On Sun, 30 Aug 1998 Maluflen@...
> YURI: So this explanation would suggest that Mk wished to create a
> greater sense of mystery around Jesus, and because of this he wanted
> to portray disciples as somewhat less intelligent?
> LEONARD: No, Yuri, I didn't say that Mark wished to portray the
> disciples as somewhat less intelligent. What I said was, if you will
> kindly read the above, that Mark portrays the disciples as lacking in
> understanding regarding the person of Jesus.
Well, Leonard, there are only two possibilities that would come naturally
here. Either Jesus was so mysterious that he was incapable of explaining
himself (in spite of the fact that Mk says he tried to explain everything
to his disciples in private), or the disciples were not intelligent enough
to understand. I suppose your explanation may be located somewhere in
betweeen these two concepts? But I'm still not sure exactly where...
> This literary device would lose its entire effectiveness if we were to
> suppose that the disciples were mildly or otherwise retarded, wouldn't
Well, they certainly are not portrayed as too quick on the uptake, are
> One would then, e.g., have a natural reason for their persistent
> failure to understand Jesus.
But this is perhaps how the audience of Mk would have naturally understood
the situation as described by Mk?
> It is only when we presume that they are intelligent men that the
> disciples' incapacity to understand the nature of Jesus can
> effectively serve to heighten the mystery surrounding his divine
So are you suggesting that the disciples were already reputed to be so
intelligent that Mk's portrayal of them as apparently less intelligent
wouldn't have made any difference at all for the audience of Mk in this
Now, of course we may have a very similar situation here on the Synoptic-L
at the moment. You're trying to explain everything to me very clearly, but
perhaps I'm incapable of understanding. Is it that heightened mystery
Anyhow, I will gladly accept that I may be a little slow on the uptake.
And I will promise to try harder in the future... But perhaps many other
Synoptic-L readers have already understood your explanation? If so, I
encourage any of them to add their voice to try to help me understand.
> YURI: OTOH, all too often those who prefer to see our gospels as
> "monolithic textual unities", i.e. the overhwelming majority of
> commentators of all stripes and persuasions, may often seem to seek
> comforting explanations which in reality are not so well based, and
> which fail to accomodate much of existing data.
> LEONARD: I will await your (or anybody's) kind decyphering of the
> opening cryptogram here before risking a comment.
Well, I'm referring here to the highly prevalent assumption that, for the
most part, the texts of the gospels as we have them are "monolithic
unities" that were composed all in one piece, and remained "textually
frozen" up to our time.
Here's a relevant quote from H. Koester,
"NT textual critics have been deluded by the hypothesis that the
archetypes of the textual tradition which were fixed ca. 200 CE -- and how
many archetypes for each Gospel? -- are (almost) identical with the
autographs. This cannot be confirmed by any external evidence. On the
contrary, whatever evidence there is indicates that not only minor, but
also substantial revisions of the original texts have occurred during the
first hundred years of the transmission." (p. 37)
This comes from
TITLE: Gospel traditions in the second century : origins,
recensions, text, and transmission / studies by
Barbara Aland ... [et al.] ; William L. Petersen,
PUBLISHED: Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press,
Yuri Kuchinsky || Toronto
The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian