b-greek-digest V1 #799

b-greek-digest            Wednesday, 26 July 1995      Volume 01 : Number 799

In this issue:

        Re: Jesus a disciple
        Re: Easter Events
        Easter Events 
        Fwd: Re: !Hello-G'bye!
        Re: Easter Events
        Re: Ro 1:21 -- necnon 7 & 8 
        Re: Easter Events
        Re: #1(2) Easter Events 


From: "Gregory Jordan (ENG)" <jordan@chuma.cas.usf.edu>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 17:17:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Jesus a disciple

On Mon, 24 Jul 1995, Tom Blake wrote:

>     What about John 3:22-23 this seems to put them in parallel ministries. 
>     John 3:22-23 (KJV)
>         After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of
>     Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.  (23) And John
>     also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much
>     water there: and they came, and were baptized. 

Oops.  I should have said "in the Synoptics."  But I would still 
consider their simultaneous activity here (which is probably historical) as 
evidence that Jesus considered himself part of John's movement - doing the 
same things John did.  We have no evidence that baptizing was the 
prerogative of John himself according to John - cf. how Jesus's and Paul's 
followers baptized in *their* leaders' names.  As usual in any movement, 
there are always followers looking to be leaders themselves.  John's 
seemed to be distinct enough, and Jesus's seemed to be a component of it, 
probably gradually becoming distinct (cf. how the followers of Jesus and 
John argued over some details, and how observers noted some differences 
in their movements).  But there never seemed to be any hostile separation 
between them and I think the turning point in Jesus's career of John's 
arrest is also probably a historical one.

Greg Jordan


From: Mike Adams <mikadams@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 15:24:15 -0700
Subject: !Hello-G'bye!

Just writing to say hello and good-bye.
I've been back and forth on business trips, and for a while I couldn't 
get in to read my mail due to a sick mouse. As a result, I've only been 
able to catch up with most threads only after they had frayed to 
nothingness. To do a "Conradese" collective summary might I say this:

   Thanks to all who responded on my question concerning ARETH. My
   insight on that particular passage has been greatly expanded.

   Julia has ALWAYS been of great interest to me. I have saved most
   of the entries in this thread and look forward to going over them
   when I have time.

   Regarding the ending of Mark and other controversial variations,
   my overly simplistic view is that we tend to lean toward the
   authenticity of whichever rendering best suits our theology.
   Most of the controversies that exist in the church today go way
   back, and are evidenced in the manuscript variations...and this
   is one thing that makes B-Greek so interesting.

   When I first got on B-greek I wanted to ask what people thought
   about whether Jesus spoke Greek or Hebrew, but I didn't have the
   nerve. But since a braver soul sould than I broached the subject,
   I would appreciate comments concerning the
   "Peter, do you LOVE me?" exchange found in the last chapter of
   John. If Jesus was speaking Greek, the interchange takes on great
   significance because of the difference in the verbs used. Would 
   there have been any parallel significance in Aramaic? What's the
   concensus on this one??

I will be signing off in a couple days. I am off to San Francisco for a 
wedding, and then will continue on to Papua, New Guinea, with a group 
from my church for a month-long expedition. Your prayers would be 
appreciated. In preparation for the journey, I have been studying 
Pidgin, and haven't had as much time to focus on Greek as I would like.
In September, when I return, I hope to barrage you with all sorts of 
juicy questions. 

Till then...Shalom...Peace to all!

Wife of Mike


From: "Philip L. Graber" <pgraber@emory.edu>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 18:47:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Easter Events

Although this has nothing to do with biblical Greek, I can't resist replying.

> My straightforward request is merely that Christians tell me
> exactly what happened on the day that their most important
> doctrine was born.
> Believers should eagerly take up this challenge, since without
> the resurrection, there is no Christianity.

Straightforward? It is far from that. This last sentence makes no sense 
to me. What does the challenge have to do with the resurrection? Do we 
question whether or not the universe as we know it came into being 
because we cannot describe "what happened first, then next, and so on"? 
If the resurrection were a matter of "objective" historical events that 
could be so easily described, I can't see what of any significance could 
possible depend on it.

>  Both of these people, and others, agreed
> that the request was reasonable and crucial.

I can't see what is either reasonable or crucial about the request. It 
sounds like the request of a person who is not aware that logical positivism 
has come and gone. A straightforward description of "what happened" in 
the resurection is about as useful as an argument for the existence of 
God or an "objective" description of a sunset. Such things seem to miss 
the point about the resurrection, God and sunsets.

Philip Graber				Graduate Division of Religion
Graduate Student in New Testament	211 Bishops Hall, Emory University
pgraber@emory.edu			Atlanta, GA  30322  USA


From: Paul Moser <PMOSER@cpua.it.luc.edu>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 95 17:55 CDT
Subject: Easter Events 

Eric Weiss asked for a harmony of the resurrection
narratives.  Many NT scholars have given up on any such
harmony, but three who haven't are:
1. Murray Harris, *From Grave to Glory* (Zondervan, 1990),
pp. 160-63.
2. John Wenham, *Easter Enigma*, 2d ed. (Baker, 1992),
pp. 82-101.
3. George Eldon Ladd, *I Believe in the Resurrection*
(Eerdmans, 1976).
Abilities to give a harmony seem to vary substantially
among NT scholars, and this perhaps calls for some
explanation.--Paul Moser, Loyola University of Chicago.


From: Mike Adams <mikadams@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 16:22:20 -0700
Subject: Fwd: Re: !Hello-G'bye!

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From: "KIRBY JOHNSON" <KIRBYJ@aemf.org>
Organization:  Alfred E. Mann Foundation
To: Mike Adams <mikadams@ix.netcom.com>
Date:          Tue, 25 Jul 1995 15:31:04 -0800
Subject:       Re: !Hello-G'bye!
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Are you the wife of Mike Adams at The Master's Seminary?

Nope! Just a common name.


From: Jan.Haugland@uib.no
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 1995 01:58:19 +0200
Subject: Re: Easter Events

> > Believers should eagerly take up this challenge, since without
> > the resurrection, there is no Christianity.
> Straightforward? It is far from that. This last sentence makes no sense 
> to me. 

Neither to me Philip.  Many people seem to confuse Christianity with 
innerrancy. While many xtians are innerrantists -- especially in North America 
after my experience -- far from all consider some errors on details destructive 
to faith. How should the idea that one of four evangelists (or more) made a 
slipup over a date or the order of events make the resurrection doctrine false?


- - Jan
- --
 "Faith is the quality that enables you to eat blackberry jam on a picnic
  without looking to see whether the seeds move."


From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 20:05:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Ro 1:21 -- necnon 7 & 8 

At 3:28 PM 7/25/95, Mark O'Brien wrote:
>Original message sent on Tue, Jul 25  12:47 PM by me:
>> Considering the context, what does DIOTI GNONTES TON QEON mean?
>> Is this passage being addressed to believers, instead of the
>> traditionally assumed unbeliever?  Dr. Craig Blaising once challenged
>> me to think this through, but I would be interested in any input from
>> y'all.
>Allow me to explain myself a little more...  Ro 1:18ff is usually taken
>to be referring to unbelievers, and is a favourite text for apologists.
>However, considering v.21 comment that DIOTI GNONTES TON QEON,
>is this necessarily the best way to intepret who this passage is talking
>about.  Are they unbelievers or disobedient believers?  Does this at
>all tie in with some of the discussion regarding church discipline in
>1Co 5?

I am not altogether sure yet exactly what is being asked, but in keeping
with my habitual recklessness I will venture an opinion in terms of what I
think is being asked.

In the first place, I really DON'T see any relationship to the questions of
church discipline being dealt with in 1 Cor 5. Secondly I read this passage
in what I think is a fairly standard interpretation: that 1:18-32 DESCRIBES
the state of humanity apart from the gospel, as chapter 2 goes on to deal
more specifically with the state of Jewish humanity apart from the gospel
in the course of a developing argument climaxing at 3:20 with the
conclusion that all humanity, Gentile as well as Jew, are subject to God's
righteous condemnation. With this understanding of the context,I'd argue
that the phrasing in 1:21 has nothing to do with believers in Christ but
rather succinctly describes the nature of IDOLATRY as humanity's wilful
failure to acknowledge the existence and authority of God, and then goes on
in the crescendo of DIO PAREDWKEN KTL. constructions (1:24; 1:26; 1:28) to
state the consequences of that idolatry: it is a literally God-forsaken
humanity, progressively and ultimately utterly debased and dehumanized from
its original creaturely status, deserving to be destroyed.

Before getting back to the question of possible inclusion of or reference
to "believers," let me take up the phrase cited, DIOTI GNONTES TON QEON in
1:21. I understand this as Paul's assertion that humanity does in fact have
an implicit awareness of God's existence as creator of the world and of
humanity: the evidence is there and is wilfully ignored. This is somewhat
tricky; in a sense, I think Paul is relying upon a Stoic notion here that
the rational human mind discerns the rational pattern of an ordered world
established by a Creator (even though the Stoic does not have the notion of
an external Creator but rather a notion of an ordering intelligence
directing nature and events). The more curious aspect of his argument,
however, is that humanity is RESPONSIBLE for its failure to acknowledge God
as Creator (and to do so would be to acknowledge humanity's own creaturely
status and responsibility to observe God's will)--humanity has DELIBERATELY
ignored and neglected the discernible truth about God as creator, and has
therefore been abandoned by the Creator to the consequences of that wilful
ignorance, namely, debasement and dehumanization. Does Paul REALLY believe
this ignorance to be deliberate and wilful? Yes, I think he very definitely
does; it is not a Socratic sort of ignorance that needs only instruction in
order to overcome the self-destroying delusion, but rather the ignoring of
an evident truth (GNONTES QEON: "having recognized God"). It has seemed to
me that Sartre's notion of "mauvaise foi," which has been Englished not
quite adequately in the standard version as "self-deception," may perhaps
get close to the notion Paul is expressing. Sartre would say that one knows
certain unpleasant truths about oneself but represses them willfully with
such success that one even imagines that there are no such truths at all.
And Sartre too sees, in his own existentialist fashion, a self-destructive
consequence to this wilful repression of discerned reality: a loss of
authentic selfhood.

Now how might this refer to believers? I don't see that it refers at all to
anything like the situation whereof Paul speaks in 1 Cor -- UNLESS it be in
the parallelism of the behavioral pattern, that the moral degradation of
the PORNEIA described in 1 Cor 5:1 is perceived by Paul as comparable to
the general and universal idolatry and its consequences described in Rom 1
as the state of humanity apart from the gospel. And perhaps there IS a
parallelism there; I would suppose that this is not so much a matter of
"back-sliding" as of minimal spiritual growth in a very immature
congregation (3:2-3: these Christians still must drink milk; they 're not
yet ready for solid food).

And now, if I may, I'd like to extend this question to yet another level
and make it the question whether Paul conceives the efficacy of the gospel
as (1) annulling wholly that condition of debased and dehumanized humanity
described in Rom 1 or whether rather he views it as (2) counteracting that
condition and initiating a process of spiritual growth that, if properly
nurtured, gains progressively the upper hand in the duality of selfhood,
but never quite crushes it while one lives. My own view is that (2) is in
fact Paul's position and would have to be for the believer to be SIMUL
JUSTUS ET PECCATOR, as the paradox has been classically formulated.

What I am leading up to with this is the question how we are to understand
the relationship of chapters 7 and 8 of Romans. Can we say quite simply
that chapter 7 describes the human person prior to conversion and that
chapter 8 describes the same human person redeemed? Or is it rather the
case, as I am inclined to believe, that BOTH CHAPTERS are descriptive of
co-existing dimensions of selfhood even in a believer: s/he lives
simultaneously in the spirit and in the flesh.

Does someone read these chapters in an alternative way?

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/


From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 20:59:28 -0500
Subject: Re: Easter Events

At 1:58 AM 7/26/95, Jan.Haugland@uib.no wrote:
>> > Believers should eagerly take up this challenge, since without
>> > the resurrection, there is no Christianity.
>> Straightforward? It is far from that. This last sentence makes no sense
>> to me.
>Neither to me Philip.  Many people seem to confuse Christianity with
>innerrancy. While many xtians are innerrantists -- especially in North America
>after my experience -- far from all consider some errors on details
>to faith. How should the idea that one of four evangelists (or more) made a
>slipup over a date or the order of events make the resurrection doctrine false?
>- Jan
> "Faith is the quality that enables you to eat blackberry jam on a picnic
>  without looking to see whether the seeds move."

I just responded to compliment you on the marvelous tag-line!

But while I'm here I'll chime into the chorus. I've always felt that the
different endings of the four canonical gospels contributed to a
multi-dimensional understanding of resurrection. More specifically--and I
think I commented on this not too long ago, it seems to me that John's
gospel (taking the view that chapter 21 is neither the long-lost ending of
Mark nor an original part of the gospel of John) telescopes resurrection,
gift of spirit and authority to the apostles along with their commission,
and ascension all as aspects of a single event taking place on Easter
Sunday NOT necessarily because the church's experience of these aspects
took place historically on that eventful day, but rather for theological
reasons, namely, that John understands all these to be aspects of a single
event which is at the same time also, in his view, the PAROUSIA, here
equated with the abiding presence of the Paraclete henceforth and forever.
As for Matthew's account of some resurrections taking place, I would take
the view that Matthew shares to some extent John's conception of the tight
interrelatedness of resurrection, salvation, and the indefinitely distant
Parousia: such that he narrates resurrections as proleptic phenomena of the
Parousia to come revealed even now at the time of the resurrection. We've
said enough about Mark 16:1-8 and how some of us, at any rate, read that as
still another perspective on the Easter event: an empty tomb, a challenge
to believe that he is risen and that he leads the way to Galilee, a place
that may well have dimensions as symbolic as Mark's "wilderness." And
finally, there is Luke the historian, the chronographer, who lays it all
out in terms that "make sense," even if they diminish to some extent the
mystery that cannot really be so easily rationalized: crucifixion on
Friday, resurrection on Sunday, 40 days with the disciples until the
Ascension, and finally, the coming of the spirit on Pentecost. The church
historically has fastened its calendar to the Lucan version so successfully
that the believer, unless a close student of the text of the gospels, is
rarely if ever cognizant of the significant differences in the resurrection
narratives. But I will certainly agree with the rest that I don't see why
these differences should be a problem for faith UNLESS one wants to read
each single one of them as if it were a journalistic account of "wie es
eigentlich gewesen ist."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/


From: WINBROW@aol.com
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 22:43:26 -0400
Subject: Re: #1(2) Easter Events 

Eric Weiss wrote,
"Don Barker (author of LOSING FAITH IN FAITH -- he was a minister for many
 years until he began examining his faith and found it wanting) issued the
attached challenge asking any Christian to harmonize the Easter weekend
events.  (I attached it as a TXT file, not knowing what word processor you
might have.)"

John Winham, Warden of Lattimer House at Oxford published a book titled The
Easter Enigma several years ago in which he claims to have worked out and
harmonized all the problems in the resurrection accounts.  I believe his book
was published by Inter Varsity.  I did a review of it in which I took issue
with three trips to the tomb by the women, etc.  The review was published in
the Theological Educator (New Orleans Baptist Seminary) I think in the Spring
of 1986.  I do not think that all the differences can be harmonized, nor does
it matter to my faith in the risen Lord.  Traditional use tends to change
minor details and adapt the over all form of stories in different ways to
meet different needs.  I have often asked inerrantists who would force me to
use that word to write an account of the resurrection that includes every
detail of all four accounts.

The resurrection accounts are not the only problem areas in that regard.
 Look at Matthew's handling of the healing of the Centurion's servant (from
Capernaum).  In his desire to shorten the narrative he had the Centurion come
directly to Jesus where Luke has him send Jewish leaders and even uses that
to prove his humility and feeling that he was unworthy to have Jesus enter
his house.  In the interest of using stories in different context the
evangelists proved that they were not concerned to preserve every little
detail in exactly the same way.  Look what Luke does with the "Abomination of
Desolation" passage in Luke 21.

Carlton Winbery
Prof. Religion
LA College, Pineville, LA


End of b-greek-digest V1 #799


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