Mark's may be the earliest Gospel, but if the writer's sympathies lie with the Paulines, it is not difficult to imagine his trying to demean Paul's principal opponent, James the brother of Jesus, not to mention the rest of the family whose importance in this movement continued after James' death, with Simon.
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 12:44:04 -0500
Subject: RE: [XTalk] The Jesus movement before the NT
In Response To: Liz Fried
On: Jesus's Family
LIZ: What is the evidence that Jesus' first followers, by that I assume his
family, labeled him "Messiah?"
BRUCE: To start with, the parenthetical assumption might need to be
reconsidered. Mark, being the earliest of the Gospels, is presumptively the
best source for relations between Jesus and his family. Mk 3:31-35 shows
Jesus contrasting his lineal family with his, well, his family consisting of
"whoever does the will of God." It would seem to follow that his lineal
family and those pursuing the same Way as himself are two different groups,
with no overlap between.
It is always fun to see what the Second Tier Gospels do with such passages
(including changes of arrangement), but the point of most probable
historical relevance is the Markan version, including its sequence with
other material (on which point, notice especially what happens to Mk
E Bruce Brooks
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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