1319Re: [Synoptic-L] A Reconstruction of the Pre-Markan PassionNarrative
- Aug 1, 2008To: Synoptic
In Response to: Ron Price
On: Passion Narrative in JSem
RON: I suggest you read "The Acts of Jesus" more carefully. The fact of the
crucifixion of Jesus is indicated by *red* in Mt 27:26bc // Mk 15:15c and Mt
27:35a // Mk 15:24a // Lk 23:33b (five places in all in the synoptics).
BRUCE: I can't at this moment find exactly the page I want, in the back of
the book, but this will do, from p532, sv Passion narrative:
"The assertion that the Romans were innocent of Jesus' death and the Jews
responsible is pure Christian propaganda, in the judgment of the Seminar.
The conspiracy against Jesus and the role of Judas, as well as Judas
himself, are probably fictions. The story of Peter's denial is a fiction.
The two trials are fictions; Luke has added a third trial before Herod,
which is also a fiction. The mocking may be a fiction. Simon of Cyrene is a
fiction. The burial of Jesus is a fiction carried out by a fictional
character, Joseph of Arimathea."
That is pure PC. I realize how much post-Holocaust liberal guilt is running
around out there, but this complete denial of what is deeply woven into the
Gospel accounts seems to be ill-judged philologically, and to have instead a
basis in contemporary emotion. I think it has no place in scholarly
AYC, in her stratification of the Markan Passion Narrative, finds that some
responsible reductions can be done, one of which is to eliminate, not as
emotionally undesirable, but as philologically dispensable, much of the
Jewish Trial scene. That elimination also removes a problem that has puzzled
scholars for centuries, since there seems to be little foundation for such a
trial in either law or the calendar. But that there was no Jewish
establishment collaboration in the arrest of Jesus does not follow. For if
we seek to eliminate further elements from the Markan Passion Narrative, we
find that (a) there is no cogent philological reason for doing so, and (b)
doing so anyway leaves an incoherent shambles of the story. That is, there
could never have been a prior state of what became our Markan Passion
Narrative which contained only Roman persecutions, and no Jewish/Quisling
collaborations. I think that AYC has gone just as far in this direction as
there is warrant for, and she reaches a narrative whose Jewish Guilt
component has indeed been much elaborated in later layers, but an element of
which was nevertheless present in the earliest recoverable stage.
RON: I've reconstructed the archetype of Mark, and I can assure you that the
denials [of Peter] were in there. They are far too substantial for my method
not to be able to distinguish between their presence and their absence.
BRUCE: I've reconstructed much of it too, and I am equally confident that
the denials were *not* originally in there. They are a later elaboration in
the direction of prediction fulfilment, which in turn is in there (at this
and several other places, the most sentimental of which is the Woman of
Bethany) to exaggerate the divine predictive powers of Jesus, a late
theological idea, but very powerful when it gets going, and it has left many
traces (all of them philologically detectable) in the text of Mark.
Of course everyone likes their own stuff, but I'm quite willing to consider
Ron's. Is there an online, or other accessible, version of his reconstructed
archetype of Mark?
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