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4783RE: [Synoptic-L] Re: Mk 2:27: A Western Non-Interpolation or not?

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    Feb 4, 2013
      To: Synoptic
      On: Mk 2:27
      From: Bruce

      I can only agree with David Inglis on the secondarity of Mk 2:27, not least
      because I have previously expounded much the same position some years ago on
      this list, and in one or another SBL meeting. His point #4 is a higher
      critical argument that I would prefer to state this way: 2:27 and 2:28 give
      different reasons why it is OK for Jesus and his followers to pluck grain on
      the Sabbath. Logically, we do not need two reasons; one is plenty. Of the
      two presently available in Mark, 2:27 is universalist, and in effect
      abrogates Sabbath observance for everyone, at all times. 2:28 is specific,
      it applies only to Jesus, and only to the present occasion, and only it
      relates to the Davidic tone of his previous discourse (2:25-26, the
      reference to David in scripture). Jesus has the same privileges as David
      once had.

      And for the same reason.

      2:28 belongs rather to the time when Christianity had divorced itself from
      Jewish usages, and had become an interculturally focused movement. Mark, on
      evidence repeatedly presented, some of it by myself, is an accretional text,
      and in such a text, the early layers are earlier than the later layers. In
      cultural history terms, as also in philological terms, Mk 2:27 belongs to a
      later layer, whereas Mk 2:28 belongs to a later one. That is to say, Jesus's
      exceptionalism is earlier, historically, than is Paul's ethical
      universalism. There is nothing very surprising about this conclusion; what
      is interesting is to find both ends of it present in Mark.

      Another late passage, showing an more extreme divorce from Jewish ways, and
      even from knowledge of what those ways are, is the notorious Mk 7:3-4, where
      those listening to Mark's story of Jesus have to be taken aside and
      instructed about Jewish customs, so that they will know what the story is

      Reflecting on these and similar examples, we may moved to think about Mark
      as a book composed within memory of the agenda of the historical Jesus, but
      also affected here and there by passages belonging to a substantially later
      period, and addressing a culturally different audience. This would be a dark
      and permanent perplexity, did not Luke's biography of Mark give us some
      clues about how such differences in one man's text might have come about.


      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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