The Quest for the Historical Jesus after the Demise of Authenticity: Toward a Critical Realist Philosophy of History in Jesus Studies 9780567662866, 9780567663757, 9780567662873

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The Quest for the Historical Jesus after the Demise of Authenticity: Toward a Critical Realist Philosophy of History in Jesus Studies
 9780567662866, 9780567663757, 9780567662873

Table of contents :
Cover
Title
Copyright
Dedication
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Philosophy and Method
Some Ancillary Matters
Part I: Philosophy
Chapter 1. Critical Realism 101
Critical Realism and its Procedural Derivatives
Subjectivity and Objectivity
Bias and Conversion
Decline and Progress
Functional Specialization
Chapter 2. Research and Interpretation
Research
Interpretation
The Aims of the Synoptic Tradition
Chapter 3. History and Dialectic
History
Dialectic
Part II: Historiography
Chapter 4. Dominical Situation
The Bethany/Bethphage Complex
The Missional Complex
The Festival Complex
The Jesus Network and its Diversity
The Messiah Complex
The Seeds of the End
Illness and Cure
Chapter 5. The Ecclesiastical Situation
Regional Case Study 1: Jerusalem and the Judean Church
Regional Case Study 2: Antioch
Regional Case Study 3: Ephesus and Asia
Regional Case Study 4: Corinth
Chapter 6. The Evangelical Situation
The Gospel of Mark and Media Dynamics of the Gospel Tradition
The Gospel of Matthew and the Geography of Tradition
The Gospel of Luke and the Emergence of the Gentile Mission
The Gospel of John and the Others
Conclusion
Subjectivity and Objectivity
Data and Reality
Continuity Between Judaism, Jesus, and the Church
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

LIBRARY OF NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES

540 Formerly the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement series

Editor Chris Keith

Editorial Board Dale C. Allison, John M.G. Barclay, Lynn H. Cohick, R. Alan Culpepper, Craig A. Evans, Robert Fowler, Simon J. Gathercole, John S. Kloppenborg, Michael Labahn, Love L. Sechrest, Robert Wall, Steve Walton, Catrin H. Williams

THE QUEST FOR THE HISTORICAL JESUS AFTER THE DEMISE OF AUTHENTICITY

Toward a Critical Realist Philosophy of History in Jesus Studies

By Jonathan Bernier

T&T CLARK Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP, UK 1385 Broadway, New York, NY 10018, USA BLOOMSBURY, T&T CLARK and the T&T Clark logo are trademarks of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published in Great Britain 2016 Paperback edition first published 2018 © Jonathan Bernier, 2016 Jonathan Bernier has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identifi ed as Author of this work. For legal purposes the Acknowledgements on p. ix constitute an extension of this copyright page. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc does not have any control over, or responsibility for, any third-party websites referred to or in this book. All internet addresses given in this book were correct at the time of going to press. The author and publisher regret any inconvenience caused if addresses have changed or sites have ceased to exist, but can accept no responsibility for any such changes. No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organization acting on or refraining from action as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by Bloomsbury or the author. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: HB: 978-0-5676-6286-6 PB: 978-0-5676-8170-6 ePDF: 978-0-5676-6287-3 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Bernier, Jonathan, author. Title: The quest for the historical Jesus after the demise of authenticity: toward a critical realist philosophy of history in Jesus studies / by Jonathan Bernier. Description: New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016. | Series: Library of New Testament studies; volume 540 | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifi ers: LCCN 2016032051 (print) | LCCN 2016033021 (ebook) | ISBN 9780567662866 (hardback) | ISBN 9780567662873 (epdf) Subjects: LCSH: Jesus Christ–Historicity. Classifi cation: LCC BT303.2 .B383 2016 (print) | LCC BT303.2 (ebook) | DDC 232.9/08–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016032051 Series: Library of New Testament Studies, volume 540 Typeset by Deanta Global Publishing Services, Chennai, India To find out more about our authors and books visit www.bloomsbury.com and sign up for our newsletters.

Dedicated to Anders Runesson

Contents Acknowledgments

ix

Introduction Philosophy and Method Some Ancillary Matters

1 6 12 Part I PHILOSOPHY

Chapter 1 Critical Realism 101 Critical Realism and its Procedural Derivatives Subjectivity and Objectivity Bias and Conversion Decline and Progress Functional Specialization

21 23 27 31 34 36

Chapter 2 Research and Interpretation Research Interpretation The Aims of the Synoptic Tradition

38 38 44 51

Chapter 3 History and Dialectic History Dialectic

55 55 69 Part II HISTORIOGRAPHY

Chapter 4 Dominical Situation The Bethany/Bethphage Complex The Missional Complex The Festival Complex The Jesus Network and its Diversity The Messiah Complex The Seeds of the End Illness and Cure

73 73 76 81 83 86 92 94

viii

Contents

Chapter 5 The Ecclesiastical Situation Regional Case Study 1: Jerusalem and the Judean Church Regional Case Study 2: Antioch Regional Case Study 3: Ephesus and Asia Regional Case Study 4: Corinth

97 102 110 114 122

Chapter 6 The Evangelical Situation The Gospel of Mark and Media Dynamics of the Gospel Tradition The Gospel of Matthew and the Geography of Tradition The Gospel of Luke and the Emergence of the Gentile Mission The Gospel of John and the Others

126 126 142 151 155

Conclusion Subjectivity and Objectivity Data and Reality Continuity Between Judaism, Jesus, and the Church

159 159 161 162

Bibliography Index

165 177

Acknowledgments This study is concerned with reassessing the possible contributions that the work of Ben F. Meyer and his teacher, the philosopher and theologian Bernard Lonergan, might yet offer for historical Jesus studies. I am not a philosopher or a theologian, and thus learning about Bernard Lonergan has been a steep learning curve. This curve has been greatly aided by interactions with the faculty and studies at Regis College at the University of Toronto, where Lonergan had taught from 1947 to 1953 and again from 1965 to 1975, and which today houses the Lonergan archives at its Lonergan Research Institute. Brian Bajzek, John D. Dadosky, Eric Mabry, Gilles M. Mongeau, Justin Schwartz, and Jeremy Wilkins deserve special mention. Wilkins’s gracious invitation to present to the Lonergan Research Institute Graduate Seminar in March of 2015 an early form of what became the introduction to this volume was a highpoint in this interaction. I benefited greatly also from getting to know Michael Vertin, emeritus professor in the Department of Philosophy at University of Toronto, who not only works on Lonergan’s thought but was also a personal friend of the man himself. The insight offered by all these scholars is greatly appreciated. As always, there is a laundry list of other persons to whom gratitude should be expressed, and please forgive in advance if my list is incomplete; that would be the consequence of an imperfect memory, not inadequate gratitude. Thank you to my Doktorvater, Anders Runesson, for the years that he invested in equipping me with the skills necessary to be a working New Testament scholar; to my former teachers Eileen Schuller and Stephen Westerholm, both of whom worked alongside Ben Meyer and gave me a better sense of the man himself; to my former classmates, John Bolton and Jordan Ryan, for the many hours spent discussing this project; thank you to Chris Keith, for first approaching me with the idea of writing this volume for T&T Clark’s Library of New Testament Studies, and for helping shepherd it through its various stages; to Alan Kirk, for his belief in the value of this work; to Bill Heroman and Anthony Lawson, for their moral support and willingness to read drafts and spot typos; to my parents, Alan and Anne Bernier, for their various forms of support over the years; to Debra and Jamie Lediet and Sascha Kokott, for a lifetime of friendship; to my colleagues and students at St.  Francis Xavier University, for being just such wonderful people to work with; and finally to the library staff at St FX’s Angus MacDonald Library, whose work was invaluable in allowing me to secure the resources needed to complete this project. All of you are amazing, each in your own way, and I only hope that this project will live up to your expectations. Antigonish, Nova Scotia June 15, 2016

Introduction

“After two hundred years of historical-Jesus research, the bulk of which by common consent has proved a failure, it would seem reasonable to ask the writer of yet another book on the topic not to make the old mistakes.”1 Historical Jesus research seems today to be at least as much at an impasse as it was when Ben F. Meyer wrote these words almost forty years ago. The criteria of authenticity, which were considered then to be the state of the art (but whose collective utility was already being called into question by Meyer, among others),2 are now widely recognized as bankrupt historiographical instruments in need of serious revision if not outright repudiation.3 As is perhaps inevitable in such situations, we are greeted on the 1. Ben F. Meyer, The Aims of Jesus (repr. ed. with new introduction; Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2002), 13. 2. Cf. R. S. Barbour, Traditio-Historical Criticism of the Gospels (Studies in Creative Criticism 4; London: SPCK, 1972), 1–27; Morna Hooker, “Christology and Methodology,” New Testament Studies 17/4 (1971): 480–87; Morna Hooker, “On Using the Wrong Tool,” Theology 75 (1972): 570–81; Meyer, Aims, 85–87; Ben F. Meyer, “Some Consequences of Birger Gerhardsson’s Account of the Origins of the Gospel Tradition,” in Jesus and the Oral Gospel Tradition (ed. Henry Wansbrough; Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 64; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1991), 424–40, esp. pp. 425–29. 3. For the criteria approach’s obituary, cf. the various contributions to Chris Keith and Anthony Le Donne, eds., Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity (London: T&T Clark, 2012). For intimations of its eventual doom, cf. Dale Allison, Jr., “How to Marginalize the Traditional Criteria of Authenticity,” in Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus (ed. Tom Holmén and Stanley E. Porter; 4 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 2011), 1:3–30; James D. G. Dunn, Jesus Remembered (Christianity in the Making 1; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003), 81–85, 330–36; Tom Holmén, “Authenticity Criteria,” in Encyclopedia of the Historical Jesus (ed. Craig A. Evans; New York: Routledge, 2010), 43–54; Chris Keith, Jesus’ Literacy: Scribal Literacy and the Teacher from Galilee (Library of Historical Jesus Studies 8/Library of New Testament Studies 413; London: T&T Clark, 2011), 27–50; Chris Keith, “Memory and Authenticity: Jesus Tradition and What Really Happened,” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunder der älteren Kirche 102 (2011): 155–77; Anthony Le Donne, The Historiographical Jesus: Memory, Typology, and the Son of David (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2009), 87–91; John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew (5 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1991–), 1:167–95, esp. pp. 167–68, 183–84; Rafael Rodríguez, “Authenticating Criteria: The Use and Misuse of a Critical Method,” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 7 (2009): 152–67; Rafael Rodríguez, Structuring Early Christian

2

The Quest for the Historical Jesus after the Demise of Authenticity

one hand by historiographical reactionaries who want to shore up the old ways of doing things4 and on the other by historiographical nihilists who tell us that if the old ways no longer work, then there can, in fact, be no way.5 Meanwhile, in the midst of all this, the most startling phenomenon is evident, namely genuine advance in the field of Jesus studies.6 In principle, this advance was conceptually complete in Meyer’s work, but it has taken some time for the field to fully register this breakthrough. The advance consists of overcoming the “rupture hypothesis,” that is, the hypothesis that an unbridgeable gulf exists between Judaism and Jesus on the one hand and Jesus and Christianity on the other.7 While what has been described as the Third Quest has been focused upon overcoming the conceptual rupture between Judaism and Jesus, the effort to overcome the conceptual rupture between Jesus and Christianity has remained on the margins of historical Jesus studies for some time. Dunn’s magisterial Jesus Remembered represented a landmark contribution to overcoming this conceptual rupture between Jesus and Christianity. In this work, Dunn articulated in a clear and timely fashion two insights. These insights can perhaps best be articulated through reference to Marxsen’s three settings for the Jesus tradition: the setting in Jesus’ ministry, the setting in the early church, and the setting in the gospels; or, alternatively, the dominical,8 the ecclesiastical,

Memory: Jesus in Tradition, Performance and Text (Library of New Testament Studies 407; London: T&T Clark, 2010); Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter, The Quest for the Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criteria (trans. M. Eugene Boring; Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002); Alexander J. M. Wedderburn, Jesus and the Historians (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010), 161–82. 4. Cf. Paul Foster, “Memory, Orality, and the Fourth Gospel: Three Dead-Ends in Historical Jesus Studies,” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 10 (2012): 191–227, esp. p. 227. 5. Cf. the declaration of a “New No Quest” by Zeba Crook, “Memory Distortion and the Historical Jesus” (paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Baltimore, MD, November 25, 2013), a presentation that largely recapitulated the argument advanced previously in Zeba Crook, “Collective Memory Distortion and the Quest for the Historical Jesus,” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 11/3 (2013): 53–76. 6. In addition to the negative argument in Keith and Le Donne, Demise of Authenticity, significant examples of this advance include Dunn, Jesus Remembered; Keith, Jesus’ Literacy; Le Donne, Historiographical Jesus; Rodríguez, Structuring Early Christian Memory; Jens Schröter, From Jesus to the New Testament: Early Christian Theology and the Origin of the Christian Canon (trans. Wayne Coppins; Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2013). 7. Cf. Meyer, Aims, 223–41. Cf. also the discussion in Ben F. Meyer, The Early Christians: Their World Mission and Self-Discovery (Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1986), 14–22, esp. pp. 14–15. Cf. also the comparable argument from Meyer’s McMaster colleague, E. P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1985), 18–22. 8. There might be those who will object to the use of the term ‘dominical,’ stating that it inescapably affirms Jesus’s lordship. To such a hypothetical objection, I would respond

Introduction

3

and the evangelical.9 The first insight advanced by Dunn is that all the dominical material found in the New Testament and other emergent Christian sources, regardless of their historical relationship to the Jesus of Nazareth, has been shaped by the emergent Christians, and thus is always already ecclesiastical material10; the second insight, that emergent Christian identity, thought, and practice were effected in large part by Jesus and his operations, such that the ecclesiastical material took its distinctive shape precisely because of an antecedent dominical situation.11 The evangelical material is ecclesiastical, and the ecclesiastical is neither independent of nor discontinuous from dominical activity; the three categories—dominical, ecclesiastical, and evangelical—are mutually entailed in a markedly dynamic fashion. These insights, combined with the Third Quest’s insight into the relationship between Jesus and Second Temple Judaism, have effectively consigned the rupture hypothesis to the dustbin of historiography, such that any future historical Jesus studies that suppose the said hypothesis will appear simply antiquated. The continuity between Jesus and Christianity, I would suggest, is at the heart of the Fourth Quest for the historical Jesus, the advent of which we might associate most fully with the publication of Jesus Remembered. These insights have methodological consequences. Precisely because the gospels represent always already Christian mediation of Jesus of Nazareth, the question “Which material is unmediated by the church?” is from the off a question mal

by saying only that by my usage I make no such affirmation. Rather, I use the word only because it is less cumbersome to repeatedly write ‘dominical setting’ than it is to repeatedly write ‘the setting of Jesus’s life.’ 9. Cf. Willi Marxsen, Mark the Evangelist: Studies on the Redaction History of the Gospel (trans. James Boyce, Donald Juel, William Poehlmann, and Roy A. Harrisville; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1969), 23–24. 10. This insight is not original to Dunn, of course; William Wrede, The Messianic Secret (trans. J. C. G. Greig; Cambridge: James Clarke, 1971) represents a classic articulation thereof. Cf. also the discussions in Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus: A Critical Study of its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede (trans. W. Montgomery; New York: MacMillan, 1968), 330–97; Christopher Tuckett, ed., The Messianic Secret (Issues in Religion and Theology 1; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983). Note also that Marxsen’s idea of three settings for the Jesus tradition represents a development from the work of Joachim Jeremias, The Parables of Jesus (trans. S. H. Hooke; 2nd rev. ed.; London: SCM Press, 1972), 23, who identified two settings: the dominical and the ecclesiastical. Marxsen’s distinction between ecclesiastical and evangelical settings was thus, in effect, always a distinction between nonevangelical ecclesiastical and evangelical ecclesiastical settings. 11. Dunn, Jesus Remembered, 125–34. Contemporaneous with Jesus Remembered, Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003), 53–54, argued similarly that “the only reasonable factor that accounts for the central place of the figure of Jesus in early Christianity is the impact of Jesus’ ministry and its consequences, especially for his followers.” Cf. pp. 53–64 for his more extended treatment of this theme.

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The Quest for the Historical Jesus after the Demise of Authenticity

posée. Yet, it was after unmediated dominical facts that the criteria of authenticity tilted, precisely on the supposition that ancient ecclesiastical mediation was a barrier to contemporary historical knowing. As John P. Meier, who has delivered what is probably the single-best articulation of the criteria approach, phrases the question: “How do we distinguish what comes from Jesus . . . from what was created by the oral tradition of the early Church . . . and what was produced by the editorial work (redaction) of the evangelists?”12 That is to say: How does one distinguish which material in the now-extant tradition came from which of Marxsen’s three settings? The criteria set out to distinguish unmediated dominical data from mediated ecclesiastical or evangelical data, the unmediated to be deemed “authentic,” and the mediated “inauthentic.”13 More nuanced treatments might qualify unmediated dominical data as relatively unmediated dominical data, but such difference is procedurally a difference that makes no difference: the object of investigation remains material that can be ascribed to Jesus rather than to the early church. Dunn’s advance, following Meyer, is to recognize that the texts written by the Christians during their first decades, not least of all the canonical gospels, constitute not a barrier to but, rather, a conduit for, a genuine historical apprehension of Jesus of Nazareth. With any significant advance, there must come a time of consolidation that, on the one hand, shores up the breakthrough lest either the reactionaries or the nihilists manage to shut down the discussion while, on the other hand, providing the groundwork for subsequent advances. This is the situation in which historical Jesus studies currently finds itself. Some of the old mistakes have been corrected and, consequently, some of the old failures are being reversed, and if we make good on these promising developments, then we might conceivably correct more mistakes, reverse more failures. This study aims to contribute to this work of consolidation, by undertaking the specific exercise of more precisely defining the task of historical Jesus studies, using the conceptual resources made available by the critical realism that Ben Meyer pioneered within New Testament studies and which Dunn explicitly appropriates as the basis of his own epistemology.14 That is to say, insofar as the genuine advance in historical Jesus studies that we have been privileged to witness in our time was already from the beginning grounded within

12. Meier, Marginal Jew, 1:167. 13. For a recent and succinct overview of the development of the notion of “authenticity,” cf. Anthony Le Donne, “The Rise of the Quest for an Authentic Jesus: An Introduction to the Crumbling Foundations of Jesus Research,” in Keith and Le Donne, Demise of Authenticity, 3–21. Although Marxsen is typically remembered as a founding father of redaction criticism, Chris Keith, “The Indebtedness of the Criteria Approach to Form Criticism and Recent Attempts to Rehabilitate the Search for an Authentic Jesus,” in Keith and Le Donne, Demise of Authenticity, 25–48, quite rightly situates the criteria of authenticity in relation to form criticism, insofar as their development (as well as that of redaction criticism) was predicated upon an essentially form-critical understanding of early Christian development. 14. Dunn, Jesus Remembered, 110–11.

Introduction

5

a broadly critical-realist perspective, it seems well and good to more carefully think about historical Jesus studies in an intentionally critical-realist fashion. “Critical realism” is a pernicious term, however. As noted, in New Testament studies it has been most fully developed by the aforementioned Ben Meyer,15 who explicitly identified his critical realism with that of Bernard Lonergan, under whom he studied at the Gregorian University in Rome,16 and more recently popularized by N. T. Wright.17 Yet, the term is associated in the broader human sciences not only with Lonergan’s thought but also with more than one set of entirely unrelated traditions within the philosophy of science.18 Robert B. Stewart is mistaken, however, when he argues that the critical realism advocated by Wright “is a term borrowed from philosophy of science and carried over into theology and biblical studies.”19 Wright’s, and also Dunn’s, critical realism is that of Meyer,20 and

15. Cf. Meyer, Aims; Ben F. Meyer, Christus Faber: The Master-Builder and the House of God (Allison Park, PA: Pickwick Publications, 1992); Ben F. Meyer, Critical Realism and the New Testament (Allison Park, PA: Pickwick Publications, 1989); Meyer, Early Christians; Ben F. Meyer, Reality and Illusion in New Testament Scholarship: A Primer in Critical Realist Hermeneutics (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1994). 16. The central presentations of which are to be found in Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (ed. Frederick E. Crowe and Robert M. Doran; 5th ed.; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 3; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992); Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Method in Theology (New York: Herder and Herder, 1972). Note that when I cite Insight throughout this study, my pagination will conform to that found in the now-standard 1992 edition, which differs from those published previously and, unfortunately for our purposes, from those used by Meyer. Meyer’s debt to Lonergan is perhaps most clearly articulated in Reality and Illusion, viii, when he states that his “philosophical stance is entirely that of Lonergan. He is often cited; intended originality vis-à-vis his work is negligible. . . . No attempt is made to improve on the master.” Cf. also Meyer, Critical Realism, 1–16, 147–56. 17. N. T. Wright, introduction to Meyer, Aims, 9a–9l; N. T. Wright, New Testament and the People of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God 1; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1992), 32–37. 18. Cf. the succinct overview of the “Varieties of Critical Realism” provided by Donald L. Denton, Historiography and Hermeneutics in Jesus Studies: An Examination of the Work of John Dominic Crossan and Ben F. Meyer (London: T&T Clark, 2004), 210–25. 19. Robert B. Stewart, The Quest of the Hermeneutical Jesus: The Impact of Hermeneutics on the Jesus Research of John Dominic Crossan and N.T. Wright (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2008), 77. Robert L. Webb, “The Historical Enterprise and Historical Jesus Research,” in Key Events in the Life of the Historical Jesus (ed. Darrell L. Bock and Robert L. Webb; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 9–94, pp. 28–29, n. 55, evinces a similar confusion as he tries to assimilate these variants into a single phenomenon known as “critical realism.” There is, in fact, no such single phenomenon. 20. Dunn, Jesus Remembered, 110–11; N. T. Wright, introduction to Meyer, Aims, 9a–9l; Wright, New Testament and the People of God, 32.

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Meyer’s that of Lonergan, and contra Stewart,21 this comes out of disputes within the Thomistic tradition in which Lonergan was trained and operated.22 No matter how adequate or otherwise might be Wright’s appropriation of Meyer’s, and thus Lonergan’s critical realism,23 it remains the case that it was this critical realism and only this critical realism that he set out to appropriate. As such, I can and will leave these other critical realisms entirely to one side, not because they are neither worthy of discussion nor could potentially help elucidate matters of dispute in historical Jesus studies—quite the opposite might well be the case—but simply because my particular interest in this study is to develop the critical realism already current to a certain extent in New Testament scholarship. That critical realism is the one pioneered by, and associated with, Bernard Lonergan.

Philosophy and Method This study moves beyond recurrent concerns with method to that which stands prior to method. There is a supposition, current among historical Jesus scholars, that method is our salvation: if our mousetraps failed to catch the mouse, then surely we require a better mouse trap. There seems a certain indubitable logic to this position: our historiographies are the result of our historical methods, and thus if our historiographies are inadequate, then so might be our historical methods. Thus does Meyer ask: “Is it possible that progress in the development of historical techniques . . . might resolve the dilemmas of historical-Jesus research?”24 Perhaps to the surprise of many a reader, Meyer answers this question with a negative, but a negative that must be understood properly not as the nonsensical denial that better historical methods can and do yield better history but, rather, as the affirmation that our inadequate historical methods are, in fact, the consequence of antecedent philosophical inadequacies.25 Meyer would not deny that we can and do come to methodological impasse and that such impasse requires a

21. Cf. Stewart, Hermeneutical Jesus, 112–13, n. 4. 22. Cf. Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Verbum: Word and Idea in Aquinas (ed. Robert M. Doran and Frederick E. Crowe; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 2; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997 [1967]), which collects four articles written c. 1946–49; Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Grace and Freedom: Operative Grace in the Thought of St. Thomas Aquinas (ed. Daniel Monsour, Robert M. Doran and Frederick E. Crowe; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 1; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000 [1971]), which collects two articles written c. 1941–42. That this work on Aquinas precedes Lonergan’s work in Insight and Method by up to fifteen years attests to the extent to which his work is grounded in the Thomistic tradition. 23. Cf. the discussion in Denton, Hermeneutics and Historiography, 218–20. 24. Meyer, Aims, 13. 25. Ibid., 14.

Introduction

7

methodological solution. He would simply observe that methodological impasse is typically a symptom of a deeper malaise and that the quest for methodological solutions will be incomplete, inadequate, and not improbably unsuccessful until we engage with the deeper concerns. This drives us toward that upon which our historical methods are predicated, namely our philosophies of history. In thinking through these matters, let us turn to the words of R. G. Collingwood, whose thought in the philosophy of history was to greatly influence both Lonergan and Meyer and, in fact, become foundational to modern historiography26: Philosophy is reflective. The philosophizing mind never simply thinks about an object, it always, while thinking about any object, thinks also about its own thought about that object. Philosophy may thus be called thought of the second degree, thought about thought. For example, to discover the distance of the earth to the sun is a task for thought of the first degree, in this case for astronomy; to discover what it is exactly that we are doing when we discover the distance of the earth from the sun is a task for thought of the second degree, in this instance for logic or the philosophy of science.27

Mutatis mutandis, to discover the historical Jesus is a task for historical investigation, or thought of the first degree, while to discover what we are doing when we discover the historical Jesus is a task for the philosophy of history, or thought of the second degree. Historical method is how we actually go about the work of historical investigation, which is to say that it is the practice of thought in the first degree; philosophy of history, or thought of the second degree, is how we go about determining the best practice in such investigative work, precisely by defining the nature of history and our practice of doing history. Collingwood is useful in helping us understand the etiology of methodological impasse. We move toward this understanding by following forward the same line of thought that led us to identify method as a problem in the first place. Yes, we can affirm that our historiographies are the result of our historical methods, such that if our historiographies are inadequate, then so might well be our historical methods; but, in turn, our historical methods are the result of our philosophies of history, such that if our historical methods are inadequate then so might well be our philosophies of history. Meyer, in fact, moves even beyond the level of the philosophy of history to the cultural matrix from which contemporary philosophies of history emerge, arguing that our recurrent struggles in historical Jesus studies are the result of a “basic and baffling dilemma, not a technical but

26. Lonergan, Method, 203–08; Meyer, Aims, 81–92; Meyer, Critical Realism, 157–72. For a recent overview of Collingwood, specifically concerned with historical Jesus studies, cf. Jordan Ryan, “Jesus at the Crossroads of Inference and Imagination,” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 13 (2015): 66–89. 27. R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History (rev. ed.; ed. Jan van der Dussen; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 1.

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The Quest for the Historical Jesus after the Demise of Authenticity

a cultural dilemma,”28 namely that “the heritage of Christian belief affirms as indispensable what the heritage of modern culture excludes as impossible.”29 One cannot easily disagree with Meyer on this point, regardless of what position one might adopt vis-à-vis this cultural dilemma; yet, in this study I am not interested in following him quite so far down the rabbit hole.30 Rather, I am interested in the question, intermediate between method and culture, of philosophy: intermediate because, much as Lonergan suggests that “theology mediates between a cultural matrix and the significance and role of a religion in that matrix,”31 I would suggest that philosophy mediates between a cultural matrix and the role and of knowledge generation within that matrix. Still, it is probably worthwhile to spend some time on the broader intellectual context in which we currently find ourselves. I will spurn the venerable “history of scholarship” genre that tends to preface works in biblical studies, not least of all in the studies related to the historical Jesus; one interested in such a narrative can easily consult any of a large number of extant introductions to more advanced texts.32 Instead, I want to take a bird’s-eye view of the last two centuries of intellectual development in the Western tradition. The nineteenth century was marked by what will probably in the long-run be recognized as one of the greatest intellectual achievements in human history: the development of development.33

28. Meyer, Aims, 14. 29. Ibid., 15. 30. Lonergan wrote significantly on the matter of culture throughout his works: Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Collection (ed. Frederick E. Crowe and Robert M. Doran; 2nd ed.; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993 [1967]), 232–45; Lonergan, Insight, 553–72; Lonergan, Method, 27–99, 235–66; Bernard J. F. Lonergan, A Second Collection: Papers by Bernard J. F. Lonergan (ed. William F. J. Ryan and Bernard J. Tyrell; London: Longman, Darton, and Todd, 1974), 1–9; Bernard J. F. Lonergan, A Third Collection: Papers by Bernard J.F. Lonergan (ed. Frederick E. Crowe; New York: Paulist Press, 1985), 55–109, 239–50. Lonerganian thought on culture has moved on since then, cf. Robert M. Doran, Theology and the Dialectics of History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), 473–558; Neil Ormerod, Re-Visioning the Church: An Experiment in Systematic-Historical Ecclesiology (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014), 31–98. 31. Lonergan, Method, xi. 32. For purposes of the present discussion cf. esp. Dunn, Jesus Remembered, 11–97. 33. “Development” here is understood not in terms of the now thoroughly discredited twentieth-century neo- and postcolonial ideology that sought to conform the entire world to western European life-ways. Rather, what is meant is the idea that any adequate apprehension of any given reality requires one to understand the omnipresent processes of often (but not always) incremental change that produced the said reality. Lonergan’s single best and, for our purposes, most relevant account of development is to be found in Bernard Lonergan, The Triune God: Doctrines (ed. Robert M. Doran and H. Daniel Monsour; trans. Michael G. Shields; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 11; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), 29–255, which represents his most sustained concrete exercise in

Introduction

9

That is not to say that the nineteenth century was the first to experience or recognize change-over-time: people had long noticed that the ways things are today are not the ways they were a year, a decade, a generation, or generations earlier. Yet, the nineteenth century put change-over-time at the center of the intellectual agenda as had never before been the case. We see intimations of this in Hegel, but it is really from the 1840s that we see this breakthrough decisively established, when the Tübingen School achieved its greatest influence, and Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto and Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine were published. Then came Darwin, Nietzsche, and Freud. By 1900, we understood to an extent unimagined in 1800 that church, society, physiology, morality, psychology were all products of change-over-time, and that only by understanding the processes of change out of which these matters emerged and to which they are subject can we truly come to understand such issues. Within the specific area of historical Jesus studies, the definitive shift toward developmental thinking occurred with Strauss’s Life of Jesus Critically Examined, although, of course, he was building upon antecedents, most notably Reimarus’ Fragments. Yet, as with any great achievement, there was still much work to be done. Conceptual resources take time to develop, and the nineteenth century had not yet developed the resources necessary to adequately apprehend how it could be the case that knowledge that is the product of development could also adequately apprehend reality. Thus, these great pioneers had to, by and large, exempt themselves from their own accounts. Freud probably never said that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” but it does present nicely a problem that was left inadequately addressed as we moved forward into the twentieth century: if knowledge is always the result of development, then how can it also apprehend truth? Today we might phrase this same question in terms of construction: If all is construction, then how is anything true? In one sense, this is a reiteration of a problem that goes back to the pre-Socratics—that of the relationship between fixity and change—and the difficulty faced by the twentieth century is perhaps, in principle, little different from that faced by those ancient thinkers: If truth is fixed and eternal, then how can knowledge that is the product of development, and thus fluid and temporal, apprehend truth? The vaunted postmodern suspicion of metanarratives34 should probably be seen as a result of this struggle: when we realized that Marxism was as susceptible to Marxist critique as was any other developmental scheme, or psychoanalysis to psychoanalytical critique, etc., we began to lose confidence in the capacity of these

dialectic with specific reference to early Christianity. Note that this section of Triune God was previously published in English translation as Bernard J. F. Lonergan, The Way to Nicea: The Dialectical Development of Trinitarian Theology (trans. Conn O’Donovan; London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1976). 34. Famously declared by Jean-François Lyotard, La condition postmoderne: rapport sure le savoir (Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1979), 7: “en simplifiant à l’extrême, on tient pour «postmoderne» l’incrédulité à l’égard des métarécits.”

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great modernist intellectual traditions to apprehend any reality outside their own Wittgenstein-esque language games. Thus did the twentieth century come to fixate upon the matter of the knowing subject. Fully apprehending that we as subjects are the products of development, there was a collective striving to understand how we can then know anything at all. Historical Jesus studies participated in this twentieth-century struggle with the subject, first through the effort to confront the subject by the turn to the existential in the work of Bultmann35 and then in the effort to neutralize the subject via purportedly nonsubjective criteria. Today, the criteria have broken down because we now realize what Morna Hooker told us almost fifty years ago: that the criteria are not nonsubjective at all.36 They simply do not achieve the desired objectivity, because objectivity is to be located not in our techniques but, rather, in ourselves. We thus find ourselves again at a loss with regard to how to proceed, and this precisely because we still lack a robust account of how we can both be subjects produced by the reality of development and, at the same time, adequately apprehend the development of reality. Two tasks thus present themselves. The first is to give an account of how I, a knowing subject, can be precisely that: a subject who knows—not simply a subject who thinks, who believes, who guesses, but, rather, one who can adjudicate between truth and error with a reasonable confidence that my judgments are other than arbitrary. The second is to give an account of how, despite or perhaps better because of the fact that, the data for the historical Jesus and emergent Christianity studies are by definition the products of development just as much as we ourselves, it can, nonetheless, be the case that we can work through them toward historical reality. We can summarize these two tasks in a single question: How is it that I, a  subject, can interact with the products of other subjects, in this case long dead, so as to make objective statements about an ancient reality? The second of the above tasks has been the resolute focus of James Dunn and,

35. Bultmann’s wrestling with the subject is related intricately with his concern with demythologizing, which anticipates Lonergan’s insight that humans operate always at the level of their time: there was a time when the language of mythology was adequate to convey certain insights into human existence, but as that time has passed any effort to understand those past insights must now render them explicable in the idioms of our own time. Cf. Rudolf Bultmann, “A Case for Demythologizing,” in Kerygma and Myth II: A Theological Debate (ed. Hans Werner Bartsch; trans. Reginald H. Fuller; London: SPCK, 1962), 181–94; Rudolf Bultmann, Jesus Christ and Mythology (London: SCM Press, 1958); Rudolf Bultmann, “New Testament and Mythology,” in Kerygma and Myth I: A Theological Debate (ed. Hans Werner Bartsch; trans. Reginald H. Fuller; 2nd ed.; London: SPCK, 1964), 1–44. 36. Hooker, “Christology and Methodology,” 482–83; Hooker, “On Using the Wrong Tools,” 576–77. Cf. Meyer, “Some Consequences,” 427, who identifies in Hooker’s critiques “a mistaken (implicitly positivist) recoil from subjectivity,” as for Meyer the problem is not subjectivity but rather the erroneous supposition that subjectivity is a problem in the first place.

Introduction

11

following him, the work of scholars interested in social memory theory.37 We now have a much better understanding than we did even a decade ago of how it can be the case that the gospels are wholly constructed narratives on the one hand, and yet on the other, tell us a great deal about the historical Jesus. This advance, however, has not yet been matched by an equally resolute focus upon the conditions under which the historical Jesus scholar can operate as a subject capable of knowing. Without such an account, we are left with nagging doubts regarding our capacity to even make historical judgments, doubts that tend to shut down actual historical investigation in favor of interminable epistemological debates. What is needed is to make peace with our own subjectivity and realize that it is an asset rather than an obstacle. We must remember, however, that, while the professional biblical scholar typically holds the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, few of us are philosophers in the narrower, disciplinary sense. Thus, we cannot be expected to create an adequate understanding of the knowing subject from the ground up. What we can do is turn to those who have spent a great deal of time on the matter. Jens Schröter’s recent engagement with such discussions in German philosophy of history thus constitutes a landmark contribution.38 I do not aim, in this study, to compete with Schröter’s contribution but, rather, to complement it through engagement with a philosophy of history developed from the resources of a distinct, yet parallel, intellectual tradition. I have chosen to work with the thought of Bernard Lonergan, for a number of reasons. One has to do with a shared focus: in a very real sense, the entirety of Lonergan’s project is concerned with the question of the knowing subject, exactly the matter with which we are concerned here. We further have the considerable advantage of a Lonerganian amanuensis in the New Testament guild, namely the late Ben Meyer, who has already undertaken a great deal of the work necessary to introduce Lonerganian insights into New Testament studies. The above having been said, however, I do not intend to slavishly follow either Meyer or Lonergan; rather, I intend to move beyond their work within the specific area of New Testament studies.39 This is to say, to be Lonerganian or to follow

37. Cf. Dale C. Allison, Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2010); Dunn, Jesus Remembered, 125–35; Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), 319–57; Keith, Jesus’ Literacy; Keith, “Memory and Authenticity”; Alan Kirk and Tom Thatcher, eds., Memory, Tradition, and Text: Uses of the Past in Early Christianity (Semeia Studies 52; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature Press, 2005); Anthony Le Donne and Tom Thatcher, eds., The Fourth Gospel in First-Century Media Culture (Library of New Testament Studies 426; London: T&T Clark, 2011); Le Donne, Historiographical Jesus; Robert K. McIver, Memory, Jesus, and the Synoptic Gospels (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011); Rodríguez, Structuring Early Christian Memory. 38. Schröter, From Jesus to the New Testament. 39. Writes Lonergan, Verbum, vii: “To correct Aristotle, one must go beyond him; and to go beyond him is to set up a system equal in comprehensiveness and more successful in inner

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in Meyer’s footsteps is not simply to recapitulate but, rather, to build upon the masters’ achievements as the basis for new advances of one’s own. What follows in this study will be divided into two parts. The first will lay out the basic structure of Lonergan’s critical realism as it relates most fully to the task of New Testament historiography while the second will undertake the work of historiography proper. In Chapter 1, I offer a “Critical Realism 101,” which will introduce the reader to basic Lonerganian concepts. In Chapters 2 and 3, I expand upon Lonergan’s notion of “functional specialization”40 in order to demonstrate how it most fully relates to the work of the New Testament scholar: in the former chapter, I address the functional specialties that Lonergan designates as “research” and “interpretation” while in the latter, I address the functional specialties that he designates as “history” and “dialectics.” Chapters 4 through 6 will be organized according, roughly, to Marxsen’s three Sitze im Leben of the Jesus tradition, already mentioned: the dominical, the ecclesiastical, and the evangelical.41 The telos of this second part will be to consider more fully what happens when we dissolve the rupture hypothesis and fully integrate the study of the historical Jesus not only into the study of Second Temple Judaism—a task that scholars have been carrying out consistently and with really quite admirable success since the 1970s—but also into the study of emergent Christianity.

Some Ancillary Matters Some ancillary matters must be considered. First, given the tendency for interminable terminological hand-wringing42 within the discipline of New Testament studies, coherence and in conformity with fact.” It needs to be noted, however, that such correction of Meyer’s work is possible only because Meyer himself developed such a comprehensive, coherent, and factual account of early Christianity; if I see further, it is only because I have stood upon the shoulders of such a giant. The necessity for such correction is grounded in three realities: one, that no scholar, no matter how competent and insightful she or he might be, will be correct on all matters all the time; two, that because of Meyer’s extended illness and relatively early passing, his work never achieved the degree of comprehensiveness that it might otherwise have; three, that the academic discourse always moves on, such that any given scholarly enterprise will inevitably begin to show the marks of time, engaging with questions that might no longer hold the same urgency to, and ignoring questions of great urgency for, the present generation, while also giving answers that might no longer be adequate. 40. Most fully discussed in the latter two-thirds of Lonergan, Method. 41. Owing to the difference in historiographical commitments, this study will need to approach these categories differently than did Marxsen himself. Of particular note is how we will approach the evangelical: I simply find myself unable to follow Marxsen in approaching the situation in which the Evangelists wrote as a redaction-critical problem, but rather as a problem to be addressed by a properly inferential historiography. 42. Almost invariably a sign of a discipline that has lost confidence in its own capacity to know.

Introduction

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I  find it necessary to define certain basic terms that really should require no definition at all. The first are “Christian” and “Christianity.” There are those who want to excise the word “Christian” and “Christianity” from the study of emergent Christianity, on the warrant that what these people followed and held to be true was not identical to what Christians would later follow and hold to be true. It goes without saying, of course, that the latter is, the case: indeed, the Christians of 30 do not follow or hold to the same things as the Christians of 330s. It does not follow that we cannot refer to both by the same name. Consider the analogy of a newborn infant. He or she has a name, given to him or her by others not long after or even possibly before his or her birth, but he or she does not yet know that name. By the time he or she is thirty years of age, he or she will not only know that name but also be quite unlike his or her newborn self. Conceptually, it seems no more difficult to refer to Christians of 30 using the same name as Christians of 330 than it is to refer to a child of thirty hours by the same name as he or she will go by at age thirty years. The name designates the entity, not the state of development that the entity has currently attained. Remember that the question here is not this: By what words did these people designate themselves? Rather, it is this: By what words do we as modern scholars designate them?43 The answer to these questions need not be the same word(s). As such we can use “Christianity” to refer cumulatively to the practices, beliefs, collective spaces, and institutions characteristic of those persons in whose horizons Jesus of Nazareth occupies a central position, such persons being referred to as Christians.44 Such designations are intended entirely, and only, to provide the

43. Confusion between these questions often mars even the best discussions regarding what to call these persons and their movement. For instance, James Dunn, Beginning from Jerusalem (Christianity in the Making 2; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009), 5, argues that “to describe the birth of a religious movement from outside, with all the hindsight awareness of what that movement became, is of course a respectable goal for a historian. The more challenging task, however, is to describe that historical sequence from within, to ask how the participants understood themselves and what was happening, when horizons were limited and outcomes unknown.” Not surprisingly, given that it was yet a young movement seeking to define its own identity, Dunn (cf. pp. 5–16 of the same work) concludes that the Christianity of the first two or three generations did not yet have a single self-descriptor; yet, forced by analytical necessity to identify the field with which he is concerned, he falls back upon the language of “Christians” and “Christianity,” used more or less in the manner followed in this study. In doing so, he confirms in practice what he was trying to avoid in theory: that vis-à-vis the matter of terminological reference, the historian’s task is to define the human groups with which we are concerned, precisely from our retrospective position and with all the information available to us that was not available to the historical actors under discussion. We do know how things turned out, and it is hardly a symptom of teleological thinking to ask why they turned out in the manner that they did. 44. This will, admittedly, become murkier with the rise of Islam, the horizons of which will furnish Jesus with a degree of importance, but since we are operating some centuries

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conceptual apparatus necessary to talk intelligently about these people and their practices and beliefs. Dunn is correct that “what we must not do is to allow any use of the term itself (‘Christianity’) to presume the corollary that the distinctives of full-grown Christianity were already present in these beginnings,” for this would “pre-empt what is one of the key issues: what are the distinctives of Christianity, and when did they first emerge?”45 My usage of “Christian” and “Christianity” makes no presumption that the Christianity of 30 CE is “full-grown” (the very term smacks of a teleology in which the religion moved inexorably and inevitably toward Nicea) while providing a conceptual framework for asking developmental questions about the emergence of Christianity. One of the most recurrently useful of human inventions is the adjective. It allows me to take a noun, such as Christian, and qualify my discussion with regard to time, place, and other dimensions. Thus, recognizing that the Christianity of 30 is not identical to that of 330, I can introduce an adjective adequate to designate that difference. For this, I typically employ the adjective “emergent,” as it captures quite well the reality that at this stage in Christianity’s development, it is still emerging from within its Second Temple Jewish matrix. Sometimes, “early” might also be used, and should be considered in this specific context more or less semantically identical to “emergent.” Finding it necessary to distinguish between those who followed Jesus during his lifetime and those who followed him afterward, I typically use the term “Jesus movement” for the former. It should be noted, however, that the Jesus movement and emergent Christianity are in actuality the same entity, just at different moments of development and thus with different features and characteristics. A terminological distinction between them is helpful in that it saves me from constantly having to qualify whether I am addressing the history of this group in the period before Jesus’s life or the period thereafter, and to that end I am perfectly happy to follow the convention that reserves the word “Christian” for the period after Jesus’s death. Words, after all, are tools, not masters, and as such we can employ them as best facilitates any given discussion. A second term to be defined is “Jew” or “Judean.” Many of the same concerns are raised with regard to these terms as were discussed above with regard to Christianity, and, conceptually, the basic suppositions about the nature of language and phenomena laid out above can be assumed here. As such, we can use “Judaism” to refer cumulatively to the practices, beliefs, collective spaces, and institutions characteristic of those persons whose horizons focus upon

before the said rise we can happily avoid that murkiness here. That said, this murkiness is not necessarily intractable, and can probably find resolution through consideration of the fact that Jesus is significantly overshadowed in most Islamic practice and belief by both the Qur’an and Muhammad. Such a recognition does, however, permit the observation that whenever one designates a group of persons, one must allow for the possibility that it will evince fuzzy borders with other groups. 45. Dunn, Beginning from Jerusalem, 6.

Introduction

15

fidelity to the God of Israel through fulfillment of that God’s expectations as outlined in the Jewish Torah.46 “Jew,” and the adjectival form “Jewish,” require a definition somewhat less analogous than that presented above for “Christian,” for “Jew” and “Jewish” are strictly speaking ethnic categories that preexist the religious,47 such that it is the case that most, but not necessarily all, practitioners of Judaism were and are ethnically Jewish (it should also be

46. The qualifier “Jewish” in front of Torah is necessary to distinguish Judaism from Samaritanism. It ought to be noted that this definition will probably not suffice as a general definition for Judaism in later centuries, as the rise of Christianity would eventually compel a narrower definition of the religion’s “border lines” (to borrow a phrase from Daniel Boyarin, Border Lines: The Partition of Judeo-Christianity [Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004]). By excluding from its normative expression those who worship Jesus as Lord, it functionally excluded from its ranks Torah-observant Christians, even if they might be ethnically Jewish (an exclusion that, by and large, continues today, and is generally reciprocated by Christianity: ethnically Jewish persons are welcomed in Christianity, but historically not without suspicion, because for most of its history, “Torahobservant Christians” would be considered an oxymoron). This definition is very much influenced by the concept of a common Judaism articulated by E. P. Sanders, Judaism: Practice and Belief, 63 BCE-66 CE (London: SCM Press, 1992), although for my purposes I find Sanders’s definition thereof to be limited in three crucial ways: one, it focuses too greatly upon normative expressions; two, it focuses too much attention upon Palestine to the detriment of the Diaspora; three, although Sanders himself is keenly aware of the micro-spatial and institutional dimensions of Jewish religion, this is not reflected in his definition. Thus I would suggest that while the statement “Within Palestine, ‘normal’ or ‘common’ Judaism was what the priests and the people agreed on” might be adequate for Sanders’s purpose, for mine, something such as “Judaism is what all its practitioners agreed to disagree upon and the spaces in which they met to work out such disagreements and the institutions that managed them” is probably more adequate. This is in a very real sense but an amplification of the definition given in the body of this text, and mutatis mutandis could equally well be used to define Christianity. 47. There have emerged in recent years debates about which English word is a better translation for the Greek ἸoudaῖoV; cf. Steve Mason, Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins: Methods and Categories (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2009), 141–84. The argument is that throughout the Second Temple period, ἸoudaῖoV had a primarily geographic connotation that is better captured by the term “Judean” than “Jew,” the latter of which indicates primarily an ethno-religious identity. While granting that in English, “Jew” tends not to have the geographic sense carried by “Judean,” I am unconvinced that this necessitates the conscientious avoidance of the former term in favor of the latter. Instead, I consider the English language sufficiently flexible that we can use “Jew” or “Jewish” to indicate a geographic origin when necessary. That said, in instances wherein the niceties of English language make it a preferable term, I will use “Judean.” As intimated above, my interest is less in an unachievable exactitude in translation and more in an accessible English text that presents my argument in a lucid and intelligible fashion.

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noted that because of this ethno-religious alignment, “Jewish” can also refer to the practices and beliefs of Judaism). This definition has two corollaries: one, that there were in the Second Temple era, which is our focus, non-Jewish persons who adopted a variety of Jewish practices and beliefs, operated within Jewish spaces, and had respect for Jewish institutions48; two, that “Christian” and “Jew” are not mutually exclusive terms. With regard to the second corollary, it needs also to be noted that neither are Judaism and Christianity mutually exclusive terms, and, indeed, throughout the era under discussion in this study, Christianity was still a form of Judaism. This would eventually change, as both Judaism and Christianity increasingly found it impossible to conceive of horizons that focused upon both Jesus and fidelity to Torah, and although in the New Testament we perhaps see the leading edge of this transformation, we are concerned with a time when such incompatibility was far from self-evident. A third term to be defined is “conversion,” which I will have occasion to use in reference to Paul. Since “conversion” can imply movement from one religion to another, and as Christianity was yet a part of Judaism, it is sometimes suggested that the word is inappropriate when describing Paul’s decision to join the Christian movement. I will simply state that in the specific instance of Paul, I am using the term not in this way, but, rather, to designate two realities: one, that Paul’s understanding of the world changed significantly; two, that this change entailed a substantial realignment of his relations with both the Pharisaic and Christian wings of Second Temple Judaism (increasing the distance between himself and the former, while moving him from the status of opponent to that of proponent of the latter). It should also be noted that for purposes of this study, when “conversion” is used in reference to Paul’s life history, it does not bear the more precise meaning that it takes in Lonergan’s work. A second matter is that throughout what follows, I will typically refer to the writers of the respective gospels using masculine singular pronouns. This is done for convenience, and derives from the scholarly convention of referring to the writers of each gospel by their attributed names—thus “Matthew” for Matthew’s Gospel, “Mark” for Mark’s, and so on. Since, in each case, the attributed name is that of a singular male person, I use singular masculine pronouns. In doing so, I make no a priori judgments regarding the veracity of the attributions or the gender or the number of the writers. Indeed, given that ancient textual production tended to be a group activity, it is a reasonable hypothesis that in each case there were multiple persons involved in the process,49 and there seems no reason to rule out the possibility that some of these persons might well have been female.

48. Cf. the discussion in Shaye Cohen, The Beginnings of Jewishness: Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainities (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999), 140–84. 49. On the material processes and social dynamics of ancient book production, Christian included, cf. Harry Y. Gamble, Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Early Christian Texts (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995), 42–143; Kim Haines-Eitzen,

Introduction

17

Third, as this is primarily a study of the contributions that Lonerganian thought might provide to the study of the historical Jesus, I have sought not to get lost in the minutiae that can so easily bog down an empirically oriented discipline such as biblical studies. In particular, I have chosen to focus more upon primary than secondary texts, and that means that I engage more frequently with Lonergan, Meyer, and the biblical data than with the neverending reams of secondary literature written on, especially, the latter, and even less on the tertiary literature written on the secondary. I trust that my fellow biblical scholars are sufficiently well versed in the discourses within our own discipline that they do not need me to enumerate to them every secondary text ever written on a given matter, a task that seems often to border more on the pedantic than the informative. That said, by virtue of an excellent training in biblical studies through the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University—the department in which Ben Meyer taught for the better part of a century (and, indeed, the present work finds its origin in my exposure to his legacy as a graduate student in this department)—I find it anathema to write a volume that is not littered with extensive footnotes. As a general rule, however, these footnotes are used to direct biblical scholars toward the relevant material within Lonergan’s and Meyer’s respective corpora, as well as to deal with objections that biblical scholars might raise to my arguments but which would disrupt the flow of the discussion if addressed in the main body of the text. Not infrequently, such footnotes will consist primarily of exposition regarding why such objections are more specious than substantive. Fourth, I would like to offer a general word about the sort of historiography that I am inclined to practice. There are those who are inclined to lose sight of the forest for the trees; for my part, I am more likely to lose sight of the trees for the forest. I tend to favor synthetic work that attempts to apprehend what we might call a bird’s-eye view of history. This is reflected in the later chapters of this monograph, which offer few original individual observations; their strength and contribution, if they have any, is in the way in which I organize the observations that have been made by others, often many others. Such inclination is also reflected in my next planned monograph, a reevaluation of the bases upon which we judge the dates of the New Testament and other roughly coeval texts (such as 1 Clement and the Didachē), which requires that one integrate judgments regarding the key critical arguments having to do with thirty-some first-century Christian texts. I am much more interested in producing work that considers how Christianity as a whole was progressing during this early period than in hyper-focusing upon a specific text or event. Fifth, I mention above the excellent training that I have received in biblical studies, and, of course, I cannot take credit for the quality of education that I have

Guardians of Letters: Literacy, and the Transmitters of Early Christians Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). On female scribes specifically, cf. esp. Haines-Eitzen, Guardians of Letters, 41–52.

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received from another. As such, I would hasten to mention the teacher from whom I have learned the most: my Doktorvater, Anders Runesson, now at the University of Oslo. Without his guidance over the years, I simply would not have developed the skills required to carry out the undertaking that is this study. He and I might not always have agreed on all matters but even my capacity to formulate objections to his positions is a testament to his tutelage. As such, and out of gratitude for his teaching and friendship, I have dedicated this monograph to him.

Part I P hilosophy

Chapter 1 Critical Realism 101

If this study is concerned with considering the potential fruits of Lonergan’s critical realism for historical Jesus studies, then the reader might at this point reasonably wonder: What is Lonergan’s critical realism? In Method in Theology, Lonergan defines critical realism by contrast with what he calls “empiricism” and “idealism,” heuristic terms that aim to describe not necessarily specific philosophical traditions but, rather, certain tendencies that recur in various epistemic contexts.1 The empiricist restricts objective knowledge to sense experience; for him, understanding and conceiving, judging and believing are merely subjective activities. The idealist insists that human knowing always includes understanding as well as sense; but he retains the empiricist’s notion of reality, and so he thinks of the world mediated by meaning as not real but ideal. Only the critical realist can acknowledge the facts of human knowing and pronounce the world mediated by meaning to be the real world.2

Empiricists and idealists agree on one thing and one thing only: that the world mediated by meaning is not the real world. In response to this supposition, the empiricist seeks knowledge of the world absent subjective understanding. This is because the empiricist, while rightly acknowledging that there is a world that can be known, wrongly supposes that this world consists of the empirical data at her or his disposal. By contrast, the idealist seeks subjective understanding absent knowledge of the world. This is because the idealist, while rightly acknowledging that the data at her or his disposal is not the world, wrongly supposes that the real world can thus never be known.

1. On the relationship between Lonergan’s use of such terms and those of other philosophers, especially those working within the analytic tradition, cf. Joseph Fitzpatrick, Philosophical Encounters: Lonergan and the Analytical Tradition (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005), 19–21. 2. Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Method in Theology (New York: Herder and Herder, 1972), 238–39.

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Neither account can withstand the test of self-reversal. Meyer describes self-reversal as the condition in which “I quite spontaneously operate in one way, but laboriously theorize in another.”3 It is a remarkably powerful test: if an operation proceeds in contradiction to its own stated suppositions, then it must be the case that either the suppositions or the operation is in error. The empiricist remains blithely indifferent to the fact that by making statements about what she or he holds to be the case, she or he has mediated reality, despite denying that reality can be known through mediation; she or he must remain indifferent, or else she or he would cease to be an empiricist. Conversely, the idealist remains blithely indifferent to the fact that by making statements about what she or he holds to be the case, she or he has mediated reality, despite denying that through mediation reality can be known; she or he must remain indifferent, or else she or he would cease to be an idealist. As Meyer poignantly observes, however: “You are not allowed to escape the consequences of cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”4 Having witnessed the empiricist and the idealist falling again and again from the branch upon which they sit, the critical realist comes to suspect that there might be a third and better way.5 The critical realist finds this third way by affirming with the empiricist that there is a real world that can be known, while also affirming with the idealist that every act of knowing is an act of mediation upon which we must pass judgment. The critical realist thus brings together what are sundered in both empiricism and idealism, namely reality and the mediation of reality, such that she or he can “pronounce the world mediated by meaning to be the real world.”6 For the critical realist, whether it is the evangelists’ knowing of Jesus or our own, knowing always already and by definition entails mediation of the real world. There is no shortcut around mediation, nor is it anything other than reality that is mediated. The question is never whether one is mediating reality but, rather, it is how one does so and how well. The recent and current advances in historical Jesus studies can thus be defined as a collective effort to come to terms with the failure of the empiricist project known as the criteria of authenticity. However, these advances run a risk, namely of leading the discipline into the dead end of an idealism that lacks any effective

3. Ben F. Meyer, Reality and Illusion in New Testament Scholarship: A Primer in Critical Realist Hermeneutics (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1994), 40. 4. Meyer, Reality and Illusion, 41. 5. Cf. Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (ed. Frederick E. Crowe and Robert M. Doran; 5th ed.; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 3; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), 3–340, for his fullest articulation of the theory of knowing; cf. also the more succinct version in Lonergan, Method, 3–25. For a recent and accessible introductory account, cf. Mark T. Miller, The Quest for God and the Good Life: Lonergan’s Theological Anthropology (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2013), esp. 45–72. 6. Lonergan, Method, 239.

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conceptual apparatus for discovering historical reality. Let me be clear: I do not think that this will inevitably be the case, and, in fact, suspect that it will not, for there is in this work a functional understanding that there is a real world that can be known. Whether the reality with which memory approaches are concerned is the reality of the man from Nazareth or whether the reality is what people said about that man, this is a different question, and while the latter might well provide us with data for understanding the former, they are, nonetheless, different objects of investigation and only the former has much compelling claim to be considered “historical Jesus studies” proper. Nonetheless, the best way to ensure that such potential dangers do not actualize themselves is diligent investigation into the philosophical commitments proper to adequate historiography, and to that end I have turned to Lonergan.

Critical Realism and its Procedural Derivatives We are now in a position to ask what, in nuce, constitutes a critical-realist method. I will consider this matter by way of engagement with Wright’s definition of “critical realism,” probably the best known in New Testament studies. Wright defines critical realism over and against what he calls “positivism” on the one hand and “phenomenalism” on the other, terms that seem in his usage to correspond roughly to Lonergan’s “empiricism” and “idealism.” This clarification by contrast leads Wright to advance the following definition of critical realism: Over and against both these positions [positivism and phenomenalism], I  propose a form of critical realism. This is a way of describing the process of “knowing” that acknowledges the reality of the thing known, as something other than the knower (hence “realism”), while also fully acknowledging that the only access we have to this reality lies along the spiralling path of appropriate dialogue or conversation between knower and the thing known (hence “critical”). This path leads to critical reflection on the products of our enquiry into “reality,” so that our assertions about “reality” acknowledge their own provisionality. Knowledge, in other words, although in principle concerning realities independent of the knower, is never itself independent of the knower.7

This definition, while reasonably adequate, requires some clarification and correction. First, and most fundamentally, Lonerganian critical realism does not and, indeed, cannot suppose the independence of the knower and the thing to be known. Wright seems aware that he has spoken perhaps too firmly and too quickly on this matter, for in a brief footnote he adds that “the exception that proves the

7. N. T. Wright, introduction to Meyer, Aims, 9a–9l; N. T. Wright, New Testament and the People of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God 1; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), 35.

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rule is the special (and highly complex) case of self-knowledge.”8 Leaving aside the reality that exceptions defy rather than prove rules, the difficulty with treating this as an exceptional case is that, in fact, Lonergan’s critical realism is predicated upon self-knowledge, or, more specifically, the self ’s knowledge of the self ’s knowing. Lonergan says as much in an oft-quoted paragraph, which “sums up the positive content” of Insight: “Thoroughly understand what it is to understand, and not only will you understand the broad lines of all there is to be understood but also you will possess a fixed base, an invariant pattern, opening upon all further developments of understanding.”9 Far from being exceptional, “the case of self-knowledge” is, in fact, fundamental to critical realism itself. One might well conclude in specific instances that the thing to be known is independent of the knower, but that must always be conclusion, even if a quite obvious conclusion, and never supposition. Second, Wright suggests that the “critical” in critical realism consists of the idea “that the only access we have to this reality lies along the spiralling path of appropriate dialogue or conversation between knower and the thing known” (emphasis removed from original). All well and good, but this is a bit abstract, and leads to the question of how exactly this dialogue unfolds. Wright himself provides the rudiments of an answer, in part through his emphasis upon the narrativity of historiography.10 It is through such narrative that he aims to construct a coherent account of a past state of the world. A historical narrative—or, as I would prefer, “hypothesis”—is a construction of past states of the world that may or may not correspond to an actual past state of the world, and Wright is certainly correct to foreground the significance of such narratives. They are, indeed, an indispensable step in the work of historical understanding. When reading Wright, however, one is sometimes left wondering why one should prefer his rather than another construction—that is, Wright tells a very good story, but why specifically that story should be considered to be compelling on empirical-rational grounds is at times left somewhat opaque. Reading Lonergan can help us make good on this deficiency. One might begin by noting that the word “critical” suggests judgment, and when combined with “realism” it suggests judgments about reality. Given that as historians we are asking questions about the past, our judgments are ultimately responses to one fundamental question: “Can this particular construction of a past state of the world reasonably be said to correspond to an actual past state of the world?” Put more succinctly, the question would be this: “Is this hypothesis true?” The content of any given particular reconstruction will vary, of course, but the basic structure of the question will remain invariant. There can be but three answers to this question: Yes, No, or Undecided. The procedure of judgment is remarkably straightforward: one predicts what one should expect to find in the data if one’s hypothesis is true, and to the extent that this expectation is met the hypothesis

8. Wright, New Testament and the People of God, 35. 9. Lonergan, Insight, 22. 10. Cf. Wright, New Testament and the People of God, 38–47.

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can be reasonably affirmed, and, all things being equal, insofar as that hypothesis can be said to successfully predict what is to be found in the data better than can any competing alternative hypothesis, it can be affirmed as the most probable available explanation of whatever matter is under discussion. Conversely, to the extent that the prediction is not borne out in the data, it cannot be reasonably affirmed. This is the via inventionis, that is, the means by which we arrive at our affirmations; the via expositionis, that is, the means by which we communicate those affirmations, might well be quite different. Lonergan will refer to the work of rendering a coherent account as “understanding,” identifying intelligence as the faculty that undertakes such operations, and the work of determining whether it corresponds to the data as “judgment,” identifying reason as the faculty that undertakes such operations.11 Fitzpatrick brilliantly suggests that Lonergan’s notion of understanding integrates into his account of human knowing what is typically called a “coherence theory of truth,” while his notion of judgment integrates into his account what is typically called a “correspondence theory of truth.”12 Intelligent understanding generates a web of interrelated and coherent propositions while reasonable judgment determines whether these propositions correspond with reality. Wright is extraordinarily proficient at the intelligent work of constructing coherent narratives, yet at times this threatens to eclipse the reasonable work of showing that these narratives correspond adequately with reality. Before either the step of understanding or that of judgment might take place, however, there is an antecedent step of initial attention to the data, and this initial step, too, is less than clearly articulated in Wright’s account. It is in this step that we begin to generate questions, for in experiencing the data, I begin to wonder. The crucial move, which distinguishes the critical-realist treatment of the data from both the empiricist and the idealist treatment, is that these data are experiences that advert to reality but are not themselves reality. Data can be grouped into two broad categories: the data of consciousness and the data of the senses.13 The data of consciousness is what grounds Lonergan’s basic account of the work of knowing: by attending to what it is that one is doing when knowing, Lonergan is able to render an intelligent and reasonable account of the knowing process. Insight is Lonergan’s fullest explication of that account, while his later work in Method provides a more distilled and further developed presentation thereof. Sense data for its part is precisely that: what we sense, by sight, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. Again, though, the important point is that from these data we infer the real but they are not, in fact, the real. We might here use by way of analogy Plato’s allegory of the cave: the data are the shadows, the experience of which might allow us to infer the presence and activities of real objects beyond the cave but which are not themselves those objects. The empiricist would want to take the shadows as

11. Cf. the classic descriptions in Lonergan, Insight, 346–47; Lonergan, Method, 6–20. 12. Fitzpatrick, Philosophical Encounters, 19–21. 13. Lonergan, Insight, 94–97; Lonergan, Method, 201–03.

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objects whereas the idealist would want to deny that there are any objects at all. Both work within a world in which there are only ever shadows: the empiricist by declaring them to be the real, the idealist by denying that there is a real at all. Only the critical realist can affirm that the shadows are not real while still using them to make judgments about reality. We move from data to reality by converting the former into evidence for the latter, drawing a distinction between potential, formal, and actual evidence. Potential evidence is any datum, here and now perceptible. Formal evidence is such a datum as it is used in asking and answering a question for historical intelligence. Actual evidence is formal evidence invoked in arriving at a historical judgment. In other words, data as perceptible are potential evidence; data as perceptible and understood are formal evidence; data as perceptible, as understood, and as grounding a reasonable judgment are actual evidence.14

Consequent to the above, we might define “critical realism,” as practiced and articulated in this study, as an epistemology that recognizes knowing to be a threefold compound of the following: experiencing, thus affirming the empiricist’s indubitable intuition that there is a real world that can be known through attention to data, while rejecting the empiricist’s untenable supposition that this world is the data and can thus be known absent some sort of constructive work; understanding, thus affirming the idealist’s indubitable supposition that reality is always constructed while rejecting the idealist’s untenable supposition that reality as constructed is other than real; and judging, by which one decides the extent to which a particular effort at construction adequately apprehends reality, thus repudiating the empiricist’s and the idealist’s shared supposition that construction by its very nature obviates any knowledge of the real. Critical realism thus transcends empiricism and idealism, yet integrates within itself the valid insights of both, thus producing a theory of knowledge superior to both. Lonergan sums up this compound in a threefold imperative, which can be abbreviated to “AIR”: Be Attentive, Be Intelligent, Be Reasonable. More fully, to be attentive in one’s experiencing, recognizing the data of experience as potential evidence; to be intelligent in one’s understanding, converting the potential evidence into formal evidence by which to advance a hypothesis; to be reasonable in one’s judging, converting the formal evidence into actual evidence by which to render judgment on the hypothesis. He adds a fourth imperative in Method in Theology— Be Responsible—but insofar as he adds this primarily to open up his account of knowing to an investigation of moral value, and insofar as such investigation falls outside my primary interests in this study, I will for the most part leave the question of responsibility to one side, no matter how decisively important this question might be for human authenticity. I note only that in Lonergan’s account, moral responsibility is predicated upon reasonable judgments that, in turn, are predicated

14. Lonergan, Method, 186.

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upon intelligent understandings and attentive experiences—that is, while the reasonable person might end up behaving irresponsibly, the unreasonable person will do so more or less invariably (and when such a person behaves responsibly, it will tend to be a merely accidental happenstance). This AIR pattern recurs wherever human subjects set about the work of thinking. Lonergan presents as confirmation of this fact the reality that any attempt to refute the pattern will invariably and inescapably need to adhere to it.15 Consider: first, one would attend to the data, namely Lonergan’s argument and the data relevant to the study of human knowing; then, one would need to formulate a hypothesis, an initial understanding, namely that Lonergan is mistaken; and then, one would need to present reasons why this hypothesis is, in fact, correct. In short, any argument against the AIR pattern will fail the test of self-reversal by following the AIR pattern itself. Against those who would opine that the practice of historical investigation is messy and complicated, thus requiring further and more nuanced discussion than the above, my response would simply be: “Well, of course.” The above is a schematic presentation of the procedure, and in reality, one will typically move between attending, understanding, and judging in a much more dynamic fashion than is represented16; nonetheless, these are the operations through which one must proceed, and the logical order in which they relate one to another. Look, think, judge; repeat as needed. Critical realism really is that simple, and that hard.

Subjectivity and Objectivity One inevitable objection is that attending, thinking, and judging are subjective operations. This, of course, is true: they are. What I aim to demonstrate in this section is that this is not at all an objection to Lonergan’s critical realism, but, rather, in fact a founding principle thereof: in a very real sense, everything in Lonergan turns upon the reality that we are always already operating as subjects. The notion that subjectivity is by its very presence a barrier to knowing seems rooted in a tendency, current among New Testament scholars and in modern Western thought more generally, to suppose that subjectivity and objectivity are mutually exclusive conditions.17 Of course, it goes, or at least should go, without saying that when working as historians, we are always operating as human subjects and thus always operating subjectively. The alternative is quite simply absurd, for it would hold that the historian qua historian is something other than a human subject. If the historian always operates as a human subject, and thus subjectively, it follows that there cannot be a state in which subjectivity is excluded from the

15. Lonergan, Insight, 359–60; Lonergan, Method, 16–17. 16. Ibid., 349–52. 17. Cf. the discussion in Ben F. Meyer, Critical Realism and the New Testament (Allison Park, PA: Pickwick Publications, 1989), 129–46.

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work of the historian. If objectivity is defined as a state in which subjectivity is excluded, then, indeed, it would be an impossible state for the human subject to achieve; indeed, objectivity would be excluded on the basis of a tautology. Yet, tautologies usually inform us of nothing more than the self-evident reality that one can play with words, thus leading us to the suspicion that, in fact, such a definition of “objectivity” tells us nothing about the actual object that is objectivity. Subjectivity is understood as a barrier to knowing when it is defined as something that intervenes between the knowing subject and the object to be known. Meyer describes this well when he argues: If one’s suppositions about knowing correspond to the views of empiricists or positivists, objectivity will be reduced to its empirical component. Then the big danger will be “subjectivity”; and if despite heroic effort subjectivity cannot be eliminated, it will appear that great projects (historical critique, for instance) must, unhappily surrender their claims. If one’s suppositions about knowing correspond to the views of idealists, objectivity will be reduced to its intelligent components (i.e. the internal coherence of insight).18

The fatal impasse that ultimately undid the criteria approach lay precisely in its efforts to exclude the subjective, thus reducing it to its empirical component: to be objective was to see that which was real, that is, “authentic,” and not see what was unreal, that is, “inauthentic.” Those who now declare that we cannot know anything about Jesus are primarily disillusioned empiricists who have come to realize that it is impossible to find the real within the database, but have not yet come to realize that this is not the product of an epistemological limit but, rather, of the fact that data is not reality but, rather, that from which reality is inferred. The idealist’s path is primarily trodden today by scholars who have rightly rejected empiricism and are yet struggling to find a way to apprehend reality. Against such inadequate dispositions toward reality, Meyer argues that “only if one’s views tally with those of critical realism will objectivity be acknowledged as the achievement of a full and ordered subjectivity, subjectivity that attends to data but goes beyond data to questions, that cherishes insight but goes beyond insight to truth.”19 Let us unpack this. If, indeed, as was argued above, subjectivity is simply the condition of being a human subject, then subjectivity cannot intervene between the knowing subject and the object to be known because, in fact, subjectivity is not an object independent of the knowing subject. As such, the question will not be “Am I as a historian operating subjectively?” for which “Yes” is a given, but, rather, “What is the character of my subjectivity, and does it permit or hinder the particular work of historical investigation in which I am engaged?” This opens the possibility that not all subjectivity is equal, and that the subjectivity of certain subjects is more up to the task of doing history than others.

18. Meyer, Critical Realism, 140. 19. Ibid.

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That the subjectivity of certain subjects is more up to the task of doing history than others is, in fact, beyond reasonable dispute. For instance, a subject capable of reading Koine Greek is more up to the task of studying the Koine Greek text of the New Testament than one who is not, and all things being equal a subject more up to the task of studying the Koine Greek text of the New Testament will be more up to the task of inferring matters of history from the study of that text. Such reality is why we send people to graduate school in order to learn the technical skills necessary to carry out the work of New Testament studies, historical inquiry included. Yet, cultivating a subjectivity adequate to the task of historiography goes beyond this. One must have worked toward a subjectivity that is capable of rising beyond the parochial. A subjectivity that is given to androcentrism, ethnocentrism, heterosexism, racism, religiocentrism, or any other such demonstrably limiting inability to see beyond oneself and one’s horizon will inevitably distort and obviate one’s efforts at genuine understanding. These thrive as forms of scotosis, that is, an intellectual blindness.20 As such, for the historian, these are not just personal but also vocational failings; a fully competent, blithely androcentric (or ethnocentric, or heterosexist, or racist, or religiocentric) historian is an oxymoron. Objectivity is the existential consequence of ridding one’s own subjectivity of all those inanities that conspire to leave one mired hopelessly in bias. It has become a truism of postmodern epistemology to say that everyone is biased. A critical realist of the Lonerganian ilk would tend not to agree. Such a critical realist would agree that, yes, every one of us operates from within her or his own horizon, a technical term within the Lonerganian vocabulary to describe the limits of that which one is interested in and knowledgeable about,21 but that critical realist would also want to distinguish this from bias. One’s horizon defines the position from which one experiences reality, whereas bias indicates a fundamental distortion of in our experience reality that obviates a genuine apprehension thereof. A male heterosexual white person will certainly experience the world differently than a female queer person of color, yet each can arrive at the shared recognition that male persons, heterosexual persons, and white persons experience privilege at the expense of female persons, queer persons, and persons of color. Their relationship to that reality will differ, but each can, to the best of his or her respective ability, apprehend that reality.

20. Such fields of academic investigation as feminism, critical race theory, queer studies, etc., can be situated within a Lonerganian framework in part as the study of such scotosis, asking how androcentrism, ethnocentrism, etc., constitute barriers to genuine objectivity. By noting the presence of such blind spots, not just in the academy but throughout the entirety of a society, such fields of investigation, by their very existence, potentially aid in the task of overcoming these barriers. As such, they are not ancillary to but rather indispensable for any sustained collective project of human knowing. An existing guide on how such analyses might work themselves out within a Lonerganian context is furnished by Cynthia S. W. Crysdale, ed., Lonergan and Feminism (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994). 21. Lonergan, Method, 235–37.

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The distinction between distortion and adequacy is important in the above discussion. One who has never genuinely experienced oppression can presumably not as fully, that is, not as adequately, apprehend oppression as one who has. It does not follow, however, that he cannot understand the reality of oppression insofar as his experiences will allow (I say “he” and “his” here because in my experience almost every woman has experienced oppression of some sort; to use the feminine pronoun to describe hypothetical persons who have never experienced oppression seems strangely disingenuous), although he might well be more susceptible to scotosis when it comes to the reality of oppression. I  cannot have the experience of being female, queer, a person of color, etc., but I can listen to women, to persons who identify as queer, to persons of color, and seek to understand their experiences as best I can. In similar fashion, persons operating in times and places different from our own may have, in retrospect, got matters disastrously wrong, but this was not necessarily a product of bias but, rather, of not-yet-adequate experiences. For instance, those writing about the relationship between the Earth and the Sun before Copernicus were profoundly mistaken on a great many things—not because of a demonstrable bias but, rather, because of limits in their knowledge. They worked “at the level of their time,”22 and that level did not yet permit heliocentrism as an intellectual possibility. The above brings us to a better understanding of what it means to be objective. To be objective does not mean to stand in a divine position of neutrality, wherein one ceases to have any subjective location or horizon. One does not cease to be a woman or a man, LGBTQ or straight, a person of color or otherwise, etc. That such a notion is absurd suggests that it will not stand as an adequate definition of objectivity. One can, however, reach a point wherein, operating as all the things that one is and drawing upon all the resources that one has developed in being and becoming what one is, one learns to affirm as true the way things are rather than the way one wants things to be. I might want, for a variety of reasons, to live in a world wherein sexism, heterosexism, and racism do not exist, but I have achieved sufficient objectivity that I must acknowledge frankly that these phenomena do exist and that they are pernicious, virulent, and destructive. Objectivity, as the product of all that makes me a subject, is thus a fundamentally subjective state, wherein I, the knowing subject, have a greater preference for truth than for what I want to be true. It is the rejection of wish-fulfillment in favor of reality, the decision

22. The “level of their level” is a term found in Bernard J. F. Lonergan, “Original Preface,” Method 3/1 (1985): 3–7, here p. 4: “If I may borrow a phrase from Ortega y Gasset, one must strive at the level of one’s time.” Note that, although not published until 1985, the above quote was written c. 1953 in an early draft of the preface to Insight; on the history of the textual development of the preface, cf. Frederick E. Crowe, “Note on the Prefaces of Insight,” Method 3/1 (1985): 1–3. For a discussion of what Lonergan means by the term, cf. Frederick E. Crowe, Lonergan and the Level of Our Time (ed. Michael Vertin; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010), 1–15.

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to operate in this world rather than in one that exists only in fantasy. As such, if one seeks to be objective then be subjective, and happily so, one should just be the best subject one can be.23

Bias and Conversion It would be wrong to think that Lonergan dispenses with bias, and, indeed, we have already touched upon the theme of bias in our discussion of scotosis above. In Lonergan’s understanding, bias, unlike limits in knowledge, does constitute a barrier to objectivity. Lonergan identifies four basic categories of bias: general, dramatic, individual, and group.24 General bias is “general” because it substitutes for the entirety of the fourfold imperative. It occurs when I allow common sense— which for Lonergan is defined not by a universal content but, rather, as whatever is for a particular people in a particular time and place the common reservoir of unexamined suppositions about the world—to predetermine my attention, intelligence, reason, and responsibility. More to the point, general bias occurs whenever I substitute common sense for genuine acts of attention, intelligence, reason, and responsibility. General bias is exemplified by the tendency to undervalue expert knowledge, resulting in an incapacity for consistently nuanced and adequate thinking. Dramatic bias consists of the unconscious refusal to allow an emergent understanding. Something about a possible understanding of the data frightens me and therefore I refuse to let my conscious mind even consider the possibility. This refusal leads to repressions and inhibitions of all sorts. Lonergan designates this as “dramatic bias” because these repressions and inhibitions will eventually begin to affect how I perform in many and perhaps all areas of life. This is because I am, in fact, operating unintelligently, thereby also obviating the possibility for truly reasonable and responsible behavior. As such, whenever the insight in question is relevant to how I operate, it will be the case that my performance will be other than fully intelligent, reasonable, or responsible. If dramatic bias consists of the refusal to allow an emergent understanding, then individual bias consists of the refusal to submit one’s own understandings to the bar of reason. I understand that X is the case, and egoistically attributing infallibility to my own acts of understanding, I see no need to actually test whether I am being reasonable or not. The result is that there is no effort to check whether the results of my intelligence fit the data. What results is sophistry: quite intelligent arguments, which, if they state anything true about the world, do so quite by accident.

23. Cf. Lonergan, Insight, 399–410; also, Meyer, Critical Realism, 129–45, the import of which can be summed up in the succinct statement that “truth, in fine, ripens on the tree of the subject, and objectivity is the fruit of subjectivity at its most intense and persistent” (p. 140). 24. Lonergan, Insight, 214–31, 250–67.

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For its part, group bias occurs when one places responsibility to a particular group before the work of attending, understanding, and judging. I belong to X group, which can be a nation, an ethnicity, a religion, or a gender; to belong to X group means that I must perform Y duties on its behalf; as such, all my operations of attention, intelligence, and reason must be subordinated to the task of performing Y duties. The inevitable consequence is that I will fail to be genuinely attentive, intelligent, and reasonable; and failing to be genuinely attentive, intelligent, and reasonable, I fail also to be genuinely responsible. A parochialism sets in, one that cannot apprehend that one’s group is but one part of humanity and humanity itself but one part of the broader commonwealth of being: perhaps indispensable, beautiful, and vibrant parts, but, nonetheless, not the whole. In our time, one of the most virulently prominent examples of group bias is white supremacism, not to mention the idea that the short-term aims of the affluent trump the long-term needs of the biosphere. Group bias is to irresponsibly privilege responsibility to a part over responsibility to the whole. If bias is the hallmark of inauthentic subjectivity, then conversion is the cure.25 For Lonergan, conversion is the process by which human beings become knowing subjects capable of being authentically attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible; in nuce, it is the genesis of an authentic subjectivity that permits one to operate objectively, with a subjectivity marked by a preference for affirming that which is, over that which one would prefer to be the case. Lonergan distinguishes between three types of conversion: religious, moral, and intellectual. These require careful definition, especially religious conversion, for Lonergan’s usage of the term is quite distinct from the typical usage. In the interest of ensuring that we understand precisely what Lonergan does and does not mean by the term, I will reproduce the following from Method: Religious conversion is being grasped by ultimate concern. It is other-worldly falling in love. It is total and permanent self-surrender without conditions, qualifications, reservations. But it is such a surrender, not as an act, but as a dynamic state that is prior to and principle of subsequent acts. It is revealed in retrospect as an under-tow of existential consciousness, as a fated acceptance of a vocation to holiness, as perhaps an increasing simplicity and passivity in prayer. It is interpreted differently in the context of different religious traditions. For Christians it is God’s love flooding our hearts through the Holy Spirit given to us.26

Two immediate points emerge from the above quotation. First, contrary to typical usage, Lonergan does not understand religious conversion as a situation in which one becomes a member of a particular religion to which one previously did not belong. Such a situation might well accompany religious conversion, but that

25. Cf. the discussion in Lonergan, Method, 237–45. 26. Lonergan, Method, 240–41.

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would be, properly speaking, incidental to the conversion process proper. Second, although Catholic, Lonergan does not limit religious conversion to something that only occurs within the Catholic or even the Christian tradition. In theory, it can emerge within any human being, operating within any tradition, including atheism, or, indeed, within a person who is not particularly committed to any tradition at all. Rather, religious conversion consists of a being-in-love, but a being-in-love that transcends the parochialism of group bias, which insists upon a love limited to family, ethnicity, race, nation, or religion. Religious conversion is thus a beingin-love with being itself. It is the emergence of an intuitive capacity to recognize brutality and injustice for what it is, to cut through the ideological bluster that seeks to justify misogyny, patriarchy, racism, or homophobia, and simply know that such things are wrong and unfair. It is compassion and empathy, and, more than that, an existential development that transforms compassion and empathy into defining features of the one thus converted. If certain forms of religion today seem so monstrous, it is due precisely to the widespread absence of the religiously converted from their ranks. Although Lonergan recognizes the theoretical possibility of people undergoing moral conversion without first undergoing religious conversion, he argues that ordinarily the latter is the precondition for the former.27 The love that I discovered in religious conversion now comes to define my priorities. I become more concerned with satisfying values congruent with compassion and empathy than with satisfying desires congruent with individual and group bias. The biblical exemplar of the morally converted is perhaps the Good Samaritan, a man moved not by his group’s bias against their Jewish neighbors or their neighbors’ reciprocal bias against them but, rather, by simple compassion for a fellow being in need. Whereas doubtless it would have been easier for him to continue on his way, ignoring his fellow’s plight, he gave of himself because that was the only possible response to the situation that was congruent with values grounded in love. The will to be responsible had fully settled within the subject. As with the relationship between religious and moral conversion, Lonergan argues that ordinarily the latter is the precondition for the former.28 Among the values that I discover and cultivate through moral conversion is truthfulness. Discovering that it is better to be truthful than it is to be untruthful, I begin to think about what it means to be truthful in the first place. More precisely, intellectual conversion begins when I discover that being truthful demands that I be capable of distinguishing truth from untruth and then set out to discover how I can make such a distinction in practice. I begin to realize that to be genuinely moral, I must know what it means to be genuinely moral, and that this is a matter of distinguishing moral truth from moral untruth. It is complete when I become capable of the genuinely critical thought that is attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible knowing. We can thus sum up the threefold process of conversion

27. Ibid., 243. 28. Ibid.

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as follows: loving, I learn to value; valuing, I learn to value truth; valuing truth, I learn how to discover it through attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible operations. Objectivity is the result of conversion’s excise of bias, and thus can be defined as the subjective condition wherein a knowing subject places greater priority upon the attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible discovery of truth than upon the satisfaction of desires extrinsic and detrimental to such discovery. It is thus a moral as much as an intellectual condition, and, contrary to rumor, it is not incompatible with religion per se but, rather, with any ideology (religious or otherwise) that fails to put a premium on attentively, intelligently, reasonably, and responsibly distinguishing truth from error. Indeed, we can (as does Lonergan) define ideology precisely as the work undertaken in order to justify a recurrent failure to develop an attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible subjectivity.29 Some such ideologies will use the language of religion, some will not; in the final analysis, the supposition that the Party is invariably correct in all that it says simply because it is the Party is no more an instance of attentive, intelligent, reasonable, or responsible operation than is the supposition that this or that text or this or that church is invariably correct simply because it is considered to be sacred.

Decline and Progress Bias can have real and deleterious consequences for community. This is most notable in the case of general and group bias. While, certainly, the inhibitions of the dramatically biased and the egoism of the individually biased can negatively affect those who must interact with such benighted souls, the consequent effects will typically not be systemic. Group and general bias, on the other hand, can quite easily become the basis for systemic disorder. When a group becomes both socially dominant and group-biased, there results what Lonergan defines as a “shorter cycle of decline.”30 Only ideas that benefit the dominant group are permitted; the ideology or ideologies used to warrant their group bias become the dominant ideology or ideologies; the subordinated groups almost inevitably develop contrary and competing ideologies; intergroup struggles ensue, with the dominant group adopting various strategies of appeasement and suppression in order to limit the subordinate groups’ resistance; insofar as these strategies simply defer an attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible reckoning with the actual problem, namely the various group biases that dominate society, they inevitably become less effective as the situation continues. If left unaddressed, the situation will lead to a breakdown in civil society, manifested in the form of anarchy, revolution, or totalitarianism, and quite possibly a mixture of all three. Police lynch African American youth and blame their victims for the killings;

29. Ibid., 357. 30. On both the shorter and longer cycles of decline, cf. Lonergan, Insight, 250–57.

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African American communities rebel in response; police responses become more and more draconian. The shorter cycle of decline can be stalled, if not reversed, when one or more subordinate groups are able to achieve, if not dominance, at least sufficient power that they can have their concerns taken seriously. As long as the group biases persist, however, this can only bring about a temporary respite. It is necessary to overcome such biases entirely and effect a genuine reconciliation between the dominant and subordinate groups, a fact recognized by some of the greatest luminaries of the last century’s long and yet-unfinished struggle for justice, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Desmond Tutu. Lonergan also identifies a longer cycle of decline. This is when group bias is merged with general bias, such that the bias and concomitant ideology or ideologies of the dominant group are adopted as common sense by the community as a whole. When this happens, the subordinated group fails to develop an adequate consciousness of its situation by which to oppose the dominant group, simply because it now lacks the conceptual apparatus to recognize group bias as group bias. It is still the case that only the dominant group’s ideas are heard, but now it is the case that there is no counter-consciousness coming from the subordinate group. This is not to say that there might not be individual members of the subordinate group who are able to recognize the situation for what it is; rather, it is to say that these individual voices are unable to speak as genuine representatives of that group’s level of self-awareness. From the perspective of the dominant group, this is a wonderful situation: they get not only to enjoy their dominance but also to have  their dominance accepted without substantive challenge. From the perspective of the subordinate group as well as the disinterested observer, it is a catastrophe as, although there might well be fewer instances of acute conflict, it will also mean that there is less chance for even the temporary release from the chronic cycle of decline that comes from the revolutionary ascent of the subordinate group. It is not difficult to distinguish between shorter and longer cycles of decline: in the former, everyone agrees that there is a problem, even if their accounts of its genesis vary according to group bias; in the latter, decline is evident to any disinterested observer, yet those immersed in the decline (both dominant and subordinated groups) have the tragic luxury of denying its existence, at least until the decline has reached the point that it can no longer be ignored. If group and general bias are the engines of decline, and if conversion ameliorates such bias, then it follows that whenever conversion becomes widespread throughout a community, it will ameliorate shorter and longer cycles of decline.31 More than this, it creates the potential for genuine progress. Collectively attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible knowing will lead to collectively attentive, intelligent, reasonable, and responsible policies, politics, divisions of labor and resources, etc. Inequalities will be ameliorated, goods will be fairly distributed, and justice will become a hallmark of the community. In reality, it is probably the case that every actually existing human society has

31. Cf. Lonergan, Insight, 257–63.

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probably been a mixture of decline and progress: entropy sets in to certain sectors while others experience notable progress. Yet, it is probably also the case that most societies are tending in one direction or another at any given moment, toward overall decline or overall progress. Moreover—and this should provide some encouragement in a time that increasingly shows signs of being one of decline—humanity’s general tendency has been toward progress (or development, using the language introduced in the Introduction), in the sense of an increasingly adequate apprehension of reality. This is due to the cumulative nature of discovery: an insight, once obtained, can lead to further insights, such that a species can go from discovering the wheel to flying to the Moon in a scant ten millennia (barely a drop of time in the cosmic bucket). Such progress in knowledge, however, leads to the need for specialization.

Functional Specialization As a consequence of progress, our knowledge becomes more complex and differentiated, such that no one person can reasonably expect to be equally proficient in everything. This has probably always been the case as long as our ancestors have been Homo sapiens and, one imagines, even before: there was probably always some division of labor and specialization even in the earliest hunter-gathering groups, perhaps initially along primarily age and gender lines. The story of human history is in a very (but certainly not the only) real way the story of increasing specialization of knowledge,32 and, indeed, general bias is precisely the recurrent failure to respect such necessary specialization.33 With the emergence of the modern university, we organize the specialization of knowledge by faculties and departments, which correspond imprecisely with a further classification, that of “academic discipline.” It is within this fuzzy notion of “discipline” that the academy fully recognizes the idea of specialized knowledge. Yet, specialization occurs not just between disciplines—not just between, say, biology and theology—but also within disciplines. With that insight in mind, Lonergan identifies eight functional specialties within the broader work of theology: research, interpretation, history, dialectics, foundations, doctrines,

32. Lonergan, Insight, 554–72; Lonergan, Method, 302–19; Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Topics in Education: The Cincinnati Lectures of 1959 on the Philosophy of Education (ed. Robert M. Doran and Frederick E. Crowe; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 10; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993), 70–78; Bernard J. F. Lonergan, The Triune God: Doctrines (ed. Robert M. Doran and H. Daniel Monsour; trans. Michael G. Shields; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 11; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), 30–55. Note that Lonergan, Triune God, 29–255, was previously published in English as Bernard J. F. Lonergan, The Way to Nicea: The Dialectical Development of Trinitarian Theology (trans. Conn O’Donovan; London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1976). 33. Lonergan, Insight, 250–67.

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systematics, and communications.34 Of these, only the first four need to occupy us to any notable extent in this study. Regardless of whether one defines oneself as a theologian or otherwise, no doubt the work most characteristic of New Testament scholarship and certainly that most immediately relevant to historical Jesus studies can be grouped under these broad headings. For each of these functional specialties, we can designate the sort of data to which one ought to attend, an object to be understood and hypothesized about, and the sorts of warrants necessary to support a judgment regarding the veracity of a proffered hypothesis. These can be summarized in the following table, upon which I will expand in the subsequent two chapters. Research

Interpretation

History

Dialectic

Data demanding attention

Manuscripts

Text

Meaning

Event

Object (or reality) to be intelligently understood

Text

Meaning

Event

Conflict

Nature of Warrants to provide reasonable (i.e. critical) judgment

Text Critical

Exegetical

Historical

Dialectical

Note that these data, objects, and warrants are particular to the work of New Testament studies proper. If I were to describe the work of scholars in other fields, they would look different. Most notable is the work of archaeology, a field in many ways cognate to New Testament studies. In further work, I aim to use this basic rubric to describe the work of archaeology and to consider the ever-vexed question of how such work might contribute to theological knowledge. In this volume, however, I focus upon the work of New Testament studies. This will be the ground for the next two chapters, with Chapter 2 focused upon research and interpretation and Chapter 3 upon history and dialectics.

34. Lonergan, Method, 125–368.

Chapter 2 Research and Interpretation

This chapter is concerned with the first two of Lonergan’s functional specialties, research and interpretation, with a specific focus upon their relevance for historical Jesus studies. While, properly speaking, the historical Jesus scholar functions most fully within the third specialty, history, the data with which she or he works are generated by the work of interpretation, and the data with which the interpreter works are, in turn, generated by the work of the researcher. As such, fluency with these specialties can only serve to aid the historian in her or his work. The question to be asked in this chapter is thus quite straightforward: How do research and interpretation work to create the necessary preconditions for successful historical investigation, with specific focus upon historical Jesus studies?

Research Writes Lonergan: Research makes available the data relevant to theological investigation. It is either general or special. Special research is concerned with assembling the data relevant to some particular question or problem, such as the doctrine of Mr. X on the question Y. Such special research operates all the more rapidly and effectively the more familiar it is with the tools made available by general research. General research locates, excavates, and maps ancient cities. It fills museums and reproduces or copies inscriptions, symbols, pictures, statues. It deciphers unknown scripts and languages. It collects and catalogues manuscripts, and prepares critical editions of texts. It composes indices, tables, repertoires, bibliographies, abstracts, bulletins, handbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias. Some day, perhaps, it will give us a complete information-retrieval system.1

Let us attend to the distinction between general and specific research. For the New Testament scholar, general research will largely encompass the disciplinary subfields known as textual, source, and redaction criticism, in addition to the production

1. Bernard J. F. Lonergan, Method in Theology (New York: Herder and Herder, 1972), 127.

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of tools such as lexica and grammars, for it is through these subfields that we establish the texts with which the interpreter will work. What best approximates the original text of, for instance, the Gospel of Mark? Can we reconstruct texts that might have preexisted our extant texts, such as an Ur-Mark, a Proto-Luke, or a Q? Can we discern different redactional stages in the developments of these texts, such that we can suggest that Christians of the 40s were reading one form, those of the 50s another, and so on? These are all pre-interpretive questions belonging properly to the work of the researcher. As we move toward thinking about special research, we need to recognize a pernicious and long-standing tendency in biblical studies, namely to confuse this work for the work of history. That it is not, although certainly some of this work will, indeed, be indispensable for historical investigation. This confusion has resulted in a tendency, once prevalent and still sporadically recurrent, to suppose that in discovering the earliest extant instances of the Jesus tradition, we have ipso facto discovered Jesus himself. This, of course, is nonsense, and has led to the artificial urgency of asking questions such as, Did the earliest redaction layer of Q include apocalyptic material?2—whether a hypothetical layer of a hypothetical text hypothetically included apocalyptic material can only be a particularly urgent question for historical Jesus studies only when it is erroneously believed that an affirmative answer to the question is tantamount to affirming an apocalyptic Jesus while a negative answer is tantamount to denying the same. Yet, the entire discussion turns upon the supposition that transformations in the Jesus tradition constitute, by definition, movement away from the historical Jesus, a supposition untenable because, on the one hand, it confuses data (in this case, text) with reality (in this case, Jesus) while on the other hand, it fails to recognize the very real human possibility that a writer might rework her or his source text precisely because she or he rightly knows that it is in error on particular matters. We can hardly rule out that a text written after another might not, in fact, have access to better information on its subject matter. Given that on virtually all dating schemes, the four canonical gospels are written in a relatively small window of time, we should wonder whether the twenty or so years between a Markan Gospel dated to c. 69 and a Johannine Gospel dated to c. 90, as per the consensus dates, really constitute sufficient time to assume a significant decrease in access to information about Jesus of Nazareth between those who produced these texts. Special research focuses upon establishing which data are most relevant for the particular question at hand. As a discipline, we have tended to unnecessarily suppose that a text can only be deemed as relevant for answering a particular question about the historical Jesus if it can be shown to be “authentic,” that is, it “describes events that more or less happened” (the specific case of the sayings

2. The classic treatment of such matters being John S. Kloppenborg, The Formation of Q: Trajectories in Ancient Wisdom Collections (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1987).

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material is a nonvariant on such judgments, for the putative events in question are specifically speech events).3 Under such an understanding, the historian must decide prior to any actual work of historical investigation what can be deemed to be “historical.”4 This can only be carried out if one constructs a set of analytical principles prior to the synthetic work of investigating the data. The criteria of authenticity thus represent such necessary analytical principles.5 They are,

3. Cf. the history of the concept (or, perhaps better, doctrine) of “authenticity” in historical Jesus studies in Anthony Le Donne, “The Rise of the Quest for an Authentic Jesus: An Introduction to the Crumbling Foundations of Jesus Research,” in Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity (ed. Chris Keith and Anthony Le Donne; London: T&T Clark, 2012), 3–21. Such supposition reached the point of caricature in the work of the theologically tendentious (and this probably because it markedly lacked in diversity: predominantly white, straight, cis, male, American, and liberal Protestant) group known as the Jesus Seminar, whose procedure was to vote using colored beads upon what in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Thomas Jesus likely did or said. Cf. the products of their votes, as presented in Robert W. Funk and Roy W. Hoover, The Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus (New York: MacMillan, 1993); Robert W. Funk, The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds of Jesus (San Francisco: Harper, 1998). When reflecting upon the Seminar’s colored-bead method, one is reminded of the statement by N. T. Wright, new introduction to The Aims of Jesus (repr. ed. with new introduction; Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2002), 9a–9l, here 9a, that “if Meyer’s arguments had been taken more seriously in the academy, much of the nonsense that has been written about Jesus in the last twenty years, not least of all by the so-called ‘Jesus Seminar,’ could have been avoided.” 4. It might be objected that one is doing historical investigation through the work of deeming what is to be considered authentic. It is among the theses of this chapter that authenticity is a particular way of thinking about relevance, and that, as such, judgments about authenticity are to be situated not within the work of history proper but, rather, among the preconditions of historical investigation, and more specifically within the functional specialization that Lonergan defines as “research.” It is a further thesis that authenticity, as traditionally construed in our discipline, is an unnecessary and, in fact, deleterious precondition of historical investigation, but it would not yet be history in any case as history requires one to get at, in the words of R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History (ed. Jan van der Dussen; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 213–15, “the inside of the event,” that is, not simply what happened but why it happened. Cf. Meyer’s chapter on “The ‘Inside’ of the Jesus Event,” which intentionally alludes to Collingwood’s notion of the inside of the event, in Ben F. Meyer, Critical Realism and the New Testament (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publicans, 1989), 157–72. 5. It is precisely for such antecedent analytical principles that John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1991), xxvii–xxxiv, sought when he urged the need for better method in historical Jesus studies. Unfortunately, as Ben F. Meyer, review of Crossan, Historical Jesus, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 55/3 (1993): 575–76, here p. 576, astutely, if trenchantly, sums up Crossan’s work in that volume: “Historical inquiry, with its connotations of personal

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however, necessary only because we have treated the object of research as selfidentical with the object of history, such that the judgment “This text is relevant” is taken as self-identical with “This event happened.” Text and event are conflated, and the necessary intervening step—namely, the discovery of meaning through the work of interpretation—omitted, precisely because subjectivity (both that of the ancient writer and that of the modern interpreter) is seen as invariably a distortion of truth.6 The elaboration of criteria calculated to discover authentic material is simply a methodological consequence of this conflation and omission, such that in correcting for these antecedent errors, we dispense with any need for the criteria of authenticity and can, instead, focus upon asking which texts are most likely to provide us with the most usable data for understanding the historical Jesus.7 Relevance for the historical Jesus project is thus not to be determined by putative redaction layers or any other such mock rigor.8 Rather, it is to be determined by

wrestling, is not to be found. There are no recalcitrant data, no agonizing reappraisals. All is aseptic, the data having been freeze-dried, pre-packaged, and labelled with literary flair.” This is the result, I would suggest, of a method that, in fact, operates (and not necessarily well, assuming as it does very questionable suppositions such as a direct correlation between the time at which a text was written and its relevance as a source of data for Jesus’s life and highly speculative source theories) at the level of research and not history. 6. Cf. the discussion of subjectivity in the previous chapter. The entire idea of “authenticity” supposed by the criteria approach operates upon an outdated empiricist (alternatively, in contemporary historical Jesus discourse, “positivist”) supposition that since any act of interpretation is the work of human subjects and thus subjective, one must find uninterpreted sayings and deeds within the gospels and other possibly relevant sources. Such an operation must operate with the patently absurd supposition that there are available for discovery the products of human subjects operating without subjectivity and thus, by definition, as something other than subjects. This supposition, in turn, is no doubt itself the product of a modern historical subjectivity that is, in fact, unable to reckon with its own subjectivity: unable to conceive of how I can be a historical subject who is capable of apprehending reality, I suppose that there can be no historical subject thus capable. The idealist (alternatively, in contemporary historical Jesus discourse, “postmodern”) is simply one who has taken the salutary step of recognizing that one cannot find the uninterpreted or the unsubjective in our data, but has not yet taken the equally salutary step of recognizing that, nonetheless, one can through wrestling with those data apprehend the past. 7. The major contribution of the social memory approach has been precisely to offer such a correction. It is not clear whether this approach can offer a robust account of how historians might adjudicate between hypotheses regarding how Jesus operated and the historical consequences of those operations. It seems increasingly probable that social memory contributes more to the work of that functional specialty that Lonergan defines as “interpretation” than to the work of history proper. 8. There is a trajectory of historical Jesus studies that has perfected the exclusion of data for the study of the historical Jesus through rhetorical appeal to ever-more speculative

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the question being asked. If the question to be asked is about Jesus’s life, then, in principle, any text that speaks to his life and times will be of potential relevance. At this stage of the process of investigation, one is better to cast the net wide. In practice, however, knowledge is cumulative, such that once a text is shown to be of significant relevance for a particular question or set of related questions, then, barring reasons to reconsider that judgment, it can be functionally included in all future investigations into such question or questions; likewise, we can functionally exclude those that have been shown to be irrelevant. Thus, we never actually start from scratch, but, rather, always build upon previous discoveries. Among such discoveries is the hard-won insight that the canonical gospels remain the singlebest collection of source material for studying the historical Jesus, and while, historically, there has been a tendency to privilege the Synoptic Gospels over the Johannine, this tendency has come under some critique as of late.9 These four texts remain our main sources for the study of the historical Jesus, because among our

reconstructions of putative redaction histories of the gospels. Such procedures are generally unconvincing for a number of reasons, which can be succinctly summarized as follows. They operate upon the supposition that evidence of literary modification of a text obviates its utility as data relevant to the study of the historical Jesus, a supposition that must, in turn, suppose either or both of the following suppositions, each of which is typically an unspoken major: one, that only the demonstrably earliest data are to be admitted as historical data; two, that evidence of such literary modification is evidence of an authorial subjectivity that renders the text useless as historical data. Each of these unspoken suppositions is demonstrably unsound: one can easily multiply instances in which temporally later data, in fact, constitute data of greater utility, and we have already seen that such an understanding of subjectivity is far from adequate. In short, the mere fact that something is “secondary” tells us nothing about whether it is to be included within our data for the historical Jesus, and these difficulties with the rhetoric of redaction are operative even before one considers that redaction hypotheses often rest upon quite tenuous empirical-rational grounds (especially when dealing with texts whose sources are nonextant, such as Mark’s Gospel and John’s). When we give that tenuousness full consideration, then we should do well to abandon such rhetoric. Cf. Chris Keith, “The Indebtedness of the Criteria Approach to Form Criticism and Recent Attempts to Rehabilitate the Search for an Authentic Jesus,” in Keith and Le Donne, Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity, 25–48, for a recent and insightful evaluation of such appeals to redaction, especially his wonderful summary statement that “by ‘not Mark’ the form critics meant ‘Palestinian’; by ‘not Mark’ the New Questers meant ‘lacking theological interpretation’ ” (p. 37), and his discussion of the “serious problem” that such suppositions generated (pp. 37–40). 9. Cf. especially the contributions collected in Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher, eds., John, Jesus, and History, Volume 1: Critical Appraisals of Critical Views (Society of Biblical Literature Symposium Series 44; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007); Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher, eds., John, Jesus, and History, Volume 2: Aspects of Historicity in the Fourth Gospel (Early Christianity and its Literature 2; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009).

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potentially relevant texts they evince the greatest interest in and thus furnish the greatest amount of data relevant to Jesus’s life. That said, although the canonical gospels remain our primary “go-to” texts in historical Jesus gospels, we must be cognizant of the fact that they are hardly the only possible data to which one might and, indeed, should attend. There is certainly the balance of first-century Christian writings, which includes most if not all of the New Testament corpus, as well as probably texts such as the Didachē, 1 Clement, and Ascension of Isaiah.10 There is the whole host of Jewish and archaeological material that might help us better define the matrix in which Jesus operated.11 Yet,

10. The current state of play regarding the dates of the New Testament texts can be summarized much as follows: There are basically three “families” of chronologies, which we might call the “lower,” the “middle” (or “consensus”), and the “higher.” The lower, best represented by John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (London: SCM Press, 1976), dates most if not the entirety of the New Testament prior to 70; the middle, or consensus, chronology, which dates the majority of the New Testament, with the notable exception of the undisputed Pauline epistles (dated to around the 50s) and Mark’s Gospel (dated to the late 60s) to the period between 70 and 100; and the higher chronology, which likewise dates the undisputed Pauline epistles to the 50s, but would date many of the remaining texts into the second century. Any effort to adjudicate between these chronologies is vitiated greatly by the lack of synthetic studies comparable to Robinson’s that aim to investigate the dates of the entirety of the New Testament corpus. At the time of his death, J. V. M. Sturdy was working on a monograph-length answer to Robinson, in which he intended to agree that the consensus dates were, by and large, erroneous, but that they were too early rather than too late. Unfortunately, Prof. Sturdy passed away before completing the volume. What he had completed has now been made available as J. V. M. Sturdy, Redrawing the Boundaries: The Date of Early Christian Literature (ed. Jonathan Knight; London: Equinox, 2007), and while it is certainly better to have access to this material than it would be to not have access, Sturdy never had the time to develop his arguments as they could and should have been. Three monographs, each comparable in the depth and breadth of research and argumentation evident in Robinson’s study—one of which argues the case for the middle and the other the case for the higher chronology— would constitute a tremendous boon to the discipline. For his own part, the author of the present volume is preparing a monograph that would present an updated case for the lower chronology, with the hope that this would provide a stimulus for the needed monographs defending the middle and higher chronologies. That said, however, whenever it might make a difference (and frankly there are not that many instances in which it would), the present work supposes the middle chronology, as this would be the dating scheme acceptable to the majority of scholars. As noted above, that scheme would date most of the New Testament texts before c. 100. 11. Some recent works require note as particularly relevant in this regard: James H. Charlesworth, ed., Jesus and Temple: Textual and Archaeological Explorations (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2014); David A. Fiensy and James Riley Strange, eds., Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic, Volume 1: Life, Society, and Culture (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress

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precisely insofar as none of these materials are focused upon Jesus’s earthly life per se, they are less immediately relevant, and tend to stand as ancillary material supportive of particular judgments made on the basis of the canonical gospels.12 In practice, the actual utility of the data initially deemed to be relevant will be determined in the work of interpretation and history.

Interpretation I would at this point like to introduce into the discussion Ben Meyer’s argument that judgments made in the course of investigation should, as far as possible, be independently verified. Independent verification follows either a direct or an oblique pattern of inference. The components of the direct pattern are intention, knowledgeability, and veracity. If the intention of the writer can be defined to include factuality and if the writer is plausibly knowledgeable on the matter and free of the suspicion of fraud, historicity may be inferred.13

I have been working with the insights contained within this passage for several years now. It became functionally the basis for the philosophy of history

Press, 2014); David A. Fiensy and James Riley Strange, eds., Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic, Volume 2: The Archaeological Record from Cities, Towns, and Villages (Minneapolis, Minn.: Fortress Press, 2015); Jodi Magness, The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012); Eric M. Myers and Mark Chancey, From Alexander to Constantine: The Archaeology of the Land of the Bible (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012). With particular attention to archaeology, with a specific focus upon Jesus of Nazareth, cf. the older, yet not entirely obsolete, volume, James H. Charlesworth, ed., Jesus and Archaeology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006). With particular attention to the vital institution that is the synagogue, Lee I. Levine, The Ancient Synagogue: The First Thousand Years (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006), and Anders Runesson, Donald Binder, and Birger Olsson, eds., The Ancient Synagogue from its Origins to 200 C.E. (Leiden: Brill, 2007), are dated, yet still indispensable, works, provided they are supplemented with material from more recent volumes such as those cited above. 12. Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft (trans. Peter Putnam; Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1954), 61, wrote that “the narrative sources—to use a baroque but hallowed phrase—that is, the accounts which are consciously intended to inform the reader, still continue to provide valuable assistance to the scholar. Among their other advantages, they are ordinarily the only ones which furnish a chronological framework, however inconsistent. What would not the prehistorian or historian of India give to have a Herodotus at his disposal?” The historical Jesus scholar has not just one Herodotus but, in fact, four of them. It is, quite simply, an embarrassment of riches. 13. Meyer, Aims of Jesus, 85.

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articulated in my dissertation.14 There I modified Meyer’s direct pattern in two ways. First, I  suggested that for practical purposes we could subsume veracity into the category of intention, for the work necessary to show that the writer intended factuality would also ipso facto include the work necessary to show that she or he is free of the suspicion of fraud. Second, while acknowledging that by “knowledgeability” Meyer has in mind the question of whether the writer was plausibly situated to have learned about the event, I argued that it should also extend to the question of whether what the writer communicates is something that a person knowledgeable about the matter would communicate. I am less enamored of the second modification now than I was then, as I am less sanguine about the historian’s capacity to know what a person knowledgeable about a given matter would communicate. Consequent to this discussion, however, two tests emerge with regard to establishing the “historicity” of the text: that of aim and that of the capacity to satisfy one’s aim. In nuce, does the writer intend to tell the truth about what happened in the past, and is she or he capable of telling the said truth? Subsequent reflection leads me to consider yet further modification. I would argue that the direct pattern of inference should be carried out across the functional specialties of interpretation and history. Intention becomes a central matter of interpretation, with knowledgeability deferred until the work of history. The object of interpretation, which is what we mean when we talk about “reality” with specific reference to the work of interpretation, is meaning. The question for interpretation is always “What does the writer intend to communicate?” For the study of the historical Jesus, the question “What does the writer intend to communicate?” can be specified more exactly as “What does the writer intend to communicate about Jesus’s life?” For the specific matter of historical Jesus studies, the question can be formulated typically as “Does the writer intend to communicate truthfully matters related to Jesus’s life?” This question cannot be formulated as “Does the writer intend only to communicate truthfully matters related to Jesus’s life?” A positive judgment vis-à-vis the former question does not obviate the possibility that the writer had other intentions. It does, however, determine more precisely what we might infer from the data. The reader might suggest that the writer of this volume is advocating what has been described as the “intentional fallacy,” a term coined by W. K. Wimsatt and M. C. Beardsley to describe the exegetical error in which one establishes a writer’s intention independent of and antecedent to reading the text and then uses that intention as a hermeneutical key by which to determine the meaning of the text.15 As formulated, this is, indeed, fallacious. Such an understanding of “intention”

14. Cf. Jonathan Bernier, Aposynagōgos and the Historical Jesus in John: Rethinking the Historicity of the Johannine Expulsion Passages (Biblical Interpretation Series 122; Leiden: Brill, 2013), 23–26. 15. W. K. Wimsatt, Jr. and M. C. Beardsley, “The Intentional Fallacy,” Sewanee Review 54/3 (1946): 468–88, reprinted in W. K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley, The Verbal Icon: Studies in the Meaning of Poetry (New York: Noonday Press, 1958), 3–18.

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or “intended sense” is not, however, what is meant here. Rather, following Meyer and him Lonergan,16 I envision a procedure much the opposite of the intentional fallacy. I do not determine the writer’s intention in order to read the text but, rather, read the text in order to determine the writer’s intention. I am asking simply what we ask in any act of communication: What does the communicator mean to communicate?17 Formulated thus, the intended sense is understood to be a feature of the text, not a key to the text: it is what the writer more or less successfully managed to communicate through her or his choice of words. Says Meyer: “ ‘Intention’ or ‘intended meaning’ is thus not only in the writer; it is also intrinsic to the text insofar as the text objectifies or incorporates or encodes or expresses the writer’s message.”18 This is, incidentally, exactly the response that one might give to those who cite Barthes’s message in his article on the “Death of the Author”19: in dispensing altogether with the intended sense, one dispenses with something intrinsic to the text, and thus it is the text and not the author that has been killed. We do, of course, need to give some thought to what we mean by an “author” in the ancient world. There can be little doubt that ancient compositional practices frequently involved a multitude of persons.20 In the New Testament, this is most evident when we come across letters that explicitly refer to multiple writers, and

16. Cf. the relatively succinct treatment of the matter in Meyer, Critical Realism, 17–56. 17. In a passage worth quoting at length, Meyer, Critical Realism, 19, suggests that writing calls for a more deliberate use of language than is usual in ordinary speaking. This deliberateness reflects a recognition that by writing one might transmit without being personally present and so be able to enter into an exchange with the reader, making good any failures in communication. The deliberateness of writing, then, is first of all the writer’s special efforts to ensure that the transmission adequately incorporate his intended meaning and that it meet in advance the foreseeable receivers’ foreseeable problems in construing it. Consequently, vis-à-vis the specific issue of defining a writer’s intention, while it is true that the written medium permits less immediate feedback than does the oral, it is also the case that writers can better compensate for that relative dearth in their compositional operations. Moreover, given that the closest we have to oral material from the ancient world is written material that once circulated orally, the distinction between oral and written material will always be somewhat chimerical for purposes of ancient-historical investigation. 18. Meyer, Critical Realism, 19. 19. Cf. Roland Barthes, Image-Music-Text (ed. and trans. Stephen Heath; New York: Hill and Wang, 1977), 142–48. Cf. the splendid critique in Seán Burke, The Death and Rebirth of the Author: Criticism and Subjectivity in Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida (2nd ed.; Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998). 20. With specific attention to the canonical gospels, cf. the discussion in E. Earle Ellis, The Making of the New Testament Documents (Leiden, Brill, 1999), 36–39.

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just as evident when New Testament texts refer to amanuenses, or when the amanuenses explicitly speak in their own voice.21 This does not even begin to address the phenomenon of composite works, nor the reality that amanuenses could function as little more than scribes who copied down the writer’s words or as secretaries who composed most, if not all, of a text in the writer’s name. The complex character of ancient authorial practice is, in fact, a minor matter for Meyer and those who follow him, however, for once we define the intended sense as a feature of the text, it becomes largely irrelevant whether we have occasion to use the pronouns “he,” “she,” or “they” to reference the author, because at the level of interpretation, the question remains the same: What do the author or authors intend to communicate through this text? The multiplicity of authorship becomes relevant only as a potential strategy by which to explain apparent incoherence within a given text or corpus, but even there we cannot operate on the blithe supposition that a singular author is incapable of self-reversal and selfcontradiction.22

21. Cf. the discussions in Ellis, Making, 39–42; E. Randolph Richards, The Secretary in the Letters of Paul (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1991). 22. An example wherein authorial complexity is quite possibly much more relevant than has been recognized hitherto in New Testament studies emerges when we consider the Pauline corpus: once the complexity of ancient authorial practice is granted, arguments from stylistic differences become significantly less compelling. P. N. Harrison, The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1921), 52–53, in his definitive treatment of the non-Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles, rejects the possibility that the Pastorals’ peculiarities are the consequence of an amanuensis’s operations in their production, supposing that (1) the only person who could have thus served as an amanuensis was Luke (cf. 2 Tim. 4:11), and (2) there is nothing distinctively Lukan about the peculiarities in question. Such arguments, even if granted, fail to consider the possibility that the work of amanuenses and co-authors has impacted the Pauline corpus as a whole: looking just at the undisputed Paulines, we have to consider the possibility that Tertius contributed significantly to the text of Romans (cf. Rom. 16:2), Sosthenes to that of 1 Corinthians, Timothy to that of 2 Corinthians, Philippians, or Philemon, Silvanus or Timothy to that of 1 Thessalonians; and including the broader corpus, we cannot rule out that Timothy contributed significantly to the text of Colossians or Silvanus and Timothy to the text of 2 Thessalonians. Indeed, of the undisputed epistles, only Galatians lacks clear evidence that Paul had a partner in the writing process, and thus it seems a questionable procedure to use these to establish the normative form of Pauline writing, then to be compared over and against texts such as 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus (wherein, again, there is no clear evidence of co-authors or amanuenses). Although Bart Ehrman, Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 218–22, has argued stridently against the hypothesis that amanuenses can and did contribute to the shape of the texts that they helped write, his almost entirely negative response to Richards, Secretary, 43–53, his primary interlocutor on this matter, is itself not without difficulties (which would take us farther afield than this tangential footnote has already taken us); and,

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Fortunately, we are not tasked with addressing every possible question relevant to the Evangelist’s intention. Rather, we can operate with a much more circumscribed question. The question that we as historians must ask is whether the Evangelists intended, to use Meyer’s word, “factuality.” As I do so, I will proceed in reverse canonical order, considering first John’s Gospel, then moving to the Synoptics, working backward through Luke, then to Mark and Matthew. There is a logic to this procedure, which I hope will become evident as it unfolds. Note, however, that the relative order of the discussion has no bearing on whether I think of any of the gospels as more relevant than any other, but, rather, merely reflects what I think to be the best means by which to organize the presentation of my arguments. The Aims of John John is really quite explicit regarding his intention. The most relevant texts are 20:30-31 and 21:24-25.23 20:30-31 tells us that although Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, the writer chose to report this particular selection thereof so that the reader might have reason to believe in particular doctrinal truths.24 Although John’s ultimate aim is thus to persuade the reader of

moreover, this would not address the matter of co-authors. Combined with the fact that even P. N. Harrison, Problem, 115–35, was prepared to see genuine Pauline fragments in the Pastoral epistles, and also the inconsistencies and tensions among even the undisputed Pauline Epistles argued by scholars such as John Drane, Hans Hübner, and Heikki Räisänen, the argument that the Pastoral Epistles must be excluded en toto from any consideration of Paul’s life or thought begins to appear less self-evident than is frequently supposed. For a recent critique of Harrison, cf. Jermo van Nes, “The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles: An Important Hypothesis Reconsidered,” in Paul and Pseudepigraphy (ed. Stanley E. Porter and Gregory P. Fewster; Pauline Studies 8; Leiden: Brill, 2013), 153–69. 23. Although I think that there is good reason to dissent from the consensus view that sees John 21 as a secondary addition to the Johannine text, in deference to the consensus, I will operate as if the secondary character of the passage is a given. Consequently, I will focus attention upon 20:30-31, with 21:24-25 used simply to buttress the argument. This is quite licit, for if Chapter 21 was written by the same writer who wrote Chapters 1–20, then we can suppose a similar intent, and if written by another writer, then, absent compelling evidence to the contrary, we can suppose that he was sympathetic to, and had some insight into, the intent of the foregoing chapters. Cf. the succinct summary of the arguments against the theory that Chapter 21 is a secondary addition in Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (2 vols.; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003), 1219–22. 24. There is a long-standing debate regarding whether John was writing for missionary purposes, that is, so that unbelievers might come to believe, or for catechetical purposes, that is, that believers might believe better. The debate is complicated by a textual variant in 20:31: Was the gospel written so that you pisteύshte (aorist subjunctive) or pisteύhte (present subjunctive)? For our purposes, this is a difference that makes little difference. It is

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the said doctrinal truths, it is by recounting (certain of) Jesus’s earthly activities that he means to achieve this aim.25 Such an aim, in fact, coheres remarkably well with the theology of the Johannine Prologue: the doctrinal truth about Jesus can be known because he, the divine Word, appeared in the flesh.26 Throughout the text, we keep coming back to this theme of doctrinal truth revealed through historical occurrence.27 Thus can we reasonably conclude that John intended history, for it is precisely in history that he envisions revelation taking place. Moreover, 20:30-31 implies, although it does not state explicitly, that Jesus’s earthly disciples, or at least some of them, are sources for John’s Gospel. 21:24-25 reinforces the impression that we garner from 20:30-31, stating that what is to be found in John’s Gospel is but

sufficient for us that John communicates a conviction that belief can be either initiated or deepened by knowledge of Jesus’s earthly deeds. Rudolf Bultmann, The Gospel of John (trans. By R. Beasley-Murray, R. W. N. Hoare, and J. K. Riches; repr. with new foreword; Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2014), 698–99, argues that “so far as the Evangelist is concerned it is irrelevant whether the possible readers are already ‘Christians,’ or are not yet such; for to him the faith of ‘Christians’ is not a conviction that is present once for all, but it must perpetually make sure of itself anew, and therefore must continually hear the word anew”; if such a reading is to be accepted, then the lack of difference between pisteύshte and pisteύhte is not merely functional and particular to this discussion but, in fact, substantive and intrinsic to the gospel. That said, Bultmann’s tendency toward a quasi-Heideggerian existentialism, fully on display in this passage and often hitting upon important dimensions of the New Testament text, here eclipses the reality that the Johannine evangelist is concerned not simply with the deepening of a certain subjective orientation but also with the affirmation of (what are to the evangelist) objective, doctrinal truths, namely Jesus’s status as messiah and son of God. 25. Richard Bauckham has recently revived an older British approach, which sees in the Johannine Gospel a concern with the particularities of Jesus’s life not despite but rather because of the evangelist’s conviction that in those particularities is revealed the God of Israel; cf. the succinct statement in Richard Bauckham, Testimony of the Beloved Disciple (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2007), 14, that “the Gospel’s theology itself requires a concern for history” (emphasis removed from original). On this older approach, cf. Rowan Williams, “Anglican Approaches to St. John’s Gospel,” in The Gospel of John and Christian Theology (ed. Richard Bauckham and Carl Mosser; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008), 68–81. 26. Bultmann, Gospel of John, connects John 20:31 back to John 1:12, emphasizing the importance for Johannine soteriology of the phrase “in his name.” No doubt, this is an important resonance, but for our present purposes, of greater significance is the Johannine alignment of incarnation and revelation: it is precisely through the Word’s incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth that Jesus can reveal the God of Israel, and thus what was done by and to Jesus of Nazareth is not a matter of either theological or historical indifference to the Johannine evangelist. 27. John 19:31-37 is a signal example: the particular details of Jesus’s crucifixion serve to establish Jesus’s messianic identity.

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a small selection of Jesus’s activities, but a selection of his activities, nonetheless.28 21:24-25’s main contribution is to identify the Beloved Disciple explicitly as the writer of the gospel.29 Repeatedly the writer evinces an aim to report upon actual courses of events. It is, of course, possible that John’s claims in these regards are intentionally false statements that are part of an elaborate fiction. That would have to be shown, however, not supposed. The only viable operation is to suppose that the writer means what he writes until we have reason to think otherwise. If it is always necessary to demonstrate that writers mean what they write, then exegesis becomes, in principle, impossible, as we have functionally severed what was meant from what was written; and if it is not always necessary, then one must explain why it is necessary in this particular case rather than in another. Note, of course, that this does not rule out the possibility of fiction, of irony, or the like, but it is, rather, simply to recognize that it is not sufficient to state, “The writer might be writing fiction.” Rather, one must demonstrate that this is likely the case. In aiming to do so, one will get only so far by adducing formal parallels, and, in fact, the presence of such parallels would be neither necessary nor sufficient conditions on the matter—not necessary, because we cannot rule out a priori the possibility that John’s Gospel is the only extant example of such a fiction; and not sufficient, because the existence of such fictions employing language such as that found in these passages would, in fact, demonstrate that these conventions were taken seriously enough to lampoon and thus raise the possibility that this is an instance not of lampoon but, rather, of the conventions themselves. Nonetheless, although not, strictly speaking, necessary, the more that one emphasizes the uniqueness of such a fiction, the more one begs the question of whether it is a fiction in the first place; and although not, strictly speaking, sufficient, if one could establish that there is a genre that uses such conventions as part of a fiction and that John’s Gospel better fits this genre than any other, then one might well be able to sustain

28. This would remain the case whether we considered the “these things” of 21:24 as a reference to that which is found in the entirety of the gospel or, as I would think less likely, only to that which is found in Chapter 21. Either way, we are informed by the author that what we have read are things that Jesus had done, thus speaking to an intention that includes factuality. 29. John 19:35 and 21:24, the Johannine “we-passages,” have led not a few scholars to the exegetical conclusion that the Beloved Disciple is not to be identified as the actual writer of the Johannine Gospel; cf. esp. R. Alan Culpepper, The Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel: A Study in Literary Design (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1983), 44. Certainly, 19:35 and 21:25 stand as potential evidence for a corporate authorship of some sort; cf. the discussion in Bultmann, Gospel of John, 678, 717–18, which contributed significantly to the emergence of Johannine community criticism in postwar scholarship. Whether the Beloved Disciple composed the work himself or served as a primary trident, the data are sufficient to demonstrate that the writer had an interest in connecting his testimony to a flesh-andblood witness who could aid in differentiating fact from nonfact.

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the case for fiction. That said, the work that has been done on genre does not tend to support such a hypothetical situation, and, as such, we would do best to judge that the intention that John seems to articulate prima facie is, in fact, his intention.30

The Aims of the Synoptic Tradition We move next to Luke’s Gospel, for among the Synoptic Gospels Luke is clearest about his intention. I refer, of course, to the prologue to the Lukan Gospel (Lk. 1:1-4). Luke really could not be clearer regarding his intention, namely to inform the reader regarding the truth about the things that have happened, things he has researched carefully.31 Since what follows is an account of Jesus’s life, we can reasonably infer that the “events that have been fulfilled among us” refer at least minimally to those of Jesus’s life (and potentially also to the early development of the Christian movement, as presented in the Acts). Moreover, while it seems likely that the ἀsjάleia of 1:4 includes doctrinal truths,32 it likely also refers to a Lukan intention to present as carefully (ἀkribῶV) as possible the course of Jesus’s life.33

30. Cf. esp. Richard A. Burridge, What Are the Gospels? A Comparison with GraecoRoman Biography (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004), 213–32. 31. One can adduce a large range of literary antecedents and parallels to the Lukan prologue, on which cf. Loveday Alexander, The Preface to Luke’s Gospel: Literary Convention and Social Context in Luke 1:1-4 Acts 1:1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); Samuel A. Byrskog, Story as History, History as Story: The Gospel Tradition in the Context of Ancient Oral History (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 228–32; Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Luke I-IX (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981), 287–90; I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke (Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1978), 45. It would be a non sequitur, to thus conclude that this prologue is just empty rhetoric telling us nothing about Lukan aims. Indeed, granted that he is following preexisting convention here, the very fact that he chose to follow these particular conventions tells us something about his aim: he wants to be understood as someone who places emphasis upon empirical investigation. Whether that is how he actually operated is, of course, an altogether different question, but not one for interpretation proper. 32. Note also kathcέw, which opens up for consideration an interesting potential relationship to the development of Christian catechesis. Cp. Acts 18:25, where it does seem to reference some sort of formal instruction. Luke can also use it to reference something more like the recounting of events; cf. Acts 21:21, 24. I am inclined to think that Christian doctrine and dominical narrative were so indissolubly linked in the early decades of the movement that both “instruct” and “recount” are in view here. 33. It can be debated whether ἀkribῶV should be taken with parhkolouqhkόti or grάyai: Did Luke investigate carefully or write carefully? For our purposes, this seems to be a difference that makes no difference. Either way, Luke wants to present himself as a writer who has taken care and diligence in the processes eventuating in his text.

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Whereas Luke and John give us explicit insight into their intention, we have no such advantage in the case of the Markan and the Matthean gospels. This is not as much a problem as it might at first seem, however, for in the cases of both the Lukan and Johannine gospels, we were already dealing with matters of inference. The nature of the data simply requires us to go about doing the work of inference a little bit differently in the particular cases of the Matthean and Markan gospels than in the cases of the Lukan and Johannine gospels. Five lines of inference will converge to warrant the judgment that both Mark and Matthew aimed to report factuality. These might be designated as the inference from Lukan “others,” the inference from form and content, the inference from reception, the inference from Synoptic relationships, and the inference from Patristic testimony. These are ranked more or less in order from weakest to strongest although, in fact, it is their cumulative weight that will carry the day. The first three of these are closely interrelated. I begin with the inference from Lukan “others.” In Luke 1:1-4, Luke tells us that polloὶ had already undertaken to produce accounts of the Christian past, and that he intends to do likewise. Luke’s awareness of accounts comparable to his own creates an antecedent anticipation that we will find in the data evidence of two or more accounts with a comparable intention. Thus, when we come across the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, which are generally comparable in form and content to the Lukan Gospel, we should be antecedently disposed to suppose that they further share an intention comparable to that of Luke. That the church sometime in the second century received these two as being of the same kind as Luke’s Gospel and also John’s, evincing no retrospective awareness that Matthew and Mark held intentions markedly distinct from Luke’s, bolsters this hypothesis through the inference from reception. The inference from Synoptic relationships is an extension of the inference from reception. It operates on a supposition, namely that a writer who aims to report history and to be adequately knowledgeable about the matter will tend to prefer sources that evince a similar concern, and its corollary, namely that if a writer uses sources that evince a concern with history, then that writer likely uses such sources because she or he intends history. Since, in the particular case of Matthew and Mark, we not only lack reason to think otherwise but also possess reason, in fact, to think antecedently that they did intend history, then if we see them using a text that evinces such intention, such as Luke’s Gospel, or if Luke’s Gospel uses them, we can infer that they intend history. Let us not consider matters in the abstract but actually consider more specifically how this plays out with regard to various hypotheses of Synoptic relationships. First, let us divide such hypotheses into three groups: full dependence, semidependence, and full independence. Full dependence hypotheses include the Augustinian, the Farrer, and the Griesbach, that is, theories that posit that each Synoptic Gospel stands in a direct relationship of dependence to another, either as the dependee or the dependent; semi-dependence hypotheses include the Two-Document Hypothesis, that is, theories that assume that any two Synoptic Gospels  stand in an independent relationship to each other; full independence

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hypotheses suppose that all three Synoptics are independent of each other. This heuristic distinction will be helpful as we consider the matter at hand. We begin with Luke’s relationship to Mark. If Luke used Mark’s Gospel as a historical source, and if Luke intended history, then it seems likely that Luke thought Mark’s Gospel to intend history; if Mark used Luke’s Gospel, and if Luke intended history, then we can infer that Mark was interested in incorporating into his account sources that intended history, from which we might infer that he intended likewise. Combined with the antecedent anticipations generated previously, this leads us to a conclusion regarding Markan intention on all full-dependence hypotheses, and also on any semi-dependence hypothesis that supposes that Luke’s Gospel stands in a relationship of dependence with Mark’s, that conclusion being that Mark likely intended factuality. Thus, of the most commonly held hypotheses, the inference stands on the Augustinian, Farrer, Griesbach, and Two-Document hypotheses. It does not stand on full independence. Let us now consider Luke’s relationship to Matthew. The situation is much the same as with Mark’s Gospel. If Luke used Matthew’s Gospel as a historical source, and if Luke intended history, then it seems likely that Luke thought Matthew’s Gospel to intend history; if Matthew used Luke’s Gospel, and if Luke intended history, then we can infer that Matthew was interested in incorporating into his account sources that intended history, from which we might further infer that he intended likewise. Again, combined with antecedent anticipations, this allows us to identify Matthean intention as aligned with Lukan on the specific issue of factuality on all full dependence hypotheses, and also on any semi-dependence hypothesis that supposes that Luke’s Gospel stands in a relationship of dependence with Matthew’s. Thus, of the most commonly held hypotheses, the inference stands on the Augustinian, Farrer, and Griesbach. It does not stand on any semi-dependence hypothesis that supposes Matthew’s Gospel to be independent of Luke’s (as does the Two-Document Hypothesis), nor does it stand on full independence. If one favors the Augustinian, Farrer, or Griesbach hypotheses, then the foregoing should suffice to establish Matthean and Markan intention as aligned to Lukan, on the specific matter of factuality. Given the number of proponents of the Two-Document Hypothesis still out there, this is not adequate, however. Thus do we continue. We noted that Markan intention can be defined to include history on the Two-Document Hypothesis, and this because if Luke used Mark’s Gospel as a historical source, and if Luke intended history, then it seems likely that Luke thought Mark’s Gospel to intend history. If, as in the Two-Document Hypothesis, Matthew used Mark’s Gospel, and if we can infer that Mark intended factuality, then we can infer that Matthew was interested in incorporating into his account sources that intended history, from which we might infer that he intended likewise. Thus we can define Matthean intention to include factuality also on the Two-Document Hypothesis, albeit in a more roundabout fashion. The reasoning involved in doing so can, in fact, be extended to any semi-dependence hypothesis; however, since, to the best of my knowledge, the Two-Document Hypothesis is the only one enjoying any popularity, I will dispense with such a demonstration.

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That leaves only full independence. Let us work it through. If Luke used pre-Synoptic material as a historical source, and if Luke intended history, then it seems likely that the pre-Synoptic material also intended history. If Matthew used that same pre-Synoptic material, and if that pre-Synoptic material intended history, then we can infer that Matthew was interested in incorporating into his account sources that intended history, from which we might further infer that he intended likewise. If Mark used that same pre-Synoptic material, and if that preSynoptic material intended history, then we can infer that Mark was interested in incorporating into his account sources that intended history, from which we might further infer that he intended likewise. The Synoptic Problem thus becomes a Synoptic Opportunity: an opportunity to define more precisely what the Synoptic Evangelists intended. Last of all, there is the Patristic testimony regarding the intentions of Mark and Matthew. This will be considered at greater length in Chapter 6, so here I will simply direct the reader to Papias’s early-second-century statements on the matter, recorded for us in Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History 3.39.15-16. This testimony confirms what we otherwise have reason to suspect: that both writers were concerned with the matter of factuality. Evidence that the author was concerned with factuality cannot be translated directly into historical judgments, however. The movement from intention to history is not accomplished by supposing that or even asking whether or not a given Evangelist or other author achieved his or her intent at reporting factuality, but, rather, what we can infer about the course of Jesus’s life from the fact that this author with an intention reasonably defined as to include factuality, reported these particular matters in this particular way. That is the work of history proper.

Chapter 3 History and Dialectic

Let it be affirmed that the primary work of the historical Jesus scholar is history. This would be a point of pure pedantry, were it not for the presence of scholarship that mistakes discussions of such matters as source, form, and redaction criticism, or exegesis, for the work of the historical Jesus scholar. Yet, no such criticism or exegetical investigation, no matter how necessary it might be as a precondition for doing history, is, in fact, history. At the same time, just as research and interpretation stand as preconditions for history in Lonergan’s understanding, history stands as a precondition for dialectic. It is thus useful to consider the work of dialectic, as that can help us recognize history not as an end unto itself but as a movement toward other spheres of knowing. This chapter is thus concerned with both the work of history and that of dialectic.

History “History,” says Lonergan, “is basic, special, or general.” Basic history tells us where (places, territories) and when (dates, periods) who (persons, places) did what (in public life, as external acts) to enjoy what success, suffer what reversals, exert what influence. So it makes as specific and precise as possible the more easily recognized and acknowledged features of human activities in their geographical distribution and temporal succession. Special histories tell of movements, whether cultural (language, art, literature, religion), institutional (family, mores, society, education, state, law, church, sect, economy, technology), or doctrinal (mathematics, natural science, human science, philosophy, history, theology). General history is, perhaps, just an ideal. It would be basic history illuminated and completed by the special histories. It would offer the total view or some approximation to it. It would express the historian’s information, understanding, judgment, and evaluation with regard to the sum of cultural, institutional, and doctrinal movements in their concrete setting.1

1. Bernard Lonergan, Method in Theology (New York: Herder and Herder), 128.

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Historical Jesus studies is most fundamentally concerned with what Lonergan calls basic history: How did Jesus operate in his particular place, and why did he operate as such? This can be related to special history, and, indeed, much of the work that has been done to situate Jesus in relation to the Jewish tradition operates at the interface between basic and special history, which can, in principle, help us move toward a general history of ancient Judaism and Christianity. The final three chapters of this volume will operate more or less at that interface, while incorporating insights from research, interpretation, and dialectics, in order to connect Jesus both with his Jewish antecedents and milieu and with his Christian subsequents. Before we turn to that work, however, we need to consider exactly what it means to do history, moving as we do through Lonergan’s threefold imperative: be attentive, be intelligent, be reasonable. Attend to the Data For the biblical scholar operating as a historian, data refer primarily to material furnished by the biblical scholar operating as exegete, and also secondarily to such additional resources as the interpretation of archaeological excavations, including inscriptions, architecture, and comparative historical data. The salient philosophical point to be repeated is that these data are not historical reality. Rather, historical reality is what we seek to know. It is the object of investigation. Data are that to which we attend in order to know that object. Once again, they are like the shadows in Plato’s cave: the effects of reality but not reality itself, of objects but not objects. Vis-à-vis attending to the data, there seem to be two major areas in which historical Jesus scholarship currently struggles. Each has to do with what constitutes data. The first is a tendency to treat as data relevant to the matter at hand a great deal of material that is, in fact, not particularly relevant while ignoring much that is. For instance, while second-, third-, and fourth-century texts yield data relevant for a great number of questions, it is, nonetheless, the case that questions about Jesus’s activity are probably for the most part not among them2; ethnographic and ethnological studies of twentieth-century groups probably yield even fewer relevant data3; conversely, archaeological research into Roman

2. John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew (5 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1991–), 1:141, offers what remains probably the best verdict on the matter: “To call upon the Gospel of Peter or the Gospel of Thomas to supplement our Four Gospels is to broaden out our pool of resources from the difficult to the incredible.” This seems to be borne out in the recent development of the historical Jesus enterprise. Despite the mania with which the apocryphal material was approached in the 1980s and 1990s, by c. 2000 there seemed to have emerged a functional yet general consensus that the four canonical gospels remain our best sources. 3. Such ethnographic and ethnological material furnishes the ground for much of the recent spate of interest in orality. Cf. Kenneth E. Bailey, Poet and Peasant: A Literary-Critical Approach to the Parables in Luke (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1976); Kenneth E. Bailey, Through Peasant Eyes: More Lucan Parables, Their Culture and Style (Grand Rapids, MI:

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Galilee, once properly interpreted, probably yields a whole host of relevant data, however indirect that relevance might be4; and so also does John’s Gospel, as recent studies have demonstrated beyond much reasonable doubt.5 The former two categories have in recent decades been given much more attention than can be warranted, while the latter two have until relatively recently been recurrently and unjustifiably neglected. The consequences of this first struggle can be better elucidated if we consider what has come to be known as “mythicism,” that is, that school of thought promoted primarily by and among internet trolls and uncredentialed authors and which claims that Jesus never existed.6 Mythicists typically observe the presence of mythic motifs in the gospel accounts and note that these stand in parallel to similar motifs in the accounts of certain ancient deities and heroes. This has but the illusion of attentiveness, and this because, on the one hand, mythicists recurrently fail to remember (and in most cases probably never heard) Sandmel’s warning about parallelomania, namely that the mere establishment of formal

Eerdmans, 1980); Werner H. Kelber, The Oral and the Written Gospel: The Hermeneutics of Speaking and Writing in the Synoptic Tradition, Mark, Paul, and Q (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1983). 4. Cf. now the quite helpful syntheses in James H. Charlesworth, ed., Jesus and Temple: Textual and Archaeological Explorations (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2014); David A. Fiensy and James Riley Strange, eds., Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic, Volume 1: Life, Society, and Culture (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014); David A. Fiensy and James Riley Strange, eds., Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic, Volume 2: The Archaeological Record from Cities, Towns, and Villages (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2015). 5. Cf. especially the contributions collected in Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher, eds., John, Jesus, and History, Volume 1: Critical Appraisals of Critical Views (Society of Biblical Literature Symposium Series 44; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007); Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher, eds., John, Jesus, and History, Volume 2: Aspects of Historicity in the Fourth Gospel (Early Christianity and its Literature 2; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009). 6. The one mythicist contribution that has appeared in any publication or from any publisher of significant academic repute is Richard Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason to Doubt (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014). Carrier himself lacks credentials in New Testament studies, however, which is not reason to reject his argument, but does leave one wondering why it is that adequately credentialed New Testament scholars almost universally reject the mythicist position. The mythicist narrative rests essentially upon a conspiracy theory, namely that New Testament scholars are beholden to disciplinary pressure such that they are unable to see or speak the truth, but that just begs the question by supposing that mythicism is true. A more prudent narrative would probably be that the best-informed persons on any given matter near-universally reject a given position because that position is simply not warranted on the data (substitute “biologist” for “New Testament scholar” and “creationism” for “mythicism” and one will readily see the manifest prudence of such a position).

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parallels is insufficient to establish the substantive identity between two entities,7 while on the other hand, they frequently overlook crucial differences between the accounts regarding the figures that they adduce and the accounts regarding Jesus of Nazareth. Simultaneously, they frequently engage in specious arguments to explain why those data that contradict the mythicist hypothesis, most notably the material found in the canonical gospels—which would seem much more relevant than material significantly removed from the events under discussion by culture and centuries—are not, in fact, relevant at all. These are failures of attention, in that they focus upon data of highly dubious relevance to the work of historical Jesus studies while they refuse to properly attend to data that have undoubted relevance. A second area of struggle in historical Jesus studies vis-à-vis the work of attending to the data is a tendency to take as data texts rather than the meanings communicated through texts as data for historical Jesus studies. The consequences of such an error can perhaps be better defined through a clarification by contrast with what R. G. Collingwood, whose thinking on history and historiography deeply influenced both Bernard Lonergan and Ben F. Meyer, has called “scissorsand-paste” history. In a passage worth quoting at length, Collingwood defines scissors-and-paste history as follows: There is a kind of history which depends altogether upon the testimony of authorities. As I have already said, it is not really history at all, but we have no other name for it. The method by which it proceeds is first to decide what we want to know about, and then to go in search of statements about it, oral or written, purporting to be made by actors in the events concerned, or by eyewitnesses of them, or by persons repeating what actors or eyewitnesses have told them, or have told their informants, or those who informed their informants, and so on. Having found in such a statement something relevant to his purpose, the historian excerpts it and incorporates it, translated as necessary and recast into what we consider a suitable style, in his own history. As a rule, where he has many statements to draw upon, he will find that one of them tells him what another does not; so both or all of them will be incorporated. Sometimes he will find that one of them contradicts another; then, unless he can find a way of reconciling them, he must decide to leave one out; and this, if he is conscientious, will involve him in a critical consideration of the contradictory authorities’ relative degree of trustworthiness. And sometimes one of them, or possibly all of them, will tell him a story which he simply cannot believe, a story characteristic, perhaps, of the superstitions or prejudices of the author’s time or the circle in which he lived, but not credible to a more enlightened age, and therefore to be omitted.8

7. Cf. Samuel Sandmel, “Parallelomania,” Journal of Biblical Literature 81/1 (1962): 1–13. 8. R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History (rev. ed.; ed. Jan van der Dussen; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 257.

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If this sounds familiar to the reader, that would be because Collingwood might as well be describing much of the scholarship produced under the rubric of “historical Jesus studies” over the last two or so centuries. Scissors-and-paste history achieved virtual apotheosis in the criteria of authenticity, and, indeed, what is the question of authenticity but simply the question of which ancient testimonies are to be excerpted and incorporated into our own accounts? Crossan’s drive for methodological rigor,9 which produced perhaps the best-written dead end in the history of the historical Jesus enterprise, is intelligible only within a scissors-and-paste paradigm. Seen in this light, much (although not necessarily all) of the recent focus upon the reliability of eyewitness testimony within the gospel tradition is simply another iteration of scissors-and-paste history. Let us illustrate the matter further by reference to what we might call Collingwood’s allegory of the ship. Imagine that you look out at the water and see a ship. A few minutes later you look again and see an apparently identical ship in a different location. The allegory of the ship helps us define more precisely the epistemic difficulty with scissors-and-paste historiography, namely that it equates perception with reality and thus datum with event. As such, since there were two perceptions of a ship, there must either be two ships or one or both perceptions must be in error. By way of a more topical example, consider the Sending of the Twelve and the Seventy(-Two). The Sending of the Twelve appears in each of the three Synoptics: Mt. 10:5-15, Mk. 6:6-13, and Lk. 9:1-6. In these passages, Jesus gathers together the Twelve, in each gospel previously constituted as a group (cf. Mt. 10:1-4; Mk. 3:13-19; Lk. 6:12-16), and commands them to go to the villages proclaiming his message. The sending of the Seventy(-Two) appears only in Lk. 10:1-12, wherein much of the charge given by Jesus to the Twelve in Matthew has now been relocated as a charge to seventy (or seventy-two, depending upon textual witness) disciples. Under a scissors-and-paste history, since the data references Sendings of the Twelve and of the Seventy-Two, there must either have been two Sendings or one or both Sendings must be inauthentic. Other possibilities are foreclosed from the off. Vis-à-vis the work of attending to the data, scissors-and-paste history distorts matters by forcing us to ask the wrong questions. Such questions are for the most part variants on the question “Is the datum real?” So: “Did the text really happen?” This error begins to account for the urgency and premium that certain iterations of the historical Jesus project have placed upon such tangentially relevant texts as the Gospel of Thomas. The Gospel of Thomas, in fact, tells the historian little more than what she or he can already infer from other literature, namely that Jesus was someone who taught his disciples on a variety of matters. As such, it will only be of much interest to the historical Jesus scholar who thinks it to be her or his task to judge what in the sources Jesus actually did. In such a case, the Gospel of Thomas is a gold mine of new potential speech events. Only in that case is it also of interest for the historical

9. John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1991), xxvii–xxxiv.

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Jesus scholar to work with hypothetical early forms of Thomas that might contain material coeval to or even earlier than those in the Synoptic Gospels,10 and this only because one has judged as a matter of methodological principle that earlier material is more worthy of being pasted into our historical narratives than later material; this constitutes an almost literal cutting and pasting, although operating at the level not of history but, in fact, of research, as what is constructed is, in effect, a novel text. Yet, ultimately it yields nothing of particular interest or use to the historian, and that for reasons that will become evident as we proceed. Be Intelligent The aim of the historian operating intelligently is to render from the mass of data to which he or she has attended an account of the past that is intelligible in human terms. That is to say, the historian operating intelligently asks who did what, when, how, and why. Thus the questions for intelligence are, by definition, questions to which “Yes,” “No,” or “Maybe” are not possibilities. It should be noted that, conceivably, there could—and often, perhaps usually, will—be more than one intelligible account, and, indeed, in principle one should at this stage identify all conceivable accounts. In practice, of course, this is frequently impossible to achieve, and, as such, the work of intelligence typically proceeds alongside the work of reason, thus dispensing with many, perhaps most, ideas almost as soon as they are entertained. This is simply a reminder that heuristic order is not always identical with practical implementation. That these questions for intelligence must yield answers that are intelligible in human terms is a desideratum of the work of history, for history seeks ultimately to know not what happened in the past but, rather, the human significance of what happened. It is not a fully historical account to say that Hurricane Katrina struck the city of New Orleans in the fall of 2005; that statement, while true, belongs to the realm of meteorology. The discussion becomes a historical account only when we begin to consider the human response to this occurrence. Thus the work of intelligence remains incomplete—indeed, does not even start—until an attempt is made to account for human actions. The test for intelligence is not a test of truth but a test of completeness: Has the answer to the question risen to the point of a properly historical explanation? Let us again consider mythicism as a negative example. If one grants counterfactually that mythicism attends properly to the data,

10. Cf. the magisterial work of detecting the early history of the Thomasine text carried out by April D. DeConick, Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel and its Growth (Library of New Testament Studies 286; London: T&T Clark, 2005), and April D. DeConick, The Original Gospel of Thomas in Translation: With a Commentary and New English Translation of the Complete Gospel (Library of New Testament Studies 287; London: T&T Clark, 2006). It should be noted that DeConick evinces little interest in utilizing her recovered text in order to study the historical Jesus, and, in fact, is critical of the Jesus Seminar’s efforts to utilize Thomas to such an end (cf. DeConick, Recovering, 244–49).

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then its efforts to construct a coherent and intelligible world from those data can be defined as a work of intelligence. Questions about human operations must be asked: Who are the human agents who first came to believe in a mythical Jesus and then went about converting him into a historical figure? Why did they do this? When? Where? How? Mythicist accounts tend to gloss over such questions without reckoning with the reality that in so doing they have ignored the weightier matters of history, so it is only when these questions are asked and answered, however provisionally, that historical hypotheses worth the name begin to form. With an adequate understanding of the work of intelligence, we can begin to understand more fully why it is that no history grounded in a scissors-and-paste paradigm can hope to adequately ascertain past realities. Here we might again utilize Collingwood’s allegory of the ship. A scissors-and-paste historiography could only offer four possible explanations for the doublet, that is sighting of the ship, none of which is likely to be the correct one. One, there might have been two ships, the first in one location and the second in another. Two, there might have been but one ship, the first, while the second was something other than real. Third, there might again have been but one ship, the second, while the first was something other than real. Fourth, there might not have been any ships at all, both being something other than real. The obvious and most likely solution, namely that one ship moved between the two sightings, is unknowable to scissors-and-paste history. It cannot be advanced even as a possibility. Yet, precisely because such an explanation makes the data so immediately intelligible, it is also the explanation that intelligence can least afford to overlook. If we translate this into more generic terms, then we might articulate this in schematic form by the use of a Punnett Square. Datum A Real Datum B

Unreal

Real

Both A and B constitute actual events

Only B constitutes an actual event

Unreal

Only A constitutes an actual event

Neither A nor B constitutes an actual event

Now, in a scissors-and-paste world, if we return to the example of the Sendings, there are only the following four options, again expressed via a Punnett Square. The Sending of the Twelve Real

The Sending of the Seventy(-Two)

Unreal

Real

Jesus on one occasion sent out the Twelve and on another the seventy(-two)

Jesus sent out only the Seventy(-Two)

Unreal

Jesus sent out only the Twelve

Jesus sent out neither the Twelve nor the Seventy(-Two)

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Just as with the allegory of the ship, no possibility is permitted that is not already given in the data. This greatly restricts our capacity to infer intelligible accounts from the relevant data. Let me suggest a hypothesis that is not given in the data but which is a quite intelligent construal of the data: that while Jesus did send out missionaries to announce his coming and to recruit followers and sympathizers in the villages of at least the Galilee, nonetheless, he did not do this on one or two specific occasions but, rather, throughout his ministry at various points, as he judged specific followers to be ready for this work. This is itself predicated upon a series of antecedent judgments, including but not limited to the following: that the numbers twelve and seventy(-two) constitute theological themes, which represent, respectively, all Israel and all the nations, evincing the Evangelists’ respective interests in situating Jesus’s ministry as a movement aimed at the restoration of Israel and, in the specific case of Luke’s Gospel, as the seedbed for the Gentile mission; that in producing these theological schema, the Evangelists are more interested in presenting the significance of Jesus’s activity in sending out his disciples on missionary activities than they are in accurately defining either the number of occasions that such Sendings occurred or the number of disciples sent on each occasion. The hypothesis offered above is an attempt to articulate how Jesus’s actual practice might have proceeded in a manner that is quite intelligible in human terms. All of this is quite intelligible, yet none is accessible to the scissorsand-paste historian. Now, it might be objected: Does such a hypothesis not necessarily suppose that the Sendings describe “real” events, thus leading us back to the question of attention and the nature of data? Not at all!—and that is precisely the point. In point of fact, the conclusion is precisely that the Sendings, as described in the various Synoptic Gospels, do not describe “what happened”; it would seem passing strange to argue that I have begged the question in concluding that these passages describe actual events when, in fact, I do not conclude thus at all. For a similar reason, neither am I “conflating” accounts, for vis-à-vis the work of history, such conflation requires that one has judged those accounts to be conflated to be real or authentic. If I were to argue that Jesus first sent out Twelve and then later sent out Seventy(-Two) disciples, then perhaps I would be guilty of conflating the accounts, but that only if I were guilty of the antecedent sins of confusing data with reality and text with event; if one came to such an argument through intelligent operations rather than the pseudo-intelligence entailed by scissors-and-paste history, it would still not be conflation, as given the nature of the data for history, there is nothing for the genuinely intelligent historian to conflate. The above is all to say that the work of historical intelligence is inferential. I infer from the presence of certain data that originated in the past and which are extant in the present that certain events must have occurred in the past. These events might or might not closely resemble what is described in my texts, and at times they will not be mentioned anywhere in my sources at all. That is precisely the point of the allegory of the ship: nowhere is there in the data an experience of watching the ship move, yet the observer can be reasonably confident that precisely such an

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event has occurred. Sometimes, in fact, I must make inferences that stand at direct variance with my sources; for instance, while the Gospels of Matthew and Luke insist that Jesus of Nazareth had no earthly father, the historian is not without grounds to think that, in fact, he did (the identity of that hypothetical father, whether Joseph or another man, is, of course, a different question). Ultimately, however, it is not the work of intelligence but, rather, that of reason to adjudicate which of my inferences are to be affirmed and which rejected. Be Reasonable If intelligence defines hypotheses to be tested, then reason is the test. As stated above, in principle, the work of intelligence should consist of identifying all possible hypotheses, that is, all possible answers to a given question. As also noted, in practice, this is ordinarily outside the realm of human capacity. It is reason, operating concurrently with intelligence in practice, although not in heuristic schema, that allows us to pare down the number of hypotheses to a cognitively manageable level. This is because reason asks but one question: “Is it true?”—“it” being whatever hypothesis is under discussion. And reason knows but three possible answers: “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe” (the latter really being a nonanswer, that is, the judgment that the nature of the data is such as to exclude a confident judgment of either “Yes” or “No”). The work of judgment seems to be where we are most struggling as historical Jesus scholars in 2016. We have come to recognize rightly that understanding is by definition constructed. Recent breakthroughs in historical Jesus studies have, indeed, centered upon the full recognition of the Gospels’ constructed character. This recognition has gone under the cipher of “memory,” as intimated by Dunn’s Jesus Remembered, but the matter under debate has essentially to do with the relationship between ideal constructions and historical reality.11 The difficulty is

11. The clearest explicit recognition that in dealing with memory we are dealing with construction is presented perhaps by Dale C. Allison, Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2010), but it is surely immanent, if only implicit, throughout the entirety of recent discussions on memory in historical Jesus studies. Indeed, James D. G. Dunn, Jesus Remembered (Christianity in the Making 1; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003), could have been entitled Jesus Constructed with little violence to Dunn’s overall argument. Cf. also the signal contributions, all of which are generally constructionist (if by other names), in Chris Keith, Jesus’ Literacy: Scribal Literacy and the Teacher from Galilee (Library of Historical Jesus Studies 8/Library of New Testament Studies 413; London: T&T Clark, 2011), 27–50; Chris Keith, “Memory and Authenticity: Jesus Tradition and What Really Happened,” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunder der älteren Kirche 102 (2011): 155–77; Anthony Le Donne, The Historiographical Jesus: Memory, Typology, and the Son of David (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2009); Rafael Rodríguez, Structuring Early Christian Memory: Jesus in Tradition, Performance and Text (Library of New Testament Studies 407; London: T&T Clark, 2010).

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that we lack a full account of how we can adjudicate among all the possible extant understandings regarding Jesus’s life, both ancient and modern. This has led to a nihilism that constitutes a self-evident dead-end, namely the radical skepticism that has emerged regarding the reliability of memory, which constitutes little more than an inchoate argument against the possibility that constructed statements can be true statements.12 Such radical skepticism regarding the reliability of memory seems to proceed with an unspoken major, namely “Any statement that is constructed cannot be adjudicated as either true or false,” and an unspoken minor, namely “All memories are constructed,” which leads to the conclusion that “By virtue of being constructed, memories cannot be adjudicated as either true or false.” Yet, this conclusion itself cannot possibly be true, and that on the basis of the constructionism supposed by the unspoken minor. Let us consider why that is the case. The constructionism advanced by the linguistic turn and adverted to in postmodern13 historiography begins with the indisputable premise that all language is constructed. If all language is constructed, then the statement “All statements are constructed” must be true. If that statement is true, then it must itself be constructed. If it is true and thus constructed, then it must be a constructed and true statement. More to the point, it is demonstrably true, as we

12. Cf. esp. Zeba Crook, “Collective Memory Distortion and the Quest for the Historical Jesus,” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 11/3 (2013): 53–76; Judith C. S. Redman, “How Accurate Are Eyewitnesses? Bauckham and the Eyewitness in the Light of Psychological Research,” Journal of Biblical Literature 129/1 (2010): 177–97. Both Crook and Redman seem to suppose a functionally scissors-and-paste philosophy of history that looks for events of Jesus’s life in the source texts, and against such a philosophy of history, their arguments are quite apposite. Once one dispenses with such a philosophy, these arguments lose much of their vitality. 13. Considering the appearance more than twenty-five years ago of such contributions to the broader humanities as John Frow, “What Was Postmodernism?” in Past the Last Post: Theorizing Post-Colonialism and Post-Modernism (ed. Ian Adams and Helen Tiffin; Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1990), 139–52—note the past tense—the zeal with which the term “postmodern” is currently being urged in certain sectors of historical Jesus studies seems somewhat antiquated and almost nostalgic for a time when we could relieve ourselves of the difficult work of historical judgment by vague appeal to the authority of this or that theorist or this or that theory. If Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991), ix, is correct in saying that “it is safest to grasp the concept of the postmodern as an attempt to think the present historically in an age that has forgotten how to think historically in the first place,” then the way forward would seem to lie not in abdicating historical judgment but, rather, in learning how to make such judgment in an attentive, intelligent, and reasonable manner: a task for which neither positivism nor postmodernism, but only an epistemology lying beyond the limits of both, will be adequate.

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have demonstrated that this is the case. If it is a constructed and demonstrably true statement, then it must be the case that at least some statements are constructed and demonstrably true. Now, if the statement “Some statements are constructed and demonstrably true” is true, then the statement “Any statement that is constructed cannot be adjudicated as either true or false” must be false. Thus we are left with the conclusion that all statements are constructed, and some of these are demonstrably true and some of these are demonstrably false. The unspoken major of the radical skepticism regarding memory thus collapses, and the conclusion that “by virtue of being constructed, memories cannot be demonstrated to be either true or false” is self-evidently false, regardless of however many psychological studies one might cite on the matter (and the fact that one can judge that one truly remembers the content of those studies further affirms that one can adjudicate between true memories and false ones; conversely, if one cannot adjudicate between true memories and false ones, then one cannot place any confidence in one’s recollection of those studies). There seem to be only two ways to escape this difficulty. One is not an escape at all but rather an immediate collapse of the radical skepticism itself. In this false escape, one could argue that not all memories are constructed, which would be to deny the unspoken minor, in which case the conclusion would lack warrant. Alternatively, one might argue that memories are a special form of construction, which by their character all belong with the category of constructions that are false. This is, of course, a hypothesis, and one that needs to be demonstrated as true via empirical investigation. The difficulty is that in the process of demonstrating thus, one would refute the hypothesis itself, for the moment that one recalls a particular empirical datum (such as the findings of studies on memory) so as to bring it into the discussion, one demonstrates that one can construct the past with a reasonable fidelity to a past state of affairs: that is, unless the datum that one recalls is to be deemed fundamentally unreliable, which would also cause the argument to collapse. Moreover, the very articulation of the refutation presupposes a memory that in the argument above I concluded that some constructions of the past can be shown to be true and some false; thus, if one remembers that argument aright, then one demonstrates that memories can construct the past (in this case, what one has read) with reasonable fidelity, thus affirming my position; if one cannot, on principle, remember aright what occurred earlier, then one can never be sure that one is accurately recalling the argument to which one is responding, or even that the argument was made. The only available option to escape this Gordian knot is to think that everyone is consulting all relevant data all the time, but this is frankly absurd (and one wonders what this would mean for our habit of testing students on the basis of memorized material). Radical skepticism regarding memory would thus seem to die on the vine. The construction of memory and its relevance for historiography can be clarified by considering the curious case of Ned Ludd and the troubling case of Satanic ritual abuse. As has been observed in recent discussions about the constructedness of memory, historians have been able to demonstrate that Ned Ludd probably did

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not exist and the memories of Satanic ritual abuse were entirely untrue.14 Crook is self-evidently correct when he says that as a consequence of these realities, we must recognize that confidence in one’s own memories does not translate directly into the veracity of that which is remembered.15 Given, however, that Crook has just spent the bulk of his article demonstrating that we can know that Ned Ludd never existed and that we can know that the widespread claims of Satanic ritual abuse throughout the 1980s were, in fact, false, it seems, however, a bit of a non sequitur for him then to say that “memory theory ought to leave us feeling deeply troubled about what we can actually know about the past.”16 Quite the opposite, what he has demonstrated is precisely that modern historians have the tools to work through such issues, adjudicating with a high degree of warranted confidence the relationship between that which is remembered and that which has happened. If Crook does not think that historians can thus adjudicate, then he cannot adduce as he does historians’ findings regarding Ned Ludd and Satanic ritual abuse. It is, moreover, not a trivial matter that some equivocation results when one groups the cases of the Jesus tradition, the Ludd tradition, and the Satanic ritual abuse tradition under the common rubric of “memory.” Any one of these memories is not like the others. Crook fails to observe certain key differences between the Jesus tradition and the Ludd tradition. For instance, he notes that “General Ludd was never spotted and never captured as the rebellion was being crushed by British troops”17; this differs not a bit from the case of a man reported to have been spotted, captured, and executed. He notes that the evidence regarding Ned Ludd consists primarily of songs about Ludd and letters written in his name,18 whereas the data regarding Jesus consist primarily of narratives by putative eyewitnesses and, apart from the quite late and clearly spurious Letter to Agbar,19 include not a single letter attributed to Jesus. The case for Ned Ludd’s existence is weak not because eyewitness testimonies are so unreliable but precisely because they are lacking: precisely the opposite situation that we have with Jesus of Nazareth. As for Satanic ritual abuse, in Crook’s own words, this phenomenon speaks specifically to “the reliability of repressed memories recovered through [modern] psychological counselling.”20 Given that the Jesus tradition consists of no memories recovered through psychological counseling, the relevance of Satanic ritual abuse to historical Jesus studies seems far from clear. Commemoration through song, recovered memory, unrecovered eyewitness memory, and historical judgments grounded in a generalized empirical method

14. Cf. the discussion in Crook, “Collective Memory Distortion,” 67–73. 15. Crook, “Collective Memory Distortion,” 76. 16. Ibid., 76. 17. Ibid., 70. 18. Cf. the discussion of the data relevant to Ludd in Crook, “Collective Memory Distortion,” 68. 19. Cf. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 1.13.9. 20. Crook, “Collective Memory Distortion,” 70–73.

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are each one a distinct species of statements about the past, their differences always to be respected. Thus, even if it were the case that the cases of Ned Ludd and Satanic ritual demonstrate that historical actors cannot distinguish between true and false commemoration (in the case of the former) or true or false memories (in the case of the latter), it would not follow invariably that scholars working diligently according to a generalized empirical method and with the retrospect afforded to historians operating at a temporal remove are incapable of adjudicating the past. After all, as Collingwood observes, “memory is not history,”21 for memory is data whereas history works upon data such as memory to infer past realities. In fact, as noted above, it demonstrates precisely the opposite: that historians are capable of distinguishing between true and false statements about the past. Consequent to the above, it appears to be the case that to argue from the vicissitudes of memory to the incapacity of history is to tread a difficult path, one that will almost invariably terminate in a conceptual and procedural dead end. As such, any robust historiography must resist sweeping statements, such as the inerrantist’s “Everything described by this text happened exactly as described” or the nihilist’s “Nothing described by this text happened at all”: statements that are merely the inverse of one another and thus evincing but the appearance of substantive epistemic difference. Neither the inerrantist nor the nihilist adequately reckons with the very real possibility that even a literally false statement will, nonetheless, have the potential to reveal something about what happened in the past. Thus far, we have sought to establish that historians can and do adjudicate between true and false statements about the past. Now we must establish how they do so. The procedure for adjudicating the past is twofold. First, one considers whether it is reasonable to affirm a given hypothesis. One does this using what Lonergan describes metaphorically as a double-blade.22 The upper blade is the hypothesis being tested, which produces heuristic anticipations of what one can expect to find in the data. The lower blade is the data. To the extent that the blades match, one can reasonably, albeit tentatively, affirm the hypothesis to be true. To the extent that they do not match, one must revise the hypothesis, and sufficient lack of match might require one to dispense with the hypothesis altogether. Subsequent to this work, one undertakes the second step in testing a hypothesis. In this second step, one compares the hypothesis under discussion against other hypotheses that have likewise been tested in the first step. Whichever hypothesis evinces the closest fit between upper and lower blades, between the heuristic anticipations generated by the hypothesis and the empirical data against which they are measured, is to be considered the most reasonable to affirm as true. Thus there are tests directed at the lower blade, tests directed at the upper blade, and tests directed at the fit between the upper and the lower blades. The test of the lower blade aims to verify that the antecedent work of attending to the data was well and good. Have those data most relevant to the object of inquiry been

21. Collingwood, Idea of History, 252. 22. Lonergan, Insight, 337; Lonergan, Method, 293.

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adduced? Are all data irrelevant to the object excluded, so as not to distort the inquiry? Have the data that are considered been described accurately? If all these answers receive an unqualified “Yes,” then provisional affirmation, or, perhaps more precisely, provisional nonrejection, is reasonable; to the extent that there is a qualification upon one or more “Yes” answers, then to that extent provisional affirmation is unreasonable; and if one or more answers are “No,” then provisional affirmation is at this point unreasonable. Similarly, the test of the upper blade aims to verify that the antecedent work of intelligence was well and good. Does the conclusion follow from the premises? Is the argumentation free from any fallacies? If all these answers receive an unqualified “Yes,” then provisional affirmation, or, more precisely, provisional nonrejection, is reasonable; to the extent that there is a qualification upon one or more “Yes” answers, then to that extent provisional affirmation is unreasonable; and if one or more answers are “No,” then provisional affirmation is at this point unreasonable. It is in testing the fit between the two blades that we can begin to adjudicate between hypotheses. All things being equal, of all possibly valid hypotheses, that one is to be preferred which can account for the greatest range of relevant data (scope) with the fewest number of entities (parsimony). The emphasis here must fall upon scope: a possible hypothesis that can account for a greater amount of relevant data but requires a greater number of entities is to be preferred to one that accounts for less relevant data with fewer entities. Let us continue with the example of mythicism. Let us grant for the sake of argument that mythicism passes the tests of the lower and upper blades. Mythicism would seem to fail the comparative tests of the fit between these blades, namely scope and parsimony. The mythicist argues that Jesus is a mythological figure converted into a historical figure. In response to this argument I ask: Who did this conversion? I am told the early Christians. I ask: From whence the early Christians? From whence the early Christian belief in this mythological figure? How so the conversion into a historical figure? I have yet to see a decent answer to any of these questions, and even if I did, they would create a situation surely less parsimonious than the argument that Jesus existed and had a significant impact on certain persons around him, for with that single and altogether sound argument, I can account for the origin of both the early Christians and their interest in Jesus of Nazareth, and more to the point, the subsequent questions about the rise of belief in Jesus as a purely mythological figure and the conversion of that belief into a belief in Jesus as a historical figure become entirely unnecessary. In eliminating a large number of questions, I undoubtedly reduce the number of postulated entities. If the reader can take but one thing from this study, let it be this: that the question “Is it true?” is to be asked not of data but rather of hypotheses. Ask not “Is the Gospel of Matthew true?” or “Did Jesus undertake this operation described in this text?” Ask, rather, “Is this modern historical hypothesis regarding Jesus’s life and operations true?” Historians adjudicate the truth of hypotheses, not those of data. At the same time, we must move beyond the idea that the historian’s adjudications are purely arbitrary or invariably ideological: if the historian has been attentive,

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intelligent, and reasonable, then her or his adjudication will be, if not necessarily true, at least a position defensible on empirico-rational grounds.

Dialectic In Method in Theology, Lonergan defines dialectic as that functional specialty of theology the object of which is the conflicts that occur within Christian movements.23 Yet, in his broader work and in Robert Doran’s significant exploration thereof, dialectic is not limited to the specifically Christian: it becomes a means by which to think about such matters as society, culture, and the person, more generally.24 In his magisterial study of Lonerganian dialectics, Doran suggests that within Lonergan’s work, there are two kinds of dialectic: a dialectic of contrast (or contraries), which are differences that can be resolved through a higher-level synthesis; and a dialectic of contradiction (or contradictories), which are differences that resist such a resolution. Writes Doran: “Contraries are reconcilable in a higher synthesis, while contradictories exclude each other.”25 That is, contraries take the form “Both A and B” while contradictories take the form “Either A or B.” The appropriate response to a dialectic of contrast is to affirm the contrary propositions as true, whereas the appropriate response to a dialectic of contradiction is to affirm one contradictory proposition as true and the other as untrue. Development occurs as persons and groups set out first to properly define a given dilemma as a matter of contrast or of contradiction, and then to properly define the higher-level synthesis by which to resolve the contrast or to properly define which contradicting proposition is to be affirmed. Breakdown occurs when contraries are treated as contradictories, thus sundering what should be kept together, or contradictories as contraries, thus fusing what should be sundered.26 Let us focus upon the dialectic of contrast, as that is more interesting in terms of development. Lonergan distinguishes in such a dialectic between the integrator and the operator.27 Each is contrary to the other, and it is their contrast that creates the dialectical situation. The integrator is a principle of limitation: it is that within

23. Lonergan, Method, 128–30. 24. Cf. Robert M. Doran, Theology and the Dialectics of History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990); Lonergan, Insight, 476–507, 553–617; Lonergan, Method, 235–66. Cf. also his account of the development of ante-Nicene Trinitarian thought in Bernard Lonergan, The Triune God: Doctrines (ed. Robert M. Doran and H. Daniel Monsour; trans. Michael G. Shields; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 11; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), 29–255, which represents his most sustained concrete exercise in dialectic with specific reference to early Christianity. 25. Doran, Theology and the Dialectics of History, 10. 26. Cf. Doran, Theology and the Dialectics of History, passim; Lonergan, Insight, 476–507, esp. pp. 494–504; Lonergan, Method, 27–56. 27. Ibid., 280–81; Lonergan, Insight, 489–90.

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the situation that ensures continuity. It is what ensures, for instance, that Judaism remains Judaism in all its multiplicity, or that Christianity remains Christianity in all its multiplicity. The operator is a principle of transcendence: it is that within the situation that compels the situation to move beyond its present state. The operator is typically the result or expression of a surd, which is to say a lack or deficiency within the integrator. When dialectic is functioning properly, that is, when the integrator permits the transcendence brought about by the operator and the operator apprehends the necessity for the limitation that is the work of the integrator, there will be genuine insights leading to breakthroughs, moving the situation toward ever-higher levels of synthesis. This condition is what we mean by development. When the dialectic is not functioning properly, when there is bias toward either excessive limitation or excessive transcendence, then insights are blocked (in the case of excessive limitation) or insufficiently vetted (in the case of excessive transcendence), thus ultimately causing the situation to dissolve as the correct apprehension of its character as a dialectic of contrast is replaced with an incorrect belief that it is a dialectic of contradiction. This results in the condition that we have designated as decline or breakdown. At such a point, two options will present themselves: undertake the difficult work of correcting this error, thus reaffirming that one is dealing with a dialectic of contrast; or, elaborate an ideology to justify the refusal to undertake such work. The “parting of the ways” between Judaism and Christianity can fruitfully be understood as a situation in which the operators transforming, specifically, Christianity became sufficiently stronger than the integrators maintaining its unity with broader Judaism that a breakdown occurred from which emerged two religions where there had previously been but one. More than anything else, the work of dialectics reminds us that in 2016, the study of emergent Christianity must reckon itself among the human sciences.28 It might also be a theological endeavor, and one of the signal advantages of the Lonerganian framework is that while operating as a researcher, an interpreter, a historian, and, especially, a dialectician, one need not choose between whether one is engaged in the human sciences or theology. In what follows, we will work through a series of historical issues related to the historical Jesus, focusing first upon the dominical setting (in Chapter 4), then the ecclesiastical (in Chapter 5), and finally the evangelical (in Chapter 6). In each, the focus will be upon history, but building always upon antecedent discoveries of research and interpretation while also integrating concerns of primary interest to dialectics.

28. Cf. the recent, specifically Lonerganian, discussion of the intersection between the human sciences, theology, and church history broadly, in Neil Ormerod, Re-Visioning the Church: An Experiment in Systematic-Historical Ecclesiology (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014), 31–59.

Part II H istoriography

Chapter 4 Dominical Situation

The tendency in historical Jesus studies has been to work backward from the canonical gospels and other relevant material. Treating the gospels as metaphorical archaeological tells, it was understood that one could strip away the ecclesiastical strata to arrive at the dominical bedrock. The movement begun by Ben Meyer, and furthered by scholars like Dunn, Freyne, and Sanders, proceeds in the opposite direction: it begins with Jesus’s Jewish matrix and moves toward the ecclesiastical. Part II of this study aims to further that movement by beginning with the dominical setting and moving into the ecclesiastical and then the evangelical. It largely passes over the Jewish matrix, not because that matrix is without value but, rather, because that has been studied so well. I am more interested in constructing a narrative that allows me to describe the process of continuity and change from Jesus’s life through the first few decades of the Christian movement. In these last three chapters, I turn my attention to developing such a narrative.

The Bethany/Bethphage Complex Nowhere is Jesus said to have engaged in efforts to recruit followers in Bethany and Bethphage, just outside Jerusalem. Yet, all the gospels intimate that he had followers in these villages before his final, fateful journey to Jerusalem, and,  indeed, Bethany-near-Jerusalem has been described as Jesus’s “base-ofoperations . . . for the Judean portion of his public ministry.”1 That he had followers there prior to his final visit is clearest in John’s Gospel, when we encounter the family of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (cf. Jn 11), with whom Jesus is already acquainted.2 Jesus’s connections with Bethany/Bethphage are intimated in the

1. Henry Innes MacAdam, “Domus Domini: Where Jesus Lived,” Theological Review 25/1 (2004): 46–76, here p. 76. 2. On Mary, Martha, and Lazarus as historical figures, cf. Richard Bauckham, The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007), 173–89. It should be noted that for the present purposes the specific question of who Jesus’s followers in Bethany or Bethphage

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Synoptics, wherein Jesus knows where in Bethany/Bethphage his followers can find the animal(s) that he needs for his triumphal entry into the city and tells them what to say if challenged (Mt. 21:1-3; Mk. 11:1-3; Lk. 19:29-32),3 and wherein Jesus stays at Bethany during the final week of his life (cf. Mt. 21:17; Mk. 11:11-12); John 11–12, too, situates Jesus in and around Bethany during his final days.4 From these data, we should reasonably infer that sometime prior to his first reported visits to Bethany and Bethphage, either Jesus or others operating on his behalf worked to establish the connections that we see throughout this “Bethany/Bethphage complex.”

might have been is a matter of indifference: it is sufficient to establish that he had such followers. Thus we can avoid the always-vexed questions that emerge when dealing with miraculous accounts, such as the raising of Lazarus, and, instead, note that the very fact that this account, even if utterly fictional, is situated in Bethany is a datum of potential historical significance. 3. The Markan and Lukan gospels have Jesus giving these instructions as he and his followers approach Bethany and Bethphage, while the Matthean alters the Markan account to refer only to Bethphage. Given that henceforth Bethany and not Bethphage is mentioned in each gospel, I cannot easily suppose this to be an act of assimilation with the broader narrative. From this I infer that the Matthean evangelist had information that made him restrict the referent to Bethphage, and thus think it likely that Jesus had followers in both villages prior to the final week. Regardless, I will continue to refer to a Bethany/Bethphage complex, in order to recognize that our literature refers to both alternatively. 4. The Bethany/Bethphage complex provides insight into a number of particular difficulties with the criteria approach. First, although the Bethany/Bethphage complex is present across our best sources, the criterion of multiple attestation would potentially lead us to judge that there is but one witness to this tradition. After all, if it was in Mark’s Gospel and Matthew, Luke, and John all knew Mark’s Gospel, then really we are left with but one witness, thus allowing the investigator to wave away data through atomistic attention to the part rather than the whole (a practice against which the social memory approach has rightfully inveighed); on the difficulties of multiple attestation as it relates to source criticism, cf. Mark Goodacre, “Criticizing the Criteria of Multiple Attestation: The Historical Jesus and the Question of Sources,” in Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity (ed. Chris Keith and Anthony Le Donne; London: T&T Clark, 2012), 152–69; on whether John knew Mark’s Gospel, cf. the classic treatment in D. Moody Smith, John Among the Gospels (2nd ed.; Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2001). Second, the criteria of authenticity could at best tell us that these passages describe events that more or less happened, which is not strictly necessary to establish that there were followers in Bethany or Bethphage (cf. the discussion in n. 5 below). They cannot in and of themselves lead to any sort of inference regarding what must have been the case for these events to have occurred, which is the path that leads us toward the Collingwoodian inside of the event.

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The “confirmation” of such a judgment lies in considering the alternative, that is, what we might call the “error hypothesis”: that Jesus had no such supporters, and that by implication the passages are in error on the matter of Jesus’s relations to Bethany/Bethphage. In order to reasonably affirm that alternative, one would need to craft an intelligent account of how that error came about. Moreover, given that there is nothing implausible about the hypothesis that claims that the Evangelists reported the presence of such followers because they knew correctly that such followers existed, one must demonstrate that the error hypothesis has greater plausibility. Such demonstration will not be an easy task, given the state of the data, most notably Bethany and Bethphage’s utter absence from the broader Christian tradition. As such, it is not clear why writers operating at a remove from the events in question would have reason to associate Jesus with either Bethany or Bethphage. I suppose that we might argue from the existence of these passages that there were, in fact, early Christians in and around Bethany/Bethphage in subsequent decades, but that would, in fact, simply beg the question. One would want to see evidence thereof apart from these passages, which prima facie provide evidence for such followers not later than, but precisely during, Jesus’s ministry. What motivation would the Evangelists, or the tradents upon which they are dependent, have for stating that Jesus had followers in specifically the Bethany or Bethphage area, especially granted that there is no evidence that Bethany or Bethphage figures elsewhere in early Christian tradition? When such empirical realities are considered, the inference from this passage of such followers seems much easier to sustain than the error hypothesis.5

5. One might at this point observe, perhaps with a sly smile, that I have here used the criteria of authenticity, specifically that of discontinuity. In response, I would make two observations. First, what I have rejected is the notion of authenticity, in the sense that one judges, antecedent to the work of historical understanding, whether a given text or texts is or are functionally identical to the course of historical events (i.e. the conversion of text into event); instead, what I have affirmed as true is a hypothesis, not that the text or texts is or are authentic, but, rather, that Jesus had followers in and around Bethany or Bethphage prior to his final week. As such, I am not asking a question about authenticity at all. Second, in dispensing with the notion of authenticity and thus with the necessity for criteria by which to adjudicate authenticity, I do not by implication dispense with any and all insights that might have led to the formulation of specific criteria. It seems a perfectly valid insight that in any given situation, if there is but one viable account, and if that account entails reference neither to what Christians inherited from Judaism nor to what they retrojected from subsequent experience but, rather, to Jesus’s actual operations, then we should do best to affirm that this account emerges from the conditions of the dominical situation.

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The Missional Complex If the Bethany/Bethphage complex gives us reasons to infer that Jesus had followers in and around the “suburbs” of Jerusalem, then the analytical question before the historian becomes this: “From whence these followers?” In seeking to answer that question, let us consider another complex, which we will designate as the “missional.”6 The passages that I collectively designate as the “missional complex” are better known as the Sending of the Twelve and the Sending of the Seventy(-Two),7 and have been considered to some extent in Part I. The Sending of  the  Twelve appears in each of the three Synoptics (Mt. 10:5-15; Mk. 6:6-13; Lk. 9:1-6). In these passages, Jesus gathers together the Twelve, in each gospel previously constituted as a group (cf. Mt. 10:1-4; Mk. 3:13-19; Lk. 6:12-16), and commands them to go to the villages proclaiming his message. The sending of the Seventy(-Two) appears only in Lk. 10:1-12, wherein much of the charge given by Jesus to the Twelve in Matthew has now been relocated as a charge to seventy (or seventy-two, depending upon textual witness) disciples. The highly thematic numbers “Twelve” and “Seventy(-Two)” most likely have symbolic meanings, of which we can reasonably assume that the Evangelists were aware.8 Twelve, of course, is a number that recurs throughout Israelite and Jewish tradition as indicative of all Israel, while seventy(-two) probably wants to refer to the Lukan theme of the gospel going to all the nations.9

6. The importance of mission in the emergence of Christianity cannot seriously be disputed, and is central to Meyer’s treatment of the matter, as indicated by the subtitle of Ben F. Meyer, The Early Christians: Their World Mission and Self-Discovery (Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1986); on the sending of the disciples, cf. Ben F. Meyer, The Aims of Jesus (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2002 [1979]), 153–54. Cf. the more recent treatments of emergent Christian mission in J. D. G. Dunn, Beginning from Jerusalem (Christianity in the Making 2; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009), and volume one of Eckhard J. Schnabel, Early Christian Mission (2 vols.; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), esp. 1:263– 327, which focus upon the Sendings of the twelve and seventy(-two), although Schnabel’s discussion is marred by a perhaps too maximalist approach to the texts that fails to adequately address the thematic character of the numbers twelve and seventy(-two). 7. Cf. the discussion of the manuscript witnesses to alternatively seventy and seventytwo in Schnabel, Early Christian Mission, 1:318–19. 8. Cf. the discussion of the symbolism of the Twelve in Schnabel, Early Christian Mission, 1:270–71, although Schnabel too readily supposes that since the Twelve existed as a body constituted by Jesus, the account of a specific sending of these men as a group must also describe a specific, singular event. His arguments against a symbolic meaning for the Seventy(-Two) in Schnabel, Early Christian Mission, 1:319, are less than convincing, and seem to reflect a general reluctance to consider the possibility that Luke has shaped his narrative in thematic fashion. 9. It is precisely the variance between seventy and seventy-two that makes it likely that the nations are in view: as Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke

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The “Sending of the Twelve” passages apparently want to associate the mission with Jesus’s work among the people of Israel, while Luke, in the sending of the Seventy(-Two), Luke presumably intends to communicate that Jesus already anticipated in his ministry the Gentile mission, which intention should, in turn, be situated within Luke’s larger literary concern in his Doppelwerk to show how Jesus’s life and ministry led by inexorable divine plan to Paul’s mission among the nations.10 From the presence of the broader complex, I infer that Jesus sent out missionaries to proclaim his message, and from such numerical thematization, I infer that there was never a single or even just two sendings. Rather, Jesus sent out disciples as he deemed them ready for the work in question; as such, the specific traditions of twelve missionaries is a Synoptic and the sending of the Seventy(-Two) a specifically Lukan thematization of this more generalized operation.11 That said, I cannot rule out the possibility that Jesus did at some point give a specific commission to the Twelve,

(2 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1985), 2:846, notes, the descendants of Noah number seventy in the MT but seventy-two in the LXX. By contrast, other alternatives, such as a reference to the seventy elders chosen by Moses (Ex. 24:1; Num. 11:16, 24) or the seventy offspring of Isaac (Ex. 1:5; Deut. 10:22) would account only for the seventy, not the seventy-two. 10. I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke (Exeter, UK: Paternoster Press, 1978), 413, cites Helmut Flender, St. Luke: Theologian of Redemptive History (trans. Reginald H. Fuller and Ilse Fuller; Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1967), 22–23, as describing the relationship between the accounts “in terms of ‘transcending parallelism’: what happened in 9:1-6, 10, is repeated [in 10:1-12] on a grander scale.” While I think that this aptly describes what is occurring in the Lukan narrative, and would suggest that the entirety of Luke-Acts can be read fruitfully as a series of transcendent and more or less parallel missions, I cannot find the term “transcending parallelism” in the standard English translation of Flender’s work (cited above, and in Marshall). It is possible that Marshall is here using his own translation of überbietende Zueinanderordnung, discussed in Helmut Flender, Heil und Geschichte in der Theologie des Lukas (München: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1965), 24–31, which is translated in Flender, St. Luke, 20–27, as “climactic parallelism.” 11. Although presumably such preparation included at least a basic orientation toward Jesus’s teaching and message, we need not go as far as Birger Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript: Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity (Lund: C.W.K. Gleerup, 1964), and argue that Jesus insisted that his followers memorize such matters verbatim; that said, neither can we rule out the possibility, nor can we rule out the possibility that the written Jesus tradition originated as notes generated for purposes of this missionary activity. E. Earle Ellis, The Making of the New Testament (Brill: Leiden, 1999), 352–53, suggests that the Jesus movement “even in Jesus’ earthly ministry produced congregations, that is, house groups, separated from the (orally trained) leadership and thus in need of written items of Jesus’ teaching.” If we suppose that a primary motivation for writing down the Jesus tradition was to compensate for the absence of Jesus himself or of those who were eyewitnesses to Jesus and his operations, then we must confront the reality that such absence was already possible during Jesus’s lifetime. After all,

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although the schema of the Seventy(-Two), with its implicit international focus that does not fit as easily into the overall impression that one gets of Jesus in the material, seems much less likely to report a particular instance in the ministry of Jesus.12 Against the above hypothesis there stands the retrojective hypothesis, which would propose that the Synoptists retrojected their respective experiences of mission on to the pre-resurrection period, such that we can exclude any possibility of missional operations during the time of Jesus’s ministry.13 This hypothesis,

the man could not be everywhere at once, and the itinerant character of his ministry would have likely meant that he was frequently absent from multiple groups of his followers. 12. At the same time, neither can I rule out that Jesus, whom I consider to have been deeply influenced by prophetic language regarding the restoration of Israel, would not also have been influenced by the same corpus’s vision that eventually the nations, too, would come to worship the God of Israel. Jesus himself might have come only to the lost sheep of Israel, but it does not mean that he did not envision that persons coming after him would go also to the nations; cf. also passages such as Mt. 28:19, Mk 13:10. Still, the balance of the evidence does seem to suggest that he did not think this to be a part of his ministry, and thus insofar as the sendings seem to have been integral to Jesus’s purpose, I think it more likely that the specific theme of the Seventy-Two reflects more fully Lukan exegesis of the Jesus tradition than the actual course of Jesus’s ministry. 13. Such retrojection reaches something close to a zenith in Gerd Theissen, Sociology of Early Palestinian Christianity (trans. John Bowden; Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1978 [1977]). Theissen (pp. 3–4), however, makes a somewhat convoluted argument for both retrojection and non-retrojection, namely that “if we suppose a tradition is genuine[ly something that Jesus did or said], we may assume that those who handed it down shaped their lives in accordance with the tradition. If we assume that it originated within the Jesus movement in the period after Easter, we can presuppose that those who handed it down shaped the tradition in accordance with their lives. In either case, the result is the same: there is a correspondence between the social groups which handed down the tradition and the tradition itself.” In nuce, argues Theissen, if the tradition describes practices current in Jesus’s life, then it must also describe practices current subsequent to his life, and if the tradition describes practices current subsequent to Jesus’s life then it must also describe practices current in his life. Such an argument is deeply problematic, as it would seem to necessitate the empirically improbable conclusion that no group can transmit traditions describing a mode of operations significantly different from their own. Moreover, we may not suppose without argument that those who handed down the tradition would have shaped their lives in accordance with the tradition; the history of religion and history more generally are littered with examples of people who preserve traditions without shaping their lives fully or even partially in conformity therewith. That is why today we can have billions of Christians who read these same traditions without becoming itinerant preachers. Moreover, such conformation seems to be precisely what we do not see in those instances where we can test for rather than merely assume that it is the case, perhaps the clearest example being the fact that Luke does not conform his discussion of the community of goods to what we find in the Pauline churches as attested by Paul’s genuine letters.

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while certainly not impossible as writers can and demonstrably do engage in anachronism (and, indeed, I argue that the theme of the Seventy[-Two] does, in fact, represent a degree of intentional anachronism), is not without difficulties. The first pertains to the matter of historical origination. If we suppose that the early church retrojected its own concept, practice, and experience of mission on to Jesus’s ministry, then we must suppose that the early church had such a concept, practice, and experience. Granted that this must be the case, it follows that this concept, practice, and experience must have originated at some point in the early church’s history, surely no later than the missional operations attested in Paul’s letters,14 and, indeed, probably earlier.15 Given the need to account for origination, the question becomes this: What is it about the data that makes it unlikely that such a pattern had developed already during Jesus’s ministry, as suggested by the

14. The genesis of Paul’s own missionary operations can be dated to probably sometime between 31 and 37, and likely within five years at most following Jesus’s death. This is suggested by a combination of several data. First, following Robert Jewett, A Chronology of Paul’s Life (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1979), 29–30, and Rainer Riesner, Paul’s Early Period: Chronology, Mission Strategy, Theology (trans. John Stott; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998), 64–74, I am persuaded that Paul was converted to Christianity approximately eighteen months after Jesus died. Second, Acts 9:19ff. and Gal. 1:17-18 together suggest that within no more than three years after his conversion, Paul was engaged in missionary work in Damascus. As such, if one follows Riesner in dating the crucifixion to 30 and the conversion to 31, one could envision Paul’s missionary work beginning as early as 31, while if one follows Jewett in dating the crucifixion to 33 and conversion to 34, one could envision the same work beginning as late as 37. 15. Acts suggests that in addition to Paul’s operations, there was already some sort of active mission within the first decade of the Christian movement, and quite possibly within the first two years. 11:19-20 intimates that in the aftermath of the dispersion of the Jerusalem community abroad as a result of the Pauline persecution (which, following Jewett and Riesner must predate Paul’s conversion at circa eighteen months after Jesus’s death, thus either in 30/31 or 33/34), Christians were proselytizing among both Jewish and Gentile persons; Acts 8 also situates the mission to Samaria at around the same time. Acts 2 further suggests that even before this there was some effort to convert Jewish persons from around the known world to the new movement. Even if all this material is deemed to be legendary, it is surely of historiographical interest that the earliest narrative account of the church’s growth holds that there was some sort of missionary operation from very close to the beginning of the movement. Moreover, if one deems all this material to be legendary and the probability of pre-Pauline missionary activity is denied, then one has merely deferred the question of origination, which now becomes this: “Why did Paul apparently originate the practice of Christian mission?” Absent a compelling answer to this question then, given the data, the most judicious response would be to affirm that he did not, but rather was building upon preexisting practices that likely could be found already in Jesus’s operations. On the pre-Pauline mission(s), cf. Dunn, Beginning from Jerusalem, 241–321; Schnabel, Early Christian Mission, 1:389–728.

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data, and more likely, that it did so only subsequently? If Christians had by the 50s developed the concept and practice of mission, then why could it not have been developed already in the 40s, 30s, or even 20s? Moreover, virtually all the positive evidence for the existence of the Twelve as a unit points at the 20s, 30s and perhaps the 40s, so it is far from clear why we should assume that this evidence is all a retrojection from a period in which there is little to no evidence that the Twelve constituted a group within early Christianity.16 Combining the discussion in the previous section, we can advance a hypothesis: the followers in Bethany/Bethphage were initially contacted through the work of Jesus’s missionary disciples. Cumulatively, the missionary charges suggest a pattern of operations: make contact with a household that is sympathetic to their kerygma and stay with them throughout the duration of their sojourn in any given village. Although not stated, given Jesus’s own pattern of operations as suggested by the data and that of the subsequent Pauline mission, it is not at all unreasonable to suspect that often these missionaries made contact with such households by first teaching in the local synagogue,17 although we should also expect that in many cases

16. Much for this reason, one must reject the argument that the Twelve are already a retrojection from the post-crucifixion period. Not only among our early texts are the Twelve restricted almost exclusively to the Gospels and Acts, but our one Pauline reference (1 Cor. 15:5) to them as a group identifies them as a group active at the time of Jesus’s resurrection. It is disputable whether they existed as a group any later than the Pauline persecution of c. 31, although I am inclined to think that they continued to operate as such through to perhaps the Agrippan persecution of c. 41 (cf. Acts 12), with the death of James, son of Zebedee, and the flight of Peter (and perhaps other members of the Twelve) from Jerusalem, causing the Twelve to cease operating as a distinct group within the Jerusalem community. Note that while I intend to defend these particular dates in a subsequent monograph, for now it must suffice to cite Riesner, Paul’s Early Period, 35–74 and 108–24, with which I am in substantial agreement. In any case, even a significant modification of these dates would have little effect upon the primary argument here, namely that the existence of the Twelve as a group is unattested after the early 40s at the latest, and thus if it is to be reckoned a retrojection from later practices, those practices must date within a decade of Jesus’s life. 17. The dominical and Pauline pattern of first preaching in a given locale’s synagogue makes eminent sense, and, in fact, even if both were not well attested throughout the gospels and Acts, we would have good reason to hypothesize something of this sort. If one is interested in making contact with persons, Jewish or Gentile, who are interested in matters related to Jewish religion and life, then what better place to look than in the synagogue? The primary argument against this pattern of dominical operations has come from doubts regarding the existence of the synagogue as a building in the Galilee before 70 CE; for such doubts cf. Richard A. Horsley, Archaeology, History, and Society in Galilee: The Social Context of Jesus and the Rabbis (Valley Forge, PA: Trinity, 1996), 222–37; Howard Clark Kee, “Defining the First century C. E. Synagogue: Problems and Progress,” in Evolution of the Synagogue (ed. Howard Clark Kee and Lynn H. Cohick; Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press, 1999), 7–26. The current state of synagogue studies, especially the finding of pre-70 synagogue

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the missionaries built upon preexisting kinship and occupational relationships.18 Regardless, it seems likely that Jesus undertook to actively build a network of disciples based in villages throughout the Galilean and Judean countryside.19 It is thus not unreasonable to suspect that the Bethany/Bethphage followers were integrated into the network developed by the emerging Jesus movement through such operations.

The Festival Complex We find in the Johannine Gospel what we might call the “festival” complex. One of the most-oft-observed contrasts between the Synoptic and the Johannine gospels is that whereas the former can (but need not necessarily) accommodate the entirety

buildings from the Galilee, renders such doubts unreasonable, with a contribution such as James D. G. Dunn, “Did Jesus Attend the Synagogue?”, in Jesus and Archaeology (ed. James H. Charlesworth; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), 206–22, sounding hopelessly antiquated even in framing Jesus’s attendance in the temple as something susceptible to controversion. Cf. now the recent survey in Lee I. Levine, “The Synagogues of Galilee,” in Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods, Volume 1: Life, Culture, and Society (ed. David A. Fiensy and James Riley Strange; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014), 129–50. Especially given that the Second Temple Galilean synagogue seemed to have largely functioned as something akin to a community center, what better place for anyone to physically proclaim their good news? 18. It seems incontestable that the earliest followers, both pre- and post-Easter, relied upon preexisting kinship and occupational relationships in spreading the message of and about Jesus. Even just looking at the Twelve, we have two sets of brothers (Simon and Andrew, James and John; cf. Jn 1:41-42, wherein Andrew is the one who tells Simon about Jesus) and at least four fishermen (the same four). In addition, both Nathaniel and Thomas are among those who go fishing with Simon in John 21 (cf vv. 2–3), suggesting that they shared this occupational background. Further, according to John (1:44, 12:21), Philip hailed from Bethsaida, the main industry of which we know to be fishing, and combined with the statement that he was the first to tell Nathaniel about Jesus (cf. Jn 1:45), it is not unreasonable to infer that Philip, too, was a fisherman. As such, we know that at least four and quite conceivably six (Simon, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, and Philip) of the Twelve were fishermen, and can reasonably infer that at least one disciple from outside but known previously to a member of the Twelve shared that occupation. It seems that the initial spread of the message of and about Jesus to those who would make up the Twelve took place in part through kinship and occupational relationships, and there seems no reason to think that this pattern would not have repeated itself through Jesus’s ministry. 19. If we correct for his tendency to treat material as retrojections without sufficient warrant, then Theissen, Sociology, 17–23, constitutes a solid contribution to understanding this network. Indeed, with such a correction Theissen’s monograph would serve as a decent primer to the movement as it existed during Jesus’s lifetime.

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of Jesus’s ministry into the span of a single year, the latter requires at least two years. Whereas the Synoptic Jesus spends the majority of his career in and around the Galilee before traveling to Jerusalem in his final week, the Johannine Jesus travels back and forth between the Galilee and Jerusalem for various festivals. In particular, he goes up to Jerusalem for at least three Passovers (cf. Jn 2:13; 6:4; 11:55: it is at this last visit that he is crucified), thus necessitating a span of at least two years between the beginning of his ministry and his crucifixion.20 These differences in the chronological and geographical structuring of the Jesus story are often construed as contradictions when, aside from certain exceptions, most notably the cleansing of the temple (which John situates at the beginning of Jesus’s ministry, the Synoptists at the end), they should, in fact, be construed more in the category of contrasts: after all, while it is, indeed, the case that there is nothing that necessitates a ministry extending for a minimum of two years in the Synoptic accounts, it is also the case that there is nothing that excludes that possibility; likewise, while the Synoptic accounts do not depict Jesus going to Jerusalem during those two years, neither do they indicate the negative, namely that he did not. I provisionally judge this hypothesis to be correct. The Synoptists I thus judge to have telescoped Jesus’s operations in and around Jerusalem on to a single week’s period, in order to better fit into a literary framework that sees Jerusalem as Jesus’s final destination.21

20. Cf. the still-classic treatment in C. H. Dodd, Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge: University Press, 1963), 233–47, as well as the more recent discussion by Brian D. Johnson, “The Jewish Feasts and Questions of Historicity in John 5-12,” in John, Jesus, and History, Volume 2: Aspects of Historicity in the Fourth Gospel (ed. Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature Press, 2009), 117–29. 21. This leads me to suspect that, in fact, the Johannine timing of the cleansing is more likely to reflect the actual course of Jesus’s life: I see greater reason to think that the Synoptists were forced by their literary decisions to move the cleansing to the end of Jesus’s ministry than to think that John was thus forced. Cf. the bibliographically dated but critically apposite discussion in Raymond E. Brown, John I-XII (New York: Doubleday, 1966), 116–18, which can be usefully supplemented by the more recent discussion by James F. Grath, “‘Destroy This Temple’: Issues of History in John 2:13-22,” in John, Jesus, and History, Volume 2, 33–43. Craig L. Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel: Issues and Commentary (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2001), 87–91, and Andreas J. Köstenberger, John (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 111, have recently attempted to press the position that, in Köstenberger’s words, the Synoptic and Johannine accounts collectively “represent a ‘doublet,’ a certain type of event occurring more than once during Jesus’ ministry”: that is, Jesus cleansed the temple both at the beginning and the end of his ministry. The dubious and somewhat idiosyncratic use of “doublet” alerts us to a problem with the argument, namely that, in fact, there are no doublets at all, not in the more traditional sense of a similar account repeated twice in the same gospel. Both the Synoptic and the Johannine traditions agree that the cleansing was a singular event in Jesus’s ministry. While it might be possible to infer that each is telescoping a series of two or more events into a single account, one must reckon with the datum that none of our sources demonstrably evince an awareness of more than one cleansing.

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This raises the possibility that Jesus’s supporters in Bethany/Bethphage were recruited during one of these trips to Jerusalem. This is certainly far from impossible. We would still want to explain how it is that Jesus came into contact with these particular persons, and if this contact did happen during one of Jesus’s visits to Jerusalem, then it, not improbably, followed a pattern not unlike that in Jn 12:20-22, where persons interested in learning about Jesus make contact initially with his disciples, who then mediate their meeting. It is, further, not at all unlikely that their first contact with the Jesus movement came through preexisting social networks. In either case, this is a pattern not far from that envisioned by the missional complex: an initial contact is made by Jesus’s followers, who cultivate a relationship upon which Jesus can subsequently build. That Jesus also happened to be nearby in Jerusalem might be, in effect, a difference that makes little to no difference for our purposes.

The Jesus Network and its Diversity The Johannine Gospel furnishes yet further data on the social networks in which the Jesus movement operated. According to John 18:15, the Beloved Disciple22 was

22. Properly speaking, 18:15 does not refer explicitly to a Beloved Disciple, but rather to ἄlloV maqhtήV, which has led some scholars like Rudolf Bultmann, The Gospel of John (trans. R. Beasley-Murray, R. W. N. Hoare, and J. K. Riches; repr. with new foreword; Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2014), 645, n. 4, and Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (2 vols.; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003), 2:1090–91, to argue that this is not the Beloved Disciple at all. In the case of Keener, this is likely due to his commitment to Zebedean authorship, which he seems to suppose excludes the possibility that the Beloved Disciple could have such connections with the household of the high priest (cf. Keener, Gospel of John, 1:81-115). One might make two rejoinders: first, Zebedean authorship, while not impossible, is not indisputable, and as such, if there is good reason on independent grounds to conclude that 18:15 refers to the Beloved Disciple and if that excludes Zebedean authorship, then the appropriate conclusion is to opt against such authorship; two, it is far from clear to me that Zebedean authorship would, indeed, exclude such connections with the household of the high priest. More to the point, it is crucial to note that in 20:2, John refers to tὸn ἂllon maqhtὴn ὃn ἐjίlei ὁ ἸhsoῦV, who is stated to be a companion of Peter. The definite article suggests that we are here encountering a specific figure: not just any other disciple, but the other disciple. When we have encountered “the other disciple” who is a companion to Peter, the most judicious conclusion is that 20:2 is specifically referring back to that figure, and also identifying him explicitly as the one whom Jesus loved. As such, while it is, indeed, the case that 18:15 does not explicitly identify the other disciple as the Beloved Disciple, the larger text seems clearly to do so. Bultmann argues that since this disciple is not presented here as oppositional to Peter (as he argues is the case with the Beloved Disciple in 20:3-10 and 21:1-23), he cannot be the Beloved Disciple, and that since the disciple’s sole role in this passage is to secure Peter’s entrance, he is probably nothing more than a literary

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known to the high priest, and so was able not only to enter his house but also to vouch for, and thus bring in, Simon Peter. The inference is that the Johannine Gospel knows the Beloved Disciple to have moved in circles at least close to the  Jerusalem elite. Such a biographical detail probably goes far to account for the Johannine Gospel’s greater focus upon Jesus’s operations and followers in and around Jerusalem: he had greater antecedent connections in Jerusalem than did those tradents who are most fully associated with the Synoptic Gospels.23 The likelihood of such connections is increased when we consider John’s topographical knowledge of Jerusalem and Judea proper.24 Given the above, it is, moreover, quite reasonable to infer that he had connections with other members of the Jerusalem elite than just the high priest, including possibly preexisting connections with Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and the disciples of Bethany/Bethphage. Elsewhere I have suggested that he might even have been among the rulers who feared being made ἀposunάgwgoi (cf. 12:42),25 thus accounting for why he alone recounts this aspect of events surrounding Jesus’s life. device. Against the former point, one might observe that while the Gospel does present the Beloved Disciple as distinct from Peter it is not clear that they stand in conflict with one another (and cf. 13:23-24, where they clearly do not); and against the latter point, one might observe that the mere fact that a character fulfills a literary role in a narrative hardly suffices to demonstrate that it is not meant to represent an actual historical actor. 23. I find myself in general agreement with the position taken by Dodd, Historical Tradition, 246, namely that in the Johannine Gospel, “we have a geographically southern standpoint, associated with a psychologically metropolitan outlook, in contrast to the strongly Galilean standpoint and outlook revealed in the Synoptic Gospels.” Whereas Dodd, however, found it difficult “to attribute this to any motives proper to an author writing at Ephesus late in the first century, for at that distance of time and place the petty differences, whether geographical or psychological, between the divisions of a very small country must have faded into insignificance,” I have no difficulty imagining that the generally “southern” mentalité (to borrow a term from the Annales School) would be something that would endure for the author as a structural framework, especially when telling a story set in the Land, such that the cultural particularity of the Johannine Gospel is not incompatible with a certain cosmopolitanism; that is to say, you can take the boy out of Judea but you cannot necessarily take Judea out of the boy. I am also not convinced “that there was in the early church a certain tension between the claims of Galilee and Jerusalem”: yes, as Dodd observes, most if not all of the Twelve were Galilean in origin, yet it is also the case that they came to serve as the core of the Jerusalem church. This matter, however, will be discussed more fully in the next chapter. 24. Cf. again Dodd, Historical Tradition, 233–47, and the decade-old, yet still-excellent, survey of archaeological discoveries in relation to the Johannine Gospel provided by Urban C. von Wahlde, “Archaeology and John’s Gospel,” in Charlesworth, Jesus and Archaeology, 523–86 25. Jonathan Bernier, Aposynagōgos and the Historical Jesus in John: Rethinking the Historicity of the Johannine Expulsion Passages (Biblical Interpretation Series 122; Leiden: Brill, 2013), 149.

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Yet, there is evidence that suggests that the Beloved Disciple had Galilean connections. He is the only disciple linked in the tradition with Jerusalem and yet who we are told returned to the Galilee after Easter (cf. Jn 21:20ff.). While one cannot rule out the possibility that his connection with Galilee came entirely through the Jesus movement, nonetheless, it does seem that the rest of the disciples returned to what they knew before meeting their master. From this we can reasonably infer that he, too, was a fisher or at least was comfortable in and around the fishing industry.26 That a Galilean fisher also had elite connections in Jerusalem should not be considered as intrinsically implausible as was once the case: we now know that the Galilean fishing economy participated in the empire-wide market for luxury goods.27 These connections might well have been commercial: a concern that managed to become a significant supplier of salted fish to such persons as Caiaphas or Nicodemus could easily have parlayed that success into political currency. Alternatively, kinship or other connections with such persons could have contributed significantly to the concern’s commercial success. Regardless of the details, the most judicious hypothesis to account for the totality of the data is that the Beloved Disciple played a significant role in a Galilean fishing concern that had ties with Jerusalem.28 I have belabored the matter of the Beloved Disciple for three reasons. The first is to demonstrate that the Johannine Gospel has much to offer the historical Jesus scholar. The second is to demonstrate that one thing that it has to offer is a better understanding of the Jesus movement as something that built upon preexisting social networks and in the process created a new one (the “Jesus network,” if one will permit the term). The existence of the Beloved Disciple allows us to better understand how Jesus the Galilean can have followers in and around Jerusalem. The third reason is to consider the reality that the Jesus movement itself was already quite diverse. The romantic notion of Jesus’s followers as a homogeneous and rustic group of Galilean peasants cannot survive attention to the data. We must, instead, reckon with geographical, socioeconomic, and gender diversity, among other potential factors.29 26. Presumably, the Beloved Disciple is to be reckoned among the followers mentioned in 21:2, probably one of the two anonymous figures, as there is no indication given in the narrative of any other disciple present at this time. 27. Cf. the recent discussions of the Galilean economy of Jesus’s time in David A. Fiensy and Ralph K. Hawkins, eds., The Galilean Economy in the Time of Jesus (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature Press, 2013); Seán Freyne, The Jesus Movement and its Expansion: Meaning and Mission (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2014), 119–32. 28. It should be noted that this would permit the possibility of Zebedean authorship, although just the possibility and not the probability. 29. Such recognition of diversity allows us to integrate into historical Jesus studies the wealth of literature available on all these matters. Precisely to the extent that we not only acknowledge diversity within the Jesus movement but also such diversity as indispensable for understanding Jesus and his operations, we will discover that social-scientific, Marxist, feminist, and queer criticism function as matters not ancillary but, rather, integral to historical Jesus studies.

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The existence of a network marked by such diversity would have necessitated what we might call interhorizontal translation.30 Interhorizontal translation does not in the first instance entail translation between languages, although that can hardly be excluded in principle and all translation between languages is really interhorizontal translation, but, rather, between ways of conceiving the world. It might be construed more or less as translations between Weltanschauungen or mentalités, and even if the majority of Jesus’s followers could broadly be defined as Hebraioi (cf. Acts 6 and the next chapter of this study), this by no means can be reckoned to have been a homogenous group. Every time there are two or more people gathered together, there is the need for some degree of translation, even if that degree might be relatively negligible. If the need for such translation is driven by the inescapable reality of diversity, such operations of translation function as an engine of yet further diversification: already during Jesus’s lifetime, his followers would have begun the work of articulating his kerygma in a variety of idioms, and it is not unreasonable to think that at least some of the diversity evident within the Jesus tradition dates to the work of his followers during the dominical period. Nonetheless, there was no doubt a higher-level unity holding this diversity together, which likely was grounded in Jesus’s particular articulation of common Jewish themes. Below we will discuss three of these: messianism, eschatology, and Torah.

The Messiah Complex A first statement to be made is that, no, by “messiah complex” I do not mean the pop-psychological term used to describe persons suffering from the delusion that they are salvific figures of one sort or another. Rather, I mean that whole body of material, spread throughout the New Testament, with an emphasis upon that found in the gospel accounts, which presents Jesus as a messianic figure. The background here is the quite old and not a little tired debate regarding Jesus’s messianic consciousness.31 A series of observations and consequent inferences seem to lead to the conclusion that, yes, Jesus did think that he was, in fact, the messiah, even if he understood what that meant somewhat differently from others with whom he interacted. An initial observation—there is no indication that the use of the term “Christ” to describe Jesus was at all controversial during the first Christian century, understood as roughly the first hundred years after Jesus’s life, and there is at best slim evidence for a form of a distinct Christianity that held to a non-messianic Christology.

30. On such work of translation in the post-Easter period, cf. Meyer, Early Disciples, 190–93. 31. Cf. the surveys of the literature and material relevant to Jesus’s self-identity in Dale C. Allison, Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2010), 221–304; Dunn, Jesus Remembered, 615–762.

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Certainly, we cannot identify such a Christianity coeval with the Christianity in which we do find prolific evidence of a messianic Christology. By common consent, Paul’s writings are the earliest extant Christian documents, and they simply take for granted that Jesus is to be referred to as the Christ; in fact, such designation has become so routinized by the time that Paul is writing that Christos virtually functions as a proper name, with the compounded “Christ Jesus” or “Jesus Christ” regularly occurring in his work. Hypotheses such as John Robinson’s, Maurice Casey’s, or James Crossley’s, which date one or more significant works of Christian literature earlier than the earliest writings of Paul,32 would have no bearing upon this chronological observation as, in point of fact, Jesus is referred to as “Christ” in the overwhelming majority of texts that can be reasonably dated to the first hundred Christian years: the entirety of the New Testament; the corpus known as the Apostolic Fathers (save the Epistle of Diognetus33 and Shepherd of Hermas34); the

32. The general consensus is that the earliest extant Christian text is either Galatians or 1 Thessalonians, and that neither can date earlier than the late 40s. Without disputing the dates of Galatians or 1 Thessalonians Maurice Casey, Aramaic Sources of Mark’s Gospel (Society for New Testament Monograph Series 102; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998) and James G. Crossley, The Date of Mark’s Gospel: Insight from the Law in Earliest Christianity (Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Supplement Series 266; London: T&T Clark, 2004), argue that Mark’s Gospel was most likely written prior to c. 45, while J. A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (London: SCM Press, 1976), 86–117, 254–311, 324–27, similarly argues that the composition of the canonical epistle of James and the beginning of the processes that led to the canonical gospels and the Didachē (including the publication of a “Proto-Mark”) should all be dated prior to the late 40s. Mention should also be made of Adolf Harnack, The Date of the Acts and the Synoptic Gospels (trans. J. R. Wilkinson; New York: G. P. Putnam and Sons, 1911 [1911]), 126–33, which seeks to date Mark’s Gospel no later than the 50s, and thus roughly coeval with and potentially predating some of the undisputed Pauline epistles. 33. The author of the Epistle to Diognetus seems clearly to have been writing to a Gentile audience, and quite conceivably avoided the term “Christ” as it would have been seen to lack meaning to his readership. In any case, the text can hardly be reckoned earlier than or even coeval with the data presented in the earliest Christian material, thus rendering any attempt to develop the hypothesis of an early non-messianic Christianity quite tenuous, indeed. 34. The specific case of the Shepherd will not easily permit us to postulate a distinct Christianity with a non-messianic Christology, as it is clear that the text (cf. Vis. 2.4.3) wants to situate itself as part of the broader Christianity in which messianic Christology was demonstrably present. Not only does Vis. 2.4.3 suggest that the Shepherd, or perhaps more specifically the Visions, is to circulate broadly among the early Christian communities, thus obviating the likelihood that it was aimed toward an otherwise unattested Christianity without any sort of messianic Christology; the explicit reference to Clement in this passage also suggests that it was written to circles similar to those envisioned by 1 Clement, which does, indeed, contain reference to Jesus as Christ. Even if the instructions in Vis.

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Ascension of Isaiah. In none of these is there even the barest hint that “Christ” was in any way a controversial reference to Jesus.35 It is a datum that neither Q nor the Gospel of Thomas refers to Jesus as Christ. This, however, furnishes no evidence of controversy and little evidence of an independent stream of Christianity that lacked a messianic Christology and was coeval with messianic Christology. First, any such argument must build upon an argument from silence, especially when it comes to Q, as, due to the fact that it is reconstructed entirely from Matthew and Luke, any argument regarding its distinctive character must by definition constitute an argument from silence. Arguments from silence can have their place, and their presence is not necessarily sufficient to reject a hypothesis, but there are yet greater problems. The Gospel of

2.4.3. pertain only to the Visions—a questionable hypothesis derivative of a questionable decomposition of the extant text—one would still have to deal with the reality that someone somewhere brought the various parts of the extant text of the Shepherd together, and if the Visions were written by persons who, despite the absence of “Christ” likely did not hold a non-messianic Christology, then the mere absence of “Christ” in the balance of the text also hardly suffices to demonstrate that either composers of the other sections of the Shepherd or the final compilers of the text held to such a Christology. 35. William Wrede, The Messianic Secret (trans. J. C. G. Greig; Cambridge: James Clarke and Co., 1971), read not only the Markan Gospel but also other texts of the New Testament corpus, such as Acts 2:36, Rom. 1:4, and Phil. 2:6ff., as evidence for an early Christology that affirmed that Jesus was only recognized as messiah following his earthly life. Against this, one might note that these passages do not as unambiguously bear such interpretation as Wrede wants to suggest: with Acts 2, it is not clear whether the writer means to suggest that Jesus only acquired messianic and dominical status subsequent to the crucifixion, or whether the resurrection is thought to have fully demonstrated a preexisting status; with Rom. 1:4, it is not clear whether God’s declaration of Jesus as the Son of God at the resurrection is considered to be self-identical with the moment Jesus became the Christ, and, indeed, the statement that he was descended from David through the flesh, in 1:3, suggests that he was understood to have had Davidic, if not messianic, status by virtue of descent; and while Phil. 2:9 states that God exalted Jesus subsequent to his death, 2:6-8 intimates that Jesus always had some sort of divine form, from which he turned away. This is not to give a definitive reading of these verses, but rather to suggest that none can be said to unambiguously support the notion that there was an early non-messianic Christology coeval with messianic Christology. Moreover, even if Wrede’s argument was to be granted, one would still want to ask why the post-resurrection church came to affirm Jesus as messiah. After all, Jesus would hardly have been the first person in the Jewish tradition who was said to have risen from the dead, and this previously had not been linked to messianic interpretation: there has to be some explanation for this fusion of the resurrection and the messianic motifs in this particular case, and the best explanation would seem to remain that Jesus operated in a manner conducive to messianic interpretation; cf. the work of Nils Alstrup Dahl, The Crucified Messiah and Other Essays (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress Press, 1974), 10–36.

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Thomas in the form known to us cannot easily be thought to date much earlier than 100 CE, and probably later, and the argument that it represents an independent stream of tradition coeval with that in the canonical and other gospels has been significantly undermined by recent developments in source criticism.36 For Q’s

36. Stephen J. Patterson, The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Origins: Essays on the Fifth Gospel (Nag Hammadi and Manichean Studies 84; Leiden: Brill, 2013), 128–30, argues that the Gospel of Thomas dates to the late first-century, even as he acknowledges that certain of the sayings in the text must date to the second (cf. pp. 128–29). An argument that seeks to establish that a text predates some of its constituent parts is somewhat baffling, but no matter: it is sufficient to demonstrate that even those who would date Thomas to roughly coeval with the consensus date for the canonical gospels must concede that in its entirety the former must post-date the latter. Moreover, as Patterson also notes, date alone is insufficient to establish Thomas’s relationship to the broader emergent Christian tradition, including the Jesus tradition. More helpful for our purposes is the work of April D. DeConick, Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel and its Growth (Library of New Testament Studies 286; London: T&T Clark, 2005), 244–49, who argues that a careful study of the history of Thomas vitiates the argument that even in its earliest redaction, it represents an early, independent form of Christianity, and if her position is granted, then Thomas cannot represent an independent Christianity with a non-messianic Christianity; indeed, DeConick (p. 246) sagely writes that “an early philosophical form of Christianity is a romance of the modern (or postmodern) mind.” Simon Gathercole, The Composition of the Gospel of Thomas: Original Language and Influence (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 151; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), has recently concluded that the evidence for Synoptic influence on Thomas is too great to exclude, again vitiating any attempt to see in it a Christology coeval with or even earlier than that of the Synoptics. The strongest argument along these lines comes from Mark Goodacre, Thomas and the Gospels: The Case for Thomas’s Familiarity with the Synoptics (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012), 24, who, having shown that Thomas draws from across the Synoptic tradition, including material from Triple Tradition, Double Tradition, Special Matthew, Special Mark, Special Luke, and Matthean and Lukan redaction of Mark, argues that if Thomas was coeval with or even earlier than and also independent of the Synoptic gospels, then “either it emerges from a large body of oral tradition at a point before it separated into different strands, in which case early Christian tradition is considerably more homogenous and all-encompassing than was previously thought, or Thomas is indeed familiar with a remarkably diverse set of traditions, able to dip into every pot of tradition that fed the later Synoptic Gospels.” Goodacre’s own conclusion, offered on the same page, that “Thomas’s familiarity with the Synoptic Gospels provides the more economic and persuasive model here,” seems quite indubitable, but his point that even if abandoned it will not easily get us to an early and independent stream of Thomasine tradition significantly vitiates the arguments advanced to establish the text as evidence for a distinct, non-messianic Christology coeval with or even earlier than messianic Christology.

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part, given reasonable doubts about its very existence,37 one would probably want to avoid putting too much weight upon its supposedly distinct content. In addition, even if one grants the existence of the hypothetical Q document, one would still need to reckon with the reality that on the very logic of the twodocument hypothesis, the only two persons known for certain to have read the text—namely Matthew and Luke—each independently integrated its material into texts that do refer to Jesus as Christ, thus leading one to ask how a text from an otherwise unattested Christianity with a non-messianic Christology made its way independently into two texts that clearly evince messianic Christologies.38 In fact, we have no evidence that there ever existed a reader of Q who was not also a reader of Mark’s Gospel, and, as such, on the very logic of the Two-Document Hypothesis, it would probably be most reasonable to infer that Q was always read alongside, and perhaps even supplemented, Mark’s Gospel. As such, the argument for a non-messianic Christology coeval with the messianic Christology attested widely in the data rests almost exclusively upon arguments from silence built largely upon one text (the Gospel of Thomas) that might or might not date to the first Christian century and a second text (Q) that might or might not have existed—and, if it did exist, its only known readers both read Mark’s Gospel and decided independently that it could and should be integrated into texts evincing clearly a messianic Christology. The argument for a non-messianic Christology in the first century, let alone one coeval with that evinced by the Pauline corpus, begins to look not only tenuous but also nearly quixotic. This has implications for thinking about the historical Jesus: if there is little to no evidence that any Christians in the first century did not think Jesus to have

37. Cf. Mark Goodacre, The Case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity International Press, 2002); Mark S. Goodacre and Nicholas Perrin, eds., Questioning Q: A Multidimensional Critique (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004); John C. Poirier and Jeffrey Peterson, eds., Markan Priority without Q: Explorations in the Farrer Hypothesis (Library of New Testament Studies 455; London: T&T Clark, 2015). While it remains the case that a reasonable scholar can affirm the existence of Q, it is not the case that such a scholar can operate as if such affirmation is immune to challenge. 38. This would constitute yet another example of what Francis Watson, Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013), 117–55, has described as “the coincidences of Q.” Are we truly to believe that a text from a Christianity evincing a non-messianic Christology somehow independently circulated to two independent forms of Christianity both of which just happen to evince a messianic Christology, and that two writers, one in each of these latter two Christianities, somehow decided to independently integrate this text evincing a non-messianic Christology into a new writing that also happened to depend upon the same text evincing a messianic Christology (viz. the Gospel of Mark)? It beggars any robust historical imagination to affirm such a narrative.

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been the Christ, then the possibility that this belief originated with Jesus himself becomes quite reasonable a hypothesis. Indeed, an argument to the contrary begins to make Jesus of Nazareth look less like an intelligible historical actor and more like Brian of Monty Python fame: a lovable, well-meaning buffoon who just sort of stumbles his way into messiahship. It is surely both more explanatory and parsimonious to argue that Jesus was remembered as the messiah because he operated in a fashion conducive to messianic interpretation than to argue that he was remembered as the messiah despite not operating in such a fashion at all; and insofar as human operations tend to correlate with human thought (the alternative hypothesis being that our operations are literally thought-less), we can reasonably infer that if he operated in a fashion conducive to messianic interpretation, then he probably thought of himself in terms conducive to such operations.39 The gospels do, of course, evince a clear awareness that Jesus’s understanding of his own messiahship was not quite the same as the understandings held by his followers,40 and, indeed, it might be but a small exaggeration to say that the story of early Christology is the story of a growing awareness on the part of his followers that they had initially misunderstood Jesus’s self-understanding; that, however, is not the same as saying that Jesus had no self-understanding of himself as a messiah. It does seem that Jesus understood himself as being on a mission to restore Israel, and the best account of the early church’s tendency to describe him in Davidic terms is probably that Jesus presented his restorationist mission in such language. In light of the above, it is interesting to note that the Matthean and Lukan Evangelists report that Jesus sent his missionaries to proclaim the kingdom of God (Mt. 10:7; Lk. 10:9), a Davidic theme if ever there was one. This leads to a hypothesis: Jesus understood his ministry as constituting, at least in part, the restoration of Israel, using the language of a coming Davidic kingdom to describe this restoration and his role therein. The missionary and messianic dimensions of Jesus’s operations were closely linked: the mission was precisely to proclaim the coming of the king. This becomes evident when we consider the “seed complex,” which will allow us to connect the discussion with questions of eschatology.

39. This is essentially the argument classically advanced by Dahl, Crucified Messiah, 10–36, who engaged with a long-standing problem in historical Jesus and gospel studies: How could Jesus, who is presented in the gospels as neither confirming nor denying that he is the messiah, nonetheless be remembered in the tradition as having been crucified as a messianic pretender? Dahl’s argument seems to win on the test of both scope and parsimony, as he can better explain the origin of belief in Jesus’s messiahship (it began with his conduct, and that with his self-conception) than can any retrojective hypothesis, while also accounting for the memory that Jesus did not declare himself to be the messiah. 40. Again, Dahl, Crucified Messiah and Other Essays, 10–36, remains the classic treatment of this matter.

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The Seeds of the End In Mt. 13:31-32, Mk. 4:30-32, and Lk. 13:18-19, Jesus informs his listeners that the kingdom of God (“kingdom of heaven” in Matthew) is like a mustard seed: although the smallest of all seeds, it grows to become a great tree that offers shelter to the birds of the air. In both Matthew and Luke, this parable of the mustard seed is followed by the parable wherein Jesus informs his listeners that the kingdom of God (or heaven) is like yeast: a little bit will eventually leaven the whole. We need not decide whether Jesus actually uttered these words, and, indeed, I am not at all certain how a historian would go about making that decision in a conscientious fashion given the nature of the data before us. What interests me is the potential insight that it gives us into how the emergent Christians understood Jesus’s thought, and as we think about such sayings in relation to what we have judged likely to be the case about Jesus’s operations, we might suggest that Jesus evinced an awareness that he was initiating a movement that would build from the smallest of contacts to something much greater. Put otherwise, these parables intimate the possibility that Jesus was playing the relatively long game, understanding that the metaphorical seeds planted by himself and his missionaries throughout Judea and the Galilee would in time bear fruit thirtyfold, sixtyfold, a hundredfold (cf. Mt. 13:1-9; Mk. 4:1-9; Lk. 4:4-8). One wonders, though: How could Jesus have been playing the relatively long game if he expected the imminent end of the world? Certainly, the data are such that one cannot easily construct a non-eschatological Jesus, although, of course, there are always those who will attempt the impossible. Jesus had, as Schweitzer long-ago recognized, a thoroughgoing eschatology, and we cannot easily reverse Schweitzer’s recognition at this late date, not if we want to advance a scholarship that is more loyal to data than flights of fantasy. Yet, this conclusion must be qualified by the further recognition that in emergent Christian and, indeed, in Second Temple Jewish, thought more generally, eschatology was typically also protology: the end of the present order will herald the advent of the next. I would suggest that Jesus construed his operations in terms of establishing the foundations of the new order, and in a very concrete fashion: through his preaching and that of his missionary followers, he was founding the community of those who would survive the coming crisis in order to inherit the renewed earth in which the justice of YHWH would reign supreme. They would be the wheat that the reapers would separate from the weeds, the latter to be burned (cf. Mt. 10:30). We are now confronted with a fascinating paradox apparent in Jesus’s thought and operations: on the one hand, he apparently anticipated the relatively imminent and radical end of the current order, while on the other, he initiated projects that embraced the relative long game. This is a paradox evident not just in Jesus’s thought and operations but throughout emergent Christianity. I would submit that Meyer has offered us the means by which to account for such a paradox when he wrote some thirty years ago that “like the ancient world generally, early Christianity lacked the resources that would have allowed it to affirm its own enduring identity while

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frankly acknowledging the novelty and unpredictability of its discoveries.”41 Indeed, those resources did not really exist until the nineteenth-century “development of development,” discussed previously in this study. Earlier generations were left dealing with the reality of development without adequate conceptual resources to do so. Thus does the biblical tradition evince at best a dim awareness of what we now have good reason to think is the case, namely that the universe is very old and all in it the product of ever-ongoing processes of change-over-time. Many things that we know now as a matter of course were literally unthinkable to the ancients, except in the most oblique and occasional of intimations and intuitions. Human society, it turns out, is no less the product of such change-over-time than is the cosmos. Thus does legislation need revision and updating, whether formally or informally. Such revision is necessary to reckon with the fact that the law is written by persons operating at the level of their time and that as the times change, so, too, will the relevance of the law to the current situation. Already, the Torah recognizes this reality in practice, offering as its final book a deuteros nomos or Second Law: After all, what is Deuteronomy but an updating of previous material? Yet, the ancient Israelite and Jewish tradition was no exception from the empirical reality that the ancients could not acknowledge development, and as such they had to enshrine the First and Second Toroth in the singular Torah, understanding the entirety as derived from a single source, namely the creator-God Adonai, Lord of Israel, communicating via a single writer, Moses. The various legal materials from the Second Temple period represent continued efforts to come to terms with the ongoing reality of development, as does the latter halakhic work of the rabbis through to contemporary disputes between and within different Jewish groups with regard to what is appropriate conduct for the Jewish faithful (although such disputes are inexorably transformed when awareness of the developmental process enters into the discussion). The rabbinic material is particularly instructive here, specifically the idea of Oral Torah: all the Law was given to Moses at Sinai, even if we are writing it down only now. Turning to emergent Christianity, we find a widespread conviction that the then-current ways of operating no longer worked. Jesus is presented as recurrently confronting the leaders of Israel, convinced that their traditions create inhumane conditions, and he responds to this conviction by a mixture of radicalizing and functionally abrogating aspects of Torah. Paul too struggles with the (in)capacity of the Law to function as an adequate guide for human life in the dawning new age. I would suggest that we think about these matters in terms of late Second Temple Jewish struggles with anthropological realities that could no longer be adequately defined by older patterns of operations. Yet, lacking precisely the capacity to describe development qua development, persons like Jesus (and Paul) had to resort to other ways of accounting for development. Paul’s approach here is instructive: yes, he argues, faith in Christ has displaced obedience to Torah; yet, that was always the plan. In fact, he is at pains to explain that if one would

41. Meyer, Early Christians, 23–24.

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but look carefully at the Torah, one will find Jesus hinted at already in Genesis. That is to say, for Paul the new is always already the revealing of the divine plan— and where he must concede the appearance of genuine novelty, he resorts to the principle of apocrypha (in its original etymology as something hidden): the new was, indeed, always the plan, but that plan was hidden up to now. This is also the genesis of his apocalyptic bent: that which was hidden is now revealed, the new is, in fact, the very old, yet secret. Apocrypha and apocalypse—Paul is, quite simply, operating at the level of his time, and within its limits. In this regard, Jesus’s approach, as presented in the canonical gospels, is in many ways comparable to Paul’s. Abraham knew Jesus, Jesus declares, and if Jesus’s interlocutors truly believed Moses, then they would believe what Moses wrote about Jesus. What was taught through Moses was well and good, Jesus argues, but in many ways it was a capitulation to human inadequacy. Look at Genesis, Jesus argues, and you will find a divine plan that preceded the Mosaic covenant. People simply were not ready for the perfect righteousness to which God called the human race, says Jesus. YHWH, Jesus declared, now demanded such perfect righteousness. Such an appeal to the ancient in order to warrant the novel makes eminent sense for a man of Jesus’s time, and such an appeal specifically to the Jewish tradition makes eminent sense for a specifically Jewish man of his time. Even if all these statements are retrojections from later Christian thought (although this would require one to account for where such Christian thought came from), they, nonetheless, reflect the sort of conceptual issues with which a man like Jesus must have struggled and the sort of resolutions upon which he could very conceivably have arrived. Moreover, such understandings of the relationship between the old and the new relate perfectly to Jesus’s apparent notion of an eschatology-that-is-a-protology: in the passing from the current age to the next, those who survive will become a new creation, achieving the form of a humanity that was always God’s intention for our species. Thus will humanity achieve its telos, which was always the telos of the Law, even if the Law ultimately was insufficient to achieve that telos.

Illness and Cure The crucial point for our purposes is that Jesus could only deal with the reality of change using the conceptual resources available to him. Those resources, it turns out, were those of Second Temple Judaism, specifically those immanent to the Land. When thinking about how he employed those resources, we must reckon with the apparent reality that in the time of Jesus, Second Temple Jewish life in the Land was going through a period of breakdown. This statement should not be taken as an instance of that tired and inescapably anti-Semitic saw that sees Judaism as obsolete or superseded by the emergence of Christianity—quite the opposite, as Judaism is a vibrant, rich tradition dating back some twenty-fivehundred years, with antecedents stretching centuries before that. Yet, any tradition, any people, will go through cycles of progress and decline, and it seems evident

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that the decades leading up to the First Jewish War were for Jewish life in the Land a period of breakdown. Indeed, the war is itself the surest sign of this decline. For its part, Rabbinic Judaism represents the quite successful work of recovery of Jewish life that occurred in the aftermath of this breakdown. No doubt, this breakdown was related in part to the Roman imperial situation. Such a situation would likely have entailed heavy personal, cultural, and social cost to the subject peoples. Personally, any libidinal investment in national autonomy had to be subordinated to the demands of the ruling power, leading to the various neurotic and psychotic symptoms often noted among subject populations. Culturally, a national tradition that affirmed and worshipped only its own god and, moreover, thought this god to be the Lord God of all creation would have sat ill at ease within an imperial context that relied upon civic devotion to its pantheon, translated appropriately in different venues, to maintain cohesion. Socially, local lifeways and the structural importance of the temple appeared at times to have come into conflict with the institutions by which Rome sought to assimilate the Judean people into its empire. Such personal, cultural, and social disjunctions seem to have generated much of the tumult and sectarian diversity that we witness in this period, as different groups within Judea responded differently to the situation at hand, including the peoples’ response to such matters as Pilate’s efforts to introduce the standards—considered idolatrous within a Jewish horizon—into Jerusalem (a comparable and potentially more acute response later was avoided by Publius Petronius, who wisely did not implement Caligula’s order to erect a statue of himself in the temple); the Herodian family and their allies, who managed to use Roman hegemony to secure various positions of political privilege and power; the family of Annas, who managed to use Roman hegemony in order to dominate the high priesthood for much of the Roman period; the Essenes, who seem to have pursued some sort of separatist ideal in order to maintain their own holiness; the Pharisees, who seem to have advocated a populist nativism that aimed to purify the land; and the Zealots, who perhaps radicalized the Pharisees’ nativism. The gospel tradition depicts Jesus recurrently in conflict, most frequently with the Pharisees. In the past, this led Christians to vilify the Pharisees, which—aside from the troubling links with anti-Semitism—is simply bad historiography, for the historian’s task qua historian is not to take sides but, rather, more modestly to understand what was at stake in ancient struggles. More recently, there has been a volte-face, in which now Jesus is depicted as being closer to the Pharisees than to any other group in ancient Judaism, some even arguing that he was a Pharisee. The reasoning is that one argues the most with those with whom one is closest. Here I would propose a variant on this hypothesis. The reason for the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees was due not to common form or substance in their teaching but, rather, to a common object: like the Pharisees, Jesus aimed at converting the populace to his understanding of Jewishness and Judaism. He came into conflict with the Pharisees precisely because his understanding of Jewishness and Judaism was so distinct from theirs, even as his object was near-identical. At the risk of overgeneralizing, the difference, at least from Jesus’s perspective, had to do with the relationship between law (nomos) and justice (dikaios): the Pharisees

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held that the one who obeys the Law is just; for Jesus, as for Paul after him, the one who is just will obey (or fulfill) the Law. Both Jesus and the Pharisees thus agreed that there was great dis-ease in the Land. For the Pharisees, the cure for such dis-ease was to observe the Law. This would restore just relations between and among human persons as well as between them and the Land itself. For Jesus, this put the cart before the horse: lawobservance is the consequence of such restoration, not its cause. Thus Jesus had to find ways for a person to become just as a prior condition to observing the Law, and this for him would entail repentance and rejection of all that would potentially compromise one’s justness. One who seeks after worldly gain will inevitably have to place personal satisfaction above human value, Jesus reasons, and thus the one who would be just must abandon all striving for worldly gain. Only through such operations does the subject become a person who will obey the Law almost as a by-product of living her or his normal existence. Thus, such persons’ righteousness must and can exceed that of the Pharisees: in Jesus’s understanding their lawobservance is no necessary indication of righteousness at all, and, in fact, he sees in the particularities of their observance of the law (but probably not their lawobservance in principle) clear evidence for a dearth of righteousness. Again, it is not the historian’s job to adjudicate between the respective positions of Jesus and the Pharisees. The point here is to get a sense of why Jesus thought it so urgent that he send out his disciples on missionary journeys to proclaim his message and establish contacts throughout Judea and the Galilee, as well as to undertake operations of proclamation and recruitment himself. He seems to have genuinely believed that the Pharisees’ populist nativism was a barrier to the real work that was necessary in order to restore Israel, and thus to have taken steps to counter their message while advancing his own. With that understood, we can begin to think about how his message was taken up in the ecclesiastical sequel to his ministry.

Chapter 5 The Ecclesiastical Situation

In the first part of this volume, I argued that while the Third Quest was concerned with overcoming the rupture between Judaism and Jesus, the Fourth Quest is concerned with overcoming the rupture between Jesus and Christianity. As such, going forward in historical Jesus studies, any adequate apprehension of the historical Jesus must be one that renders not only Jesus a fully intelligible operator within the Judaism of his time but also his operations intelligible as a necessary condition for the emergence of Christianity. This necessitates an adequate apprehension of the ecclesiastical situation that emerged from Jesus’s operations and those of his earthly followers. Thus, in this chapter I am interested in asking how the emergent church undertook the work of translating Jesus’s message and concerns into a variety of new horizons. The emergent Christian movement soon went beyond the horizons of those persons with whom Jesus interacted. This necessarily entailed the extension of the processes of interhorizontal translation that had already begun during Jesus’s ministry, and this for a number of reasons. Already during his ministry, the Jesus movement evinced a multiplicity of horizons, even if the majority could be generally categorized as what Acts 6:1 designates the Hebraioi, that is, Jewish persons whose concerns and interests were defined and shaped by life in the Land rather than in the Diaspora. Once the Christian movement began to extend its reach beyond the Land of Israel, interhorizontal translation became all the more acute an issue. Of particular interest in this chapter will be the way in which both unity and diversity were maintained throughout this process. This interest aims to address a recurrent difficulty in the study of the historical Jesus: the struggle to find a coherent and robust narrative to account for how we get from the singular person, Jesus of Nazareth, to a plurality of irreducibly distinct yet historiographically fruitful statements regarding that singular person’s life and significance. In order to understand the church’s plurality of statements regarding Jesus, one must first understand the plurality of the church, and what I aim to do in this chapter is to employ the insights of the Lonerganian tradition, as mediated primarily by Meyer, in working toward such an understanding. Meyer makes great use of the Lonerganian notion of the dialectic in his discussion of early Christian plurality (cf. the discussion in Chapter 3). One of the great insights of nineteenth-century scholarship was that early Christianity was from the off an internally differentiated phenomenon and that such differentiation

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needs to be placed programmatically at the center of New Testament studies. This was a genuine insight, running as a red thread through the work of such titans as Ferdinand Christian Baur,1 Wilhelm Bousset,2 Rudolf Bultmann,3 Walter Bauer,4 Helmut Koester and James M. Robinson,5 James Dunn,6 and Ben F. Meyer.7 This insight should not and, indeed cannot, at this late date be reversed or neglected without greatly vitiating our capacity to understand early Christianity. It was in Ferdinand Christian Baur that the reality of early Christian plurality became central to the study of early Christianity. Even as subsequent scholars reversed many of his more questionable judgments, they appropriated many others as disciplinary common sense; as such, we can speak of a broadly Baurian paradigm that has dominated our thinking on diversity in early Christianity since the middle of the nineteenth century. Although his work thus represents a genuine advance in our understanding of early Christianity, nonetheless—as will be the case with much pioneering work—there are demonstrable deficiencies in his achievement. These have not gone unnoticed, of course, but unfortunately, they continue to bedevil the discussion of early Christianity.8 Most of these deficiencies can be traced back to Baur’s commitment to a sort of Hegelianism that led him to thematize difference in terms of a contradiction between polar opposites, most notably between Petrine and Pauline (or Jewish and Greek, respectively) Christianity, and which left his

1. Cf. Ferdinand Christian Baur, The Church History of the First Three Centuries (London: Williams and Norgate, 1878); Ferdinand Christian Baur, Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ: His Life and Works, His Epistles and Teachings: A Contribution to a Critical History of Primitive Christianity (London: Williams and Norgate, 1873–75). 2. Cf. Wilhelm Bousset, Kyrios Christos: A History of the Belief in Christ from the Beginnings of Christianity to Irenaeus (trans. John E. Steely; Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1970). 3. Rudolf Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament (trans. Kendrick Grobel; 2 vols.; Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2007). 4. Walter Bauer, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity (trans. Philadelphia Seminar on Christian Origins; Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1971). 5. Cf. James M. Robinson and Helmut Koester, Trajectories through Early Christianity (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1971). 6. Cf. J. D. G. Dunn, Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: An Inquiry into the Character of Earliest Christianity (3rd ed.; London: SCM Press, 2006). Note that while Ben F. Meyer, The Early Christians: Their World Mission and Self-Discovery (Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1986), 182–202, responds to Dunn, Unity and Diversity, he is engaged with the first edition, published in 1977. 7. Cf. Ben F. Meyer, Christus Faber: The Master-Builder and the House of God (Allison Park, PA: Pickwick Publications, 1992); Meyer, Early Christians. 8. Most significant for our purposes is the critique advanced by Ben F. Meyer, “Some Consequences of Birger Gerhardsson’s Account of the Origin of the Gospel Tradition,” in Jesus and the Oral Gospel Tradition (ed. Henry Wansbrough; Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 64; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1991), 424–40, esp. 433–36.

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account conceptually impoverished when it came to accounting for the full scope and nuance of early Christian diversity. With regard to scope, Baur could not easily account for the reality that early Christian diversity covered a significantly greater range than just Jewish and Greek, and, ultimately, those following him could only apprehend this reality by multiplying species of Christianity, which is precisely what we find in the work of, inter alia, Bauer, Koester and Robinson, and Dunn. Such multiplication of Christian species has led to what I have elsewhere designated as “community criticism,”9 that is, the methodological supposition that each gospel was produced by and for a single community, such that one could and should reconstruct the history of each community from its respective gospel text and, in turn (in a superb act of question-begging), use that reconstructed history as the hermeneutical key by which to interpret the text itself. Alongside a distinct Petrine and a distinct Pauline Christianity, there emerged a distinct Matthean Christianity,10 a distinct Markan Christianity,11 a distinct Lukan Christianity,12 a distinct Johannine Christianity,13 and a distinct Q Christianity.14 This multiplication of Christianities was never, however any more than a stop-gap measure designed to prop up a framework that

9. Jonathan Bernier, Aposynagōgos and the Historical Jesus in John: Rethinking the Historicity of the Johannine Expulsion Passages (Biblical Interpretation Series 122; Leiden: Brill, 2013), 5–7. 10. Cf. J. Andrew Overman, Matthew’s Gospel and Formative Judaism: The Social World of the Matthean Community (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1990); Anthony Saldarini, Matthew’s Christian-Jewish Community (Chicago, IL: Chicago, 1994); David C. Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism: The History and Social Setting of the Matthean Community (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998); Graham Stanton, A Gospel for a New People: Studies in Matthew (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1992). 11. Cf. Howard Clark Kee, Community of the New Age: Studies in Mark’s Gospel (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1977); Willi Marxsen, Mark The Evangelist: Studies on the Redaction History of the Gospel (trans. J. Boyce, D. Juel, W. Poehlmann, and R. A. Harrisville; Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1969); Ched Myers, Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1994); Theodore J. Weeden, Sr., Mark: Traditions in Conflict (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1971). 12. Cf. Philip Francis Esler, Community and Gospel in Luke-Acts: The Social and Political Motivations of Lucan Theology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987). 13. Raymond E. Brown, The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves, and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times (New York: Paulist Press, 1979); Oscar Cullmann, The Johannine Circle (trans. John Bowden; Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1976); R. Alan Culpepper, The Johannine School: An Evaluation of the JohannineSchool Hypothesis Based on an Investigation of the Nature of Ancient Schools (Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1975); J. Louis Martyn, History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel (3rd ed.; Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2003). 14. John S. Kloppenborg Verbin, Excavating Q: The History and Setting of the Sayings Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000), 329–408. Obviously, given that the very

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had simply never been up to the task of adequately apprehending the full scope of differentiation among emergent Christians. Thus has community criticism, once taken as a desideratum of gospel exegesis, come under sharp attack since the 1998 publication of Richard Bauckham’s edited volume, The Gospels for All Christians,15 and despite rearguard actions by reactionary forces within the discipline, it can be added to the growing bone pile of discarded attempts to apprehend plurality in early Christianity. With regard to nuance, the Baurian paradigm could not easily account for the presence in any given single text of elements from what were by his account different Christianities. Into this breach strode the history-of-religions school,16 which saw in such texts evidence of syncretism. The data required such a step if one was to maintain the supposition that Petrine and Pauline, Jewish and Greek Christians, respectively, belonged to distinct species of Christianity: one had to render an account of how there could be hybrids, that is, texts that combined features from each species. This history-of-religions paradigm greatly influenced Bultmann17 but has now been thoroughly discredited following the finds at Nag Hammadi and Qumran.18 In point of fact, syncretism was never a viable

existence of Q is debatable, any definition of a putative Q community is that much more precarious than that of, say, a Matthean or Lukan community. 15. Richard Bauckham, ed., The Gospels for All Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998). For responses, positive and negative, to this critique, cf. Bernier, Aposynagōgos; Philip F. Esler, “A Response to Richard Bauckham’s Gospels for All Christians,” Scottish Journal of Theology 51 (1998): 235–48; Tobias Hägerland, “John’s Gospel: A Two-Level Drama?” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 25/3 (2003): 309–22; Thomas Kazen, “Sectarian Gospels for Some Christians? Intention and Mirror Reading in the Light of Extra-Canonical Texts,” New Testament Studies 51 (2005): 561–78; Edward W. Klink III, ed., The Audience of the Gospels: The Origin and Functions of the Gospels in Early Christianity (London: T&T Clark, 2010); Edward W. Klink III, The Sheep of the Fold: The Audience and Origin of the Gospel of John (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Margaret M. Mitchell, “Patristic Counter-Evidence to the Claim that the ‘Gospels Were Written for All Christians,’ ” New Testament Studies 51 (2005): 36–79; David C. Sim, “The Gospels for All Christians? A Response to Richard Bauckham,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 84 (2001): 3–27. 16. Bousset, Kyrios Christos, remains the single most definitive statement of the historyof-religions school in New Testament studies. 17. Bultmann’s fixation with the history-of-religions school reaches its historiographical crescendo in his The Gospel of John (trans. G. R. Beasley-Murray, R. W. N. Hoare, and J.  K.  Riches; repr. with new foreword; Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2014 [1971]), and permits him to undertake quite questionable procedures, such as treating tenth-century Mandean texts as background for the first-century Gospel of John or hypothesizing the existence of a pre-Christian Gnostic Redeemer-myth. 18. Larry W. Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003), self-consciously defines itself as the most extensive response

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option,19 as it required one to adopt the somewhat questionable supposition that material that manifestly coexists in the data cannot in principle coexist in the data, and thus set out to account for a problem generated not by the data (and, in fact, repudiated by the data) but, rather, by antecedent conceptual errors. If those conceptual errors are diagnosed and corrected for, then the very need for a theory of syncretism evaporates. It is not difficult to discern the reason for these difficulties in the Baurian paradigm. Baur failed to distinguish conceptually between contraries and contradictories, the former being differences that are reconcilable at a higher level and the latter differences that resist such reconciliation. For Baur, all differences are functionally contradictories. A text came from either Jewish Christians or Greek Christians, never the twain meeting. Subsequent scholarship would simply multiply alternatives, expanding either Petrine or Pauline to include either Matthean or Markan or Lukan or Johannine Christianity (“Either A or B or C or D” is simply a multiplication of “Either A or B”). If the error is a failure to distinguish conceptually between contraries and contradictories, then the correction is to conceptually make such a distinction. Meyer has already done much of the work necessary to make this correction when he argues that the early Christians put a premium on identity (the principle of unity), quite consciously and deliberately making room for plural self-definitions (the principle of diversity). This means that they found unity and diversity compatible. . . . The contrary of unity is not diversity but division, just as the contrary of diversity is not unity but uniformity. Unity and division, like uniformity and division, were reciprocally exclusive, but there was nothing to prevent unity from coexisting with diversity—and in retrospect one might even say (indeed, should say) that, if unity was an imperative in the gospel itself, diversity was a concrete human, existential, personal and cultural condition of this unity.20

Division and uniformity are characteristic of contradictions: division refers to the contradicting entities and uniformity refers to the reality that only by obviating difference can contradicting entities find resolution. Diversity and unity are characteristic of contraries: diversity refers to the contrasting entities, whereas unity refers to the higher synthesis by which one might resolve the contrast. For

to Bousset, Kyrios Christos, and decisively drives the nail in the coffin of the history-ofreligions paradigm with specific regard to its central preoccupation within early Christian studies, namely the development of Christology. Earlier and incisive critiques of the historyof-religions paradigm include Martin Hengel, The Son of God: The Origin of Christology and the History of Jewish-Christian Religion (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1976); Edwin M. Yamauchi, Pre-Christian Gnosticism: A Survey of the Proposed Evidence (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1973). 19. Cf. the critique in Meyer, Early Christians, 186–96. 20. Meyer, Christus Faber, 160.

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Baur, Petrine and Pauline Christianity were fundamentally divided from each other. Moreover, and derivatively, if difference obviates unity, then Baur must envision both Petrine and Pauline Christianity as internally uniform. Thus, Baur is not only unable to conceive of genuine unity within the apostolic and subsequent generations, but also unable to conceive of genuine diversity. He is capable of affirming only uniformity and division, but never diversity and unity within early Christianity; he does not discover that emergent Christianity lacked unity but, rather, he is unable to think otherwise. More recent attempts at understanding diversity and unity within early Christianity have all too frequently been marred by such conceptual limitation. Meyer, building upon the work of his predecessors in New Testament studies and informed by what he learned about concrete human operations from Bernard Lonergan21 as well as John Henry Newman’s pioneering work on doctrinal development,22 made certain conceptual advances that allow us to more fully apprehend the reality of early Christian diversity. Unfortunately, by the time that Meyer published his most significant work on early Christian differentiation, he was already suffering from his extended, and ultimately terminal, illness; as such, he was never able to bring to completion the project that he initiated with this work. In particular, although his monograph Early Christians is subtitled Their World Mission and Self-Discovery, his treatment of the world mission never moves much farther afield than Antioch. In this chapter, I aim to extend the geographical scope of the “Meyerian” paradigm.

Regional Case Study 1: Jerusalem and the Judean Church The Acts narrative suggests that relatively soon after Jesus’s death, a group of his disciples reconstituted themselves as the Jerusalem community. There is reason to infer that from the off this group represented a combination of his Galilean and Judean followers: while Peter the Galilean is presented as the leading voice in this community, nonetheless, they are meeting in a home in Jerusalem and it is reasonable to infer that this meeting place was furnished by a member of the movement.23 Acts, moreover, indicates that in short order, the Jerusalem community organized itself into what is often called the community of goods.

21. Most fully elaborated in Bernard Lonergan, Insight: A Study of Human Understanding (ed. Frederick E. Crowe and Robert M. Doran; 5th ed.; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 3: Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992). 22. Cf. John Henry Cardinal Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (6th ed.; Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989 [1845]), esp. pp. 3–165, on “Doctrinal Developments Viewed in Themselves.” 23. Traditionally, the house of Acts 1:13 is associated with the home wherein they celebrated the last supper as well as the house of Mary mentioned in Acts 12:12. Neither association is impossible, but neither is certain.

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There is nothing at all implausible about such a community: such efforts at some sort of radically egalitarian socioeconomic community recur throughout history, and are hardly absent from Jewish history itself.24 This is exactly the sort of thing that we would anticipate given a diverse yet united community: diverse, because it necessarily supposes that some members had greater means of support than others, and united because it necessarily supposes that those who had greater means of support believed that they had a responsibility to provide for those who had lesser means. Put negatively, the community of goods is inconceivable in a uniform or divided community. That the community of goods was ultimately unsustainable should also not occasion much surprise; history is replete with examples of such short-lived efforts at communalism, which for various social, cultural, and personal reasons tend to break down (the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 gives a particularly vivid account of the sort of matters that might lead to such break down).25 What is somewhat exceptional about the emergent Christian experience is that after the failure of its initial communal enterprise, the movement was able to reconfigure itself and survive in new forms, thus suggesting that the community of goods was never considered to be an end unto itself. There is yet further evidence of a lively diversity present in the Jerusalem church. In The Early Christians, Meyer makes much out of two distinct yet both quite Jewish groups, the Hebraioi (or, Hebraists) and the Hellēnistai (or, Hellenists), terms that he appropriates from Acts 6:1.26 In this context, these terms almost certainly represent antecedent distinctions among Jewish persons (cp. the

24. Cf. the discussion in James D. G. Dunn, Beginning from Jerusalem (Christianity in the Making 2; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009), 180–82, which notes the practice of communal ownership at Qumran (cf. 1QS 6.19-22; Josephus, War 2.122; Philo, Prob. 86; Pliny, Nat. Hist. 5.73). 25. Dunn, Beginning from Jerusalem, 184, identifies the unsustainability of the community of goods quite well when he notes that it depended on the sale of capital goods. Only as long as there were more capital goods to sell could such an economic model be sustained. He also notes that this model could be sustained, at least in the short term, by finding new recruits. Thus we can potentially see an economic motivation in the missionary expansion: once the community of goods had exhausted the initial capital goods available to itself, it would need new members. This could also help account for the impetus behind the collections for Jerusalem attested in Acts 11 and the Pauline correspondence: the communities beyond Jerusalem were perhaps always understood as economic supports for the home church. The unsustainability of depending upon liquidated capital goods could also account for why Paul adopted a strategy of asking his communities to set aside a portion of their regular income for the Jerusalem church (cf. 1 Cor. 16:2), surely a more viable long-term model. 26. Meyer, Early Christians, 53–83, with pp. 53–66 focusing upon the Hebraioi and 67–83 on the Hellēnistai. Cf. also the recent discussion of Meyer’s use of these terms in Seán Freyne, The Jesus Movement and its Expansion: Meaning and Mission (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2014), 209–13. Although the present discussion of the Hebraioi and the

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usage of Ἑllhstaί in Acts 9:29) who converted to Christianity in the earliest days of the movement. It would be other-than-adequate to define the Hebraioi as theological conservatives and the Hellēnistai as theological liberals, as has often been done.27 This is readily demonstrated by reference to Paul,28 a quintessential

Hellēnistai is informed by Meyer’s Early Christians, the specific formulations advanced here remain my own and I alone am responsible for them. 27. The definitive study in this regard remains Craig C. Hill, Hellenists and Hebrews: Reappraising Division with the Earliest Church (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1992). Hill is quite right to insist that the Hebraioi and the Hellēnistai did not represent distinct factions within the church, each with its own distinctive theology and institutional structures. In the language utilized in this study, Hill is arguing that whereas the distinction between these two groups is typically defined in terms of division, one should more properly define the distinction in terms of diversity. Given that Meyer defines the distinction between the two groups primarily in terms of cultural and linguistic diversity rather than theological and ideological division, his understanding of the matter more closely approximates Hill’s than it does, for instance, Baur’s. As such, Hill’s study, published after Early Christians and dealing more extensively with the specific relationship between the Hebraioi and the Hellēnistai, permits us to add further nuance to Meyer’s account. 28. The discussion here supposes the judgment that Acts correctly situates Paul’s preconversion anti-Christian activity in Jerusalem prior to his conversion. This has been disputed, most recently in a major commentary by Richard I. Pervo, Acts: A Commentary (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009), 199–201. Pervo’s argument is unconvincing, for a variety of reasons. We can dismiss his appeal to questionable source and redaction theory as irrelevant: even if Pervo could demonstrate that Luke is not relying upon a source text here, it would hardly follow that therefore the Lukan data is to be deemed irrelevant when determining the location of Paul’s operations. Pervo’s other argument, that certain epistolary passages deny that these operations occurred in Jerusalem, is demonstrably false when evaluated empirically. Of the texts that he cites as instances of such denial, Gal. 1:13, 1 Cor. 15:9, Phil. 3:6, and 1 Tim. 1:13 speak not at all to the location of Paul’s operations, whether in Jerusalem or elsewhere; if they deny that the persecution took place in Jerusalem, then they also deny that they took place anywhere, which would render unintelligible Paul’s decision to report to his readers that he undertook persecutory activity. Thus we are left with Gal. 1:2223, ἤmhn dὲ ἀgnooύmenoV tῷ prosώpῳ taῖV ἐkklhsίaiV tῆV ἸoudaίaV taῖV ἐn Χristῷ, mόnon dὲ ἀkoύonteV ἦsan ὅti ὁ diώkwn ἡmᾶV pote nῦn eὐaggelίzetai tὴn pίstin ἥn pote ἐpόrqei. When read in its literary context, however, this can hardly sustain Pervo’s exegesis. The sequence of vv. 18-23 proceeds as follows: Paul goes to Jerusalem to visit Peter (18); while there he also sees James, brother of the Lord (19); he goes to Cilicia and Syria (21); he informs us that he was still unknown by face to the churches of Judea (22); and that they heard of him only by rumor (23). Paul in 22–23 can hardly be telling us that he never interacted with Christians in Judea when he is describing the situation as it existed after visiting with Peter and James in Judea! Moreover, one can say that Paul denies that his anti-Christian operations took place in Judea only if one judges that the ἦsan (“us”) of v. 23 categorically excludes the churches of Judea, which seems far from obvious; indeed, a report

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Hellenist before and after his conversion, coming from Cilicia (cf. Acts 9:11, 21:39), apparently associating with a synagogue or synagogues of the Cyrenians, Alexandrians, Cilicians, and Asians,29 eventually emerging as a key leader in the Greek mission, and yet who, before his conversion, was by any reasonable measure a theological conservative. A more adequate definition would aim to define not so much the nature of the Hebraioi or the Hellēnistai but, rather, their relationship with the Land and the Diaspora, articulated using the language of horizon.30 The Hebraioi are those

that the former persecutor is now a believer would likely have the greatest existential force among those who most directly suffered under his persecutions, thus raising the very real possibility, if not, indeed, the probability, that the “us” refers precisely to the Judean churches. Pervo further argues that the accounts as they stand contain inconsistencies and embellishments that mark them as other-than-fully accurate (Acts, Pervo, 199–200: “All but the apostles fled, but Paul can still find believers to incarcerate. . . . How could approximately twenty thousand refugees find sanctuary in ‘Judea and Samaria’?”). This will be of particular existential concern only to fundamentalists and counter-fundamentalists, and in any case it fails to pay full attention to the data. For instance, while Acts 8:1 does mention only Judea and Samaria as destinations for those dispersed by the persecution, 11:19 states that they went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and given Luke’s tendency to organize his account geographically, this should be seen as reflective of the fact that at 8:1, the narrative is yet focused on Judea and Samaria, whereas by 11:19, it has expanded into the Diaspora. This further opens up the possibility that the scattering was more extensive geographically than even the northern Levant and Cyprus. Hypothetical sources and redactions, non sequiturs, and failure to attend to the data do not seem to provide sufficient reason to dispense with some of the richest data on the earliest expansion of the church. 29. According to Acts 6:9, the conflict that leads to Stephen’s demise begins in ἡ  sunagwgή tῆV legomέnhV Libertίnwn kaὶ Κurhnaίwn kaὶ Ἀlexandrέwn kaὶ tῶn ἀpὸ ΚilikίaV kaὶ ἈsίaV. We learn in 7:58-8:1 that Paul was present when Stephen was stoned, and approved of the lynching. Given his Cilician origin and his role in the lynching, it is reasonable to suppose that Paul was among those who disputed with Stephen in this synagogue or these synagogues. For the possibility that Luke intends to refer to anywhere from one to five synagogues, as well as the probably correct judgment that given the singular tῆV sunagwgῆV, it is most likely the case that just one synagogue is here referenced, cf. C. K. Barrett, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles (2 vols.; International Critical Commentary; London: T&T Clark, 1994), 1:323. The judgment of number is, in fact, a matter of indifference for the present discussion, however, as it is sufficient to demonstrate that prior to his conversion, Paul associated with Diaspora Jewish communities in the Holy City. 30. I place somewhat greater importance on the spatial orientation of these horizons than Meyer, and this no doubt represents the influence upon my own thinking of the “spatial turn” within the human sciences. For a succinct and relatively recent introduction to this turn, cf. Barney Warf and Santa Arias, “Introduction: The Reinsertion of Space in the Humanities and Social Sciences,” in The Spatial Turn: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

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Jewish persons whose horizons were based in the Land and looked out toward the Diaspora while the Hellēnistai are those Jewish persons whose horizons were based in the Diaspora and looked back toward the Land; Christian Hebraioi would thus be Hebraioi whose horizons shifted so as to now encompass the Christian message while Christian Hellēnistai would be Hellēnistai whose horizons shifted so as to now encompass the Christian message. The distinction in horizon between Hebraioi and Hellēnistai should probably be considered to be a direct consequence of growing up in the Land versus growing up in the Greek Diaspora, respectively. There would have resulted a correlative difference in social, cultural, and linguistic fluency. The Hebraioi would typically be more conversant with a milieu wherein Jewish social, cultural, and linguistic patterns were the norm whereas the Hellēnistai would typically be more conversant with a milieu wherein Greek social, cultural, and linguistic patterns were the norm. All things being equal, a Hebraist would be more adequately prepared to fluently interact with other Hebraists and a Hellenist with other Hellenists as well as Hellēnes (as, in the interest of terminological symmetry, we might describe non-Jewish persons with a Hellenic horizon). Thus it is not a surprise that James, who we have every reason to think hails from the Land, emerges as a major leader of the Jerusalem church while Paul, who hails from the Diaspora, emerges as one of the major leaders of the Greek mission.31 In truth, such a diversity of horizons was probably an inevitable consequence the moment that Christianity encompassed both persons who originated in the Land and persons who originated in the Diaspora. This conceivably began already during Jesus’s ministry, as there is no antecedent reason to assume that he was not in contact with persons from the Diaspora resident in the Land (and cf. John 12:20-21). With a multiplicity of horizons, the correlative necessity to translate between divergent horizons became unavoidable. As such, it can hardly be regarded as insignificant that Acts conceives the first Christian outreach in terms of a miraculous translation into a multitude of languages undertaken within Jerusalem (cf. Acts 2:8-11), and we should do well to interpret this as a retrospective awareness that already the Christians of the first decade and in the Holy City itself had to conceptualize their fundamental insights across a range of horizons. Such data further suggest a diversity in notable excess of the Hebraoi and the Hellēnistai, signaling that Luke himself was aware that early ecclesiastical diversity also encompassed Jewish persons from Parthia, Medea, Elam, Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Cyrenaica, Rome, Crete, and Arabia.32

(ed. Barney Warf and Santa Arias; London: Routledge, 2009), 1–10, as well as the balance of the contributions in that volume. 31. Cf. Freyne, Jesus Movement, 222–29, for a treatment of James’ role among the Hebraioi, building upon Meyer’s account, and Meyer, Early Christians, 105–71, for his treatment of Paul’s role among the Hellēnistai. 32. It is interesting to note that the tendency, as seen in recent studies such as Todd C. Penner, In Praise of Christian Origins: Stephen and the Hellenists in Lukan Apologetic

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Yet, it is the Hebraioi and Hellēnistai that Luke singles out for special attention. One suspects that this is because the balance of his history will be concerned with the Christian mission to the northeastern Mediterranean region. Although we cannot exclude the possibility that other regions that would later emerge as major Christian centers had experienced comparable mission activity or success,33 the reality is that most, if not all, of the eventual New Testament canons and most, if not all, the texts commonly included within the corpus known as Apostolic Fathers were likely written in and addressed to this region.34 Regardless, Meyer argues that it was the Hellēnistai who initiated the mission to the Greeks. Indeed, as he observes, if we did not possess reference to the Hellēnistai in our data, we would have to invent something much like them in order to explain how a movement at first limited exclusively to the Land was able to not only begin actively recruiting from among Gentiles but also achieve notable success at doing so; as Meyer further observes, the construct that is “Gentile Christianity” is precisely such an invention, intended to satisfy this conceptual need,35 and needed only because scholarship had dispensed with the Hellēnistai, that is, the indispensable mediators between Christianity’s Jewish origin and its non-Jewish destination. By virtue of their respective social, cultural, and linguistic fluency, the Hebraioi translated insights generated in the Diaspora into terms intelligible within the Land, whereas the Hellēnistai translated insights generated in the Land into terms intelligible within, specifically, the Greek Diaspora. Thus they stood to each other as contraries and not contradictories, working together to ensure that insights moved in a bidirectional fashion between horizons endemic to the Land and the Diaspora and back again. Such work had to be situated in space, and, in fact, the Land-Diaspora

Historiography (London: T&T Clark, 2004), and Richard I. Pervo, Dating Acts: Between the Evangelists and the Apologists (Santa Rosa, CA: Polebridge Press, 2006), to date Acts late and view it as, at best, a legendary and romanticized account of Christian origins, in fact, deprives the historian of one of the most powerful sets of evidence for early Christian diversity. 33. Apart from Acts 9:19b-22 and Gal. 1:17, which pertain only to Damascus and its environs, the Pentecost account in Acts 2 provides the only first-century evidence for Christian expansion during this period to other areas of the Mediterranean basin as well as the Eastern Diaspora, and this only if one deduces that those converted at this festival were the likely originators of Christianity in their respective native regions. Such deduction would be to concede the argument that I am making in the body of the text, which is that the Jerusalem community reflected from the off a significant diversity of horizons that encompassed and reflected a broad range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. 34. Apart from sporadic and quite tenuous attempts to locate certain texts in Alexandria, it is probable that no extant first-century Christian text or early-second-century text was produced or directed toward any city west of Rome or east or south of Judea. The texts produced by Clement of Alexandria, writing in the later second century, are probably the earliest that we can with confidence situate as Alexandrian compositions. 35. Meyer, Early Christians, 67.

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distinction is already a spatialized one, albeit one on the macro-level. Given this distinction, we find Paul forever looking back to Jerusalem as the center of the movement36 and the Jerusalem leadership forever looking out to the Diaspora with interest in the developments occurring there.37 Moreover, the data indicate that on the micro level, the Jerusalem church met in a variety of places: the house in which they met for Jesus’s last supper, the house of John Mark’s mother (which might or might not be the same house), Solomon’s portico, etc.38 This seems a commonplace of early Christian practice: a tendency to meet wherever they could find space.39 The above definition also helps elucidate a reality often obscured in modern scholarship, namely the ecclesiastical relationship between Jerusalem and other regions of the Land, such as for instance the Galilee. The major leaders of the

36. Paul’s collections for Jerusalem, attested both in Acts and the epistolary data, provide the surest evidence of the Jerusalem community’s continued centrality within the Christian movement. 37. The Letter of James and the Didachē are each quite interesting in this regard: each is said to have derived from Jerusalemite circles (James and the Twelve, respectively) and each is addressed to places abroad (the Diaspora in the case of James, the nations in the case of the longer title of the Didachē). Such data tantalize with the possibility that with such texts we have the actual compositions of the Jerusalem leadership as they aim to communicate with the churches of, first, the Diaspora and, subsequently, the Gentile mission. 38. Dunn, Beginning in Jerusalem, 180–81, suggests that each of these different meeting places might have constituted distinct Christian synagogues, with different members of the Twelve functioning as synagogue leaders. This is not at all improbable, and would find support in recent developments in synagogue studies, especially the theory advanced by Anders Runesson, The Origins of the Synagogue: A Socio-Historical Study (Coniectanea Biblica New Testament 37; Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell, 2001), namely that there was a distinction between “public” or “municipal” synagogues on the one hand and “semipublic” or “association” synagogues, on the other: the former being found in villages and cities of the Land and constituting what we might describe as a “town hall with Torah,” the latter being found in the Diaspora and larger cities of the Land and constituting what we might call “special interest groups” (which would include any Jewish persons in the Diaspora, as they were nowhere a dominant group outside of the Land). I would suggest a further distinction, between semi-public and private association synagogues: the former being typical of the Diaspora as well as Jerusalem and possibly also Caesarea and other larger Palestinian cities, namely synagogues that are generally open to all Jewish persons and potentially God-fearers who choose to enter; the latter being synagogues limited only to members of a given group, whether the Pharisees or the Christians or another. In this case, Dunn’s argument would be that the Christians maintained private synagogues in Jerusalem starting in c. 30, and that together they were networked as the Jerusalem community. 39. Cf. now the definitive study on early Christian meeting-places, Edward Adams, The Earliest Christian Meeting Place: Almost Exclusively Houses? (Library of New Testament Studies 450; London: T&T Clark, 2013).

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Jerusalem church, for instance, James and Peter, were Galilean in origin, and the one site that we can with any confidence identify with the Galilean church is associated precisely with Peter.40 Moreover, Eusebius reports that Simeon, James’s successor as leader of the Jerusalem church, was Jesus’s cousin,41 which again evinces a Galilean connection. These data regarding personal ties between the churches of the two regions stand as strong evidence for structural relationships. While we might reasonably infer that the relative frequency of persons evincing a Hebraist horizon was higher in the Galilee than in Jerusalem and those evincing a Hellenist horizon lower, such difference in frequency would not make an opposition; likewise, it might not be unreasonable to infer that in coastal Caesarea, the relative frequency of Hellenists would be greater than in Jerusalem, although, again, that would not suffice to demonstrate opposition. The non-oppositional character of the very real differences throughout the regions of Israel stands. Thus does the Hebraioi-Hellēnistai interface offer us the means by which we can explain how the movement proceeds from the Galilee to Jerusalem and on to the Diaspora: Jesus begins his movement in the Land, calling a group of Jewish followers whose horizons could be for the most part generalized under the rubric of the Hebraioi; following his death, these followers reconfigure themselves as the core of the Jerusalem church, where they enter into close interaction with Jewish persons whose horizons could be for the most part generalized under the rubric of the Hellēnistai. This latter was a crucial move, without which Christianity would likely have been stillborn: the Hebraioi could never in the long run sustain a distinct Hebraist missionary presence beyond the Land, as in order to succeed, such a presence would have had to become Hellenistic. Conversely, of course, the Hellēnistai could never in the long run sustain a distinct missionary presence in the Land, as in order to succeed, such a presence would have had to become Hebraic. Thus was the church in the Land always fated to be the Church of the Hebraioi, at least as long as the Land was defined by Hebraic society, culture, and language. If, indeed, the Jerusalem church moved in c. 66 to Pella,42 just across the Jordan, that merely confirms this judgment, for despite the existence of by-then well-established Christian communities in the Diaspora, it is to the nearby Decapolis that they relocated43—and if the Hebraioi found their horizons functionally restricted to

40. I refer to “Peter’s house,” which constitutes the one site that we might with confidence associate not only with first-century Galilean Christianity but also with the historical Jesus. Cf. the recent discussion in Anders Runesson, “Architecture, Conflict, and Identity Formation: Jews and Christians in Capernaum from the First to the Six Centuries,” in Religion, Ethnicity, and Identity in Ancient Galilee: A Region in Transition (ed. Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge, and Dale B. Martin; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007), 231–57, esp. pp. 240–44. 41. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 3.11. 42. As reported in Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 3.5.3. 43. Moreover, as Seán Freyne, “The Geography of Restoration: Galilee-Jerusalem Relations in Early Jewish and Christian Experience,” New Testament Studies 47 (2001): 289–311, has

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the Land, then any sustained Christian movement beyond the Land required the work of groups such as the Hellēnistai, while if the Hellēnistai found their horizons functionally restricted to the Diaspora, then they would have to launch the Gentile mission from somewhere outside the Land. Thus could Caesarea, as much as it was a coastal city, never serve as the launching point for the Gentile mission. For the Hellēnistai , it was an entry point to the Land, in which they had limited capacities to operate, and for the Hebraioi, it was a gateway to the Diaspora in which they found their operational capacities to be limited. So, for the Gentile mission to succeed, the emergent Christians had to find a base of operations outside the Land. That base was in Antioch.

Regional Case Study 2: Antioch If Jerusalem became the center for Christian Hebraioi because of their elective affinities with Jewish Hebraioi, then Antioch became the center for Christian Hellēnistai as a result of their elective affinities with Jewish Hellēnistai. Only Alexandria rivaled Antioch in its significance to Hellenistic Judaism, but there is no evidence that Alexandria was a significant Christian center before the second century.44 By contrast, Antioch presents as a significant Christian center by perhaps the mid-30s. If Acts is taken as a strictly chronologically ordered narrative then Luke would be telling us that the first Christians arrived in Antioch following Peter’s initial success among the Gentiles in Caesarea (in Acts 10), perhaps to be dated to around 40. Yet, Luke himself is evidently aware that this is not quite the proper sequence, for in 11:19 he explicitly describes the origins of Antiochene Christianity as a consequence of the dispersion effected by the Pauline persecution.45 This dispersion could have occurred as early as eighteen months following the crucifixion,46 thus intimating that Christianity in Antioch was nearly cogently argued, the Transjordan was understood by at least some Second Temple Jewish persons as part of a “Greater Israel.” Cf. Numbers 32, wherein the Transjordan is granted to the tribes of Gad and Reuben and the half-tribe Manasseh. 44. While Acts 18:24 provides evidence for a Christian of Alexandrian origin, namely Apollos, it is far from certain that he became a Christian in Egypt. While Codex Bezae does add in Acts 18:25 a notice that Apollos learned his teaching ἐn tῇ patrίdi, it is not immediately evident that this relatively idiosyncratic fifth-century witness should be considered sufficient to demonstrate a significant Christian presence in Egypt c. 50. 45. Skepticism regarding the movement of Christians to Antioch at the time of the Pauline persecution is, like much of any programmatic minimalism in the discipline, ill-founded. Again, Pervo, Acts, can serve as a recent and exemplary instance. 46. I refer here to the traditions that Paul was converted c. eighteen months after Jesus’ death, which would serve as a terminus ante quem for the Pauline conversion and the subsequent scattering. Cf. the discussion of the primary and secondary literature in Rainer Reisner, Paul’s Early Period: Chronology, Mission Strategy, Theology (trans. Doug Stott; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998), 64–71.

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as venerable in age as Christianity in Jerusalem, and if Acts is to be believed, then the Antiochene church was founded by refugees from the Jerusalem church. There is nothing incredible about such a narrative: Christianity had to arrive in Antioch from somewhere, and even without the Acts narrative, Jerusalem is as good a candidate as any and probably far better than most. Combined with the Pentecost account in Acts 2, the dispersion can also help account for a phenomenon long suspected in early Christian studies but often lacking in concrete historiographical description: that early in its history the movement experienced a relatively uncontrolled (one cannot easily control a desperate flight from persecution) yet widespread emergence from the Land into the Diaspora. Whether one judges that Acts 11:20 suggests that a group of Cypriot and Cyrenaean Christians were the first to preach Jesus to the ἙllhistάV or the ἝllhaV (i.e., with each existing in the manuscript tradition, which is to be the preferred variant in this verse?), 11:19 makes clear that this group is to be contrasted with the Ιoudaίoi, and thus the sense of the verse suggests that there began in Antioch Christian preaching to non-Jewish Greeks. If we did not have these traditions about Antioch, then we would have to invent a mythical narrative in which the Greek mission originated in a place wherein there was a long tradition of Jewish and non-Jewish people interacting on the shared basis of Greek culture and language—in other words, a place that looks pretty much exactly like Antioch.47 When I see a place in my data, there seems no reason to invent one. On the spatial micro-level, we can reasonably infer that these JewishGreek contacts took place within a synagogue context. The importance of the synagogue in the expansion of the early movement was recognized as early as Harnack’s groundbreaking monograph on the matter.48 According to the Acts account, the synagogue functioned as the first point of contact in any given city for Christians engaged in the Gentile mission: something that makes eminent sense, as this would have permitted them to make contact both with fellow Jewish Christians who might have been in the region and with Gentiles who were already sympathetic to Judaism.49 There is no reason to think that any other 47. Minimalists would leave us with no option but to undertake such invention. Yet, if I must invent a narrative that looks in its broad outline like that which I find in my data, that, in fact, constitutes an argument that the data depict a course of events that is quite plausible. This is not to say that the narrative simply “happened,” a statement that borders on the ontologically incoherent, as literary accounts of events cannot be identified positively or negatively with events, but simply to state that once one has completed the work of judiciously investigating Christian origins, one will typically, and without occasioning much surprise, end up with a narrative that resonates deeply with the data from which, as an empirical enterprise, it is necessarily inferred. 48. Adolf Harnack, The Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries (trans. James Moffatt; 2 vols.; London: Williams and Norgate, 1904–05), 1:1. 49. Any discussion now of the role of the synagogue in Second Temple or early Christian contexts must take into account the wholesale revision of our understanding of the Second Temple synagogue produced over the last twenty-five years, as epitomized in such works as

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pattern was followed in Antioch, and, indeed, it is difficult to envision another mission strategy that would have been of greater efficacy in that particular milieu. The data suggest that this was a pattern of operations followed, if not established by Jesus himself. The importance of Antioch for the Greek mission is confirmed by the data that indicate that this city became the site for a major dispute regarding openness toward Gentiles (cf. Gal. 2:11-14; Acts 15:1-2), with the Christians of Antioch taking such openness as a matter of course and some Christians associated with Jerusalem finding certain expressions of such openness to be objectionable. Let us consider this matter more fully, focusing upon the Galatian account as the one more clearly first-hand, but without neglecting the Acts account. The incident described in Gal. 2 apparently proceeded in three stages. In the first stage, Peter, Barnabas, and other Jewish Christians ate openly with Gentile Christians. In the second stage, certain people associated with James arrived at Antioch, and as a result Peter, Barnabas, and other Jewish Christians ceased this practice. In the third stage, Paul attempts to correct what he considers to be inappropriate behavior on Peter’s part. According to Acts 15:1-2, a dispute over precisely this same issue (whether the same incident or another)50 began in Antioch and proceeded to be settled in Jerusalem.

Donald D. Binder, Into the Temple Courts: The Place of the Synagogues in the Second Temple Period (SBL Dissertation Series 169; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 1999); Lee I. Levine, The Ancient Synagogue: The First Thousand Years (2nd ed.; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005), esp. pp. 21–173; Lee I. Levine, “The Synagogues of Galilee,” Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods, Volume 1: Life, Culture, and Society (ed. David A. Fiensy and James Riley Strange; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014), 129–50; Runesson, Origins of the Synagogue; Anders Runesson, Donald D. Binder, and Birger Olsson, eds., The Ancient Synagogue from its Origins to 200 C.E.: A Source Book (Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity 72; Leiden: Brill, 2008). Cf. Bernier, Aposynagōgos and the Historical Jesus in John, my own previous effort to integrate current synagogue research into a historiographical framework derived from Ben F. Meyer. The recent shifts in synagogue studies no doubt have implications for studying the origins of the Christian ekklēsia, although the study of such implications remains in its infancy (but cf. Ralph J. Korner, “Before ‘Church’: Political, EthnoReligious, and Theological Implications of the Collective Designation of Pauline Christfollowers as Ekklēsia,” (PhD diss., McMaster University Department of Religious Studies, 2014); Runesson, Origins, 486–88; Jordan Ryan, “The Kingdom of God and the Assembly of the People: The Role of the Synagogue and the Aims of Jesus,” (PhD diss., McMaster University Department of Religious Studies, 2016). Note that both Korner and Ryan were written under Runesson’s supervision. 50. My own inclination is to read Gal. 2:1–10 as a reference to the visit of Paul and Barnabas narrated in Acts 11–12 and Gal. 2:11-14 as an account of the events that led to the Jerusalem council of Acts 15; as such, I would date Galatians prior to the council. This judgment constitutes a minority report advanced over and against the more majority

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It is a crucial datum that in neither Jerusalem nor Antioch do we have a Hebraioi community existing alongside a Hellēnistai community, but rather a Jerusalem community in which we find Hebraioi and Hellēnistai interacting and which evinces an interest in what is taking place in Antioch and an Antiochene community in which we find Hebraioi and Hellēnistai interacting and which evinces an interest in maintaining unity with the Jerusalem church. Although Paul presents Peter and Barnabas as acting disingenuously, it is probably more accurately the case that they were caught on the horns of a dilemma generated by their own commitment to and understanding of Christian unity, as a decision to stand in unity with Paul would have divided them from the men from James. The men from James, although perhaps not James himself,51 while aiming for unity, did apparently think that this could only be achieved through uniformity. Consequently, they demanded that Gentile converts be circumcised. For his part, Paul seems to have recognized that a unity predicated upon uniformity was ultimately unsustainable given the irreducible diversity immanent to human existence. Thus did all parties seek to instantiate Christian unity in Antioch, but each conceived the conditions of that unity differently. The Acts 15 account suggests, however, that emergent Christianity recognized the danger that such dilemmas posed to unity, and thus sought to transcend such differences. Interestingly enough, Acts 15 demonstrates an option not for uniformity but rather for diversity, and even if one dismisses the account as a Lukan fiction, one cannot easily ignore what it tells us about emergent Christian value structures. Thomas A. Robinson, a student of Ben F. Meyer, argues that several decades later, during the time of Ignatius, Antioch remained diverse yet united.52 Although Robinson’s account would be all the stronger if he employed explicitly his Doktorvater’s heuristic distinctions between unity and uniformity and diversity and division, and, indeed, it is somewhat surprising that he fails to cite Meyer even once in the study under discussion, nonetheless, he presents an Antioch of c. 110 that looks much like the Antioch of the 40s. There was a diversity of horizons, no doubt, yet this diversity was united in a shared Christian identity. Indeed, as

position that Gal. 2:1-10 refers to the same meeting as Acts 15, and is, strictly speaking, irrelevant to my broader argument. 51. Cf. Acts 15:24, which is utterly congruent with Paul’s statement in Gal. 1:12 that the Antiochene dispute was initiated by men from James. John A. T. Robinson, Redating The New Testament (London: SPCK, 1976), 124–26, argues that the men from James were, without direction from James, applying to the context of Gentile inclusion teaching that James had previously articulated without regard to Gentile inclusion, that is, envisioning, when he wrote, the Christian movement as a purely intra-Jewish phenomenon (teaching preserved in its broad outlines in the Letter of James); this would account readily for the origins of the conflict in the men from James’ sincere yet erroneous belief that they were operating in accordance with his will. 52. Thomas A. Robinson, Ignatius of Antioch and the Parting of the Ways: Early JewishChristian Relations (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishing, 2009), 76–85.

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Robinson observes, Ignatius’s degree of concern with battling what he perceives to be theological error is only intelligible if he believes that the error exists within the same communities as he operates. He is battling not with people outside the fold but, rather, with people within, and that is precisely what makes the battle an urgent and existential one. It would be tendentious to suppose that the author of Acts has retrojected later Antiochene conditions on to his narrative of the city in the earlier decades, which, of course, is precisely what one must do if following the excessively minimalist tradition of interpretation of the text that dates back to the Baurian tradition—for it is not sufficient to state that this is a possibility but, rather, one must demonstrate that such retrojection is more plausible than the hypothesis that Antiochene Christianity of the 40s existed as a diverse unity. If one cannot, then I have sufficient warrant to suggest that if such diversity and unity were the case in the 40s and in the 110s, then they likely were the case in the intervening decades, and in the absence of any evidence suggesting the opposite, likely also in the decade and a half that preceded this period of sixty years or so. This brief survey of early Antiochene Christianity leads to two conclusions. First, that it was in Antioch that the Hellēnistai began the concerted effort to translate the insights of Christianity from their own horizons into those of the Hellēnes. Second, although the Hellēnistai predominated in Antioch, they, nonetheless, had to translate the aims and gains of their enterprise back into the horizons of the Hebraioi. Again, this is intelligible if emergent Christianity was united and its communities diverse, but not if it was divided and the communities uniform. In the long run, of course, the future of Christianity would lie neither with the Hebraioi nor with the Hellēnistai, but with the Hellēnes, thus suggesting the relative success of the Greek mission initiated by the Hellēnistai. Yet, it is an informative datum that the Hellēnistai felt a need to translate their work back to the Hebraioi, the core of which remained throughout the period under discussion Jesus’s own earthly followers. While never losing sight of the movement’s origins, the Antiochene community was poised to become a significant institutional base for the next phase of Christian development, namely the widespread conversion of Gentile Christians throughout the northeastern circum-Mediterranean region.

Regional Case Study 3: Ephesus and Asia53 Ephesus was for some time regarded as the third “capital” of Christianity, after Jerusalem and Antioch, and, indeed, it might well have become the enduring symbolic center for the emergent Eastern Orthodox churches, had Constantine not re-founded Byzantium as a new imperial capital. The significance of Ephesus within Christianity demonstrably goes back to the first century. Indeed, no single city can be confidently associated with more New Testament documents than

53. “Asia” here referring to the Roman province of Asia.

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Ephesus.54 The significance of Ephesus within the earliest extant material most likely speaks to the greater success of the Greek mission relative to the Jewish, of which we have some indications elsewhere in the data.55 Ephesus constituted perhaps the main location in which a distinctly Hellenic Christianity began to be articulated, as there emerged here and elsewhere a distinct body of Christian Hellēnes. Among extant first-century texts, perhaps John’s Gospel provides the most evidence, which I will discuss at greater length in the next chapter. Here it is sufficient to suggest that John’s Gospel perhaps represents the vanguard of the effort to translate central Christian insights into the conceptual resources of explicitly Hellenic (as opposed to Hellenistic Jewish) horizons. There is good reason to think that Ephesian Christianity began with the Hellēnistai. The figures earliest and most clearly associated with Ephesian Christianity are quintessential Hellēnistai: Apollos, Priscilla, Aquila, Paul (cf. Acts 18:19–19:10). There is good reason, however, to think that these were not the first Christians in Ephesus. If there is anything to the Acts narrative, then there were probably Christians in Ephesus by c. 52/53. According to Acts, Paul left Corinth during Gallio’s proconsularship, which from inscriptional evidence we now know commenced no earlier than July 1, 51, and ended no later than June 30, 52.56 He then traveled with Priscilla and Aquila to Ephesus. He continued onward while Priscilla and Aquila interacted with Apollos, an Alexandrian

54. The second-century writers on the matter knew of no other place of origin for John’s Gospel than Ephesus, and there is no good reason to infer from this data anything other than the conclusion that, indeed, John’s Gospel was written from this locale; and if, as seems virtually certain, John’s Gospel was written by the same person or school that wrote the three Johannine letters, then it is a reasonable inference to consider Ephesus also the most likely origin of these letters. Paul apparently wrote 1 Corinthians while in Asia and in the presence of Aquila and Priscilla (cf. 1 Cor. 16:19); given that Ephesus is the one Asian city where we can with confidence place him with Aquila and Priscilla, we can reasonably judge this to be the most likely origin for this letter. 1 Timothy 1:3 identifies Ephesus as the letter’s destination, and thus, even if one considers this letter to be Pseudo-Pauline, it would, nonetheless, constitute a significant datum that Ephesus was chosen to sustain fiction: a datum that would point again to Ephesus’s significance in the first Christian century. Finally, Ephesus is not just one but, in fact, the first of the cities addressed directly in the Revelation (cf. 2:1-7). Ironically, the letter traditionally identified as Paul’s to the Ephesians cannot rank among those that can be confidently associated with Ephesus in the first century, because of the absence of that address in the earliest manuscript tradition (although, again, the fact that it became identified with Ephesus speaks to the significance of that locale). 55. That at least outside the Land there was greater success among the Gentiles than among the Jewish people seems evident already during Paul’s life, as he needs to offer an account for how it is that the people of Israel were responding with less enthusiasm to the Christian message than were the nations (cf. Rom. 11). 56. Cf. the discussion of the date of Gallio’s proconsulship in Riesner, Paul’s Early Period, 202–07.

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Jewish Christian who had at some unspecified time come independently to the city. It seems an incredible coincidence that the first four Christians in Ephesus happened to arrive more or less simultaneously over two decades into the movement, and it seems more likely that there was a preexisting Christian community in the city. This hypothesis receives further support from Paul’s curious encounter with the twelve or so disciples as described in Acts 19:1-7, a group with which Apollos, also encountered in Ephesus, was quite likely associated. Acts 18:25 states that Apollos knew only tὸ bάptisma Ἰwάnnou, while in 19:3, the twelve inform Paul that they knew only tὸ Ἰwάnnou bάptisma; this surely cannot be a coincidence, and the most judicious interpretation is that Apollos was a member of the same group as the Twelve. More to the point for our purposes, “the baptism of John” indicates a Lukan awareness that there were in Ephesus c. 52/53, a group of Christians who could be associated specifically with a person named John. Luke clearly understands this to be John the Baptist, yet this raises significant difficulties with Luke’s account. He seems to think that Apollos and the Twelve are Christians, given the reference to maqhtaί in 19:1 and to Apollos’s teaching about Jesus in 18:25, yet also considers them to have been unaware that Jesus came subsequently to the Baptist, with whom they claim some association (19:4). It is difficult, on the one hand, to imagine that c. 52/53, there were Christians who knew nothing about Jesus, while on the other hand—apart from this notice—there is no evidence of followers of the Baptist in this region at this time. Yet, there is abundant evidence for Christians associated with one or more other persons named John in the Ephesus region. We know that the early Christians regularly confused and conflated persons bearing the same name (the confusion regarding persons who were named “Philip” is legendary), and, moreover, that John was a remarkably common name in contemporaneous Judaism, something like the fifth most common Palestinian Jewish male name.57 Thus I would suggest that Luke has simply made an error: he has heard that Paul had encountered Christians who were baptized by John,58 and wrongly identified the latter as John the Baptist when, in fact, he should have identified him as John the Evangelist. While Luke is clearly confused on the matter that he reports, nonetheless, we must judge it likely that he provides early attestation to the presence of a Christianity associated with John, most likely the Evangelist, in Ephesus. Regardless of whether one accepts this reading of tὸ Ἰwάnnou bάptisma, the reality remains that Paul and his associates seem able to join with a preexisting Christian community present already in Ephesus. Contrary to the Baur-inspired need to see fission, there is no reason to think the community into which Paul et al. integrated themselves to have been a separate Christian community divided

57. Following Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), 5. 58. Cp. 1 Cor. 1:12-16, which indicates that Christians at times powerfully identified with the person who baptized them.

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from the one that by the early second century, is part of a well-integrated network of churches spread throughout Asia Minor and associated within the tradition with John the Evangelist. John the Evangelist appears to have been significantly more prominent than Paul in the Christianity of Ephesus and neighboring cities. John’s general priority over Paul throughout this region is evident all through the data, with almost all major second-century Asiatic Christian leaders being associated in the tradition with John the Evangelist. Polycarp and Irenaeus in Smyrna,59 Papias in Hierapolis,60 Polycrates in Ephesus,61 Melito in Sardis,62 are all associated with John the Evangelist directly or indirectly, yet not at all with Paul.63 Even the traditions surrounding Cerinthus, John’s arch-rival, evinces this Ephesian-Johannine connexion.64 Even if all these associations between John and Asiatic Christian leaders were fiction, we would have to ask why precisely these fictions, and any answer that grants an equal or greater role to Paul than John in the founding of Christianity in the region, will need to offer an account for why the second century remembered exactly the opposite to have been the case. By far the simplest account of this data is that John, not Paul, was the major firstcentury figure in the region, perhaps even the founder of Christianity therein. Yet, there is little hint of Johannine-Pauline conflict,65 and we should thus do well

59. Cf. Irenaeus, Haer. 3.3.4.; Letter to Florinus 2, apud. Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 5.20.4-8. 60. Cf. Irenaeus, Haer. 5.33.4. 61. Cf. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 5.24.1-7, wherein Eusebius quotes a letter from Polycrates in which the latter claims that the Asiatic Christian commitment to celebrating Easter on 14 Nisan was held by a series of significant personages associated with the Asian church, wherein he includes John, the Beloved Disciple. 62. Cf. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 5.24.1-7, wherein Polycrates includes Melito of Sardis (cf. 5.24.5) alongside John in the list of Asiatic Christians who observed Easter on 14 Nisan. 63. Perhaps the best-attested member of this network is Polycarp of Smyrna, as demonstrated by Polycarp’s role in organizing and collecting the letters that Ignatius wrote throughout the region (cf. Polycarp, Phil. 13.2). This is quite an interesting datum, given that the church of Smyrna is the addressee for one of the seven letters addressed in the Revelation (cf. 2:8-11). Absent evidence indicating that the Seer was writing to a church other than that with which Polycarp would later be associated, it is probable that he operated within a regional unity, which not incidentally is precisely what we find when we consult the Ignatian correspondence and his own extant letter. 64. Cf. Irenaeus, Haer. 3.3.2. 65. The only intimation of such conflict might be Aquila, Priscilla, and Paul’s “correction” of Apollos and the Twelve on the matter of baptism, but this only if the latter are, indeed, judged to have been members of the Johannine network. Nonetheless, we see evidence of cooperation between Apollos and Paul with regard to the Corinthian mission (cf. 1 Cor. 3:6 and 16:12), which would suggest that whatever conflict there might have been was in short order resolved.

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to imagine that Paul and his retinue found no great difficulty in interacting with these Christians associated with John.66 Interestingly, all these second-century figures associated with John, as well as the figures referenced in 3 John (viz. Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius), have quite Greek names, despite the fact that the tradition unites all these men through a figure with the Jewish name ἸwάnnhV.67 We thus need to consider how John the Evangelist came to stand at the center of a circle of Hellēnes or Hellēnistēs. This is perhaps most readily explicable if we imagine that John was someone who was fluent in Hellenic norms and patterns, that is, a Christian Hellēnistēs, and that prominent in his circle were Hellēnes with an interest in Judaism. This hypothesis is reinforced by the fact that the one other person whom we can with some confidence identify as a member of this Johannine circle prior to its contact with Pauline circles in the 50s is the Alexandrian Jewish-Christian Apollos, who on all accounts appears to have been a Hellēnistēs; that having been said, the fact that Apollos has a very Greek-sounding name means that we must leave open the possibility that Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius were themselves Hellenistic Jewish men. As such, we seem then to be dealing with a circle that in its earliest phase was certainly composed of at least two Hellēnistai, and quite possibly also of Hellēnes. Building also upon the previous chapter, I would here advance the following hypothesis regarding these matters. Among Jesus’s followers was a man named

66. This understanding of Christian diversity in this region is quite similar to Paul Trebilco, The Early Christians in Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003), who argues that while one can identify distinct Johannine and Pauline “groups,” they are not opposed to but rather coexist with each other. Although Trebilco does not use the heuristic distinctions between diversity and division and unity and uniformity introduced by Meyer and adopted in this study, it would do little injustice to his thought if we were to suggest that the Johannine and Pauline groups represented a diversity that was united in a shared Christian identity. 67. On the basis of Polycrates’ statement (apud. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 5.24.6) that in observing Easter on 14 Nisan, he lived katὰ parάdosin tῶn suggenῶn mou, it has been argued that he and seven men whom he listed and designated as his “kinsmen” (suggeneῖV) were of Jewish background. It seems more likely that oἱ suggeneῖV refers to a common Asiatic Christianity rather than a common Jewish background. Given that his argument is that the observance of 14 Nisan was carried out katὰ tὸ eὐaggέlion and katὰ tὸn kanὸna tῆV pίstewV ἀkolouqoῦnteV it is unclear how the fact that they were all Jewish would bolster that argument. However, if they were all Christian leaders, then that bolsters the point significantly. He then proceeds to state that “seven” of his suggeneῖV were bishops, and he is the eighth. Presumably, these seven are intended to be the persons previously listed. Given that he uses the stereotypical number seven as an organizing principle, we should probably consider this to be not an exhaustive list but rather a rhetorical device meant to argue that the great luminaries of Asian Christianity were united in observing Easter at 14 Nisan.

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John, a relatively affluent and elite person with connections in both Jerusalem and Galilee, quite possibly having to do with the fishing industry; this John may or may not have been the son of Zebedee, or possibly John the Elder, or possibly John the Seer (who might or might not have been one, two, or three distinct persons).68 At some time in the 30s or 40s, he traveled to Ephesus. It is possible but far from certain that he was one of those dispersed from Jerusalem during the Pauline persecution; this would account readily for the traces in the Johannine material of an eyewitness tradition independent of the Synoptic Tradition. He was certainly Jewish, and given his apparent success among persons of Hellenistic Jewish and non-Jewish Hellenistic culture and language, he certainly had a thorough grounding in Hellenistic language and culture. He might well be one who would be better described as a Hellēnistēs than a Hebraios, and if so, this would confirm that Jesus likely had at least one Hellēnistēs in his retinue; and if that is the case, then he was quite likely among the Hellēnistai present in the early Jerusalemite Christian community. The possibility, perhaps even the probability, that he was a Hellēnistēs might (but only might) militate against Zebedean and toward Presbyterial authorship.69 Whatever the case, he undertook missionary work in Ephesus, from whence he either himself traveled to cities throughout the broader region or dispatched persons that he had trained for that purpose. Thus did there emerge a regional network of Asiatic churches whose collective horizons were marked by this John’s distinctive conceptualization of core Christian insights. Eventually, he or his followers committed to writing this distinctive conceptualization in narrative form; this we know as the Gospel of John. As the leader (or more precisely ὁ presbύteroV, perhaps an early sort of bishop or even metropolitan, who was functionally if not formally charged with the oversight of ekklēsiai in a number of cities; cf. 2 Jn 1 and 3 Jn 1) of this network, John had occasion to write letters dealing with various issues of doctrine and

68. We know about John the Elder’s existence primarily from Papias, apud. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 4.39.4, although we might also be able to infer that a certain John went by the title Ὁ presbύteroV from the addressee information in 2 and 3 John. It is unclear whether Papias understood John the Elder to be a figure separate from John, son of Zebedee, as he mentions the latter in a list enumerated prior to that in which he mentions the former; it is clear that he understood both to have been followers of the earthly Jesus, which is sufficient for our purposes here. Regarding John the Seer, if he is the same John who stands responsible for the Gospel and Letters, then we can identify him with this foundational figure; if he is not, then the prominence of the Johannine (as in, pertaining specifically to, the Gospel and Letters) tradition throughout Asia Minor would obviate against identifying him as this founder. On issues regarding the identity of the “Johns,” cf. Richard Bauckham, The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007), 33–72; Martin Hengel, The Johannine Question (trans. John Bowden; London: SCM Press, 1989). 69. That having been said, we cannot rule out the possibility that some of the Hellēnistai present in the Jerusalem church were not already followers of Jesus during his lifetime.

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governance. 1 John demonstrates most clearly John’s concern with articulating a conceptually robust understanding of key Christian insights, and along with the Prologue to John’s Gospel, it should be seen as one of the earliest examples at a concerted effort to work out the doctrinal niceties of the incarnation and what in the fullness of time will come to be known as the trinity.70 1 John, in particular, evinces a conviction that not every articulation of the Christian message is equally adequate. Specifically, John rejects any articulation of Jesus’s life and death that would functionally or in principle deny that he came in the flesh (cf. 1 Jn 4:23). From John’s perspective the insight at stake seems to be that in Jesus’s earthly life, God demonstrates his love for the human race (cf. 4:7-11), such that any articulation of this insight that denies in whole or part that Jesus came would obviate this insight. He connects this with the dissolution of unity (cf. 2:18-25): not surprising as love and unity have obvious phenomenological resonances with each other. Regarding unity, 1, 2, and 3 John are often thought collectively to deal with “secessionists” operative in this Johannine network, although it is not altogether clear that secession had, in fact, occurred within the churches to which 1-3 John are addressed.71 Yes, people had gone out from those churches (1 Jn 2:18-19): but did they go out in order to set up their own, competing Christian communities, or have they left Christianity altogether? No, Diotrephes will not acknowledge the Elder’s authority or welcome any of the brothers or sisters (3 Jn 9–10), but the very fact that the Elder still thinks that he should have authority over Diotrephes would suggest that he does not envision Diotrephes as belonging to a separate community from himself. Indeed, given John’s statement in 3 John 9, intimating that he has written to the church but that Diotrephes has somehow interfered with this communication, and the fact that he is writing directly to Gaius (v. 1), it might well be most judicious to read 3 John as indicative of a power struggle within a particular ekklēsia within the Johannine network—of which Diotrephes and Gaius each happen to be members—rather than a conflict between ekklēsiai. Likewise, contrary to the long-standing supposition of community criticism,72 there is no reason to think that this Johannine network was divorced from and opposed to the balance of first-century and early-second-century Christianity,

70. Cf. the argument in Bernard J. F. Lonergan, The Triune God: Doctrines (ed. Robert M. Doran and H. Daniel Monsour; trans. Michael G. Shields; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 11; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), 711–33, that the psychological analogy for the trinity is contained already in the New Testament, most notably in John’s Gospel. 71. Such an understanding of Johannine history has in recent scholarship become associated most fully with Brown, Community of the Beloved Disciple, 93–144. 72. For an exemplar of which we might again turn to Brown, Community of the Beloved Disciple, 155–62. Cf. the discussion and refutation of this theory of “Orthodox Johannophobia” in Charles E. Hill, The Johannine Corpus in the Early Church (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

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apart perhaps from the two decades preceding the contacts between Priscilla, Aquila, and Paul on the one hand, and Apollos and the Twelve, on the other. Yet, from at least that point forward there is compelling evidence that this creature that we call the Johannine network or community is functionally identical with this creature that we call Christianity in first- and second-century Asia. Ignatius of Antioch passes through the cities of this region and is able to not only continue to receive news from home but also to task these churches with sending a delegation to the church in Antioch73; moreover, he is able to write a letter ahead to the church in Rome. Later, Polycarp, to whom Ignatius wrote, travels to Rome to confer with Christian leaders there during the earlier moments of the Quartodeciman controversy.74 The Quartodeciman controversy75 confirms further that in the midsecond century, the Asiatic churches constituted a regional unity that evinced certain distinctive practices and doctrines relative to other regions while actively working toward unity with churches in other regions. Further, precisely to the extent that one suggests that the Johannine churches stood apart from and against the churches that produced the other apostolic literature, one risks rendering the existence of the New Testament canon utterly unintelligible. That is, how is it that incommensurable first-century and earlysecond-century Christianities came to produce a shared canon? If John had nought to do with Matthew, Mark, and Luke, then how do they and only they make up the fourfold canon? Why is distinctive Johannine language so central in the development of mainstream Trinitarian thought if John was so separated from the mainstream, or at least what became the mainstream?76 One can account for all these things far more easily if one understands the Johannine literature as representing one of several variants within the mainstream rather than a departure therefrom. Far from marginal as we move through the first century and toward the second, Johannine Ephesus appears as a thriving center for Hellenistic and later Hellenic Christianity. It was argued here that this was already the case in the apostolic generation. Thus do we find there to have been a lively diversity of Christian horizons present in Ephesus by most likely the 50s, all of which were marked by an intense focus upon the Hellenic world. While there is evidence that these horizons differed irreducibly from, and interacted with, each other, and, indeed, one would expect to find nothing else, there is no evidence apart from perhaps 3 John that this led to a dissolution of unity between or within communities, and even in 3 John,

73. Cf. Ign. Phld. 10.1; Ign. Smyrn. 11.2-3; Ign. Pol. 7.1-2. 74. Irenaeus, Letter to Victor, apud. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 5.24.14-17. 75. Described more fully in Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 5.23-25. 76. The debate at Nicea, after all, is in many real ways an exegetical question regarding the opening verses of John’s Gospel. If the Word is both next to God and yet is God (Jn 1:1), then what is the ontological relationship between the Word and God? If the Word was there in the beginning with God (Jn 1:2), then does that mean that he was co-eternal with God or merely present at creation? And so on.

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it is unclear whether the possible dissolution had anything to do with a significant divergence in horizons. Likewise should we recognize the Revelation, addressed to churches throughout the same region, as a further example of such diversity of horizons, and note that there is, in fact, no more reason to think that it came from any sort of eccentric group than came the Gospels and Letters of John, nor to think it any less the product of a Christian Hellenist.77 Ephesus’s centrality in the mission to the Hellēnes should not be surprising. Jerusalem could never be the most adequate center for a Hellenic Christianity and while Antioch, with its significant Hellenist Jewish population, was an excellent center for a mission to the Greeks, only a thoroughly Hellenic city would serve adequately as a center for Hellenic Christianity itself. Ephesus fit these requirements nicely. Corinth also did, but it was apparently never as prominent within Hellenic Christianity, and it is to that city that we should now turn.

Regional Case Study 4: Corinth Corinthian Christianity has featured so prominently in discussions of the ecclesiastical situation of the first decades that it would be irresponsible to overlook the city. In thinking about Corinth, we do well to begin with a genuine insight contained within Baur’s work.78 Baur identified in 1 Cor. 1:12 (and comparable passages; cf. 3:4-9, 3:22-23) evidence for four factions in Corinth: one identified with Paul, one with Apollos, one with Peter, and one with Christ. He then reduced these to two factions: a Pauline-Apollosine faction and a Petrine-Christ faction, which Baur considered to represent local instantiations of competing Pauline and Petrine missions thought to be operative throughout early Christianity. Such reduction and homogenizing are more the result of his own Hegelian schema than anything in the data, and those who built upon his work abandoned such reduction. Instead, they multiplied factions associated with the names of this or that apostle, thus providing the conceptual framework for community criticism.

77. Although the matter is unclear, there are some hints that the Seer thought himself to be writing primarily to Gentile believers. Twice in his letters to the churches, he references individuals operating in the area who encourage Christians to eat food sacrificed to idols and to practice fornication (cf. 2:14, 20). These are precisely two of the three things that the apostolic decree of Acts 15:19-20 forbade, specifically for Gentile believers; cf. Did. 6.3, which also forbids the consumption of meat sacrificed to idols, and this in a text ostensibly written from the Twelve to the Gentiles. Yet, the fact that the writer is designated “John” should incline us toward a Jewish authorship, and if the text was written to Gentile believers in an area wherein Jewish Christians tended more frequently to be of Hellenistic than Hebraist horizon, then it is a reasonable supposition that we are dealing with an author from precisely that horizon. 78. Cf. the discussion in Baur, Paul, 268–320.

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In retrospect, though Baur was probably more on the mark than those who built upon his conceptual apparatus, because of the above-mentioned conceptual limitations, some corrections are necessary. The most pressing is to move from talking about factions to talking about horizons. One cannot deny that 1 Corinthians furnishes data that strongly indicate the existence of disparate horizons within the Corinthian church. The strongest evidence in this regard comes in Chapter 8, wherein Paul aims to mediate a dispute over whether or not to eat meat sacrificed to idols; interestingly enough, Luke identifies this as one of the issues discussed at the Jerusalem council (cf. Acts 15:20).79 One might further suggest, tentatively, that this was due to the respective influences (direct or indirect) of Peter on the one hand, and Paul and Apollos on the other, on the Corinthian community, and, in turn, Peter’s specific concerns might have to do with his Hebraist orientation and Paul and Apollos’s with their Hellenist orientation, although it is not altogether clear that appeals to the names of Paul, Apollos, and Peter consistently correlated with specific theological or ideological platforms and, if they did so, what those might be. Unfortunately, given the lack of conceptual distinction between diversity and division, Baur is forced to define Paul’s aim in 1 Corinthians as the polemical refutation of the Petrine faction. This is more than a little questionable. Paul is no less critical of those who appeal to his own name or that of Apollos than those who appeal to Peter’s. Yes, 1 Corinthians is a deeply polemical letter, but the primary target of those polemics is not another faction but rather the very idea that within the church there should be factions at all. Perhaps no passage demonstrates more clearly than, again, Chapter 8 that Paul’s aim is not so much victory over a putative Petrine party than rapprochement between differing horizons, for here he proceeds first by presenting an argument as to why it is quite acceptable for Christians to eat meat sacrificed to idols and then urges that in the interest of unity, the Corinthian Christians should, nonetheless, as a group abstain from eating food sacrificed to idols.80 In this instance at least, Paul is less interested in being right than he is in maintaining unity. With regard to division, Paul is uncompromisingly hostile while with regard to unity, he consistently urges respect for diversity. In fact, this is precisely why he will, in Antioch, insist that Gentile and Jewish Christians ought to

79. It is interesting to note that much as Acts 15:20 brings together injunctions against food sacrificed to idols and sexual misconduct, Paul first discusses sexual conduct in 1  Cor. 5–7, and then food sacrificed to idols immediately afterward in Chapter 8. This might well suggest that at least this part of the letter deals with the Corinthian response to the apostolic decree. 80. Although Paul’s statements here are sometimes seen to be at variance with the apostolic decree on the matter reported in Acts 15:20, he, nonetheless, endorses along with that passage abstention from idols. If he gets there by different reasoning than presented in Acts 15, that simply demonstrates that the reality of diversity and unity means that often diverse warrants will need to be advanced in order to ensure unity of practice.

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eat together: any other practice would foster the dissolution of unity into division, thus actually obviating the very condition for diversity itself. As with the church in Ephesus, we seem to find in 1 Corinthians and also in 2 Corinthians an effort to translate the Christian message into a predominantly Hellenic milieu. It would be a mistake, of course, to think that all persons of Hellenic background had identical horizons, and diversity in pre-Christian horizons probably helps to account in large measure for the diversity in Christian horizons evident throughout the Corinthian correspondence. That said, it is a datum of some interest that in 1:12 Paul clearly anticipates that there will be among his audience not just those who claim to be of Paul and Apollos but also those who claim to be of Peter; he clearly thinks that these are all members of the singular church of God that is at Corinth (1 Cor. 1:2), a church marked by diversity, and thus by unity. There were a multiplicity of Christian horizons in Corinth, no doubt, but if there were a multiplicity of Christianities in Corinth, all divided from one another, then it would seem that they all had the same mailing address. This appears still to have been the case some decades later: 1 Clement evinces no awareness of there being more than one Christian community in Corinth, writing tῇ ἐkklhsίᾳ toῦ qeoῦ tῇ paroikoύsῃ Κόrinqon, not taῖV ἐkklhsίaiV toῦ qeoῦ taῖV paroikoύsaiV Κόrinqon, and sees the power struggle that has recently ousted certain leaders not as the creation of a new community but rather as dynamic transformations in an existing and singular one.81 It would be nought but question-begging to assume that Paul or 1 Clement is writing but to that assembly with which they are in communion, ignoring those with which they are not. In this regard, Corinth does not seem to be an isolated but, rather, an emblematic example. Building upon Meyer’s understanding of unity and diversity, this chapter has aimed to demonstrate how we can understand the Christian movement as both pluriform and singular, or, in Meyer’s language, “diverse” and “united.” It has been argued that the traditional understanding of emergent Christianity radiating out from Jerusalem remains the best basis for thinking about the initial expansion of the movement, and that although this initial expansion was likely quite chaotic

81. The clearest articulation of Clement’s concern comes in ch. 44, namely that those whom he considers to be the legitimate rulers of the Corinthian church have been removed from leadership and replaced with others. This is intelligible only as transformations within an existing community, not as conflict between communities. Thus we are dealing with diversity rather than division. Note, moreover, that despite the anticipations generated by the Baurian paradigm, 1 Clement furnishes no data indicating that these disputes are driven by ideological or doctrinal differences: that might be the case, but it just as equally might not. There is nothing to suggest that Corinth at the time of Clement was divided into various Christianities, and everything to suggest that the opposite was the case. In fairness to Baur, we should note that he did not have access to a complete Greek text of 1 Clement, which was only made available following Byrennios’s publication of the Codex Hierosolymitanus in 1875 (a full fifteen years after Baur’s passing); as such, he was unable to address this data as fully as he might otherwise have.

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and relatively unplanned, it, nonetheless, seems to be the case that the emergent Christians worked actively to establish and maintain unity in the face of constant diversification driven by the needs of interhorizontal translation. In turn, only by defining Jesus within his very Jewish horizons as a Galilean man of his times can we understand the centrality that Jerusalem occupied during this earliest period of Christian experience. The ecclesiastical setting, thus, serves as the sequel to the dominical setting while also furnishing the broader setting for the emergence of the gospel tradition. As argued throughout this study, much of the recurrent failure of historical Jesus studies can be attributed to a failure to fully recognize both sides of that equation. The ecclesiastical situation was a predominantly Jewish setting, but as the decades passed, the Gentile presence increased, such that by the second century there appears in our extant literature no Christian writer that we can with confidence identify as being of Jewish background.82 An examination of the ecclesiastical situation helps address an urgent question that any study of the historical Jesus must answer: How did this very Jewish man initiate a movement whose mainstream appears to have been, within a century, predominantly non-Jewish? This question will always be in the background as we consider the evangelical setting, for we will note that while the Gospels of Mark and Matthew evince little awareness of either a Hellenistic or Hellenic context, the Gospels of Luke and John seem unable to ignore it.

82. Although there were evidently Jewish and Judaizing Christians in the second century, it is a notable datum that after the last of the New Testament texts was written we have not a single Christian text from a writer who can with confidence be identified as possessing a Jewish background. The exceptions to this rule very likely are not exceptions at all, for although Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 4.22.8, tells us that Hegesippus was a Jewish convert to Christianity, this has been disputed; cf. William Telfer, “Was Hegesippus a Jew?”, Harvard Theological Review 53/2 (1960): 143–53, who argues that Eusebius is himself making an inference, most likely mistaken, based upon his reading of Hegesippus’s then but no longer extant work. The other possible exception is Polycrates (apud Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 5.24.6), who states that he observed Easter on 14 Nisan katὰ parάdosin tῶn suggenῶn mou; as we have discussed, although this has been at times interpreted to mean that he was of Jewish background, this follows only if suggeneῖV refers to the Jewish people and not, as seems much more likely given the textual context, the seven fellow Asian Christians that Polycrates has just said observed 14 Nisan (cf. 5.24.2-5).

Chapter 6 The Evangelical Situation

The purpose of this chapter is to respond to a problem that has been acutely felt since Bauckham’s 1998 challenge to community criticism: How is it that each Gospel was likely written with some expectation of a wide circulation among the emergent Christian community, yet each evinces a clear particularity unto itself, presenting its own distinctive presentation of Jesus of Nazareth. The previous chapter set the conditions for this response, by defining emergent Christianity as a field both diverse and unified: the gospels can both be aimed at the entirety of emergent Christianity and yet evince particularity because the totality that was emergent Christianity consisted precisely of a wide range of variants. This links back to the historical Jesus in two fashions. First, the field that was emergent Christianity stood in direct continuation with the Jesus movement extant in Jesus’s lifetime. Second, it is through data provided by the cultural products of this united and diverse field that was emergent Christianity, especially their gospels, that we can infer who Jesus was and how he operated. Thus do we come full circle in our account: the dominical gives rise to the ecclesiastical, the ecclesiastical to the evangelical, and the evangelical reveals to us the dominical.

The Gospel of Mark and Media Dynamics of the Gospel Tradition At some point, one or more people wrote the Gospel According to Mark. She, he, or they did so in part on the basis of antecedent Jesus tradition, some although not necessarily all of which was received via oral media.1 The text circulated

1. The question of pre-Markan material is derivative of adopting Markan priority to account for the Triple Tradition, which also gives us a framework in which to discuss the origins of the Matthean-Lukan Double Tradition. It leaves unaddressed the sources of the Markan, Matthean, and Lukan Single Traditions, however, and, as such, much of the work of Synoptic source and form criticism has consisted of efforts to determine the content, media, and generative processes of these traditions. It is a virtual consensus that while many aspects of the Single Traditions are a consequence of redactional and compositional work on the part of the respective evangelists, much is also derived from no longer extant preMarkan, pre-Matthean, and pre-Lukan material. Disagreements tend to cluster around the

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sufficiently that the writers of both Matthew’s Gospel and Luke’s decided to use it as a significant source for their own work,2 either independently (as per the TwoDocument Hypothesis) or sequentially (as per the competing Farrer-Goulder Hypothesis).3 This is probably all true, but as historians we can, no doubt, do better

extent to which the Synoptic Evangelists left their own distinctive mark on the material, and these disagreements are particularly difficult to resolve in the case of the Markan Gospel because we do not have access to any of the Markan Evangelists’ sources. For our purposes, it is sufficient to note that Mark almost certainly had access to and worked with preexisting material, whether oral or written. 2. Markan priority is a significant problem for community criticism, reminding us of the densely connected relations between various critical enterprises. As Richard Bauckham, “For Whom Were Gospels Written?” in The Gospels for All Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences (ed. Richard Bauckham; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998), 9–48, stated the problem almost twenty years ago: “How is it that Matthew and Luke both had Mark’s gospel available to them? No one imagines all three evangelists belonged to the same Christian community. So the view that is generally taken for granted is that by the time Matthew and Luke wrote, Mark’s Gospel had already circulated quite widely around the churches and was read in the churches to which Matthew and Luke respectively belonged” (12). Such circulation is difficult to account for on the hypothesis that Matthew and Luke belonged to discrete and parochial communities wholly separate from one another, yet readily explicable if they were members of a network of communities in which persons, texts, and ideas moved freely (if not without contest and controversy). Such independence further creates a problem for the Two-Document hypothesis, which must suppose that Matthew and Luke, although having no contact with each other, decided independently to adopt precisely the same two texts, namely the Markan Gospel and Q, as the basis for their respective gospels; on these “coincidences of Q,” cf. Francis Watson, Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013), 117–55, who argues with tongue in cheek that only inspiration by the Holy Spirit can account for the remarkable decisions that Matthew and Luke must have made independently of one another. Alternatively, one might suggest that they operated in such a remarkably similar fashion because they existed in ecclesiastical situations so markedly alike that this seemed to both a self-evident way to proceed. However, precisely to the extent that one emphasizes the sameness of their independent situations, to that extent one undermines the utility and idea of the very premise of community criticism, even as it raises questions about how two communities could have operated so completely independent of one another and yet be so remarkably parallel, as the Two-Document hypothesis requires. 3. Although frequently presented as drastically diverging, the reality is that the TwoDocument and the Farrer hypotheses are really variations upon the logically antecedent hypothesis of Markan priority. Once one judges Markan priority to be the best explanation for the Triple Tradition as well as any material common, on the one hand, to but the Markan and Matthean gospels and, on the other, to but the Markan and Lukan, then one is left with three possibilities to account for the material common to but the Matthean and Lukan: Matthew knew the Lukan Gospel (a possibility inadequately considered in contemporary

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than this. Many have tried, of course, and the recurrent failures of such efforts are a direct consequence of a failure to attend adequately to the data. Certain data have been programmatically ignored, notably that of the superscriptions4 and the

scholarship; as Watson, Gospel Writing, 185, rightly observes: “Q theorists insist that [Luke’s extraction of Matthean material from its Matthean context for use in a Lukan context] is inconceivable,” such that “the Q theory relies on that inconceivability”; yet, even if that inconceivability is granted, before resorting to a common but non-extant, unattested third source, one needs to consider the quite logical possibility that Matthew used the Lukan gospel; moreover, Q theorists who reconstruct Q according to the Lukan order have ipso facto suggested that Matthew has undertaken a procedure markedly similar to what would occur if Matthew used the Lukan Gospel, such that one wonders why we need prefer a Q in Lukan order over the Lukan Gospel itself); Luke knew the Matthean (the option favored by the Farrer hypothesis); or neither author knew the other’s work but, rather, used a third, now-lost source (the option favored by the Two-Document hypothesis). While it is difficult to get exact numbers on the matter, the majority seem today to be more or less evenly split between the latter two hypotheses, while a very small number will maintain the first enumerated. 4. Martin Hengel, The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Investigation into the Collection and Origin of the Canonical Gospels (trans. John Bowden; Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2000), 48, writes that “there are still crude judgments [regarding the superscriptions of the gospels]. That may be connected with the fact that even in more recent editions of Nestle-Aland the textual evidence for the inscriptiones and subscriptiones is in part quite incomplete. These titles are widely attested in a variety of ways: by some of the earliest papyri, by reports in the second- and third-century church fathers, and by the earliest translations.” Indeed, as Hengel demonstrates in the following pages (48–56), the oft-stated “fact” that not just the Gospel of Mark but all the canonical gospels originally were anonymous works simply does not hold up to scrutiny. There is, in fact, no evidence that they ever circulated without the traditional attributions. These attributions, of course, might well be false, and thus the works pseudonymous, but it defies the evidence to describe them as anonymous work. In response to Hengel, James G. Crossley, The Date of Mark’s Gospel: Insight from the Law in Earliest Christianity (London: T&T Clark, 2004), 16–17, argues that if, as Hengel argues, the purpose of the traditional attributions was in part to distinguish between multiple gospel accounts, and if Mark’s was, indeed, the first gospel, then it would not necessarily have been known as the eὐaggέlion katὰ Μᾶrkon until there was at least one other gospel in existence. As Crossley, Date of Mark’s Gospel, 17, however, must also concede, the alternative account that he offers for the genesis of the name is speculative. In the absence of any positive evidence that the Markan Gospel ever existed without an association with someone called “Mark,” we should do best to judge this attribution to be coeval with the text itself, even if, indeed, the formal title eὐaggέlion katὰ Μᾶrkon came somewhat later. Crossley’s former student, Michael Kok, The Gospel on the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2015), 68, has recently presented an even less compelling argument for anonymous texts of Mark, asserting that “as late as

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Patristic material relevant to the conditions under which Mark was written, and other data have been elevated so as to carry burdens that they simply cannot bear.5 What emerges, then, is a strange pattern of ignoring those data that most directly address the origins of the text while emphasizing those that are at best obliquely relevant. It should occasion little surprise that such a questionable procedure has yielded such paucity of light relative to such abundance of heat. If, however, we attend more fully to that which deserves attention and less to that which does not, then suddenly, and quite unsurprisingly, things change. Instead of unnamed writers and tradents, we actually have real persons, really operating in real time and real space.6 In other words, we have what Braudel called histoire événementielle, which

the fourth century, copies of Mark circulated independently,” but the only evidence that he cites is Joel Marcus, Mark 1-8 (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 17. In turn, Marcus only cites as evidence for this assertion C. Clifton Black, Mark: Images of an Apostolic Interpreter (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2001 [1994]), 151. When one finally chases down the evidence supporting this assertion, one finds that Black actually does not say that there were fourth-century copies of Mark’s Gospel that lacked the superscription, but, rather, that the fourth-century De recta in Deum fide does not refer to the superscriptions of either the Markan or Lukan Gospels when discussing who wrote these texts. It would be nought but an argument from silence to thus infer the existence of manuscripts lacking the superscription, and, in fact, Black, Mark, does not infer thus, noting rather that “this rather curious fact does not necessarily flout Hengel’s argument for an early attachment of the superscriptions to the Gospels” (p. 176, n. 35). Kok and Marcus will need to do more argumentative work if they want to use Black’s non-argument for the circulation of anonymous copies of Mark’s Gospel to support their claim that there once circulated anonymous copies of Mark’s Gospel. On the Patristic evidence, cf. the main body of this study. 5. This includes, notably, internal and contextual data that have been adduced to support various theories about Markan origins. For instance, while it is true that Mark’s Gospel contains apocalyptic material, notably in Chapter 13, and while it is also true that 66–73 CE were particularly traumatic and dramatic years for persons of Jewish descent, nonetheless, these two data hardly suffice to support the widespread disciplinary confidence that Mark’s Gospel was written during these years. Crossley, Date of Mark’s Gospel, 29–39, has noted that if one is so inclined to date the Markan Gospel by identifying in Mark 13 allusions to traumatic extra-textual events, there is no shortage of candidates in the period from the mid-thirties until the Jewish War, with the Caligula crisis c. 40 receiving special attention in his treatment; cf. also Gerd Theissen, The Gospels in Context: Social and Political History in the Synoptic Tradition (trans. Linda M. Maloney; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1992), 125–65, who argues that in point of fact, the entirety of the situation described in Mark 13 can readily be mapped on to Palestine of the late 30s. Add to this that such mapping is of dubious hermeneutical and historiographical validity and the entire exercise begins to look quite quixotic. Consequent to such realities, the disciplinary insistence that this material must refer to the period of the Jewish War seems unwarranted. 6. One is reminded of the oft-quoted words of Vincent Taylor, The Formation of the Gospel Tradition (2nd ed.; London: MacMillan, 1933), 41: “If the Form-Critics are right,

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can be thought to not displace but, rather, to constitute a necessary complement to, the Annales tradition’s focus upon history in the longue durée7; or, in the language of Lonergan, we have history, which can function as the ground for dialectic. Let us turn then to the cornerstone that the builders have rejected, namely the work of Papias of Hierapolis. Of the Markan Gospel, he writes: ΜάrkoV mὲn ἑrmhneutὴV Pέtrou genόmenoV, ὅsa ἐmnhmόneusen, ἀkribῶV ἔgrayen, oὐ mέntoi tάxei, tὰ ὑpὸ toῦ kurίou ἢ lecqέnta ἢ pracqέnta. oὔte gὰr ἢkousen toῦ kurίou oὔte parhkoloύqhsen aὐtῷ, ὕsteron dέ, ὡV ἔjhn, Pέtrῳ. ὃV prὸV tὰV creίaV ἐpoieῖto tὰV didaskalίaV, ἀll´ oὐc ὥsper sύntaxin tῶn kuriakῶn poioύmenoV logίwn,8 ὥste oὐdὲn ἥmarten

the disciples must have been translated into heaven immediately after the resurrection.” We would do well to also recall Taylor’s subsequent work to identify the “reason for that unwillingness to take into account the existence of leaders and eyewitnesses,” arguing that “by the very nature of his studies the Form-Critic is not predisposed in favour of eyewitness; he deals with oral forms shaped by nameless individuals, and the recognition of persons who could enrich the tradition by their actual recollections comes as a disturbing element to the smooth working of the theory. He is faced with an unknown quantity just where he wants to operate with precise laws of the tradition.” Unfortunately, Taylor’s sage insights were neglected throughout the reign of redaction criticism, which founded itself on indispensable form-critical grounds. One of the more significant contributions of Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), esp. pp. 290–309, has been to return attention to the role of named and identifiable tradents in the process of gospel formation. The existence of named and identifiable tradents is, in fact, a reasonable derivative of any adequate theory of gospel formation: if there were people who were engaged in generating the gospel tradition, and surely there must have been, then it is not unreasonable to expect that they had names; and if they had names, and if they and others were engaged precisely in the recollection of the nascent Christian movement’s history, then it should not be unexpected that some of those names might be preserved for us. This initial hypothesis is, in fact, confirmed by the recurrent presence of certain named tradents in the data, such that it is not unreasonable to think that such persons were actually involved in the formational processes. Histoire événementielle, with its concern for named individuals, will want to know how these named persons were involved, even as history and dialectics of different sorts will ask concerns that move us to a level more abstract than that of named individuals. 7. Cf. Ferdinand Braudel, “Histoire et sciences social: La longue durée,” Annales: Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations 13/4 (1958): 725–53. 8. Papias’s use of lόgia has led many scholars to think that he is referring specifically to collections of sayings material, divorced from any sort of narrative; this, in fact, was the ground for Schleiermacher’s theory of a sayings collection that led in the fullness of time to the Q hypothesis (even as proponents of the Q hypothesis came to dispense altogether with Papias’s testimony, which had provided the initial impetus for the hypothesis in the first place; cf. the recent overview of the use of Papias in the early development of Synoptic

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ΜάrkoV oὕtwV ἔnia grάyaV ὡV ἀpemnhmόneusen. ἑnὸV gὰr ἐpoiήsato prόnoian, toῦ mhdὲn ὧn ἤkousen paralipeῖn ἢ yeύsasqaί ti ἐn aὐtoῖV.9 And Mark, having become Peter’s interpreter, wrote accurately but not in order the things that the Lord spoke or did, insofar as he remembered. For he had not heard the Lord nor followed him, but as I said, Peter, who taught according to need without making as it were an arrangement of the oracles of the Lord. Therefore Mark did nothing wrong in writing down single points as he remembered them, for his plan was to leave out nothing or to misrepresent what he had heard.

There is a long tradition of thinking Papias to be irrelevant for the study of gospel and thus before commencing with a discussion of this passage, we should address the most recent sustained critique of the relevance of the Patristic material, especially that furnished by the Papian fragments, for studying the origins of Mark’s Gospel, Kok’s 2015 volume The Gospel on the Margins.10 Noting correctly that we cannot establish a clear line of transmission that accounts for every step in the path traveled by the tradition that Peter was a significant tradent behind the Markan Gospel in the fifty or so years that he supposes between the origin of the Gospel and Papias’ report on the matter,11 Kok lays out a three-step process by which the tradition emerged: Mark is associated with Peter in what Kok considers source criticism provided by Watson, Gospel Writing, 99–113). Even a cursory reading of the totality of the Papian fragments, however, will suffice to reveal that Papias uses the term lόgia to refer not only to sayings but also to narrative material, and not only to narratives about Jesus but also to those associated with him. The clearest example of this is the fragment from the fourth book of Papias’s Logίwn kuriakῶn ἐxhgήsewV (preserved for us by Apollinaris of Laodicea, whose text is, in turn, reconstructed from citations in various catenae), which contains an extended narrative description of Judas’s demise: neither a lόgion (as Schleiermacher would define the word) nor a kuriakῶn, and yet treated by Papias in his collection of the “sayings of the Lord.” 9. Apud Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., 3.39.15. 10. Kok, Gospel on the Margins. Cf. also the significantly less negative conclusion in Helen K. Bond, “Was Peter Behind Mark’s Gospel?”, in Peter in Early Christianity (ed. by Helen K. Bond and Larry W. Hurtado; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015), 46–61. Like Bond, I agree that an association between Mark’s Gospel and Peter does not give the Gospel a sort of historiographical imprimatur that ensures its reliability as a source for Jesus’ life. Such a connection is primarily a matter of relevance for understanding the evangelical rather than the dominical setting of the gospel tradition. 11. Kok, Gospel on the Margins, 108–12, 145, is inclined to date Mark’s Gospel to c. 70 and Papias’s record of the tradition to 100–10. Note that while on p. 111 Kok concludes that a date around 110 for Papias’s treatise is probable, the arguments that he presents for this judgment on p. 110 seek to establish “a date in the first decade of the second century.” Most properly then, we should state that Kok permits a date between 100 and 110 for Papias’s treatise.

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to be “the earliest reliable evidence,” namely Col. 4:10 and Phlm. 23; then, “the pseudonymous author of  1  Peter plucks a few of Paul’s co-workers at random, Mark and Silvanus”; and then “the third and most important step was taken by the elders of Asia Minor who assigned an anonymous Gospel to Peter through his intermediary Mark.”12 In what really constitutes a fourth step, the author of Acts, on the basis of either 1 Peter or Papias, crafted his narrative so as to associate Mark and Silas each with both Peter and Paul.13 Then there is really a fifth step in Kok’s narrative, as he argues that beginning already with Papias, second-century orthodox writers distance Peter from Mark’s Gospel, in order to protect the apostle from associations with a marginal narrative,14 at the same time that they use the Petrine association as part of “a deliberate power play by centrist Christians to co-opt this Gospel to advance their agenda.”15 The difficulties with this narrative are legion. It relies upon a very questionable relative ordering of early Christian texts (1 Peter-Papias-Acts, and that is leaving aside the question of when Colossians was written: not every scholar would assent to treating it as functionally coeval with Galatians). It is little more than assertion that 1 Peter, even if pseudonymous (an open debate in New Testament studies), randomly selected Silas and Mark for inclusion as Petrine colleagues, and, moreover, Kok has provided no evidence indicating that Silas and Mark could not have been companions of both Peter and Paul; in fact, the assertion is, if anything, refuted by the very material from which Kok supposes these figures were extracted.16 It is perhaps true, as Kok suggests, that Papias’s main source, John the Elder, “remains as elusive as ever,”17 but if we do not know enough about him to render judgment upon how he obtained his information, then surely we cannot state that the information is bad with any greater confidence than we can state that it is good. Kok does not actually provide any evidence that centrist and noncentrist Christians were engaged in such a struggle over Mark’s Gospel during the years between c. 70 and 110, that is, the period during which he posits the fictional

12. Kok, Gospel on the Margins, 159–60. 13. Ibid., 160. 14. Ibid., 206–15. 15. Ibid., 229–65. Quote is from p. 268. 16. Surely, if Philemon and Colossians are to be reckoned among the earliest reliable material, then so, too, must Galatians, and thus we note with interest that while Gal. 2:1 has Barnabas operating in tandem with Paul, Gal. 2:13 has Barnabas operating with Peter over and against Paul. This datum is all the more interesting given the fact that Col. 4:10 associates Barnabas so closely with Mark. Consequently, given even the data that Kok would explicitly and implicitly accept as early and reliable, we have Mark standing in close relationship with a man who was alternatively an ally of both Paul and Peter, thus demonstrating that such a relationship was, in principle, possible. It beggars the historical imagination to think that the author of 1 Peter just happened to randomly choose from this putatively earlier material one of the few figures that are presented therein as having but two degrees of separation from Peter. 17. Kok, Gospel on the Margins, 105.

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link between Peter and Mark was developed; indeed, he barely discusses this period, aside from his arguments regarding the dates of the Papian and relevant New Testament material, and, moreover, he describes the evidence that Papias and even Justin were “caught up in a war over the ownership of the Gospel texts” as “vague hints,”18 hardly a sign of confidence that such conflicts were taking place in the early second, let alone the late first centuries. From Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and Irenaeus, he presents some evidence that such conflicts were taking place in the later second century,19 but given his own insistence that the Papian evidence cannot inform us about events occurring less than forty years before Papias’s time, it is unclear how he can suppose that these writers can inform us about events occurring between eighty and a hundred and thirty years before theirs.20 The cumulative weight of the difficulties attendant on Kok’s argument in its present form requires a judgment of non-affirmation. Ultimately, if anything, Kok’s study should be taken as a positive indication of the strength of the Papian data, for if one must go to such lengths to refute Papias on this matter and yet fail to do so, perhaps the reason is that on this matter Papias is, in fact, irrefutable. The strength of the Papian data is, in fact, confirmed when we note that Papias’s statement on Markan origins provides otherwise-lacking empirical confirmation of the hypothesis that Mark’s Gospel retains significant traces of the oral world from which it is thought to have originated. This supposition has been around for some time, and has become most frequently associated with the work of Werner Kelber.21 Unfortunately, it is not so much the result of inference from the most relevant data, namely those from early Judaism and early Christianity, as from surely less relevant data, namely the Homeric corpus and twentieth-century Yugoslavian folk singers22

18. Ibid., 265. 19. Ibid., 237–66. 20. Although Kok, Gospel on the Margins, 111, will “surmise that [Papias’] tradition on Mark circulated a decade or so before he put it into writing” (c. 100–110, on his own account), he concludes that “Bauckham’s dating of the tradition as far back as around 80 CE when the Synoptic Gospels began to circulate is groundless.” If projecting even the existence of a tradition to c. twenty years before its first attestation in the record is groundless, then it is unclear how the Patristic material of the later second century can speak to conditions that existed up to a century or more previously. 21. Cf. Werner H. Kelber, The Oral and the Written Gospel: The Hermeneutics of Speaking and Writing in the Synoptic Tradition, Mark, Paul, and Q (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1983), esp. 44–89. Cf. more recent engagements with Kelber, notably James D. G. Dunn, Jesus Remembered (Christianity in the Making 1; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003), 199–204; Tom Thatcher, ed., Jesus, the Voice, and the Text: Beyond the Oral and the Written Gospel (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2008). 22. The Homeric and Yugoslavian material is largely mediated for Kelber through the work of Milman Parry and his student Albert Lord, notably Albert Bates Lord, The Singer of Tales (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000); Milman Parry, The Making of Homeric Verse: The Collected Papers of Milman Parry (ed. Adam Parry; Oxford: Oxford

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or Middle Eastern village life,23 which might or might not be apposite to dominant understandings of the Gospel tradition,24 combined with a questionable deduction from the questionable supposition that there existed an oral-only phase of the

University Press, 1971), esp. pp. 266–364, 376–90. Kelber argues in nuce that just as Parry and Lord detected in the Homeric corpus evidence of oral storytelling similar to that which is found in the practice of Yugoslavian folk singers, so, too, can we detect similar patterns in the Synoptic tradition, most notably in Mark’s Gospel. This runs into a number of difficulties, however. Perhaps most notable among them is the observation made by Birger Gerhardsson, “The Secret of the Transmission of the Unwritten Gospel tradition,” New Testament Studies 51 (2005): 1–18, pp. 12–13, that the gospels do not actually evince the formal features that Parry and Lord identify as typical of oral storytelling. Cf. Kelber, Oral and Written Gospel, 78, who himself observes that “the Iliad and the Odyssey are oral poetry in metrical language” while “the gospels are prose narratives with a heavy oral substratum, but in themselves something other than transcribed orality.” Given that it was precisely the metrical character of the Homeric corpus that first led Parry to postulate the hypothesis that these works originated out of something like folk-singing, the absence of a metrical character in the gospels seems to be not a little problem. 23. Cf. Kenneth E. Bailey, Poet and Peasant: A Literary-Critical Approach to the Parables in Luke (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1976), and Kenneth E. Bailey, Through Peasant Eyes: More Lucan Parables, Their Culture and Style (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1980), who builds upon his personal experiences with orality in modern Middle Eastern village contexts to develop an argument for the origin and transmission of the gospel tradition. Often cited in addition to the work of Parry, Lord, and Bailey is the work of Ruth Finnegan, John Miles Foley, Eric Havelock, Walter Ong, and Jan Vansina. 24. Albert B. Lord, “The Gospels as Oral Traditional Literature,” in The Relationships Among the Gospels: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue (ed. William O. Walker, Jr.; Trinity University Monograph Series in Religion 5; San Antonio, TX: Trinity University Press, 1978), 33–92, the only effort by either Parry or Lord to address the gospel tradition from the perspective of their model of orality, comes to the conclusion that the Synoptic gospels must be literarily independent of one another. If Lord himself did not think that one could employ their model within the context of literary solutions to the Synoptic problem, whether the Two-Document Hypothesis or any other, it raises significant questions about the validity of the efforts by Kelber and Dunn to do precisely that. In order to proceed as Kelber and Dunn proceed, they must demonstrate that Lord was, in fact, mistaken when he turned specifically to the gospels but that this mistake does not obviate the validity of applying the Parry-Lord model to the gospels; although I cannot claim to have complete mastery over either scholar’s body of work, I am unaware of any effort by Kelber or Dunn to advance such an argument. For a recent, but ultimately unconvincing, argument for the literary independence of the Synoptic tradition, cf. Armin Daniel Baum, Der mündliche Faktor und seine Bedeutung für die synoptische Frage: Analogien aus der antiken Literatur, der Experimentalpsychologie, der Oral Poetry-Forschung und dem rabbinischen Traditionswesen (Tübingen: Francke Verlag, 2008); cf. the English synopsis of this study, Armin D. Baum, “Matthew’s Sources—Oral or Written? A Rabbinic Analogy and Empirical Insights,” pages

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Gospel tradition— the deduction being that since Mark’s Gospel was the earliest to be written, it must contain the fullest traces of this oral-only phase, and the question brought against the supposition being the near-absence of empirical warrant for such a phase. Such a phase is certainly not required by the Papian data,25 which as we noted constitute the positive data that allow us to bring the Markan Gospel into close proximity with the oral life-world in the first place, for the report that Peter taught orally does not exclude the possibility that he worked with and from notes, nor does the report that Mark translated Peter’s teaching exclude the possibility that he too produced notes for and in the process.26 Neither, as already mentioned,

1–23 in Built upon the Rock: Studies in the Gospel of Matthew (ed. Daniel M. Gurtner and John Nolland; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008). 25. In Hist. Eccl. 3.39.4, Eusebius quotes Papias: eἰ dέ pou kaὶ parhkolouqhkώV tiV toῖV presbutέroiV ἔlqoi, toὺV tῶn presbutέrwn ἀnέkrinon lόgouV, tί ἈndrέaV ἢ tί PέtroV eἶpen ἢ tί FίlippoV ἢ tί QwmᾶV ἢ ἸάkwboV ἢ tί ἸwάnnhV ἢ ΜatqaῖoV ἤ tiV ἕteroV tῶn toῦ kurίou maqhtῶn ἅ te Ἀristίwn kaὶ ὁ presbύteroV ἸwάnnhV, toῦ kurίou maqhtaί, lέgousin. oὐ gὰr tὰ ἐk tῶn biblίwn tosoῦtόn me ὡjeleῖn ὑpelάmbanon ὅson tὰ parὰ zώshV jwnῆV kaὶ menoύshV (“and if any of those who followed the elders might come, I would ask about the words of the elders, what Andrew or Peter or Philip or Thomas or James or John or Matthew or any other disciple of the Lord had said, or what Aristion and the elder John, the disciples of the Lord, were saying. For I do not suppose things which came from books would help me as much as a living and abiding voice”). This has been used to suggest that Papias placed greater value upon orality as a medium than he did textuality, yet this reading is not without difficulty. On the one hand, it does not seem that his concern is primarily that of medium as much as it is an awareness that he is yet writing at a time when he has access to people who knew the apostles, and thus he sees these people standing in greater proximity to the apostolic sources than a written volume. Harry Y. Gamble, Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Early Christian Texts (New Haven, CT: Yale Universty Press, 1995), 30–31, perhaps sums it up perfectly when he says that “it is not oral tradition as such that Papias esteemed, but first-hand knowledge.” Second, Papias’s alleged bias against writing was apparently not strong enough to stop him from writing a five-volume work entitled Logίwn kuriakῶn ἐxhgήsewV, in which this supposed critique of the textual medium is, in fact, located. Moreover, it certainly cannot suffice to demonstrate a temporal priority of the oral over the written, as Papias, writing in the early second century, is demonstrably operating in a situation in which both the oral and written coexist. 26. E. Earle Ellis, The Making of the New Testament Documents (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 372–76, argues that while Mark did not complete his gospel until the late 50s, it was based upon a body of material the organization of which Peter had supervised in Caesarea from as early as 42, and this was, in turn, based upon material generated in Jerusalem in the 30s. While Ellis’s argument has the salutary advantage of working with the most relevant data, his account is perhaps marred by an unnecessary degree of complexity in Markan and Petrine operations. Cf. the similar but somewhat more parsimonious argument advanced

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is it required by the Markan data. Moreover, the Jewish and Christian data speak strongly against the oral-only supposition. Second Temple Jewish groups produced a significant amount of textual material. Thus they demonstrably could and would produce textual material. Christian groups and persons, most of whom had a Jewish background, were by no later than 50 also producing textual material, and thus they demonstrably could and would produce textual material, and this well before c. 69 or 70, the most commonly held date for Mark’s Gospel. Why, one wonders, could or would they not have produced textual material c. 30–50? Or, granted that they could, was there something about the Jesus tradition that made writing it down verboten? If so, what changed by c. 70? I know of no data that would either indicate the existence of such a prohibition or the subsequent dispensing therewith. In this connection, the oft-discussed rate of literacy in early Christianity is altogether irrelevant.27 There is no evidence that the emergent Christian movement c. 30–50 differed notably in terms of literacy from Second Temple Judaism more broadly,28 and yet Second Temple Judaism quite happily produced texts throughout this period. There is no evidence that the Christians of c. 30 differed notably in terms of literary rate from the Christians of c. 50, and yet the Christians of c. 50

in Birger Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript: Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity (Acta Seminarii Neotestamentici Upsaliensis 22; Uppsala: Gleerup, 1961), 208–61, which grounds the gospel tradition not primarily in the preaching of the emergent church but, rather, in its exegetical engagement with the Jewish scriptures as they reflected upon the significance of the Christ-event. Both these arguments have found support in Maurice Casey, Aramaic Sources of Mark’s Gospel (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 102; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), which provides compelling evidence that the Markan Gospel in part includes Greek renderings of Aramaic material generated prior to c. 40. Regardless of what one thinks about Ellis, Gerhardsson, Casey, or comparable arguments, the salient point remains: whether Mark wrote c. 40 (as per Casey and Crossley) or the 50s (as per Ellis) or the late 60s (as per the consensus date) or post-70 (which cannot be excluded), and whether he was Mark or “Mark,” there is no compelling reason to suppose that although he was the earliest Evangelist to write, he did not have access to earlier written material, and this quite conceivably in a language other than that in which the Markan Gospel proper was written. 27. Cf. the relatively recent and succinct overview of “Scribal Culture in the Time of Jesus” provided by Chris Keith, Jesus’ Literacy: Scribal Culture and the Teacher from Galilee (Library of New Testament Studies; London: T&T Clark, 2011), 71–123. 28. The antiquated and romantic notion of emergent Christianity as a universally and deeply impoverished movement drawn primarily from the proletariat and the Lumpenproletariat has now to be firmly abandoned in light of more recent social historical research. Probably Wayne A. Meeks, The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1983), 51–73, did more to establish a more nuanced view of the emergence of Christian socioeconomic diversity than any single other work.

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also quite happily produced texts.29 As such, we can be confident that whatever the rate of Christian literacy was c. 50, it was no barrier to textual production, and thus the same would presumably be the case for the rate of Christian literacy cf. 30. This is, in fact, confirmed when we consider the numbers more carefully, supposing as given the much-vaunted but hardly unassailable 10 percent literary rate for the ancient Mediterranean of this time,30 and further supposing, for the sake of argument, that the statistics of church membership given in the New Testament are inflated to ten times their historical reality. That would still leave twelve persons in the upper room when Matthias was chosen to replace Judas, of whom 1.2 would be literate (cf. Acts 1:15); 50 persons who saw the resurrected Jesus, of whom 5 would be literate (cf. 1 Cor. 15:6); 300 persons who joined the movement at the first Christian Pentecost, of whom 30 would be literate (cf. Acts 2:41). The point here is not to pass judgment upon the historical reality, if any, to which any of these passages attest but, rather, to demonstrate that even assuming a relatively low rate of literacy as well as gross hyperbole in our sources regarding ecclesiastical demographics, the emergent Christians had more than sufficient numbers to begin writing and reading each other’s work. After all, it only takes one to write and another to read a text. Consequent to the above, the Kelber school cannot rely upon the supposed reality of the oral-only phase of the Gospel tradition because the reality is that this phase has a very tenuous existence. Moreover, the Kelber school, in fact, faces a further, quite insuperable, properly epistemic difficulty: if the oral tradition was so distinct from the written tradition, and given that we can know the oral tradition only through data that come to us through written material, then how can we ever hope to define the content or form of the oral tradition? And if we cannot hope to define the content or form of the oral tradition, then how can we ever hope to know that it is so distinct from the written? And if the oral tradition can be defined via the written data, then how can it be so distinct at all? This epistemic limit makes it virtually impossible to establish from the internal data that Mark’s Gospel contains material drawn from the oral life-world (which, of course, is why Kelber, Bailey, Dunn, inter alia, must seek after external parallels). It is Papias who cuts the Gordian Knot by telling us that what we find in Mark’s Gospel is something that is closer to the oral world of the church than is, for instance, Matthew’s Gospel. Indeed, far from being opposed to the work of Kelber, Bailey, Dunn, and others, Papias provides much-needed evidentiary confirmation of what otherwise would remain but a bright idea. Only with Papias can we get to where Kelber wants to

29. One of the few genuine consensuses in New Testament scholarship is that Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon are to be dated more or less to the 50s, with perhaps Galatians or 1 Thessalonians to the late 40s and Philippians to the early 60s. Consequently, it would be very difficult to argue that the supposedly illiterate Christian movement was incapable of writing texts by c. 50. 30. Cf. William V. Harris, Ancient Literacy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), 272.

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go, and, indeed, to get there, he has to invent a scenario virtually identical to that which we find in Papias, but without the specificity or empirical mooring that a historian seeks.31 So one wonders: If Papias demonstrably satisfies such empirical lacunae, what else might we learn from him? Ultimately, what interests me the most is neither the text’s Petrine nor its Markan pedigree, as interesting as such questions might well be, but, rather, the fact that Papias understood its creation as the result of acts of translation. Let us consider this more closely, working first with what can be deduced using the characters of Peter and Mark. Given that Peter’s native language was likely Aramaic32 and that Mark wrote in Greek, we can hazard a guess that Papias understood the former to be the language of origin and the latter the language of destination; a softer variant of this hypothesis might suppose that Papias imagined Peter having some fluency with Greek that Mark was helping to smooth out and explicate to their audience. Regardless, it remains the case that

31. Kelber, Oral and Written Gospel, 22–23, 212, addresses Papias most fully in his attempt to refute George Kennedy, “Classical and Christian Source Criticism,” in Walker, ed. Relationships Among the Gospels, 125–55. His critique of Kennedy’s reading of Papias is sound although it constitutes but an argument for rejecting that particular reading and not for dispensing with the Papian material; and yes, while it is true that “almost every word of [Papias’] text is susceptible to multiple readings” (p. 22), and while that certainly warrants exegetical care on the scholar’s part, it does not warrant operating functionally as if the Papian data do not exist. The data remain relevant, even if their meaning and significance are controversial. 32. Stanley E. Porter, “Jesus and the Use of Greek in Galilee,” in Studying the Historical Jesus: Evaluations of the Current State of Research (ed. Bruce Chilton and Craig A. Evans; Leiden: Brill, 1994), 123–54, resurrects an older and generally discredited hypothesis, namely that Jesus taught in Greek, and thus, presumably, his followers also initially formulated and passed on his teachings in Greek. Maurice Casey, “In Which Language Did Jesus Teach?”, The Expository Times 108/11 (1997): 326–28, here p. 328, provides the perfect response, not just to Porter but to any who would hold that Jesus taught and that the Jesus tradition initially circulated in Greek: “We can now see what is required of us if we are to believe that Jesus taught in Greek. We must downplay or even ignore the evidence of Aramaic in the background and in the Gospels, interpret the evidence of the use of Greek anywhere in Palestine without regard for the identity of the users or the date of the evidence, misinterpret inconvenient details. . . . The evidence that Jesus taught in Aramaic is overwhelming.” Casey’s argument is, in fact, all the stronger now, as more recent archaeological work has revealed that the Galilee of Jesus’s time was significantly less Hellenic or Hellenized than was often thought in the 1990s; cf. the recent overviews in Mark A. Chancey, “The Ethnicities of Galilee,” in Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods, Volume 1: Life, Culture, and Society (ed. David A. Fiensy and James Riley Strange; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014), 112–28; Séan Freyne, The Jesus Movement and its Expansion: Meaning and Mission (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2014), 1–48; Lee I. Levine, “The Synagogues of Galilee,” in Fiensy and Strange, Galilee, 129–50.

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the earliest extant account that describes the origin of Mark’s Gospel envisions its production in terms of translation. Now, interestingly, if we dispense with the names “Mark” and “Peter,” we would likely infer a quite similar narrative: if Mark’s Gospel was, indeed, the earliest to be written, and if it was, indeed, the closest of the Synoptics to the life-world in which the early Jesus tradition circulated, then we can imagine that it is closest to the original Aramaic Sitz im Leben of that tradition,33 and given that there is, indeed, independent reason to think that Mark’s Gospel does bear a closer relationship to that linguistic background than probably the balance of the canonical gospels,34 and given that it was written in Greek, some work of translation from Aramaic to Greek had to have occurred, and this work had to be carried out by actual human agents. Again, a process of production much like that envisioned by Papias seems the best hypothesis for Markan origins. Let us consider not simply the matter of language, however, but also the matter of horizon, as supposed by Papias. Given that the language of origin is identified with that of Peter, we might reasonably suppose that the horizon of origin is also understood to be that of Peter, and thus, presumably, similar to that of the Hebraioi. Given the Markan Gospel’s dearth of interest in a Gentile mission (Mk 13:10 hardly suffices to demonstrate that this mission was of particular concern to the author), we might further suggest that the destination horizon was a Jewish horizon, and thus, given the need for translation into Greek, we are more likely than not dealing with a horizon much like that of the Hellēnistai. It is also the most reasonable deduction from the more minimalist hypothesis adduced above, the one that spurns actual names in favor of anonymous tradents and must, nonetheless, recognize that the Gospel of Mark stands at the end of a process of translation from the initial Aramaic tradition to Greek text. Interestingly enough, given the tradition that situates the translation work of Mark and Peter in Rome,35

33. Cf. Casey, Aramaic Sources, 1–72, for an excellent history of scholarship regarding the Aramaic background of the Jesus and the Synoptic tradition. Ben Meyer draws heavily upon the earlier work of Joachim Jeremias for the Aramaic background of the gospel tradition, but much of this now needs to be updated and corrected by Casey’s work, not least of all because Jeremias had limited access to the Qumran material. 34. Cf. again the work of Casey, Aramaic Sources. Although Maurice Casey, An Aramaic Approach to Q: Sources for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 122; Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 2002), argues that Matthew and Luke also had access to Aramaic sources, he also demonstrates in Aramaic Sources that these same evangelists reworked Mark’s translations of prior Aramaic sources, thus taking us one step further from the Aramaic Sitz im Leben proper. 35. That Peter and Mark were at some point present together in Rome is intimated by 1 Peter 5:13; the memory that this was the case stands whether or not the letter is genuinely Petrine. Clement of Alexandria (apud Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 2.15.1-2, 6.14.6-7) and Irenaeus (Haer. 3.1.1) subsequently report that the immediate context for the production of the Markan Gospel was the time that Mark spent with Peter in Rome.

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this fits quite readily into the context that we find in the Roman church. Peter Lampe has provided compelling evidence and argumentation that this church originated among Jewish sectors of the city,36 and, moreover, given that Rome was located in the western Diaspora, it is not unreasonable to suppose that it had significantly more persons who could be described as coming from a Hellenist cultural and linguistic background than a Hebraist one. Regardless of the exact historical situation—whether Mark or Peter were involved, whether in Rome or elsewhere—why write down this work of translation? If Peter, or a hypothetical anonymous tradent or tradents, was or were content to convey these teachings orally, then why produce a written copy? There is no reason to dispute the answer given by modern scholarship, namely that tradents like Peter could not be everywhere all the time whereas written texts extended their temporal and spatial presence significantly. Moreover, this is precisely the answer given in the second century.37 The question, however, is perhaps mal posée, resting as it does upon the supposition that oral and written media were functionally contradictories. In point of fact, there is good reason to think that we should rather conceive of these as contraries,38 not least of all because this is necessary if we are to imagine that the written can contain traces of the oral, which, in fact, has some interesting consequences for the ongoing debates surrounding memory in the development of the Jesus tradition.39 Contrary to the operative suppositions throughout the Kelber school, orality and literacy coexisted quite happily in the

36. Peter Lampe, From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries (trans. Michael Steinhauser; ed. Marshall D. Johnson; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003 [1989]), 7–65. 37. Irenaeus (Haer. 3.1.1) states that Mark wrote his gospel after the “departure” (ἒxodoV = excessus) of Peter and Paul from Rome. Clement of Alexandria, writing around the same time as Irenaeus, similarly argues that Mark wrote his gospel at the request of the Roman church, who wanted a written record of Peter’s teaching, and Peter subsequently approved the said record (cf. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 2.15.1-2, 6.14.6-7). Irenaeus’s use of ἒxodoV has often been taken in modern scholarship as a circumlocution meaning “death.” Although for our purposes it is sufficient to demonstrate that Mark’s Gospel was understood to stand in place of apostolic presence, that Clement writing around the same time and working with cognate, if not identical, traditions understood that it was written during Peter’s lifetime might militate against this circumlocutory reading. 38. Cf. the excellent summation of how orality and literacy would operate if treated as contraries rather than contradictions in David M. Carr, Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 4–8. 39. Implicit in many, although not all, such discussions is the supposition that such memory work was being undertaken without access to textual memorial aids. This is not self-evident, and several prominent scholars (Ellis, Making of the New Testament Documents, 352–54; Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript, 195–261; Watson, Gospel Writing, 271–72) have at different times entertained the possibility that writing of various forms was present in such memory work very early in the development of the Jesus tradition.

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ancient world.40 Dialectically, we might suggest that the material permanence of the written corrects for the material impermanence of the oral. We are now in a position wherein we can better understand the Israelite and, later, Jewish and Christian urgency to render their insights intelligible through the work of writing: it generated a material permanence impossible in oral media and aided in the conceptual articulation of emergent insights.41 That is to say, it was a religion of the book42: not yet perhaps a religion of a canon43 but, rather, a religion 40. It might, in fact, be better to think of written media eclipsing not oral media but rather visual media. After all, writing is itself a specialized form of visual media, consisting of meaningful markings rather than the images of deities and angels and demons and spirits and kings. This might also help account for the ambivalence toward images in the most heavily text-centric of the major religious traditions, namely Judaism and Islam: the text has eclipsed the image. 41. Although this formulation is my own, grounded in Lonerganian language, it seems to be congruent with recent work on orality, literacy, and media in Hebrew Bible and Second Temple studies. Cf. Carr, Writing on the Tablet; Karel van der Toorn, Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007). 42. This is stated against the Kelber school, which wants to see early Christianity as a religion of oral tradition. This would seem to constitute a radical break from Second Temple Judaism, which as what Jan Assmann, Religion and Cultural Memory: Ten Studies (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005), 123, has described a “secondary religion,” is concerned less with the “principle of ritual repetition” (characteristic of what he calls “primary religion”) and more with “the principle of interpreting canonical texts” (even if “canonical” might here be somewhat anachronistic). Although primary and secondary religion should probably be taken as contraries rather than contradictories, it, nonetheless, seems that Second Temple Judaism was increasingly inclined toward the patterns of secondary religion, and there seems little reason to think that this was much different in the case of early Christianity. The fact that in historical short order both Rabbinic Judaism and first New Testament, and then Patristic Christianity, would produce an ever-growing body of texts speaks precisely to this fact, as does the fact that their ritual operations tend to frequently involve the presence or invocation of textual material. A shift has happened by the late Second Temple period, wherein the locus of divine operation is increasingly centralized on sacred text much more than sacred cult. On the suppositions of the Kelber school, a tradition (Second Temple Judaism) whose social, cultural, and personal structures register deeply the effects of textuality produced a tradition (emergent Christianity) whose social, cultural, and personal structures barely registered such effects, but which within barely a century produced a tradition (Patristic Christianity) in which these effects again deeply register. A much more parsimonious hypothesis would dispense with the break from textuality in favor of continuity in this regard. While the emergent Christians are yet far removed from the chirographic consciousness that will emerge in the early modern period, they are equally far removed from pre-literate societies that have not yet registered any significant cultural or personal impact from the advent of literacy. 43. Albert C. Sundberg, Jr., The Old Testament of the Early Church (Harvard Theological Studies 20; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964), introduced a

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that structured its thinking around the authority of written texts, even if the contents and identities of those texts might vary; it was a culture for which books and the very idea of books had become something good to think with. This, in turn, allows us to further situate the origins of the gospels, Mark’s included, more fully in the historical reality of Second Temple Judaism than might otherwise be the case, recognizing that there was for a Jewish movement nothing more natural than to communicate through writing what they believed the God of Israel to be doing in their own time and space. In this dynamic interplay of media, Mark’s Gospel might well have emerged more immediately from oral teaching than other texts, but it does not then follow that the movement toward writing down those teachings was anything other than obvious for the emergent Christians to make. Rarely did Mark reflect as fully his Jewish background than when he decided to write down Peter’s teaching about Jesus, and he did this within a wholly Jewish context, translating material generated among the Hebraioi into conceptual resources more familiar to the Hellēnistai.

The Gospel of Matthew and the Geography of Tradition Although the Matthean Gospel perhaps evinces greater awareness of a Gentile mission (cf. 28:19)44 than the Markan, it seems, nonetheless, to be just as moored in

helpful distinction between “scripture” and “canon,” the former referring to texts that were generally held in high regard within Jewish or Christian circles, the latter to a definitive list of such texts; Bruce M. Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), 282, similarly makes a heuristic distinction between “a collection of authoritative books [i.e. what Sundberg would designate as ‘scripture’] and an authoritative collection of books [i.e. what Sundberg what designate as ‘canon’].” Such a distinction allows us to make good sense of the reality that, probably by the end of the second century at the latest, Christians appear to have reached broad consensus that at least the four-fold gospel and the Pauline corpus (which seems to have at this time included Hebrews although perhaps not initially the Pastorals) were to be reckoned as scripture (with perhaps already 1 Tim. 5:18 referring to a passage found verbatim and only in Luke’s Gospel, namely Lk. 10:7, as such), while it is not until the fourth century that a definitive New Testament canon emerges. Cf. John Barton, Holy Writings, Sacred Text: The Canon in Early Christianity (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998), which elaborates upon Sundberg’s distinction. For our purposes, the most salient point is that emergent Christianity received the idea of scripture from its Jewish heritage, and that, as such, we can speak of Christianity as always already a scriptural religion, a religion of the book, with its various cognitional and somatic forms conditioned by a seminal textuality. 44. Cf. the recent treatment of the Matthean concern with the Gentile mission in Matthias Konradt, Israel, Church, and the Gentiles in the Gospel of Matthew (trans. Kathleen Ess; Waco, TX.: Baylor University Press, 2014), 265–325.

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a Jewish milieu.45 This is evident if one proceeds solely on the basis of the relatively meager amount of data internal to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, eschewing whatever light might come to us from other material. If on the basis of such data, one grants Markan priority, then certain conclusions would follow. First, it would seem that Matthew “re-Judaizes” Mark, or perhaps more precisely “re-Hebraizes,” that is, recasts Markan material within a horizon much like that which we might more fully expect of the Hebraioi. Second, Matthew “improves” Mark’s Greek,46 much as one might expect from someone who has reworked a text that yet betrays its grounding in the oral life-world: yet one more step removed from orality, we would reasonably expect more “literary” Greek, and that is precisely what we find. What emerges is a picture of a Gospel more clearly oriented toward the Hebraists, yet evincing what would have been considered superior mastery of the Greek language. Thus far the internal data. Yet however, as in the case of our discussion of Mark’s Gospel, we can do better than such a bare-bones outline. Hence, let us turn once more to our old friend Papias. Immediately following the fragment cited from Eusebius above, the latter informs us that Papias had, further, the following to say: ΜatqaῖoV mὲn oὖn Ἑbraΐdi dialέktῳ tὰ lόgia sunetάxato, ἡrmήneusen d´ aὐtὰ ὡV ἦn dunatὸV ἕkastoV (“Therefore Matthew arranged the oracles in a Hebraic language/dialect, and each translated them as he was able”).47 Once again, Papias understands Matthew’s operation in terms of translation, with the destination language designated quite clearly as ἙbraΐV diάlektoV. There are two basic schools of interpretation with regard to the ἙbraΐV diάlektoV: it either refers to a “Hebraic language,” perhaps Aramaic or Hebrew; or it refers to

45. If Matthean community criticism has produced any enduring insights, they would surely cluster around our awareness of the Jewish background of Matthew’s Gospel, as was evident already in those seminal works of the enterprise, W. D. Davies, The Setting of the Sermon on the Mount (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964); Krister Stendahl, The School of St. Matthew and its Use of the Old Testament (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1968). Cf. also Robert K. McIver, Mainstream or Marginal? The Matthean Community in Early Christianity (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2012); J. Andrew Overman, Matthew’s Gospel and Formative Judaism: The Social World of the Matthean Community (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990); Anthony Saldarini, Matthew’s Christian-Jewish Community (Chicago: Chicago, 1994); David C. Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism: The History and Social  Setting of the Matthean Community (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998); Graham Stanton, A Gospel for a New People: Studies in Matthew (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1992). 46. Cf. the exhaustive treatment of the Matthean transformations of Markan Greek in Willoughby C. Allen, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (3rd ed.; International Critical Commentary; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1912), xix–xxxi; also the more recent discussion in W. D. Davies and Dale Allison, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (3 vols.; International Critical Commentary; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1993), 1:73–74. 47. Apud Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 3.39.16.

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Greek written in a “Hebraic style.”48 Either would be an acceptable rendering of Papias’s Greek,49 and for several years I attempted to develop a historical narrative that would make adequate sense both of the former and of other relevant data. After consistently failing to find such a narrative, my own preference is now for the dialect school, and this due to Francis Watson’s recent treatment of this passage. Watson has argued quite convincingly that although Eusebius introduces a connecting statement between the two Papian fragments given in 3.39.15-17, in point of fact they constituted in Papias a continuous passage.50 As such the entirety of the original passage, as found in Papias’s now-lost work, would have read as follows: 15 ΜάrkoV mὲn ἑrmhneutὴV Pέtrou genόmenoV, ὅsa ἐmnhmόneusen, ἀkribῶV ἔgrayen, oὐ mέntoi tάxei, tὰ ὑpὸ toῦ kurίou ἢ lecqέnta ἢ pracqέnta. oὔte gὰr ἢkousen toῦ kurίou oὔte parhkoloύqhsen aὐtῷ, ὕsteron dέ, ὡV ἔjhn, Pέtrῳ· ὃV prὸV tὰV creίaV ἐpoieῖto tὰV didaskalίaV, ἀll´ oὐc ὥsper sύntaxin tῶn kuriakῶn poioύmenoV logίwn, ὥste oὐdὲn ἥmarten ΜάrkoV oὕtwV ἔnia grάyaV ὡV ἀpemnhmόneusen. ἑnὸV gὰr ἐpoiήsato prόnoian, toῦ mhdὲn ὧn ἤkousen paralipeῖn ἢ yeύsasqaί ti ἐn aὐtoῖV . . . . 16b ΜatqaῖoV mὲn oὖn Ἑbraΐdi dialέktῳ tὰ lόgia sunetάxato, ἡrmήneusen d´ aὐtὰ ὡV ἦn dunatὸV ἕkastoV. And having become Peter’s interpreter Mark, insofar as he remembered, wrote accurately but not in order the things that the Lord spoke or did. For he had not heard the Lord nor followed him, but as I said, later Peter, who taught according to need without making as it were an arrangement of the oracles of the Lord. Therefore Mark did nothing wrong in writing down single points as he 48. Cf. the overview of such issues in Davies and Allison, Matthew, 1:7–17. 49. Monte A. Shanks, Papias and the New Testament (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2013), 196, argues, probably correctly, that the “language school” is more prevalent in scholarship than the dialect school, and this because “when the term dialέktῳ is used in connection with an ethnic form of speech it is translated as ‘language’ and not ‘style.’ ” Robert H. Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on His Literary and Theological Art (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982), 619–20, however, argues that the Papian literary context renders this an exception to the general rule: since Papias is concerned precisely with the stylistic differences between Mark’s Gospel and Matthew’s, it is likely the case that diάlektoV is in this context better rendered as “style” than “language.” Gundry’s focus upon Papias’ intent is more exegetically compelling than Shanks’ appeal to extra-Papian context, especially as his interpretation facilitates the production of a more parsimonious historiographical narrative (cf. the main body of this study). 50. Francis Watson, Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013), 125–27. Watson, Gospel Writing, 127, n. 28, notes that such a connection between the two passages was observed already by J. Kürzinger, “Das Papiaszeugnis und die Erstgetalt des Matthäusevangeliums,” Biblische Zeitschrift 4 (1960): 19–38; unfortunately, Kürzinger’s excellent work on the Papian material has been largely neglected by subsequent scholarship.

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remembered them, for his plan was to leave out nothing or to misrepresent what he had heard. Therefore Matthew arranged the oracles in a Hebraic language/ style, and each translated them as he was able.

Reading the text as such, we can suggest that Papias is telling us the following. Mark did not write the tὰ lόgia in order (oὐ tάxei), thus creating something other than an ordered account (sύntaxiV); therefore, (oὖn) Matthew ordered (sunetά xato) tὰ lόgia. Certain details are now elucidated that would otherwise remain unexplained. For instance, the oὖn standing near the front of the second fragment, previously lacking any meaning in its Eusebian context, now presents as a transition marker from the statements given in the previous fragment. We also get a better sense of why Papias emphasized the fact that Mark was not a follower of Jesus: Matthew was, and thus could supply the one thing that Mark lacked, namely a sense of the order in which the material should be organized. In such a reading, the lόgia that Matthew ordered would thus be none other than those assembled by Mark on the basis of Peter’s teaching, that is, those found in the Gospel According to Mark. In other words, Papias already knows about Markan priority in the second century!51 Watson’s argument has the salutary advantage of bringing together careful exegesis of this crucial passage with the one reasonably assured result of two centuries of Synoptic source criticism. This hypothesis, which seems by far the most parsimonious, makes the altogether plausible dialect hypothesis seem by inference to be the best explanation.52

51. Watson, Gospel Writing, 126–27. 52. Watson’s excellent argument perhaps needs to be corrected in two regards, both having to do with his treatment of 16b. Watson, Gospel Writing, 126, argues that the statement that Matthew wrote in a ἙbraΐV diάlektoV is an “(unfounded) claim . . . surely intended as a guarantee of the gospel’s authenticity and reliability.” While I certainly agree that the overall data militates against a Papian reference to a “Semitic” (i.e., Aramaic or Hebrew) Matthew, I think that the Hebraic-style school more adequately accounts for the data than Watsons’s “Papian error” hypothesis. Consequent to this judgment, neither can I (contra Watson, Gospel Writing, 126–27) hold that the statement ἡrmήneusen d´ aὐtὰ ὡV ἦn dunatὸV ἕkastoV is derivative of this Papian error. I would argue, instead, that the solution lies in 16b’s mὲn . . . dέ construction, which permits a translation of the passage to something like the following: “Therefore on the one hand Matthew arranged the oracles in a Hebraic style, while on the other hand each one translated them as he was able.” Now, what is the content of aὐtὰ (“them”) and ἕkastoV (“each one”) in the dέ portion of the construction? Given the concord between aὐtὰ and the immediately antecedent noun, lόgia, the former surely refers to the latter, while ἕkastoV presumably refers to the two persons whom this passage describes as having worked with this material, that is, Mark and Matthew. As such Papias is telling us that on the one hand, Matthew arranged the oracles in a Hebraic style, while on the other hand, Mark and Matthew each translated or communicated the oracles as he was able (Mark, before Matthew’s work of arrangement). Such corrections hardly undermine Watson’s larger argument, which is that Papias was

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What, concretely, would it mean for Matthew to have written his Gospel in a Greek that can be described as a ἙbraΐV diάlektoV? Let us consult the text more carefully. ἙbraΐV is simply the feminine of ἙbraῖoV, used here on account of the feminine noun diάlektoV, and, of course, Ἑbraίoi is simply the nominative plural of ἙbraῖoV, so it takes little work to imagine that what is being referenced here is the diάlektoV of the Hebraioi. Thus I submit that Papias is telling us that Matthew produced a version of tὰ lόgia aimed specifically at the Hebraioi; that is, a version written in order to render intelligible crucial Christian insights within the specific horizon of the Hebraists, known to us elsewise from Acts 6:1. Thus can our historical imagination now go to work. Let us suggest the following. Peter was translating Christian insights interhorizontally, probably from the horizon of the Hebraioi into the horizon of the Hellēnistai, and this perhaps in Rome. This entailed either actual translation between Aramaic and Greek, or the explanation of unfamiliar terms, idioms, customs, etc., or perhaps both. Mark assisted him with this task, presumably because of his greater interhorizontal fluency. At some point, perhaps at the behest of the Roman community, Mark produced a written version of Peter’s teaching. Thus resulted what we know as the Gospel of Mark. Eventually, Matthew learned about and acquired a copy of Mark’s Gospel, perhaps from Mark himself (the data after all indicate that both had close associations with the Jerusalem community, thus making an interaction of this sort entirely plausible).53 Matthew decided that the idea of telling Jesus’s life via writing would be a good thing, and also that Mark’s Gospel, written as it was to the Hellēnistai, was not adequate to address the needs of the Hebraioi. Thus he set out to translate this text into the horizon

aware of Markan priority, and, indeed, perhaps make it that much stronger as we can now account for the second part of 16b without supposing that Papias is simply mistaken. 53. The data are, in fact, overwhelming. Mark is associated in epistolary data with Peter (cf. 1 Pet. 5:13) and Barnabas (cf. Col. 4:10), both scions of the Jerusalem church, and also in the Lukan data with both these figures (Peter, at Acts 12:12, Barnabas at 12:25, 15:37– 39), and directly with that church himself (cf. most notably Acts 12:12). Although it is not impossible that the John Mark of Acts is not the same as the Mark of the epistles, it does seem a remarkable coincidence that the three figures with whom Mark is most clearly associated in the epistles are precisely the three figures with whom Mark is most clearly associated in the Acts, namely Barnabas, Peter, and Paul. Cf. Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phlm. 24; even granting that the former two might well be Pseudo-Pauline, it is, nonetheless, of significance that the pseudographers decided to associate Paul and Mark; not to mention, the personalia are precisely those parts of the Pastorals that P. N. Harrison, The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1921), 93–135, in the work that more than any other established their pseudonymity as disciplinary de rigueur, was convinced were, in fact, genuine Pauline fragments. In the absence of positive evidence suggesting that we are dealing with two separate figures, parsimony should incline us to identify them as a single person. On Matthew’s part, as one of the Twelve, his association with Jerusalem is incontestable.

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of the Hebraioi. In the process, he also rearranged the text in a variety of ways; the differences between the texts would cause some anxiety among interpreters of a later generation, and it is this anxiety that Papias seeks to address. Such a reconstruction renders perfectly intelligible the data internal to the Matthean and Markan gospels and the data from Papias, especially when compared with reconstructions that tend to neglect the latter—and for our purposes, what matters most is that all roads lead to the same place, even if we prefer an account denuded of the historical specificity permitted quite readily by the data: construing the Gospels of Mark and Matthew in terms of interhorizontal communication. Pushing further, Antiochene origin cannot be ruled out, although it was always closer to sheer speculation than anything grounded in the actual data.54 Given that

54. Burnett Hillman Streeter, The Four Gospels (London: MacMillan, 1926), 500–27, more than anyone else, was responsible for establishing the Antiochene origin of the Matthean Gospel, and this through a series of highly questionable judgments. While it might be the case that “the tradition that Matthew was written in Palestine [is] a deduction from Papias’ statement about the Hebrew lὸgia” (486; cf. 500), it might also not be the case. It is hardly the case that “the anonymity of the Gospel shows that it was written for a definite local church” (486; cf. 500–01), not least of all because there is little reason to think that it was initially anonymous (cf. the discussion of Markan “anonymity” above) but also because such anonymity simply would not show that the following was the case; and even if it did, Streeter arrives at the Antiochene origin by adducing “reasons for excluding Rome, Alexandria, Ephesus, Caesarea—and indeed any Church in Palestine,” and thus “Antioch [is] the only important Church left, and to this there are no objections” (486; cf. 501–04). He notes that Ignatius refers to Matthew’s Gospel as “the Gospel” (504–07), but this is hardly sufficient to establish that the text originated in Antioch; as Streeter notes, a similar usage occurs in the Didachē (cf. 8.2, 11.3, 15.3-4, although only the first of these verses seems to be clearly referencing Matthew’s Gospel, given its subsequent quotation of the Matthean version of the Lord’s Prayer), which Streeter (507) simply supposes rather than argues to be of Syrian provenance (a provenance that though often supposed in scholarship is far from self-evident and uncontested; cf. the discussion below). Moreover, it must not be forgotten that Ignatius was writing to churches outside of Syria, and thus presumably, his reference to “the gospel” would be something that he could consider to be intelligible to his audience; this, however, calls into question the idea that he is employing a distinctively Syrian reference to the Matthean Gospel, but it is precisely this distinctively Syrian reference that Streeter adduces as evidence for Antiochene provenance. Moreover, even as he argues for Antiochene provenance, Streeter cannot escape the conclusion that the Matthean tradition is of ultimately Judean, and more specifically Jerusalemite, origin, and has to resort to the hypothesis that it was brought to Antioch by refugees fleeing Judea during the catastrophes of the 60s (511–13). In light of this concession and in the absence of compelling reason to situate the gospel anywhere but Jerusalem, combined with the positive association with Matthew and thus the Jerusalem church, it seems far more parsimonious to simply locate the Matthean Gospel in Jerusalem.

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the Matthean author was translating a text aimed at the horizons of the Hellēnistai into the horizons of the Hebraioi, this work was perhaps more likely taking place in the Land, precisely the locale with which the apostle Matthew is most frequently associated. A provenance in the Land is further suggested by the precise character of the material that the author added to his Gospel. This material consists largely of additional sayings attributed to Jesus, as well as additional exegetical material aimed at interpreting the Jewish scriptural tradition in light of Jesus’s life and operations. If, indeed, the Church of the Land was the most natural home for the Christian Hebraioi, and if, indeed, the majority of Jesus’s followers were Hebraioi, then it is in the Land that we should expect there to have been the greatest quantity of such material available for Matthew’s use. Further confirmation is found in the critical commonplace that Matthew’s Gospel stands in a peculiarly close relationship with the Didachē and the Epistle of James, both of which are likewise attributed to the leadership in Jerusalem.55 The Land, and particularly Jerusalem, seems the singlebest candidate for Matthew to be carrying out his work. As our goal is always to strive for the greatest precision possible, we might suggest further that this material was the product of the collegium apostolorum, the existence of which has been most fully argued by Birger Gerhardsson56 and which

55. The Didachē, according to its longer title, is the didacὴ kurίou diὰ tῶn dῶdeka ἀpostόlwn toῖs ἔqnesin (“the Teaching of the Lord through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations”), and the ἸάkwboV of Ἰάkwbou ἐpistolή is by scholarly consensus James, brother of Jesus and traditional first bishop of the Jerusalem church. Granted that the longer ending might not be original to the Didachē, that the attributions to both Matthew and James might be pseudepigraphical, and that James’s role in the Jerusalem church was certainly not that of a monarchical bishop, it would seem a remarkable coincidence that all these fictions just happen to associate a series of works that evince such close literary relations with precisely the same group, namely the Jerusalem leadership. We perhaps should do well to conclude that Krister Stendahl’s “school of St. Matthew” is simply the Jerusalem church, functioning in a properly exegetical and text-productive mode; such a hypothesis receives support, if not confirmation, in McIver, Mainstream or Marginal, which answers the question posed by its title by arguing that, contra to a certain trend in community criticism, the Matthean community, although distinctive, was, nonetheless, a product of the mainstream of emergent Christianity. This coheres remarkably well with what we find in Acts and the Pauline corpus: Jerusalem as an important center of emergent Christianity that, nonetheless, articulated the kerygma in its own distinctive forms. 56. Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript, 245–62. Note that he understands the work of the collegium apostolorum as a continuation of how Jesus interacted with the Jewish scriptures in his own ministry (cf. Memory and Manuscript, 225–34; cf. the assessment of the impact of Gerhardsson’s work upon historical Jesus studies in Ben F. Meyer, “Some Consequences of Birger Gerhardsson’s Account of the Origins of the Gospel Tradition,” in Jesus and the Oral Gospel Tradition [ed. Henry Wansbrough; Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 64; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1991], 424–40, esp. pp. 425–29).

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has more recently been given renewed confirmation through Loveday Alexander’s study of the Greco-Roman school tradition.57 Simply put, the collegium apostolorum was a recurrent gathering of the Twelve and perhaps other eyewitnesses to Jesus (such as, notably, James the Just) in Jerusalem, and was devoted to the study and exegesis of both scripture and Jesus’ teachings. The positive data most supportive of this hypothesis come from Acts 6:1-4, which read as follows: Ἐn dὲ taῖV ἡmέraiV taύtaiV plhqunόntwn tῶn maqhtῶn ἐgέneto goggusmὸV tῶn Ἑllhnistῶn prὸV toὺV ἙbraίouV, ὅti pareqewroῦnto ἐn tῇ diakonίᾳ tῇ kaqhmerinῇ aἱ cῆrai aὐtῶn. proskalesάmenoi dὲ oἱ dώdeka tὸ plῆqoV tῶn maqhtῶn eἶpan· oὐk ἀrestόn ἐstin ἡmᾶV kataleίyantaV tὸn lόgon toῦ qeoῦ diakoneῖn trapέzaiV. ἐpiskέyasqe dέ, ἀdeljoί, ἄndraV ἐx ὑmῶn marturoumέnouV ἑptά, plήreiV pneύmatoV kaὶ sojίaV, oὓV katastήsomen ἐpὶ tῆV creίaV taύthV, ἡmeῖV dὲ tῇ proseucῇ kaὶ tῇ diakonίᾳ toῦ lόgou proskarterήsomen. And in those days, as the disciples grew in numbers, the Hellēnistai brought a complaint against the Hebraioi, namely that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the Twelve called together all of the disciples, saying “It is not proper that we should neglect the Word to service tables. Therefore, friends, choose seven men, well-spoken about among yourselves, full of the spirit and of wisdom, whom we might appoint to this task, and we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word (ἡ diakonίa toῦ lόgou).

The key phrase, for our present purposes, is ἡ diakonίa toῦ lόgou, translated here as “the ministry of the Word.” Gerhardsson suggests that ἡ diakonίa toῦ lόgou is a technical term that designates the Twelve’s collective work toward the end of organizing and crafting the Jesus tradition, including an elaboration of that tradition’s relationship with the Jewish scriptures.58 Once again, operations of this sort are necessary to explain the origins of the Gospel tradition. The very existence 57. Loveday Alexander, “Memory and Tradition in the Hellenistic Schools,” in Jesus in Memory: Traditions in Oral and Scribal Perspectives (ed. Werner H. Kelber and Samuel Byrskog; Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2009), 113–53. 58. Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript, 234–45. This reading is contrary to the consensus interpretation of the text, which holds that reference is being made to the apostles’ work of orally proclaiming the kerygma. This probably need not be an either/or situation. All evidence suggests that early Christian preaching was deeply informed and structured by scriptural exegesis, such that if we suppose that ἡ diakonίa toῦ lόgou refers primarily to orally proclaiming the kerygma, then we should still presume that the oral proclamation was predicated upon extensive engagement with the Jewish scriptural tradition. Conversely, if we follow Gerhardsson and read ἡ diakonίa toῦ lόgou as primarily a textual operation, there is every reason to suppose that it was such operations that informed and structured the oral proclamation. From whichever direction one proceeds, it seems likely that ἡ diakonίa toῦ lόgou included a degree of relatively deep engagement with scriptural exegesis.

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and character of the gospels indicate that someone, somewhere, undertook the effort of writing down Jesus’s sayings and operations and relating these to the Jewish scriptures; in fact, at least four persons did so in the first century. Further, every hypothesis of earlier sayings, collections, or bodies of unwritten oral traditions presupposes that someone, somewhere, in addition to the Evangelists, was undertaking such work. All Gerhardsson is doing is pointing at data that indicate who some of these persons might have been. Moreover, even without such data, it hardly seems an unreasonable hypothesis that the people most fully responsible for shaping the appearance of the traditions surrounding Jesus would have been his own earthly followers, and there is every reason to think that after Jesus’s death, the place in which they most frequently interacted as a coherent group was in Jerusalem.59 This also helps account for why Matthew thought that Mark’s Gospel was so amenable to the purpose of writing a comparable text for the Hebraioi. As members of the Twelve, Peter and Matthew would both have been part of the collegium apostolorum. As such, Peter’s teachings and recollections regarding Jesus would have been powerfully shaped by the work of the collegium, as would Matthew’s expectation of what constituted an adequate account of such matters. Moreover, if Mark’s Gospel already reflected in large part the work of the collegium, it would have been a logical step to add more material generated by the Twelve. That Matthew was working in the Land and Mark and Peter in the Diaspora accounts readily for why the former had more ready access to the material generated by the collegium than did the latter, for the collegium was based in the Land (anyone who has made the move from a large research university with a well-stocked library to a smaller liberal arts college can easily sympathize with the lack of access to material that Mark and Peter likely faced on their sojourn from Jerusalem). We are now developing a narrative in which we can reasonably anchor the Synoptic tradition in the work precisely of those who enjoyed the greatest

59. The Gospels of Matthew and John agree that at least some of the Galilean disciples returned to the Galilee for some time after Jesus’s death (cf. Mt. 28:16; Jn 21), while that of Mark (cf. 16:7) intimates that this was the case. For his part, Luke locates the disciples exclusively in and around Jerusalem after Easter, but this is most likely an artifact of his preference to order his narrative geographically: to shift the action back to Galilee would be to symbolically undo Jesus’s work in coming to Jerusalem. There is thus good reason to think that at least some disciples, including those who would become significant leaders in the early Jerusalem community, initially returned to the Galilee. Given the overall close relationship between the Jerusalem and Galilean churches and the fact that nothing in any of our data excludes the possibility that they subsequently returned to Jerusalem but, rather, demands it (how otherwise would Peter be in Jerusalem to meet with Paul in just a few short years, as attested by Gal. 1:18?), there is every reason to conclude that some of the core of the movement initially returned to the Galilee before returning to Jerusalem. Certainly within a relatively short order, apparently no later than Paul’s conversion c. 31, this group constituted the core of the leadership in Jerusalem.

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intimacy with the historical Jesus, namely his inner circle. I want to be clear, however: this is not an argument for the “reliability” of the Markan or Matthean gospels. That is not my interest here. My interest here is to more precisely define how the Gospel tradition is not simply a record of Jesus’s life and operations but, in fact, a consequence thereof. Precisely because of the effect that he had upon those who followed him, they thought it important to record his life and operations. Whether we judge the gospels attributed to Mark and Matthew to bear, respectively, Petrine and Matthean pedigree, there is good reason to think the former to be associated with the early Aramaic life-world of the Jesus tradition and the latter with the Jerusalem-based circles associated with the Twelve and figures such as James.

The Gospel of Luke and the Emergence of the Gentile Mission Papias is as significant as he is for defining the operations of the Evangelists, in large part because he deals with specifically those two gospels that provide no explicit statements on the matter. With Luke, our situation is different, for in his Prologue (1:1-4) he writes: 1 Ἐpeidήper polloὶ ἐpeceίrhsan ἀnatάxasqai diήghsin perὶ tῶn peplhrojorhmέnwn ἐn ἡmῖn pragmάtwn, 2 kaqὼV parέdosan ἡmῖn oἱ ἀp´ ἀrcῆV aὐtόptai kaὶ ὑphrέtai genόmenoi toῦ lόgou, 3 ἔdoxe kἀmoὶ parhkolouqhkόti ἄnwqen pᾶsin ἀkribῶV kaqexῆV soi grάyai, krάtiste Qeόjile, 4 ἵna ἐpignῷV perὶ ὧn kathcήqhV lόgwn tὴn ἀsjάleian. Since many have already endeavored to set down an account regarding the matters that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who were from the beginning eyewitnesses and servants of the Word, I  too—having investigated everything from the beginning—decided to write for you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, so that you might know the truth regarding the things that you have been catechized.

Much has been written about this passage and I myself have already written about it in this study, and I have no interest in going back over the entirety of that ground. For present purposes, a number of particularly relevant observations and resulting judgments are in order. The first is that Luke tells us (although, of course, not in these words) that he was and had previously been engaged in interhorizontal communication, as he must make intelligible within Theophilus’s horizon that which he learned from oἱ ἀp´ ἀrcῆV aὐtόptai kaὶ ὑphrέtai genόmenoi toῦ lόgou (“those who were from the beginning eyewitnesses and servants of the Word”), who necessarily communicated with Luke from within their own respective horizons. Second, Luke tells us that he undertakes this work so that Theophilus might know the truth regarding those things in which he had been instructed (kathcήqh). In nuce, Luke is concerned with translating that which eyewitnesses to Jesus had to say from within their horizon into that of

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Theophilus, and this for the purpose of augmenting the work of early Christian catechesis.60 Pursuant to the discussion in Chapter 4, we can reasonably define the horizons of the eyewitnesses consulted as falling primarily within the ambit of the Hebraioi, with perhaps some Hellēnistai as well, and, indeed, it seems probable, if not certain, that most, if not all, eyewitnesses consulted were of Jewish background.61 The horizons of Luke and Theophilus are less immediately obvious. In addressing this question, we are confronted with an interesting combination of data. Consider on the one hand, Luke’s mastery over the Greek language, unparalleled in the canonical gospels, and on the other hand, the fact that this mastery is perhaps most evident when he engages with the Septuagint and its linguistic forms.62 Such a combination might incline us to identify the horizons of Luke and, perhaps by extension, Theophilus as more or less aligned with those of the Hellēnistai, were it not for a number of additional data. Most notably, Luke is defined in tradition as being of Gentile origin.63 If Luke wrote the Gospel attributed to him, then it was probably written by a Gentile64; if “Luke” is a pseudonym, then through

60. Cf. the discussion in Samuel Byrskog, Story as History—History as Story (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 228–32. 61. This follows from our previous discussions of Jesus’s earthly followers. 62. Cf. the discussion in Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke (2 vols.; Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1982), 1: 107–27; Alfred Plummer, The Gospel According to S. Luke (5th ed.; International Critical Commentary; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1922), xli–lxvii. 63. In Col. 4:11b Paul or Pseudo-Paul states that Aristarchus, Mark, Barnabas, and Jesus-called-Justus are the only ones “of the circumcision” with him, thus indicating that anyone who follows is not of the circumcision. Luke is among those who follow, in 4:14. The clear implication is that Luke is among the Gentile Christians laboring with Paul. Even if Colossians is pseudonymous, it would still follow that the pseudographer thought it necessary to place Luke among those not of the circumcision, from which we can infer that he was known to be Gentile. Given the absence of any positive evidence that this figure was ` Louka ˜n,we should assume that, whether any other than the one referenced in the title kata the Luke referenced in 4:14 was the actual author of the Lukan Gospel, he was certainly thought to be in its earliest reception. Combined with the second-century consensus on Lukan authorship, we have strong reason to think that Luke’s Gospel and probably also the Acts were authored by a Gentile Christian. Cf. the overviews of the traditions in Fitzmyer, Luke, 1: 35–53; Plummer, Luke, xi–xxii. 64. Although pseudonymity is usually taken for granted, Lukan authorship is hardly incredible. The evidence that Luke was a companion of Paul in the 50s or 60s is quite strong. The Lukan We-passages, Col. 4:14, 2 Tim. 4:11, and Phlm. 24, all point in this direction, and all that is required is that the We-passages are, indeed, Luke’s first-hand account of time spent with Paul, or that just one of the three epistolary remarks are genuinely Pauline, or that just one of these pieces of data preserves genuine memories of Luke traveling with Paul in the 50s or 60s. The probability is exceedingly low that none of these conditions is the case. Moreover, if indeed Luke was active as a Christian leader in the 50s or 60s, it is hardly

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this attribution we can infer that it was understood to have issued from Gentile circles. Thus we do well if we look beyond the horizon of the Hellēnistai, who for all their orientation toward the Hellenic, remained Jewish. Yet we should look for someone beyond the Hellēnistai who was deeply immersed in specifically Hellenic patterns of Jewish literature and could reasonably expect those who read his text to share and appreciate such immersion. There is only one group that adequately meets this definition: the Sebomenoi, or God-fearers, those nonJewish individuals who found Judaism so attractive yet never took the step of conversion, and known to us from Acts 13:16-17 and elsewhere in early Jewish literature and inscriptions.65 Theophilus’s identity is more problematic. He could be either Jewish or Gentile given the name, and thus offers little of probative value with regard to the destination horizon(s). Thus we must turn to other data. Here Luke’s Prologue is again of interest. His opening words would seem to suggest that he is aware of at least two (polloὶ) other texts comparable to his own. Contemporary scholars have achieved a virtual consensus that one of these was Mark’s Gospel,66 and today

incredible that he would still be around and capable of writing his Doppelwerk in the 70s or 80s, the date held by the majority of scholars. The venerable minority (including such figures as Adolf van Harnack and J. A. T. Robinson) that would place Luke-Acts before the death of Paul could equally well accommodate Lukan authorship. Only a second-century provenance would make Lukan authorship particularly problematic 65. It is a matter of complete indifference to our argument whether such terminology was yet a formal, technical, term, as challenged by Κirsopp Lake, “Proselytes and Godfearers,” in The Beginnings of Christianity I: The Acts of the Apostles (ed. F. J. Foakes Jackson and Κirsopp Lake; 5 vols , London Macmillan, 1933), 5:85–88. Even if we did not have the sebόmenoi ἝllhneV mentioned in our literature, we would have to hypothesize the existence of a group of Gentiles whose horizons already evinced an interest in Jewish religion; the success of the Gentile mission is utterly unintelligible absent such antecedent interest. Moreover, that A. T. Kraabel, “The Disappearance of the God-Fearers,” Numen 28:2 (1981): 114–26, can show how the God-fearers function as literary figures within the Acts of the Apostles no more demonstrates that they did not exist than the fact that oἱ Ἰoudaῖoi clearly function as literary figures in the Gospel of John means that Jewish persons never existed; and likewise, Kraabel’s assertion of the uncontestable fact that the historical reality of early Christian expansion was messier than is found in the Lukan account (and, of course, it was; any historical narrative must be selective and simplify for the purposes of building a narrative) does not establish that the basic outline is in error. 66. Ellis, Making, 37, argues that Luke’s “mention of the ‘many’ who drew up a ‘narrative’ (diήuhsiV; Lk 1:1) possibly refers to the corporate composition of one document, as the singular might suggest, rather than the individual composition of many documents.” This is certainly a legitimate rendering of Luke’s Greek. Against this reading it might be suggested that since Lk. 1:1-4 narrates Luke’s work as an individual author aiming to produce a single document, it would make more sense if he envisions multiple individual authors who have worked or are working to produce multiple distinct documents. That said, if one does prefer

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they seem more or less evenly divided between those who think that a second was either Q or Matthew’s Gospel; the canon of parsimony should incline us toward the latter, but that is largely a matter of indifference to this study. Thus, minimally, Luke is drawing upon a text that represents an attempt to translate Christian insights from a Hebraic to a Hellenistic Jewish horizon, as well as potentially a text that aims to translate Christian insights back from that Hellenistic horizon and to a Hebraic one. The integration of two texts that translate in different directions perhaps helps to make sense of Luke’s widely acknowledged tendency toward a more universal viewpoint, one that conceives more clearly than either Mark’s Gospel or Matthew’s Gospel that Christian insights are relevant for persons from across a range of backgrounds. Thus I propose the following hypothetical scenario. Luke and Theophilus, the former a Hellenic Christian who was probably a Sebomenoi converted through the Greek mission and the latter of either a Hellenic or Hellenistic background, were familiar with the work of at least Mark and possibly also Matthew, or at least one other text formally comparable to Mark and Matthew. Their catechetical initiation into the faith probably included some sort of engagement with these texts. Yet, Luke found these texts inadequate for his need because of a distance between his own horizon and those for which the texts were aimed; Theophilus, either as a Greek Christian experienced personally the same inadequacy or, as a Hellenistic Jewish Christian observed with some concern as others struggled with that inadequacy. Luke evinced an interest in composing a third work, one that would translate the Gospel into a horizon more amenable to the Sebomenoi; Theophilus, a man of some means, learning of this interest, decided to fund the enterprise, thus allowing Luke to not only translate the Gospel but also undertake additional research. Whether Luke held to his more universal viewpoint before undertaking this work or the work itself led to this broadening of his own horizon must remain a matter of speculation. Given the above, we should probably look for somewhere in the Greek Diaspora for the originating locale of the Lukan Gospel, and it is not without interest that the We-passages initially situate Luke in and around Troas and Philippi.67 From

Ellis’s reading, then we still have a Luke who is aware of at least one other gospel text in existence or production, most likely Mark’s, although possibly also Matthew’s or (less likely, given the open question of its very existence) Q. 67. Cf. Acts 16:10, 20:5–6. John S. Kloppenborg, “Luke’s Geography: Knowledge, Ignorance, Sources, and Spatial Conception” (paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Ottawa, ON, June 1, 2015), has recently argued that Luke evinces “virtually complete ignorance of the topography of the interior of Palestine; knowledge of locations and spatial relationships on the Levantine coast; and more detailed knowledge of the Northeast Aegean” (quoting from the abstract for the paper, retrieved on August 29, 2015, from http://congress2015.ca/sites/default/files/sites/default/uploads/ programs/6-csbs-sceb-2015-04-24.pdf). Such an understanding of Luke’s geographical knowledge coheres precisely with what we see in the We-passages: he begins his journeys

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the second century, there are traditions that locate his work in Greece, but these could reasonably be thought to constitute exegesis of the We-passages and thus are probably of limited relevance to the question. Regardless, Luke seems to represent the vanguard of Gospel-writing as Christianity moved beyond the confines of Judaism and more fully into the broader world of Hellenic society. As this proceeded yet further, there would inevitably emerge a need to articulate the Christian Gospel more fully through a Hellenic horizon that had little prior engagement with Jewish thought or practice. We see this breakthrough most fully in John’s Gospel.

The Gospel of John and the Others We already have had occasion to discuss the origins of John’s Gospel in our treatment of Ephesian Christianity. Here we will consider two particular issues that come out of that discussion. The first has to do with interhorizontal translation. With John’s Gospel we find the vanguard of what will from the second century onward become a common preoccupation among early Christian writers, namely the effort to make systematic sense of the emergent Christian doctrine of God within the vocabulary of Hellenic thought.68 The canonical gospels set out to continue the tradition of biblical narrative, whereas the doctrinal texts of the second century onward set out to continue the tradition of philosophical treatise.69 It should not come as a surprise that there were at this time various experiments in combining these traditions; both John’s Gospel and the Gnostic efforts to advance Christian truths through narrative accounts of various hypostasized metaphysical concepts represent such experiments, and, indeed, with those Gnostic efforts the drive toward systematization begins to eclipse the drive toward narrative. Such movement helps us account for many of the so-called “Gnostic Gospels,” of which, in this regard, Valentinus’s Gospel of Truth would be an exemplar. It should also be noted that this remains the best explanation for Marcion’s Evangelion: in his

in the Northeast Aegean, thus intimating the possibility that he originated from this region; then he travels to and spends some time on the Levantine coast; and nowhere does he hint at any travels into the interior of Palestine. Strangely, however, rather than considering this remarkable coincidence evinced by his own attention to the data, Kloppenborg ignored the Aegean material altogether while adducing an anachronistic series of Late Antique and early medieval maps as possible examples of the sort of non-extant sources from which Luke might have derived his knowledge. 68. Cf. Bernard J. F. Lonergan, The Triune God: Doctrines (ed. Robert M. Doran and H. Daniel Monsour; trans. Michael G. Shields; Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan 11; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), 29–255, esp. pp. 30–55. Note that this section of Triune God was previously published in English translation as Bernard J. F. Lonergan, The Way to Nicea: The Dialectical Development of Trinitarian Theology (trans. Conn O’Donovan; London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1976). 69. Again, cf. Lonergan, Triune God, 30–55.

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effort to construct a systematic Christian theology, he has adapted Luke’s Gospel to his needs.70 The aim here is not to account for all the peculiarities of every Gospel text but, rather, to suggest that in viewing these and other early Christian texts as instances of interhorizontal communication, many of these peculiarities come into sharper focus. With regard to our larger aim of studying the historical Jesus, it ought to be noted that such texts are increasingly more interested in furthering doctrinal development than they are in bringing forward understandings of events, and, as such, are of less immediate interest to the historical Jesus scholar: for it is precisely events with which the historian is most interested. This is not to say that these texts lack interest to the historian of doctrine, who treats ideas functionally as events, or to the doctrinal or the systematic theologian, either— quite the opposite, in fact. It is only to say that for the purposes of the historical Jesus scholar, these are of less significance than the canonical gospels: not because the latter are canonical or even because they are dated earlier (although the former statement is certainly, and the latter most likely, true), but, rather, because they evince aims that yield greater quantity and better quality of data to the historian of Jesus’s life.

70. Matthias Klinghardt, “Markion vs. Lukas: Plädoyer für Wiederaufnahme eines Alten Falles,” New Testament Studies 52 (2006): 484–513, and Joseph Tyson, Marcion and LukeActs: A Defining Struggle (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2006), have both recently tried to resurrect the theory presented in John Knox, Marcion and the New Testament (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1942), namely that Marcion did not edit the Lukan Gospel as suggested by the Patristic testimony but, rather, used a no-longerextant Proto-Luke that Luke then enlarged as an act of anti-Marcionite polemic. This argument fails for a number of crucial empirical reasons, presented at length in Sebastian Moll, The Arch-Heretic Marcion (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010), 89–102, of which the most significant are chronology (Klinghardt and Tyson must date Marcion’s work almost thirty years earlier than the data would suggest; for this they rely upon Joseph Hoffman, Marcion: On the Restitution of Christianity: An Essay on the Development of Radical Paulinist Theology in the Second Century [Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1984], whose effort to present Marcion as operating already in the 110s has been rightly eviscerated for its failure to attend adequately to the data), logical fallacy (most notably, special pleading: Knox and his followers proceed by arguing that since we cannot demonstrate why Marcion removed the passages that he was supposed to have removed from the Lukan Gospel, it must follow that these are, instead, Lukan additions; yet, as Moll, Arch-Heretic, 101, observes: “If, allegedly, we are unable to explain why Marcion deleted the above mentioned passages, then it follows that we are unable to explain why anyone should have added them in order to fight Marcion”), and inattention to the data (Moll, Arch-Heretic, 92–98, not only demonstrates that he can account for 93 percent of Marcion’s deletions on the basis of five principles of Marcion’s theology that he has adduced on other bases, but also notes that the Patristic consensus that Marcion deleted material from the Lukan Gospel places the burden of proof upon those scholars who would argue that precisely the opposite occurred).

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The second issue related to the discussion of Ephesian and Johannine Christianity in the previous chapter has to do with the evidence that either the writer or the primary tradent of John’s Gospel was a follower of the earthly Jesus. What we find, then, as is quite conceivably the case with the Markan and Matthean gospels, is a direct connection between the dominical situation: Jesus’s operations have in part effected the very conditions that led to the Johannine Gospel.71 This furthers the argument made in the previous chapter, namely that Johannine Christianity and tradition cannot easily be considered a sector of the Christian movement divorced from other sectors—quite the opposite, it finds its ground in precisely the same dominical situation as the Synoptic tradition. That having been said, it must again be emphasized that this is not an argument for the “reliability” of the Johannine Gospel. What is being offered here is an account of how we got from Jesus to the gospels, one that aims to account fully for the pattern of transformations that we find in the material. Returning to the work of translating core Christian insights into new horizons, it should be noted that this did not end with the production of the canonical gospels. Examples of such continuing operations are evident in texts such as the Gospel of the Egyptians and the Gospel of the Hebrews: the former most likely represents an attempt to translate Christian insights into an Egyptian horizon while the latter probably represents second-century efforts to translate the same into the horizons of emergent forms of a by-then relatively marginal Jewish Christianity. The Gospel of Thomas has historically been associated with Syrian Christianity. The primary evidence for this is the traditional association of the disciple Thomas with Edessa and points east, and, indeed, it is not at all inconceivable that Thomas emerged in the Eastern Diaspora. Regardless of place or person of origin, however, it is quite interesting that Thomas contains material spread across the breadth of the Synoptic tradition. Thus it is the case that Thomas emerged either from a context in which the Synoptic Gospels have already been written or from a context in which the breadth of the Synoptic tradition has fully circulated; either way, this suggests that Thomas emerged from similar circles as the Synoptic tradition itself.72 As such, we cannot rule out the possibility that the Gospel of Thomas is based in part upon operations carried out by the apostle Thomas himself, although it would be next to impossible at this stage to distinguish what might have come from the apostle. If it is a product of Syrian Christianity, then it might well be the case that it represents an early effort to render Christian insights intelligible within one or more horizons endemic to that region. With the exception of presumably the Gospel of the Hebrews, these texts seem to generally evince a distancing from

71. Insights into this reality have contributed in large part to the renewed emphasis in historical Jesus studies over the last two decades to integrate inferences made on the basis of Johannine data into our hypothesis-building; central to this work has been the John, Jesus, and History group of the Society of Biblical Literature. 72. As Mark Goodacre, Thomas and the Gospels: The Case for Thomas’s Familiarity with the Synoptics (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012), 20–25, has powerfully argued.

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Jewish horizons, although Christianity’s option to affirm the Jewish scriptures (an option not disputed even by Marcion, despite his radical reinterpretation of these texts) ensured a perpetual connection to its Jewish heritage. The first generations of Christians faced a series of problems. Central to these problems, and driving many of them, was the existential need to proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as a definitive figure in their own lives and the career of humanity as a whole. This existential drive took them from the Galilee to Jerusalem to Antioch to Anatolia, Illyria, Greece, Italy: if either the Pauline epistles or the Acts have any bearing on the actual courses of events, this initial spread occurred by c. 65 CE. It was just the beginning: by the end of the next century at the latest, Christianity would be present throughout probably the entirety of the circum-Mediterranean region, as well as in the eastern Diaspora. As Christians progressed, they had to translate their proclamation into ever new horizons: some linguistic, some merely conceptual, but all a communicative challenge that could not but alter the tradition. The gospels were produced relatively early in the process: despite occasional challenges that would move one or more (usually Luke’s Gospel, sometimes John’s, rarely Mark’s or Matthew’s) into the second century, the four canonical gospels were, as considered by the majority of scholars, written by c. 100. Yet, however early this happened, by the time that they were produced, emergent Christianity had already undergone a number of shifts (the most notable occurring quite early, so early as to leave little trace of what came before, namely the shift from Aramaic to Greek as the movement’s lingua franca). Combined with careful attention to the data, we can begin to situate the gospels and their writers in time and space, while integrating the legitimate discoveries and insights generated by source, form, and redaction critics. This chapter was an initial essay in doing precisely this, working within a framework informed greatly by Lonergan and Meyer.

Conclusion

This study has sought to discover what historical Jesus studies might yet learn from Ben F. Meyer and his teacher, Bernard Lonergan. As I complete the project, I find myself profoundly aware that I have but scratched the surface of the riches found in the Meyer and Lonergan corpora. Nonetheless, it is necessary to summarize what has been learned and what has been presented. If I were asked to identify the most important insights, they would be as follows: subjectivity is not opposed to but, rather, the precondition for objectivity; data are not identical with but rather the medium by which we come to know reality; there is not rupture but, rather, continuity between Second Temple Judaism, Jesus’s ministry, and the apostolic, and, later, patristic churches. Let us consider each of these in turn.

Subjectivity and Objectivity In 1991, John P. Meier, at the beginning of his five-volume, and still counting, study of the historical Jesus, told us that he fantasizes about an “unpapal conclave,” in which a Catholic historian, a Jewish historian, a Protestant historian, an agnostic historian, and (he would later add) a Muslim get together to hammer out a consensus document on the historical Jesus. The fundamental requirement would be that any and all judgments particular to the religious groups in question would be avoided. It would be an entirely “unreligious ‘formula of concord.’ ”1 A critical realist in a Lonerganian mode would potentially, and, in fact, I will, raise an objection to the premise behind this conclave. The objection has to do with the apparent understanding of subjectivity as it relates to objectivity. It seems that Meier understands the religious commitments of these scholars as barriers to objectivity, subjectivities to be set aside as these persons seek to know historical truth. Such a critical realist might, and, in fact, I will, suggest that such setting aside does not so much advance as hinder the work of historical understanding. Yes, it would be affirmed, there should be a movement toward objectivity; however, this is not achieved by setting aside one’s subjectivity but, rather, through allowing that subjectivity to come to full maturation. The task is not to stop being, in Meier’s case (and Ben Meyer’s, and Bernard Lonergan’s), Catholic in order to

1. John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew (5 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1991–2016), 1:1-2, quote from p. 1.

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become a historian, but, rather, to cultivate, using the resources immanent already to the Catholic tradition, a subjectivity that is capable of objectivity. One could, in principle, do likewise with the Jewish, or the Muslim, or the agnostic, or the atheist, or the Buddhist, or other traditions. This movement, from a pre-objective subjectivity to an objective subjectivity, rests at the heart of Lonergan’s critical realism. It is built upon a frighteningly simple insight, namely that there is a difference between a subjectivity that privileges desire over truth and a subjectivity that privileges truth over desire. Objectivity is achieved when, operating from an intentionally cultivated subjectivity, I decide that I will affirm what can be reasonably known as true rather than what I would like to be true. Here I will use the example of the Holocaust. I would love it if there had not been a Holocaust. I would love to live in a world in which a regime did not kill millions of people simply because they happened to be Jewish. I dream of living in such a world. That is my fervent desire, and I daresay anyone who cannot sympathize with that desire probably should not be allowed to walk freely among the public. Yet, the data compel me to affirm that this is not the world in which we live. The evidence is overwhelming. The Holocaust happened, and that is all there is to it. Substitute all sorts of other matters—climate change, evolution, Jesus’s existence, the mistreatment of women and LGBT persons, etc.—and the portrait begins to fill itself out: the way I would like things to be is frequently not the way things actually are, despite preference. A subjectivity that is capable of objectivity is able to affirm the way that things actually are. Indeed, only such a subjectivity can begin to seriously undertake the work of changing that which can be changed: that is, to engage in antiracist, anti-misogynist, anti-homophobic, etc., enterprises in order to fashion a better future. Thus we can begin to answer Van Harvey’s question of fifty years ago: “Can one and the same man hold the same judgment tentatively as a historian but believe it passionately as a Christian?”2 Queried as a purely phenomenological matter, the  answer must clearly be “Yes,” as people can and do hold all sorts of judgments that stand in contradiction with one another. Queried in terms of human authenticity, a more qualified answer must be advanced. A person who knows that the answer to a given question is “Maybe yes” but operates as if the answer is “Indubitably yes” is not behaving in an entirely responsible fashion, because “Maybe yes” by definition implies “Maybe no,” which is, in fact, excluded by “Indubitably yes.” Objectivity is achieved as a person overcomes such psychic division. A subjectivity that has attained objectivity need not bother with Harvey’s question at all, for her or his operations as a historian and as, for instance, a Christian will not contradict each other. The problem then with Meier’s unpapal conclave is that it does not so much counsel objectivity as it does a subjectivity that dispenses with the conditions

2. Van A. Harvey, The Historian and the Believer: A Confrontation Between the Modern Historian’s Principles of Judgment and the Christian’s Will-to-Believe (New York: Macmillan, 1969), 18.

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necessary for attaining objectivity in the first place. It envisions a subjectivity that stands as a barrier to objectivity. The advance from such a subjectivity is not to set it aside, as if one could, but, rather, to dive deeply into it and to build upon it until one finds one’s subjectivity maturing to the point of objectivity, namely the moment when the will-to-truth exceeds the will-to-satisfaction.

Data and Reality Medieval exegesis distinguished between four senses of scripture: the literal, the allegorical, the moral, and the anagogical. In the classical description of the literal sense, the letter taught events. The great revolution that has been modern exegesis has been to clarify the relationship between the letter and the event. We now know that when we encounter a narrative in our texts, we simply cannot treat it straightforwardly as an event. In large part, this is because we now recognize that just as much as we are always operating as subjects, even when that subjectivity might attain the level of objectivity, so too were all those who wrote our texts. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Papias, Irenaeus, Eusebius, etc.—all these are human subjects, with aims, values, affirmations, suppositions, etc., all their own. Perhaps the signal contribution of the social memory approach has to been to the historical Jesus scholar’s awareness of this reality, such that, beginning especially with Dunn’s Jesus Remembered, the subjectivities of the Evangelists are on our agenda as rarely, if ever they had been, before. The distinction between text and event can be re-formulated in more generic terms as the distinction between data and reality. The texts with which the historian works, as well as other materials such as archaeological artifacts and features, are data, while the events that the historian seeks to understand constitute reality. Data are a means to an end, and that end is reality. The data with which I work as a historian are the product of antecedent operations, namely that of the interpreter. Of course, often I do the work of interpretation myself, especially when the material to be considered is biblical or early patristic: material that I am fully qualified to interpret. When the material is archaeological or from textual corpora with which I am less qualified to work, then I rely much more upon the interpretations of others. This is simply to speak to the fact that not everyone can do everything equally well. Indeed, even with the biblical material, I am more qualified to interpret the New Testament than the Hebrew Bible; within the New Testament to interpret the gospels more than the epistles; within the gospels to interpret John’s more than the Synoptics. We all have our specialties. The work of moving from data to reality is inferential. I ask what reality must have existed in order to produce these particular data. Often the inference will be quite straightforward, and should be. If I am asked why each of the four gospels records that Jesus made a scene in the temple, I would respond by saying that most likely Jesus made a scene in the temple. Yet, this example also helps reveal the fact that sometimes inferences cannot be as straightforward. If I am asked why the Synoptics records that this happened at the end of Jesus’s life, while John’s

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Gospel says that it happened at the beginning, then the answer will likely be more involved, for now I must account not for how a set of unequivocal (on the particular question) data emerged from a singular reality but for how an equivocal set of data emerged from that same singular reality. This is a more complicated procedure, and it is because of this complication that we employ such canons as scope and parsimony to adjudicate between possible explanations. The inferential relationship between data and reality is bad news for both the maximalist and the minimalist. For the maximalist, it means that one cannot simply identify the data as reality. It is insufficient to declare that X event occurred because it is found in the data, for events are not found in the data at all but rather inferred from the data; such declaration is quite simply a category error. For the minimalist, however, since reality is inferred from data, one cannot easily operate as if data and reality are functionally independent variables. Reality can neither be thought to be identical with nor known independent of data. Part I of this study was focused upon how to proceed as a historian in a way that respects the distinction between data and reality.

Continuity Between Judaism, Jesus, and the Church The First and Second Quests for the historical Jesus operated with a general supposition of a double rupture: between Judaism and Jesus, on the one hand, and Jesus and the church, on the other. Such a double rupture is empirically indefensible. Jesus and the earliest Christians were Jewish, and demographically, Christianity was probably a majority Jewish religion through at least c. 70, if not later. Even after c. 100, when we begin to see evidence of a strong demographic shift toward Gentile membership, the Christian tradition is yet deeply rooted in its Jewish heritage. Even today, Christianity remains a not-not-Jewish tradition: it is not Judaism, but at the same time, whenever it attempts to fully divest itself of its Jewish heritage, it also alienates itself from its own identity. At the same time, the earliest known Christians, the ones who preceded Paul himself in the movement, were Jesus’s disciples, and the data, not least of all from the Pauline corpus itself, indicate that they remained central to Christianity’s development until the 60s. There is no moment that we can point to in which Jesus or Christianity decisively ruptured from its Jewish heritage or Christianity ruptured from Jesus. The Third Quest sought to dispense with the myth of a rupture between Judaism and Jesus, and for the most part, it succeeded in this aim. The Fourth Quest, I have argued, is focused upon dispensing with the myth of a rupture between Jesus and Christianity. What are needed at this time in early Christian studies generally, and historical Jesus studies in particular, are historical narratives that can track the continuity (not stasis!) from Second Temple Judaism through apostolic and into patristic Christianity. In Part II of this study I made an effort, however imperfectly, to do precisely this, with a focus upon the movement from Jesus through to Christianity. This focus was chosen out of the judgment that the Third Quest has

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adequately (but of course not perfectly) dealt with Jesus’s place within Judaism, and the more urgent need now is to consider his place within Christian origins. If the reader has become persuaded of these three insights—that subjectivity is not opposed to but, rather, is the precondition for objectivity; that data are not reality but reality can be inferred from data; and that there is continuity rather than rupture between Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity—then I would consider this study, with whatever flaws it undoubtedly has, a success.

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Index Alexander, Loveday 51, 149 Allison, Dale 1, 63, 86, 143, 144 Anderson, Paul 42, 57, 82 Annales (school of history) 84, 130 Antioch 102, 105, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 121, 122, 123, 147, 158 Apollos 110, 115, 116, 117, 118, 121, 122, 123, 124 Aquila 115, 117, 121 Aramaic 136, 138, 139, 143, 145, 146, 151, 158 Aristion 135 Attention, as first stage in heuristic pattern of knowing 25, 26, 31, 32, 37, 58, 62, 74, 85, 105, 129, 155, 158 Barnabas 112, 113, 132, 146, 152 Barthes 46 Bauckham, Richard 11, 49, 64, 73, 100, 116, 119, 126, 127, 130, 133, 165, 168, 174, 175, 176 Bauer, Ferdinand Christian 98, 99 Baur, Walter 98, 99, 101, 102, 122, 123, 124 Beardsley, M.C. 45 Bethany 73, 74, 75, 76, 80, 81, 83, 84 Bethphage 73, 74, 75, 76, 80, 81, 83, 84 Bethsaida 81 Bloch, Marc 44, 166 Bousset, Wilhelm 98, 100, 101 Braudel, Fernand 129, 130 Bultmann, Rudolf 10, 49, 50, 83, 98, 100 Burridge, Richard 51 Byrskog, Samuel 51 Caesarea 108, 109, 110, 135, 147 Caiaphas 85 Caligula 95, 129 Cerinthus 117 chirographic mentality 141 collegium 148, 149, 150 Collingwood, R.G. 7, 40, 58, 59, 61, 67

constructionism 63–4 conversion 31–5 Corinth 115, 122–4 criteria of authenticity 1, 4, 10, 22, 28, 40, 41, 42, 59, 74, 75 Crook, Zeba 2, 64, 66 Crossan, John Dominic 5, 40, 59 Crossley, James 87, 128, 129, 136 Crowe, Frederick 5, 6, 8, 22, 30, 36, 102 Crysdale, Cynthia 29 Dahl, Nils 88, 91 Damascus 79, 107 Darwin, Charles 9 data, role in knowing 23–8, 37–45, 56–67, 68, 159–63 decline, technical sense in Lonergan 34–6 Denton, Donald 5–6 development 8–10, 13, 36, 69, 70, 93, 102 dialectic 9, 37, 55, 69–70, 97, 130 Dodd, C.H. 82, 84 Doran, Robert 5, 6, 8, 22, 36, 69, 102, 120, 155 Dunn, James D.G. 1–5, 8, 10–11, 13–14, 63, 73, 76, 79, 81, 86, 98–9, 103, 108, 133–4, 137, 161 Ehrman, Bart 47 Ellis, E. Earle 46, 47, 77, 135, 136, 140, 153, 168 empiricism 21–3, 26, 28 Engels, Friedrich 9 Ephesus 84, 114–19, 121–2, 124, 147 eschatology 86, 91–2 Eusebius 54, 66, 109, 117–19, 121, 125, 131, 135, 139–40, 143–4, 161 eyewitness 58–9, 66, 119, 130 factuality 44–5, 48, 50, 52, 53, 54 Farrer(-Goulder) hypothesis 52, 53, 127, 128

178

Index

Fitzpatrick, Joseph 21, 25 Freud, Sigmund 9 Freyne, Sean 73, 85, 103, 106, 109, 138 Gaius 118, 120 Galilee 1, 43–4, 57, 62–3, 80–2, 84–5, 92, 96, 108–9, 112, 119, 136, 138, 150, 158 Gallio 115 generalized empirical method 66, 67 gentile(s) 62, 77, 79–80, 87, 107–8, 110–15, 122–3, 125, 139, 142, 151–3, 162 Gerhardsson, Birger 1, 77, 98, 134, 136, 140, 148, 149, 150 Harnack, Adolf 87, 111, 153 Harvey, Van 160 hebraioi 86, 97, 103, 104–7, 109, 110, 113–14, 139, 142–3, 146–50, 152 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich 9 Hegelian(ism) 98, 122 Hegesippus 125, 175 hegesippus’s 125 hellēnistai 103–7, 109–10, 113–15, 118–19, 139, 142, 146, 148–9, 152–3 Hengel, Martin 101, 119, 128 histoire événementielle 129–30 Hooker, Morna 1, 10, 170 horizon(s) 13, 14, 16, 29–30, 95, 97, 105, 106, 107, 109–19, 113–14, 121–5, 139, 143, 146, 148, 151–5, 157–8 Hurtado, larry 3, 100, 131, 166, 170 idealism 21–3, 26 ideology 34–5 Ignatius 113–14, 117–18, 121, 147 intelligence, as second stage in heuristic pattern of knowing 25–6, 31–2, 60–3, 68 intention, authorial 44–5, 48 Irenaeus 98, 117, 121, 133, 139, 140, 161, 166 James, brother of the Lord 80, 104, 106, 108, 109, 112, 113, 148, 149, 151 Jeremias 3, 139 Johannine 39, 42, 45, 48–50, 52, 81–5, 99, 101, 115, 117–21, 157, 166–7, 169, 170

John, son of Zebedee 40, 42, 45, 48–52, 56–7, 73–4, 81–4, 106, 115–22, 125, 132, 135, 150, 153, 155, 157–8, 161 Josephus 15, 103, 172 Keith, Chris 1, 2, 4, 11, 40, 42, 63, 74, 136, 169–71 Kelber, Werner 57, 133, 134, 137–8, 140–1, 149, 165, 170 Kok, Michael 128–9, 131–3 Kürzinger, Josef 144, 171 Laodicea 131 Le Donne, Anthony 1, 2, 4, 11, 40, 42, 63, 74 Levine, Lee 44, 81, 112, 138 Lonergan, Bernard 5–9, 11–12, 16–17, 21–7, 29–38, 40–1, 46, 55–8, 67, 69, 102, 120, 130, 155, 158–60, 167–8, 172–3 Lonerganian 8, 11–12, 17, 23, 29, 69–70, 97, 141, 159 Lord, Albert 133, 134 Ludd, Ned 65–7 Lukan 47, 51–3, 74, 76–8, 89, 91, 99–101, 104, 106, 113, 116, 126–9, 146, 152–4, 156, 174 Luke 40, 47, 48, 51–4, 56, 62–3, 74, 76–8, 88, 90, 92, 104–7, 110, 116, 121, 123, 125, 127–8, 134, 139, 150–6, 158, 161 Luke-Acts 77, 99, 153, 156, 168, 175 Marcion 155, 156, 158 Mark 3, 16, 39, 40, 42, 48, 52, 53–4, 57, 74, 89–90, 99, 108, 121, 125–9, 131–3, 135, 136–40, 142–7, 150–4, 157–8, 161 Markan 39, 52, 53, 74, 88, 90, 99, 101, 126–31, 133, 135–6, 138–9, 142, 143, 145–7, 151, 157 Marx, Karl 9 Marxism 9, 85 Marxsen, Willi 2, 3, 4, 12, 99 Matthean 52–3, 74, 89, 91, 99, 100–1, 126–8, 142–3, 147–8, 151, 157 Matthew 16, 40, 48, 52–4, 59, 63, 68, 74, 76, 88–90, 92, 99, 121, 125, 127–8, 135, 137, 139, 142–8, 150–1, 154, 158, 161

Index Melito of Sardis 117 memory 1, 2, 11, 23, 41, 63–7, 74, 77, 86, 91, 136, 139–41, 148–9, 161, 165, 167–70, 171, 173–4 mentalité(s) 84, 86 messianic 3, 49, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 175, 176 Meyer, Ben F. 1, 2, 4–8, 10–12, 17, 22–3, 27–8, 31, 40, 44–8, 58, 73, 76, 86, 92–3, 97–8, 101–7, 112–13, 118, 124, 139, 148, 158–9, 168, 173, 176 mission 2, 62, 76–80, 85, 91, 98, 102–3, 105–8, 110–12, 114–15, 117, 122, 138–9, 142, 151, 153–4, 168, 173–4 Monty Python 91 mythicism (including mythicist) 57–8, 60, 61, 68 Newman, John Henry 9, 102 Nicodemus 84, 85 Nietzsche, Friedrich 9 objectivity 10, 27–31, 34, 159–61, 163 orality 2, 56, 134–5, 140–1, 143 oral-only, phase of the gospel tradition 134–5, 136–7 Ormerod, Neil 8, 70 Papias 54, 117, 119, 130–3, 135, 137–9, 143–7, 151, 161, 175 Parry, Milman 133, 134 Parry-Lord 134 parsimony 68 Paul 16, 47, 48, 57, 77, 79, 87, 93, 94, 96, 98, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 110, 112, 113, 115, 116, 117, 118, 121, 122, 123, 124, 132, 133, 136, 140, 146, 150, 152, 153, 161, 162 Pella 109 Pervo 104, 105, 107, 110 Peter 56, 80, 83, 84, 102, 104, 109, 110, 112, 113, 122, 123, 124, 131, 133, 135, 138, 139, 140, 142, 144, 145, 146, 150 Pharisee 95, 96, 108 Philemon 47, 132, 137 Philip 81, 116, 135 Philo 103 Plato 25, 56 Pliny the Elder 103

179

Polycarp 117, 121 Polycrates 117, 118, 125 Porter, Stanley 1, 48, 138 positivism (including positivist) 10, 23, 41, 64 postmodern(ism) 9, 29, 41, 64, 89 Quartodeciman 121 realism, critical 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 21–4, 26–8, 31, 40, 46, 160 reason, as third stage in heuristic pattern of knowing 25, 31–2, 60, 63 Reimarus, Samuel 3 responsibility, as fourth stage in heuristic pattern of knowing 26, 31–2 Riesner, Riener 79, 80, 110, 115, 174 Rodríguez, Rafael 1, 2, 11, 63 Romans 47, 137 Runesson, Anders 18, 44, 108–9, 112 Ryan, Jordan 7, 112 Sanders, E.P. 2, 15, 73 satanic ritual abuse 65–7 Schleiermacher, Friedrich 130–1 Schröter, Jens 2, 11 Schweitzer, Albert 3, 92 scissors-and-paste historiograph 58–9, 61–2, 64 sebomenoi 153–4 Silas (include Silvanus) 47, 132 specialization 12, 36, 40 Stendahl, Krister 143, 148 Stephen 105–6 Strauss, David Friedrich 9 Streeter, Burnett Hillman 147 subjectivity 10, 11, 27, 28–9, 31–2, 34, 41–2, 46, 159–63 synagogue(s) 44, 80, 81, 105, 108, 111, 112, 138 syncretism 100, 101 Theissen, Gerd 2, 78, 81, 129 Theophilus 151–4 Thomas 40, 56, 59, 60, 81, 89–90, 135, 157 Thomistic 6 Torah 15, 16, 86, 93, 94, 108 Two-Document Hypothesis 52, 53, 90, 127, 128, 134

180 understanding, role in Lonerganian thought 21, 27, 29, 31–2, 63 uniformity (versus unity) 101–2, 113, 118 unity (versus uniformity) 70, 86, 97–8, 101–2, 113–14, 117–18, 120–5, 168

Index Watson, Francis 90, 127–8, 131, 140, 144–5 Webb, Robert 5 Wimsatt, C.K. 45 Wrede, William 3, 88 Wright, N.T. 5, 6, 23–5, 40