The Gospel According to the Jesus Seminar

28 diogenes laertius lives of eminent philosophers

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28. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers 6.46, my translation. Hicks' translation in the Loeb Classical Library edition translates ceirourgw'n (lit. "working by hand") more demurely as "behaving indecently." 29. F. Gerald Downing, Christ and the Cynics (Sheffield: JSOT, 1988). One might just as easily cull the Epicurean tradition in the same fashion for evidence that Jesus was really an Epicurean. That Jesus' teaching "closely resembles the real teaching of Epicurus" was the view of Wolfgang Kirchbach ( Was lehrte Jesus? Zwei Urevangelien, Berlin, 1897) according to Schweitzer's account (Quest, 324). Anyone wanting to update Kirchbach's work will be glad to know about Brad Inwood and L. P. Gerson (eds.), The Epicurus Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia (Indianapolis: Hacket Publishing, 1991). 30. Downing, Cynics and Christian Origins (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1992). 31. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991. 32. Crossan, p. 421 (italics his). 33. Crossan, 427-50. 34. See Wilhelm Schneemelcher (ed.), New Testament Apocrypha, revised ed. trans. by R. McL. Wilson (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1991), vol. 1: Gospels and Related Writings. For the items cited here see pp. 110-33; 96-99; 172-78; 216-27. 35. He makes his case for the "Cross Gospel" in another ponderous tome, The Cross that Spoke: The Origins of the Passion Narrative (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988). I know of no one who accepts Crossan's reconstruction. 36. See New Testament Apocrypha, 1:209-15; 300-11. In the case of the Dialogue of the Savior, the existence of an earlier dialogue source is plausible. See esp. the Introduction by Helmut Koester and Elaine Pagels in Stephen Emmel (ed.), Nag Hammadi Codex III,5: The Dialogue of the Savior (Nag Hammadi Studies 26; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1984) 1-17. They assign a late-first century date to the dialogue source and a date in the early second century to the tractate as a whole. 37. Page references in parentheses in what follows are to this book. 38. This expression is used in a highly critical review of the Jesus Seminar by Richard B. Hays, "The Corrected Jesus," in First Things 43 (May 1994) 43-48, esp. 46. 39. For example, silent burning of the American flag is (at least so far!) protected under the "free speech" amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 40. E. P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985). Sanders lists eight "almost indisputable facts" which he takes as his starting point (p. 11): 1. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. 2. Jesus was a Galilean who preached and healed.
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3. Jesus called disciples and spoke of there being twelve. 4. Jesus confined his activity to Israel. 5. Jesus engaged in a controversy about the temple. 6. Jesus was crucified outside of Jerusalem by the Roman authorities. 7. After his death Jesus' followers continued as an identifiable movement. 8. At least some Jews persecuted at least parts of the new movement . . . . See now also E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus (London: Penguin, 1993).
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  • Fall '08
  • Staff
  • The Bible, Gospel of Matthew, John Dominic Crossan, Jesus and history, Jesus Seminar, historical jesus

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