“Why do you call me good?”

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Giuseppe
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“Why do you call me good?”

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:49 pm

So Luke 18:18-22
A certain ruler asked Jesus a question. “Good teacher,” he said, “what must I do to receive eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?”
Jesus answered. “No one is good except God. You know what the commandments say. ‘Do not commit adultery. Do not commit murder. Do not steal. Do not be a false witness. Honor your father and mother.’ ”
“I have obeyed all those commandments since I was a boy,” the ruler said.
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You are still missing one thing. Sell everything you have. Give the money to those who are poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.”
The logic of the ruler seems to be the following:

Jesus is a true rabbi ----> Jesus is good

Jesus seems that he agrees with the conclusion (he is good) but he disagrees with the premise (he is rabbi or only a rabbi) therefore there are two possible (mutually exclusive) options about what Jesus thinks really about himself:

1) Jesus is only the (Son of) God ----> Jesus is good

2) Jesus is not only a rabbi, but he is (Son of) God ----> Jesus is good

The premise in point 1 is marcionite. The premise in point 2 (that Jesus is both a Jewish teacher of the Law and a divine person) is proto-catholic.

The other verses of Luke seems to support the inference 2, since Jesus urges the ruler to respect the law given by Moses.
You know what the commandments say. ‘Do not commit adultery. Do not commit murder. Do not steal. Do not be a false witness. Honor your father and mother.’ ”
“I have obeyed all those commandments since I was a boy,” the ruler said.
(Luke 18:20-21)

If these verses were found in Mcn, then this seems to be a real proof of Lukan priority over Mcn: a marcionite Jesus cannot urge the observance of the Law of YHWH.

But is this the case?

Verses 20, 21 etc in Luke 18 seem to talk about the wealth of material goods.

Where's the topic of the goodness of Jesus (found in the incipit of the episode)?

I think that the proot-catholic editor 'Luke' has interpolated verses 20-30 in Mcn because the real verses of Mcn following the answer of Jesus were really these of Luke 10:26-35 :

Luke 18:18-23Luke 10:25-37
Luke 18:18 A certain ruler asked Jesus a question. “Good teacher,” he said, “what must I do to receive eternal life?” Luke 10:25 One day an authority on the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to receive eternal life?”
Luke 18:19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good except God.
????
Luke 18:20 You know what the commandments say. ‘Do not commit adultery. Do not commit murder. Do not steal. Do not be a false witness. Honor your father and mother.’ ” Luke 10:26-28: “What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you understand it?”
He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength and with all your mind.’And, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ ”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do that, and you will live.”
Luke 18:21 “I have obeyed all those commandments since I was a boy,” the ruler said.Luke 10:29 But the man wanted to make himself look good. So he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You are still missing one thing. Sell everything you have. Give the money to those who are poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.” Luke 10:30 Jesus replied, (the Parable of Samaritan follows)

Note the difference: Jesus explains and expands the topic of goodness not while he answers to who calls him 'good rabbi' but in Luke 10, where who does the question doens't call Jesus as 'good' but only 'rabbi'. In Luke 18, instead of speaking about (his) goodness, Jesus begins to speak about wealth versus poverty. I find this ridiculous.

The Parable of Samaritan makes more sense in reply to the questioner who calls Jesus 'good rabbi'.

And if I am correct about this, then this supports the inference 1 above: only God (Jesus) is good, because he is the Good Samaritan who destroys the law of the priest and levite of the parable.

Mcn would have this episode (or something of similar):
One day an authority on the law stood up to test Jesus. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to receive eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good except God.
“What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you understand it?”
He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength and with all your mind.’And, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ ”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do that, and you will live.”
But the man wanted to make himself look good. So he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. Robbers attacked him. They stripped off his clothes and beat him. Then they went away, leaving him almost dead. A priest happened to be going down that same road. When he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. A Levite also came by. When he saw the man, he passed by on the other side too. But a Samaritan came to the place where the man was. When he saw the man, he felt sorry for him. He went to him, poured olive oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey. He brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins. He gave them to the owner of the inn. ‘Take care of him,’ he said. ‘When I return, I will pay you back for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of the three do you think was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by robbers?”
The authority on the law replied, “The one who felt sorry for him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do as he did.”
Note the irony in Jesus's answer: precisely those who have observed the Law (the priest and the Levite) are not good, while the Samaritan (a heretic who does not respect the Law: Simon Magus?) is good.

How should we call this, if not a classic Marcionite antithesis?

See what the proto-catholic Luke did:
interpolating the episode about the goodness with an alternative episode about the conflict richness versus poverty, he replaced the Samaritan (Simon Magus?) with the ''young ruler'': a guy thought by Secret Alias (and by the fool apologist Stanley Porter) as... ...Paul!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Charles Wilson
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Re: “Why do you call me good?”

Post by Charles Wilson » Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:40 am

Giuseppe --

FWIW, I've traced this passage to Josephus, Wars..., 2, 2, ending with 7:

"...And when Caesar had maturely weighed by himself what both had to allege for themselves, as also had considered of the great burden of the kingdom, and largeness of the revenues, and withal the number of the children Herod had left behind him, and had moreover read the letters he had received from Varus and Sabinus on this occasion, he assembled the principal persons among the Romans together, (in which assembly Caius, the son of Agrippa, and his daughter Julias, but by himself adopted for his own son, sat in the first seat,) and gave the pleaders leave to speak..."
...
"When Nicolaus had gone through all he had to say, Archelaus came, and fell down before Caesar's knees, without any noise; - upon which he raised him up, after a very obliging manner, and declared that truly he was worthy to succeed his father."

The explanation of the odd phrase is that the Tableau is concerning a determination of Caesar. The Authors/Interpolators/Redactors need to show that they understand that to directly proclaim Caesar as "God" would be abhorrent. An intermediate position is therefore taken: "Jesus" declares that only God is good. Archelaus is "raised up" and Caesar declares that Archelaus is indeed worthy to be declared Herod's successor (/S!).

YMMV.

CW

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DCHindley
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Re: “Why do you call me good?”

Post by DCHindley » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:12 am

G,

Good god, man! That phrase is a common response in the US, to indicate that something has astonished someone, so, in good forum style, it means nothing, other than to contain the word "good".

To me, the attribution of "goodness" to Jesus, and his refusal to accept the appellation, suggests that this was part of the early Christian hashing-out process by which they placed Jesus Christ (the divine redeemer figure they had invented) into some sort of preconceived cosmological role.

Plato, in his dialogues, has Socrates keen to identify what constitutes "good", as the philosopher seeks to "attain the Good". Was it just the attainment of a suitable degree of physical comforts of life, or was it inherent in some aspect of godhead? If so, what part? Later philosophers, Platonists, Aristotelians and Stoics, sought to define what properly constitutes "the good" or "goodness", and let's just say the conclusions varied considerably.

If you can find a "Middle Platonist", Aristotelian or Stoic in the period, say, from 1 CE to 300 CE, whose concept of "good" could be compared to how NT gospel writers spoke of Jesus and his "Father", one might find a way to date the NT gospel depiction of Jesus to some specific date range.

Come to think of it, many philosophers called different aspects of the godhead, as they conceived it, "Father". Same with Logos (Reason, something Reasoned, Word(s) of reason, reasoned Speech). Perhaps all three should be considered together. I would be inclined to say that many Christians of that day, mainly in the passages in the Paulines where Christ theology can be found, conceived of the divine redeemer Jesus Christ as the Demiurge (Creator) himself, in a Platonic sense. Was the Demiurge ever said to be, or not be, "good"?

If I am permitted time by my ever anxious spouse, I will compile a summary later today or tomorrow. Unless you want to do that ... :ugeek:

DCH

iskander
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Re: “Why do you call me good?”

Post by iskander » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:37 am

The reaction of Jesus to the title " good teacher" is probably explained by the use of good (χρηστος ) in the liturgy, and that 'good' is listed as one of the names of god .
http://bibledatabase.net/html/septuagint/19_135.htm
135:1 αλληλουια εξομολογεισθε τω κυριω οτι χρηστος οτι εις τον αιωνα το ελεος αυτου
106:1 αλληλουια εξομολογεισθε τω κυριω οτι χρηστος οτι εις τον αιωνα το ελεος αυτου
105:1 αλληλουια εξομολογεισθε τω κυριω οτι χρηστος οτι εις τον αιωνα το ελεος αυτου
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Giuseppe
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Re: “Why do you call me good?”

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:23 am

The reaction of Jesus to the title " good teacher" is probably explained by the use of good (χρηστος ) in the liturgy, and that 'good' is listed as one of the names of god .
But in this way you are assuming (in my opinion: wrongly) that Jesus was denying his own goodness. If you read the episode as basically not-historical, then you realize easily that Jesus accepts really the claim that he is ''good'' (after all, he is of a divine nature), only he is rejecting the reason added by the questioner: that he is good because he is a ''teacher'' of the Law. According to Jesus, to be a mere 'teacher' of the Law is not sufficient to be good, and, IF I am correct abouth how was the original episode, to be a teacher of the Law is even an obstacle:

The Good Samaritan is ''good'' because he is a transgressor of the Law.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

iskander
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Re: “Why do you call me good?”

Post by iskander » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:21 am

Giuseppe wrote:
The reaction of Jesus to the title " good teacher" is probably explained by the use of good (χρηστος ) in the liturgy, and that 'good' is listed as one of the names of god .
But in this way you are assuming (in my opinion: wrongly) that Jesus was denying his own goodness. If you read the episode as basically not-historical, then you realize easily that Jesus accepts really the claim that he is ''good'' (after all, he is of a divine nature), only he is rejecting the reason added by the questioner: that he is good because he is a ''teacher'' of the Law. According to Jesus, to be a mere 'teacher' of the Law is not sufficient to be good, and, IF I am correct abouth how was the original episode, to be a teacher of the Law is even an obstacle:

The Good Samaritan is ''good'' because he is a transgressor of the Law.
That the words " good teacher" meant in their culture more than it meant in other cultures is a reasonable supposition to make , based on the use of this word ( good ) in the liturgy and on its divine significance. The question is about the eternal life and Jesus replies that only God should teach that subject ; Jesus can only repeat what God said to Moses at Sinai--- without any addition. Only the Decalogue comes from God .
The importance of his reaction reside in his refusing the title of ' good' as being inappropriate: Only Hashem is Good.



The Samaritan
You write : " The Good Samaritan is ''good'' because he is a transgressor of the Law. "

I can agree with this comment, but only because it implies that this Law is judged to be bad and that it should be abrogated. In more modern times this Samaritan of the NT could have been a farmer being praised for hiding a runaway slave in a society where the Law protects slave ownership.
The character Jesus thinks that the Mosaic Law should be abrogated . He is heretic.

PS (after all, he is of a divine nature).

Jesus says he is a man who is dearly loved by God his father. Today , many religious people ( men and women ) say the same thing about themselves in many different religions and claim we all can become as they are.

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DCHindley
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Re: “Why do you call me good?”

Post by DCHindley » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:10 pm

Well,

It is proving harder to do an analysis of the development of terms like "the Good", "Father" and "Word" than I had hoped.

Was hoping the indices of my sources were a little beefier than they actually were. Pity.

May actually have to resort to speed reading while looking for those key words. I am using:

1) A History of Philosophy: Vol. 1, Greece & Rome, by Frederick Copleston S.J. (1946) This will be for overviews of the schools of Plato, Aristotle, Zeno the Stoic and the Cynics.
2) The Middle Platonists: 80 BC to AD 250, by John Dillon (1977, revised 1996) This includes looks at the schools of Aristotle, Zeno and others such as Valentinus as they borrowed concepts from one another more and more as time progressed.
3) Philo of Alexandria and the Timaeus of Plato: Vol 1 Monograph, vol 2 Notes, Index & Bibliography, by D T Runia (1983) This is to cover's Philo's adaptation of the Middle Platonism of his day and place. He followed Plato pretty closely in many ways, but IIRC was heavily influenced by Stoicism when it comes to use of technical terms.
4) Neoplatonism, by R T Wallis (1972, 2nd ed. 1995 Forward and Bibliography by Lloyd P Gerson). This includes both NeoPlatonists proper but also the Chaldean Oracles, etc.

Whatever alternate resources others might prefer are, of course, better and more recent sources, but these four are what I have at hand so they may have to do. I would be open to internet resources on technical terms for the metaphysical principals that were imagined by ancient philosophers.

DCH

iskander
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Re: “Why do you call me good?”

Post by iskander » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:41 pm

DCHindley wrote:Well,

It is proving harder to do an analysis of the development of terms like "the Good", "Father" and "Word" than I had hoped.

Was hoping the indices of my sources were a little beefier than they actually were. Pity.

May actually have to resort to speed reading while looking for those key words. I am using:

1) A History of Philosophy: Vol. 1, Greece & Rome, by Frederick Copleston S.J. (1946) This will be for overviews of the schools of Plato, Aristotle, Zeno the Stoic and the Cynics.
2) The Middle Platonists: 80 BC to AD 250, by John Dillon (1977, revised 1996) This includes looks at the schools of Aristotle, Zeno and others such as Valentinus as they borrowed concepts from one another more and more as time progressed.
3) Philo of Alexandria and the Timaeus of Plato: Vol 1 Monograph, vol 2 Notes, Index & Bibliography, by D T Runia (1983) This is to cover's Philo's adaptation of the Middle Platonism of his day and place. He followed Plato pretty closely in many ways, but IIRC was heavily influenced by Stoicism when it comes to use of technical terms.
4) Neoplatonism, by R T Wallis (1972, 2nd ed. 1995 Forward and Bibliography by Lloyd P Gerson). This includes both NeoPlatonists proper but also the Chaldean Oracles, etc.

Whatever alternate resources others might prefer are, of course, better and more recent sources, but these four are what I have at hand so they may have to do. I would be open to internet resources on technical terms for the metaphysical principals that were imagined by ancient philosophers.

DCH
Your sources are perfect and " Good " means what your sources say it does, but it is possible to accept the reaction of Jesus as the genuine record of a personal misunderstanding. (more or less) between two religious people.

Giuseppe
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Re: “Why do you call me good?”

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:17 pm

DCH, I don't know what is precisely your point doing that research in non-Christian writings.

My point is simply that there are two stories in Luke where there is an occurrence of ''good'' and the context makes me to think that 'Luke' (editor) had a theological reason to divide the Parable of the Good Samaritan from the questioner calling Jesus ''good'', in order to hide a potential marcionite antithesis (Jesus only is 'good' because he is the Good Samaritan transgressor of the Law).

My question is:

is my point plausible?

Or is it too speculative?

Very thanks.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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