clear positive pro-Torah stance (Mark), to later
              > > sources that do in fact present Jesus as a Torah teaching pharisaic
              > > Judean (Matthew).

              So please observe the personal presuppositions in the above snippet of
              Steve's. According to him, the "earliest sources" (Paul) advocate "freedom
              from the Law". But how can we be sure that everything in Paul was really
              written by Paul? A presupposition that is certainly questionable, although
              almost never questioned.

              Next, according to him, "intermediate sources" (Mark) "by no means give
              Jesus anything like a clear positive pro-Torah stance". But how can we be
              sure that Mk is really so early in its entirety? A presupposition that is
              rather doubtful.

              I have addressed this whole issue before on this list in more detail.
              Here's that article,

              GOT and its historical context (3/15/2000),
              http://www.egroups.com/message/gthomas/2436

              And here's a relevant exerpt,

              [quote]

              Is it possible that Jesus was un-apocalyptic, and then his followers
              became apocalyptic? This is how Crossan would like to see things. But I
              think it's a lot more natural to see the source of un-apocalypticism in
              the years much after 70, as the Messianic expectations were being
              inevitably disappointed. The movement would have been looking for a new
              focus then, and gnosticism would have seemed like a good one.

              So what are the early daters really saying? They would like HJ to be
              un-apocalyptic laid-back social worker, I suppose, maybe even mostly
              secular-minded? ...

              So, all right, Jesus was un-apocalyptic, but then for some reason his
              followers all went astray and became apocalyptic? All except one, that is,
              by the name of Didymus Judas Thomas, who managed to preserve the "original
              teachings" in some "little pocket" of society, until that too vanished
              (except for what little managed to trickle into the sands of Nag Hammadi
              for us to discover, to be sure).

              If we suppose that all his followers went astray and became OT-oriented
              and apocalyptic all of a sudden, then this must have happened before 70,
              right? But I thought that according to Crossan we have the Gentiles taking
              over the Jesus movement before 70 in a big hurry? Sure seems like there
              are some problems with this scenario somehow? One may indeed wonder how
              could back-to-the-Torah movement be happening at the same time as the
              let's-dump-the-Torah movement..

              [unquote]

              And now I will also add a clarification to what I wrote back in March. The
              purpose of that post was to argue that all NT materials, as well as GOT
              should be dated later rather than earlier. Because I concluded then as
              follows,

              "In my view, GOT had a similar history to that of the synoptic gospels,
              i.e. it was a work-in-progress for perhaps 100 years from 50 to 150."

              So while as compared to most commentators I tend to date _everything_
              later, at the same time, if one wishes to date GOT vis-a-vis the
              Synoptics, then clearly from the redactional standpoint GOT precedes much
              of the Synoptic sayings materials. And also, in my view, chronologically
              GOT precedes a lot of stuff that is now found in Mk.

              Regards,

              Yuri.

              Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

              "Genuine ignorance is ... profitable because it is likely to be
              accompanied by humility, curiosity, and open mindedness; whereas ability
              to repeat catch-phrases, cant terms, familiar propositions, gives the
              conceit of learning, and coats the mind with varnish water-proof to new
              ideas" -- John Dewey
            • Yuri Kuchinsky
              ... Sure, Bill, presuppositions and motivations do enter into scholarly reconstructions in a big way. ... Yes, intellectual currents are also important. But if
              Message 6 of 15 , Aug 4, 2000
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                On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, William Arnal wrote:
                > At 11:18 AM 8/3/00 -0400, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
                >
                > >The problem with this line of argument, Andrew, is that it leaves the area
                > >of objective historical scholarship, and begins to focus on personal
                > >presuppositions and motivations. But this is pure speculation.
                >
                > It's no more (or less) "pure speculation" than redaction criticism.
                > It's a reasonable area of scholarly inquiry: historiography and its
                > various tendency at various times and places. Schweitzer's book, for
                > instance, advanced the field of historical Jesus scholarship immensely
                > by focusing on precisely this. And several modern scholars (Sean
                > Freyne is an excellent example) freely admit that contemporary issues
                > (in Freyne's case, the Holocaust) do figure into their scholarship.

                Sure, Bill, presuppositions and motivations do enter into scholarly
                reconstructions in a big way.

                > Also: "personal" here is a little misleading. No one is claiming that
                > scholar "x" believes "y" about the historical Jesus because of the way
                > his parents potty-trained him, or some such thing. The issue is
                > historic intellectual currents and their manifestation in biblical
                > studies (as elsewhere). Moreover, while the accusation of bias
                > certainly does not in itself disprove any hypothesis (actual direct
                > evidence is needed for that), observing bias may tell us something
                > useful about why some hypotheses are defended so vigorously, or why
                > they are maintained even when the evidence for them is very weak.

                Yes, intellectual currents are also important.

                But if one begins to deal with such things, then those raising such issues
                should _also_ expect their own presuppositions and motivations to be fair
                game for some close scrutiny. Isn't this only fair?

                I did follow the recent email conference with Crossan, and I recall that
                he complained quite a lot about those who try to focus on _his_
                presuppositions and motivations. So obviously, this is not the thing that
                he welcomes too much. That's why I expressed the view that since,
                generally, it's a sword that can cut both ways, perhaps such lines of
                reasoning should be avoided, because they can easily degenerate into
                personal exchanges.

                > >Is there really a big tendency in modern HJ research to emphasize the
                > >Jewishness of Jesus? Maybe, maybe not. But was there a tendency in
                > >ancient HJ research to emphasize the Jewishness of Jesus? There surely
                > >was.
                >
                > The ancient tendency to emphasize the Jewishness of Jesus could be
                > just as, well, tendentious as the modern tendency.

                Sure!

                > And there is in fact an opposite ancient tendency, i.e., to repudiate
                > or at least minimize the Jewishness (whatever that means) of Jesus.

                Of course. The question is which came first? See my previous reply to
                Andrew.

                > >So then I guess this nasty political correctness business was already
                > >quite a problem 1900 years ago?
                >
                > That's gratuitous. The issue is not "political correctness," it's
                > agenda. The agenda which drive some aspects of the presentation of
                > Jesus today are certainly not those that drove the evangelists, but
                > that needn't prevent the results from being similar.

                Yes, and again I agree. Indeed, it's all about the agendas. So suppose we
                now focus on the agendas which drive some aspects of the presentation of
                Jesus today? It was Steve's repost that brought out the bugaboo of
                "political correctness". OK, fine. So then I will ask in turn, who are the
                people who are usually known as "anti-PC" today? It's the right-wing
                yahoos like Rush, Jerry Fallwell, etc. Some of them, to be sure, with a
                discernible air of anti-semitism hanging about them. So which of these two
                camps would I rather find myself in?

                Remember what I already said about those raising such issues? That they
                should also expect their own presuppositions to be fair game?

                Regards,

                Yuri.

                Yuri Kuchinsky | Toronto | http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

                Open biblical history list http://www.egroups.com/group/loisy - loisy-l

                To subscribe to loisy-l, send blank email to loisy-subscribe@...

                The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
                equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
              • Andrew Smith
                ... Yes, of course it was radically different! Are you suggesting that Matthew and Luke were critical scholars in the modern fashion? ... Paul s attitude to
                Message 7 of 15 , Aug 4, 2000
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                  >
                  > Andrew,
                  >
                  > But one can argue that this is how Matthew and Luke really imagined the
                  > Historical Jesus to have been. So do you really think the way they came up
                  > with their picture of Jesus was so radically different from the ways our
                  > modern scholars come up with their own pictures of Jesus? Because in both
                  > cases personal presuppositions may play their roles.
                  >

                  Yes, of course it was radically different! Are you suggesting that Matthew
                  and Luke were critical scholars in the modern fashion?

                  > So please observe the personal presuppositions in the above snippet of
                  > Steve's. According to him, the "earliest sources" (Paul) advocate "freedom
                  > from the Law". But how can we be sure that everything in Paul was really
                  > written by Paul? A presupposition that is certainly questionable, although
                  > almost never questioned.
                  >

                  Paul's attitude to the law isn't a personal presupposition of Steve, it's
                  the general consensus of modern scholarship. He's simply taking the standard
                  datings of the gospels and epistles and showing that they point to quite a
                  different model of early Christianity. And nobody thinks that everything in
                  the Pauline letters was written by Paul.

                  <snipped>
                  >One may indeed wonder how
                  >could back-to-the-Torah movement be happening at the same time as the
                  >let's-dump-the-Torah movement..

                  If it began with anomian or antinomian elements this isn't such a problem.
                  Some parts of the movement maintain the original attitude, other parts slip
                  back into nomian Judaism.

                  <rest snipped>

                  I'm sorry that I haven't got time to address all of your points, except to
                  mention that Thomas does have an apocalyptic *protology* .

                  What makes your posts so difficult, Yuri, is that you argue so broadly using
                  phrases like "It's my opinion that", "in my view", etc. and so you end up
                  not arguing but just asserting. You very rarely ground anything in a
                  specificic piece of text or a critical observation, so your theories are
                  seldom taken seriously, especially since you are working uphill with most of
                  them.

                  Best Wishes

                  Andrew Smith
                • Jacob Knee
                  For those who are interested Eerdmans theological publishers seem to have activated their web site at www.eerdmans.com Best wishes, Jacob Knee (Cam,
                  Message 8 of 15 , Aug 5, 2000
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                    For those who are interested Eerdmans theological publishers seem to have
                    'activated' their web site at www.eerdmans.com

                    Best wishes,
                    Jacob Knee
                    (Cam, Gloucestershire)
                  • Yuri Kuchinsky
                    ... But who said anything about critical scholars , Andrew? Exactly how many of today s scholars are critical scholars still remains to be determined. In my
                    Message 9 of 15 , Aug 6, 2000
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                      On Fri, 4 Aug 2000, Andrew Smith wrote:

                      > > Andrew,
                      > >
                      > > But one can argue that this is how Matthew and Luke really imagined the
                      > > Historical Jesus to have been. So do you really think the way they came up
                      > > with their picture of Jesus was so radically different from the ways our
                      > > modern scholars come up with their own pictures of Jesus? Because in both
                      > > cases personal presuppositions may play their roles.
                      >
                      > Yes, of course it was radically different! Are you suggesting that
                      > Matthew and Luke were critical scholars in the modern fashion?

                      But who said anything about "critical scholars", Andrew?

                      Exactly how many of today's scholars are critical scholars still remains
                      to be determined. In my view, there're not enough.

                      > > So please observe the personal presuppositions in the above snippet of
                      > > Steve's. According to him, the "earliest sources" (Paul) advocate "freedom
                      > > from the Law". But how can we be sure that everything in Paul was really
                      > > written by Paul? A presupposition that is certainly questionable, although
                      > > almost never questioned.
                      >
                      > Paul's attitude to the law isn't a personal presupposition of Steve,
                      > it's the general consensus of modern scholarship. He's simply taking
                      > the standard datings of the gospels and epistles

                      And now you don't really seem like a truly critical scholar yourself...

                      > and showing that they point to quite a different model of early
                      > Christianity. And nobody thinks that everything in the Pauline
                      > letters was written by Paul.
                      >
                      > <snipped>
                      > >One may indeed wonder how
                      > >could back-to-the-Torah movement be happening at the same time as the
                      > >let's-dump-the-Torah movement..
                      >
                      > If it began with anomian or antinomian elements

                      But I've examined this assumption already and found it lacking.

                      > this isn't such a problem. Some parts of the movement maintain the
                      > original attitude, other parts slip back into nomian Judaism.

                      So you're suggesting now that the "anomian or antinomian elements" split
                      off early, and that the rest of the movement became nomian before 70? But
                      then you have a problem because according to Crossan et al the rest of the
                      movement became _anomian_ before 70 as is witnessed by Mk. Thus,
                      persistence in dating Mk early creates serious problems for a critical
                      scholar. In actual fact, a lot of Mk seems late.

                      Thus, your objection had already been answered. The incongruity is still
                      there.

                      > I'm sorry that I haven't got time to address all of your points,
                      > except to mention that Thomas does have an apocalyptic *protology* .

                      So this supports my point of view?

                      > What makes your posts so difficult, Yuri, is that you argue so broadly
                      > using phrases like "It's my opinion that", "in my view", etc. and so
                      > you end up not arguing but just asserting. You very rarely ground
                      > anything in a specificic piece of text or a critical observation, so
                      > your theories are seldom taken seriously, especially since you are
                      > working uphill with most of them.

                      But I think my theories are seldom taken seriously because, in order to
                      take them seriously, great many scholars would have to stop taking so much
                      of their own previous work seriously...

                      Yours,

                      Yuri.

                      Yuri Kuchinsky | Toronto | http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

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                      I doubt, therefore I might be.
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