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Re: [Synoptic-L] Jesus' Baptism

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  • SRose63911@aol.com
    A little input from a silent partner ... what if Jesus was not baptised at all but this information was added/invented to give authenticity to a new faith?
    Message 1 of 21 , Jun 2, 2004
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      A little input from a "silent partner" ... what if Jesus was not baptised at all but this information was added/invented to give authenticity to a new faith?  The event of Jesus' baptism is the starting point of his ministry and without it , it could it be seen that he had no "credentials" ~~
       
       Could this be worth considering?
       
      Sue Rose
      (CJCR Cambridge)
    • Jim West
      ... I think, first, that the notion that the writers of the Gospel thought of themselves as the purveyors of a new religion is mistaken. They saw themselves
      Message 2 of 21 , Jun 2, 2004
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        At 01:56 PM 6/2/04 -0400, you wrote:
        >A little input from a "silent partner" ... what if Jesus was not baptised at
        >all but this information was added/invented to give authenticity to a new
        >faith? The event of Jesus' baptism is the starting point of his ministry and
        >without it , it could it be seen that he had no "credentials" ~~
        >Could this be worth considering?

        I think, first, that the notion that the writers of the Gospel thought of
        themselves as the purveyors of a new religion is mistaken. They saw
        themselves as Jews (save Luke) who were calling on their kindred to believe
        that Jesus was the promised Messiah. So there would have been no need for
        them to justify something that they didn't even think about being a new faith.

        Second, baptism as the beginning point of "credentialed" ministry would have
        seemed a strange and foreign notion to them. Baptism, in its johannine
        context (the baptizer that is) was a visible representation of personal
        repentence, not a first step in salvation (as conceived by many today).
        John baptized folk because folk were in need of repentence because they had
        not lived up to what it meant to be "Israel". Jesus was baptized,
        evidently, for the same reason. Not to begin a new ministry.

        To be sure, later on his followers saw this as the beginning of his earthly
        ministry- but as to whether or not Jesus saw it that way is highly debatable.

        Best

        Jim

        +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        Dr Jim West
        Pastor, Petros Baptist Church
        http://web.infoave.net/~jwest Biblical Studies Resources
        http://biblical-studies.blogpspot.com Biblical Theology Weblog


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      • Emmanuel Fritsch
        ... Another positive element would be the presence of constituted theology in Paul, particularly theological or liturgical hymns. Are there anyone ? I would
        Message 3 of 21 , Jun 3, 2004
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          John C. Poirier a écrit:

          > I have not developed this to any real degree, but I think it's not
          > impossible that some early Christians read the accounts of Jesus'
          > baptism with Paul's understanding of baptism in mind, that is, that it
          > symbolizes the death and resurrection, [...]
          >
          > I am not saying that this is necessarily the main way in which the
          > baptism was everywhere intended to be read, and the Pauline reading
          > certainly has little to do with the actual historical baptism, but I
          > don't think that the lack of any direct commentary on the part of the
          > evangelists to this effect is as strong a consideration as some might
          > make it to be. After all, there can be little doubt that "I have a
          > baptism to be baptized with" in Luke 12:50 refers to the Passion, so
          > we know that at least one of the evangelists took baptism to be a
          > symbol of death.

          Another positive element would be the presence of constituted theology
          in Paul,
          particularly theological or liturgical hymns. Are there anyone ? I would
          have a
          look particularly on Col.

          a+
          manu


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        • Emmanuel Fritsch
          ... Sorry : when I say the baptism , I was thinking baptism narratives . ... If it is just a concept, it is a strange one. If Christians would have inveted
          Message 4 of 21 , Jun 3, 2004
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            Stuart Waugh a écrit:

            > Emmanuel,
            >
            > I did not say that I thought the baptism concept was late.

            Sorry : when I say "the baptism", I was thinking "baptism narratives".

            > To the contrary I believe it is amongst the earliest, perhaps even
            > pre-Christian, concepts. I concur with Poirier's point about Luke
            > 12:50, as example for Luke's concept of the Baptism.
            >
            > Rather I simply think - and this is what I stated - the concept that
            > it was John who baptized Jesus was later, though not so late.

            If it is just a concept, it is a strange one.

            If Christians would have inveted lately a relation between Jesus and
            John, they would have created Jesus as the master, and John as the
            disciple. "Who is the greater, the master or the disciple" may have
            been, before to be used in a christian sense, an argument of John
            disciples against first christians.

            And evidence of a debate between christians and John disciples are
            early. So the construction of baptism narrative as "Jesus is baptised by
            John, but Jesus is greater", looks quite early.

            All that to conclude : I do not see any good reason to state Jesus
            baptism to be late. All reason to assert it as genuine.

            a+
            manu




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          • Fathchuck@aol.com
            In a message dated 6/1/2004 6:44:41 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Are you claiming, then, that Luke is the earliest Gospel? Chuck Schwartz St. Joan of Arc
            Message 5 of 21 , Jun 3, 2004
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              In a message dated 6/1/2004 6:44:41 PM Eastern Daylight Time, stuartwaugh@... writes:

              In short Matthew's account of the baptism story shows an orthodox theological development upon Mark's account, which itself is a development upon Luke's


              Are you claiming, then, that Luke is the earliest Gospel?


              Chuck Schwartz
              St. Joan of Arc
              Marlton, NJ USA
            • Stuart Waugh
              Emmanuel, Again you seem to mistake what I say slightly then draw false conclusions from this. Lets get this straight. My argument is: 1) Baptism predates
              Message 6 of 21 , Jun 3, 2004
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                Emmanuel,

                 

                Again you seem to mistake what I say slightly then draw false conclusions from this.

                 

                Lets get this straight. My argument is:

                 

                1) Baptism predates Christianity (it's in Paul afterall)

                2) Luke's baptism narrative of Jesus is earliest account

                      - It is symbolic of death and rebirth/resurrection (Luke 12:50)

                      - It is part of an Adoptionist formula, quoting Psalm 2:7

                      - John does not baptize Jesus in Luke (I can expand on v. 3:19-20, but it is long)

                      - John character is developed, in the spirit, in parallel to Jesus; so too the baptism

                      - John's prophetic RHMA is inferior to Jesus' PNEUMA (hence no embarrassment)

                3) Mark's version, based on source lacking Luke 3:19-20

                      - Concretely states that John baptizes Jesus (1:9)

                      - Lacks the Adoptionist formula, quoting hybrid Psalm 2:7, Isaiah 42:1

                4) Matthew's version, based on common source with Mark,

                      - Is aware of Adoptionist readings

                      - Is aware of Paul, specifically Romans 10:4, 3:21-25

                            (See Hippolytus �The Discourse on the Holy Theophany�, part 5)

                      - Shows polemic use of Isaiah 42:1b in v. 3:15

                            (See Irenaeus Against All Heresies, III.9.3)

                      - Shows use of 2nd Century orthodox creed

                            (E.g., 1 Timothy 3:16, Ignatius �Epistle to the Smyrnaeans� Chapter 1)

                      - John admits his inferiority because the RHMA vs. PNEUMA model is gone

                5) John's version further develops orthodox creed

                      - John declares he is not the Christ

                      - John bears witness to the descending Spirit

                      - pre-existent Christ (LOGOS) is through the baptism is developed 1:1ff

                 

                Each step shows theological development towards orthodoxy.

                 

                False Conclusions:

                 

                1) The Baptism of Jesus was a concept developed late

                   - How you came up with this from the above is beyond me. The story is very early. Not as early as the concept of Adoption by being raised from the dead as in Paul, but early as in pre-evangelist.

                 

                Correct Conclusions:

                1) The Baptism of Jesus is separate from the Baptism of John

                2) The Jesus movement progressively integrates John�s baptism into Jesus�

                3) Matthew's version shows intrusion of 2nd century orthodoxy

                4) Thus Matthew 3:14-15 are probably later additions to the account

                5) Matthew/Mark account is contra-Luke and anti-Adoptionist

                6) Orthodox corruption changed Luke 3:22 to conform to Matthew/Mark

                 

                Also

                 

                The embarrassment argument rings hollow. The development shows a move toward binding John to the baptism of Jesus, it is not shyness from it. What is a worry is the Adoptionist (and consequently Separationist) exegesis of the story. This is an internal debate. It became critical also to show that the sign was public, not merely a symbolic event as orthodox creed developed; thus John the Baptist bears witness to the dove in John's account.

                 

                I would go into much greater detail, except I have to work.

                 

                - Stuart

                 

                P.S. - Emmanuel, the Master and Servant issue is well covered in the anti-Gnostic writings. Gnostic teachers, and arguably even Paul, seem to claim equality with Christ. Your application is undocumented by comparison.

                 

                Chuck Schwartz:  "Are you claiming, then, that Luke is the earliest Gospel?"

                 

                No, I am not saying this. Every of the Synoptic Gospels has places where more primitive traditions survived the composition and redaction process. Luke preserves many of them. All the Gospels (and also the Pauline Epistles) show here and there the intrusion of later materials. In the main this is a different issue than the main Synoptic Problem.

                 

                 


                Emmanuel Fritsch <emmanuel.fritsch@...> wrote:


                Stuart Waugh a �crit:

                > Emmanuel,
                >
                > I did not say that I thought the baptism concept was late.

                Sorry : when I say "the baptism", I was thinking "baptism narratives".

                > To the contrary I believe it is amongst the earliest, perhaps even
                > pre-Christian, concepts. I concur with Poirier's point about Luke
                > 12:50, as example for Luke's concept of the Baptism.
                >
                > Rather I simply think - and this is what I stated - the concept that
                > it was John who baptized Jesus was later, though not so late.

                If it is just a concept, it is a strange one.

                If Christians would have inveted lately a relation between Jesus and
                John, they would have created Jesus as the master, and John as the
                disciple. "Who is the greater, the master or the disciple" may have
                been, before to be used in a christian sense, an argument of John
                disciples against first christians.

                And evidence of a debate between christians and John disciples are
                early. So the construction of baptism narrative as "Jesus is baptised by
                John, but Jesus is greater", looks quite early.

                All that to conclude : I do not see any good reason to state Jesus
                baptism to be late. All reason to assert it as genuine.

                a+
                manu




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              • Stephen C. Carlson
                ... This is probably the sticking point. If you can persuade on this one, it s all down hill from there. Stephen Carlson -- Stephen C. Carlson,
                Message 7 of 21 , Jun 3, 2004
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                  Stuart Waugh wrote:
                  >Lets get this straight. My argument is:
                  ...
                  >2) Luke's baptism narrative of Jesus is earliest account

                  This is probably the sticking point. If you can persuade
                  on this one, it's all down hill from there.

                  Stephen Carlson

                  --
                  Stephen C. Carlson,
                  mailto:scarlson@...
                  "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

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                • Stuart Waugh
                  Stephen, LOL Yup, that is the issue. But I think people have trouble dealing with theological arguments because they insist the Synoptics were done in a single
                  Message 8 of 21 , Jun 3, 2004
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                    Stephen,
                     
                    LOL
                     
                    Yup, that is the issue. But I think people have trouble dealing with theological arguments because they insist the Synoptics were done in a single sitting redactions. I am inclined to agree with Parker on this issue, and see a prolonged process. Any given Gospel can have more primitive accounts of this or that story with this view. Besides model arguments are very weak.
                     
                    But perhaps somebody (Emmanuel?) would like to demonstrate the development toward the Adoptionism in Luke and why he needs to remove John from the scene. Some good Patristic evidence to show how this happened, would be nice as well. Afterall, my argument is based on theology, not upon model.
                     
                    Stuart
                     

                    "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote:
                    Stuart Waugh wrote:
                    >Lets get this straight. My argument is:
                    ...
                    >2) Luke's baptism narrative of Jesus is earliest account

                    This is probably the sticking point. If you can persuade
                    on this one, it's all down hill from there.

                    Stephen Carlson

                    --
                    Stephen C. Carlson,
                    mailto:scarlson@...
                    "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35


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                  • Stuart Waugh
                    Stephen, Actually Luke s account being most primitive is only part of the argument. The issue of Matthew s account being intruded upon by 2nd century Orthodox
                    Message 9 of 21 , Jun 3, 2004
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                      Stephen,
                       
                      Actually Luke's account being most primitive is only part of the argument. The issue of Matthew's account being intruded upon by 2nd century Orthodox creedal material still holds regardless. Matthew's account is clearly aware of Adoptionist readings and sets a  formula to give an alternative, if clumsy, understanding of the story.
                       
                      So even if Luke's account is not prior to Mark, or it is from a separate primitive tradition, the Adoptionist reading was known, and every point in 1, 3, 4, 5 still holds. The sticking point of Luke's account being earlier is a not a robust counter argument.
                       
                      - Stuart

                      Stuart Waugh <stuartwaugh@...> wrote:
                      Stephen,
                       
                      LOL
                       
                      Yup, that is the issue. But I think people have trouble dealing with theological arguments because they insist the Synoptics were done in a single sitting redactions. I am inclined to agree with Parker on this issue, and see a prolonged process. Any given Gospel can have more primitive accounts of this or that story with this view. Besides model arguments are very weak.
                       
                      But perhaps somebody (Emmanuel?) would like to demonstrate the development toward the Adoptionism in Luke and why he needs to remove John from the scene. Some good Patristic evidence to show how this happened, would be nice as well. Afterall, my argument is based on theology, not upon model.
                       
                      Stuart
                       

                      "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote:
                      Stuart Waugh wrote:
                      >Lets get this straight. My argument is:
                      ...
                      >2) Luke's baptism narrative of Jesus is earliest account

                      This is probably the sticking point. If you can persuade
                      on this one, it's all down hill from there.

                      Stephen Carlson

                      --
                      Stephen C. Carlson,
                      mailto:scarlson@...
                      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35


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                    • Randall Buth
                      There is some language data to add to the discussion. ... but it is long) . . . ... 42:1
                      Message 10 of 21 , Jun 4, 2004
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                        There is some language data to add to the discussion.
                        >2) Luke's baptism narrative of Jesus is earliest account
                        > - It is symbolic of death and rebirth/resurrection (Luke 12:50)
                        > - It is part of an Adoptionist formula, quoting Psalm 2:7
                        > - John does not baptize Jesus in Luke (I can expand on v. 3:19-20,
                        but it is long)
                        . . .
                        >3) Mark's version, based on source lacking Luke 3:19-20
                        > - Concretely states that John baptizes Jesus (1:9)
                        > - Lacks the Adoptionist formula, quoting hybrid Psalm 2:7, Isaiah
                        42:1<

                        Luke 3:21-22 is a Lucan rewrite. (this could be of a non-canonical source,
                        so it
                        is not necessarily diagnostic of Lucan-Marcan relationship). In any case,
                        this
                        is a example of the Lucan KAI EGENETO + aparemfaton rhma (infinitive) as
                        the
                        MAIN event. This is not a Hebraism but a Lucanism and to be clearly
                        distinguished from the Hebraic KAI EGENETO (+/- time margin) + paremfaton
                        rhma (finite verb). This latter (+ finite verb) only occurs in the gospel,
                        while the
                        former (infinitive as main event) occurs in both the gospel and frequently
                        in
                        Acts.
                        No surprise there, of course. We get to see Luke's style in Acts and it is
                        mixed with sources in the gospel.

                        The language point, in sum, is that Luke 3:21-22 shows Luke's hand as an
                        editor, which blunts (but certainly does not contradict) the case for
                        originality of the perspective. (E.g. the other kind of KAI EGENETO could
                        have gone a long way for clinching the argument for originallity.)
                        The effect of the whole string of infinitives would be to demote the scene
                        somewhat from the typically aorist indicative story line.

                        ERRWSQE
                        Randall Buth
                        Randall Buth, PhD
                        Director, Biblical Language Center
                        www.biblicalulpan.org
                        and
                        Director, Biblical Studies in Israel
                        Hebrew University, Rothberg International School
                        ybitan@...

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                      • Matson, Mark (Academic)
                        I have followed this discussion with some interest. Here is my problem: I am suspicious of theological development problems. Why could not various approaches
                        Message 11 of 21 , Jun 4, 2004
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                          I have followed this discussion with some interest.
                           
                          Here is my problem:  I am suspicious of theological development problems.  Why could not various approaches to Christology (here expressed as a view of Jesus' baptism) have existed at various times and/or places?  Why must we think that these things always develop in a linear fashion?
                           
                          I don't have a problem with Luke perhaps drawing on some older traditions.  I am relatively convinced that there was still a substantial amount of oral material floating around that Luke could have used (thought I think Luke was written the latest of the gospels).  But I also think it equally possible, or even more possible, that each evangelist uses substantial authorial creativity in recasting the "stuff" of the gospel around his/her view of the Christ event.   And these authorial views need not be on a linear path of "development" (whatever that might mean). 
                           
                          After all, Paul is very early, and yet he has a remarkably "high" Christology -- even a pre-existent view (per Phil., or if you grant it as Pauline, Col.).  Yet the synoptic gospels, which are all later,  pull back a bit from that.  So we don't necessarily see development toward orthodoxy, but perhaps various stocatic bursts of interpretations of the Jesus story.
                           
                          Why could Luke not have been influenced by a more adoptionist theology at a later point?
                           
                          So, I don't necessarily agree with Stephen that if you can show the earliness of Luke's baptism scene it is a downhill from there.
                           
                          mark
                           
                           
                          Mark A. Matson
                          Academic Dean
                          Milligan College
                          http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/personal.htm
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: owner-synoptic-l@... [mailto:owner-synoptic-l@...] On Behalf Of Stuart Waugh
                          Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2004 3:56 PM
                          To: Stephen C. Carlson; Emmanuel Fritsch
                          Cc: synoptic-l@...
                          Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Jesus' Baptism

                          Stephen,
                           
                          LOL
                           
                          Yup, that is the issue. But I think people have trouble dealing with theological arguments because they insist the Synoptics were done in a single sitting redactions. I am inclined to agree with Parker on this issue, and see a prolonged process. Any given Gospel can have more primitive accounts of this or that story with this view. Besides model arguments are very weak.
                           
                          But perhaps somebody (Emmanuel?) would like to demonstrate the development toward the Adoptionism in Luke and why he needs to remove John from the scene. Some good Patristic evidence to show how this happened, would be nice as well. Afterall, my argument is based on theology, not upon model.
                           
                          Stuart
                           

                          "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote:
                          Stuart Waugh wrote:
                          >Lets get this straight. My argument is:
                          ...
                          >2) Luke's baptism narrative of Jesus is earliest account

                          This is probably the sticking point. If you can persuade
                          on this one, it's all down hill from there.

                          Stephen Carlson

                          --
                          Stephen C. Carlson,
                          mailto:scarlson@...
                          "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35


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                        • R. Steven Notley
                          With apologies for not having time to get involved too much in this discussion. I am working under some deadlines, so I can t get too engage. However, I did
                          Message 12 of 21 , Jun 4, 2004
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                            With apologies for not having time to get involved too much in this
                            discussion. I am working under some deadlines, so I can't get too
                            engage. However, I did want to contribute a couple of tidbits to
                            comments I have read.

                            I have used Stuart's post as a point of response, since the discussion
                            has sometimes ranged far and wide.

                            > Lets get this straight. My argument is:
                            > 1) Baptism predates Christianity (it's in Paul afterall)

                            I assume that everyone on the Synoptic-L is already aware that this
                            statement goes without saying. Jewish ritual immersion is attested in
                            pre-Christian literary sources (e.g. Sir 34:30) and archaeologically
                            before John or Jesus. Indeed, I find little in the manner and message
                            of John's baptism that is Christian at all. Josephus (Ant. 18:116ff)
                            in his description of John certainly does not connect his baptism in
                            any regard to Jesus or Christianity.

                            John's call to repentance echoes that of another first century sage
                            from Galilee Yose Ha-Galili "Repentance brings redemption." John
                            called people to repentance in the hope that God would respond and
                            send the Redeemer. The language of this hope is also not unique.
                            "Remission of sins" is not intended to signal the individual's
                            "sinfulness" or obtaining forgiveness through the act of immersion.
                            Instead, the vocabulary of "remission" is related to what Wachholder
                            called "chronomessianism" or the belief that God would act redemptively
                            according to a predetermined chronological framework. I think John
                            like some of his contemporaries believed that redemption would happen
                            in a Jubilee year (thus the language of remission--by the first century
                            the terminology for "debts" could also be used for "sins"--i.e. Matt
                            6:12). The Qumran community and others found significance in the fact
                            that the Jubilee begins on the Day of Atonement--with the
                            forgiveness/remission of sins. In other words, those who proposed a
                            redemption that would coincide with the Jubilee year, suggested that
                            God would forgive the sins of the nation and consequently bring
                            redemption to his people.

                            In this light, there is very little in John's call to repentance and
                            ritual immersion that is of necessity "Christian."

                            However, John's hesitation in Matthew's account, reflects later
                            Christian concern at the portrayal of Jesus submitting to John.
                            John's movement did not disappear with the arrival of Jesus and one can
                            detect a certain competitiveness between the two movements in the NT.
                            I personally would interpret John's hesitation to baptize Jesus and his
                            confession of inferiority in Matthew's Gospel to be a product of the
                            same kind of creativity that we see in the demotion of John in later
                            strata of Christian tradition.

                            Only in the Synoptic Gospels does Jesus testify to the elevated status
                            of John. Matt 11:11: "Truly, I say to you, among those born of women
                            there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist." While in the
                            Synoptics Jesus says, "If you can accept it, [John] is Elijah," in
                            John 1:21, when John is asked "Are you Elijah?" he says "No." I think
                            the attempt to reduce John's status in later Christian presentations
                            can not be more clear. Matthew's unique presentation of John's
                            hesitation and confession "I need to be baptized by you" is part of
                            this trend and an indication of the tradition's relative lateness.

                            >    - It is symbolic of death and rebirth/resurrection (Luke 12:50)
                            In the context of Luke 12:49-53 baptism does not speak symbolically to
                            rebirth/resurrection. It is true that Mark 10:38 has presented the
                            dominical saying in light of the Pauline notion that baptism symbolizes
                            death and resurrection. Thus, Mark's addition "to drink the cup I
                            drink". But Mark's innovation is not present in Luke or Matthew.
                            Instead, baptism in Luke 12:49 occurs within the context of pending
                            judgment. This use of baptism echoes language already heard on the
                            lips of John (Luke 3:16 parr.) and parallels similar imagery in the DSS
                            (e.g. 1QS 4:21-23). [On the grammatical voice of "baptizein" in Luke
                            12:49, see below.'
                            >
                            >       - It is part of an Adoptionist formula, quoting Psalm 2:7
                            Once again this statement is anachronistic. While Psalm 2:7 was used
                            in later Adoptionist circles, one has to demonstrate that such is the
                            intended meaning for its use by the Evangelists in the baptismal
                            narrative. Personally, I am not sure Psalm 2:7 represents the earliest
                            tradition of the content for the heavenly voice. I think Jeremias was
                            correct in seeing Isaiah 42:1 as more fitting. Nevertheless, it is
                            worth noting that Psalm 2:7 is used in (non-Christian) Jewish sources
                            as part of scriptural testimonia concerning the coming King Messiah.
                            In Hebrew it is linguistically connected to Psalm 110 and interpreted
                            accordingly. Its use in connection with the Jewish hope for a
                            redeemer has absolutely nothing to do with adoptionist tendencies in
                            later Christianity.

                            As an aside, one could more convincingly suggest that Mark (and perhaps
                            an earlier recension of Luke that lacked the first two chapters) was
                            structured without any details of Jesus' life before the baptism under
                            the influence of adoptionist tendencies in some circles of the early
                            church (i.e. nothing in the life of Jesus before his baptism is
                            important). I am not sure one can prove this position with certainty
                            either. I only give it as an example of how can read the data in light
                            of later developments. As is noted on this list quite regularly, there
                            is a world of difference between "possibility" and "probability."

                            >       - John does not baptize Jesus in Luke (I can expand on v.
                            > 3:19-20, but it is long)
                            Luke's omission of John's direct physical involvement is not derived
                            from a theological/ecclesiastical agenda, but instead is simply a more
                            fitting description of what physically occurs in the Jewish act of
                            ritual immersion. It is self-immersion. One is forbidden to be
                            touched while in the water. It may be a coincidence but the oldest
                            pictorial representation of this event from 2nd century catacombs in
                            Rome portray John on the bank of the Jordan extending a hand to Jesus
                            and assisting him to come up out of the water. It is likely that this
                            would have been John's location.

                            Please note something that is routinely overlook. When Matthew
                            actually describes Jesus' baptism, his presentation likewise omits
                            John's direct involvement, "And when Jesus was baptized..." (Matt
                            3:16). He thus agrees with Luke here against Mark, in spite of the
                            fact that he has followed Mark's presentation in Matthew 3:13=Mark 1:9
                            in his introduction to the event.

                            The reasons for the confusion on the mode of immersion may lie in the
                            ambiguity of the semitic idiom. For example the Hebrew TaBaL (to
                            immerse) can be read both transitive and intransitive in meaning (i.e.
                            I immerse something or I immerse [myself]). Please note the same
                            problem with the translation of Paul's actions in Acts 21. In both
                            verses (21 and 24) the English translations rightly have rendered it as
                            self-purification ("purify yourself" and "he purified himself") even
                            though the verb is passive. By the way, the meaning here is also
                            ritual immersion which was required before ascending to the Temple. In
                            the Dead Sea Scrolls we read the verbs "to purify" and "to sanctify"
                            with the meaning of "to immerse."
                            >
                            >

                            Sadly, I am out of time. I need to get back to other things. Thanks
                            for the discussion.

                            shalom
                            Steven Notley
                            Nyack College NYC
                          • Maluflen@aol.com
                            In a message dated 6/3/2004 4:38:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time, stuartwaugh@yahoo.com writes:
                            Message 13 of 21 , Jun 4, 2004
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                              In a message dated 6/3/2004 4:38:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time, stuartwaugh@... writes:

                              << Actually Luke's account being most primitive is only part of the argument. The issue of Matthew's account being intruded upon by 2nd century Orthodox creedal material still holds regardless. Matthew's account is clearly aware of Adoptionist readings and sets a formula to give an alternative, if
                              clumsy, understanding of the story.>>

                              Could you please explain what you are saying here. It will continue to sound like utter nonsense to me (at least) until you do. Given which, it is a pity that you assert it with such confidence. Thanks.

                              Leonard Maluf
                              Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                              Weston, MA

                              Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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