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Old 08-13-2001, 01:32 PM   #21
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Well, if you want to know why I think Q is a viable concept, we had a discussion of it in another thread during your recent absence.

But to recapitulate (I am in the middle of Tuckett right now) I think Q is a highly probable thesis because (1) if Luke were to take only from Matthew what is present in Mark, then he would be practically the only author of antiquity NOT to blend stories when he had several source documents handy. (2) Even if you agree that it went M-Mt-L and no Q, you are still stuck postulating some sort of outside document as a source for some passages in Luke. Even the Goulder-Farrarians (-ists?) acknowledge this. So even if you reject Q, you are still stuck with something like Q. And of course, there are the arguments that led to Q, the close agreements between Luke and Matthew that we are aware. On the balance, while the Minor Agreements may be a problem for some, I think overall Q is highly probably, and I thus accept it.

That's a quick summary.

As for the dating of the gospels-Acts, I think they all slide somewhere into the 110-130 period, with Mark possibly as early as 90, and Luke-Acts as late as 150, maybe. In a nutshell I agree that Luke knew of Josephus (would like to see counterarguments, so far have seen none made). Ellegard makes some linguistic arguments for moving them into the early second century that I like. I am aware of arguments for an earlier date, but I remain unconvinced by them. Fundamentally, it seems incredible to me that Luke-Acts could have been written as early as the 60s (as some conservatives have argued), but not get mentioned by anyone for more than a century after that. I am also well aware that the vast majority of scholars date them into the last three decades of the first century, but in discussions I have seen on several email lists, and in this forum, and in the reviews of literture I have read, the dating problem has emerged as a particularly thorny one, and one for which the evidence is particularly ambiguous.

Michael
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Old 08-13-2001, 02:32 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>
In any case, this is not Bill's claim. He is saying that the Gospels derived their accurate historical information about Palestine from Josephus, and I would like to know how he knows this.

Nomad</STRONG>
Bill doesn't hang out here a lot, so I hope you will allow me to continue this.

What Bill actually said was:

And one of the arguments for a late dating of the various gospel stories is that they seem to demonstrate some degree of familiarity with incidents retold by Josephus in his various books, published in the 70s through the 90s in Rome, and probably not widely circulated outside of Rome.

You notice that he is not asserting as a fact that the gospels derived their knowledge of Palestine from Josephus, or that either one contains "accurate historical information" - just that the theory that the gospel stories (in particular in Luke) are derived from Josephus seems to explain some things.

What is your evidence for an alternative theory? Have you read Steve Mason's work, or Carrier's summary of it, or do you think it is sufficient to just dismiss it as improbable?
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Old 08-13-2001, 02:42 PM   #23
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Single Dad:

Quote:
I don't necessarily think that's a reasonable inference. A story with some historical verisimilitude can still have entirely fictional characters, even the primary character.

The cliched example is that Gone with the Wind accurately portrays the Civil War (e.g. it was not made of whole cloth), yet such verisimilitude is not evidence for the existence of Scarlett O'Hara.
Of course, whole cloth is just an expression. But consider the differences. Margaret Mitchell was born, reared, and educated in the South. She had access to libraries full of books on the subject, and she had an oral tradition.

So far as we know Mark was a low-income, poorly educated, Greek-speaking Jew or Gentile convert who probably never set foot in Palestine. In his day books were hard to come by and extremely expensive. And you can't give Mark the benefit of an oral tradition unless you are prepared to show that this tradition itself is not based on any human savior figure. So Mark has to write historical fiction with none of the advantages Margaret Mitchell had.

But he correctly gets Pilate, Herod, and Caiaphus as contempories (Do we have dates for Caiaphus?) And he shows a passable knowledge of the geography of Jerusalem and Galilee.

But then there's the question of why he didn't use the cloth he had. If he had anything, he should have had access to Paul's letters. But there is not one person mentioned in Paul's letters who appears in Mark with the possible exception of Cephas. "Cephas is Greek for "rock" and Peter is Latin for "rock." But this Apostle's real name was Simon, and Jesus conveniently changes his name to Peter/Cephas. This looks much more like an attempt to reconcile two traditions than to create a new story.

Where is James? This supposed "brother" of Jesus figures prominently in Paul but isn't mentioned in Mark. There is an Apostle named James but he is John's sibling not Jesus' and there is no hint in Mark that this Apostle is destined to become the leader of the church after Jesus' death.

There is no mention of Timothy, Barnabas, Titus or any of the other people Paul mentions. We don't hear about them until the Book of Acts. Some of these characters would have been good material to connect the story to Paul. In fact had Mark done so, we might not even be talking about this gospel "deception" it could have succeeded so well.

Aside from Peter, the passion story focuses on John, Mary Magdalene, the "other" Mary, and Joseph of Arimathea none of whom are mentioned in Paul.

The gospels (particularly the passion stories) show every sign of being an attempt to reconcile two, separate major traditions (perhaps with minor traditions tossed in)not the creation of a new one.

I will call these two traditions the Pauline and the Galilean. But if this is accepted, Doherty has to show that neither tradition rests on a historical figure, and that the of Jesus' humanity was invented in spite of the fact that it created a huge stumbling block for the acceptance of Christianity among the Jews.

G.A. Wells, Doherty's mentor seems to have come to a similar conclusion. Near the end of his career he admitted, "There may have been a Galilean preacher." I think what Doherty says about Paul makes a lot of sense, but the very disconnection between the gospels and Paul that allows him his point speaks for a separate tradition that was probably based on a real person.

[ August 13, 2001: Message edited by: boneyard bill ]

[ August 13, 2001: Message edited by: boneyard bill ]
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Old 08-13-2001, 03:02 PM   #24
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Bill:

As for the remainder of your assertions, I feel that many of these difficulties are best dealt with in the context of Paul imperfectly transmitting Jewish traditions into Hellenic culture (and in fact, the bulk of the New Testament demonstrates that the major transmission was from Hellenism into Christianity, with only minor inputs from Judaism). So, this would account for conflating Passover and the Feast of the Tabernacles.

I don't understand this point. Paul has nothing to say about Passover, Tabernacles, or the Passion Story.
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Old 08-13-2001, 03:10 PM   #25
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Posted by Turtonm:

Quote:
The gospelers did not so much invent stories as conflate stories (with the exception of Mark, whom I believe invented many of his stories) from different origins or groups. This is one reason Jesus is different for each writer; they had different stories for the basis, and they wrote for different audiences.
But why make an exception for Mark? And if we're talking about the conflation of stories doesn't that impose upon Doherty the obligation of showing that none of these conflations involved a living person that we now refer to as Jesus?
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Old 08-13-2001, 03:15 PM   #26
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Toto:

Quote:
The connection between Luke and Josephus was made by Steve Mason and is summarized by Richard Carrier here
But then don't you have to give up Markan priorty to make use of Josephus in this way? I'm referring particulary to the passion story.

[ August 13, 2001: Message edited by: boneyard bill ]
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Old 08-13-2001, 03:44 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by boneyard bill:
<STRONG>But then don't you have to give up Markan priorty to make use of Josephus in the way? I'm referring particulary to the passion story.</STRONG>
Sorry, I don't follow this. Luke is assumed to have read Mark, Josephus, Q or a Q-like document, and creatively composed a document that looked like a history. Why do you need to give up Markan priority?

And have you read Doherty's book, or are you going on a general idea of what he says? He does explicity discuss the possibility of a teacher at the basis of the Q sayings, although it's been too long since I read it to recall how he handles the question.

If you care about this issue, you would enjoy getting on the JesusMysteries list on www.yahoogroups.com , or at least browsing their archives.
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Old 08-13-2001, 03:48 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Toto:

Bill doesn't hang out here a lot, so I hope you will allow me to continue this.

What Bill actually said was:

And one of the arguments for a late dating of the various gospel stories is that they seem to demonstrate some degree of familiarity with incidents retold by Josephus in his various books, published in the 70s through the 90s in Rome, and probably not widely circulated outside of Rome.

You notice that he is not asserting as a fact that the gospels derived their knowledge of Palestine from Josephus, or that either one contains "accurate historical information" - just that the theory that the gospel stories (in particular in Luke) are derived from Josephus seems to explain some things.
Actually Toto, I am thinking about what Bill said in this very thread, where he told us:

Quote:
Originally posted by Bill:

These are all interesting speculations. But what do we have of facts? The real answer is that the bulk of the actual (somewhat widely accepted) facts we have about Judea and Samaria in the first century comes from what the Christians chose to preserve out of the writings of Josephus. That the Christians redacted Josephus to some extent is doubted only by those whose devotion to their faith will not allow them to admit proven facts.
It looks pretty clear to me what Bill said here, and I just want to confirm that he is, in fact, being serious. If he is, then I would like him to actually back up his assertions, as once again he appears to be stating fringe beliefs as if they were well accepted scholarly opinions.

Quote:
What is your evidence for an alternative theory? Have you read Steve Mason's work, or Carrier's summary of it, or do you think it is sufficient to just dismiss it as improbable?
Bill's theory is much broader than what Mason or Carrier claim, and I would like to see him back it up. If you run into Bill, please let him know that I have asked him a question. I hope that he will offer us an answer.

Nomad
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Old 08-13-2001, 03:58 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by turtonm:

As for the dating of the gospels-Acts, I think they all slide somewhere into the 110-130 period, with Mark possibly as early as 90, and Luke-Acts as late as 150, maybe.
Michael, when I asked you to defend your opinion, I was not asking you to simply restate it. I would like to know what evidence you have to defend your views, and invited you to review the threads offered by me and Layman. Simple assertion is not argumentation or debate.

As an aside, Luke/Acts is almost universally dated to c. 75-85AD, not 110-130 as you believe.

Quote:
In a nutshell I agree that Luke knew of Josephus (would like to see counterarguments, so far have seen none made).
Counter arguments to what? Assertion? Come on Michael. The case that Josephus knew Luke, or vice versa is built on speculation at best. Obviously anyone can say anyone knew anyone else, but that does not make the case.

BTW, we have it asserted on this thread that Josephus knew of Luke. What are your counter arguments? See the problem now?

Quote:
Ellegard makes some linguistic arguments for moving them into the early second century that I like. I am aware of arguments for an earlier date, but I remain unconvinced by them. Fundamentally, it seems incredible to me that Luke-Acts could have been written as early as the 60s (as some conservatives have argued), but not get mentioned by anyone for more than a century after that.
Are you familiar with how many writings we actually possess from the period you have in mind (i.e. the 1st Century AD)? Given the near total absense of such documents, perhaps you could tell us where you would expect to see Luke quoted (prior to the 2nd Century).

Further, simply dismissing arguments put forward on these boards with nothing more than a wave of your hand, and an appeal to Ellegard's authority is hardly very convincing. Please try to do better. (BTW, you did know that Ellegard's linguistic arguments are almost universally rejected by NT scholars, right? The arguments for a 1st Century authorship of Luke/Acts is pretty overwhelming, and your refusal to address even one of them looks pretty lame).

Bottom line, I am not interested in hearing you tell us that you find the arguments unconvincing. I would rather hear actual arguments and evidence to support your beliefs.

Nomad

[ August 13, 2001: Message edited by: Nomad ]
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Old 08-13-2001, 04:34 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>

Bill's theory is much broader than what Mason or Carrier claim, and I would like to see him back it up. If you run into Bill, please let him know that I have asked him a question. I hope that he will offer us an answer.

Nomad</STRONG>
Nomad - this is quickly becoming pointless. I asked if you had actually read Mason or Carrier, and you did not answer, but it appears that you have not if you think that it is a mere assertion that Luke had read Josephus.

You charge Bill with proposing "fringe beliefs as if they were well accepted scholarly opinions." What is a fringe belief? That almost all of what we know of Judea and Samaria comes from Josephus, and that Josephus was preserved selectively by Christian scribes? I thought the Christians were proud of their copying.

And since you can't seem to actually figure out what Bill said that you object to, (between one inaccurate paraphrase and one quote that seems unobjectionable) it's not clear how he is going to respond.

You play this game of challenging your opponents to "prove" every assertion, or your claim of what they have asserted. On the other thread with you name on it, you claim to accept all sorts of evidence, but in fact you don't seem to accept anything.

Which makes any discussion with you an exercise in frustration.
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