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Re: Jesus and his death

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  • Stevan Davies
    JEFF ... How about Paul would say his Gospel was in accord with that of prior followers rather than derived by tradition from them? He derived it from
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 30, 1998
      JEFF
      > What makes sense of the apparently conflicting statements in Gal and 1 Cor
      > is Paul's finding in his visionary encounter with Christ confirmation of
      > claims made about him by his followers; knew something about the claims
      > before the vision (enough to know he opposed them) and learned more after.
      > So Paul would say his Gospel was derived by tradition from prior followers
      > of Christ (clearly the case in 1 Cor 15:1-11) and also that it was given to
      > Paul as something to proclaim by Christ himself.

      How about "Paul would say his Gospel was in accord with that of
      prior followers" rather than "derived by tradition from" them? He
      derived it from Christ in him. (We may indeed sceptically conclude
      that this derivation was not uninfluenced by his own prior knowledge
      of the outlaws he persecuted).

      > If Mark's supper narrative is derived from Paul, would the variation
      > between "This cup is the new covenant in my blood" (Paul, Luke long
      > reading) and "This is my blood of the covenant" (Mark, Matt) be Marcan
      > redaction retained by Matthew, or an oral tradition -- and if the latter,
      > Pauline or extra-Pauline? Is a derivation of the Eucharist from Paul alone
      > sufficient to account for the widespread practice reflected in Ignatius and
      > Justin? I'm doubtful.

      Didache too. It's all over the place. John deconstructs it. But it
      started somewhere. Whether Jesus or Paul began it is the question.
      Or maybe somebody else.

      We have a ritual meal among Christians. Point of it is to be in
      remembrance of Jesus. It seems to be something of a general principle
      within religious praxis to attribute central rituals to the
      foundational ordinances or behaviors of the founder. So at time
      X the words of institution became normative. Once normative they
      would I think automatically have been attributed to Jesus. That they
      were deliberately uttered by Jesus in order to institute a ritual
      within later Christianity seems dubious... at minimum it would
      presuppose that Jesus regarded himself as a covenant sacrifice.
      The phrase
      "This is my blood of the covenant" is, I would say, meaningless in
      Mark. Nothing leads up to it, it has nothing to do with anything
      that Jesus has been quoted as saying. Probably so too for Matthew
      and Luke. It is without meaning in textual context. Thus, the
      evangelists have views of what Jesus was up to but being a
      covenant sacrifice isn't among them. From this one would assume
      that while the evangelists knew of the saying and, I'm quite sure,
      knew their readers would find it familiar they do not themselves
      present any reason to think that it derives from Jesus' own
      perspective on things for, when they try to deliniate that
      perspective, the saying is foreign to it.

      Perhaps if we look to find an early Christian apostle with the
      view that Jesus was indeed a covenant sacrifice we shall come
      up with Paul.

      Steve
    • Jeff Peterson
      ... I think the analogy of MLK is helpful, and illustrates a failing in some historical Jesus scholarship which draws a firm line between Jesus own ministry
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 30, 1998
        At 5:08 PM 10/29/98, Stevan Davies wrote:
        >STEVE
        >I think of Martin Luther King. Perhaps Rev. King was aware of the
        >substantial possibility of assassination. Perhaps he mentioned it
        >more than once.
        >To think that this was a significant part of his intention or life's
        >work or "message" does not follow. Nor does it allow one to
        >assert a "passion oriented perspective" for Rev. King. Not his
        >own passion anyhow.

        I think the analogy of MLK is helpful, and illustrates a failing in some
        historical Jesus scholarship which draws a firm line between Jesus' own
        ministry and the movement which continued after his death. I.e., Jesus
        like King led a movement committed to certain goals, values, etc.; his
        death was in some sense in behalf of these commitments -- or at least was
        so understood by his followers and (we're discussing the possibility) by
        himself;

        >
        >JEFF
        >> The suggestion of Leonard and Bob that Jesus reflected on the possibility
        >> and significance of his death finds support in the strong multiple
        >> attestation of the Last Supper tradition, appearing both in the Synoptics
        >> and in Paul (1 Cor 11:23ff) with a couple of veiled allusions in John
        >> chaps. 6 and 13. The tradition Paul retails is presented as a report he
        >> "received," which read by analogy with 15:3ff would suggest Paul's
        >> introduction to the Christian community (ca. 33) as the terminus ad quem;
        >
        >He received the tradition "from the Lord" which, one should, I think,
        >understand in terms of a private revelation and not from the lips of
        >Jesus. He did not receive it "from the apostles" or whatever unless
        >he equates the apostles etc. with "the Lord." He doesn't do this
        >in Gal 1-2 anyhow.

        The APO clearly indicates that the tradition derives ultimately from Jesus,
        but not necessarily that he was its immediate source (e.g., in a vision);
        one might compare uses of APO in reference to lines of succession and
        descent, often at several removes.

        What makes sense of the apparently conflicting statements in Gal and 1 Cor
        is Paul's finding in his visionary encounter with Christ confirmation of
        claims made about him by his followers; knew something about the claims
        before the vision (enough to know he opposed them) and learned more after.
        So Paul would say his Gospel was derived by tradition from prior followers
        of Christ (clearly the case in 1 Cor 15:1-11) and also that it was given to
        Paul as something to proclaim by Christ himself.

        If Mark's supper narrative is derived from Paul, would the variation
        between "This cup is the new covenant in my blood" (Paul, Luke long
        reading) and "This is my blood of the covenant" (Mark, Matt) be Marcan
        redaction retained by Matthew, or an oral tradition -- and if the latter,
        Pauline or extra-Pauline? Is a derivation of the Eucharist from Paul alone
        sufficient to account for the widespread practice reflected in Ignatius and
        Justin? I'm doubtful.

        Jeff


        Jeffrey Peterson
        Institute for Christian Studies
        Austin, Texas, USA
      • Jeff Peterson
        ... STEVE ... Don t think this will account for 1 Cor 15:1-11, where Paul s preaching of Christ is (1) in subsantial agreement with the 12, brothers of the
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 2, 1998
          At 5:53 PM 10/30/98, Stevan Davies wrote:
          >JEFF
          >> What makes sense of the apparently conflicting statements in Gal and 1 Cor
          >> is Paul's finding in his visionary encounter with Christ confirmation of
          >> claims made about him by his followers; knew something about the claims
          >> before the vision (enough to know he opposed them) and learned more after.
          >> So Paul would say his Gospel was derived by tradition from prior followers
          >> of Christ (clearly the case in 1 Cor 15:1-11) and also that it was given to
          >> Paul as something to proclaim by Christ himself.

          STEVE
          >How about "Paul would say his Gospel was in accord with that of
          >prior followers" rather than "derived by tradition from" them? He
          >derived it from Christ in him. (We may indeed sceptically conclude
          >that this derivation was not uninfluenced by his own prior knowledge
          >of the outlaws he persecuted).

          Don't think this will account for 1 Cor 15:1-11, where Paul's preaching of
          Christ is (1) in subsantial agreement with the 12, brothers of the Lord,
          all the apostles; and (2) derivative from somebody (PARELABON) in a chain
          of tradition which Paul extended (PAREDWKA) at the outset of the
          Corinthians' Christian experience (EN PRWTOIS). The most natural reading of
          this is that Paul's understanding of the Gospel was derivative, though not
          his apostolic commission, which he received from the risen Christ himself
          (v. 8). The rhetorical aim in 1 Cor is to hold his converts accountable to
          apostolic tradition (the strategy is evident from 1:2b, "called . . .
          together with all who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"); a
          different rhetorical aim is pursued in Gal, that of establishing Paul's
          relative missionary independence from Jerusalem authorities (which still
          includes the admission hISTORHSAI KEFAN). It's in this context that Paul
          goes so far as to say that his EUAGGELION is "neither from men nor through
          a man." It's a mistake to take this as a neutral statement of historical
          fact and dismiss the Corinthian statements as rhetorical contrivances; both
          are rhetorically motivated summaries of a complex chain of events. I
          propose that the reconstruction sketched above saves all the evidence.

          JEFF
          Is a derivation of the Eucharist from Paul alone
          >> sufficient to account for the widespread practice reflected in Ignatius and
          >> Justin? I'm doubtful.
          >
          STEVE
          >Didache too. It's all over the place. John deconstructs it. But it
          >started somewhere. Whether Jesus or Paul began it is the question.
          >Or maybe somebody else.

          "Deconstructs" doesn't seem right for John's appropriation of the supper
          tradition; more like "shows how the incarnation is implicated in the
          supper," or vice versa.

          >We have a ritual meal among Christians. Point of it is to be in
          >remembrance of Jesus. It seems to be something of a general principle
          >within religious praxis to attribute central rituals to the
          >foundational ordinances or behaviors of the founder. So at time
          >X the words of institution became normative. Once normative they
          >would I think automatically have been attributed to Jesus. That they
          >were deliberately uttered by Jesus in order to institute a ritual
          >within later Christianity seems dubious

          If "among his followers" is substituted for "within later Christianity,"
          this looks much less implausible. Jesus need not have envisioned the Canon
          of the Mass and the Sarum Use to have anticipated his death and acted
          dramatically to preserve the fellowship of disciples that he had created.

          >... at minimum it would
          >presuppose that Jesus regarded himself as a covenant sacrifice.
          >The phrase
          >"This is my blood of the covenant" is, I would say, meaningless in
          >Mark. Nothing leads up to it, it has nothing to do with anything
          >that Jesus has been quoted as saying. Probably so too for Matthew
          >and Luke. It is without meaning in textual context.

          "Blood of the covenant" is a development of "ransom for many," which in
          turn forms the culmination of Jesus' third preparatory instruction
          regarding the significance of his death and resurrection (Mark 10:32-45) --
          retained in Matthew, muted in Luke (which also omits the "blood of the
          covenant" reference if the shorter text of 22:19f is prior, as probably; is
          Acts 20:28 an instance of fatigue, or is the metaphor not sacrificial and
          therefore acceptable to Luke?).

          The composite Isaiah citation that opens Mark sets the stage for this
          understanding of Jesus' death: Yahweh's way to Zion = new exodus = Jesus'
          way to the cross. 1 Cor provides evidence that someone with hISTORHSAI
          KEFAN on his résumé promulgated the derivation of such an interpretation
          from Jesus himself.

          >
          >Perhaps if we look to find an early Christian apostle with the
          >view that Jesus was indeed a covenant sacrifice we shall come
          >up with Paul.
          >

          Paul is clearly the earliest documented source for such an interpretation
          (as for any form of Christianity, on the standard reckoning). The question
          is whether he originated it (of which he was certainly capable) or
          inherited it (as the use of PARALAMBANEIN APO TOU KYRIOU seems to support).

          Jeff

          Jeffrey Peterson
          Institute for Christian Studies
          Austin, Texas, USA
        • Yuri Kuchinsky
          ... Dear Steve, and Jeff, I doubt that the historical Paul came up with this idea. This probably came up much after Paul. ... I think this passage is a later
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 2, 1998
            On Mon, 2 Nov 1998, Jeff Peterson wrote:
            > At 5:53 PM 10/30/98, Stevan Davies wrote:

            ...

            > >Perhaps if we look to find an early Christian apostle with the
            > >view that Jesus was indeed a covenant sacrifice we shall come
            > >up with Paul.

            Dear Steve, and Jeff,

            I doubt that the historical Paul came up with this idea. This probably
            came up much after Paul.

            > Paul is clearly the earliest documented source for such an
            > interpretation

            I think this passage is a later interpolation. This has been discussed in
            detail on Crosstalk. I have plenty about it on my webpage.

            > (as for any form of Christianity, on the standard reckoning). The
            > question is whether he originated it (of which he was certainly
            > capable) or inherited it (as the use of PARALAMBANEIN APO TOU KYRIOU
            > seems to support).

            Or someone inserted it into 1 Cor 11 much later. Please see

            http://www.trends.net/~yuku/bbl/1e.htm

            and many other files on my webpage dedicated to this subject.

            Regards,

            Yuri.

            Yuri Kuchinsky || Toronto

            http://www.trends.net/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

            The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
            equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
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