Acts and the epistles (both Pauline and Catholic).

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Acts and the epistles (both Pauline and Catholic).

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue May 16, 2017 6:41 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:to Ben,
If I found a situation where the only overlap between two texts was minimal, and there were differences, you could just assert that the one text does not know the other (as you are doing with Acts and Galatians).
OK
What this clear case proves is that differences, even outright contradictions, do not mean that one author did not know another's work.
And HOW "this clear case proves is that differences, even outright contradictions, do not mean that one author did not know another's work"?
Because there are contradictions and differences between Matthew and Mark and between Luke and Mark, and those contradictions and differences do not prove (to you) that Matthew and Luke did not know Mark.
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Re: Acts and the epistles (both Pauline and Catholic).

Post by Peter Kirby » Tue May 16, 2017 6:45 pm

It's also worth noting that we should be aware of the spectrum of literary dependence.

A less distant parallel, but still within the Four Gospels, would be John's contradictions with Mark or Luke -- and yet he may have used Mark or Luke.*

There are yet other ways of referencing and reworking yet -- an allusion can take up only a phrase, a sentence, or a passage within a larger work. It does not require the whole text to be on the same subject, following the same basic outline.

* Or the Evangelion.
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Re: Acts and the epistles (both Pauline and Catholic).

Post by Bernard Muller » Tue May 16, 2017 7:01 pm

to Ben,
Because there are contradictions and differences between Matthew and Mark and between Luke and Mark, and those contradictions and differences do not prove (to you) that Matthew and Luke did not know Mark.
Did you miss on what I wrote earlier (that certainly looks like it):
All of that are embellishments on what "Mark" wrote. And these embellishments or different details are on stories which have a large content of Markan material. So that shows "Luke" & "Matthew" knew about gMark.
The same cannot be said about Paul's revelation from God about his Son and Paul's suddenly seeing Jesus as a light and hearing Jesus without God being said to be present then. The differences are just too big, the common points are just too little to say that the author of Acts knew about Galatians.
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Re: Acts and the epistles (both Pauline and Catholic).

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue May 16, 2017 7:06 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:to Ben,
Because there are contradictions and differences between Matthew and Mark and between Luke and Mark, and those contradictions and differences do not prove (to you) that Matthew and Luke did not know Mark.
Did you miss on what I wrote earlier (that certainly looks like it):
All of that are embellishments on what "Mark" wrote. And these embellishments or different details are on stories which have a large content of Markan material. So that shows "Luke" & "Matthew" knew about gMark.
The same cannot be said about Paul's revelation from God about his Son and Paul's suddenly seeing Jesus as a light and hearing Jesus without God being said to be present then. The differences are just too big, the common points are just too little to say that the author of Acts knew about Galatians.
I saw that, and I responded here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2037&start=20#p70267.

And your redone example about Clarisse I responded to here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2037&start=20#p70262.

I do not think I have missed any of your posts, but I think you have missed those two of mine.
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Re: Acts and the epistles (both Pauline and Catholic).

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed May 17, 2017 1:23 pm

to Ben,
I saw that, and I responded here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2037&start=20#p70267.
This is not a response to: "All of that are embellishments on what "Mark" wrote. And these embellishments or different details are on stories which have a large content of Markan material. So that shows "Luke" & "Matthew" knew about gMark.
The same cannot be said about Paul's revelation from God about his Son and Paul's suddenly seeing Jesus as a light and hearing Jesus without God being said to be present then. The differences are just too big, the common points are just too little to say that the author of Acts knew about Galatians." viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2037&start=20#p70263
And your redone example about Clarisse I responded to here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2037&start=20#p70262.
This is not a response to: "So, if Gary writes: the first time I knew about Bruce having a daughter is when he revealed her to me.
But later Mike wrote three times: the first time Gary met Clarisse (Bruce's daughter) is when Gary was going to work (with no mention of her father being present then). And with a conflicting detail and significant difference about what Clarisse said then.
I suppose you would think there are no significant differences in Gary and Mike's accounts about when Gary met Clarisse for the first time. And that Mike could have read Gary telling about his first meeting with Clarisse. And that Mike's accounts can be trusted to be true.
I don't." viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2037&start=20#p70265

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Re: Acts and the epistles (both Pauline and Catholic).

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed May 17, 2017 1:31 pm

What?

Bernard, I am so lost with you right now on this thread.
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Re: Acts and the epistles (both Pauline and Catholic).

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:05 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 8:40 am
So this is what I think is going on. As per the OP, I think that it is far more likely that a single author, the author of Acts, took it upon him/herself to imitate various early epistles (those of Paul, Peter, James, and John, whether pseudonymous or not) than it is that the (necessarily pseudonymous) authors of the various epistles all took it upon themselves to imitate the speeches in Acts. This probability dovetails neatly with the observation that those speeches, as well as certain descriptions in Acts, seem to go out of their way to introduce archaic vocabulary of the sort found in early materials such as those found in the Didache. The shaping of the speeches, especially, in particular style found in the epistles might be considered in the light of this famous passage from one of the greatest of ancient historians:

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 1.22.1-4 (translation modified slightly from that of Richard Crawley): With reference to the speeches in this history, some were delivered before the war began, others while it was going on; some I heard myself, others I got from various quarters; it was in all cases difficult to carry them word for word in memory, so my habit has been to make the speakers say what was in my opinion demanded of them by the various occasions, of course adhering as closely as possible to the general sense of what they really said. And, with reference to the narrative of events, far from permitting myself to derive it from the first source that came to hand, I did not even trust my own impressions, but it rests partly on what I saw myself, partly on what others saw for me, the accuracy of the report being always tried by the most severe and detailed tests possible. My conclusions have cost me some labor from the want of coincidence between accounts of the same occurrences by different eyewitnesses, arising sometimes from imperfect memory, sometimes from undue partiality for one side or the other. The absence of romance in my history will, I fear, detract somewhat from its interest; but, if it be judged useful by those inquirers who desire an exact knowledge of the past as an aid to the interpretation of the future, which in the course of human things it must resemble if it does not reflect it, I shall be content. In fine, I have written my work, not as an essay which is to win the applause of the moment, but as an everlasting possession.

I make no claim here that the author of Acts is even in the same race as Thucydides, so far as history is concerned, but I think we can detect what our author is doing: s/he is placing words on the mouths of the various apostles in Acts which s/he deems appropriate both for the occasion (as guessed from the situation) and from his/her sense of what that speaker might have really said (as gleaned from the epistles). There is a sense of history in Acts, a knowledge that the vocabulary of the earliest churches (prophets and teachers, child/servant) was not exactly the same as what was found in later churches (bishops and deacons, Lord). Simultaneously, there may be a genuine effort to piece together the various earlier texts and traditions into a coherent whole: the naming of disciples as Christians first at Antioch may well be a good-faith guess based on the fact that said term can be found in concentrated form in texts either from or associated with that area. It seems quite possible, to my mind, that the inclusion of the so-called "we" passages in Acts might be of the same cut of cloth: perhaps our author included snippets from an actual travelogue or journal. I will not press this here and now, and I am not utterly convinced of it (since it could simply be a forgery), but the possibility is there, since such a move could easily have been motivated by the same instincts driving the inclusion of genuine ecclesiastical vocabulary and authentic apostolic voices.
I have recently come across some more ancient information on this process of imitating the voice of another person, a process known variously as ethopoeïa, mimesis, or prosôpopoeïa:

Aelius Theon, Progymnasmata 8.115-118 (translated by George A. Kennedy):

115 Personification [prosôpopoeia] is the introduction of a person to whom words are attributed that are suitable to the speaker and have an indisputable application to the subject discussed; for example, What words would a man say to his wife when leaving on a journey? Or a general to his soldiers in time of danger? Also when the persons are specified; for example, What words would Cyrus say when marching against the Massagetae? Or what would Datis say when he met the king after the battle of Marathon? Under this genus of exercise fall the species of consolations and exhortation and letter writing.

First of all, then, one should have in mind what the personality of the speaker is like, and to whom the speech is addressed: the speaker’s age, the occasion, the place, the social status of the speaker; also the general subject which the projected speeches are going to discuss. Then one is ready to try to say appropriate words. Different ways of speaking belong to different ages of life, not the same to an older man and a younger one; the speech of a younger man will be mingled with simplicity and modesty, 116 that of an older man with knowledge and experience. Different ways of speaking would also be fitting by nature for a woman and for a man, and by status for a slave and a free man, and by activities for a soldier and a farmer, and by state of mind for a lover and a temperate man, and by their origin the words of a Laconian, sparse and clear, differ from those of a man of Attica, which are voluble. We say that Herodotus often speaks like barbarians although writing in Greek because he imitates their ways of speaking. What is said is also affected by the places and occasions when it is said: speeches in a military camp are not the same as those in the assembly of the citizens, nor are those in peace and war the same, nor those by victors and vanquished; and whatever else applies to the persons speaking. And surely each subject has its appropriate form of expression. We become masters of this if we do not speak about great things vulgarly nor about small things loftily nor about paltry things solemnly nor about fearful things in a casual manner nor about shameful things rashly nor about pitiable things excessively, but give what is appropriate to each subject, aiming at what fits the speaker and his manner of speech and the time and his lot in life and each of the things mentioned above.

Now since the distinction among persons and subjects is a varied one — for we demand something or we exhort or we dissuade or we console or we seek forgiveness for what we have done, or do something else of this sort — it is necessary to mention the special materials for each of these.

In exhorting, then, we shall say that what we are urging is possible and easy and noble and appropriate; that it is beneficial, just, reverent — and the latter is of two sorts, either toward the gods or toward the dead — that it is pleasant; that we are not the only ones doing it or the first; or that even if we are the 117 first, it is much better to be the beginners of noble deeds; and that when done it brings no regret. One should also mention any previous relationship of the exhorter to the person being exhorted, and if the latter at sometime was benefited by being persuaded. The same manner of treatment will be used if we are making some criticism, but if dissuading we shall use the opposite arguments.

In consoling, we shall say that what has happened was unavoidable and common to all mankind and was unintentional; for sensible people are rather little distressed by unintentional actions. But if it happened intentionally, one should say that the person was the cause of what happened to himself; for because of self-love people are less distressed when they have experienced misfortunes through their own doings. One should say that there exists even a greater evil than this, which many others have suffered and borne calmly; in addition, that if in the short run it is painful, yet it is both noble and reputable; then, that it was useful and that nothing is to be gained from distress over what has been done. Expressing pity has great power for consolation, especially when someone is composing a speech for a bereavement; for those in distress are naturally resentful of those who think they have experienced nothing dreadful, and in addition to their pain it is possible for them to become angry at those consoling them, but they naturally accept consolations in a better spirit from those who join in their lamentations, as from relatives. Thus after the laments one should bring in words of admonishment. Whenever we seek forgiveness we shall have starting points from the following: first, that the action was unintentional, either through ignorance or chance or necessity; but if it was intentional, one should say that it was reverent, that it was customary, that it was useful. One should argue from whatever topics are possible; for all are not fitting to all the species of prosopopoeia.

This exercise is most receptive of characters and emotions. A simple treatment is sufficient at the introductory level 118 if the young are given practice in use of topics such as these, but for those who want to put their hands to prosopopoeia in a more accurate and complete way it is possible to make use of the materials for epicheiremes in theses, to be discussed by us a little later.

[Kennedy notes that "Theon uses 'prosopopoeia' of any speech in character and is apparently unaware of the distinction between 'prosopopoeia,' 'ethopoeia,' and 'eidolopoeia' found in the later progymnastic treatises."]

Quintilian, Oratory Institution 9.2.58a: 58a The imitation of other persons' characteristics, which is styled ἠθοποιϊαor, as some prefer, μίμησιςmay be counted among the devices which serve to excite the gentler emotions. For it consists mainly in banter, though it may be concerned either with words or deeds.

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Re: Acts and the epistles (both Pauline and Catholic).

Post by John2 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:09 pm

Ben,

The highlighted parts in your last post remind me of a page on one of my all-time favorite Christian origins websites (so I like to give it a "shout out" now and then), which cites Lucian and Thucydides:
Making up quotes is not something ancient writers were embarrassed about. Here's Lucian, (2d century AD) 'splaining how authors should make up quotes in a way that showed off their eloquence.

"When it comes in your way to introduce a speech, the first requirement is that it should suit the character both of the speaker and of the occasion; the second is (once more) lucidity; but in these cases you have the counsel's right of showing your eloquence.

Lucian, How To Write History 58 (2d century AD) ..."

"With reference to the speeches in this history, some were delivered before the war began, others while it was going on; some I heard myself, others I got from various quarters; it was in all cases difficult to carry them word for word in one's memory, so my habit has been to make the speakers say what was in my opinion demanded of them by the various occasions, of course adhering as closely as possible to the general sense of what they really said.

Thucydides, Peloponnesian War 1.22.1 (5th century BC) ..."

Away back in bible times, nobody reading [Matthew] would have thought the magoi men literally stood together and actually spoke exactly these words. People reading "Matthew" back then understood that "Matthew's" "quotation" was an invention that captured what the magois thought about their mission. Or, more precisely, what "Matthew" thought the magois thought about their mission ...

So was "Matthew" a dirty liar? No, he wasn't. "Matthew" was a product of his time and place. In ancient times this is how people wrote history. In ancient times historians routinely, unashamedly, got their quotations by making them up.

http://pocm.info/pagan_ideas_phony_quotes.html
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Re: Acts and the epistles (both Pauline and Catholic).

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:07 pm

John2 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:09 pm
Ben,

The highlighted parts in your last post remind me of a page on one of my all-time favorite Christian origins websites (so I like to give it a "shout out" now and then), which cites Lucian and Thucydides:
Making up quotes is not something ancient writers were embarrassed about. Here's Lucian, (2d century AD) 'splaining how authors should make up quotes in a way that showed off their eloquence.

"When it comes in your way to introduce a speech, the first requirement is that it should suit the character both of the speaker and of the occasion; the second is (once more) lucidity; but in these cases you have the counsel's right of showing your eloquence.

Lucian, How To Write History 58 (2d century AD) ..."

"With reference to the speeches in this history, some were delivered before the war began, others while it was going on; some I heard myself, others I got from various quarters; it was in all cases difficult to carry them word for word in one's memory, so my habit has been to make the speakers say what was in my opinion demanded of them by the various occasions, of course adhering as closely as possible to the general sense of what they really said.

Thucydides, Peloponnesian War 1.22.1 (5th century BC) ..."

Away back in bible times, nobody reading [Matthew] would have thought the magoi men literally stood together and actually spoke exactly these words. People reading "Matthew" back then understood that "Matthew's" "quotation" was an invention that captured what the magois thought about their mission. Or, more precisely, what "Matthew" thought the magois thought about their mission ...

So was "Matthew" a dirty liar? No, he wasn't. "Matthew" was a product of his time and place. In ancient times this is how people wrote history. In ancient times historians routinely, unashamedly, got their quotations by making them up.

http://pocm.info/pagan_ideas_phony_quotes.html
Good one. Thanks.
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