Jesus & hoi Apóstoloi Jesus as envoy of God, bringing gospel Disciples as envoys of Jesus and his gospel Q GMark But GLuke conflates “Apostles” with “the Twelve” Paul claims to fit “apostle” model Unmediated Christophanic call makes him “eyewitness” Independent of “styloi” in Jerusalem Cf. Gnostic gospels Cf. Didache’s itinerant preachers
Luke Sets Stage for Paradigm Shift In GLuke presents “the apostles” = “the Twelve” Qualifications of an apostle-member-of-the-twelve in Acts 1:21–22: Male companion of Jesus Can give eyewitness testimony to historia Jesu ‘from beginning to the end’ Witness to post-resurrection Christophany and commission Novelty: “One of the Twelve” can be called by the ekklesia (not solely by Jesus)
Significance of Eyewitness “Apostles” are guarantors of validity & reliability of the kerygma Viz. Luke 1:1–4, re: “the certainty of the teachings [Theophilus has] received” Cf. 1 John 1:1–4, eyewitness testimony to the “word of life”
Value of Traditio Polycarp of Smyrna Traditio: transmission of message by word-of- mouth from eyewitness to non-eyewitness Now chain of persons guarantees validity of message
Paradigm Shift Complete c. CE 125 Reification in the later Pauline traditions The church is “founded on the apostles” (Eph 3:20, [who must be dead]) Anti-Gnostic emphasis on holding fast to the received tradition (“the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ” in 1 Tim 6:3) Validity of teaching urged to validate authority of preacher (e.g., 1 Tim 4:6–12)
From Apóstolos to Apostolikós “Apostolicity” becomes key mechanism for managing doctrinal disputes “Apostolic” message is “sure” foundation Ignatius of Antioch’s letters Martyrdom of Polycarp (poss. written by Ignatius) Reification of message: Implies rejection of Polycarp’s catena Traditio or kerygma is valid, regardless of persons involved in traditioning process
Rise of Pseudo-Apostolic Works Standard of “apostolicity” is precondition for pseudo- apostolic phenomena Pseudonymous writings assume acceptance of category/value-judgment Use contrary “apostolic” testimony Presume authority of “apostolic” name/figure Contemporary doctrinal arguments set as “apostle’s” teaching Legendary Acts as encomia Satisfy Polycarp’s catena Convey to audience “eyewitness” testimony, or even ipsissimi verbi Jesu Implies message still validated by person who testifies
To Read or Not to Read (Aloud) Question of Canon = question of Lectionary Is the “word” in this text valuable for public proclamation in the Liturgy? Is the message too esoteric for the laity? No “conspiracy” to destroy other works Survival shows continued scholarly use Copyist tradition in monasteries & oratories
Varied OT Canons Yes Diaspora Jews Origen, and most other 1 st –3 rd c. Christian writers Ambrose & Augustine Council of Trent, in 4 th session (8 Apr 1546), defined acceptance No Gregory of Nazianzus Epiphanius Jerome Debated in West, yet used in Liturgy Q. 1: Include deutero-canonicals?
Varied NT Canons in Early Church Marcion of Sinope (d. c. CE 160) GLuke (expurgated of OT refs) 10 letters of “Paul”, including Ep. to Laodicea Ep. to Alexandria The Muratorian Fragment (c. CE 180) Athanasius Festal Epistle (c. CE 367) Viz. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History III.24??
The Muratorian Fragment (c. CE 180) Possibly constructed by Hippolytus of Rome Ms. missing beginning and probably some of end List includes: Four Gospels (gives the number) First name is missing GMark GLuke GJohn 13 Letters of “Paul” 1–3 John Revelation Apocalypse of Peter Wisdom of Solomon
Criteria for Canonicity Explicit criteria “Apostolicity” Antiquity Orthodoxy Widespread, frequent liturgical use Implicit criteria Written before c. CE 150 Provenance: city along main trade route Aristocratic author Hellenistic and Romanized urban cultural milieu
Pseudepigraphy Will the Real Apostle Please Stand Up?
Competing “Apostolic” Traditions Substitution tactics (e.g., Colossians v. Philemon) Claim same apostle’s authority to influence doctrinal or polity changes Pastoral Epistles’ disputation of women’s leadership roles Colossians’ delay-of-the-parousia tactic v. 1 Thessalonians Use weight of authority in doctrinal contests True v. false prophecy
Inquiring Minds Want to Know Curiosity about unknown periods in Jesus’ life Infancy Gospel of Thomas Vindication of Jesus’ status Gospel of Peter Acts of Pilate Sequels to the canonical Gospels and Acts Acts of Peter, Andrew, Philip, John, Paul, etc. Appeal of the miraculous Legend traditions Martyrologies
Response to New Developments Exploratory theology Assumption of the Virgin Mary Gospel of Bartholomew Pistis Sophia Sophia Jesu Christi Church orders Apostolic Church Order Didache 7ff Paraenetic material Didache 1–6 Epistles of Ignatius of Antioch
Contending with Outsiders Facing Persecution Apocalypse of Paul Apocalypse of Thomas Apocryphon of James Martyrologies Apologetics Correspondence between Seneca and Paul Kerygma Petrou At least some of the Acts