[to Phil]

Yes. And this is precisely the main point Loisy is making. He's saying
that first was the expectation of the imminent Return of Jesus in Glory
that found its expression in the Resurrection visions, the first one most
likely an appearance to Peter. Then what we see in the gospels as the
various and rather confused resurrection appearances were added up and
developed in various ways. Three days in the tomb was also added later. 
Earliest tradition had Jesus gone to Heaven right at the moment of his


Yes, I think this is valid. It seems only logical that the later         
Jewish-Christians would have derived their customs from the original     
"Church of James" in Jerusalem. It's hard to think where else they could 
have derived them from.                                                  
When we try to reconstitute the earliest Christian eucharist, naturally  
what we are likely to find is the earliest Jewish-Christian eucharist.   
This analysis has been done by van Cangh and S. Dockx, and they seem to  
have done it successfully.                                               
But it is a separate question if this early ritual, or even if any of it,
can be attributed to the Historical Jesus. Does any part of this early
ritual go back to the ipsissima verba of the HJ? A variety of views are
possible here. Myself, I'm rather sceptical about this, much more so that
van Cangh and S. Dockx. 


Loisy believed that the first stage of the NT writings was primarily     
eschatological. This is what he calls the early "eschatological          
catechesis", which was not so complicated. Mostly the expectation of the 
impending Second Coming.                                                 
But this expectation was disappointed after a certain number of years.   
Then came the next stage, what he calls "gospel/evangelical catechesis". 
It is at this point that Loisy sees the introduction of certain "gnostic 
elements" into a number of NT texts (sometime in the second part of the  
first century). These were helping to soften the disappointment. The     
gnostic elements came together with Pauline reinterpretation of the death
on the Cross as a Mystery. Paul began to introduce some of this gnostic  
stuff himself, but the bulk of it was added by his editors/followers.    
All these theories of Loisy are rather complex, and my summary is quite
abridged, but they make a lot of sense to me. 


[this is in regard to certain commentators who are opposing the 
idea of the Q gospel]

We know that Papias wrote in five books an EXPLANATION OF THE
SENTENCES OF THE LORD. These five volumes have not been preserved,
but are mentioned in Eusebius, ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, iii, 39. So I
would just like to know which "Sentences of the Lord" were they that
Papias was explicating? Could they have been ... the Q? (gasp) 
At the very least this is a good indication that a sayings collection
(collections?) of some sort was (were) available early on. It may have
been Q, or it may have been GTh, as Jack suggests, or maybe something else
belonging to the same gattung/genre. 
[The following is in regards to what Papias, our earliest historical
commentator, may have meant by his famous rather cryptic comments about
the gospels composition. I have analysed this matter in more detail 
later, in March  98, in posts to Synoptic-l.]
Loisy has a rather detailed and quite an unusual theory about what Papias
may have meant there (ORIGINGS, p. 73ff). According to Loisy, this had to
do with the way Jn was being introduced into the emerging canon, and, in
this connection, with certain distancing from the Synoptics that was being
suggested. Papias, as well as Irenaeus, wanted to put "a measure of
disqualification on two Gospels [Mt and Mk]" hereto widely accepted in the
movement, while commending the newly reedited Jn to the flock. (p. 76) 


[this is in regard to the opening chapters of the Book of Acts]

> > "We are on safe ground in thinking (with Turmel, HISTOIRES DES
> > 160-162) that everything in this passage which concerns the Spirit is
> > afterthought inserted into the context." (p. 171)                         
> What passage? 1-2?                                                          
Specifically, the fist 8 verses of Ch. 1. The interpolations of the Holy      
Spirit here are pretty obvious. The original text of the writer to            
Theophilus deals with the Second Coming. The disciples are advised to         
remain in Jerusalem and wait there for the Great Event (1:4 up to the         
"promise of the Father"). The following surcharge sidetracks rather           
incoherently and talks about something else.                                  
     "According to the words that precede, 'the promise of the Father' can only
     mean the promise of the Great Event; according to the words that follow,
     something quite different is in question -- and brought in most unhappily
     -- namely, the promise of baptism of the Holy Spirit ..." (Loisy, ORIGINS,
     p. 171)
And these unconnected themes continue to interweave rather uncomfortably
in the following verses.


[Part of a reply to Steve]

          ... This is what I find fundamentally unsatisfactory
about the Farrer-Goulder Model (FGM). It merely skips along the surface   
fussing about various labels we put on this and that theory.              
To me, this only tends to avoid the real problems in the NT scholarship.  
As you indicate here, if we simply rename Q as the NMM, or Non Mk Mt, we  
still basically have the same set of problems dealing with the NMM as are 
normally dealt with under the rubric of Q. It needs to be kept in mind    
that all the Q/NMM that we have is already firmly a part of the canon. So 
it's not like the Q scholars are somehow trying to sneak something into   
the canon that wasn't there to start with. So even as a theological       
problem it's not such a big one. What we are doing with all these         
arguments is simply reshuffling the existing evidence. Once the FGM people
accepted the priority of Mk, the theological problem vanishes. It's for   
the Griesbachians, who don't accept the priority of Mk, that this is still
a theological matter. (Good luck, Richard! You're a lamb among the        
The really challenging problem in the NT scholarship, I think, is to go
beyond the mere surface of the NT texts and to deal with their individual
compositional histories. This is where Mark G.'s theories are weak. He
simply assumes, it seems, that each of the three synoptics are unities
composed at a moment in time and henceforward fixed as unities. This is
really not supportable by the textual evidence we have. 


[The following excerpts deal with the all-too-facile but very popular 
assumption that our gospels are "textual unities".]

I was talking before about a certain rather naive tendency in modern NT
scholarship to assume without any further thought the basic textual
integrity of all our 4 gospels as given, and to go ahead and build
theories about early Christianity on such a precarious basis. The work of
scholars like Bovon is clearly contributing to overcoming these tendencies
that are unfortunately all too common. Let's hope we can go beyond such
facile theorizing. The sooner the better. 


All the manuscrips of Mk that we have are late. They can tell us nothing  
about what changes may have been made in the first 200 years or so of its 
The problems with the endings of Mk are an indication that the shape of   
the final composition did not remain fixed. The writing of Mk continued   
over a number of generations.                                             
The best evidence that we have for early editing and rewriting of the text
of Mk are the parts of Mk that are preserved by Mk's very early readers,
the writers of Mt and of Lk. 


[Early Christians and marriage.]

This is an interesting matter in its own right. I think it is safe to say 
that early Christians were generally anti-marriage. They were also        
anti-divorce, which was quite unusual in the context of Judaism of their  
time, and was very curiously paralleled by Qumranites. Frankly, I'm quite 
surprised that Neyrey can see anti-divorce attitude of Mk 10:6-9 as       
somehow being justified by the book of Genesis. This Mk reasoning is      
rather tendentious, and seems like quite a long shot. Mk makes this claim,
true, but we shouldn't just accept it because of this, as Gospel truth    
But one thing I'm pretty sure about is that the HJ would not have been
issuing anti-divorce commandments to his followers right after promising
to break plenty of families apart. In general, these sorts of community
rulings seem in their right context in the growing post-Easter movement,
but, frankly, I cannot see them going back to the HJ himself. 


[RE: the Hellenists (to Mahlon)]

No, I don't. I will try to express myself with more clarity now. What I'm
actually saying, based on Loisy and M. Smith, is that our early source of
Acts only emerges very briefly in 8:1b (persecutions and the scattering of
the Hellenists). It was they who were scattered, and not "the apostles". 
They, the Hellenists, were the radical ones, who wanted to spread the
message of Jesus far and wide, to proclaim it publicly. This is very
important. Steven, thus, became the protomartyr. 
Later, our source reemerges again in 11:19. In between are unrelated
expansions. As I mentioned before, all this was analysed by Loisy in great
detail. Smith deals with 8:1b. I'm not sure which other scholars have
dealt with this matter more recently, especially with 11:19ff, but
somebody probably did. 


[re: the Synoptic Problem]

Yes, perhaps you all have weak points and strong points, but my         
explanation doesn't really have any weak points. I believe I can account
for all these phenomena. The answer is not necessarily simple, but it   
explains everything adequately. All the 4 gospels depend on each other. 
The secondary stage of Mk depends on the other 2 Synoptics, plus on Jn. 
Just wait until I write all this stuff out in detail.                   
There is no "Synoptic Problem". 


Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 14:43:54 -0500
From: y.kuchinsky@utoronto.ca
To: m.s.goodacre@bham.ac.uk
Cc: crosstalk@info.harpercollins.com
Subject: Re: earliest eucharist

So now, let's look at these two texts, 1 Cor 11, and Mk 14, again. You've
yourself now admitted, in a rather qualifed way, that Mk preserves some
more primitive elements. This goes to show that Mk tradition is earlier
than 1 Cor 11 tradition. Will this, in itself, not point in the direction
that parts of 1 Cor 11 should not be attributed to the historical Paul?
For if it should be attributed to Paul, how could Paul, writing in later
forties -- early fifties, presumably 20 years before Mk, include such
later ritual elements?

In H. Koester's INTRODUCTION TO THE NT, on p. 159, he states clearly
Did 8 contains "the oldest known eucharistic prayers of Christianity" 
although he doesn't go into details there. 


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