Adam wrote:My antipathy to Kloppenborg and his clone Burton L. Mack (The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q & Christian Origins, 1993) is to the shoddiness of their demarcation criteria, not to the Q1 vs. Q2 division itself. They're satisfied with facile ideological preconceptions, ignoring the obvious difference between periscopes that are identical (rare, possibly copied from Luke into Matthew), mostly the same, and the contrasting periscopes that so differ in actual Greek word use that they obviously stem from differing translations of a (presumably) Aramaic original. Yes, I had already seen that recent reviews BY Kloppenborg make no sense unless he is very open to the idea that he was wrong, perhaps radically wrong.
(spell check must have gone bonkers)
And how are Kloppenborg & Mack "clones"? They divide the double tradition material in different ways, but both made attempt to associate differences within it to socio-historico-critical assumptions. If there is blame to go around, it seems to me to lie with the socio-economic model chosen to explain the differences.
This is known in some postmodern circles as historical "reconstruction" (in which a "social model", e.g., Marxist theory, is used to help fill in gaps in our knowledge) as opposed to plain old historical "construction" (where an explanation for the evidence of the past is drawn from historical analogues, generally of the same period in time). This is a historical version of the theme of the movie Jurassic Park
(1993) in which incomplete dinosaur DNA recovered from blood sucking insects preserved in amber (our historical evidence) is spliced into frog DNA which is assumed to be 95%+ the same as dinosaur DNA (Marxist socio-economic theory). Well, we all saw what happened ... "history shows again and again how nature points up the folly of men" (Blue Öyster Cult, Spectres
Unfortunately, the social models often chosen are rather subjective in form. Both Mack (Lost Gospel Q
) and Kloppenborg (at least in Excavating Q
, but not in Formation of Q
, where he was rather neutral about proposing an explanation for the differences he detected), as well as J D Crossan (Origins of Christianity) want to envision a social revolutionary Jesus somewhat distanced from Judaism as commonly practiced, whose memory was Judaized as the Christian church consolidated from Judaistic (Jesus' family dynasty) and Libertine (Jesus the wisdom sage) elements.
This is essentially indebted to the exceptionally common assumption among 19th century critics that Jesus' ethical plane was well above his Judean contemporaries, so what is all love and flowers, such as the teaching that predominates in the double tradition (essentially, "Q"), MUST be Jesus' own teaching, and that other things attributed to him that reflect Judaistic ideas, especially eschatological ones, MUST be secondary, and of course
. (Expect a long series of posts by Secret Huller on this, as it sounds a bit like the critique of Marcion on the corruption of Jesus' teaching by Judaism).
A lot of this is founded on study of the early Christian document called the Didache
, (e.g., Kurt Niederwimmer, Aaron Milavec, Jonathan Reed, Jonathan Draper, Stephen J Patterson, Clayton Jefford, see The Didache in Context
, 1995, and The Didache in Modern Research
, 1996, etc.).
These in turn use a lot of assumptions about the nature of the early Jesus movement based on the sociological theory of Max Weber (b. 1864, d. 1920), but kind of ripped out of context and not updated to modern times, and mixed with a good dose of Marxist style socio-economic theory. Examples are Gerd Theissen (Social Reality and the Early Christians
, ET from German 1992; Sociology of Early Palestinian Christianity
, ET from German 1978; and Psychological Aspects of Pauline Theology
, ET of German 1987), and Stephen J Patterson (The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus
The most well known example is Crossan's Birth of Christianity
(1999), in which he employs his "Lenski-Kautsky Model", which he cobbled together rather arbitrarily from quotes yanked out of context from Gerhard Lenski's classic Power & Privilege
(1966), and John Kautsky's Politics of Aristocratic Empires
(1982), plus a smidgeon of G E M de Ste Croix's Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World
(1981), in order to "explain" early Christian development. Kautsky and de Ste Croix employ a Marxist influenced socio-economic model.
Let's just say that I am dubious of the validity of this kind of socio-economic model. FWIW, I do not intend the term "Marxist" to be pejorative, but generally it's conclusions have not been born out by history, or we would all be inhabiting a socialist utopia right now (sigh).
My personal opinion is that a eschatologically oriented Jesus executed by the Romans for too freely expressing Judean messianist ideas was reinterpreted by his Judean followers as a suffering messiah who would return to usher in the messianic age, and over time and due to social factors related to the Judean war of 66-74 CE, transformed into the mystery of a divine figure who vicariously redeems believing mankind from the bondage of the Judean law.
As (now predominantly gentile) mystery religion devotees, who no longer wanted to be associated with Judean messianism, the founder's image was in need of polishing. To do so, the basic account of the Gospel of Mark was augmented by a generic Aramaic collection of wisdom sayings ("Q") that were adapted to explain Jesus as a misunderstood teacher of wisdom who was tragically executed for something he was "not", an advocate of Judean messianism. Luckily, the end result of the tragedy was good for mankind, making the story, ironically, a comedy. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke were thus apologies for the genesis of the Christians who were well known to have revered Jesus.
Mr. Cross-Eyed Waggy Finger.