gMark is intended to be history writing

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Stefan Kristensen
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Re: gMark is intended to be history writing

Post by Stefan Kristensen » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:59 pm

neilgodfrey wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:42 pm
Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:14 am
Indeed, the position of the temporal marker, "from the beginning" ("απ' αρχης"), seems to refer to their having become both "eyewitnesses" and "servants of the word" (or whatever way we understand these terms) at the same time. But what is this 'time' exactly, "the beginning"? This "beginning" can very naturally and unproblematically be understood simply as the founding period of Jesus' ministry. Where the disciples exactly became (γινομαι, Luke 1:2) "eyewitnesses" and "servants of the word".
One can understand being an eyewitness from the founding period of Jesus' ministry, but "servants of the word" from that same beginning?
Why not? Depends on what "the beginning" is. If "the beginning" was the earthly ministry of Jesus, where he founded the fare of the gospel message in the world, which is referred to in the texts of gMark and gMatt by the very pregnant term "the Word" (and especially in gJohn, if one thinks Luke knew gJohn), then they also became "servants of the word from the beginning". This is actually precisely what Luke is saying in Acts 1:2, as I see it, that they were "apostles" when Jesus spoke to them before his ascension. So they had become "servants of the Word from the beginning". Jesus' ascension was the end of "the beginning". Then started the continuation, the period of the Church.

"The beginning" in Luke 1:2 is not the beginning of the Christian community, it is the beginning of the era of the gospel, the "beginning of the Jesus Christ gospel", as Mark has as his superscription. And I propose that this is no coincidence, for his narrative is exactly about the earthly ministry of Jesus, the time when "the Word" came into the world in the shape of Jesus, "all those things he began to do and teach until the day he was taken up" (Acts 1:1). In this way he was indeed the Word in "the flesh", as John puts it. The fare of the Word only continues when others get the holy spirit, i.e. only after Jesus' resurrection, then the Word is carried on into the world, that is the continuation after the beginning.

In the gospel accounts Jesus functions in a central way as nothing more than the vessel of the Word, or more techincally a vessel of the holy spirit which is the carrier of the Word. The continuation, after this beginning, then, is naturally the Christian community which Luke himself also chronicles in Acts, where the main actor really is the holy spirit, or the Word. Acts relates how the gospel message spreads, that's the basic story in Acts. So I think Luke has an understanding that gLuke is the beginning and Acts is the continuation. The "orderly accounts" of Jesus' earthly ministry are accounts of "the beginning", as "handed down" orally from the disiples that were with Jesus in his earthly ministry, "eyewitnesses to, and assistents of, the Word, from the beginning".

God's gospel message has come into the world to launch the fulfilment of his promises of salvation, and so it needs to be preached to the whole world, starting with the conception of the holy spirit in Mary and going even to Rome (Acts 28:31). But before it could be carried into the world, Jesus had to come and train and teach the first people to do this, that was the beginning of God's gospel. Come to think of it, all four gospels in the NT, then, may indicate each in their own manner that the beginning of a new era, the coming of the gospel into the world, is parallel to a new creation (Matt 1:1: "Βιβλος γενεσεως ...", cf. Gen 2:4). It is the idea that when God chose to send his saving gospel into the word, then something new began.
However, the word for "eyewitness" has a special application when speaking of an "eyewitness of the word".
autoptai as guarantors of the tradition
And what have ‘the autoptai [“eyewitnesses”] of the logos’ contributed to this process?

These people have continued to perform the function complementary to – although prior to – their function as hypēretai [“servants’]. They have responsibility for the library of the community, receiving and authenticating documents of the tradition. They are highly literate and have received their appointments from the community. They fill precisely the role Bauckham selected for his ‘specially authorised guarantors of the traditions’. What is more, they have done this ‘from the beginning’ of the community’s life as Christian disciples.
The difference here from Bauckham’s view, of course, is that that tradition was literary, not oral.
https://vridar.org/2012/12/09/what-did- ... esses-see/
What I see is Luke saying that the written accounts have come from oral tradition ("handed down") from the disciples who were with Jesus in "the beginning". Grammatically, the genitive in Luke 1:2, "of the word", doesn't have to apply to the "eyewitnesses", only to the "servants", but even if it does (which it can), then it still makes sense to refer to the disciples who witnessed Jesus' earthly ministry as "eyewitnesses to the Word". If Luke with "του λογου" is indeed talking about "the Word", which I think, and not about "books", then he is talking to this Theophilus character about a very, very pregnant theological concept, "the Word". The disciples were "eyewitnesses to the Word from the beginning", because they were eyewitnesses to the whole of Jesus' earthly ministry, "the beginning" of the Word. The Theophilus character whom Luke is addressing seems to have been taught orally in that Luke uses the verb κατηχεω, which generally carried the sense of oral teaching (literally "to sound over upon"; cf. catechism).

So Theophilus haven't read those "orderly accounts", he has received catechistic teaching, orally, and this is why Luke is writing his, "so that you may know the certainty of the things in which you have been (orally) taught" (1:4). Luke is telling him that he has put together a written account of the things Theophilus has been taught orally. And his written account, apparantly, establishes the "certainty" ("την ασφαλειαν", 1:4) of those things.

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Re: gMark is intended to be history writing

Post by Stefan Kristensen » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:37 am

And I think the reason Luke says that his written account establishes the "certainty" of the things Theophilus has been taught, is because Luke himself has "attended to everthing minutely from the top" and so wants to write it "precisely in sequence" (Luke 1:3). If that is what Luke means with his account establishing the "certainty" of what Theophilus has been taught, then if follows that those other "orderly accounts" are not in the right "sequence", i.e. the other gospels. So Theophilus can not learn the right "sequence" from the other gospels, and therefore Luke needs to write his own, "having attended minutely to everything from the top".

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MrMacSon
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Re: gMark is intended to be history writing

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:00 am

Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:59 pm

.. the fare of the gospel message in the world, which is referred to in the texts of gMark and gMatt by the very pregnant term "the Word" (and especially in gJohn, if one thinks Luke knew gJohn), then they also became "servants of the word from the beginning". This is actually precisely what Luke is saying in Acts 1:2 ...
Matthias Klinghardt thinks Luke knew John: he thinks Luke used pre-cannonical versions of Mark, Matthew, and John; and a 'Marcion Gospel' proto-gospel template which he designates Mcn (on which he thinks a pre-canonical Mark was based; he thinks a pre-canonical version of Matthew then used that pre-canonical Mark and Mcn; and he thinks John was based on the previous three, ie. Mcn, pre-canonical Mark and pre-canonical Matthew, before Luke was written).

Klinghardt thinks one final redactor then created the canonical forms of the four Gospels.

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Re: gMark is intended to be history writing

Post by Stefan Kristensen » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:24 am

Also, from my understanding of how the gospel writers understood their accounts as I explain above, i.e. as the story about the gospel message, or the Word, coming into the world to be carried throughout the world, it follows that the Word needs carriers. These are the apostles, of course, both those of the relatively ‘late’ period in which Luke is writing and those who became apostles from the beginning. I think it is clear that “servants of the Word” is an expression of this idea, the apostles as the ones who ‘help’ the Word in its all impotant journey. As such, “the beginning” in Luke 1:2 is not so much a reference to a concept of Jesus’ earthly ministry (but it is also this), but a juxtaposition of those who became apostles “from the beginning” and those who have become apostles eventually. And “those who became ... servants of the Word from the beginning” were those special apostles who alse “becane eyewitnesses from the beginning”. They were special and it is from them the tradition has been handed down.
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Re: gMark is intended to be history writing

Post by Stefan Kristensen » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:26 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:00 am
Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:59 pm

.. the fare of the gospel message in the world, which is referred to in the texts of gMark and gMatt by the very pregnant term "the Word" (and especially in gJohn, if one thinks Luke knew gJohn), then they also became "servants of the word from the beginning". This is actually precisely what Luke is saying in Acts 1:2 ...
Matthias Klinghardt thinks Luke knew John: he thinks Luke used pre-cannonical versions of Mark, Matthew, and John; and a 'Marcion Gospel' proto-gospel template which he designates Mcn (on which he thinks a pre-canonical Mark was based; he thinks a pre-canonical version of Matthew then used that pre-canonical Mark and Mcn; and he thinks John was based on the previous three, ie. Mcn, pre-canonical Mark and pre-canonical Matthew, before Luke was written).

Klinghardt thinks one final redactor then created the canonical forms of the four Gospels.
I also think there are clear indications that Luke knew gJohn or some version of it. But I definately think that Luke had gMark and gMatt in pretty much the same forms we have them.

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MrMacSon
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Re: gMark is intended to be history writing

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:02 am

Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:26 am
I also think there are clear indications that Luke knew gJohn or some version of it. But I definately think that Luke had gMark and gMatt in pretty much the same forms we have them.
Markus Vinzent has contended that Marcion wrote the first gospel in proximity with the other gospel writers and that, after seeing their re-writings of his Gospel, he published another (revised?) version, together with the Antitheses and Paul's letters. He thinks Marcion's Gospel was, 'through combining prefaces of Acts and Luke, put under the name of Luke'.

Both Klinghardt's and Vinzent's models allow for it all to have happened in close proximity in space and time* up to the finalisation of the forms we have.

* edited to add the italised passage
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: gMark is intended to be history writing

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:30 am

Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:26 am
I also think there are clear indications that Luke knew gJohn or some version of it.
Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:37 am
And I think the reason Luke says that his written account establishes the "certainty" of the things Theophilus has been taught, is because Luke himself has "attended to everything minutely from the top" and so wants to write it "precisely in sequence" (Luke 1:3). If that is what Luke means with his account establishing the "certainty" of what Theophilus has been taught, then it follows that those other "orderly accounts" are not in the right "sequence", i.e. the other gospels. So Theophilus can not learn the right "sequence" from the other gospels, and therefore Luke needs to write his own, "having attended minutely to everything from the top".
If Luke knew both the other synoptics and John, then his writing things down "in order" makes perfect sense in light of my observations elsewhere that the differences in chronological order between the Johannine tradition and the synoptic tradition sparked quite a flurry of apologetic penmanship in the early church. Luke would be laying out the "definitive order" of events.
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MrMacSon
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Re: gMark is intended to be history writing

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:52 pm

Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:26 am
I also think there are clear indications that Luke knew gJohn or some version of it. But I definately think that Luke had gMark and gMatt in pretty much the same forms we have them.
In my first reply I didn't specifically address the point you made there, Stefan, but what Klinghardt proposes clearly agrees, and Vinzent's comments [to date] also align with it.

Ben's subsequent post is interesting in this context -
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:30 am
If Luke knew both the other synoptics and John, then his writing things down "in order" makes perfect sense in light of my observations elsewhere that the differences in chronological order between the Johannine tradition and the synoptic tradition sparked quite a flurry of apologetic penmanship [in] the early church. Luke would be laying out the "definitive order" of events.
There's a lot of interesting commentary there. Particularly the passage from Tertullian, Against Marcion 4.2.2 and Ben's commentary around it.
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 8:20 pm

I am here expanding upon an earlier post of mine. My thesis is simple: the differences in order or chronology between the three synoptic gospels and the gospel of John were very much noticed in the early church, often leading to serious conflicts between various groups. This is a list of the main differences which mattered to the early Christians.
.
.
6. Diatessaron

Permit me an inference: Justin's alleged harmonizing of the three synoptics preceded the harmony of all four, called the Diatessaron, suggesting that the integration of John with the other three was a much greater task.

To such discrepancies some church fathers took the following attitude:

Tertullian, Against Marcion 4.2.2: 2 Of the apostles, therefore, John and Matthew first instil faith into us; whilst of apostolic men, Luke and Mark renew it afterwards. These all start with the same principles of the faith, so far as relates to the one only God the Creator and His Christ, how that He was born of the Virgin, and came to fulfil the law and the prophets. Never mind if there does occur some variation in the order of their narratives [si narrationum dispositio variavit], provided that there be agreement in the essential matter of the faith, in which there is disagreement with Marcion.

Yet the so-called Alogoi exploited the discrepancies against John, probably in order to pull the rug out from under the Montanists, for whom the Johannine sending of the Paraclete was of vital importance. Meanwhile, the yearly Quartodeciman paschal fast was secured at its termination upon the crucifixion of Christ just before the Passover feast (as in the gospel of John), against the synoptics, which suggested that the crucifixion took place after the Passover. And various Gnostic groups took it upon themselves to find symbolic importance in the single year of ministry that many read out of the synoptics, while their Catholic opponents used the gospel of John to prove a ministry of closer to three years.

These differences mattered a lot to the various factions of the second and third centuries.

Ben.
it highlights various other issues and groups, such as the Quartodeciman dispute, the Montanists, and when they were issues or developing issues or groups. Much of it post-Justin Martyr, which raises the question of whether he was really harmonising three gospels or using a proto-Gospel.

It also raises a rhetorical question of how 'Gnostic' groups were finding 'symbolic importance in the single year of ministry that many read out of the synoptics' and whether they were groups that were trying to align with Christianity or started in reaction to it.

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Re: gMark is intended to be history writing

Post by hakeem » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:15 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:30 am
Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:26 am
I also think there are clear indications that Luke knew gJohn or some version of it.
Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:37 am
And I think the reason Luke says that his written account establishes the "certainty" of the things Theophilus has been taught, is because Luke himself has "attended to everything minutely from the top" and so wants to write it "precisely in sequence" (Luke 1:3). If that is what Luke means with his account establishing the "certainty" of what Theophilus has been taught, then it follows that those other "orderly accounts" are not in the right "sequence", i.e. the other gospels. So Theophilus can not learn the right "sequence" from the other gospels, and therefore Luke needs to write his own, "having attended minutely to everything from the top".
If Luke knew both the other synoptics and John, then his writing things down "in order" makes perfect sense in light of my observations elsewhere that the differences in chronological order between the Johannine tradition and the synoptic tradition sparked quite a flurry of apologetic penmanship the early church. Luke would be laying out the "definitive order" of events.

It is virtually impossible for anyone to have a precise sequence and definitive order for fictional accounts.

For example, the conception and birth of Jesus in both gMatthew and gLuke are total fiction.
It is simply a farce by the author of gLuke that his accounts which could not ever be witnessed by anyone establish the certainty of the Jesus story.

gLuke did the opposite--it confirms that the NT is certainly, definitely fiction.

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Re: gMark is intended to be history writing

Post by Stefan Kristensen » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:30 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:30 am
Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:26 am
I also think there are clear indications that Luke knew gJohn or some version of it.
Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:37 am
And I think the reason Luke says that his written account establishes the "certainty" of the things Theophilus has been taught, is because Luke himself has "attended to everything minutely from the top" and so wants to write it "precisely in sequence" (Luke 1:3). If that is what Luke means with his account establishing the "certainty" of what Theophilus has been taught, then it follows that those other "orderly accounts" are not in the right "sequence", i.e. the other gospels. So Theophilus can not learn the right "sequence" from the other gospels, and therefore Luke needs to write his own, "having attended minutely to everything from the top".
If Luke knew both the other synoptics and John, then his writing things down "in order" makes perfect sense in light of my observations elsewhere that the differences in chronological order between the Johannine tradition and the synoptic tradition sparked quite a flurry of apologetic penmanship in the early church. Luke would be laying out the "definitive order" of events.
Nice links, Ben. It makes me speculate that perhaps the arrival of gJohn on the scene is precisely that thing which motivated Luke to write his gospel? So that he was raised in the tradition of the 'synoptic' accounts, where both gMark and gMatt were popular, and their relatively small variations would have been problematic, not least with regards to the training of new Christians and the preachings each sunday at the gatherings. But then when gJohn suddenly also arrived and became more and more popular Luke (and his close Christian environment) saw this whole thing as an offensive and dangerous development, i.e. with regards to the saving of souls and God's great salvation, which for him of course would have been the only important thing that mattered in the world.

So, one thing was the two different variations of the storyline in gMark and gMatt, that was problematic, but when gJohn then also appeared in great force Luke then felt a strong need to cement the truth. (I take it that the time of Luke was early in the second century, and that at this time the three gospels were circulating in the form we know them or something very close, and also that there never has been a Q.)

Because I'v wondered that, if he knew gJohn, why did he adopt so little of it and go on to cement the general storyline of gMark and gMatt instead. Perhaps he stayed true to those two gospels and rejected the whole of gJohn, but nevertheless did find some few ideas from gJohn useful. Perhaps deep underneath the prologue in Luke 1:1-4 we can see a motivation to cement the track that had been laid by gMark and gMatt over against the new development of the spread of gJohn coming out from the Johannine environment. (Or rather to asphalt the track, cf. Luke 1:4 "την ασφαλειαν"!)

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