The genre of the gospels.

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Secret Alias
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Re: The genre of the gospels.

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My point was merely to remind people that ALL of our inherited presuppositions about Judaism have been preconditioned by the monarchian dicates of the Imperial government c 180 - 280 CE. We haven't a clue how the two powers theology worked as a living faith. Everything we know is based on Judaism being about an all powerful ONE rather that a recognition the world developed from an oscillating harmony based on TWO. Chiasms, an antiphonal liturgy are all a part of an original lost culture which was displaced intentionally by Imperial design. The veneration of two was threatening to those who preferred the world to recognize the one cosmocrator

Think about this. When Jacob looks up in the sky at Bethel he saw a herring bone pattern. Years later Christianity had god crucified on a chi. So too we must suppose the original theology was chiastic
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Re: The genre of the gospels.

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Philo of Alexandria describes antiphonal congregational singing by a 1st century Jewish sect called, Therapeutae:
They rise up together and ... form themselves into two choirs, one of men and one of women, the leader chosen from each being the most honoured and most musical among them. They sing hymns to God composed of many measures and set to many melodies, sometimes chanting together, sometimes antiphonally ... It is thus that the choir of the Therapeutae of either sex -- note in response to note and voice to voice, the deep-toned voices of the men blending with the shrill voices of the women -- create a truly musical symphony. [De vita contemplativa ]
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Secret Alias
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Re: The genre of the gospels.

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From the Wikipedia article on Antiphon

The 'mirror' structure of Hebrew psalms renders it probable that the antiphonal method was present in the services of the ancient Israelites. According to the historian Socrates of Constantinople, antiphony was introduced into Christian worship by Ignatius of Antioch (died 107), who saw a vision of two choirs of angels.[3]

Antiphons have remained an integral part of the worship in the Byzantine and Armenian Rite.[4] The practice was not found in the Latin Church until more than two centuries later. Ambrose and Gregory the Great, who are known for their contributions to the formulation of Gregorian chant, are credited with 'antiphonaries', collections of works suitable for antiphon, which are still used in the Roman Catholic Church today.[5]
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Secret Alias
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Re: The genre of the gospels.

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Psalm 2 as Chiasm

A. Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?

B. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,

C.“Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

D. He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.

E.Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,

CENTER: “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

E.I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.

D.Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.

C.You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

B. Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.

A. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: The genre of the gospels.

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Spot on, Ben. Thanks for setting out your thoughts on this one. As mentioned in other discussions, it's an idea that has remained inchoate in my own mind (only suggesting the idea occasionally and without serious argument) but you've done the hard work on it.

A couple of points I would add: one is intertextuality with the Jewish scriptures. You have mentioned this but I'm sure you accept that it can be expanded much more fully. Thomas Thompson's discussion on the reiterated motifs and themes throughout the Jewish scriptures being extended into the gospels is a worthwhile support.

One of those themes TLT addresses is the core of Mark's gospel. It's the perfect extension of the OT scriptures with its theme of the "old Israel", those who heard the original message, having failed to hear or understand, so that the "new Israel" -- the audience of the gospel -- can learn and prove themselves to be unlike them and to be the "true/new Israel" or people of God. That's the message of the Exodus and repeated throughout the Primary History and "concluded" (via the prophets as you observe) in the gospels.

Someone mentioned the "secrecy" in Mark. This fact is sometimes stressed to the point of failing to recall that there is as much "openness" in Mark as there is 'secrecy". This is Mark's way of building up the theme of the blind and hard-hearted "old people of God" in contrast with the new. (But of course we also have Secret Mark to keep in mind.)

But have you found the explanation of Mark's ostensibly crude style, yet?

Thanks again
Neil
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Re: The genre of the gospels.

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Secret Alias wrote:SURE TO BE OVER THE HEADS OF 90% HERE
https://books.google.ca/books?id=e5iW24 ... al&f=false
In more ways than one...

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Re: The genre of the gospels.

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From the Wikipedia article on Antiphon

The 'mirror' structure of Hebrew psalms renders it probable that the antiphonal method was present in the services of the ancient Israelites. According to the historian Socrates of Constantinople, antiphony was introduced into Christian worship by Ignatius of Antioch (died 107), who saw a vision of two choirs of angels.[3]

Antiphons have remained an integral part of the worship in the Byzantine and Armenian Rite.[4] The practice was not found in the Latin Church until more than two centuries later. Ambrose and Gregory the Great, who are known for their contributions to the formulation of Gregorian chant, are credited with 'antiphonaries', collections of works suitable for antiphon, which are still used in the Roman Catholic Church today.[5]
Incidentally here is a Catholic Encyclopedia entry on the Antiphon in the Greek liturgy (i.e., the ancient Christian liturgy).

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01576a.htm
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Re: The genre of the gospels.

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Sorry I am posting from Canada
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Re: The genre of the gospels.

Post by Ben C. Smith »

neilgodfrey wrote:Spot on, Ben. Thanks for setting out your thoughts on this one. As mentioned in other discussions, it's an idea that has remained inchoate in my own mind (only suggesting the idea occasionally and without serious argument) but you've done the hard work on it.
Thanks, Neil. Once the notion had been birthed, I found many of your blog posts very useful in honing things down; that comment to which you link above is not the only one in which you have floated the idea.
A couple of points I would add: one is intertextuality with the Jewish scriptures. You have mentioned this but I'm sure you accept that it can be expanded much more fully.
Absolutely.
One of those themes TLT addresses is the core of Mark's gospel. It's the perfect extension of the OT scriptures with its theme of the "old Israel", those who heard the original message, having failed to hear or understand, so that the "new Israel" -- the audience of the gospel -- can learn and prove themselves to be unlike them and to be the "true/new Israel" or people of God. That's the message of the Exodus and repeated throughout the Primary History and "concluded" (via the prophets as you observe) in the gospels.
I suspect this is largely, perhaps even totally, correct.
But have you found the explanation of Mark's ostensibly crude style, yet?
Well, there is probably more to be done in this regard, but I think that Baum has given a general direction:

Since they were mainly concerned with their subject matter and not with displaying their literary skill, the narrators of the New Testament also largely abstained from elevating the colloquial Hellenistic prose of their sources to a more sophisticated literary level. All of these literary idiosyncrasies of the Gospels and Acts were designed to make the authors as invisible as possible and to highlight the priority of their subject matter.

The crude style is probably part of the genre. There may be more to it than that, but that is probably at least a good start.

Ben.
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Re: The genre of the gospels.

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I liked your observations on the way the narrative is framed in the Book of Joshua. It is also from Joshua (you no doubt know) that a number of scholars (more recently Crossan) have identified the source of the burial of Jesus in Mark's gospel.
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