Early Church Mythers, told you they were coming.


Tomb of Philip at Hierapolis


I once observed that with Jesus mythers, Peter Mythers,Paul Mythers, Apostle mythers, the skeptical world would soon get around to denying the very existence of Christianity itself, Now they are just on the verge of doing that, there are both  both Acts mythers and Jerusalem church mythers. There was a group working in 2001 in pulled in the wake o the Jesus Seminar called the "Acts Seminar." Their "findings" were published  in 2013.[1]

"The Acts Seminar met twice a year beginning in 2001 and concluded its work at the spring Westar meeting in 2011. Dennis Smith, the seminar chair, compiled a list of the top ten accomplishment of the Acts Seminar:"[2]

  1. The use of Acts as a source for history has long needed critical reassessment.
  2. Acts was written in the early decades of the second century.
  3. The author of Acts used the letters of Paul as sources.
  4. Except for the letters of Paul, no other historically reliable source can be identified for Acts.
  5. Acts can no longer be considered an independent source for the life and mission of Paul.
  6. Contrary to Acts 1-7, Jerusalem was not the birthplace of Christianity.
  7. Acts constructs its story on the model of epic and related literature.
  8. The author of Acts created names for characters as storytelling devices.
  9. Acts constructs its story to fit ideological goals.
  10. Acts is a primary historical source for second century Christianity.[3]
As we see in 3-5 they assert the dependence of Acts upon the Letters of Paul as a primary source, They point that the traditional view had been to consider Acts valid because it coordinated so well with Paul's letters. The Seminar turns this virtue into a vice by making the book dependent upon Paul completely. Moreover they find that there are no historical names in the book, the names are imposed upon fictional characters for symbolic reasons,.[4] As a supporter of the seminar elucidates further on findings:
The dominant view in Acts scholarship places Acts around 85 CE, not because of any special event linking the book of Acts to that date but as a compromise between scholars who believe it was written by an eye-witness to the early Jesus movement and those who don’t. Acts and Christian Beginnings argues for a more rigorous approach to the evidence. The Acts Seminar concluded that Acts was written around 115 CE and used literary models like Homer for inspiration, even exact words and phrases from popular stories. “Among the top ten accomplishments of the Acts Seminar was the formation of a new methodology for Acts,” editors Dennis Smith and Joseph Tyson explained. “The author of Acts is in complete control of his material. He felt no obligation to stick to the sources. He makes them say what he wants them to say.”[5] 
This last statement is interesting because it sounds like spin trying to dodge the reality that Acts and the letters of Paul have  some contradiction and veneration, In Galatians Paul only mentions two visitants to Jerusalem (who is there to visit with no Christians in the city?) Acts mementos three (ch 15:1-29). In Galatians 2 Paul Starts the fight in Jerusalem but in Acts it's already going on(Acts 15). In Galatians 2 Paul says he met with the Pillars of the church in private while in Acts It;s a public debate (15). It's obvious what the seminar tries to sell as being in control so much as as to not care about facts is actually an obvious reality that the author did not have the letters of Paul to go by.

I have never seen Acts as a first century history text book, As a historian I have to assume the story is being spun for political reasons at least to some extent, neither am I willing to assume it is the Peter Pan lala land comic book the Acts Seminar makes it out to be. I am not attacking the scholarly credentials or work of the seminar, Among their ranks are Michel White (of U Tex) whose work I have long admired. Also we find Tyson is at SMU so I can't complain about his credentials.  Robert Price formerly of the ill fated Jesus Project who I see as a true enemy of Gospel but I can't fault his credentials.[6]

Yet if Acts is derived from the letters of Paul we can still trust its historical validity because Paul's letters are accepted and held in high regard as authentic, at least the seven "genuine epistles,':That they appear to be derived from Paul's letters could be expected if Luke is really the cahoot, But if someone other Palatine insider was author that is no disappointment. Not that Luke would have read the letter but the events would be known to him and even some phrases might have been picked up from association with Paul.


The assumption that all the names are changed is clearly an ideological connection to Jesus mytherism. there is no reason to make such as assumption. The rationale for it is the alleged lack concrete personages linked to the work and anchoring it in history. There is a case that the an historical figure in acts can be placed in history where Acts says he was. Stephan Neil thought that one of the most impressive aspects of "Luke" as an historian is that he always gets the titles write. Many of the titles of local officials which Luke provides us with were not validated until modern times.


The writter of Acts knew the correct titles and used them with varying precision. In the words of Ramsey: 'the officials with whom Paul and his companions were brought into contact are those who would be there. Every person is found just where he ought to be; proconsuls in senatorial provinces, as  in Ephesus, strategoi in Philippi, politarchs in Thessolonica, magicians and soothsayers everywhere.' The Most remarkable of these titles is Politarch the ruler of the city used in Acts 17:6...previously this word had been completely unknown except for this passage in Acts. It has now been found in 19 inscriptions dating from he second century..."[7]

Neil argues that titles are the hardest things to get right, modern French writers never get English titles right, and this is something that would easily and surely betray an anachronism[8] Sir William Ramsey, one of the greatest biblical archaeologists who ever lived validated the historical accuracy of Acts but he started out a staunch 19th century liberal who dated Acts in second century. Modern liberal scholars just write off Ramsey because he worked in 19th and early 20th century but modern scholars who study him find his work is still up to date, in many respects.
The basic reliability of the Book of Acts is illustrated in the story of Sir William Ramsay. In the nineteenth century it was widely believed that the New Testament was an invention of the second-century church. Sir William Ramsay provides us with an example of how an honest scholar of history can change his perspective when faced by incontrovertible evidence from history and archaeology. Ramsay began his historical research toward the end of the nineteenth century. He was taught that the New Testament was not written in the first century and was not historically reliable. Although the New Testament Book of Acts contained a variety of eyewitness historical references, liberal critics rejected its historicity and declared it untrue....Ramsay's study led him to conclude that "Luke's history is unsurpassed in respect to its trustworthiness"  and Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements trustworthy . . . this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians" [9]

One might assert that Ramsey's discoveries would work just as well with a second century date but Ramsey himself started with the presupposition from this Tubingen days that Acts was second century, his discoveries led him to change his mind and date it in first century: "In fact, beginning with a fixed idea that the work was essentially a second century composition, and never relying on its evidence as trustworthy for first century conditions, I gradually came to find it a useful ally in some obscure and difficult investigations"[10]

Another historical grounding for acts is the daughters of Philip who meet Paul in Acts 21:9. These were real people and their historicity was validated by Papias (120) who knew then personally, Polycrates (190) also testifies to their existence. [11]An inscription links the tomb to Philip the Apostle and has been escavated by odern archaeology. "Professor Francesco D'Andria, the head of the excavation team at the Hierapolis ancient city in Denizli, told reporters on Tuesday that experts had reached the tomb of St. Philip whose name is mentioned in the Bible as one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus."[12]

Say the meeting in Acts took place in 58 (scholars assume) and the girls were all around 20. by 110 they would be around 70. It is possible that at least one of them lived that log. She cold easily have known Papias (70-150, writings dated to around 130). The inclusion of the women in acts might be a skeptical argument for dating the book around 115. Their historicity grounds the book in history and that;s a reason to discount the made up name theory. That theory is really a king's X. No evidence can count against the theory because counter evidence is all made up. It's more parsempnious to assume that they used knowledge about the doings of the real actual people rather than just pulling names out of the air and sticking them on their own fictional creations.

As for the argument that the book employs Homeric allusions,that might be taken as another reason to assume Lukan authorship since he was Greek.The first reason being the grounding in Pauline correspondence. The Seminar;s assumption about Homeric allusion really a  king's X because its saying even if the book is validated  historically by an independent source it has to be derived from that source. Again no evidence must ever count against the theory. Let's assume for the sake of argument that Acts was written in 115AD, naturally not by Luke. It would still be a valid source for the historicity of the early Chruch, because it's validity is grounded in Paul's letters and in Ramseys archaeology and in the historicity of Paul, Philip and his daughters  and others. For example an Epistle of Barnabas was circulating in the early second century.I am not assuming Barnabas wrote it but he had to be known to be of pseudopigraphal value and he is primarily known from Acts.[13] So even if we assume date rr Acts in the Second century that does not diminish the connection the source affords to the formation of the early Church,Even in  115 Papias would still have been there to keep it honest and he was the first church historian, student of the apostle John.

It seems that the real skeptical point of the seminar is to cut off the historical connection between the empty tomb and the historical origins o Christianity. That's why it's important to them to find that there were no Christians in first century Jerusalem. That's their most ridiculous notion. It is true that archaeological evidence of first century Christians in Jerusalem had been absent until 2010 but in that year discoveries were made config other kinds of historical evidence. Now archaeological evdience backs historical evidence (documents) that Christianity did begin in Jerusalem in the first centiry/
An examination via robotic camera of an Herodian era tomb near Jerusalem has yielded ossuary engravings that strongly imply Christian culture, including an icon that seems to invoke the Jonah story, the most popular icon in third century CE Roman tomb -- previously the earliest Christian images. The tomb is in close proximity to the controversial "Jesus Tomb," which contained an ossuary engraved "Jesus son of Joseph.";...The tomb in question is dated prior to 70 CE, when ossuary use in Jerusalem ceased due to the Roman destruction of the city.[14] 
Dr. James Tabor was part of the expideition, says "what we saw was clear evidence of faith in Jesus' resurrection from the dead from this sealed tomb securely dated to the time of Jesus ...we were gazing at the carved imagery and writing of some of Jesus' ear;iest followers, it is very likely that some of the people hurried in that tomb had seen and heard Jesus..."[15]

What about the "other kinds of historical evidence?"  From the Pauline letters, which the seminar aspects as historical sources, we see Paul having lots of commerce with Jerusalem. He says he visited Jerusalem twice (Gal 2:1-10). He takes up collections for the church in Jerusalem (1 Cor 16:1–4; 2 Cor 8:1–9:15; Rom 15:14–32). Who was there for Pul to give his collection to if not a Jerusalem church. Why did he go there to visit James if there was no Jerusalem church?


Archaeology cannot yet identify with certainty the tomb of Christ, but here is strong evidence supporting the Church of the Holy Seplicur as the original site. The site does date back to the fourth century when it was shown to Constantine.[16]  Gaalyah Cornfeld in Archaeology of The Bible Book By Book. (1976). who tells us that from early times Christians reverenced the site, but it was desecrated when the Romans put up a temple to Venus over it. Jewish-Christians could no longer worship at the site for that reason, but they continued the knowledge of  where it was (marking it by the temple) until the time of Constantine when they were able to point him to it as the original site of the resurrection. Constantine put up a basilica over the original shrine, the Anastasis. Excavations by V. Corbo found a gold ring with the representation of the dome of the original shrine Anastasis.He also found the temple. This indicates that this site was venerated by Christians in ancient times as the site of the resurrection. (and there is an empty tomb under neither it).[17] (See Archaeology of The Bible: Book by Book, New York: Harper and Row, 1976, 271-2).


So The legend is that the Romans put a temple to Venus over the tomb of Christ so the Christians could not worship there. The Christians used the temple to mark the site. Years latter they used that to identify the site  for Constantine. That's just a legend but in 1968 Corbo digs down and finds the temple of under the church where everyone says the tomb of Christ is located. That's a good reason to think that is the spot. But my purpose  is not argue the resurrection my point is that it ties the origins of Christianity to first century Jerusalem and it pits Christians liking there at that time.
Overall then the dating issue is not devastating to the faith,but the issue of trying to detach Christianity from it's roots fails miserably This is probably why I can't f ind a single scholarly review of the book. The Acts seminar seems to miss the mark on all counts. What they tried to do to historiography is truly a sin.  




Sources

[1] Denis E. Smith and Joseph B. Tyson, et al, Acts And Christian Beginimgs, The Acts Seminar Report,Salem, Oregan:Polebridge Press; WRAPS edition,Denis E. Smith and Joseph B. Tyson ed.  2013, no page indicated.
on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Acts-Christian-Beginnings-Seminar-Report/dp/1598151355
(accessed 2/34/18)

[2] Seminar On Acts of The Apostles, page by Westar Instittue
https://www.westarinstitute.org/projects/the-jesus-seminar/seminar-on-the-acts-of-the-apostles/
(accessed 2/34/18)

The Westar Instittue stood behind the Acts Seminar. "Westar Institute fosters collaborative, cumulative research in religious studies and communicates the results of the scholarship to a broad, non-specialist public."

[3] Ibid

[4] Smith and Tyson, Acts and Christian Beginnings..., op cit, preface.

[5] ,"When was Acts Written? Not in the First Century," Westar Istitute:  Biblical and Theological Reflections Blog (November 1, 2013)
http://www.westarinstitute.org/blog/when-was-acts-written-not-in-first-century/
(accessed 2/24/18)

"Cassandra Farrin is the Editor of Polebridge Press. Her writing appears in CirqueThe Wild Word, the Ploughshares blog, Progressive Christianity's Progressing Spirit newsletter, and elsewhere. Her poetic retelling of “On the Origin of the World” is forthcoming in Gender Violence, Rape Culture, and Religion (Palgrave Macmillan)."



[6]


[7] Stephen Neil, The Interpretation of the New Testament:1861-1961, London: Oxford Univesity press, 1964, 143.

[8]Ibid., 147.


[9]Don Stuart, "Is the book of Acts Historically accurate?" Blue Letter Bible,
https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_804.cfm
(accessed 2/24/18)

Ramsey:
I may fairly claim to have entered on this investigation without prejudice in favour of the conclusions which I shall now seek to justify to the reader. On the contrary, I began with a mind unfavourable to it, for the ingenuity and apparent completeness of the Tübingen theory had at one time quite convinced me. It did not then lie in my line of life to investigate the subject minutely, but more recently I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth. In fact, beginning with a fixed idea that the work was essentially a second century composition, and never relying on its evidence as trustworthy for first century conditions, I gradually came to find it a useful ally in some obscure and difficult investigations (Sir William Ramsay, St. Paul The Traveler and Roman Citizen. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1962, p. 36).
Go back to pp16-18 the context is he first held as a liberal theology student that Acts was a second century but after his discoveries he changed to hold a first century date, the "ot" in that sentence is the view of a second century date.


He cites Ramsey from The Bearing of Recent Discoveries on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1953, . 81. An Example a Ramsey discoery that confirms the accuracy of Acts, Stuart:
In 1910, however, Sir William Ramsay discovered an inscription declaring that the first century Iconium was under the authority of Phrygia from A.D. 37 to A.D. 72. It was only during these years that Iconium was not under the authority of Lycaonia. Not only did this discovery confirm the accuracy of the statement in Acts 14, it showed that whoever wrote this passage knew what district Iconium was in at that time. That places the author as an eyewitness to the events.

[10] Sir William Ramsay, St. Paul The Traveler and Roman Citizen. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1962, 36.

[11] Joseph Hinman, "Papias and the Daughters of Philip" The Religiosity a priori website Christian apologetic, no date listed.
http://religiousapriorijesus-bible.blogspot.com/2010/05/philip.html
(accessed 2/24/18)

see also my article on Papias: http://religiousapriorijesus-bible.blogspot.com/2015/10/papias.html


[12]"Tomb of Philip The Apostle Discovered in Turkey?" News Network Archaeology. website URL:
http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2011/07/tomb-of-philip-apostle-discovered-in.html#.UI6idmeZhTE
(accessed 2/24/18)

For more information including the names of the daughters (this is not a scholarly source but the author is well informed):



[13] Crossan continues (The Cross that Spoke, p. 121)

Quotes Koester who places it around 100 and others who date it from first century,

[14]Staff,"Tomb Exploration Reveals First Archaeological Evidence of Christianity from the time of Jesus," Science Daily (Feb 28,2012)
(accessed 2/24/18)

[15]James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici, The Jesus Discovery. New York, London:Simon and Schuster, 2017, 6.

 He defines tehy "to,e of Christ" as 5BC to 30AD. (see page 2

A warning to Christians who might want to read Tabor.  He thinks he's found the very bones of Jesus! I seriously doubt that, it is just conjecture, but in any case he has found proof of Christianity in first century Jerusalem. The proof of Christianity is tangible hard evidence.

here is a very long ad extremely detailed article by Martian Franz on why he;s wrong,
http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2007/03/The-So-Called-Jesus-Family-Tomb-Rediscovered-in-Jerusalem.aspx#Article
(accessed 2/24/18)

[16] Martin Biddle, The Church of The Holy Sepulcher. Rizzoli; 1st edition (July 7, 2000




[17]Gaalyah Cornfeld, Archaeology of The Bible: Book by Book, New York: Harper and Row, 1976, 271-2.








Comments

The Pixie said…
Interesting.

You report the Acts Seminar saying:

"Contrary to Acts 1-7, Jerusalem was not the birthplace of Christianity."

Where do they think it started? Do they give any indication when it arrived in Jerusalem?

My own feeling is it started in Galilee, as Mark and Peter indicate. The Pauline letters indicate it was well-established in Jerusalem by the time he was writing (but not that it started there of course). Was in-fighting between the Galilean group and the Jerusalem group why Luke and John excluded the Galilean sightings?
Joe Hinman said…
Interesting.

You report the Acts Seminar saying:

"Contrary to Acts 1-7, Jerusalem was not the birthplace of Christianity."

Where do they think it started? Do they give any indication when it arrived in Jerusalem?


I don't know, I'll have to do more research,

My own feeling is it started in Galilee, as Mark and Peter indicate. The Pauline letters indicate it was well-established in Jerusalem by the time he was writing (but not that it started there of course). Was in-fighting between the Galilean group and the Jerusalem group why Luke and John excluded the Galilean sightings?

wow didn't see that one coming. No it had to stat in Jerusalem it started when the Roman soldier said:surely this was the son of God: or perhaps at the empty tomb with Mary Magdelkine.
Anonymous said…
Sorry to go off topic, but I recently got the second volume of Raymond Browns book, and it looks to me like he is far closer to my position than yours.

With regards to when the Gospel of Peter was written:

In "Gospel of Peter" I wrote a detailed refutation of Crossan's thesis, and throughout the commentary on individual scenes I showed why I do not think GPet presents a more original form on the PN than do the canonicals.
p1332

I doubt that the author of GPet had any written Gospel before him, although he was familiar with Matt because he had read it carefully in the past and/or had heard it read several times in community worship on the Lord's Day, so that it gave the dominant shaping to his thought. Most likely he had heard people speak who were familar with the gospels of Luke and John - perhaps travelling preachers who rephrased salient stories - so that he knew some of their contents but had little idea of their structure.
p1332

... a virtual certainty is that it could not have been composed in Palestine in the 1st cent. ... There are solid reasons, however, for placing such an author in the 2d cent. rather than the 1st. The first of these would be the likelihood explained above that the author used echos from the canonical Gospels of Matt, Luke and John (all of which were composed by 100), a usage implying that GPet was probably composed after 100.
Moreover, the span between 100 and 150 would fit the theological features we have just discerned. ...

p1341

As for the guards on the tomb, which you use an early Peter to support, Brown says:

Yet there is a major argument against historicity that is impressive indeed. Not only do the other Gospels not mention the guard at the sepulcher, but the presence of the guard there would make what they relate about the tomb almost unintelligible.
p1311

The Pixie

Joe Hinman said…
Anonymous said...
Sorry to go off topic, but I recently got the second volume of Raymond Browns book, and it looks to me like he is far closer to my position than yours.

With regards to when the Gospel of Peter was written:

In "Gospel of Peter" I wrote a detailed refutation of Crossan's thesis, and throughout the commentary on individual scenes I showed why I do not think GPet presents a more original form on the PN than do the canonicals.
p1332

which thesis of Crosson? What are his reasons,I've quoted him at length saying Gpet folow an ancient independent tradition,I don't have Brown's book here with me I can;task my sister to dig it out of storage,

I doubt that the author of GPet had any written Gospel before him, although he was familiar with Matt because he had read it carefully in the past and/or had heard it read several times in community worship on the Lord's Day, so that it gave the dominant shaping to his thought. Most likely he had heard people speak who were familar with the gospels of Luke and John - perhaps travelling preachers who rephrased salient stories - so that he knew some of their contents but had little idea of their structure.
p1332

what would be the point of the chart just to show the worked from memory? he saying on the chart must be a common source,

... a virtual certainty is that it could not have been composed in Palestine in the 1st cent. ... There are solid reasons, however, for placing such an author in the 2d cent. rather than the 1st. The first of these would be the likelihood explained above that the author used echos from the canonical Gospels of Matt, Luke and John (all of which were composed by 100), a usage implying that GPet was probably composed after 100.
Moreover, the span between 100 and 150 would fit the theological features we have just discerned. ...
p1341


p are pulling was bait sad switch here George,He is talking about Gpet not the source used,no one thinks GPet was wrotten before 100, i don't.

As for the guards on the tomb, which you use an early Peter to support, Brown says:

Yet there is a major argument against historicity that is impressive indeed. Not only do the other Gospels not mention the guard at the sepulcher, but the presence of the guard there would make what they relate about the tomb almost unintelligible.
p1311

that is worded as an obvious segway to an answer, he goes on to refute the idea i bet.when he says "make what they relate about the tomb almost unintelligible" is he talking about Gpet or about the canonical gospels? Becasue Gpet's edition of the Resurrection can;t be taken seriously no reason to. I midsize he is talking about the realistic ending of Gpet afterteh ridiocus stuiff about the talking cross.

Regardless of your admiration for Brown (which I share) you still have to realize that PMPN is consensus and a lot of work has been done since Brown, There are major textual critics who agree such Denker.
The Pixie said…
On your page about the guards on the tomb, you say:

He finds that GPet is not dependent upon the canonical

That is not true. Brown is very clear that Peter is indeed dependent upon the canonicals.

And that fits with the guards being made up by Matthew (or that community). The reason Mark does not mention the guards is that they were not invented when it was written. The reason Peter mentions the guards is the author got it from Matthew.
Joe Hinman said…
OK Px, some pretty telling quotes from Brown.


GPet follows the classical flow from trail through crucifixion to burial to tomb presumably with post resurrection appearances to follow. The GPete sequence of individual episodes, however, is not the same as that of any canonical Gospel...When one looks at the overall sequence in the 23 items I listed in table 10, it would take very great imagination to picture the author of GPete studying Matthew carefully, deliberately shifting episodes around and copying in episodes form Luke and John to produce the present sequence. [Brown, Death of the Messiah,[15]

Hinman's answer:He;s talking about the way Gpete SEEMSto usee seqieces from all the Gospels

What he is saying there is that the trial in Get follows the psalms rather than following Matthew. So the Author has carefully restructured the telling to reflect allusions to psalms. that seems absurd to anyone owed copy that way mso that is his reason for arguing that all five Gospels have a common source back of the story the PMPN,the copy process becomes no more amenable for remember it. What difference does it make if he;s \copying from his on memory or from a text?




"IN the Canonical Gospel's Passion Narrative we have an example of Matt. working conservatively and Luke working more freely with the Marcan outline and of each adding material: but neither produced an end product so radically diverse from Mark as GPet is from Matt."[16]

He is not saying Gpet made stuff up he;s saying they are in varying degrees copying from the same common source the PMPN
Anonymous said…
Joe: which thesis of Crosson? What are his reasons,I've quoted him at length saying Gpet folow an ancient independent tradition,I don't have Brown's book here with me I can;task my sister to dig it out of storage,

You have quoted him making ambiguous statements, and ignored the ones that make clear he thinks Peter depends on the canonicals.

Joe: what would be the point of the chart just to show the worked from memory? he saying on the chart must be a common source,

No he is not. He is very clear in that quote from page 1332. He believes Peter was written from what the author remembered from the other gospels, and was especially familar with Matthew.

Joe: p are pulling was bait sad switch here George,He is talking about Gpet not the source used,no one thinks GPet was wrotten before 100, i don't.

Okay, then I misunderstood your position. However, the quote again makes the point that Peter was influenced by the other gospels ("the author used echos from the canonical Gospels of Matt, Luke and John"). The point being, Peter does not give you a second, independent source for the guards, if, as Brown claims, it is based primarily on Matthew

Joe: that is worded as an obvious segway to an answer, he goes on to refute the idea i bet.when he says "make what they relate about the tomb almost unintelligible" is he talking about Gpet or about the canonical gospels? Becasue Gpet's edition of the Resurrection can;t be taken seriously no reason to. I midsize he is talking about the realistic ending of Gpet afterteh ridiocus stuiff about the talking cross.

Here is the quote again from page 1311:

Yet there is a major argument against historicity that is impressive indeed. Not only do the other Gospels not mention the guard at the sepulcher, but the presence of the guard there would make what they relate about the tomb almost unintelligible.

The text discusses the issue with all gospels saying the women went to the tomb worried about how they would move the stone, but none suggest the women were worried about the guards. Then there is the idea that the Jewish authorities knew Jesus was supposed to come back, when the disciples did not. Plus that the guards could lie successfully about the astounding heavenly intervention. Then he continues:

Can one save historicity by going back to a preGospel situation and contending that the Jewish Sanhedrin member who buried Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, may have taken some precaution to protect the sepulcher, and that this developed into the story that Matt now tells? This is a very hypothetical suggestion, however, for neither Matt nor GPet connects the guard with Joseph, and even some minor precaution should have left a trace in the other Gospels as an obstacle to the women on Easter. Absolute negative statements (...) most often go beyond the kind of evidence available to biblical scholars. More accurate is the observation that as with other Matthean material (...) there is neither internal or external evidence to cause us to affirm historicity.

He does not outright say it is made up, but he comes as close to saying it as a Christian scholar ever will.

Pix
Anonymous said…
Joe: OK Px, some pretty telling quotes from Brown.

GPet follows the classical flow from trail through crucifixion to burial to tomb presumably with post resurrection appearances to follow. The GPete sequence of individual episodes, however, is not the same as that of any canonical Gospel...When one looks at the overall sequence in the 23 items I listed in table 10, it would take very great imagination to picture the author of GPete studying Matthew carefully, deliberately shifting episodes around and copying in episodes form Luke and John to produce the present sequence. [Brown, Death of the Messiah,[15]


Brown is arguing against the author having Matthew to hand to copy from. It is pretty clear the author of Matthew had Mark to copy directly from; that was not the case here. Instead, Peter wrote from memory. As Brown says:

I doubt that the author of GPet had any written Gospel before him, although he was familiar with Matt because he had read it carefully in the past and/or had heard it read several times in community worship on the Lord's Day, so that it gave the dominant shaping to his thought. Most likely he had heard people speak who were familar with the gospels of Luke and John - perhaps travelling preachers who rephrased salient stories - so that he knew some of their contents but had little idea of their structure.

You also quote:

"IN the Canonical Gospel's Passion Narrative we have an example of Matt. working conservatively and Luke working more freely with the Marcan outline and of each adding material: but neither produced an end product so radically diverse from Mark as GPet is from Matt."[16]

But again, Brown is not saying Peter was so different because it uses an independent source, he is saying Peter is different because the author was working from memory.

Pix
Joe Hinman said…
Everything you said is based upon the one colossal mistake that you think Brown aw Gpet as derivative from Mat, you think those are Matt's guards and Gpet narrowed the from him, cleary Brown repudiates this, You can't square your errors with the words,
AGAIN:

vaginal:

"GPet follow the classical flow from trail through crucifixion to burial to tomb presumably with post resurrectional appearances to follow. The GPet sequence of individual episodes, however, is not the same as that of any can canonical Gospel..".

see, how could he have derived from maatt if it not the same?



"When one looks at the overall sequence in the 23 items I listed in table 10, it would take very great imagination to picture the author of GPet studying Matthew carefully, deliberately shifting episodes around and copying in episodes form Luke and John to produce the present sequence." [Brown, Death of the Messiah, 1322]

If you would not copy that way from text you would not copy that way from memory either, But if five peopel copy the same story they leave out different bits,



"Finally, some scholars have taken a special interest in the Gospel of Peter (as with Thomas, not found in the New Testament). Peter contains elements of the passion narrative not found in any of the four Biblical accounts, suggesting that Peter--the first references to which show up in the late 100s in western Syria--may have drawn from an original, independent source.



Joe Hinman said…
another one you need to think about,

"IN the Canonical Gospel's Passion Narrative we have an example of Matt. working conservatively and Luke working more freely with the Marcan outline and of each adding material: but neither produced an end product so radically diverse from Mark as GPet is from Matt." [Brown, 1325]

He is not saying Gpet makes it up He's says neither copy the other so the obvious answer is they both used use a common document. It's not mark because he says
G
Pet is different from all four,in some ways,
The Pixie said…
Joe: Everything you said is based upon the one colossal mistake that you think Brown aw Gpet as derivative from Mat, you think those are Matt's guards and Gpet narrowed the from him, cleary Brown repudiates this, You can't square your errors with the words,
...
see, how could he have derived from maatt if it not the same?|


The mistake is yours, Joe. You are assuming that "not the same" means not dependent on. It could mean that, but it could also mean the author of Peter did not copy directly from. And the latter is what Brown is saying.

And he is quite explicit:

I doubt that the author of GPet had any written Gospel before him, although he was familiar with Matt because he had read it carefully in the past and/or had heard it read several times...

You quote:

"When one looks at the overall sequence in the 23 items I listed in table 10, it would take very great imagination to picture the author of GPet studying Matthew carefully, deliberately shifting episodes around and copying in episodes form Luke and John to produce the present sequence." [Brown, Death of the Messiah, 1322]

But again Brown's point is not that Peter is independent of Matthew, but that it is not a direct copy. The author was going from what he remembered of Matthew.

Joe: If you would not copy that way from text you would not copy that way from memory either, But if five peopel copy the same story they leave out different bits,

And yet Brown - who is very much the expert here - says clearly that that is what he thinks happened.

Joe: "Finally, some scholars have taken a special interest in the Gospel of Peter (as with Thomas, not found in the New Testament). Peter contains elements of the passion narrative not found in any of the four Biblical accounts, suggesting that Peter--the first references to which show up in the late 100s in western Syria--may have drawn from an original, independent source.

Is this quote from Brown? I found it here, and it mentions Brown, but not as a quote. I do not recall Brown saying is draws on another source, but I may well have missed it.

And really, that is not a problem for me. My position is that the guards on the tomb were invented by Matthew (or that community), subsequent to Mark. I say that Peter copied the guards from Matthew, and that is perfectly consistent with Peter also drawing on another source. It is also matches Brown's position, by the way.

Joe: He is not saying Gpet makes it up He's says neither copy the other so the obvious answer is they both used use a common document. It's not mark because he says
G
Pet is different from all four,in some ways,


The answer Brown comes up with is that Peter was written by someone who was very familiar with Matthew and knew the others to some degree, but it is very different because when he was writing he had access to none of them.

I doubt that the author of GPet had any written Gospel before him, although he was familiar with Matt because he had read it carefully in the past and/or had heard it read several times...
Joe Hinman said…
The mistake is yours, Joe. You are assuming that "not the same" means not dependent on. It could mean that, but it could also mean the author of Peter did not copy directly from. And the latter is what Brown is saying.


Only someone who can't read woudl think that,he did not make this giant cart showing all the phrases and what books they are from to show he copied from memory of all those sources, PEOPLE DO OT REMEMBER THINGS THAT WAY EITHER, it obvious has to do with another text and says that: that's what he says,he says it's a common source they all draw on,

Another reason why that answer sux is because we know Pete follows psalms for Jess;s trial,
So that one had to redesign the structure,no oe is going to do that accidentally trying to recall a single document,


And he is quite explicit:

I doubt that the author of GPet had any written Gospel before him, although he was familiar with Matt because he had read it carefully in the past and/or had heard it read several times...

here's an example of how the chart woks, It's not literally from the chart but it's the princple of what it shows,

from Gpet: "[1] But of the Jews none washed his hands, neither Herod nor one of his judges. And since they did not desire to wash, Pilate stood up. [2] And then Herod the king orders the Lord to be taken away, having said to them, 'What I ordered you to do, do.'"

the chart says

[1] But of the Jews

from John
none washed his hands,

from mark

neither Herod nor one of his judges.
\Matthew


And since they did not desire to wash,

Pslam, 32

Pilate stood up.

Luke

[2] And then Herod the king

mark

orders the Lord to be taken away,

Matthew
having said to them,

'What I ordered you to do, do.'

Pslam 50


He says no one copies that way, but people don't remember that way either,no one remembers a passage spliced together in his head from small pieces of a bunch of sources, your view makes the chart useless, meaningfulness, he has to be saying there;'s a prior source they all use,


here are four versions of the same passage as might paper in a prior document if they all use if they leave out different paces,

A : But of the Jews none washed his hands, neither Herod nor one of his judges. And since they did not desire to wash, [2] And then Herod the king orders the Lord to be taken away, having said to them, 'What I ordered you to do, do.


B:But of the Jews none washed his hands, neither Herod nor one of his judges. And since they did not desire to wash, Pilate stood up. [2] 'What I ordered you to do, do.

C: And since they did not desire to wash, Pilate stood up. [2] And then Herod the king orders the Lord to be taken away, having said to them, 'What I ordered you to do, do.

D: But of the Jews none washed his hands, neither Herod nor one of his judges. And since they did not desire to wash,. [2] And then Herod the king orders the Lord to be taken away, having said to them, .


one could theorize that A copied C which he did not, no one would think that would produce the original segment (above) by assembling it out of the four versions,which trying to remember what B said,
The Pixie said…
Joe: Only someone who can't read woudl think that,he did not make this giant cart showing all the phrases and what books they are from to show he copied from memory of all those sources, PEOPLE DO OT REMEMBER THINGS THAT WAY EITHER, it obvious has to do with another text and says that: that's what he says,he says it's a common source they all draw on,

But the is what he says, right there on page 1332. Here is the quote, Brown's own words saying the author did not have Matthew in front of him, but was still familiar with it:

Raymond Brown: I doubt that the author of GPet had any written Gospel before him, although he was familiar with Matt because he had read it carefully in the past and/or had heard it read several times in community worship on the Lord's Day, so that it gave the dominant shaping to his thought. Most likely he had heard people speak who were familar with the gospels of Luke and John - perhaps travelling preachers who rephrased salient stories - so that he knew some of their contents but had little idea of their structure.

Brown's own words, Joe, saying the author of Peter used Matthew from memory!
Joe Hinman said…
Brown says Gpet coped Matthew from memory, He does not say that he did not copy an older independent tradition. He used Matt he used PMPN and other things, if he used them from memoory oik but he does not say "there is pre mark narrative."

you haven not dealt with my arguments about the chart, you avoided that completely every time The existence of the chart disproves your position a priori.
Anonymous said…
Joe: Brown says Gpet coped Matthew from memory,...

Right!

Joe: ... He does not say that he did not copy an older independent tradition. He used Matt he used PMPN and other things, if he used them from memoory oik but he does not say "there is pre mark narrative."

That is clutching at straws. He says he used mostly Matthew with some Luke and John. I think it is dubious to take his silence on the PMPN to mean he also thinks that is a source the author used.

Joe: you haven not dealt with my arguments about the chart, you avoided that completely every time The existence of the chart disproves your position a priori.

I thought you were using the chart to prove Peter was not dependent on the canonicals. Now you have conceded that actually it was, I have no idea what your argument is.

I think Peter using Matthew destroys most of your evidence for the guards on the tomb, and that is true whether Peter used another source or not.

Pix
Joe Hinman said…
It seems lie,I clear remember him saying the sequences follow psalms that shows an intentional structure not foud in Matt,

You have you've not answered my arguents

(1) how do you explain the chart?

(2) no one would make such a chart just to show bad memory,

(3) memory doesn't account for using Psalms rather than Matthew
Joe Hinman said…
I no longer have Brown's book available to me so that's why I haven't just gone ans reserached it again. But Jason Pratt researched it for me from his copy here are his findings:


Joe, per our phone call before lunch,

I went back to pp.1305-1310, which discusses the GosMatt tomb-guard story (or stories) in relation to the singular tomb-guard story in GosPete.

The general gist of Father Brown's argument here remains the same (including with his own reference to Appendix 1's overall discussion of GosPete): GosPete's author imported the guard story from (at least) two sources, those being his remembrance of reading/hearing GosMatt (but not having a copy at hand), and his remembrance of hearing someone else talk about a form on the tomb guard story independent from GosMatt's.

The citation you're probably thinking of, comes from pp.1305-1306, as Fr. Brown introduces this subsection.

"I have argued that Matt [i.e. GosMatt's final author/redactor/editor/whatever] broke up a consecutive guard-at-the-sepulcher story to interweave it with the women-at-the-tomb story, while _GPet_ PRESERVED THE ORIGINAL CONSECUTIVE FORM OF THE GUARD STORY. [my all-caps emphasis] That does not mean, however, that the _GPet_ story is more original.

[...soon afterward on p.1306...]

"In this particular instance, in my judgment, what is found in _GPet_ [concerning the tomb-guards] is best explained in terms of the author's knowing the canonical Gospels (perhaps by distant memory of having heard them), especially Matt, as well as an independent form of the guard-at-the-sepulcher story, and of his own activity in combining these two sources of material."

This suggests that Fr. Brown thinks GosPete's other source for the tomb-guard story traces back orally behind GosMatt to a shared source of some sort, thus that some form of the tomb-guard story predates both authors.

Footnote 50 ends with something similar: "I would suspect that these [verbal similarities to usages of terms found only in GosMatt's tomb-guard story but nowhere else in GosMatt] are elements that Matt found in the original guard-at-the-sepulcher story and that therefore the author of _GPet_ could have also found them there without depending on Matt." This sentence makes no sense unless Fr.B is thinking of GosPete's oral tradition accurately reporting a shared prior tomb-guard story prior to GosMatt.

This has nothing at all to do with a pre-Markan Passion Narrative so far, however. At most he's detecting, through source criticism (via some redaction and form criticism), a tomb story predating GosMatt. Which no one anywhere denies, even among hypersceptics, so far as I know. Even the most radically late JMythers don't think "Matthew" invented the empty tomb! (Although who knows, maybe there are Griesbach or Farrar proponents among them somewhere. That would be sort-of amusing. {g})

JRP

__._,_.___
Anonymous said…
I would pretty much agree. Brown takes the position that the story of the guards was around before Matt, and the author of Matt included that and others. The story later developed, becoming more elaborate, and the author of Peter used both that and Matthew (from memory).

And as your friend points out, this has nothing to do with the PMPN. Brown does not outright say the guards were made up, but that is pretty much what he concludes on page 1312 (as I quoted above).

Pix
Joe Hinman said…
yes it is the PMP it doesn't matter if he calls it that or not. There is no way to know if it is a single document or a group of documents or document plus oral tradition,the overall bunch of stuff before Mark is the PMPN. Although Koester could mean one specific document, used by all five.

My point about the guards is Matt did not make them up and Peter did not necessarily get the idea from Matt alone.
Anonymous said…
Brown's point about the guards is that it was made up, after Mark, but before Matthew.

Pix
Joe Hinman said…
no it's not, he did not say that! He did not believe anything was madeup he expressed revolution at the idea that anyone just made stuff up. It would extremely unlikely to have the actual first document where something major was madeup.'
you have not read Brown, you have picked out stuff he said at random you have not read him.

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