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Re: [Synoptic-L] Walking stick or Shepherd's staff : the priority of Mark

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 6/30/2005 9:43:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... I was not making a general statement about the relevancy of the historical statements of
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 1 6:53 AM
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      In a message dated 6/30/2005 9:43:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time, jlupia2@... writes:

      I agree with you on this,  Leonard. However, I think
      the historical statements of Jesus are relevant.



        I was not making a general statement about the relevancy of the historical statements of Jesus; my frame of reference, rather, was the discussion of the relative antiquity of the three Synoptic texts we have in front of us. In this discussion, it is not relevant to psychologize about what the historical Jesus would likely have said.

        But this raises an interesting question in its own realm. I think it is fairly uncontroversial to state that some sayings of Jesus reported in our gospels have a good chance of going back, substantially, to the historical Jesus, and others do not. I would like to suggest that the missionary discourse in the Synoptics does not. There are all kinds of indications -- in Matthew, the original account -- that the words are formulated and spoken into the present of the Gospel communication event itself. Jesus is speaking here as 'the Lord of the harvest" (Matt 9:38) who is sending his laborers into his harvest. Speaking for Jesus here is the evangelist himself (a "prophet" -- see Matt 10:41 -- in this sense). It is extremely important to note that in Matthew's text the words spoken by Jesus on this occasion are not followed by a report of the disciples going out on a mission, as a past event, and as we find in Luke and Mark (Mark even has a full-blown "Acts of the Apostles" in 6:13).

      This interpretation would imply that the words in Matt 10 do not go all the way back to the historical Jesus, but they do go back to an extremely early moment in the story of the church -- the time when the twelve disciples ruled over and spoke authoritatively to a renewed Israel. The challenge is issued to Matthew's contemporaries that they are to obey the apostles, and thereby obey Jesus and God (the shaliah concept). Matt 10:40 is very pointed and very important in this respect: "He who receives you receives me and he who receives me receives the one who sent me". That "receiving" means or at least includes primarily "hearing" is suggested by the parallelism of phrases in the negatively formulated Matt 10:14.

      It is also extremely significant that in Luke's Gospel these pointed words are not spoken to the twelve. By Luke's time, the twelve are no longer the voice of Christ and of God for the Gospel recipients. Instead, "the Lord" (Lk 10:1: not the historical Jesus) speaks directly to the group of the seventy (most likely representing the new missionary movement of Paul and his companions), and to THEM he directs the Lord's words: "he who hears you, hears me...." (Lk 10:16). I have also shown that Luke has Paul and the second generation of missionaries (represented here by the child) in mind in 9:48, where we find another form of the words spoken in Matt 10:40: "whoever receives this child in my name receives me..."
      See my article: "The Least Among All of You is the Great One": Lk 9:46-48 in the Light of the Two-Gospel Hypothesis", in "Imaginer la Theologie Catholique" -- Melanges offerts a Ghislain Lafont (Rome 2000, and excuse my lack of proper French accents). The question in the disciples' mind in Lk 9:46 should be translated: "who might be greater than they".

      Leonard Maluf
      Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
      Weston, MA

    • Richard Richmond
      John N. Lupia wrote: For healing Mk 6:13 adds they anointed with oil. This clearly establishes a very late writing and an early reference to the sacrament of
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 1 10:27 AM
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        John N. Lupia wrote:

        For healing Mk 6:13 adds they anointed with oil. This
        clearly establishes a very late writing and an early
        reference to the sacrament of the anointing of the
        sick. This is cited as a ritual in Jas 5:4. Lk 10:34
        mentions the medical practice of placing wine and oil
        on the wounds in the parable of the Good Samaritan.
        However, Church sacramental use of sacred oil with no
        wine is to be applied to the sick with prayers for
        their healing.

        Actually anointing the sick with oil is a very old
        pratice and if anything comfirms that the commission
        of the twelve is not a post resurrection event. The
        Essene communtiy at Qumran was established long before
        the New Testament period and did teach about the
        Twelve men establishing a new Israel. They also
        annointed the sick with oil.

        The book of acts tells us that Peter found it necessar
        to replace Judas which is a clear indication that the
        official position and commission of the Twelve had
        already been established. The discourse given by Peter
        points to the time of the Baptism of John as the
        beginning. In choosing a replacement for Judas his
        criteria is to choose someone that had been with the
        movement since the Baptism of John.

        The book of James (which many hold to be the oldest of
        the epistles) confirms the practice of anointing with
        oil and as I pointed out the shepherds staff goes back
        to Psalm 23. You offer no evidence whatever to support
        your position that Mark did not intend the staff of a
        shepherd. And again all of the issues involved in the
        commission are present in Paul's letters written
        between 40 and 50 CE. According to Mark the
        commissioning of the twelve took place before the
        death of John the Baptist. Since he is about 2000
        years closer to the event I tend to believe him unless
        there is strong evidence to the contrary.

        I am curious as to when you would date the Gospel of
        Mark. I date it around 74 CE and would hardly consider
        anything at that point late with regard to the
        development of the church.

        Rick Richmond


        Rick Richmond rickr2889@...



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      • John Lupia
        ... Mk was probably composed on or about the 50th anniversary of Easter, c. 80-83 AD. A half century of early Church development is a considerable period of
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 1 10:46 AM
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          --- Richard Richmond <rickr2889@...> wrote:

          > I am curious as to when you would date the Gospel of
          > Mark. I date it around 74 CE and would hardly
          > consider
          > anything at that point late with regard to the
          > development of the church.

          Mk was probably composed on or about the 50th
          anniversary of Easter, c. 80-83 AD. A half century of
          early Church development is a considerable period of
          time for theology, liturgy, hierarchy, new
          ecclesiastical community foundations, and ecumenical
          and diplomatic relationships with non-Christians and
          factions to have developed. These developments are
          found in the text of Mk for the discerning reader.

          Best regards,
          John N. Lupia, III

          John N. Lupia, III
          Beachwood, New Jersey 08722 USA
          Fax: (732) 349-3910
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News/
          God Bless America

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        • Maluflen@aol.com
          In a message dated 7/1/2005 1:28:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Even if your premise is correct, your logic is silly here. It confirms nothing of the sort.
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 1 10:55 AM
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            In a message dated 7/1/2005 1:28:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time, rickr2889@... writes:

            Actually anointing the sick with oil is a very old
            pratice and if anything comfirms that the commission
            of the twelve is not a post resurrection event.


            Even if your premise is correct, your logic is silly here. It "confirms" nothing of the sort.



            The Essene communtiy at Qumran was established long before
            the New Testament period and did teach about the
            Twelve men establishing a new Israel. They also
            annointed the sick with oil.


            And there is nothing in Mark's Gospel that suggests that its author sees the twelve men chosen by Jesus as having anything to do with a new Israel. Other than in the rather routine reference in 12:29 Mark doesn't even mention Israel, old or new. This central concept and context in which Jesus and his immediate disciples worked and functioned seems no longer to be of interest in Mark's Gentile Christian community. Israel is of course a fundamentally important concept throughout the work of both Matthew and Luke.

            Leonard Maluf
            Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
            Weston, MA
          • John Lupia
            ... I have no reason to doubt the authenticity and veracity of the Gospels for any of Jesus statements found in any of them. I see no need to appeal to
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 3 1:44 PM
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              --- Maluflen@... wrote:

              > In a message dated 6/30/2005 9:43:45 PM Eastern
              > Daylight Time,
              > jlupia2@... writes:
              >
              > > I agree with you on this, Leonard. However, I
              > think
              > > the historical statements of Jesus are relevant.
              >
              >
              > I was not making a general statement about the
              > relevancy of the historical
              > statements of Jesus; my frame of reference, rather,
              > was the discussion of the
              > relative antiquity of the three Synoptic texts we
              > have in front of us. In this
              > discussion, it is not relevant to psychologize about
              > what the historical
              > Jesus would likely have said.

              I have no reason to doubt the authenticity and
              veracity of the Gospels for any of Jesus' statements
              found in any of them. I see no need to appeal to
              skepticism and undermine the value of the texts, or
              give them a value that undermines their integrity and
              authority. They are, after all, all we have to go on
              and work with.


              > But this raises an interesting question in its own
              > realm. I think it is
              > fairly uncontroversial to state that some sayings of
              > Jesus reported in our
              > gospels have a good chance of going back,
              > substantially, to the historical Jesus,
              > and others do not.

              You are welcome to your opinion, which I do not hold.

              I would like to suggest that the
              > missionary discourse in the
              > Synoptics does not.

              I believe they do and a rational explanation is that
              Mk jumbles things around with similar events and
              brings the synoptic reading into question making it
              appear as though there are different takes on what
              Jesus said. Why Mk does this? We both agree, he is
              writing to a later Church than Luke and Matthew.

              There are all kinds of
              > indications -- in Matthew, the
              > original account -- that the words are formulated
              > and spoken into the present of
              > the Gospel communication event itself.

              This would be true for all the Gospel writers and is a
              far different thing and subject matter than the
              veracity of what Jesus said in any Gospel.

              Jesus is
              > speaking here as 'the Lord of
              > the harvest" (Matt 9:38) who is sending his laborers
              > into his harvest. Speaking
              > for Jesus here is the evangelist himself (a
              > "prophet" -- see Matt 10:41 -- in
              > this sense). It is extremely important to note that
              > in Matthew's text the
              > words spoken by Jesus on this occasion are not
              > followed by a report of the
              > disciples going out on a mission, as a past event,
              > and as we find in Luke and Mark
              > (Mark even has a full-blown "Acts of the Apostles"
              > in 6:13).

              Matthew's non-report is the living proof of the Church
              of his day. In other words, the very Church period in
              which Matthew wrote was living proof of their
              (apostles) actions having been a success or else there
              would be no Church. This rhetorical form was one
              Matthew uses and characterizes his style. I do not see
              how this can place Matthew in priority over either
              Luke or Mark. This argument, though of interest, is
              not productive in attempting to discern chronology of
              the Gospels.

              > This interpretation would imply that the words in
              > Matt 10 do not go all the
              > way back to the historical Jesus,

              Leonard, where is the (1) logic, (2) the argument?

              but they do go
              > back to an extremely early
              > moment in the story of the church -- the time when
              > the twelve disciples ruled
              > over and spoke authoritatively to a renewed Israel.
              > The challenge is issued to
              > Matthew's contemporaries that they are to obey the
              > apostles, and thereby obey
              > Jesus and God (the shaliah concept). Matt 10:40 is
              > very pointed and very
              > important in this respect: "He who receives you
              > receives me and he who receives me
              > receives the one who sent me". That "receiving"
              > means or at least includes
              > primarily "hearing" is suggested by the parallelism
              > of phrases in the negatively
              > formulated Matt 10:14.


              The original is in Lk 9:48; 10:6; followed by Jn
              13:20; 22:26 from which Matthew harvested the text and
              reworked it giving it that Matthean ring and iconic
              imagery.

              > It is also extremely significant that in Luke's
              > Gospel these pointed words
              > are not spoken to the twelve.


              See Lk 9:48; 10:6. Clinging to rigidity of thinking
              that the order of sayings in unmoveable to and in
              specific events is why the Synoptic Problem is yet
              unsolved . The evangelists were more fluid than modern
              researchers allow. They could jumble things up since
              that is licit as long as the original meaning of what
              Jesus said is not lost. No harm, no foul. Voila, 4
              Gospels each appearing in conflict and contradiction
              to very rigid minds.



              By Luke's time, the
              > twelve are no longer the voice
              > of Christ and of God for the Gospel recipients.
              > Instead, "the Lord" (Lk 10:1:
              > not the historical Jesus) speaks directly to the
              > group of the seventy (most
              > likely representing the new missionary movement of
              > Paul and his companions),


              I appreciate your view but wholeheartedly disagree.


              Best regards,
              John N. Lupia, III

              John N. Lupia, III
              Beachwood, New Jersey 08722 USA
              Fax: (732) 349-3910
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News/
              God Bless America




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            • John Lupia
              To all: Clinging to rigidity of thinking that the order of sayings or that a particular saying is unmovable to and in specific events in the Public Ministry of
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 3 3:43 PM
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                To all:

                Clinging to rigidity of thinking that the order of
                sayings or that a particular saying is unmovable to
                and in specific events in the Public Ministry of Jesus
                is why the Synoptic Problem is yet unsolved. This is a
                naïve journalist approach to texts that are not
                photojournalistic. The evangelists were more fluid
                than modern researchers allow. They could jumble
                things up since that is licit as long as the original
                meaning of what Jesus said is not lost, twisted,
                obscured or radically altered giving it an altogether
                different one. It is because of this fluidity that we
                have 4 Gospels with varying versions since each wrote
                to a specific historical situation in the Church
                addressing their own issues and served as
                clarifications of what some mistook the text to mean
                that was written by their predecessor. Unfortunately,
                to modern eyes and minds each appears in conflict and
                contradiction to the other and so we have the Synoptic
                Problem, a misinterpretation of the very nature of the
                Gospels and total darkness on how they were written.


                Mk, for example, jumbles things around in the sending
                out of the twelve with similar events and brings the
                synoptic reading into question to modern eyes
                producing the illusion that there are different takes
                on what Jesus actually said and did.

                Take for example, Mark 6:7 which like Mk 14:13 sends
                them out two by two and mirrors what LK 10:1; 24:13
                says about the seventy-two and the disciples on the
                road to Emmaus. Why Mk switches things around
                borrowing from one event that which occurred in
                another is only answerable in the situation of the
                Church when Mk wrote.

                Writing post Lk, Jn, and Mt we find Mk mention the
                apostles sent out two by two since this was the
                standard for witnesses as cited in Mt 18:16 and in
                rooted in ancient Jewish law in Jn 8:17; Apoc 11:3; 2
                Cor 13:1; 1 Tim 5:19; Heb 10:28; Mt 26:60. Moreover,
                Mt 18:19 points out the power of two in agreement; and
                again, the religious gathering of two or more in
                Jesus’ name assures them of Christ’s presence, in Mt
                18:20. In Lk 19:29//Mt 21:1//Mk 11:1 Jesus sends out
                two disciples, a phenomenon of practice attested to in
                the oldest Gospel of Luke in several places including
                his Acts 9:38; 19:22.

                So we need to ask is Mk contradicting Lk and Mt about
                this event or is he rather attempting to speak to the
                Church in his own time using a modus operandi in
                current use and not wanting to cite an original
                expression Jesus had historically made since there are
                always those in the crowd who reject their
                institutions current practices, thinking to themselves
                that they are wiser or better and out of vanity and
                egotism would prefer to deviate by justifying their
                behavior that this is what Jesus originally and
                historically said and had his apostles do. In other
                words, Mk appealed to his hearers and readers to abide
                by current Church standards since Jesus sanctioned it
                and thus avoided confusing anyone or tempting anyone
                to deviate from the present course of action. This
                tells us that the Church had gained wisdom in
                carefully wording things in each successive Gospel
                since the earlier Gospels were greatly and widely
                misinterpreted resulting in factions and dissentions
                disrupting the harmony and order established in the
                Church. Herein lies the crux to the so-called Synoptic
                Problem. This is why we find each successive Gospel
                restating things to fine tune and focus the meaning
                and avoid misinterpretation and factions.

                Another example in this same narrative has Mt 10:10
                “no sandals” borrow from Lk 10:5. Why? Perhaps Mt was
                shifting the nuance of meaning Lk 10:5 conveyed that
                the historical or symbolical time of year the event
                took place was during the Jewish liturgical calendar
                of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Lev.
                16:29,31; 23:27,29; Num. 29:7 "in the seventh month
                (Tishri), on the tenth day of the month, you shall
                afflict your souls" From this the tradition on Yom
                Kippur was to not wear sandals. On Yom Kippur those
                who were not able to go to Jerusalem spent the entire
                day in their local synagogues fasting. So the charge
                to take no staff, sandals, bread or money may have
                been a reference that Luke and Matthew’s Jewish
                audience would have understood without any need for a
                modern interpreter to point it out to them. Having the
                twelve go preach about Jesus for Yom Kippur has very
                obvious significance that Jesus is the only one who
                can take away the sins of human beings.


                Mark not writing predominantly to Jews in Rome but to
                Gentiles no longer sees the need to make the obscure
                references to Yom Kippur but restates things in terms
                Romans could have grasped while avoiding
                eccentricities that could lend themselves to
                misinterpretations and factions.

                Best regards,
                John N. Lupia, III

                John N. Lupia, III
                Beachwood, New Jersey 08722 USA
                Fax: (732) 349-3910
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News/
                God Bless America

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