Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bauckham’s source theory

I managed to seize a few hours of reading time on Bauckham’s book, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, bringing me so far up to chapter 6 (out of 18). I was quite impressed with Bauckham’s perspective on Papias (chapter 2) i.e. that Papias doesn’t refer to anonymous oral traditions (rather oral history connected to eyewitness testimony).

On the other hand where I left off reading Byrskog’s book was on page 137:

As a parallel to the development of the Q material, Migaku Sato brings attention to the phenomenon of "Fortprophetie" behind the Old Testament prophetic writings. The disciples of a prophet continued to prophesize, and they di so by employing the languagge of the prophet master himself, the "Meistersprache". This is most evident in the book of Isaiah…both Second Isaiah and Third Isaiah – at least according to Isaiah 60-62 – linked their prophetic message substantially with the tradition attributed to Isaiah of Jerusalem. And they never identified themselves as independent prophets; they remained anonymous, assuming the identity of the prophet master to whom they adhered. Even external influences from other prophets, which might have been somewhat foreign to the Isaiah tradition, were integrated and attributed to the one specific prophet of Jerusalem.

So whereas Byrskog’s model would affirm anonymous disciples adding anonymous traditions to the one tradition (of ‘Jesus the Only teacher’) Bauckham’s model drops all anonymity and goes for named informants and named disciples. But I wonder whether he is going to discuss the difference between what collectors (of traditions) thought they were collecting and what exactly had been collected. It is surely on thing to pass along that so-and-so said/taught such-and-such a thing, but is Bauckham also going to argue that just because people thought nothing else had accumulated to the tradition that nothing else had accumulated? I guess I’ll have to keep reading.

I was pleased to see in chapter two Bauckham interacting with Dunn in a footnote (n71 p34):

Dunn here simply assumes that the Gospels were primarily the product of the community tradition, but this is not at all how Luke 1:2 represents the matter.

Bauckham would believe rather that Luke did try to behave as an oral historian would. Lk’s "eyewitnesses" "from the beginning" apparently refers to those who were personally familiar with the events but even more interesting to me is that parekolouthekoti means “thoroughly understood” or “informed familiarity” (following Moessner). I.e. Luke intends to tell ‘the whole story’ [my phrase] because he now knows/understands ‘the whole story’!

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