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4892RE: [Synoptic-L] Error in Rethinking the Gospel Sources, Volume 2, The Unity and Plurality of Q, by D R Burkett?

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    Jul 5, 2013
      To: Synoptic
      In Response To: Ron Price
      On: Proto-Mark
      From: Bruce

      Ron recently remarked, in rejecting a theory of Mark as a descendant of a
      more linguistically normal proto-Mark,

      "if only because that would in many cases involve replacing good Greek by
      somewhat cruder Greek."

      Exactly. The Matthean Prioritists sometimes explain this by saying that Mark
      intentionally wrote down to a vulgar audience, and for this purpose used
      inferior Greek. That is, Mark is a street version of Matthew. The street
      preachers among us can say if they find themselves doing this. Assuming that
      they do (that in informal situations in Hawaii, for example, they would
      lapse into pidgin), it remains to be convincingly demonstrated that the text
      of Mark is aimed at a subliterate audience.

      I find that unlikely. What I do seem to see, taking Mark by itself for the
      moment, is the intrusion of vulgar elements (popular elements) into an
      originally less vulgar Gospel. One possibility that occurs to me is the
      Story of the Pigs (the exorcism frame story is almost an excuse to hang the
      Pigs on). The Pigs looks to me like the kind of thing you could look up in a
      folklore motif index, and find more of. I can just hear Peter recounting it
      with relish.

      I would class it as a Comeuppance Tale. Are there others in the literature
      of that period? Stories where the seemingly superior party is fooled by his
      own cleverness? I think I can see one or two in the late Apocryphal Gospels
      and Acts. There are also exact parallels in, say, the 04c Dzwo Jwan (a very
      long and well written classical Chinese text), all of which champion
      socially lower persons against their murderers or oppressors, certain
      socially higher persons.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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