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[Synoptic-L] Re: [Synoptic list] Jesus baptism

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  • Anthony Buglass
    Sue 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
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 2, 2004
      Sue 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" ~~
       
      If you want to argue that Jesus' baptism didn't happen, you beg two questions:
      - why couldn't it have happened?
      - if it did happen, why was baptism the story that was invented?
       
      To address the latter, in terms of Sue's question, there could be a number of ways for a public ministry to have a starting-point which gave 'credentials' - analogous to OT prophetic calls.  How would baptism give credentials to a new ministry?  It doesn't seem necessary, unless you argue that John's movement was widespread and popular, and the Jesus movement needed a 'better' baptism.  It is clear that there was competition between John's followers and Jesus' followers (eg Jn.1:8; Acts.19:4, seeking to demonstrate the inferiority of John's baptism and the superiority of Jesus' mission), but that doesn't seem to me to demand that Jesus should have been baptised by John - the other way round, possibly (which John himself is said to have suggested).
       
      This looks like one of those places where the criterion of embarrassment is a key tool, and that the most likely explanation is that Jesus was in fact baptised by (his supposed inferior) John.  The story has of course been developed by the Gospel tradition to establish certain points about Jesus' status and identity, and it is given a key role at the start of his ministry which is at least as much symbolic as historical, but it is unlikely IMHO that the underlying event did not happen.  It is unlikely that Christians would have invented it.
       
      Cheers,
      Tony
       
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      ... Sorry, I know it is very popular, but I don t buy the argument from embarrassment at all, and never have found it convincing. It presupposes that there was
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 2, 2004
        In a message dated 6/2/2004 2:31:13 PM Eastern Daylight Time, tonybuglass@... writes:

        >> This looks like one of those places where the criterion of embarrassment is a key tool, and that the most likely explanation is that Jesus was in fact baptised by (his supposed inferior) John.>>

        Sorry, I know it is very popular, but I don't buy the argument from embarrassment at all, and never have found it convincing. It presupposes that there was some compulsion for the evangelists to tell the story of John and Jesus even though they found it embarrassing. This is nonsense. There is no reason why the evangelists would have felt any compulsion to include the story of John baptizing Jesus, and it may well have been "invented" by Matthew to make some profound theological point, most likely along the lines of Poirier's suggestion.

        Leonard Maluf
        Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
        Weston, MA

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • Emmanuel Fritsch
        ... The argument of embarrassement is convincing because evangelists looks embarrassed. About the compulsion : -- if Jesus would have been baptised by John,
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 3, 2004
          Maluflen@... a écrit:

          >In a message dated 6/2/2004 2:31:13 PM Eastern Daylight Time, tonybuglass@... writes:
          >
          >
          >
          >>>This looks like one of those places where the criterion of embarrassment is a key tool, and that the most likely explanation is that Jesus was in fact baptised by (his supposed inferior) John.>>
          >>>
          >>>
          >
          >Sorry, I know it is very popular, but I don't buy the argument from embarrassment at all, and never have found it convincing. It presupposes that there was some compulsion for the evangelists to tell the story of John and Jesus even though they found it embarrassing. This is nonsense. There is no reason why the evangelists would have felt any compulsion to include the story of John baptizing Jesus, and it may well have been "invented" by Matthew to make some profound theological point, most likely along the lines of Poirier's suggestion.
          >
          The argument of embarrassement is convincing because evangelists looks
          embarrassed.

          About the compulsion :
          -- if Jesus would have been baptised by John, then the fact would have
          been hardly forgotten, either by christians (through your baptism, you
          are following Jesus) or by John followers (your baptism is in fact our
          since your Jesus has been baptised by our John). This fact is a
          compulsion for evangelist : a Jesus without John would have hardly been
          credible.
          -- how baptism would have been early an important stage in christian
          life, if it has not been related to the life of Jesus ? It looks hard
          that John's followers would have introduced it in Jesus group whithout
          an early link between Jesus and John.
          -- Is it possible to say that Jesus created a concurrent baptism against
          John's baptism, without any connection between both groups ? In that
          case, why do the gospel present Jesus either as following John at the
          early beginning (=synoptics) or deeply connected to John (=johannine
          tradition) ?

          a+
          manu



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