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RE: [GTh] Re: GTh 20: The Parable of the Mustard Seed and GTh 21:The Parable of the Children in the Field

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  • Rick Hubbard
    If I understand what you are driving at in your most recent post it is that: A. The Kingdom of God is the Spirit-Sophia. B. The version of the mustard seed
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 3, 2001
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      If I understand what you are driving at in your most recent post it is
      that:

      A. The Kingdom of God is the Spirit-Sophia.
      B. The version of the mustard seed parable in Mk is the most original.


      If you are attempting to invoke Bultmann as an ally in these two
      arguments you have gotten a traitor instead. He fails to support you
      on either point.

      [Regarding the meaning of the parable of the mustard seed Frank
      wrote:]

      In Theology of the New Testament (p.8), Rudolph Bultmann notes that
      this
      parable is related to a parable about the hailstone which can cause
      great
      pain--which parable is found in the Shepherd of Hermas (Mandate XI,
      43,
      20-21).

      This is not what Bultmann wrote at all Here is the precise and full
      quotation which differs considerably from what you say):

      "...the related parables in the Shepherd of Hermas (Mand. V 1, 5f;
      [AND] XI 20f.) about the drop of wormwood which makes a whole jug of
      honey bitter AND [my emphasis] about the hailstone which can cause
      great pain, have an entirely different meaning. The former [about the
      wormwood] intends to illustrate how practice in patience is brought to
      nought by an attack of wrath; the latter illustrate the power of the
      Holy Spirit. So it might be that the parable of the mustard seed and
      the leaven originally dealt with the individual and were intended to
      instruct him {sic], either as a warning or as a consolation, how a
      great result may grow out of small beginnings."

      This directly contradicts what you write here:

      That these parables are related makes it likely that they regard
      the same
      topic. Therefore, that the hailstone is explicitly identified as
      being the
      Spirit is evidence supporting the idea that the mustard seed that
      grows up
      into the greatest plant is, indeed, the Spirit-Sophia!

      [regarding the "originality" of Mark's version of the mustard seed
      parable Frank wrote:]

      In the History of the Synoptic Tradition (p. 172), Rudolph Bultmann
      puts
      this parable under the category of similitudes and he notes that there
      is a
      Q version of it as well. He also notes that "both Mark and Q preface
      it
      with a double question,..". This double attestation that Jesus
      prefaced the
      parable with a double question suggests that the double question by
      Jesus is
      original and that, therefore, the Thomas version is less original in
      this
      respect because it lacks the double question by Jesus.

      The second sentence above is again a misrepresentation of Bultmann's
      position. Here is what he actually says:

      "Luke substantially reproduces the similtude from Q, while Matthew
      combines Q's text with Mark. Both Mark and Q preface it with a double
      question, the parable then following with hWS (or in Luke hOMIA
      ESTIN)."

      The content of the similtude here is not the entirety of Mk 4:30-32.
      That to which Bultmann refers is the direct discourse of 4:31-32. 4:30
      is editorial material according to Bultmann's principle that, "As a
      rule, the expansion which any saying undergoes at its beginning
      derives from its context" (history, 91). "Context" here is a euphemism
      for what Bultmann calls the "productivity" of the church and which the
      JS calls "The Story Seller's License (T5g, 29).

      But in any case, whether Mark's version represents an earlier
      "version" of the mustard seed parable than that of Q or Lk (or Mt), it
      has not been demonstrated by this particular argument. More
      importantly there is still no defensible argument that the Kingdom
      (here or anywhere else) refers to the Pneuma-Sophia complex.

      Rick Hubbard
      Humble Maine Woodsman
    • FMMCCOY
      ... From: Rick Hubbard To: Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 4:32 PM Subject: RE: [GTh] Re: GTh 20: The Parable
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 5, 2001
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 4:32 PM
        Subject: RE: [GTh] Re: GTh 20: The Parable of the Mustard Seed and GTh
        21:The Parable of the Children in the Field


        > If I understand what you are driving at in your most recent post it is
        > that:
        >
        > A. The Kingdom of God is the Spirit-Sophia.
        > B. The version of the mustard seed parable in Mk is the most original.
        >
        >
        > If you are attempting to invoke Bultmann as an ally in these two
        > arguments you have gotten a traitor instead. He fails to support you
        > on either point.
        >
        > [Regarding the meaning of the parable of the mustard seed Frank
        > wrote:]
        >
        > In Theology of the New Testament (p.8), Rudolph Bultmann notes that
        > this
        > parable is related to a parable about the hailstone which can cause
        > great
        > pain--which parable is found in the Shepherd of Hermas (Mandate XI,
        > 43,
        > 20-21).
        >
        > This is not what Bultmann wrote at all Here is the precise and full
        > quotation which differs considerably from what you say):
        >
        > "...the related parables in the Shepherd of Hermas (Mand. V 1, 5f;
        > [AND] XI 20f.) about the drop of wormwood which makes a whole jug of
        > honey bitter AND [my emphasis] about the hailstone which can cause
        > great pain, have an entirely different meaning. The former [about the
        > wormwood] intends to illustrate how practice in patience is brought to
        > nought by an attack of wrath; the latter illustrate the power of the
        > Holy Spirit. So it might be that the parable of the mustard seed and
        > the leaven originally dealt with the individual and were intended to
        > instruct him {sic], either as a warning or as a consolation, how a
        > great result may grow out of small beginnings."
        >
        Dear Rick Hubbard:

        As can be seen from the passage you quote, Bultmann does say that that they
        are "related". Hence, in my statement, "In Theology of the New Testament
        (p.8), Rudolph Bultmann notes that this parable is related to a parable
        about the hailstone which can cause great pain", I accurately portray what
        he writes..

        You continue:
        > This directly contradicts what you write here:
        >
        > That these parables are related makes it likely that they regard
        > the same
        > topic. Therefore, that the hailstone is explicitly identified as
        > being the
        > Spirit is evidence supporting the idea that the mustard seed that
        > grows up
        > into the greatest plant is, indeed, the Spirit-Sophia!
        >
        Rick, this is my own line of reasoning. I do *not* attribute it to Rudolph
        Bultmann. It demonstrates that Bultmann's assumption that the Kingdom in
        the parable of the mustard seed cannot be the Spirit-Sophia is likely false.
        Indeed, since I have shown in past posts that the Kingdom appears to be the
        Spirit-Sophia in this parable, and, since you have so far failed to refute
        this interpretion of the parable, I think that the evidence demonstrates
        that the Kingdom probably is the Spirit-Sophia in this parable.

        Rick, you also say::
        > [regarding the "originality" of Mark's version of the mustard seed
        > parable Frank wrote:]
        >
        > In the History of the Synoptic Tradition (p. 172), Rudolph Bultmann
        > puts
        > this parable under the category of similitudes and he notes that there
        > is a
        > Q version of it as well. He also notes that "both Mark and Q preface
        > it
        > with a double question,..". This double attestation that Jesus
        > prefaced the
        > parable with a double question suggests that the double question by
        > Jesus is
        > original and that, therefore, the Thomas version is less original in
        > this
        > respect because it lacks the double question by Jesus.
        >
        > The second sentence above is again a misrepresentation of Bultmann's
        > position. Here is what he actually says:
        >
        > "Luke substantially reproduces the similtude from Q, while Matthew
        > combines Q's text with Mark. Both Mark and Q preface it with a double
        > question, the parable then following with hWS (or in Luke hOMIA
        > ESTIN)."
        >
        Rick, if you read my quote from Bultmann, you can plainly see that it
        accurately gives what Bultmann actually says, i.e., "Both Mark and Q preface
        it with a double question,..." Also, as I have pointed out earlier in this
        post, I accurately portray Bultmann in the other example as well.
        Therefore, there is no misrepresentation in what I say. It is true that I
        do not give the full story of what he says in each case, but there is only
        so much one can put into a post. That post is overly long
        as it stands and, so, it was impractical for me into long involved
        discussions about Butlmann's full thoughts on the subjects.

        Rick, you continue:
        > The content of the similtude here is not the entirety of Mk 4:30-32.
        > That to which Bultmann refers is the direct discourse of 4:31-32. 4:30
        > is editorial material according to Bultmann's principle that, "As a
        > rule, the expansion which any saying undergoes at its beginning
        > derives from its context" (history, 91). "Context" here is a euphemism
        > for what Bultmann calls the "productivity" of the church and which the
        > JS calls "The Story Seller's License (T5g, 29).
        >
        Rick, the quote I make from Bultmann regards the double question in 4:30.
        Let me repeat it, "Both Mark and Q preface it with a double question,.."
        Further, it is only the double question that I discuss following the quote.
        Let me repeat it, "This
        double attestation that Jesus prefaced the parable with a double question
        suggests that the double question by Jesus is original and that, therefore,
        the Thomas version is less original in this respect because it lacks the
        double question by Jesus." Hence, by making the assertion, "That to which
        Bultmann refers is the direct discourse of 4:31-32.", all you are doing is
        muddying the waters and straying afield. Bringing in the Jesus Seminar is
        even straying further afield. It is noteworthy that, in their section on
        "The storyteller's license" that you cite, every specific example they cite
        of alleged storytelling is from Mark. This is evidence of an anti-Markan
        bias on their part that raises very serious questions about the validity of
        their very negative evaluation of this gospel and the passages in it (e.g.,
        they say that Mark contains only one almost certainly true statement by
        Jesus)..

        Rick, I'd like to add that if (1) the double question by Jesus in the Q and
        Markan tradition probably is phony because it immediately precedes the
        parable of the mustard seed, then (2) the question of the disciples in GTh
        20 probably is phony because it immediately precedes the parable of the
        mustard seed. So, if Bultmann's principle is true and, therefore,
        applicable to
        the Markan and Q and Thomas accounts regarding the parable of the mustard
        seed (a dubious and unproven proposition to say the least), then the
        introductory question by the disciples in GTh 20 is probably phony and,
        hence, there is every reason to believe that Jesus initiated this parable on
        his own without any prompting. If so, then the Jesus Seminar is probably
        incorrect in saying that Jesus never did this sort of thing. So, Bultmann's
        principle is a two edged sword in that if you want to use it to attack the
        genuiness of the Markan and Q accounts of the parable of the mustard seed,
        you need to consider, before unleashing it, that it can also be used to
        attack the genuiness of GTh 20 and to attack the credibility of the Jesus
        Seminar.

        Rick, you also state:
        > But in any case, whether Mark's version represents an earlier
        > "version" of the mustard seed parable than that of Q or Lk (or Mt), it
        > has not been demonstrated by this particular argument. More
        > importantly there is still no defensible argument that the Kingdom
        > (here or anywhere else) refers to the Pneuma-Sophia complex.

        Rick, one defensible argument is this: I have already shown in recent posts
        that a large number of statements regarding the Kingdom in both the GTh and
        the canonical gospels can be interpreted in terms of the hypothesis that the
        Kingdom is the Spirit-Sophia. Also, along with this post, I am sending
        another post showing that yet two more statements regarding the Kingdom
        (i.e., GTh 97 and 98) can be interpreted in terms of this hypothesis. I
        know of no other hypothesis regarding the nature of the Kingdom that can be
        shown to possibly be applicable to all these statements regarding the
        Kingdom. Therefore, this hypothesis is actually the most likely one to be
        true because it has a wider range of applicability to the Kingdom statements
        than any other one.

        Regards,

        Frank McCoy
      • Jack Kilmon
        ... From: FMMCCOY To: Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 9:56 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: GTh 20: The Parable of
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 5, 2001
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "FMMCCOY" <FMMCCOY@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 9:56 PM
          Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: GTh 20: The Parable of the Mustard Seed and GTh
          21:The Parable of the Children in the Field


          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
          > To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 4:32 PM
          > Subject: RE: [GTh] Re: GTh 20: The Parable of the Mustard Seed and GTh
          > 21:The Parable of the Children in the Field
          > Rick, I'd like to add that if (1) the double question by Jesus in the Q
          and
          > Markan tradition probably is phony because it immediately precedes the
          > parable of the mustard seed, then (2) the question of the disciples in GTh
          > 20 probably is phony because it immediately precedes the parable of the
          > mustard seed. So, if Bultmann's principle is true and, therefore,
          > applicable to
          > the Markan and Q and Thomas accounts regarding the parable of the mustard
          > seed (a dubious and unproven proposition to say the least), then the
          > introductory question by the disciples in GTh 20 is probably phony and,
          > hence, there is every reason to believe that Jesus initiated this parable
          on
          > his own without any prompting. If so, then the Jesus Seminar is probably
          > incorrect in saying that Jesus never did this sort of thing. So,
          Bultmann's
          > principle is a two edged sword in that if you want to use it to attack the
          > genuiness of the Markan and Q accounts of the parable of the mustard seed,
          > you need to consider, before unleashing it, that it can also be used to
          > attack the genuiness of GTh 20 and to attack the credibility of the Jesus
          > Seminar.

          My take on GoT 20 and the Markan parallel is that the Markan parallel is
          more
          "original" and actually redacted down in GoT.

          GOT20 The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is like."

          He said to them, It's like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but
          when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a
          shelter for birds of the sky.

          Markan Parallel showing Aramaic paronomasia:

          Mar 4:30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God?
          or with what comparison shall we compare it?

          Mar 4:31 [It is] like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is
          sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:

          Mar 4:32 But when it is sown / *zera* /, it groweth/ * rabhi*/ up,
          and becometh greater/* rabba* / than all herbs,/ *zeroin*/ and
          shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge
          under the shadow of it.

          The Key sounds in Aramaic are the layrygal and sonant resh that form the
          paronomasia.

          No paranomasia is more certain in the gospels and it is recoverable ONLY
          from the Markan parallel and strongly suggests, to me, ORAL transmission
          from an Aramaic speaker to a WRITTEN form (Mark) and then
          transmitted to the GoT where it is actually *redacted down!!!* This does
          not
          rule out a common Aramaic source for Mark and for an early pre-coptic
          rescension
          of GoT. This Aramaic poetic style is also carried over to GoT Logion 21:

          Mar 4:26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should
          cast seed into the ground;

          This Markan form is a very strong example of the Aramaic paronomasia
          previously mentioned

          w)mr hw): hkn) hy mlkwt) d)lh), )yk )n$ dnrm) zr() b)r()
          w'amar hawa: hakena hi malkutha d'alaha, ayk anash denarma zara b'ara

          Note the punning "seed" zar'a and "ground" 'ar`a

          Mar 4:27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed
          should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

          Mar 4:28 For the earth/ *'ar`a*/ bringeth forth fruit/* par`a*/ of
          herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

          Mar 4:29 But when the fruit is brought forth,

          Kadh yehibha 'ibbah

          immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

          Shallah magla dah'sadha 'abbibh

          The Aramaic poetic style is restored in retroversion of the Markan form of
          this parable. Some scholars tend to make light of the offtimes illuminating
          nature of
          Aramaic retroversion for Yeshuine sayings yet in this case of Mk 4:26-29 the
          Assonance, alliteration and paronomasia are so strong as to make this a
          Certain Greek translation of an Aramaic parable. This was an indispensable
          characteristic of Semitic literary style. The pun is absent from modern
          literary form, even negatively regarded but in Aramaic and Hebrew, in the OT
          and Targumim..even Modern Hebrew, it is essential. That the Markan form is
          not a literary "development" of the GOT form is very clear to my Aramaic
          sensibilities. The source for Mark? The spoken Aramaic of Jesus as related
          by..(Peter?).
          The source for the GoT?

          Jack
        • George Brooks
          Jack, This is not the first time I ve been mesmerized by your transliteration of Aramaic! You write: The pun is absent from modern literary form, even
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 6, 2001
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            Jack,

            This is not the first time I've been mesmerized by
            your transliteration of Aramaic!

            You write:

            "The pun is absent from modern literary form, even negatively
            regarded but in Aramaic and Hebrew, in the OT and Targumim..even
            Modern Hebrew, it is essential. That the Markan form is not a
            literary "development" of the GOT form is very clear to my
            Aramaic sensibilities."

            When I read treatments like yours, it makes me kick myself
            for taking a few years of Latin. I should have taken
            ARAMAIC!!!! (Either that... or some Spanish LoL).

            Nice analysis, Jack. Which book would you recommend to
            read more "retro" work like this?

            George
          • mgrondin@tir.com
            ... You mean laryngeal (as in of the larynx )? Aside from that, how about putting these things in a way us non-linguists can understand? Mike
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 6, 2001
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              --- Jack Kilmon wrote:
              > The Key sounds in Aramaic are the layrygal and sonant resh that
              > form the paronomasia.

              You mean 'laryngeal' (as in 'of the larynx')? Aside from that, how
              about putting these things in a way us non-linguists can understand?

              Mike
            • Rick Hubbard
              If there was a way that I could configure this computer to prevent me from typing certain words unless I confirmed about six times that I really wanted to use
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 7, 2001
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                If there was a way that I could configure this computer to prevent me
                from typing certain words unless I confirmed about six times that I
                really wanted to use them, then two of those words would be "original"
                and "originality." Inevitably, when I use those words in the context
                of literary comparisons, I get into trouble. The following response
                from Jack Kilmon regarding my remarks to Frank McCoy about Gth 20 and
                "parallels" in Mk is a perfect example.

                [Jack wrote:]
                My take on GoT 20 and the Markan parallel is that the Markan parallel
                is
                more "original" and actually redacted down in GoT.

                I did not mean to imply that both Mark and the Gth compiler shared a
                common written source and that the version of either Thomas or Mark is
                closest to that "original." Instead, I meant to argue that Thomas and
                Mark each had access to what were probably oral traditions about Jesus
                and that the construction of the similtude in Gth more closely
                approximates the oral form than does the version in Mk. It is a widely
                accepted principle that narratives and sayings associated with Jesus
                that circulated in the oral tradition tended toward being shorter
                rather than longer, and so, when one sees two written versions of what
                appears to be the same saying, the one that is shortest probably is
                closer to the oral version (assuming of course, that there was only
                one oral version. It is possible that there may have been more than
                one).

                Your persistent argument that there is evidence of Aramaic linguistic
                artifacts behind the written versions of the Jesus logia, is, as you
                well know, not universally accepted. Since I do not know Aramaic, I
                certainly have no business debating the merits of your hypotheses. I
                will observe, however, that it is not necessary to identify any
                "Aramaic Original" behind the sayings of Jesus in order to recover
                what is closest to Jesus' actual utterances.

                While it is very likely that Jesus spoke Aramaic, there remains the
                very real possibility that he also spoke Greek. One must not ignore
                the tremendous Hellenistic cultural influence that had existed for
                generations in the western Mediterranean basin (e.g., Palestine).
                Jesus lived in that cultural environment, and if we are to accept the
                accounts of the canonical gospels he seemed to travel through portions
                of it regularly and to discourse with its residents. If so, it seems
                likely that he would have had to have some competency in Greek. This
                does nothing to prove that he knew Greek, but the observation is
                sufficient to leave open that possibility.

                One of the arguments made by those who postulate an "Aramaic Jesus,"
                is that the region where he lived was a cultural and linguistic
                archipelago. In this enclave, Aramaic remained as the dominant
                language and the traditions of the Judean religion were paramount. If
                I understand correctly, this means that the enclave must have
                successfully resisted the Hellenistic cultural influences that
                engulfed virtually all of the remainder of the western Mediterranean
                and that the linguistic and religious heritage of the enclave remained
                largely unaffected.

                Again, the merits of that hypothesis is not something I can comment on
                directly, but I can relate something from my own experience that may
                be analogous to the "enclave phenomenon" that seems to be a
                foundational part of the "Aramaic Jesus" argument. I grew up on the
                Flathead Indian Reservation in Western Montana. It seems to me that
                there are a few intriguing parallels between the acculturation process
                that occurred in Palestine and in the Mission Valley, where the
                reservation was located. In both cases, the indigenous populations
                were inundated by new languages. In Palestine, it was Greek. In
                Montana, it was English. American culture was introduced into this
                area by the Jesuits and by commercial representatives of the Hudson
                Bay Company beginning around the middle of the 19th century. By the
                time I was born, roughly one hundred years later, virtually all
                Indians spoke English, but a large number of continued to speak Salish
                as well. The native language was spoken primarily in homes, at
                cultural gatherings, in the tribal government and in the context of
                religious practices. However, in the course of day to day activities,
                English was the routine language.

                The analogy between the two is this: In both cases (Palestine and
                Montana), we can observe that the cultural traditions of the two
                indigenous populations were subjected to overwhelming outside
                influences. In the latter case, it is known for certain that, while
                the language of the native population continued to be used and the
                traditional religious practices were still followed (in spite of the
                most vigorous efforts of missionaries), the Native Americans regularly
                used the language of the culture that had surrounded them. It seems to
                me therefore very likely that the situation in Palestine was similar.
                Certain enclaves in the region, perhaps including where Jesus lived,
                also managed to retain and keep alive their language and religious
                traditions, but as a matter of survival, they also used the Greek
                language. If that is true, then Jesus may have been as fluent in Greek
                as he was in Aramaic.

                This of course does virtually nothing to deny the argument that an
                Aramaic original lies behind the Jesus logia. But it does, to a
                degree, reaffirm the possibility that Jesus *did* speak Greek and that
                therefore it is not essential that reconstruction of an Aramaic
                Original to his sayings is the only certain means by which his
                "authentic words" can be recovered.


                Rick Hubbard
                Humble Maine Woodsman
              • David C. Hindley
                ... me from typing certain words unless I confirmed about six times that I really wanted to use them, then two of those words would be original and
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 7, 2001
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                  Rick Hubbard laments:

                  >>If there was a way that I could configure this computer to prevent
                  me from typing certain words unless I confirmed about six times that I
                  really wanted to use them, then two of those words would be "original"
                  and "originality." <<

                  Yes you can.

                  Presuming that your e-mail software's built-in editor (or the WP you
                  use as an e-mail editor) performs a spell check before sending the
                  message, just find the way into your spell checking dictionary and
                  erase the entries for "original" and "originality." Then it will
                  always prompt you with a dialogue box seeking confirmation when it
                  encounters these words, offering you alternative words, etc. If you
                  say "yes accept this word" it will probably ask you again in a
                  different way just to be sure.

                  I may well do that sort of thing myself with words like "merely,"
                  "simply," "obviously," and other words often used in a dismissive
                  sense, just to prevent me from falling into the trap of dismissing
                  evidence contrary to my pet hypotheses for the sake of convenience.

                  Respectfully,

                  Dave Hindley
                  Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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