[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 death. ===== Tom, 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 DOGMES, ii, > > 160-162) that everything in this passage which concerns the Spirit is an > > 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 wolves.) 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. -------- Jan, 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 transmission. 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 (sorry). 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: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.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 that Did 8 contains "the oldest known eucharistic prayers of Christianity" although he doesn't go into details there. Yuri.Click here to go one level up in the directory.