Re: PTWCOI = the community of the STULOI

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Apr 24 1996 - 09:38:40 EDT

Shaughn, let me thank you, first of all, for detailed responses far above
and beyond the questions I raised, although, of course, those questions are
intricately related to very complex issues of the somewhat murky and
speculative pre-history of documentary church history. I have on overall
comment: it seems to me that you sketch a sharper, clearer picture of the
interrelationships between events and strands of tradition than the data
can justify. I don't say it's wrong by any means, I'm just asking whether
you really feel confident that this is the right and only way to interpret
the evidence to which you refer?

In some senses I suppose this discussion probably belongs in a different
forum, but I hesitate to take it to IOUDAIOS-L inasmuch as that forum has
been taking some bizarre contortions of late that seem to me more subject
to outlandish manipulation than our own currently smooth-sailing,
even-keeled shipload of agreeable and courteous respondents. Oh, and of
course, all of this is for the ostensible purpose of clarifying the
question as to what PTWCOI really meant in the NT texts!

At 11:25 AM -0600 4/23/96, Shaughn Daniel wrote:
> Carl,
> The answer which follows is simplified and as brief as one 30 minute
> sitting allowed, but the only answer to most of these questions relating to
> "community collections," "missions," "Gentile-Jewish relations," etc. that
> I can give here now.

But you don't mean to say, do you, that this/these is/are the only
answer/answers to these questions that can be entertained?

> The Jewish community behind the Synoptics and Paul's
> submission and/or working with the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem after his
> calling and Paul's post-Pharisaical position in Jerusalem and Antioch and
> to what extent the diaspora synagogues were "controlled" from Jerusalem are
> the bigger issues.

They are indeed the "bigger" issues!

> Matthew is still the tax-collector, yes? "Render to
> Caesar, what is Caesar's and to God, what is God's" is not that far away
> from an ideological phrase summing up "designation of funds" thinking in
> the earliest communities.

Well, yes--he is the tax-collector so-named in the gospel that bears that
name and there are traditional assumptions about this gospel being composed
by him. But even IF we take assumption about authorship at face value, are
we obliged to suppose that he is, as "a scribe instructed for the Kingdom
of Heaven," a jurisconsult offering advice to the Jerusalem community on
matters of fiscal policy? I certainly wouldn't deny that this is plausible,
but I also don't see any particular evidence making it more than a tenuous

> "They held everything in common" from Lk's Ac
> also would fit in here as well.

This has always intrigued me. Others too have wondered whether this is
historically probable. It's usually referred to as "primitive communism,"
but there's no indication of shared means of production, only of pooled
resources. If it really existed, we have to read a lot between the lines.
Another possibility is that the apparent Essene model of two social levels
of participation might have been emulated. Or is it an ideal construct
derived from OT Deuteronomic/prophetic conceptions?

> That Tempelfeindlichkeit was no concrete
> reality for the Jesus' movement, one wonders where and who is getting all
> this money (directed away from the temple officials to Jesus' movement
> deacons under the direction of first disciples) and from where and how is
> it being distributed (election of Greek-speaking deacons in Ac calls this
> problem and temporary solution to mind).

I can't follow this, Shaughn; is it bad English or bad German? ;-) (or the
30-minute time-limit?) I find chapter 6 of Acts one of the murkiest in the
whole book, for reasons I have stated previously and won't repeat now
unless asked.

> Paul's problems are "authority"
> problems, boiled down in simple terms. There are traces of tendencies
> towards "community rules" in Corinthians (see the "as in all the church"
> phrases). We don't find the receipts and numbers in Pauline letters, but
> there are detailed-enough administrative issues to make us alert to a
> bigger financial arrangement than previously suggested.

An interesting point, and I think you've really got something
there--there's more going on than what is on the surface. However, it is so
far beneath the surface that I wonder whether we can do much more than
speculate rather idly about it?

> >> Is the reference to the Matthaean form of the beatitude yours or does it
> >>come from Schlier & Bammel?<<
> I don't recall exactly, but I don't think Schlier & Bammel first off for
> the gospels. They are commenting on Romans and then I parenthetically
> mentioned Mt beatitude material (and didn't wish to include the comments
> about how that relates to "curse" because it would just go on into eternity
> with that). The reference would certainly be treated in Jeremias'
> materials. I am timid to suggest too much for the gospel materials because
> I'm not a gospels expert by any means. A quick look at Udo Schnelle
> (Einleitung in das NT (1994) 277) has U. Luz and J. Roloff understanding Mt
> as a Jewish-Christian book with the implication that NOT ONLY was Mt's
> community open to Gentile mission, BUT WAS in the process of debate with
> present juridicial authority of the Pharisees and synogogue rulers, which
> could result in discipline (too a much lesser degree than stoning or
> whipping and what not; issues concerning temple and synagogue financial
> laxity incurring penalties and/or judgments), concerning their already
> present Betrieb (functioning or business) in Gentile missions--which may be
> an overstatement, seeing that it is an issue of Aramaic-speaking vs.
> Greek-speaking earlier and only later develops into Gentile vs. Jew in Ac
> and Paul.

This again is very interesting, but I wonder again whether it isn't
constructing a complex tissue out of very inadequate source information.

> But, of course, I couldn't fail to mention the importance of Lk as primary
> evidence of second generation christianity and Paul's coming forth as the
> representative. Hengel argues that the work of Lk has to be taken
> seriously-- "als Quelle ernst nehmen"--insofar that Paul's letters are not
> a representation of community theology like Lk, but apostolic-based
> theology, namely, Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles as title authority, I
> mean.

And here we get into the question, another biggie, of just what community
Luke represents (I also wonder whether he's second or really THIRD
generation). Conzelmann argued way back that Luke's Palestinian geography
is pretty muddled to be formulated from someone who knows the territory;
Luke tells stories in Greek urban rather than Palestinian rural settings
(e.g., the paralytic is let down into the company of Jesus through a tiled
rather than a thatched roof). What IS Luke's provenance? Is he a diaspora
Greek-speaking Jew? a Gentile QEOSEBHS? More important, for WHAT community
does he speak? It would appear to be one intensely concerned about
missionary work, and mission more to the diaspora Jews and Gentiles than to
Palestinians. Is it Antioch? Where is it?

> >> that PTWCOI should be an
> "honorific" title; but if it IS, then my question would be, How did it
> become that? (My first inclination is to say that, as soon as Paul said he
> wanted to do missionary work among the Gentiles, they started begging him
> for money from any churches he founded--but I'm hardly serious!)<<
> I suppose by mirror-reading the strongest phrases in Pauline theology one
> could suggest that Gentiles were a distant problem for Saul; non-law
> abiding disciples/missionaries (like Stephen) who spoke Greek (I don't
> want to call them Gentiles; Gentiles are different groups from
> Greek-speaking Jewish missionaries, deacons, etc.) were his problem. So how
> does PTWCOI get to be "honorific"? I don't know. STULOI in Gal is
> "honorific," yes? My best guess is that PTWCOI gets "honorific" sometime in
> the time period between Jewish community Mt redacted PTWCOI (Mt 5.3) and
> second generation Gentile-tendential Lk redacted PTWCOI (Lk 6.20) if we
> read them slowly enough to understand "Kingdom of God" theology in a
> circulated document--in other words, their selection of words and lack of
> explanation on Jesus' sayings could be an important point to consider the
> already-happened transformation of terminology in the gospels and/or any
> writer of the NT. Was it a self-title? I don't know. Surely someone has
> written on this: titles used by and for early christians. But I don't know
> whom.
> I'm sorry that I cannot point to this and/or that passage at the moment. I
> know that the above is very swift and painted in big strokes. But it all so
> very intriguing, nit wahr? =)

Fascinating stuff this is, but there's an awful lot of guesswork involved
in reconstructing all this. If we had enough dots, perhaps we could draw
lines between them and see what it really looks like, but the dots appear
to me to be few and far between and there are obviously far more that have
faded or been deleted. Intriguing it remains: do hoste gonz recht! (Sorry,
my own experience was Munich Bavarian).

I guess we don't dare ask how the curses are going, for fear lest we be
showered with them ourselves?

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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