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31 October 2017 = 500th anniversary of Luther’s theses

5.15.4.
This is why the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were included, as well as

Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Christ
Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Christ

the Acts of the Apostles by Luke, John’s Revelation and the letter collections of individual churches.

5.15.5.
The authentic letter of Paul to Philemon and the inauthentic 3rd letter of John were included and are included in the canon because they emphasise the unity of the whole church from the social point of view (Philemon) and in questions of faith (3 John).

5.15.6.
The four Apostolic church’s contributions to the canon:

Individual

church            Gosp. Acts       Letters                     Revelation      

James             Matthew          James, Judas           –

John                John                 1-3 John                   John

Peter                Mark               1-2 Peter                   –

Paul                 Luke, Acts      Paul’s  letters,          –
                                                  Hebrews                                          

 

The Bible can be so exciting, if we approach it with an enquiring mind instead of accepting the papal interpretation. As Martin Luther wrote in 1520 (in his open letter To the Christian Nobility…): Bible interpretation should not be the sole privilege of the (Pope’s) church with its priests and professors; on the contrary, all Christians, even lay people, should interpret the Bible.

I withdraw nothing, as Martin Luther stated on 18 April 1520 at the Diet at Worms, unless the Holy Scripture or rational argument prove me wrong.

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V  15   The canon of the New Testament

5.15.1.
The dominant master narrative about the origins of the New Testament canon states that in the first half of the 2nd century AD,

Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Christ
Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Christ

there were so many Gospels and Apostolic letters circulating among the communities that the churches had to separate the wheat from the chaff.

The only texts they adopted into the canon of significant texts for the Christian religion were those that they considered were written by one of the twelve Apostles or the Apostle Paul, or that were authorised by one of the Apostles; e.g. Luke’s Gospel, written by Paul’s companion Luke (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim 4:11; Philemon 24), was authorised by Paul.

5.15.2.
The new theses about the origin of the New Testament canon:

The New Testament canon was formed from writings from the three Palestinian Apostolic churches of James, John and Peter and the Gentile Christian church of Paul.

5.15.3.
The criterion for the acceptance into the canon was the balance between the origins in the individual churches and the extent to which the writings supported the church’s unity.

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5.14.6.
Mark’s Gospel is the founding document of the united Christian church; it was classified as canonical

Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Mary
Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Mary

from the very start. In addition, the leaders of the three individual churches, James, John and Peter, are presented jointly in Mark’s Gospel as witnesses to the core statements of faith of all three single churches.

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5.14.4.
The writer of Mark’s Gospel adopted stories about Jesus handed down in the Jesus Groups

Istanbul, Theodosian Walls, gate
Istanbul, Theodosian Walls, gate

led by James, John and Peter. Cf. in detail Johannes Neumann, War Markus ein Dichter? in: Neumann.: War Jesus Statthalter von Galiläa?, p. 43-92, here p. 51-62.

5.14.5.
The evangelist adopted stories about Jesus from Galilee that originated as oral traditions handed down in the individual churches. The Jesus stories from Jerusalem are based on interpretations of Jesus’ death by the individual churches and their cultic application.

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V  14   Mark’s Gospel

5.14.1.
The dominant master narrative about Mark’s Gospel states that the Christians passed down their memories of Jesus

Istanbul, Theodosian Walls
Istanbul, Theodosian Walls

orally in the church community. When those who had known Jesus personally grew older, Mark collected their memories, wrote them down and published them as the Gospel.

5.14.2.
The new theses about Mark’s Gospel:
Mark’s Gospel is an epic narrative. The author modelled it on Homer’s Iliad.

5.14.3.
Mark formed the Passion narrative within his Gospel according to the  Praetexta Octavia des Pseudo-Seneca.

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5.13.7.
In the Jewish interpretation, Jesus as sacrifice is compared with the sacrifice of the Passover lamb: in John’s Gospel

Athens, mosaic: Madonna
Athens, mosaic: Madonna

Jesus dies at the time the Passover lambs are sacrificed, as a Passover lamb: cf. Paul in 1 Cor. 5:7.

5.13.8.
In another Jewish interpretation, that of the Synoptics, Jesus set up the Last Supper as a memorial meal for his death, in the form of the Passover meal.

Here too, parallels are drawn between Jesus’ death and that of the Passover lamb: the meal itself appears to be taken as a memorial meal, although the words of interpretation refer back to the self-sacrifice of the God of which Jesus is a part according to John 1:1ff.

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5.13.6.
In the Greek version of the Persian myth, the following thought model emerged:

Greek Middle Ages: Mystras
Greek Middle Ages: Mystras

God sacrifices his son: Mark 12:6-8 par. In (neo)Platonic philosophy one would say emanation rather than son; a piece of God himself.