What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

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Re: What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:21 am

But this necessarily implies again that Peter wasn't just 'opening up his memories' in a random streaming consciousness just saying whatever came to mind because he was trying to preserve the memory of what Jesus did or said. It necessarily means that Peter was teaching and took this or that thing Jesus did or said (or presented what Jesus did or said) to make specific points to illustrate his teachings. Sort of what Origen is doing here in Against Celsus. To imagine it mathematically. Imagine there is this massive pool of things that Peter knew about things Jesus said. Label that pool 'logia of the Lord.' Peter isn't simply accessing this pool to make his chreiai. Pool 1 (the logia of the Lord) isn't dictating or imposing itself on Pool 2 (the chreiai of Peter). Instead when Peter 'has need' of Pool 1 - i.e. a specific point in mind or specific points as he teaches his audience - like Origen he dips into the pool of logia and creates specific chreiai for his audience. Mark in turn wasn't drawing upon the logia per se but a second pool of things essentially labelled the chreiai of Peter.

But the point is that the chreiai that have been manufactured by Peter are separate from or distinct from the original logia which Matthew is alleged to have also known (presumably because he was a disciple too). But all of this suddenly shines a light on the distinction between the name 'Matthew' in Mark and Luke. There is none. The name appears as 'Levi.' This can't be accidental. Whoever wrote Matthew is consciously trying to make Matthew a disciple whereas presumably Acts acknowledges that he only became a disciple later or perhaps didn't appear in the gospel properly. Here is my discovery of the day - one of the 'incorrect things' in the ordering of Mark is the fact that Matthew doesn't appear as an eyewitness to Jesus. Think about it. If Irenaeus understood that Papias means 'canonical gospel of Mark' and 'canonical gospel of Matthew' one of the clear corrections in Matthew is to correct 'Levi' as now 'Matthew' thus making Matthew quite explicitly an eyewitness to the logia of Jesus.
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Re: What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:03 am

I have been combing through the Church Fathers for other references to the 'anecdotes' of the gospel but my conclusion is the same as Wasserman's:
Ancient methods of literary borrowing therefore make it difficult to establish if and when an ancient author is quoting a particular text, a passage that has been memorized and intentionally or unintentionally rephrased, or simply a shared tradition garnered from some other written or oral source. Christian writers, like their non-Christian counterparts, were also trained to paraphrase and restate, usually without attribution. Thus, even when an anecdote (χρεία) about Jesus, a maxim (γνώμη) attributed to him, a paraphrase (παραφράσις) of a saying found in a Gospel book, or a recollected theme (ἀπομνημόνευμα) characteristic of another writing is present, one cannot always be certain that a direct textual borrowing has occurred.14 In the very few instances when Gospel books are explicitly cited, quotations are regularly introduced not with an explicit reference to the book of origin but with a more general statement like “Jesus says” or “the gospel says."
All of which makes Papias - one of the earliest writers - obsessive interest in language quite remarkable. Why is Papias alone of the Church Fathers so keen on distinguishing between Peter, Mark and Matthew's use of the common material?
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Re: What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:40 am

Theon defines the chreia as “a brief saying or action making a point, attributed to some specified person, or something corresponding to a person.” He suggests that every brief maxim attributed to a person creates a chreia, further distinguishing a reminiscence as an “action or a saying useful for life” (Theon, Gymn. 96). Interestingly the chreia is closely related to apomnemoneuma the term Justin uses to reference the gospel - viz. Memoirs of the Apostles (apomnemoneuma ta ton apostolon). It does seem a trifle odd that there is so much of an emphasis on 'memory' in early Christianity. If the gospel was written immediately after the alleged incidents in question by people who were eyewitnesses I don't see what recollection would be such an issue. What I mean is considering how on the one hand what the gospel says is taken to be absolutely factual and accurate it is strange the way the earliest Church Fathers (Justin, Papias) emphasize the 'recollection' aspect of it all. Note for Clement he speaks of 'recollection' only with regards to his own writing:
The writing of these memoranda of mine, I well know, is weak when compared with that spirit, full of grace, which I was privileged to hear. But it will be an image to recall the archetype to him who was struck with the thyrsus. For "speak," it is said, "to a wise man, and he will grow wiser; and to him that hath, and there shall be added to him." And we profess not to explain secret things sufficiently -- far from it -- but only to recall them to memory, whether we have forgot aught, or whether for the purpose of not forgetting. Many things, I well know, have escaped us, through length of time, that have dropped away unwritten." (1.1.5)
the incorrect recollection of the meaning of gospel passages by heretics:
Such also are those (who say that they follow Nicolaus, quoting an adage of the man, which they pervert, "that the flesh must be abused." (τοιοῦτοι δὲ καὶ οἱ φάσκοντες ἑαυτοὺς Νικολάῳ ἕπεσθαι, ἀπομνημόνευμά τι τἀνδρὸς φέροντες ἐκ παρατροπῆς τὸ δεῖνπα ραχρῆσθαι τῇ σαρκί (2.20.118.4)
and Luke's composition of the Acts of the Apostles (which he didn't really accept as having the same level of holiness as Paul or the gospel:
λείπεται δὴ θείᾳ χάριτι καὶ μόνῳ τῷ παρ' αὐτοῦ λόγῳ τὸ ἄγνωστον νοεῖν, καθὸ καὶ ὁ Λουκᾶς ἐν ταῖς Πράξεσι τῶν ἀποστόλων ἀπομνημονεύει τὸν Παῦλον λέγοντα (Strom 5.12.82).
In the first case we might add that Clement is using forgetfulness and inaccurate memory to explain why he doesn't reveal the divine mysteries.

Is Papias only bringing up 'faulty memory' also because he is trying to reconcile conflicting gospel passages? Does that take us back to Celsus's statement that Christians were having difficulty resolving multiple versions of the gospel? I know from personal experience that I don't reference 'memory' while recounting stories unless something about my recollection contradicts some other recollection.
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Re: What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:38 am

I think Willits draws attention to something important:
Further, in Watson's citation and translation of Comm. Jo. 10.2.10 on page 549, presented as the positive example of Origen's commendable (and more usual, developmentally superior) canonical gospel hermeneutic, a key sentence gets lost in the middle: ἑκαστέρως γὰρλέγεταισυντετάχθαι ἡ τούτωνγραφή (“in fact, the writing of the Gospels is said to have been composed from both” [i.e., both the inspiration of the spirit and a set of successfully rendered memoirs (ἐπιτετευγμένως ἀπομνημονευθέντα)]), which is one way in which Origen seeks to hold the divine inspiration and human authorship of the Gospels together.
In other words, the same problem that Jews had with the Pentateuch seems to be manifest with 'the gospels' of later Christianity. On the one hand, they want the narrative to be holy and produced by divine power but at the same time they are confronted with not only human authors but contradictions in the different accounts. I know only half of the forum accepts To Theodore as Clementine but it is worth noting that Clement goes against the grain in this one key respect. He never understands the gospels to have the been the product of human hands. Yes he cites or alludes to Luke's 'memory,' but he avoids any mention of the gospel as such being limited or qualified because of human authorship. Irenaeus may be argued to have the same POV. But I can't help shake the idea that this notion is not present in Papias or Justin. Clement, like the heretics who the author of Prescription rails again, understands the apostles to have been aware of a 'secret gospel' a divine mystery which was not revealed in the publicly circulating texts of the gospel which we may assume had a human origin. But lurking in the background of Clement's writings outside of To Theodore is this notion that a true gospel which contains 'mystic' truth was authored according to a mystery by God through a chosen gospel author. If we didn't know To Theodore admittedly we'd have no reason to think that author was Mark. Paul would be the most likely candidate for Clement's mystery gospel as he is for the heretics of the Prescription Against Heresies. Still there are common ideas running through these sources. Clement 'accepts' Luke as an author but one who writes from 'memory.' There is another text - presumably of a higher level of holiness - which reveals the hidden mysteries of God.
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Re: What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:30 pm

to Ben,
I would greatly appreciate if you answer the following 6 questions:

"Who made the teachings into anecdotes, but not as if making an ordering together of the lordly oracles...."
Questions:
1) Does "by means of" (as you proposed first) is a valid translation for "into" (πρὸς) ("into" looks awkward)?

2) Is "with", as proposed by Secret Alias, also valid?

3) Can you explain how the quote would make sense with χρείας (anecdotes) and λογίων (oracles)?

4) I think that in order for the aforementioned quote to make sense (according to what precede), χρείας (anecdotes) needs to be quasi-synonymous with λογίων (oracles). But is it the case? I don't think so. Do you?

Finally I think that the above quote is somewhat redundant with what precede and there is no need for it.

"And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who made the teachings into anecdotes, but not as if making an ordering together of the lordly oracles. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them. For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements."

If we remove "who made ... oracles.", we have:
"And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them. For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements.".

5) Could "who made ... oracles' be an interpolation?

6) What is the Greek word translated as "statements".

Cordially, Bernard
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Re: What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:47 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:30 pm
Does "by means of" (as you proposed first) is a valid translation for "into" (πρὸς) ("into" looks awkward)?
Yes, "by means of" is valid. It is not all that common, but it is valid.

I prefer "into," and no, "into" is not in any way awkward in English in the sentence in question. To "make something into" some form is good, solid, idiomatic English. I would not have suggested that rendering if the English had been awkward; the whole point was to improve on what I already had.
Is "with", as proposed by Secret Alias, also valid?
If the force of "with" in English is correct, yes. ("With" carries many different meanings in English: reciprocity, accompaniment, and utility, to name a few.)
Can you explain how the quote would make sense with χρείας (anecdotes) and λογίων (oracles)?
I am not sure what you need explained here. It makes good sense with both of those words translated like that. If Peter taught in anecdotes, then he probably did not teach "in order," that is, in the kind of chronological order ordinarily expected of a semibiographical narrative.
I think that in order for the aforementioned quote to make sense (according to what precede), χρείας (anecdotes) needs to be quasi-synonymous with λογίων (oracles). But is it the case? I don't think so. Do you?
They do not need to be synonymous, but "anecdotes" need to be capable of transmitting logia, which they are, if logia = authoritative statements, as I have argued several times on this forum. The argument, by the way, is very tight, with many backing examples, starting as early as Philo.
Could "who made ... oracles' be an interpolation?
Sure. Interpolations are possible, and I have argued for a particular interpolation into Papian material before. What would be your argument in this case?
What is the Greek word translated as "statements".
The translation you are using is pretty loose: the word is αὐτοῖς, which just means "them," referring back to "the things" (ὧν) which Mark heard.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:07 pm

Bernard, if you wish to argue that "for the needs" is a more likely translation than "in(to) anecdotes," I have no real quibble with the attempt. I myself remain undecided between the two translations. If, however, you wish to argue that "in(to) anecdotes" is somehow unclear, nonsensical, or awkward on its own merits, then you would simply be wrong: and not in an interesting way that would make debating the point with fun and interesting, but rather in that boring way that suggests that one of the sides in the debate came into it unprepared. I hope that makes sense.
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Re: What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:04 pm

to Ben,
Thank you for your answers.
I prefer "into," and no, "into" is not in any way awkward in English in the sentence in question. To "make something into" some form is good, solid, idiomatic English. I would not have suggested that rendering if the English had been awkward; the whole point was to improve on what I already had.
The problem with "into" is it suggests Peter fabricated these anecdotes.
OOPS, you have a new post about that. I'll come to it later.
I am not sure what you need explained here. It makes good sense with both of those words translated like that. If Peter taught in anecdotes, then he probably did not teach "in order," that is, in the kind of chronological order ordinarily expected of a semibiographical narrative.
I agree with that. My concern is, looking at: "who made the teachings into (or by means of) anecdotes, but not as if making an ordering together of the lordly oracles." I would expect "anecdotes" or even "logia)" but not "oracles". "oracles" for me does not describe "saying and deeds' which are described out of order in the preceding sentence: "It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ"
Why, what is not in order becomes oracles when before it was sayings and deeds?
Logia is not synonymous of oracle.
Bernard, if you wish to argue that "for the needs" is a more likely translation than "in(to) anecdotes," I have no real quibble with the attempt. I myself remain undecided between the two translations. If, however, you wish to argue that "in(to) anecdotes" is somehow unclear, nonsensical, or awkward on its own merits, then you would simply be wrong: and not in an interesting way that would make debating the point with fun and interesting, but rather in a boring way that suggests that one of the sides in the debate came into it unprepared. I hope that makes sense.
I am not in a debating mode but using your superior knowledge of ancient Greek in order to understand a passage from Papias' writings (as known through Eusebius).
Of course I would prefer "for the needs" (however I became convinced that "anecdotes", according to Greek writings of the period, is the most likely translation, but I might be wrong), but still I have a problem with "oracles".

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Re: What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:13 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:04 pm
to Ben,
Thank you for your answers.
I prefer "into," and no, "into" is not in any way awkward in English in the sentence in question. To "make something into" some form is good, solid, idiomatic English. I would not have suggested that rendering if the English had been awkward; the whole point was to improve on what I already had.
The problem with "into" is it suggests Peter fabricated these anecdotes.
I do not get that at all. Rather, it is just that he made his teachings in the form of anecdotes.
I am not sure what you need explained here. It makes good sense with both of those words translated like that. If Peter taught in anecdotes, then he probably did not teach "in order," that is, in the kind of chronological order ordinarily expected of a semibiographical narrative.
I agree with that. My concern is, looking at: "who made the teachings into (or by means of) anecdotes, but not as if making an ordering together of the lordly oracles." I would expect "anecdotes" or even "logia)" but not "oracles". "oracles" for me does not describe "saying and deeds' which are described out of order in the preceding sentence: "It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ"
Why, what is not in order becomes oracles when before it was sayings and deeds?
Logia is not synonymous of oracle.
Bernard, if you wish to argue that "for the needs" is a more likely translation than "in(to) anecdotes," I have no real quibble with the attempt. I myself remain undecided between the two translations. If, however, you wish to argue that "in(to) anecdotes" is somehow unclear, nonsensical, or awkward on its own merits, then you would simply be wrong: and not in an interesting way that would make debating the point with fun and interesting, but rather in a boring way that suggests that one of the sides in the debate came into it unprepared. I hope that makes sense.
I am not in a debating mode but using your superior knowledge of ancient Greek in order to understand a passage from Papias' writings (as known through Eusebius).
Of course I would prefer "for the needs" (however I became convinced that "anecdotes", according to Greek writings of the period, is the most likely translation, but I might be wrong), but still I have a problem with "oracles".
"Oracle" is probably a misleading translation for logion in a case like this for many people; I doubt you are alone in that.

But that logia can consist of "words and deeds" is beyond dispute; the term is used both of sayings and of narrated portions of the Hebrew scriptures, for example. It is not only what God (for example) said; it is also what God did.
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Re: What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:55 pm

to Ben,
"Oracle" is probably a misleading translation for logion in a case like this for many people; I doubt you are alone in that.

But that logia can consist of "words and deeds" is beyond dispute; the term is used both of sayings and of narrated portions of the Hebrew scriptures, for example. It is not only what God (for example) said; it is also what God did
But you translated yourself λογίων by "oracles". And everywhere I looked, λογίων is always translated by "oracles".
And if the author wanted to mean logia, why did he not use that word instead of λογίων?
Do you know of any examples in ancient Greek writings where λογίων obviously mean logia instead of just "oracles"?

PS: correction: According to one of Secret Alias post, λογίων is translated by "sayings". That does not seem to be a valid translation for me. And that does not include the deeds which Papias declared to be out of order also.

Cordially, Bernard
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