Re: [Synoptic-L] Synoptics written within a generation of Christ?
- Kyle Dillon wrote:
> Karel wrote:The paradox is not created by me; it is a part of Jewish history and of early
> > Don't you think that in a passover haggadah like the Gospel, the author
> and the
> > readers were
> > struck by the fact that the period between crucifixion and temple
> > lasted some 40
> > years? The number 40 (a generation) plays an important role in the Exodux
> > as you well
> > know.
> I think you are missing a crucial point. In both ascribing a late date to
> the Synoptics (post-diaspora), and interpreting the Synoptics as expectant
> of an imminent Second Coming, you are creating a paradox. If, by AD 70,
> Christians had become as expectant of the Parousia as you say they were,
> then why were the gospels even written at all? Why take the time to compile
> such exhaustive accounts if not for them to be preserved, especially when
> such a task would greatly detract from witnessing, which would have been of
> utmost importance in the (supposed) end times? It seems much more reasonable
> to think that the Synoptics were written because people began to lose hope
> in an impending Second coming, and they began to realize that it would
> become necessary to preserve the words and deeds of Jesus in written form.
christianity. In fact, the language of biblical faith is eschatological
language. The Psalms and the Prophets abound in verses concerning the coming of
'Adonay' and of the 'Day of JHWH'. Faith in God's justice, mercy and power
always implies hope in God's imminent coming. P.S. Minear expressed this
eschatological aspect of faith well: "the presentness of this future is what
makes decision so decisive. The intensity of this present future is expressed
eschatologically in terms of its nearness." (Eyes of Faith).
In other words, like their Judean compatriots, the early christians were
awaiting the Day of JHWH, especially in the night of Passover. The intensity of
this hope increased when oppression became more and more unbearable. Tradition
gave us an early prayer "Maranatha". So also Daniel's vision of the 'coming of
the Human One on the clouds of heaven', ( - cited in Jesus' confession before
Caiaphas - ), was composed when the nation was suffering under the heels of
Antiochus Epihhanes IV.
Especially in times of oppression language of an imminent coming frequently
occurs. All Judean apocalyptic literature testifies to it. So eschatological
faith does not prevent the believer from writing about it, as you seem to imply.
In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul expresses the hope of still being alive at the
parousia . But he did write letters and undertook extended journeys. In other
words, eschatological faith need not be fanatic nor fundamentalistic. In 2 Cor 5
he may write of his confidence in the faith of his own death without taking
account of the Endtime. He did not radically shift his eschatological views. He
simply expressed the inexpressible in terms of an eschatology of Heaven (- an
eschatology of the Place -) and in terms of an eschatology of the Parousia (- an
eschatology of Time -): the God who IS is the God who COMES.
However, unfortunately, we don't know what Scriptures were read during Passover
before the Temple destruction. We don't have a pre-70 Seder, nor do we have a
The fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple was disastrous to every
Judean. It meant a deep incision in the history of the nation. In this crisis
situation Mark believed he must re-write the pre-70 Christian Passover Haggadah
used in his ecclesia (Urmark?) in order to provide them with a theodicy and to
reformulate the perspective on the divine future.
cordially yours Karel