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Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: CRISTOS and the Synoptic Problem

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  • Thomas R. W. Longstaff
    ... I have been following this thread with some interest but believe that there is a fundamental problem with the line of argument being explored here. It is
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 2, 2000
      At 06:25 PM 3/31/00 -0500, Maluflen@... wrote:

      >Yes, and one of my points has been that Matt seems closer to the perspective
      >of Jesus' lifetime where Jesus' messianic status in Israel was a burning
      >issue, which it is not, it seems to me, in Mark, but very definitely is in
      >Matt.

      I have been following this thread with some interest but believe that there
      is a fundamental problem with the line of argument being explored here. It
      is already difficult enough to talk about clear vectors in the development
      of Christology or, more broadly, the development of early Christian
      theology. It is even more difficult, or so it seems to me, to do so in a
      simple, linear fashion. A concern with Christology might well have arisen
      in some communities decades earlier than others. The dynamic of the
      relationship between emerging Christianity and Judaism may have been a
      different one in some communities than others. Only if one assumes a rather
      linear and essentially parallel development of these issues everywhere (or
      almost everywhere) do such arguments carry much weight. It is my sense that
      such a linear view is inconsistent with the complexity and variety of
      expression in early Christianity. What we, from our point of view, call a
      "high" Christology might well have developed much sooner in some locations
      than others. I don't even think that one can view this regionally - as
      thought all churches in Palestine - or Rome - developed their beliefs and
      forms of expresssion in parallel and at essentially the same rate.
      Especially if we envision that all of the gospels were written within a
      period of less than half a century, such arguments based on a chronology of
      theological development seem very problematic.

      Tom Longstaff


      Dr. Thomas R. W. Longstaff
      Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies
      Director, African-American Studies Program
      Colby College
      4643 Mayflower Hill
      Waterville, ME 04901-8846
      Email: t_longst@...
      Office phone: 207 872-3150
      FAX: 207 872-3802
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