Chapter 6 (Part 2)
The Jesus of History and the Church's JesusRoman Catholic biblical scholars, as well as biblical scholars in general, recognize a process of transmission behind the canonical Gospels as we have them. Although theories concerning the process of transmitting the Jesus material, the development of the Jesus tradition, and the formation of the Gospels differ, three stages are recognized by Roman Catholic scholars: (1) the Jesus Material, (2) the Oral Tradition and the Apostolic Preaching, and (3) the Written Tradition and the Christian Scriptures.33
The first stage contains material which comes from the earthly Jesus himself. It is the pre-resurrection stage in the history of Christianity and its central character is the earthly Jesus. Today we have access to this stage only by going back through stages three and two. The Jesus material is the object of contemporary Jesus research and was a primary concern in the first volume of this series.
If the first is the Jesus stage, the second is the postresurrection or apostolic stage. In this stage Jesus is proclaimed as having been raised from the dead. This is the formation of the kerygma and of the apostolic preaching. The central character is still Jesus, but Jesus as he comes to us through apostolic preaching, Jesus as understood in the light of the resurrection and the gift of the Spirit, the Jesus of a tradition passed on orally. This stage in the formation and transmission of the Jesus tradition spans several decades, from the death of Jesus in 30 or 33 C.E. to the stage of the tradition being submitted to writing. Although Paul's first letter was written around 50 C.E., our first Gospel, Mark, dates from shortly before or after 70 C.E., or perhaps the mid sixties. This second stage is the pre-literary oral tradition within which the Jesus material is preserved. Modern exegetical methods have given us some understanding of both the creative and the retentive dynamics of this stage in the life of the church.34 The Jesus tradition is in part submitted to writing, under the continuing influence of the Spirit, and the Christian Scriptures are born, a third significant stage in the life of the Christian Church. The written tradition, namely the New Testament, is our primary access to the oral tradition and apostolic preaching of stage two, as well as to the Jesus material of stage one. The third stage, the first literary stage in the history of the church, which gave rise to the most significant of all Christian literature, continued for decades. The stage of Gospel formation extended from the composition of the Gospel of Mark through the end of the first century. The Gospel of John gives access to a second and third generation of Christian believers. Sifting the Christian writings and recognizing which ones constituted Scripture was a second century task.35 In any study of this process, we realize that the Gospels do not give us direct access to Jesus or the Jesus material. The Gospels are not Jesus' writings or preaching but the church's writings and preaching about him.36 Our access to Jesus is through them, but stage three cannot simply be identified with stage one, as if the New Testament were the teaching of the earthly Jesus. The Holy Spirit acted in the life of the church between the gift of the Holy Spirit after the resurrection of Jesus through the formation of the Christian biblical literature as we now have it and beyond. We will now look more closely at these three stages of church history. No period in the history of Christianity is more important. History creatively but conscientiously moved with divine guidance from Jesus to the church.
A. The Jesus Material. The earthly Jesus, the Jesus of history, demands both historiographical research and faith knowledge. No one knows Jesus who does not acknowledge or believe that he was raised from the dead. This "knowledge" of Jesus comes through faith. Yet this belief that Jesus was raised does not give us knowledge of the mission and ministry of Jesus. We only have access to that through the Scriptures, our understanding of which requires critical, historiographical reflection.
How do we determine the authentic teaching of Jesus? How does one determine whether a particular saying ofJesus is really an "authentic saying" of the historical Jesus, the ipsissima verba Jesu? The task involves both science and art, both critical reason and prudential judgment. While there are no universally greed upon criteria, critical exegesis has given rise to principles which are very helpful.37 Before looking at some of the principles, however, we must keep in mind several facts lest we wrongly apply the principles. First, to refuse to call a saying authentic does not imply its inauthenticity. A saying judged to be authentic is a saying about which we can make a critical historiographical judgment. There are sayings, however, for which we do not have a sufficient basis to clearly judge theln to be authentic; this is not then a judgment in favor of inauthenticity. It simply means we do not have sufficient basis, given our present methods, for an affirmative judgment. In other words, the principles we use cannot be used negatively, but can validly be used only positively to make a judgment in favor of a saying's authenticity. The "authentic sayings" give us reliable material but not the whole Jesus.
Second, granted that the valid application of criteria implies making a positive judgment or refraining from doing so for insufficient evidence, valid application also implies making a positive judgment on the basis of several criteria. It is only by putting a saying to the test of several principles that an exegete or theologian can wisely make the prudential judgment about a saying. None of the principles are absolutes; they only function in conjuction with one or more of the other principles.
Third, in many situations it may be a question of a part of a saying, or of a substratum behind a saying. The questions we ask are important, and the right question is not simply: can we judge this saying or parable as it stands to be authentic? But rather: what about this saying or what part of it can we judge to be authentic?
In what we are doing then, we are not dividing the material, as is commonly assumed or mistakenly done, into authentic and inauthentic sayings but rather into material which we can reasonably judge to be authentic and material about which we can make no such judgment. Let us now look at some of the principles on which exegetes rely.
1. The principle of multiple attestation.38 If a saying is found in more than one form or in more than one tradition in the Gospels, this multiple attestation is an argument in favor of authenticity. As indicated above, however, this principle cannot be applied negatively. If a saying is found in only one tradition, this says nothing about its authenticity or inauthenticity. It simply does not fulfill the requirement of this criterion and thus lacks an argument in favor of authenticity. If a saying is found in more than one form (as a proverbial saying, in a parable, in a miracle story), or in more than one source or literary tradition (say in Mark and in Q, although here we are sometimes on precarious grounds not always being sure of the interrelationships among the literary traditions and how dependent or independent they may be), authenticity is indicated, though not proven.
2. The principle of redactional cross purposes.39 Redaction criticism gives us a knowledge of the theological perspective of an evangelist and the motifs in a Gospel as a whole. The study of redaction can also help us in our search for Jesus material. "If each of the gospel writers is expressing his own point of view through the stories he selects and the way his material is presented, the inclusion of material which does not especially serve his purpose may well be taken as a testimony to the authenticity of that material, or at least to the inclusion of it in the tradition of the Church in such a clear and consistent way that the evangelist was loath to omit it. The material asserts itself even though it does not particularly suit the purpose of the storyteller."40 Material which works at cross-purposes with the overall perspective of a Gospel has a claim to authenticity. An example is Jesus' scolding of Peter at Caesarea Philippi as recorded by Matthew. Matthew's version places Peter as the rock of the church. Yet Matthew does not exclude Jesus' rebuke of Peter even though it does not immediately support his purpose. Its version in Mark will be more original, but Matthew's inclusion of it in spite of his own theological purpose supports its having a basis in fact.
3. The principle of dissimilarity or distinctiveness.41 This is perhaps the best known of the criteria. A saying or deed or parable is authentic if it could not have been derived from the Judaism contemporary with Jesus nor from the early church. Hence it must come from Jesus. The principle is very solid as an argument in favor of authenticity when properly applied. It is easily abused, however, by applying it negatively and asserting the inauthenticity of a saying on its basis. Using the principle to argue inauthenticity, however, assumes a discontinuity between Jesus and Judaism when much of the teaching of Jesus was Jewish. A negative application of the principle thus distorts the teaching of Jesus. The principle can also force a discontinuity between Jesus and church which cannot be assumed methodologically. A saying which finds a Sitz im Leben in the life of the early Christian communities may still have been a saying with a Sitz im Leben in the life of Jesus as well, but one which found a (new) home in the church or Jesus tradition also.
4. The principle of the Aramaic character of a saying and the peculiarities of Jesus' way of speaking. This principle is concerned with the language and style of Jesus. Jesus' native tongue was Aramaic, specifically a Galilean version of western Aramaic. Thus, how "Aramaic" is a saying? The sayings as they come to us are in the koine Greek of the Gospels. In some sayings, original Aramaic expressions have been preserved.42 Joachim Jeremias has drawn up a list of Aramaic words which occur on the lips of Jesus.43 Or a saying may reflect an Aramaism, being based on something idiomatic in Aramaic which does not readily translate to Hebrew or Greek.
Jeremias has also called attention to the. peculiarities of Jesus' way of speaking. Some of these characteristics of Jesus' speech are not unique to him but are simply manifested with great frequency. They are very common for Jesus and relatively uncommon in other Jewish circles. Other characteristics appear pratically unique in the speech of Jesus. A speech pattern characteristic of Jesus although not unique is his use of circumlocutions for God. From the prohibition against pronouncing the tetragrammaton, the proper name for God (YHWH, Yahweh) there also arose the custom of avoiding direct talk about God, speaking of God periphrastically or by circumlocution. Jesus did not necessarily avoid the word God, but he seems to have preferred to do so. Especially notable in the language of Jesus is his use of "the divine passive," avoiding direct reference to God by use of the passive: "Your sins are forgiven you (by God)."44 Another distinctive characteristic of Jesus' use of language is his parables. We have examples of parables in the Hebrew Scriptures, but they are relatively few. For Jesus, however, the parables were distinctive of the way he taught.
These are not the only principles which have been formulated and used, but they represent the task involved, and are from my perspective the most helpful and valid ones. What we see is that the earliest stage or stratum is Jesus material. It is the earliest and therefore also the most difficult to retrieve. Yet the task is by no means impossible. Historiography can give a fairly accurate picture of many aspects of Jesus' life, and makes Jesus material which was central to the kerygma accessible.
B. The Oral Traditon and Apostolic Preaching. The Christian proclamation had its roots or origins in Jesus of Nazareth himself, in the preaching and teaching of Jesus, and even moreso in the life and death of Jesus. It was Jesus, this same Jesus, in whom the first Christians believed. At the same time there can be no underestimating the significance of Jesus' resurrection for his disciples and for the earliest preaching. It was Jesus of Nazareth raised from the dead who was proclaimed. There was and could have been no proclamation apart from the resurrection. Both sides of the proclamation were essential: Jesus of Nazareth (the pre-resurrection, earthly Jesus, and his life, mission, ministry, and teaching), and the fact of this Jesus' having been raised from the dead after having been scandalously executed as a criminal. Both the power of Jesus' life as well as the impact of the resurrection helped to forge the post-resurrection faith, understanding, and proclamation.
Faith in Jesus prior to his resurrection (confidence, hope trust) was not exactly the same thing as faith in Jesus after the resurrection when faith also meant the belief that God had raised Jesus from the dead and had vindicated Jesus who was thus truly God's prophet, servant, and son. Post-resurrection faith in Jesus meant "more," not that the "more" contradicted or conflicted with the pre-resurrection faith. The "more" was an assurance, a clarification, an insight and a deeper understanding. In the light of the resurrection the disciples saw and understood the Jesus whom they had known. In this sense we can say that the resurrection of Jesus (and the accompanying appearance-experiences and the gift of the Spirit) gave rise to Christian faith. Their lord was acknowledged as Lord at a deeper level of understanding. The resurrection gave birth to a new faith in Jesus and there could be no understanding or interpretation of Jesus except from the conviction that God had raised this Jesus whom they knew from the dead and vindicated him as God's very own prophet, sage, and servant.
The birth of faith in Jesus (in the sense of what is considered truly Christain faith) led to the emergence of an explicit christology, the articulation of some statement about Jesus in the light of the new post-resurrection understanding. Faith in Jesus, the deepened understanding of Jesus, led naturally to some statement about Jesus. In this way the proclaimer became the proclaimed. The one who had preached now became the one who was preached. Just as the resurrection led to faith, so faith led to christology. Faith articulated itself, its understanding, and sought to deepen its understanding.
Prior to the resurrection of Jesus one cannot properly speak about christology, not in the sense of an articulated faith in Jesus or doctrine about him, nor in the sense of Jesus' teaching about himself. As we saw in Volume One, Jesus' instruction about himself was never a primary part of his teaching. Jesus' preaching was about God, not himself. This is not to say that one cannot speak of an implicit christology, in the sense of intimations in the preaching of Jesus or implications in the life of Jesus; but we can speak of christology proper only in the light of the resurrection of Jesus. Christology, strictly speaking, is an understanding of the person and mission of Jesus articulated in the light of faith in the resurrection. Christology emerges as articulated Christian faith after the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Prior to this, in Judaism or during the life of Jesus, christology was simply eschatology. We thus speak about Jesus' eschatology, but not his christology. Christology would simply have been some doctrine or teaching about the Christ, the Messiah to come, but any doctrine about a messiah or messiahs is a part of eschatology. We can speak about Jewish eschatology, or Jesus' eschatology, but we do not speak about a christology until we make some identification between someone and the expected Messiah, until we proclaim someone to be the Messiah or Christ, until we believe in the Christ not as an eschatological possibility but as an historical reality. Thus Christian eschatology became christology. Any doctrine about the one to come was tied up with the doctrine about Jesus, who had come, who suffered and died, who had been raised from the dead, and who would come again. The history of Christian eschatology would be inseparable and almost indistinguishable from the history of Christian christology -- both were concerned about the person of Jesus and the proclamation that this Jesus was the Christ. Because of what happened to Jesus and because of the new understanding of Jesus, christology gradually replaced eschatology as the horizon for understanding God's actions and promises. The doctrine of God had become christological and not only eschatological.
This is not the place to examine theories about the developments which took place during the first stages of Christian history associated with the first generation of Christian disciples, the formulation and development of the kerygma, the solidification, identification and self-understanding of the Christian movement, at first a Jewish sect, and the validation of the Gentile misson. Let it suffice to say that the first two to three decades of Christian history, from the resurrection of Jesus to the writing of the Gospels, was a period of both tremendous creativity and also conscientious attentiveness to the memory of Jesus. As Schillebeeckx has written, this was a time of both anamnesis and pneuma.45 The oral development of the Jesus tradition was guided or governed by both Jesus (the historical Jesus) and the facta, verba, and memoriae Jesu, and the Spirit (the Spirit of Jesus), the gift of Jesus as Risen Lord. Both the historical Jesus and the meta-historical Spirit helped lay the foundations for Christian development. The Christian movement was both retentive of Jesus and attentive to Jesus (making Jesus historiographically accessible) and also creatively insightful in understanding and articulating the meaning of this Jesus phenomenon (Jesus being fully comprehensible only pneumatologically). The quest for Jesus is now also interwoven with the quest for the early Christian proclamation about Jesus. Who was Jesus as he had come to be known and understood? This new understanding was not an addition to the Jesus material, or something other than Jesus material (if we can use that expression in a second sense), but rather an understanding of Jesus which emerged and deepened.
C.F.D. Moule prefers the word "development" as an appropriate analogy for the genesis of christology. He writes:The tendency which I am advocating as closer to the evidence, and which I call 'developmental', is to explain all the various estimates of Jesus reflected in the New Testament as, in essence, only attempts to describe what was already there from the beginning.He continues:
They are not successive additions of something new, but only the drawing out and articulating of what is there. They represent various stages in the development of perception, but they do not represent the accretion of any alien factors that were not inherent from the beginning. . . When once one assumes that the changes are, in the main, changes only in perception (the italics mine) one is at the same time acknowledging that it may not be possible, a priori, to arrange such changes in any firm chronological order... Degrees of perception will depend upon individual persons and upon circumstances which may be impossible to identify in any intelligibly chronological sequence.My main point is not that all Christological expressions in the New Testament are adequate for modern statements of Christology, but that they are all more successfully accounted for as insights, of varying depth, into what was there in Jesus, than as the result of increasing distance from him.And:My point is only that the evidence does not support the assumption that a 'high' Christology evolved from a 'low' Christology by a process of borrowing from extraneous sources, and that these Christologies may be arranged in an evolutionary sequence from 'low' to 'high.'46The Scriptures (the Written Tradition) are our access to the Jesus material (the Synoptic Gospels being particularly important in this regard), and also our access to the oral tradition, or the pre-literary and pre-Pauline apostolic preaching, creedal formulations, and kerygma. Yet we must be careful about being naively optimistic in our search for Jesus and pre-literary material. Recently, and strongly, Werner Kelber has argued the case for a new hermeneutic of the pre-synoptic oral tradition, urging principles more in accord with what we know of orality and spoken language rather than imposing literary standards that assume an easy continuity between orality and textuality.47 Some of his conclusions remain to be further assessed, but he has at least called our attention to the distinctive character of oral cultures and the spoken word and then also called into question assumptions about the nature of the pre-literary Gospel traditions. We may have to admit at least as significant a break in history between the oral tradition and the written as between the earthly Jesus and the post-resurrection communities of faith. The Gospel of Mark and the submission of the gospel to a textual medium may be as significant in the history of the synoptic tradition as Easter itself!
Interpretation of materials that are primarily oral in character (and that would include both Jesus material and the process of oral transmission) involves a respect for the social character of such material, the influence of audience and social circumstances, and the fact that one cannot legitimately speak about the original form of such material. Each spoken language event is equally original and social. The loss of materials and the abbreviation of materials are laws of oral life. Discontinuity and unpredictability as much as continuity and stability enter in. The social character of speech differs from the established character of a text.
Nevertheless, contained within the biblical literature, there are fairly clear examples of the early proclamation about Jesus that would have been formulated, circulated, and transmitted during this earliest stage of Christian history. Our concern here will not be to date them (all will be pre-Pauline and thus fall well within the period of our concern), nor to order them chronologically (Moule's suggestions above ought to make us cautious about being able to so order them). We cannot say which may have been the earliest "profession of faith." Yet they do manifest the early Christian preaching about Jesus during the first decades after his death.
Our sources are primarily two, Paul's letters and the Acts of the Apostles. Since Paul's letters are the earliest Christian writings we have (pre-dating the Gospels and Acts), we shall turn to Paul first. Here we shall look at three texts from Paul -- I Thessalonians 1:9b- 10; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3b-4 -- and two texts from Acts -- 2:36; and 3:12-16.1. For they themselves report concerning us what a welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he had raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (I Thes 1:9-10)This is a succinct statement of the apostolic preaching. Those whom Paul had evangelised, many of whom had evidently been pagans or Gentiles, had been converted to monotheism and the one true God. This faith in the one God is central to Christian faith as well. Verse 10 has both christological and eschatological implications. The Thessalonians have been converted not only to God, but to Christ Jesus as well. Jesus is God's Son who had been raised from the dead. We have an affirmation of Jesus as God's Son and the proclamation of the resurrection. We note the early way of announcing the resurrection: Jesus was raised by God. This christology of Jesus as God's Son raised from the dead is supplemented by an eschatology. We wait for this Son to come from heaven, to come again from God at whose side he now is. Jesus will come to deliver us from the wrath to come (see also I Thes 5:9; Rom 2:5, 5:9). The text shows an understanding of who Jesus is: God's Son. The sonship here is not an incarnational sonship. Yet Jesus was son while on earth. It was God's Son whom God raised. The text also proclaims the good news: Jesus will come and save us from the wrath to come. The tone is that of a future eschatology. Jesus, God's son, was raised and will come to save us. This is the proclamation. Those who did not believe in the one God and his Son, Jesus, evidently could only expect the wrath of God. Jesus saves from God's wrath.2. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures. (1 Cor 15:3-4)We have already seen this text in our discussion of Paul's understanding of the resurrection in chapter three. It is followed by the list of six appearances:and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though-some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. (I Cor 15:5-8)The kerygma contained herein contains at least a threefold reference to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The appearance formula as originally a part of the pre-Pauine tradition is debated. We seem to have here the core of the tradition. Paul presents himself here as the recipient of a tradition; he did not compose this summary of the preaching himself. Thus it well represents the period of oral tradition. This is what Paul must have preached to the Corinthians when he first came to them around 50 C.E. Therefore, the pre-Pauline kerygma antedates that date.
The preaching understood Jesus' death and resurrection to be in accord with the Hebrew Scriptures. This interpretation in the light of the Scriptures manifests early Christian exegesis. The early disciples were concerned that the God of Israel had vindicated Jesus and naturally assumed that he was truly therefore a fulfillment of the Scriptures. As a result, the Hebrew Scriptures give witness to Jesus as well.
The first statement of the kerygmatic summary states that (a) Jesus died, (b) that he died for our sins, and (c) that he died in accord with the Scriptures. The objective fact (a) has already been interpreted (b). The "according to the Scriptures" need not go with "for our sins" but may rather go simply with "he died." The Christians saw the necessity of Jesus' death contained in the Scriptures. They had also associated a meaning with his death: it was for our sake.
The second statement in the summary is the assertion that Jesus was buried; this is an objective fact. There is no particular theological interpretation of it.
The third statement is the proclamation of the resurrection. The resurrection is also seen as contained in the Scriptures. We spoke previously about the "third day" as not being a literal reference to a chronological event but rather a part of interpreting the event according to the Scriptures with Hosea 6:2 as a possible basis. The earliest preaching does not seem to have contained resurrection narratives as much as a resurrection proclamation (see I Thes 1:10 above).
These three statements form a unit and may be the kerygma which Paul received and passed on. It is difficult to know where the pre-Pauline material stops. It certainly included verses 3-4 above. It certainly did not include the last of the appearances, the one to Paul himself. Some include the reference to appearances as part of the pre-Pauline formula. Suggestions include (a) the threefold summary with no reference to appearances, (b) a simple reference to appearances, and thus the tradition ended with a fourth statement, "and that he appeared," (c) the ending included one appearance, the core of the appearance tradition, "and that he appeared to Cephas," and (d) the ending was "that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve." This problem cannot be resolved. The appearance tradition is certainly early and the information pre-Pauline. The kerygmatic summary which Paul has received, however, may simply be the threefold affirmation.3. The gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 1:3b4)Here in Romans we have another pre-Pauline formula.48 God's Son, (a) wac descended from David. (b) according to the flesh, and (c) designated Son of God in power, (d) according to the Spirit of holiness, (e) by his resurrection from the dead. This Son is Jesus Christ, our Lord.
As in the text from I Thessalonians above, Jesus is seen as God's Son, and as God's Son raised from the dead. But God's Son, Jesus Christ, was descended from David. He was son of David, according to the flesh, that is during his earthly life and ministry. We have a theology of Jesus which sees his life in two stages with the resurrection as the transition. Jesus was son of David on earth, according to th flesh, and by way of contrast, Son of God, according to th Spirit, as a consequence of the resurrection.
Jesus was "designated" or "appointed" or "installed" as "Son of God in power." This is not an incarnational or two-nature christology. Jesus does not become what he was from the beginning. The sonship here is not pre-existent. Rather Jesus enters upon a new stage of his life in which he is now properly designated Son of God.
There is question about whether the "in power" is part of the pre-Pauline tradition. Did Jesus' designation as Son begin with the resurrection? At the resurrection the son of David became, was installed as, Son of God. Or had Jesus already been Son of God in his earthly ministry and with the resurrection was installed as Son of God in power? His sonship becomes effective as of the resurrection. Either after the resurrection or on the basis of the resurrection Jesus was so designated. He was exalted. The new status was inaugurated by the resurrection and the Greek text implies that this is the general resurrection, which of course had already begun with Jesus' resurrection.
We have in this formula a two-stage christology: the earthly stage when Jesus was son of David, and perhaps also son of God (in I Thessalonians, Jesus was son of God already on earth), but not Son of God in power, and the post-resurrection stage in the life of Jesus who was appointed as Son of God in a much fuller sense. There are two stages of divine sonship manifested here. The second stage has eschatological implications. The resurrection of Jesus is also the general resurrection. There is no major disparity between two points, Jesus' resurrection and the parousia. There is Jesus' earthly life and misson, and the resurrection of the dead, whose time had come, and which had inaugurated Jesus as God's Son. Jesus became God's Son (in power) as of the resurrection. We have here a very early christology. The closing phrase, "Jesus Christ our Lord," may be Pauline rather than part of the received formula.
We have seen in Paul the early Christian interpretation of Jesus and the designation of Jesus as Son, Christ, Lord, as well as the proclamation of the resurrection.
We now turn to two texts from Acts.49 The book of Acts contains samples of early Christian preaching, portions of which may pre-date some of the Pauline formulae.4. Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. (Acts 2:36)This early and succinct christology is contained within the context of Peter's speech on the occasion of Pentecost (Acts 2:1441). This does not mean that either the speech as a whole (2:1441) or the christological statement (2:36) go back to a Jerusalem-based community. The speech is a Lucan composition placed in the mouth of Peter on the occasion of the feast of Pentecost. Yet the Lucan speech contains units of pre-Lucan tradition. Verse 36 is of this sort. Verses 33-36 contain the kerygma and reflect an early Christian interpretation of Psalm 110 as applying to Jesus. The confession of faith in verse 36 (that God has made Jesus Lord) flows from the dual meaning of Lord in Psalm 110:1. The God of Israel is Lord, and Jesus is Lord, and the Lord (God) said to David's Lord (Jesus) that he would make Jesus' enemies God's footstool.
The succinct summary -- God had made Jesus both Lord and Christ with the resurrection-exaltation of Jesus. This is at variance with Luke's own christological tendency to attribute the titles of Lord and Christ to the earthly Jesus, hence the implication that Luke is including pre-Lucan tradition.
We find here an early expression of the Christian faith. "This Jesus God raised up" (v. 32), "God had made him both Lord and Christ" (v. 36). This is the proclamation of the resurrection. But this Jesus is also one "whom you crucified." Two "titles" express the early faith: Jesus is Lord and Christ. As in Romans 1:3-4, Acts 2 reflects a two-stage christology the stage of Jesus' life on earth, this Jesus who was crucified and raised, and the stage inaugurated by Jesus' exaltation, Jesus as Lord and Christ. Jesus (whom they knew) had been made Lord and Christ.5. 12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people, "Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorifled his servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And his name, by faith in his name, has made this man strong whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all. 17 "And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfllled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 And that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by mouth of his holy prophets from of old. 22 Moses said, 'The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.' 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came afterwards, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God gave to your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your posterity shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness."(Acts 3:12-26)Here we have another of Peter's speeches, again a Lucan composition with strands of pre-Lucan tradition which are not easily distinguished. Verse 13b introduces a proclamation of the death of Jesus "whom you delivered up," and verse 15 proclaims the resurrection. Jesus is the one "whom God raised from the dead." These two elements are central to the preaching about Jesus, his death and resurrection. Jesus in all our formulae is always "the one whom God raised from the dead." Verse 18 indicates an early Christian perspective that the Messiah would have to suffer. Verse 20 indicates a very early interpretation of Jesus as the Christ. Verses 20-21 have an eschatological character. The eschatological character of Acts 3 led J.A.T. Robinson to conclude that it contains a christological tradition which antedates that of Acts 2.50 As we have seen in I Thessalonians, it is difficult to distinguish early christology and eschatology. Jesus is the one to come. Verse 22 continues this tone with the interpretation of Jesus as the eschatological prophet like Moses of Deuteronomy 18:15, 18. The speech as a whole is Luke's. Our concern here is not to locate these early christologies more precisely in the history of the tradition or to suggest which may be the earliest. The early christologies may reflect either two poles (christology and eschatology, Jesus as God's servant and son on earth and as one to come again, I Thes l; Acts 3) or two stages (the earthly Jesus and post-resurrection Jesus, Rom l; Acts 2).
We see the proclamation of Jesus as Son, Lord, and Christ early in the tradition. Of course, these "titles" raise the question asked in chapter five about how they may have been understood and applied to Jesus in his lifetime and how they may have been understood and applied to Jesus after the resurrection. After the resurrection, given the perception of two stages to Jesus' life, we can also distinguish between what a title may have meant after the resurrection when it was applied to the earthly Jesus and when it was applied to Jesus raised and exalted. Yet Jesus was proclaimed as Son, Lord, and Christ, and these expressions were flexible enough to bear the growth in consciousness of the early church. The titles were not foreign assertions but rather carriers of ever deepening meaning. The flexible but traditional expressions permitted a growth in consciousness and understanding. That is why they were useful. The church's creativity was not unfaithful to the Jesus material but rather expressive of its own growth in perception and understanding. Christians understood Jesus better at that point than they did during his lifetime. The resurrection of Jesus and gift of the Spirit enabled them to be faithful to the Jesus whom they knew.
A two-stage christology is not so much interpretation as it is understanding-an understanding of Jesus based upon the realization that the Jesus who was crucified had in fact been raised from the dead. Jesus, in fact, lives, although in a new mode of existence. Jesus'"life" is not over. To understand Jesus is to realize that there are these two phases or stages to his life, both of which are significant, neither one of which can be understood apart from the other. Any "life of Jesus" or true understanding of him must take both of these stages into account.
The first stage of Jesus' life culminated in his death, and death on a cross. The second stage in his life was inaugurated by his resurrection. We thus speak of his pre-resurrection and post-resurrection existence, or his earthly and postearthly existence. And the death which draws one stage to a close is also a resurrection which inaugurates the new stage.
Jesus' resurrection is not only an event for him, it has implications for the rest of us too. Although it will take clarification and refinement, Jesus represents not only a mission on earth but also a mission from heaven as well. This "eschatological mission" cannot be separated from who Jesus is and from who he had been all along. Eschatology became christology, partly because christology at this stage was still eschatology. They cannot be separated. The resurrection of this Jesus was not only a personal but also an eschatological event. A two-stage christology thus deals with a man whose life is lived in two stages -- that of his earthly existence and that of his eschatological existence -- and both of these stages are Jesus. Jesus is not another person after the resurrection. He is rather this Jesus whom we knew and whom we crucified, but this same Jesus as now raised from the dead and exalted to God's right hand.
Jesus is not only a man whose human life is lived in two stages. He is a man whose life reveals that our lives are lived in two stages as well. At this crucial point in his life (the death-resurrection event), Jesus' humanity does not suddenly become completely dissimilar to ours. Rather his resurrection clarifies what is elsewhere true. Our lives too comprise two stages. Our earthly existence will culminate in death, but a death which inaugurates resurrection into eschatological existence. Jesus' death-resurrection is in one sense the beginning of resurrection and eschatological existence for all of us, even for those who died and were raised prior to Jesus. No one other than Jesus had so clearly revealed the resurrection and the reality of how personal histories culminate in eschatological life.
The Lordship of Jesus is a Lordship of two stages. Jesus was referred to as lord while on earth, and referred to as Lord after the resurrection. His post-resurrection, eschatological Lordship, however, carried with it deeper, fuller, and richer implications. With his resurrection, Jesus had also been exalted. In this "growth of consciousness" we can see the flexible function of a title like Lord. Its sacredness in Christian tradition resides in the fact that it was able to serve this function. It permitted the growth in understanding through which the church would have to go before it could fully answer its Lord's question: And who do you say that I am? You, Jesus, are Lord. That title can never be fixed. It is as expansive as Jesus himself. And Jesus' life comprises both heaven and earth.
C. The Written Tradition. We have no written records which as such go back to Jesus' own lifetime; all the Jesus material has reached us via the Christian movement. From 30 to 50 C.E., and beyond, the gospel was developed and handed on by word of mouth. The period of oral tradition was both creative and retentive; it handed on memoriae and verba; it was subject to the action of the Spirit; material assumed shape and deflnite forms. Between 50 and 70 C.E., our written sources began to appear. Not all of these written sources are extant today; nor are they to be limited to our canonical New Testament writings. But a literary phase in the history of the Christian movement had begun. Among our presently available sources, Paul's letters were the first to appear.51
The formation of the Gospels presents a complex problem. We recognize today two groups of Gospels: the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. The histories behind Matthew, Mark and Luke are closely woven together, and their interrelationships have become known as "the Synoptic problem." Although the Gospel of John is clearly distinctive, and its history distinguishable from that of the Synoptics, it cannot be dismissed as historiographically irrelevant. All the Gospels weave together history and theology as a means of proclamation.
The Synoptic problem has stimulated extensive critical research. Some variation of the two-source theory is the most comon explanation today. According to this theory, Mark was the first of the Gospels to have been written. Although efforts have been made to refute this position, Marcan priority still stands in the scholarly world.52 Thus one of the two major sources of the Synoptic tradition is the Marcan source. The second major source is Q (from the German word for source, Quelle), a sayings source or collection of Jesus material which explains the material both Matthew and Luke have in common but which they do not have in common with Mark. Thus, source one, Mark, explains the material common to all three; source two, Q, the material common to Matthew and Luke. In addition, there are two special sources containing material peculiar to Matthew or to Luke. All these sources -- Mark, Q, special Matthew, special Luke -- have their distinctive characteristics. The obvious importance of Q has led to much discussion about its particular character, whether it was at one time a written document or not, thus whether it is only a source or also a document, whether it reflects a particular community setting behind it.53
The period of Gospel formation began around 60 C.E. and continued through the close of the first century. It may be of benefit to look briefly at one Gospel as an exemplification of this first literary stage in the life of the church, and we can readily choose Mark.54 It is difficult to date any of the Gospels with complete precision and certitude. Mark may have been written in the late sixties, perhaps after the outbreak of the revolt of 66-70 C. E., or in the early seventies. H.C. Kee argues that the lack of precision accompanying the fate of Jerusalem as described in Mark 13 inclines one toward a date prior to 70 C.E., but that the sense of urgency within the entire Gospel suggests a date quite close to that disaster.55 John Reumann dates Mark around 67 C.E.56 On the other hand, others interpret the Gospel as having been composed in the aftermath of the 70 C.E. disaster.57
It is also difficult to be certain about the place where the Gospel was written. Evidence today suggests Palestine or an area thereabouts (rather than Rome which at one time was the commonly held opinion). Two plausible suggestions for the setting are those of Galilee (Marxsen)58 or a small rural community of southern Syria (Kee).59
Our present ending, Mark 16:9-20, was not originally the ending of the Gospel. Either the Gospel ended at Mark 16:8, or the original ending has been lost. Mark 16:9-20 is nol present in the older Greek manuscripts of Mark.
For Werner Kelber,60 the pre-Marcan mode of language was that of oral discourse best exemplified in storytelling -- such as Mark's heroic, polarization, didactic, and parabolic stories. Jesus' mode of parabolic discourse is not confined to those stories technically called parables, yet the parables help to exemplify oral discourse. Parables have a metaphorical quality, are never self-explanatory, are hermeneutically unfinished products, unite multiple hearings depending on social context, and are essentially an oral form of speech not meant to be frozen by writing.
Jesus' own way of speaking was oral and parabolic, and Jesus could not remain a living option without submitting his mission and message to language and a linguistic destiny. Both oral and written forms, however, exert specific controls; the medium will inevitably help to shape the message. Jesus is first preserved by the medium of orality, and with the Gospel of Mark submitted to the medium of textuality. Both facts are significant.
For Kelber, the written gospel is not simply the logical outcome of oral development. Mark owes much to oral tradition, yet textuality is a distinctive medium that involves a decontextualization of words from their oral matrix and a linearization of oral pluralism and recontextualization of the spoken forms. An oral form is not simply submitted to the written medium without further ado. The Gospel of Mark shows this tension between orality and textuality. A writer shapes and arranges words differently from a speaker. Parables by nature are more so forms of oral discourse than they are literary forms.
Yet the literary form or genre of the Gospel of Mark as a whole is that of a written parable, Kelber suggests, following a lead from John Dominic Crossan. The parables become the parable.
Whereas Kelber emphasizes the oral character of the tradition and hermeneutical principles distinctive of orality, Thomas Brodie61 emphasizes the literary character of the Gospels and sees the focus on orality as a misplaced emphasis for understanding the background and sources of Gospel formation. The Gospels are primarily literary works, composed by literary artists, indebted to literary sources, namely the Hebrew Bible.
The foundational dynamic behind the Gospels is not that of the relationship of textuality to orality however the relationship between those two be perceived, but rather the relationship of a text to a text, namely, a literary relationship in which classical biblical texts are imitated, adapted, and christianized. The search for sources is not a search for oral forms or even for hints of orality as such, but a search for (OT) biblical texts.
One can flnd the evidence for this literary method of Gospel composition in the later Hellenistic, Graeco-Roman world where such reshaping of classical texts was a dominant literary practice which provided both a sense of continuity and development. This fundamentally literary character of Gospel composition does not deny the oral (or better, aural) character of the Gospels. They were written with an ear to being heard. Yet it was a literary, textual process, one aspect of which was this aural purpose, not a fundamentally oral process of transmission. We rather have to do with a literary method or art and not the transformation of orality as such. The Old Testament, or Hebrew Scriptures, or Septuagint are being reworked and transformed into the New Testament message and interpretations of Jesus. The evangelists are literary artists christianizing ancient narratives, although this does not exclude elements which cannot be explained on the basis of the older narratives.
Mark, being aware of the suffering discipleship to which his community was being called as they awaited the return of the Lord, wrote his Gospel to put before his community an example of suffering servanthood. He wanted to confim disciples in their faith and to bring others to the faith by enabling them to recognize Jesus and proclaim him as the Christ of God. Three messianic designations play a prominent role in the Gospel: Christ, Son of God, Son of Humanity. Who is this Jesus? The first words of the first verse already make it clear: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1).62 The motif of Jesus as the Christ, as we have already seen, is central to Peter's profession at Caesarea Philippi and to the trial of Jesus. But this Christ is also Son of God, a fact which the demons in the narrative readily recognize. At the heart of the Gospel, according to Marxsen, is the expulsion of spirits who cry out the confession, "You are the Son of God" (3:11, 5 7).63 Peter recognizes Jesus as the Christ. The demons recognize him as the Son of God. And Jesus so often speaks of himself as Son of Humanity. In this Gospel, "Son of Humanity" occurs on the lips of Jesus fourteen times.64
With Mark we see the process of fusing different titles together and applying them to Jesus for the sake of the church's self-understanding. The Gospels are part of the process of redefining, combining, and christianizing these titles so that they may answer the question of who Jesus is for the communities of Jesus' disciples. By the time we get to Mark, the expression "Son of Humanity" is clearly a title.65 The expression was used by Jesus (his usage helps to embed it in the tradition) but not used as an apocalyptic messianic titular self-designation. Rather it was a simple, indirect way of referring to people like himself. By the time we get to Mark, however, the expression has come to carry more meaning and now connotes for the Marcan community "the one who is to come." Norman Perrrin speaks of Mark's christology as a Son of Humanity christology.66 In Mark 14:61, Jesus is addressed as the Christ and as Son of God, accepts the designation, but interprets it by means of the Son of Humanity concept. The same situation occurred at Caesarea Philippi. Jesus is confessed as the Christ but goes on to interpret his understanding by speaking of the Son of Humanity. In other words Mark is giving theological development to the titles of Christ and Son of God. He sees Jesus as the Christ, but he sees the Christ as being one like the Son of Humanity. Mark began to bring the titles together and fused them in order to interpret Jesus. According to Perrin, Mark's theology is christological, correcting false christologies, and giving a true one. He presents the disciples as voicing the opinions (the false opinions) present in Mark's church and then has Jesus teach a true understanding by using the Son of Humanity concept. Peter (like so many in Mark's church) confesses Jesus as the Christ but misunderstands this in a nationalistic sense and so has to be rebuked by Jesus into a proper understanding. Mark presents Jesus as teaching the Son of Humanity christology which in fact Mark himself is teaching. Mark's Gospel is to lead people into confessing that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, and that the Christ is in fact one like the Son of Humanity. Mark not only wants to teach that Jesus is the Christ but to correct the understanding that people have of Christ. In other words Mark represents theological development of the concept of Christ. Mark not only presents Jesus as "the one who is to come," but also as one who suffered and died. Mark's is a passion-oriented christology. Jesus scandalized people by teaching that the Son of Humanity must suffer. Perrin sees this emphasis on passion as pointing to another element in Mark's theology-his concept of discipleship as servanthood. Jesus suffered and died and so will we if we follow him. Suffering became a part of Mark's theology, part of the new teaching on the Son of Humanity found in Mark. Thus there are two emphases in Mark's christology for Perrin: Jesus' suffering role and Jesus as Son of Humanity (the Christ). These two can be identified.
For Mark, Jesus is obviously the Christ, the Son of God, and Son of Humanity. And the Son of Humanity is one who spoke with authority on earth, who had to suffer and die, and who is coming again soon, in Galilee. Another important question, however, besides who Jesus is for Mark, is the question of what "the gospel," euaggelion, means for Mark, a question important both for Marcan studies and for christology. Mark uses it in the very first verse: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (1:1). In addition there are six other significant references67 to "the gospel" in Mark: "Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God," (1:14); "and saying, 'the time is fulfilled, and the reign of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel"' (1:15); "for whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it" (8:35); "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or }ands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold . . . " (10:29-30); "And the gospel must first be preached to all nations" (13:10); "And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her" (14:9).
There are three ways in which the word "gospel" is understood in a Christian context. First, gospel refers to the gospel of Jesus Christ in which "of Jesus Christ" is taken as an objective genitive in the Greek. This means that Jesus is the object, the content, of the gospel. The gospel is a proclamation of the life, death, resurrection, identity, and salvific significance of Jesus, the Christ. Jesus is the one proclaimed, the good news. Second, gospel refers to the gospel of Jesus Christ in which "of Jesus Christ" is taken as a subjective genitive. It is Jesus' gospel. He is the subject, the proclaimer. It is his proclamation of the good news of salvation and God's coming reign. In this use the object or content is the reign of God. Third, gospel has come to refer to writings, a literary genre, the four Gospels in which we find the gospel of Jesus Christ This last sense, although so common, is the most derived. These writings are Gospels because they contain or bear witness to the gospel. In its primary sense the gospel is always the gospel of Jesus Christ and not the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. The first two meanings are the primary analogates for the word gospel. Yet gospel is also a literary form, the first example of which is Mark's Gospel. Mark's innovation is this literary genre.68
The question emerges, however, whether "the gospel of Jesus Christ" in Mark is to be taken primarily as an objective genitive or as a subjective genitive. Marxsen's redactional study has helped to clarify Mark's usage.69 Mark is the author who introduces the noun euaggelion into the synoptic tradition.70 Except for 1:1 and 1:14, Mark uses the noun without further modification. (This is not true of Matthew who speaks of the good news "of the kingdom.") For Mark Jesus is both the subject and the object of the gospel. He is the subject most precisely as Risen Lord. He is the object most precisely as the one who is coming. "The material as a whole becomes a gospel which Christ, the Risen Lord, proclaims and which proclaims Christ, the Risen Lord."71 Mark's usage in this twofold way is very much the same as Paul's. For Marxsen, then, the gospel is, "I am coming soon."72 "Believe in the gospel (= the returning Lord) because of the gospel (= his proclamation of his return)."73 Because Mark perceives his work as the gospel of Jesus Christ in both senses, he "entitles" it in 1:1 as the gospel, which then becomes a term which can be applied to the other "Gospels" as well. "Gospel" then becomes a reference to a book. But Mark's major use is that of the one gospel of Jesus Christ, who is both its proclaimer and its proclamation, an expression, following upon the use in 1:1, which lends itself toward application to the four Gospels. We can therefore see Mark's Gospel as both "the gospel of Jesus Christ" and as the first of those Christian literary testimonies which we call Gospels. But there is a fundamental unity within all three ways of understanding Mark. For it is in the literary work of his, the Gospel, that we encounter the gospel of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, of Jesus' proclamation of God's dawning reign, and of the call to discipleship. It is in both the Gospel itself and in the good news it records that we encounter the proclaimer of the gospel and the ultimate author of the Gospel -- the man Jesus raised from the dead and exalted. In other words the Gospel is both a literary form and a proclamation in which we are called upon or enabled to recognize Jesus and profess our faith, that this Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. The word "euaggelion" in all three senses is an invitation to recognize Jesus. Jesus, the Risen Lord, the Son of God, the Proclaimer is inviting us to recognize him through both the proclaimed kerygmatic word and the written testimony of the Gospel.
The Gospel contains a christology which includes a call to discipleship. But the Gospel is also structured in such a way that we are enabled to "see for ourselves" what the Gospel proclaims. The Gospel does not simply teach christology (theologically speaking) but rather presents it (pedagogically speaking) in such a way that we "come to believe." In the hearing or reading of the Gospel we come to recognize who Jesus is as the Son of God, in such a way that we now know for ourselves, profess the faith, and respond to Jesus in the only way possible to respond to him once we recognize who he truly is -- by becoming his disciples. In the Gospel then we come to encounter personally the Risen Lord and to say "yes" to his invitation to us to be his disciples. Central to this Gospel is this "act of recognition." It must precede the profession of faith and the response of discipleship. Apart from this recognition, the Gospel remains only an objective statement of someone else's faith, an inspiring religious testimony on someone's part, or a source for historiographical research, but never a gospel in its fullest sense. The Gospel form is structured for the purpose of recognition.
We can now "see" the connectedness between the earthly Jesus and the risen Jesus -- the selfsame Jesus Christ, and that there is "more" to this Jesus Christ than the Jesus of historiography, although this "Jesus of historiography" remains necessary to our contemporary re-appropriation of the Christ. But, in the Gospels, we "see" or are at least called or challenged to recognize Jesus as the Christ, the one raised from the dead who still comes to be with us. Not to "see" this is to not yet know Jesus. This is why, for a Christian, the Jesus of historiography, albeit necessary, is never sufficient. The Jesus of historiography by itself is a construct, not the living Jesus of Nazareth, not even the earthly Jesus of history. The resurrection, faith, and the gospel all make us conscious that the Jesus of history is the Jesus of faith, and vice-versa. According to the Gospels, not to be a follower of Jesus in some sense is to not yet know who Jesus is. We are back to "And who do you say that I am?" (Mk. 8:29). And the Gospels insist in the end that this question can only be answered by faith alone. Hence, for the Gospels, no need for the modern distinction between "Jesus (of history)" and "The Christ (of faith)." Such a distinction is to have already misunderstood Jesus.
We need not here detail further the development of christology in the Synoptic material, but it is probably advantageous for us to look at Synoptic christology in its most advanced form -- the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke.
33 For a concise discussion of these three stages, see Joseph A. Fitzmyer, A Christological Catechism (New York: Paulist Press, 1982). 7-23, 97-140. Also see "The Biblical Commission's Instruction on the Historical Truth of the Gospels," Theological Studies 25 (1964), 386-408, esp. pars. 6-9 of the text, reprinted in Fitzmyer above; and "The Biblical Commission and Christology," Theological Studies, 46 (1985). 407-79. esp. pp. 477-79.
34 For a very readable summary of the methods of contemporary exegesis, see Daniel Harrington, Interpreting the New Testament, vol. I of New Testament Message series (Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1979). Also Raymond F. Collins, Introduction to the New Testament (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Co., 1983).
35 On the formation of the canon, see Raymond F. Collins, Introduction to the New Testament, 140. Also see James Barr, Holy Scripture: Canon, Authority, Criticism (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1983).
36 Note the appropriate title of John Reumann's study, Jesus in the Church's Gospels (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1968). Pp. 18-43 give a succinct summary of the formation of the Gospels as understood in contemporary research.
37 A helpful article which is clear, constructive, and critical is D.G.A. Calvert, "An Examination of the Criteria for Distinguishing the Authentic Words of Jesus," New Testament Studies, 18 (1971-72), 209-19. The article has influenced Schillebeeckx's treatment of this material. For Schillebeeckx's discussion, see Jesus, 36-40, 81-102, esp. 88-100. Also see Joachim Jeremias, New Testament Theology: The Proclamation of Jesus, trans. John Bowden (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971), 141; and E.P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985), 3-22.
38 See F.C. Burkitt, The Gospel History and Its Transmission, third edition (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1911), 147-68; D.G.A Calvert, note 37 above; C.H. Dodd, History and the Gospel(London: Nisbet and Co., 1947),91-101, and The Parables of the Kingdom, revised edition (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons  1961), 24; Schillebeeckx, Jesus, 95.
39 There is no generally agreed upon name for this principle. Redaction criticism is more recent than either source criticism or form criticism. I am indebted to Calvert, note 37 above, 219, for his tentative suggestion in this direction. Also see Schillebeeckx, Jesus, 91-92.
40 Calvert, 210
41 Norman Perrin is articulate with respect to the principle of dissimilarity. See Rediscovering the Teaching of Jesus, 1549. Perrin gives us the history of this principle which is associated with form criticism. Perrin is also careful in his attentiveness to the limitations of the principle "By definition it will exclude all teaching in which Jesus may have been at one with Judaism or the early Church at one with him. But the brutal fact of the matter is that we 'have no choice'" (43). Yet he oversteps the caution when he writes, "If we are to seek that which is most characteristic of Jesus, it will be found not in the things which he shares with his contemporaries, but in the things wherein he differs from them" (39). What it comes down to is that the principle is valid if applied positively (as a support for authenticity) but invalid if applied negatively (as an argument against authenticity). Helpful critiques of the principle which make us aware of its limitations are Bruce Chilton, A Galilean Rabbi and His Bible (Wilmington, Del.: Michael Glazier, 1984), 86-90; Morna D. Hooker, "Christology and Methodology," New Testament Studies, 16-17 (1969-71), 480-87; Leander Keck, A Future for the Historical Jesus (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1971), esp. 33-35, also 18-39.
42 E g., Mk. 5:41; 14:36; 15:34.
43 See Jeremias, New Testament Theology, 5-6, for the list of Aramaic words, and 3-8 for his discussion of the principle of the Aramaic character of sayings.
44 See Jeremias, New Testament Theology, 1. In Mark alone 2:5, 2:9, 2:20,3:28,4:11, 4:12, 4:24, 4:25, 8:12, 8:17, 9:31, 9:45, 9:47, 9:49, 10:40, 12:10, 13:11, 13:13, 14:41.
45 Schillebeeckx, Jesus, 44-48.
46 C. F. D. Moule, The Origin of Christology (Cambridge University Press, 1977), 3-6. The word "development" may be less misleading than the word "evolution," although it depends upon what one understands by these two words. Moule's insights, however, are well taken. The "development of Christology" is a growth in understanding. Such development is not necessarily evoluntionary, and thus not necessarily capable of chronological arrangement. The more complex or "higher" does not necessarily come later. See The Origin of Christology, esp. 1-10, 22-23, 135-37. Moule's is an effort to ground Christology in the Jesus of history (not necessarily Jesus' words but the whole Jesus phenomenon), to see the continuity between Jesus and the Tradition, and at the same time recognize growth, and development, but the increase is increased perception, or as I have said, understanding.
47 Werner H. Kelber, The Oral and the Written Gospel (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983).
48 Concerning some of the difficulites in this text, see James D.G. Dunn, Christology in the Making (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1980), 33-3S; Ernst Käsemann, Commentary on Romans, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromsley (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1980), 4-16; M.E. Boismard "Constitué Fils de Dieu," Revue biblique 60 (1953), 5-17.
49 For further discussion, see Ernst Haenchen, The Acts of the Apostles, A Commentary (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1971), 176-89, 203-12.
50 J.A.T. Robinson argues not only that Acts 3 is more primitive than Acts 2, but that it may be the most primitive christology of all. "The Most Primitive Christology of All?" in Twelve New Testament Studies (London: SCM Prcss, 1962), 139-53; also in Journal of Theological Studies 7 (1956), 177-89.
51 On Paul, see Robert Jewett, A Chronology of Paul's Life (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979).
52 W.R. Farmer, The Synoptic Problem: A Critical Analysis (Dillsboro, N.C.: Western North Carolina Press, 1976); and "A Response to Robert Morgenthaler's Statistische Synopse," Biblica 54 (1973), 425-30, still argucs for the priority of Matthew's Gospel, but the majority opinion supports the evidence for Mark. See Howard Clark Kee, Community of the New Age -- studies in Mark's Gospel (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1977), 14-17.
53 See Richard A. Edwards, A Theology of Q: Eschatology, Prophecy, and Wisdom (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976); and A Concordance to Q (Missoula, Montana: Scholars Press and Society of Biblical Literature, 1975). A recent synthesis of research is Ivan Havener's Q, The Sayings of Jesus, with a reconstruction of Q by Athanasius Polag (Wilmington, Del.: Michael Glazier, 1987).
54 See Paul Achtmeier, Mark (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 197S); Wilfrid Harrington, Mark (Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glauer, Inc. 1979); Sean Kealy, Mark's Gospel, A History of Its Interpretation (New York: Paulist Press, 1982); H.C. Kee, Community of the New Age: Studies in Mark's Gospel (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1977); Jack Dean Kingsbury, The Chrislology of Mark's Gospel (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983); D.E. Nineham, Saint Mark (London: Penguin Books, 1963), along with many other studies.
55 H.C. Kee, Community of the New Age, 100.
56 John Reumann, Jesus in the Church's Gospels (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1968), 25-36.
57 E.g., Wilfrid Harrington, Mark, xi-xii; Werner Kelber, "From Passion Narrative to Gospel," in The Passion in Mark, ed. Werner Kelber (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976), 164; Schillebeeckx, Christ, the Experience of Jesus as Lord, trans. John Bowden (New York: Seabury Press, 1980), 571.
58 Willi Marxsen, Mark the Evangelist (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1969), 54-95, 102-16, 207-16. Marxsen's research also concludes that the community addressed by Mark is one awaiting the imminent parousia with the expectation that it will take place in Galilee. See pp. 93, 107, 209. Geography has theological significance for Mark -- it is the locale of the awaited parousia. Galilee is not to be understood, according to Marxsen, in a narrow and precise sense (106-8). Marxsen writes, "Thc orientation to Galilee and the imminent Parousia awaited there provide the motivc for the Gospel's formation" (209).
59 H.C. Kee, Community of the New Age, 100, 176-77. Kee argues that cultural and linguistic features in the Gospel suggest the Eastern Mediteranean area rather than Rome. Mark's lack of accurate knowledge of some aspects of Galilean topography, however, suggests a location other than Galilee proper, therefore, southern Syria. Mark's anti-city and pro-village stance suggests a rural setting.
60 Werner H. Kelber, The Oral and the Written Gospel, 44-139.
61 Brodie argues that the historiographical use of the Gospels ought to be put on hold until further research can be done into the literary sources of the Gospels. A weakness in the present stage of Brodie's research is that thus far it has concentrated on the Gospel of Luke and it remains to be seen whether his method is equally fruitful for Marcan studies. See the following by Brodie: "A New Temple and New Law, The Unity and Chronicles-based Nature of Luke 1:14:22a," Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 5 (1979), 21-45; "The Accusing and Stoning of Naboth (I Kgs. 21:8-23) as One Component of the Stephen Text (Acts 6:9-14, 7:58a)," Catholic Biblical Quarterly 45 (1983), 417-32; "Luke 7, 36-50 as an Internalization of 2 Kings 4, 1-37: A Study in Luke's Use of Rhetorical Imitation," Biblica 64 (1983), 457-85; "Graeco-Roman Imitation of Texts as a Partial Guide to Luke's Use of Sources," in Luke-Acts: New Perspectives from the Society of Biblical Literature (C H. Talbert, ed.; New York: Crossroad, 1984), 17-46; review of Werner Kelber's "Orality and Textuality in the Gospels," in Catholic Biblical Quarterly 46 (1984), 574-75; "Towards Unravelling Luke's Use of the Old Testament: Luke 7, 11-17 As an Imitatio of I Kings 17, 17-24," in New Testament Studies 32 (1986), 247-67; "Towards Unraveling the Rhetorical Imitation of Sources in Acts: 2 Kings 5 as One Component of Acts 8, 9-40 " Biblica 67 (1986), 41-67.
62 The phrase "Son of God" in verse one is widely supported in the manuscripts although not found in all of them.
63 Marxsen, Mark the Evangelist, 63.
64 These are 2:10, 2:28, 8:31, 8:38, 9:9, 9: 12, 9:31, 10:33, 10:45, 13:26, 14:21 (twice); 14:41, 14:62.
65 H.C. Kee, Community of the New Age, 138
66 Especially see Norman Perrin, "The Christology of Mark: A Study in Methodology," Journal of Religion 51 ( 1971), 173-87, the basis for my summary of Perrin's position. Also see"The Creative Use of the Son of Man Traditions by Mark," Union Seminary Quarterly Review 23 (1967/1968), 257-265; and Rediscovering the Teachings of Jesus.
67 Mk. 16:15 is an eighth reference but is in the later ending of Mark
68 Wilfrid Harrington, Mark, x. Willi Marxsen, Mark the Evangelist, 123-33, 149-50. Amos Wilder, Early Christian Rhetoric, the Language of the Gospel (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971), 36. For Schillebeecks's discussion of the word "gospel," see Jesus, 107-14.
69 Marxsen, Mark the Evangelist, 117-50.
70 Paul, of course, had already used the word "gospel," Werner Kelber, The Oral and the Written Gospel, 140-83, esp. 144-48, considers it Paul's master metaphor, a word Paul uses approximately fifty times, more than any other New Testament author. For Paul, the gospel is "the power of God" (Rom. 1:16; I Thes 1:5; 1 Cor 2:4-5: 2 Cor 6:7). The gospel is inseparable from power.
71 Marxsen, Mark the Evangelist, 149.
72 Ibid., 134.
73 Ibid., 135.