In Response To: Dave Gentile
On: OT and the Design of Mark
I am glad Dave has set up his own shop in the Roadside of Ideas; I don't
feel comfortable representing other people's theories to a shared audience.
As to the specific Lamp question,
DAVE: Bruce mentions other OT passages involving a lamp, and I would concede
that an earlier version of Mark might have contained a lamp and might have
referred to one or more of these, but I still contend in its
current form it is a reference to Zach.
BRUCE: A reference to or invocation of the Zc 4:2 "lampstand" would probably
do best if it included the word "lampstand," whereas Mk 4:21 instead has
"lamp." Does Dave assume that the original passage had "lampstand," and was
overwritten later? If so, what was the motive of the overwriting? If not,
what is the scenario?
But my major hesitation here is with the phrase "it is a reference to Zc."
In rhetorical terms, I don't think that there can realistically be a
reference to the whole of Zc, any more than the many echoes of this or that
Psalm in Mk together constitute an invocation of the whole repertoire of
Still, it is always possible that Dave is seeing something which, in my
cruder way, I am missing. I can think of one way to explore the
possibilities without adjudicating the present point to a finish.
It is this. Dave, like some other investigators, is assuming early and late
states of Mark. Me too. One obvious question to ask of any such theory (and
I recall that Ron Price has already answered it for his view of Mk) is, What
is the earliest state of Mark like? What does it consist of? What is its
idea of Jesus?
If Dave can conveniently give, or compactly characterize, his version too,
his Oldest Mark, that might advance Synoptic discourse.
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst