The Inquisition Redux

El Cid

Member
The second section of Butt's article I'll respond to concerns "The Lord's Supper" --- he claims these instructions "provide {a} clear instance of New Testament unity". He introduces the matter by asserting that, "{n}ear the end of all four gospel accounts, Jesus and the 12 apostles gathered in an upper room to eat the Passover". This claim is erroneous --- while Matthew, Mark and Luke identify the meal shared as being the Passover, John does not. Indeed, it is critical to John's chronology that this meal not be the Passover --- Jesus is the lamb who takes away the world's sin in John (1:29) and the author therefore has his death on the cross coincide with the slaughter of the Passover lambs, that is, it takes place on the day of preparation for the Passover (19:14) --- those who hand Jesus over to Pilate do not enter the Praetorium so they will be ritually clean for eating the Passover later that day (18:28). The Passover cannot both be the night before and later that day... the chronologies of John and the so-called Synoptic tradition here conflict and are mutually exclusive. Right out of the gate Butt glosses over this significant chronological problem... predictably John has no instructions for the institution of "The Lord's Supper".
This is nothing new. Orthodox scholars have known about this apparent discrepancy for over 500 years at least. And there are several possible explanations. First since John was written much later than the Synoptics, he knew most of His readers already knew that this meal was the Passsover meal so there was no real reason to explicitly call it that nor repeat the instructions for it. Recent evidence found in the Dead Sea scrolls has shown that the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other jewish groups possibly had two distinct calendars. Another resolution by respected scholar R. V. G. Tasker is that verse 1 might be separated from the adjoining passage and understood as an introduction to it. These are two highly probable explanations that resolve the issue.

Introducing the Pauline version of the instructions, Butt errs in claiming that the man, on the eve of Jesus' crucifixion, was still called Saul and thus infers his name was sometime later (at his conversion?) changed to Paul... there is no evidence of this in the New Testament --- he is called Saul in Luke's narrative of the early church in Acts up until chapter 13 where the author suddenly and casually notes in verse 9 he was also known as Paul and thereafter refers to him by this name exclusively. There is no name change narrated as is commonly but erroneously supposed... Butt has carelessly passed on this misinformation to his readers. Despite having referred to all four gospels, Butt cites only Luke's version to compare with that of Paul in 1 Corinthians 11... yet surely any case to be made for "New Testament unity" would have to factor in the versions found in Matthew and Mark, as well --- Butt omits any specific reference. I won't claim to know his motivations, but it sure is convenient since their versions differ at a number of points from those in Luke and Paul, whose strongest similarities may well owe to scribal harmonization (more on that in a moment). Butt emphasizes Paul's absence from the upper room and the revelatory origin of his version, but Luke wasn't there either so where did his version come from? One obvious answer might be Paul -- either directly from him according to the tradition that the author of the gospel "according to Luke" was a travelling companion or by reading his letters at some remove (which is my position generally) -- but Butt glosses over this possible point of contact as an explanation for the similarities, uncritically assuming the Lukan version is independent and more or less reflects what Jesus must have said that night.
Luke very easily could have interviewed people to get much of his information such as the birth narrative by talking to Mary and the upper room narrative by talking to the apostles. The evidence is that Paul had two names and when he started to primarily evangelize gentiles he started using his greco-roman name Paul.

Butt further overlooks the significant text-critical problem in Luke's version of the instructions. There are six different forms of the text, only two of which are serious contenders for the earliest-recoverable form, the so-called shorter and longer readings:

Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, but see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table." (Luke 22:19a, 21)

Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table." (Luke 22:19-21)

Both readings have their champions among contemporary biblical scholars --- Bradly Billings argues for the longer reading and suggests the underlined text above was omitted during the second century amidst a particular conflict with pagans who accused Christians of cannibalistic practices during their ritual meal; Bart Ehrman argues for the shorter reading that was expanded based on the wordings of the institutional tradition elsewhere, primarily that of Paul and, to a lesser degree, those of Matthew and Mark (231-45). Which scenario one subscribes to (I favor the shorter reading) is less pertinent for present purposes than the fact there is a text-critical conundrum here that Butt evades entirely even though it bears directly on the matter of unity.
There is no real evidence for these speculations regarding the wording. I dont consider that a textual conundrum of any real signficance and you have yet provide any evidence that it is.

Casting the net farther, there is the problem of the order bread-cup in Matthew, Mark and Paul or the order cup-bread-cup in longer Luke or cup-bread in shorter Luke... Jesus' claim that he will not drink of the fruit of the vine until a certain time, absent entirely in the Pauline version, is connected to the (only) post-bread cup in Matthew and Mark, but to the only (shorter) or pre-bread (longer) cup in Luke --- it can't be both. Perhaps the difference isn't all that significant in the grand scheme of things, but the tension is there nonetheless, again bears directly on the question of unity and is conveniently not addressed by Butt. This pattern of glossing over significant obstacles to genuine unity of the biblical texts is evident both here on a number of points and in your source's treatment of the flood narrative explored yesterday...

Kind regards,
Jonathan


Works cited:
Billings, Bradly S. "The Disputed Words in the Lukan Institution Narrative (Luke 22:19b-20): A Sociological Answer to a Textual Problem." Journal of Biblical Literature 125.3 (2006) 507-26.
Ehrman, Bart D. The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament. Updated and with a New Afterword. Oxford University Press, 2011.
Here you are doing just what I predicted, trying to blow up the minor differences to show disunity and downplaying the larger picture that plainly shows strong unity.
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
Yawn ......

So you are into ..... yawn ... excuse ....... me

YAWN ...... excuse me ..... not sure what got over me.

are you saying .... blah ... blah ..... blah Christians win?

Yawn ........

Christians really win ....... win .......

So exciting ...... back to sleep now.

Wake me up when it over.


High five? 🖐
Was that the best you could do for a mature response?
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
I think only a rather superficial reading of it makes it appear to be anti-jewish. A good example where you can see how he uses the term to primarily refer to the jewish leadership is seen in John 6 when He feeds the five thousand. John refers to them as the crowd or the multitude or the people. This crowd is probably 90-100% jewish. And yet he never calls them jews or even "the jews". The next time John uses the term 'the jews" is in verse 41 where he records the theological outrages of "the jews' this shows he is referring the educated elite or leadership. Generally the ordinary laity would not be discussing these theological matters or disputing among themselves or with Jesus. Primarily only the scholars and leaders would be so upset about these theological matters. This is seen in other parts of John as well.
The problem in John is precisely the blurring of lines between who is being referred to by the term Ιουδαιοι. In 1:19 we read that the Jews sent priests and Levites to John, then shortly thereafter their identity is clarified as being the Pharisees (1:24). The Passover festival is introduced in 2:13 as being that of the Jews, which is hardly a reference to the leadership, but Jesus' interlocutors are identified using this same designation in 2:18,20, followed shortly thereafter by Nicodemus introduced as a Pharisee and leader of the Jews in a way that assumes these are not coterminous (3:1). The cluster of references in 5:10,15,16 may be amenable to your reading, but the narrative is prefaced with a general reference (5:1) that helps conflate the people with their leaders for the reader. There is no obvious shift at 6:41 to suggest the Jews here are anyone other than the crowd who has followed Jesus (6:24) --- indeed, it is a unified discourse section and he repeats back their claim about the ancestors eating manna in the wilderness (6:31,49), the references to their grumbling and Jesus' response evoking that of the wilderness generation and Moses' response in Exodus 16. Are we really to think of Jewish leaders as acquaintances of Jesus' parents (6:42)? Of course not, the setting is a synagogue in lakeside Capernaum (6:59) --- best case scenario would be your "educated elites", but native to Galilee, who were nonetheless part of the aforementioned crowd.

As far as the Nazis using it as propaganda hardly proves that it actually is anti jewish. Superficial readings of almost anything can be used as propaganda. John 8:3 shows that practically all of chapter 8 was His statement to the scribes and the Pharisees, ie leaders of the jews.
Unless you're willing to defend the authenticity of John 7:53-8:11, I would caution against building a case about what 8:3 shows for the chapter at large... you would be on stronger grounds doing so using undisputed passages. In any case, conflation similar to that outlined above occurs throughout this section and later in the gospel. Chief priests and/or Pharisees continually blend into the amorphous Jews (7:32>35; 8:13>22; 9:13>18; 9:40>10:19; 19:6>7), only to be distinguished during the crucifixion account (19:20:21), inferring the Jews as a whole -- chief priests and the people -- called for and executed Jesus. Indeed, this is precisely how John was read in the second century... in the Gospel of Peter, the author borrows Johannine usage of Ιουδαιοι, who are here distinguished from their leaders, and the people become the explicit agents of the crucifixion (vss1,5,25) --- anti-Jewish readings of the gospel of John are as old as the its early circulation, effected by the aforementioned pattern of conflation, summarized by Reinhartz as follows:

The fact that the same word occurs numerous times and in a variety of contexts tends, in my view, to blur the fine distinctions and nuances implied by these contexts and to generalize the meaning to its broadest possible referent, that is, the Jews as a nation defined by a set of religious beliefs, cultic and liturgical practices, and a sense of peoplehood. (220)

the simple technique of using "Judaean" or "Jewish leader" as a translation of Ιουδαιοι does not work except (perhaps) for a small number of specific verses and should not be used to explain, or to explain away, the Gospel's hostile remarks about Ιουδαιοι. (221)

Kind regards,
Jonathan


Work cited:
Reinhartz, Adele. “’Jews’ and Jews in the Fourth Gospel” in Anti-Judaism and the Fourth Gospel, ed. R. Bieringer et al. WJK Press, 2001.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
The problem in John is precisely the blurring of lines between who is being referred to by the term Ιουδαιοι. In 1:19 we read that the Jews sent priests and Levites to John, then shortly thereafter their identity is clarified as being the Pharisees (1:24). The Passover festival is introduced in 2:13 as being that of the Jews, which is hardly a reference to the leadership, but Jesus' interlocutors are identified using this same designation in 2:18,20, followed shortly thereafter by Nicodemus introduced as a Pharisee and leader of the Jews in a way that assumes these are not coterminous (3:1). The cluster of references in 5:10,15,16 may be amenable to your reading, but the narrative is prefaced with a general reference (5:1) that helps conflate the people with their leaders for the reader. There is no obvious shift at 6:41 to suggest the Jews here are anyone other than the crowd who has followed Jesus (6:24) --- indeed, it is a unified discourse section and he repeats back their claim about the ancestors eating manna in the wilderness (6:31,49), the references to their grumbling and Jesus' response evoking that of the wilderness generation and Moses' response in Exodus 16. Are we really to think of Jewish leaders as acquaintances of Jesus' parents (6:42)? Of course not, the setting is a synagogue in lakeside Capernaum (6:59) --- best case scenario would be your "educated elites", but native to Galilee, who were nonetheless part of the aforementioned crowd.


Unless you're willing to defend the authenticity of John 7:53-8:11, I would caution against building a case about what 8:3 shows for the chapter at large... you would be on stronger grounds doing so using undisputed passages. In any case, conflation similar to that outlined above occurs throughout this section and later in the gospel. Chief priests and/or Pharisees continually blend into the amorphous Jews (7:32>35; 8:13>22; 9:13>18; 9:40>10:19; 19:6>7), only to be distinguished during the crucifixion account (19:20:21), inferring the Jews as a whole -- chief priests and the people -- called for and executed Jesus. Indeed, this is precisely how John was read in the second century... in the Gospel of Peter, the author borrows Johannine usage of Ιουδαιοι, who are here distinguished from their leaders, and the people become the explicit agents of the crucifixion (vss1,5,25) --- anti-Jewish readings of the gospel of John are as old as the its early circulation, effected by the aforementioned pattern of conflation, summarized by Reinhartz as follows:

The fact that the same word occurs numerous times and in a variety of contexts tends, in my view, to blur the fine distinctions and nuances implied by these contexts and to generalize the meaning to its broadest possible referent, that is, the Jews as a nation defined by a set of religious beliefs, cultic and liturgical practices, and a sense of peoplehood. (220)

the simple technique of using "Judaean" or "Jewish leader" as a translation of Ιουδαιοι does not work except (perhaps) for a small number of specific verses and should not be used to explain, or to explain away, the Gospel's hostile remarks about Ιουδαιοι. (221)

Kind regards,
Jonathan


Work cited:
Reinhartz, Adele. “’Jews’ and Jews in the Fourth Gospel” in Anti-Judaism and the Fourth Gospel, ed. R. Bieringer et al. WJK Press, 2001.
Feelings are feelings, and fallen people will sometimes misread things, but the claim that the Gospel of John is anti-Jewish is an expression of a misunderstanding of the central theme of Scripture from Genesis through Revelation.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! -John 1:29
 

e v e

Super Member
Feelings are feelings, and fallen people will sometimes misread things, but the claim that the Gospel of John is anti-Jewish is an expression of a misunderstanding of the central theme of Scripture from Genesis through Revelation.
Jewish and hebrew are not synonyms.
His Israel is not modern state of israel on this earth.

The term jewish is an earthly line.

HE is only interested in His souls who come from Adam - Jacob.
Their souls... their body is Flesh. Of no context to Christ. Not His.

The lineage is only of the soul.

The jewish lineage is of no use to Christianity.

Christ's pedigree of his physical body is not what points to that He is God,
is not what is of any importance!

Jewish is no different than canaanite or white or arab or any other type of ape body
we have here on this corrupt earth.

Of no interest to God.

If scripture implies it is, that is the mistranslation by esau.
 

e v e

Super Member
Because that is who has been (mostly) 'translating' scripture... a bunch of Ape Esau types
and the same experts interpreting and claiming to know...

those same are the ones who never met God, who God would NEVER speak to
and who have absolutely no sensitivity to His Realm. A bunch of spritually disabled brutes.
 

e v e

Super Member
Feelings are feelings, and fallen people will sometimes misread things, but the claim that the Gospel of John is anti-Jewish is an expression of a misunderstanding of the central theme of Scripture from Genesis through Revelation.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! -John 1:29
actually John and no texts of His are Jewish.

Not one.

Only Esau's versions thereof are Jewish.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
What in your earlier post refuted me? I have read Bergen. According to Bergen the German Christian movement made up at least 600,000 people and many of their leaders took over leadership positions of the mainline Evangelical German Church. What is your evidence that the majority of Lutherans in Germany believed in the infallible authority of the Bible in the 1930s and 1940's? Most ministers and theologians in the seminaries had abandoned the infallible authority of the Bible and were strongly influencing the laity, especially the college educated laity. I may concede just by pure numbers maybe the majority of the laity still held to that view but the college educated laity did not and they were the ones that could have stopped the Nazis but didn't for the reasons I stated in my earlier post.
You (now?) seem to have a grasp of the limited scope of Bergen's study... the manner in which you earlier invoked it suggested otherwise, a possible equivocation with German Christians generally or a faulty extrapolation to them. In any case, your tentative concession outlined above would be advisable since it would align your views with the findings of historians, namely that the laity were theologically conservative. With respect to their views, Erickson cites editorials from AELKZ (Allgemeine Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirchenzeitung, the General Evangelical Lutheran Church Newspaper) and the following from January 1933 is pertinent to your question about the Bible and reflects lay resistance to so-called liberal scholarship:

For alongside the open army of the Godless there is a closely tied, secret army. Without weapons, without force this pushes itself forward, effectively organized through journals, the daily press, radio, through lectures and assemblies, festivals, the building of cells, free times. It has at its disposal an excellent arsenal given to it by scholarship (Wissenschaft), and not just recently. Through the ages scholarship has undermined belief in God, in the Bible, and in the Church. (39)

Comments from April of the same year confirm the minority view of the DC: "The 'Deutsche Christen' know that a large share of church people do not stand behind them" (ibid 42). Ericksen comments that the "DC foray into heresy, as it would be considered by all but the most acrobatic Christians, pushed many traditionalists away from them" (27). Shifting things over from the theologically-conservative masses to a liberally-educated college laity, however, isn't a tenable position either. Again, your suggestion fails to take into account the swing toward the right that occurred during the tumultuous Weimar period and the resurgent nationalism that swept through German society and culture, including its educational institutions:

In parallel with the churches, universities stood mostly on the right, representing the establishment, the privileged classes, and a conservative nationalism. (Ericksen 61)

Many professors at Göttingen and elsewhere in the early 1930s, usually members of the arch-conservative DNVP, advocated much more aggressive German nationalism, often with a heavy overlay of antisemitism. (ibid 73)

There were exceptions... I already noted Bonhoeffer because of his active resistance against Hitler, but the fate of other Christian critics within the German university system are worth exploring -- left-leaning Paul Tillich was ousted when the Nazis came to power (Ericksen 85), a fate that befell Günther Dehn at the hands of Nazi student protests even before Hitler received dictatorial powers (ibid 76-83). These professors were true to the ideals of liberal education, academic freedom and left-leaning social Christianities, which didn't include any wholesale abandonment of biblical authority, as you call it.

Kind regards,
Jonathan


Work cited:
Ericksen, Robert P. Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
Feelings are feelings, and fallen people will sometimes misread things, but the claim that the Gospel of John is anti-Jewish is an expression of a misunderstanding of the central theme of Scripture from Genesis through Revelation.

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! -John 1:29
That there is a central theme to the various books now collected in the anthology known as the Bible is not a presupposition I share. Subordinating the rhetoric of John's gospel to this otherwise laudable metanarrative is to misread the book... I see no utility in ignoring its anti-Jewish sentiments as this allows them to be transmitted from generation to generation without repudiation, only to flare up into violent rhetoric, policy and actions such as was witnessed during the Nazis' twelve disastrous years at the helm in Germany.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

El Cid

Member
The third and fourth parts of Butt's article that I've chosen to respond to both fall under "Objections", which section aims to anticipate the conjectured rebuttals of the author's interlocutors to his case for unity of the biblical texts, which for me was wholly unconvincing (see previous two posts). The first supposed objection and the subject of this post is "The Writers Copied Each Other" --- Butt claims that "the mere objection assumes the perfect unity of the 66 books of the Bible." When I earlier implied the Chronicler and the author of 1 Peter had access to the Genesis flood narrative, no such assumption as Butt suggests prompted it... evidence of copying exists within the biblical corpus as comparisons between Chronicles and Samuel-Kings or among the four gospels amply demonstrates, but it is rarely word-for-word and the deviations are insightful, often bringing the disunity of the biblical anthology into sharper relief with the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle corrections to perceived problems in the earlier text(s). Butt shows no awareness of how his critics would actually invoke evidence of copying to strengthen their own arguments...

Butt then claims that "this allegation assumes that the various Old Testament prophets and New Testament writers had access to perfectly preserved texts of the various books," following which he affirms "the astonishing preservation of the text of the Bible." The assumption Butt imputes to his critics is again erroneous. The biblical texts have been adequately preserved so we have a relatively good idea what its various authors and redactors intended to convey... to suggest we have anything beyond this, however, is wishful thinking. Textual critics in both testaments have largely abandoned the goal of reconstructing the so-called original texts of the various biblical books:

We disregard the ipsissima verba of the biblical authors and oral formulations of the biblical books since both are beyond our evidence. Rather, we focus on the written text or edition (or a number of consecutive editions) that contained the finished literary product (or one of its earlier stages) that stood at the beginning of the textual transmission process. This formulation gives a certain twist to the assumption of an original text as often described in the scholarly literature. Our definition does not refer to the original text in the usual sense of the word, since the copy described here as the final literary product could have been produced by earlier literary crystallizations. Reconstructing elements of this copy (or copies) is one of the aims of textual scholars, although the discussion is constantly plagued by the difficulty of defining the literary stages. There is no evidence for the existence of the model of an original text because of the late date of our manuscripts, even the ones from the Judean Desert. (Tov 165-66)

many textual critics now avoid using the term original, opting instead to use other more precise and defensible phrases, such as "the earliest attainable form of the text." (Ehrman, 343)

These theoretical problems with reconstructing the so-called original text of the Bible are not even on Butt's radar in the article and yet they are critical to questions on the alleged preservation of the text... scribal intrusion is demonstrable, more so the farther back one goes in the transmission history, and the gaps -- significant in the case of the various books of the Hebrew Bible -- between putative "original" and first, often fragmentary, extant manuscripts introduce elements of genuine uncertainty that Butt seems unwilling to acknowledge.

Kind regards,
Jonathan


Works cited:
Ehrman, Bart D. The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament. Updated and with a New Afterword. Oxford University Press, 2011.
Tov, Emanuel. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. Third Edition, Revised & Expanded. Fortress Press, 2012.
All the so-called discrepancies and edits in the texts are very minor and have no effect on any Christian doctrine.
 

El Cid

Member
You're making that up. The laws in the Bible are not that sophisticated.
Actually they are and it is also seen in the actions of Christ and His disciples.
Anyway, the reason Christians no longer burn people at the stake is because our modern, secularized civilization will not allow them to do so. Apologists would have us believe that the acts of the Inquisition were contrary to the Gospel, but it's not difficult to see why this claim is bogus. As far as I know few if any Christians in the heyday of the witch burnings came forward to denounce those executions as somehow against what Christ taught.
Actually the minister that was the judge at most of the Salem witch trials, Cotton Mather, later DID repent and regretted what he had done. And witch burnings pretty much ended not long after that, long before America became secularized.


The greatest Christian Bible scholars of that time did not oppose but supported the Inquisition.
Evidence? And also most of the inquisition was not what it has been portrayed to be and considering the number of trials, the number of executions was actually very small. But nevertheless, half of Christianity was not even involved in the Inquisitions, protestants were not involved in them. In addition, Most of the leaders of the RCC during this time did not consider the Bible that relevant to everyday issues, that is why they would not allow the laity to have the Bible for themselves, they knew that what they were doing was wrong and so did not want the laity to realize that their leaders were disobeying the Word of God. During this time, most of the leaders of the RCC were on a power trip not a religious trip.


US: Are we to believe that all those scholars somehow missed the Gospel's message of love and kindness? Did it take another four or five centuries until Christians finally figured out that Jesus preached compassion for the enemies of the church? The truth of the matter is that our moving away from the Gospel is what put an end to that cruel and crazy violence and not some "awakening" in the church to what Christ really taught.
EL Cid: No, once the Bible started to reach the laity after the Reformation, things starting improving. And Christian theologians like John Locke started teaching that the Bible actually taught tolerance of opposing views. Then by the time America was founded by Christians freedom of religion was incorporated into politics from the Bible and great strides in freedom for all began.
So I'm looking forward to the continued decline of Christianity and the attendant rise of true love and compassion as provided by secularism.
As Christianity declines, you will start losing your freedoms. It is already starting in many Western nations as we speak.
 

e v e

Super Member
Because His words began to be written down they became vulnerable to corruption.

And were intentionally corrupted over time.

The worst part is no one cares …

except… that the altered words fit a theology.
 
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BJ Bear

Well-known member
That there is a central theme to the various books now collected in the anthology known as the Bible is not a presupposition I share.
A rhetorical question for you, if you were to translate Genesis 4:1 into English in a literal manner what would it say?
 
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En Hakkore

Well-known member
It sounds like you still believe in the old seriously flawed Documentary Hypothesis theory.
First, the DH cannot explain all the data satisfactorily, but you've overstated your criticism... it still has its proponents among modern scholars (Baden, for example) and it is still taught in liberal seminaries and secular religious studies departments at least as the foundation for further research and refinement. Second, only to someone unfamiliar with Pentateuchal scholarship would my comments sound like an endorsement of the DH... in fact, I aligned my position with an alternative compositional model that I think better explains the data. Here it is again since you missed it the first time around:

Butt repeatedly refers to Moses as the author of the flood story, but the splicing together of once independent accounts or the addition of supplements to a core story (the latter is my view, on which see Blenkinsopp 78) problematizes singular authorship of Genesis 6-9 specifically and the Pentateuch generally.

The model in purple is a description of the DH and the model in blue is known as the supplementary hypothesis... note that I interjected to let you know that the latter was my view --- its origin can be traced to the work of Rolf Rendtorff and it is currently the dominant model of Pentateuchal composition in European scholarship. Using the flood narrative, here is an example of how postulating that the so-called P version is the core story around which supplements (so-called J) accrued better explains the evidence. I'll begin with a claim by Richard Elliott Friedman, who gave the DH widespread publicity with a number of engaging popular books on the subject:

when we separate the two flood stories and read each of them (J and P, Genesis 6-9), for example, each reads as a complete, continuous story. (13)

The claim that each conjectured source is a complete continuous account is incorrect. For example, in Friedman's division of the text there are no instructions for building the ark in his so-called J story... so when he encounters reference to the ark at 7:1, which he assigns to J, he makes the vessel anarthrous (ie. an ark; 43) despite the fact the noun is articulated in the Hebrew (ie. the ark). This is a subtle but important mistranslation in Friedman's work that obscures the difficulty in his proposed reconstruction. In the supplementary model, however, this back reference to the ark in the core document (6:14ff) makes perfect sense, occurring in a supplement that distinguishes between the number of clean and unclean animals to be brought aboard the vessel in anticipation of the sacrifices for the deity that will take place when they exit the ark following the flood.

There are no inconsistencies in the flood story.
Of course there are... here is the chronological problem to which I earlier referred through my citation of Blenkinsopp. In the core story Noah and the animal pairs enter the ark on the very day the flood comes (7:11,13-16). This has been supplemented with a more realistic embarking process that takes up to seven days... in the same section flagged above as an expansion, the deity instructs Noah that the flood will commence in seven days (7:4), which gives Noah, his family, the clean and unclean animals time to enter the ark (7:7-9) followed by the notice that the flood waters came upon the earth after the allotted time (7:10).

I am not denying that there has been some minor editing since Moses wrote the Pentateuch...
The proposition of "minor editing" is incompatible with the linguistic evidence I laid out in my previous post --- with the exception of a handful of archaic poems, the Pentateuch is written in Hebrew dating to the kingdom period. If you want to maintain Mosaic authorship, you must at least acknowledge that the bulk of its text has been updated, not just a few minor edits, as well as explain why the sections that display an archaic form of the language were left alone. Of course, a much simpler solution would be to acknowledge that its date of primary composition is the kingdom period, as even the conservative Christian scholars I quoted previously admit is a possibility.

but none of it significantly changes any Biblical teaching or doctrine nor does it eliminate the internal evidence that Moses probably wrote the Pentateuch.
And this internal evidence of Mosaic authorship is what exactly?

Many things it references could not have been known by someone in the kingdom period.
Such as?

The myth of Atrahasis is totally different from the story of Noah and the flood other than they both involve a flood. The myth deals with being punished for overpopulation, for Noah and his family it was the opposite problem, the earth needed to be repopulated among other things. This is just one absurdity that in no way resembles the Biblical flood story.
Your model of literary dependence assumes the biblical authors could do nothing more than replicate the proposed Akkadian source... the model assumed by those of us who acknowledge the connection is one of sophisticated appropriation:

It retraces the creation-to-flood scope of the Atrahasis epic yet fills it with decisively new content. As such it is a counterwriting of its Mesopotamian counterpart... it used the overall outline and motifs of Atrahasis along with other traditions to offer a competing conceptualization of the divine-human relationship and the human condition. Indeed, at the conclusion... in the Tower of Babel story, one can detect an implicit anti-Mesopotamian polemic in this reconceptualization. (Carr 245)

Furthermore, there are vocabulary parallels that are difficult to explain outside of direct contact with this and other Mesopotamian flood stories such as Gilgamesh (Sparks 316-17)... for example, the word for the 'pitch' used to make the ark watertight is כפר (kopher), a loanword from Akkadian (kupru; HALOT 1:495) found in the Gilgamesh flood narrative in reference to the 'pitch' used on its vessel (Blenkinsopp 79).

Again it sounds like you endorse the weak Documentary Hypothesis. It has some rather serious problems that have never been resolved.
Appeals to related Mesopotamian literature are in the service of dating the text in question, which is a related but distinct issue from its composite nature... the later is the primary point in response to Butt's claim about biblical unity. In any case, there is nothing weak about the position I am here defending...

Kind regards,
Jonathan


Works cited:
Baden, Joel S. The Composition of the Pentateuch: Renewing the Documentary Hypothesis. The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library. Yale University Press, 2012.
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible. Anchor Bible Reference Library. Doubleday, 1992.
Carr, David M. Reading the Fractures of Genesis: Historical and Literary Approaches. WJK Press, 1996.
Friedman, Richard Elliott. The Bible with Sources Revealed: A New View into the Five Books of Moses. HarperSanFrancisco, 2003.
Koehler, Ludwig and Walter Baumgartner (eds). The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. 2 vols. Brill, 2001.
Rendtorff, Rolf. The Problem of the Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch, translated by John J. Scullion. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 89. Sheffield Academic Press, 1990.
Sparks, Kenton L. Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible: A Guide to the Background Literature. Hendrickson, 2005.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
A rhetorical question for you, if you were to translate Genesis 4:1 into English in a literal manner what would it say?
What an odd question in the context of our discussion. In any case, I'll bite...

והאדם ידע את־חוה אשתו ותהר ותלד את־קין ותאמר קניתי איש את־יהוה׃
Now the man knew Havvah his wife and she conceived and bore Kayin and she said: "I created {a} man with YHWH."

The verb translated 'created' could possibly be 'acquired' though this seems less probable than my inline choice. Why do you ask?

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
Technical difficulties all can be resolved if one will actually receieve the mind of God yourself, or SPirit as the bible refers to Him.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
This is nothing new. Orthodox scholars have known about this apparent discrepancy for over 500 years at least.
I never suggested I was presenting something new... there is also nothing apparent about the discrepancy, it is very real.

And there are several possible explanations.
The more solutions proposed, the less likely any one of them is viable... only one of them might be correct, leaving the others incorrect with no criteria by which they might be rejected --- this leaves the field wide open for exegetical acrobatics, which is precisely the game you're playing here.

First since John was written much later than the Synoptics, he knew most of His readers already knew that this meal was the Passsover meal so there was no real reason to explicitly call it that nor repeat the instructions for it.
It's unclear whether you're offering this as a proposed solution or a prefacing comment... in any case, it results in John supposing two back-to-back Passover meals, one he assumes his readers know about and another he explicitly writes about --- this is an idiosyncratic and dubious claim. John, like all the other gospel authors, envisions the single annual Passover meal... in John's version this coincides with the crucifixion of Jesus. As for your assertion about the late date of John... it is a widely-held assumption -- even among biblical scholars -- that John was the last gospel written, but there is good evidence that Luke knows it (cf. 1:1) and thus post-dates it (Franklin; Shellard).

Recent evidence found in the Dead Sea scrolls has shown that the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other jewish groups possibly had two distinct calendars.
This proposed solution is far too vague and unsupported to engage with. You need to demonstrate using evidence that differing Jewish factions in first century Palestine celebrated Passover a day apart from each other and provide a plausible reason why John follows this alternative calendar that apparently neither Jesus nor his disciples adhered to. This solution, thus far inadequately documented, appears to create more problems than it solves...

Another resolution by respected scholar R. V. G. Tasker is that verse 1 might be separated from the adjoining passage and understood as an introduction to it.
How this resolves the discrepancy established from references to the Passover meal the following day in later chapters is anybody's guess... care to elucidate?

These are two highly probable explanations that resolve the issue.
They are nothing of the sort... see my critique above about the reduced probability that multiple hypotheses produces and the individual engagements with your two (or three?) explanations.

Luke very easily could have interviewed people to get much of his information such as the birth narrative by talking to Mary and the upper room narrative by talking to the apostles.
This assumes an early date for Luke that is incongruous with the evidence... the apostles and particularly Jesus' mother would have been long dead by the time I date Luke (early second century) --- Papias, for example, knows nothing of the gospel or Acts when writing around the turn of the century and Luke's version of Judas' death may be seen as revision to that of Papias (or his source circulating in written or oral form at the time) by providing it with verisimilitude. It can further be established that Luke knows Josephus' writings and even errs in his interpretation of the author's comments about the revolts of Theudas and Judas:

For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. (Acts 5:36-37)

The 'after him' (Greek: 'after this') at the transition between the verses is crucial... it presents an order in which Judas follows Theudas chronologically. Setting aside the problem of how Gamaliel can speak of a revolt that did not happen until after the death of Agrippa I (Acts 12:21-23; Ant. 19.343-352) and the appointment of Fadus to the position of procurator (Ant. 19.363), Luke's order is backwards since the revolt of Judas is associated with the census... that is, the one mentioned in his first volume (Luke 2:2). Luke's historical blunder is explained by his hasty reading of Josephus, who refers first to Fadus putting down Theudas' assembly at the Jordan (Ant. 20.97-99) and a few sentences later makes reference to the slaying of Judas' sons under Fadus' successors followed immediately by recollecting the revolt their father had orchestrated back in the days of the census (Ant. 20.102). The chronology is clear enough in a careful reading of Josephus -- Judas precedes Theudas by several decades -- but this topical arrangement was mistaken by Luke as a chronological one. For an expanded discussion on Luke's use of Josephus, see Pervo (149-99).

The evidence is that Paul had two names and when he started to primarily evangelize gentiles he started using his greco-roman name Paul.
It is disappointing that you couldn't just admit Butt made a mistake here by carelessly transmitting a tradition about Paul's alleged change of name. In any case, the evidence to which you refer occurs only in Acts, not from anything Paul himself wrote. Furthermore, there is no reason provided for why the author switches from Saul to Paul. You're welcome to speculate, but that's all it would be, but to further suppose Paul made the switch at that point is reading something into the text that isn't there...

There is no real evidence for these speculations regarding the wording.
Have you actually read the pertinent sections of Billings and Ehrman I cited? Combined they represent some 30+ pages of supporting evidence that I can hardly reproduce here. Now, I'm not convinced by Billings argument, but it is among the best out there in support of the longer text and I think he is correct to see a connection between the short text and accusations against Christians for participating in cannibalistic meals... indeed, I see this as one of Luke's primary motivations in suppressing the institutional words, those concerning the blood entirely, about which he makes a point elsewhere to forbid ingesting (Acts 15:20,29).

I dont consider that a textual conundrum of any real signficance and you have yet provide any evidence that it is.
Your misguided hermeneutic to understand the gospels as harmonious and all essentially saying the same thing allows you to dismiss omissions of this kind as insignificant, however, it fails to take seriously that each author presents Jesus in a particular way and it cannot be assumed that he expects his readers to have copies of other gospels (for the earlier authors ones that hadn't even been written!) on hand to fill in the gaps. The suppression of Jesus' words over the bread and the cup in Luke either at the point of composition (my position) or by later scribes is significant, your claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

Here you are doing just what I predicted, trying to blow up the minor differences to show disunity and downplaying the larger picture that plainly shows strong unity.
Where exactly did you predict that? I recall you made a general comment about most mainstream biblical scholars being so-called liberal heretics doing this, but I don't recall anything specific to me. If you can point to me where you did, I'd be happy to acknowledge the error of oversight. In any case, in this particular response (Part 2 of 4) I was restricted by Butt's topic of the institution of the Lord Supper... even then I was able to point to a chronological conflict and a significant text-critical problem. That there is unity among some biblical writings on some matters is a given and therefore our discussion must necessarily focus on the differences because you staked a claim by linking to Butt that these result in no genuine contradictions... all I need to do in order to successfully defend my position is to provide examples of such conflicts to which you have no or inadequate solutions. Your attempt to steer us back to examples of unity is irrelevant and nothing more than an attempt to evade the burden of evidence you shoulder on your side of the debate...

Kind regards,
Jonathan


Works cited:
Franklin, Eric. Luke: Interpreter of Paul, Critic of Matthew. Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 92. Sheffield Academic Press, 1994.
Pervo, Richard I. Dating Acts: Between the Evangelists and the Apologists. Polebridge Press: 2006.
Shellard, Barbara. New Light on Luke: Its Purpose, Sources and Literary Context. Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 215. Sheffield Academic Press, 2002.
 
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