Date: Sat, 6 Dec 1997 12:08:04 -0500
From: y.kuchinsky@utoronto.ca
Cc: crosstalk@info.harpercollins.com
Subject: Re: Order of Acts/Luke


It is obvious that Lk is primarily interested in the very Hellenistic
image of the theios aner, the travelling Miracle-Man. All his good guys
are miracle men. They cure diseases, perform miracles, make impressive
speeches, have wonderful escapes from prison, have semidivine ancestry,
and so on. 

This is not the image of the Historical Paul that most people get. This,
to the contrary, is he image of the opponents of Paul. So Lk can be seen
in a sense as a victory of the opponents of Paul.

What Loisy is essentially saying is that the Proto-Lk, the writing to
Theophilus, was not in this mode. It was less oriented towards the
miracle-man, and it did not have the divine birth story.

So, in a sense, what Loisy was saying back then is confirmed by modern
scholarship. His early Jesus movement tradition, as transmitted by the
Proto-Lk, fits nicely with at least one branch of the Jesus movement,
Mack-like sparse and cynic-like itinerant prophets announcing the
teachings of Wisdom and the approaching End of the World, and calling all
to repentance. They were not miracle men.

I write this by the way of introduction to the rest of this reply.

Re: "the Great Event"

The End of the World was The Thing #1 at the time. The Main Focus. We know
it is all over Paul. Nobody is really in doubt about what the expected
Great Event was for early Christians. And it wasn't the Pentecost,
certainly, except in Lk. What Lk thinks is a minority view in the NT.

Yes, I understand that these theories intrude to a certain extent on the
territory that Steve Davies considers his own, i.e. Spirit possessions and
such. And yet I don't see why this should be so. He's working basically in
the area of the miracle-men = healers. This certainly goes back early
enough in the history of Jesus movement, since we know that the opponents
of Paul were miracle-men. This may also go back to the Historical Jesus. 
This was definitely one strand in the early movement -- _among others_. 
But let's not go overboard with this...

As far as I can see we can discern about 4 basic typologies in early
Christianity. There were the James people, faithful to the Law. 
(Thomas-people were probably at least in part an off-shoot of these.)
There were the Q-people. (Quite similar to the "John the Baptist people"
-- an odd bunch, if indeed they existed as more than a footnote in the
history of the movement). There were the Paul people. There were the Peter
people, most likely the closest to the miracle-man type. "Gnostic" types
were also there somewhere hovering in the wings (perhaps straddling a few
typological boundaries).

So the general picture was far from simple.


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