how does ehrman know that jesus' teaching about love go back to him?

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moses
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how does ehrman know that jesus' teaching about love go back to him?

Post by moses »

BDEhrman September 17, 2022 at 5:24 pm - Reply
I think a lot of them go back to him; it has to be decided on a case by case basis of course — and that leads to problems. E.g., both the Parable of the Good Samaritan and that of the Sheep and Goats are found in only one source. Ugh! Well, decisions have bo be made, and there are grounds for making them other than independent attestation. But the love sayings are so striking and numerous that some of them almost surely go back to Jesus, I would say. I certainly *consider* whether they were all put on Jesus’ lips, but some of them (Sheep and Goats) contain elements almost certainly not fabricated by others (the idea, e.g., that salvation could come to those who had never even heard of Jesus, let alone believed in him)


how is "striking and numerous" evidence ? he says "some of them" so then others which are "striking and numerous" do not go back to jesus? :confusedsmiley:
rgprice
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Re: how does ehrman know that jesus' teaching about love go back to him?

Post by rgprice »

Yeah, I've got a similar example here regarding Jesus' cleansing of the Temple: http://www.decipheringthegospels.com/examples.html
Paul the Uncertain
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Re: how does ehrman know that jesus' teaching about love go back to him?

Post by Paul the Uncertain »

moses wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 11:13 pm BDEhrman September 17, 2022 at 5:24 pm - Reply
I think a lot of them go back to him; it has to be decided on a case by case basis of course — and that leads to problems. E.g., both the Parable of the Good Samaritan and that of the Sheep and Goats are found in only one source. Ugh! Well, decisions have bo be made, and there are grounds for making them other than independent attestation. But the love sayings are so striking and numerous that some of them almost surely go back to Jesus, I would say. I certainly *consider* whether they were all put on Jesus’ lips, but some of them (Sheep and Goats) contain elements almost certainly not fabricated by others (the idea, e.g., that salvation could come to those who had never even heard of Jesus, let alone believed in him)
Is this a personal communication from Ehrman? If so, then could you provide some context for it (e.g. what he is responding to)? If not, then what is it?
how is "striking and numerous" evidence ? he says "some of them" so then others which are "striking and numerous" do not go back to jesus? :confusedsmiley:
As it stands, the quoted matter contains a non sequitur:
some of them (Sheep and Goats) contain elements almost certainly not fabricated by others (the idea, e.g., that salvation could come to those who had never even heard of Jesus, let alone believed in him)
Unless Ehrman has in mind some special meaning for the word fabricated, the idea has been expressed (there it is in black letters), and so, if it is not the product of Jesus, then it is necessarily the product of others.

That sort of thing happens often in casual exchanges, and thus the question about context: how casual is the setting of this quote?

Conjecturally as to your question: Ehrman mentions and discards one of the classic (and notoriously fraught) "criteria," multiple (independent) attestation. So perhaps he has in mind another criterion, perhaps dissimilarity, that some of these sayings promote idea(s) which Ehrman finds atypical (striking?) of early Christianity.

[But here's a problem with that. As discussed in a nearby thread, there is some uncertainty surrounding Paul's use of the phrase faith of Jesus. The phrase might mean (as the grammar allows) the faithful qualities displayed by Jesus himself. Ken Olson explained in the thread that if so, then Paul would have been teaching that these qualities accomplished the salvation of humanity in general. Alternatively, the phrase may have meant the faith of followers "in" Jesus, and if so, then Paul would have taught instead that salvation was available only to individuals who themselves placed their faith in Jesus.

I think it is reasonable that if an authority's arguably ambiguous teaching (in this case Paul's) has some unforced interpretation (like salvation without specific "strings" attached), then at least some followers and contemporaries of that authority may well have understood the teaching in the unforced way. If so, then the idea in question may have been present in early times, even if it was atypical of the movement at that time.]
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