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1319Re: [Synoptic-L] A Reconstruction of the Pre-Markan PassionNarrative

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    Aug 1, 2008
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      To: Synoptic
      In Response to: Ron Price
      On: Passion Narrative in JSem
      From: Bruce

      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
      discourse.

      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?

      Bruce
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