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Re: [Synoptic-L] Directionality of Mark

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  • Ron Price
    ... Bruce, I agree that Paul was one of the essential ingredients for success. But I suggest that Christianity as we know it might never have arisen if Mark
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 12, 2008
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      Bruce Brooks wrote:

      > It seems to me just possible that the success of the movement in
      > question owes more to the second-tier Synoptics, not to mention Paul and a
      > bunch of other people, than it does to the Gospel of Mark.

      Bruce,

      I agree that Paul was one of the essential ingredients for success. But I
      suggest that Christianity as we know it might never have arisen if Mark had
      not thought of the idea of writing a "gospel" which combined the basic
      theological outlook of Paul with something he almost totally lacked, namely
      an interest in the life of Jesus.

      > How far were Mt/Lk inspired by admiration for Mk, and how far, on the
      > evidence of what they did to it, by a desire to replace it?

      It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

      > If love of Mark is strongly in evidence at any point in the last 2000
      > years, I would need to have that point more precisely identified.

      Mark's popularity lasted around a generation, from ca. 70 CE ('publication'
      of Mark) to ca. 105 CE ('publication' of the First Edition of John). Mark
      was the starting-point for the more developed gospels of Matthew and Luke.
      Mark was also the inspiration for John (see Schnelle for the heavy
      dependence of John on Mark). John the Evangelist seems to have been the last
      major Christian author to rate Mark's gospel material as more useful
      evangelically than either Matthew or Luke. A few years later John the
      Redactor succeeded in introducing ideas from Matthew into the Johannine
      gospel, and from about that time Matthew and John were established as the
      most popular gospels in the centuries that followed.

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron Price On: Directionality of Mark From: Bruce I had asked: BRUCE: How far were Mt/Lk inspired by admiration for Mk, and how
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 12, 2008
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        To: Synoptic
        In Response To: Ron Price
        On: Directionality of Mark
        From: Bruce

        I had asked:

        BRUCE: How far were Mt/Lk inspired by admiration for Mk, and how far, on the
        evidence of what they did to it, by a desire to replace it?

        RON: It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

        BRUCE: Rewriting a text, cleaning up its language, removing its most
        offensive spots, and then padding it out with as much material again, is not
        a form of flattery, it is a form of one-upmanship. The most that one can say
        of Luke is that he respected Mark as something like a classic in the field,
        and tended to treat it less cavalierly than he did old Matthew. As I think I
        have remarked before, if Luke had really *admired* Mk, in the sense meant in
        the present conversation, then his entire letter to Theophilus would have
        read as follows:

        "Esteemed Theophilus, I have just come across this really terrific account
        of the life and sayings of Jesus. You gotta see it. I am enclosing my copy;
        please be careful of the loose pages. Yours truly, Luke MD."

        I had also asked:

        BRUCE: If love of Mark is strongly in evidence at any point in the last 2000
        years, I would need to have that point more precisely identified.

        RON: Mark's popularity lasted around a generation, from ca. 70 CE
        ('publication' of Mark) to ca. 105 CE ('publication' of the First Edition of
        John). Mark was the starting-point for the more developed gospels of Matthew
        and Luke. Mark was also the inspiration for John (see Schnelle for the heavy
        dependence of John on Mark). John the Evangelist seems to have been the last
        major Christian author to rate Mark's gospel material as more useful
        evangelically than either Matthew or Luke. A few years later John the
        Redactor succeeded in introducing ideas from Matthew into the Johannine
        gospel, and from about that time Matthew and John were established as the
        most popular gospels in the centuries that followed.

        BRUCE: This at least gets rid of the modern faithful as witnesses to the
        brilliance of Mark; we are thus down from 1 billion witnesses to 3, which is
        surely progress. As for this particular scenario, none of the dates is firm
        (we have at most termini post quem in Mt and Lk, and relative chronology
        otherwise). All the rest is inference, and others, as Ron well knows, infer
        differently. It was above noted that Mt, Lk, and to a degree Jn, all
        regarded Mk as a somewhat classical source, of which they made more or less
        respectful use in their own compositions. I think this relationship may be
        itself an argument, of sorts, for Markan priority; nothing else gets even
        *that* good treatment from any second Evangelist.

        But notice the trajectory: Mt includes almost all of Mk, Lk nearer
        two-thirds, and Jn only traces. In parallel, Mt keeps roughly to Mk's
        historical schema, Lk departs from it noticeably, Jn overwrites it almost
        completely (yielding, for starters, a ministry of four years rather than
        one). We have a certain quantum of respect in all cases, but decreasing both
        in its comprehensiveness (how much of Mk the later Evangelists cared to deal
        with) and, in the retained material, in faithfulness to the detail and order
        of that material. It is a diminuendo scenario. Ron himself notes, seemingly
        in agreement with a previous remark of mine, that whatever Mk's popularity
        may earlier have been, it was immediately occluded, so far as we can tell,
        immediately after Jn, and this even in the exurbs of Alexandria, where by
        some accounts John Mark took his newly written Gospel after Peter's death,
        and which thus ought by rights to have been a hotbed of GMark enthusiasm, if
        any such existed. I think there is no evidence that any such existed.

        All this is an excursus from the idea that Mark as written is literarily
        impressive. I still don't think that the case is made, either in the
        gargoyles of Gothic cathedrals or in the sands of Egypt. And for that
        reason, I still don't think this idea has a place among the front-line
        artillery of the Markan Priority Persuasion.

        ---------

        So far has the discussion wandered from a point of essential agreement: the
        chronological priority of Mk. Thank Goodness none of the Tertiarity people
        are joining in; had they done so, the home team, thus divided, would surely
        be facing ignominious rout.

        I continue to recommend the best arguments, and I continue to feel that the
        literary brilliance of Mark (alternating as required with the linguistic
        ineptitude of Mark) is not exactly one of them.

        So what?? I'll tell you so what. Mixing weak and strong arguments does not
        make for a cumulatively strong argument. It makes for an argument of which
        someone can say, "This argument all hangs together, and these weak links
        won't support the rest of the structure, and so the whole thing collapses."

        And then one is reduced to proving, retrospectively, that one's argument did
        NOT after all hang together, so that the failure of one item does not
        logically invalidate the other items. One strengthens one's case by showing
        it to have been incoherent. Good luck on that one.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • Ron Price
        ... Bruce, Again I must conclude that there is no point in further continuing this discussion. Distorting the presentation of one s opponent is no way to make
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 13, 2008
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          Bruce Brooks wrote:

          > All this is an excursus from the idea that Mark as written is literarily
          > impressive. I still don't think that the case is made, either in the
          > gargoyles of Gothic cathedrals or in the sands of Egypt. And for that
          > reason, I still don't think this idea has a place among the front-line
          > artillery of the Markan Priority Persuasion.
          > .....
          > I continue to recommend the best arguments, and I continue to feel that the
          > literary brilliance of Mark (alternating as required with the linguistic
          > ineptitude of Mark) is not exactly one of them.

          Bruce,

          Again I must conclude that there is no point in further continuing this
          discussion. Distorting the presentation of one's opponent is no way to make
          a case. I never claimed that Mark's great high-level literary skill is an
          argument for Markan priority, as such. It was rather a defence against your
          outdated proposition that the ending to Mark's gospel has been lost.

          > .....
          > Mixing weak and strong arguments does not
          > make for a cumulatively strong argument.

          Indeed. And it does not further the case for Markan priority to suppose the
          original end of Mark's gospel has been lost. For it implies that Mark was
          originally as developed as the other gospels in regard to post-resurrection
          appearances.

          Ron Price

          Derbyshire, UK

          Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
        • E Bruce Brooks
          To: Synoptic Cc: GPG et al In Response To: Ron Price On: Directionality of Mark From: Bruce RON: . . .It was rather a defence against your outdated
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 13, 2008
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            To: Synoptic
            Cc: GPG et al
            In Response To: Ron Price
            On: Directionality of Mark
            From: Bruce

            RON: . . .It was rather a defence against your outdated proposition that
            the ending to Mark's gospel has been lost.

            BRUCE: Is "outdated" an argument? I freely concede that the approach I use
            was more widely practiced, and that the kind of conclusions I reach by using
            it were more widely accepted, in the year 1932 than at present. So either I
            am outdated or the discipline at large is going through a bad period. My
            suspicion, supported by signs of similar things happening in all the other
            humanities disciplines, is the latter. Of course anybody in my position
            would say the same, and saying it proves nothing. But neither does the
            opposite. In the end, whatever we may mean by "the end," the soundness of an
            argument, not its date, should determine.

            RON: . . . it does not further the case for Markan priority to suppose the
            original end of Mark's gospel has been lost. For it implies that Mark was
            originally as developed as the other gospels in regard to post-resurrection
            appearances.

            BRUCE: I don't suppose that loss. I infer it. Partly from the evidence in
            the text, and partly from the revealing efforts of later Evangelists and
            subsequent creative copyists to supply what they felt to be a lack. But the
            chief tilt here is in the words "original end." Those words assume that
            every feature of the text of Mark was present in it from the beginning.

            On evidence (some of it previously discussed on this list), I don't think
            so.

            I think - I conclude from examination - that Mark in its final form is the
            end product of a growth process, taking place over a good number of years,
            additions being made to it with the intention of keeping it up with
            developments in early doctrine. The congregation leader continually updating
            his sermon notes; whatever. The result is that Mark, the thing behind the
            archetype, is a theological composite, containing both early and not so
            early ideas about Jesus. Separating these strata of accretion allows one to
            watch the growth of early doctrine, a perhaps interesting possibility. On
            performing that separation, or anyway a certain amount of it, I find that
            the layer of Mark that implies the Resurrection is indeed a very late layer.
            Meaning, one may most plausibly infer, that the particular stream of
            doctrine with which GMk was in contact as it grew, and which in its final
            form it more or less reflects, did not at first hold, *but only later came
            to adopt,* the Resurrection doctrine. On evidence implicit in the text of
            our Mark, that group originally held a quite different doctrine, one in fact
            which seems to have been widespread in early Christianity, and was
            encountered and condemned by Paul in Corinth. Is the pre-Resurrection
            doctrine a later divergence, a heresy in the usual sense? I think this is
            the usual understanding of the Corinthian difference. My evidence (and some
            of my evidence has been noticed in the literature before) suggests not. It
            suggests that the Resurrection is a relatively late doctrine, which only
            after much tension and vituperation (see again Paul in Corinthians) was
            ousted in favor of the later idea.

            The word "original" has a somewhat special meaning in situations of this
            type. There are strata of relative earliness and lateness. We can call the
            oldest stratum the "original," if we like. If we do, we need to contrast it
            with the textually much more evolved final product, the Vorlage of the first
            copyist. It is the latter, as I have come to see things, that contained the
            implication of a post-Crucifixion appearance of Jesus.

            Ron and I debated exactly this proposition about Mark two years ago, just
            days (and in the last exchanges, hours) before my presentation at SBL/NE
            2006. He seemingly wasn't convinced then, and I gather he continues to be
            unconvinced now. Fair enough, and this would be a good place to cease
            troubling the list with these irreconcilable propositions.

            A PROPOSAL

            But now I make, to the silent members of Synoptic, the suggestion I
            mentioned a few days ago.

            I am still in process of developing a theory of Mark, and indeed of the
            other Gospels (Luke is also under study at thus moment), which admits the
            possibility of growth in a text before it reaches the stage of the final
            copy, the Vorlage, as it was first known to the copyists. I could use some
            comment on the work so far done, from one or two knowledgeable people who
            are at least provisionally prepared to accept the premises of the argument.

            And what are those?

            Any layer theory of any text relies for its cogency on how we propose to
            separate the various stages of growth: the layers of the resulting text. My
            present theory relies at many points on our being able to distinguish, for
            example, an interpolation *in the absence of a second manuscript which lacks
            the passage in question,* purely on the classical grounds that it disagrees
            with its present context, and that the context becomes more concinnitous
            when the passage in question is experimentally removed. To vary an example
            of Bruce Metzger's: If we see that a line of print is duplicated one column
            of our morning newspaper, it means an inadvertence in the composing room, an
            event happening before the newspaper itself is multiplied. That error might
            be the double insertion of a stick of type. When later copyists do this it
            is a retrace error, dittography, as in Acts 19:34 in Vaticanus; its opposite
            is haplography; on both, see Metzger/Ehrman 254f. We mentally correct such
            errors forthwith, when we encounter them in contemporary experience. We do
            not need a second printing of the paper, in which the error is corrected, to
            draw our attention to the error. The first printing, the evidence of the
            second line itself, the manifest *superfluity* of that second line, is all
            we need to reach a philologically valid conclusion about how the text got to
            be the way it is.

            If the (conceivably) one or two people out of Synoptic's 183 members (the
            total membership of 185 minus Ron and myself) who are prepared to admit the
            validity of what I will call the Metzger procedure, the recognition of
            interpolations solely from their character in the text before us, would get
            in touch with me privately, I would be glad to share with them, for their
            private comment and criticism, preliminary drafts of my 2006 and also my
            2008 SBL/NE presentations on Mark, and perhaps later on, my parallel effort
            with Luke. It would be understood that the drafts themselves would remain
            private, as with any unpublished work, and that helpful criticisms would be
            acknowledged in any eventual published form. Standard scholarly protocol.

            Thanks to the one or two for considering this, and thanks to all for their
            exemplary patience during the previous exchange.

            Bruce

            E Bruce Brooks
            Warring States Project
            University of Massachusetts at Amherst
            http://www.umass.edu/wsp
          • Maluflen@aol.com
            Note that all of Ron s evidence for Mark s popularity below depends upon modern source theories for Gospel?writings (stated as though they were fact). Funny
            Message 5 of 13 , Apr 13, 2008
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              Note that all of Ron's "evidence" for Mark's popularity below depends upon modern source theories for Gospel?writings (stated as though they were fact). Funny that all other historical evidence points to (1) a stunning lack of interest in Mark in early Christianity, (2) rather definite, expressed?opinions that Matthew wrote first, and (3) a universal popularity of Matthew in the first Christian centuries, which, given?that Gospel's?extremely Jewish character, can only be accounted for by assuming a widespread belief that it was indeed the first Gospel written (and perhaps also that it had some genuine connection with one of the Twelve). It is historically?unimaginable that (Jewish-Christian!) advocates of Matthew could have pulled that off, with no trace of historical resistance from those in the know about Mark's venerable origin.?Also, I am not impressed with?the idea of Mark as a primary inspiration?for John, at least to the extent that that?hypothesis ignores (as it most often does) the enormous influence of Matthew on John as well. Scholars who hold Markan priority are?often all but blind to the latter (Matthew's influence on John, i.e.).?

              By the way, there are quite reasonable arguments to counter every one of the arguments for Markan priority that Ron reiterated?recently. I hesitate to?give the responses here,?only because they have all been given many times in the past. My assumption is?that Ron simply never reads them, or he would spare himself the embarrassment of repeating arguments that have long since been?effectively refuted.?

              Leonard Maluf
              Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
              Weston, MA


              Mark's popularity lasted around a generation, from ca. 70 CE ('publication'
              of Mark) to ca. 105 CE ('publication' of the First Edition of John). Mark
              was the starting-point for the more developed gospels of Matthew and Luke.
              Mark was also the inspiration for John (see Schnelle for the heavy
              dependence of John on Mark). John the Evangelist seems to have been the last
              major Christian author to rate Mark's gospel material as more useful
              evangelically than either Matthew or Luke. A few years later John the
              Redactor succeeded in introducing ideas from Matthew into the Johannine
              gospel, and from about that time Matthew and John were established as the
              most popular gospels in the centuries that followed.





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Chuck Jones
              Bruce and Ron, Mark is in fact a literary masterpiece. Its three act narrative structure, use of foreshadowing, and dramatic development of a single theme
              Message 6 of 13 , Apr 14, 2008
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                Bruce and Ron,

                Mark is in fact a literary masterpiece. Its three act narrative structure, use of foreshadowing, and dramatic development of a single theme rank with the best of the dramatic literature in the Gk world. Mk's deficiencies in Gk grammar are oft-noted, but that is a separate issue from his abilities as a story teller.

                Second, it's interesting to me that Mk 16:1-8 is the account of the resurrection that is most historically accurate, based on the historical reconstructions of modern Jesus scholars and, maybe more importantly, based on internal integrity within the document. Jesus had told the disciples he would appear to them in Galilee. In Mk, and only in Mk, there is no resurrection appearance in Jerusalem. Rather, the disciples are told to go to Galilee where Jesus will appear to them. The Jerusalem appearance traditions of Mt, Lk and Jn have all of the marking of pious legends and hagiography. And they actively conflict with Jesus' promise to appear in Galilee.

                Rev. Chuck Jones
                Atlanta, Georgia

                Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:
                Bruce Brooks wrote:

                > All this is an excursus from the idea that Mark as written is literarily
                > impressive. I still don't think that the case is made, either in the
                > gargoyles of Gothic cathedrals or in the sands of Egypt. And for that
                > reason, I still don't think this idea has a place among the front-line
                > artillery of the Markan Priority Persuasion.
                > .....
                > I continue to recommend the best arguments, and I continue to feel that the
                > literary brilliance of Mark (alternating as required with the linguistic
                > ineptitude of Mark) is not exactly one of them.

                Bruce,

                Again I must conclude that there is no point in further continuing this
                discussion. Distorting the presentation of one's opponent is no way to make
                a case. I never claimed that Mark's great high-level literary skill is an
                argument for Markan priority, as such. It was rather a defence against your
                outdated proposition that the ending to Mark's gospel has been lost.

                > .....
                > Mixing weak and strong arguments does not
                > make for a cumulatively strong argument.

                Indeed. And it does not further the case for Markan priority to suppose the
                original end of Mark's gospel has been lost. For it implies that Mark was
                originally as developed as the other gospels in regard to post-resurrection
                appearances.

                Ron Price

                Derbyshire, UK

                Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm







                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Ron Price
                ... Leonard, With the advent of what appeared to be more complete gospels (Matthew and Luke) and a theologically much more developed gospel (John), it should
                Message 7 of 13 , Apr 14, 2008
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                  Leonard Maluf wrote:

                  > ..... Funny that all other historical evidence points to (1) a stunning lack
                  > of interest in Mark in early Christianity,

                  Leonard,

                  With the advent of what appeared to be more complete gospels (Matthew and
                  Luke) and a theologically much more developed gospel (John), it should not
                  be surprising that ordinary folk were relatively unimpressed by Mark.

                  > (2) rather definite, expressed?opinions that Matthew wrote first,

                  According to R.E.Brown, the hypothesis of Matthean priority goes back to
                  Augustine in the 4th century. But in the absence of a standard tradition of
                  publishing books with author's name and date of publication, and without an
                  understanding of modern source-critical techniques, he would have had no
                  means of knowing who really wrote first.

                  > and (3) a universal popularity of
                  > Matthew in the first Christian centuries, which, given?that Gospel's?extremely
                  > Jewish character, can only be accounted for by assuming a widespread belief
                  > that it was indeed the first Gospel written

                  Matthew's popularity can be accounted for by its perceived completeness,
                  together with its relatively clear structure which would have been so useful
                  for teaching purposes.

                  > It is historically?unimaginable
                  > that (Jewish-Christian!) advocates of Matthew could have pulled that off, with
                  > no trace of historical resistance from those in the know about Mark's
                  > venerable origin.

                  Few early Christians were interested in the order of publication of the
                  gospels. By the 4th c., no living person would have been "in the know" that
                  Mark wrote first.

                  Ron Price

                  Derbyshire, UK

                  Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                • E Bruce Brooks
                  To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Chuck Jones On: Mark From: Bruce *Everything* that one has read three or more times is a literary masterpiece, especially
                  Message 8 of 13 , Apr 14, 2008
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                    To: Synoptic
                    Cc: GPG
                    In Response To: Chuck Jones
                    On: Mark
                    From: Bruce

                    *Everything* that one has read three or more times is a literary
                    masterpiece, especially if it has a discoverable groundplan. I don't propose
                    to go further than that into what amounts to the literary equivalent of a
                    music appreciation argument. A point more accessible to philology is:

                    CHUCK: In Mk, and only in Mk, there is no resurrection appearance in
                    Jerusalem. Rather, the disciples are told to go to Galilee where Jesus will
                    appear to them. The Jerusalem appearance traditions of Mt, Lk and Jn have
                    all of the marking of pious legends and hagiography.

                    BRUCE: OK, but in my view it's more than just truth vs legend. Taking the
                    Gospels in their respective final states, which is how they are preserved in
                    the canon, we have (as I think I have mentioned before) a most suggestive
                    trajectory as respects location of Appearances of Jesus after his
                    cruxifixion:

                    Mark: Forecast in Galilee; not actually depicted. [The Gospel of Peter,
                    which is late but which in several points goes back to early tradition, does
                    depict that scene]

                    Matthew: Forecast in Galilee; actually first occurs near Jerusalem, though
                    the Galilee Appearance is duly narrated. Earlier curses the three Galilee
                    churches: Bethsaida, Chorazin, Capernaum.

                    Luke: Retains the Matthean curses against the Galilean churches. The
                    Galilean Appearance forecast is rewritten as a promise *made* in Galilee,
                    but no longer as *referring* to Galilee. Jesus appears in Jerusalem, and the
                    disciples are *ordered by Jesus* not to return to Galilee. In Luke's view,
                    the posthumous church was from the beginning located in Jerusalem.

                    This is what I call the Jerusalem trajectory, which progressively wipes out
                    the fact that the oldest Jesus groups were located where his preaching had
                    also been located, namely in Galilee (but gJn obscures even this, by giving
                    Jesus a longer preaching career, and including not one, but several, visits
                    to Jerusalem and preaching in Judea), and that his after-death appearance
                    was originally thought to be in Galilee. Both the center of the Jesus
                    movement in fact, AND the tradition of the early church as the later church
                    chose to remember it, came to be in Jerusalem. By the time of Paul in
                    Galatians (though, for those of you with no teenaged daughters, there are in
                    fact challenges to the integrity of Galatians; see for one the interesting
                    study J C O'Neill, The Recovery of Paul's Letter to the Galatians, SPCK
                    1972, and among the passages he challenges are precisely those which bear on
                    Paul's previous career), Jerusalem was IT.

                    The successive Gospels reflect this shift to Jerusalem, and a
                    correspondingly progressive obliteration of the Galilee tradition. This is
                    the sort of thing that is VERY unlikely to have happened in the opposite
                    direction. It suggests the Synoptic sequence of composition Mk > Mt > Lk >
                    Jn. As does every other well-grounded trajectory argument.

                    The trajectory argument does not speak to Synoptic interrelationships, just
                    to order of composition. But order of composition is a useful limiter on
                    interrelation theories.

                    PARAGRAPH 2

                    So far so good, and a considerable number may agree, but now we take, or let
                    me suggest that we take, a second look at Mark. *How well grounded* is the
                    Galilee Appearance in Mark?

                    Answer, not very well. The Appearance itself is never depicted, as I think
                    all will agree. How about the *predictions* of the appearance, which are all
                    that is left of that tradition in Mark? There are two of them, and only two.
                    The second, 16:7, refers back the the first, and so is not independent
                    evidence. The philological (they used to call this "higher criticism")
                    evidence is that both passages are interpolations. And why? Because they
                    make startling and encouraging statements, nothing else than a promise of
                    Life After Death, for Jesus and indeed for the movement comprising his
                    believers. But the making of these statements produces exactly no response
                    in those to whom they are ostensibly made; those persons continue in an
                    attitude of gloom and panic; their hearts are in no way lifted, nor are
                    their immediate concerns distracted. Look at this:

                    Mk 14:27. And Jesus said to them, You will all fall away, for it is written,
                    I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.

                    [Mk 14:28. But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee]

                    Mk 14:29. Peter said to him, Even though they all fall away, I will not.

                    Peter in 14:29 walks right past the assurance of 14:28, and responds
                    directly to 14:27. 14:28 might as well not be there, as far as this Peter is
                    concerned, and the indicated philological inference is that, when Mk 14 was
                    first written, 14:28 was indeed NOT there.

                    Of course, it could be some kind of fluke, or fancy rhetoric. Take now
                    16:7 -

                    Mk 16:6. And he said to them, Do not be amazed, you seek Jesus of Nazareth,
                    he is not here; see the place where they laid him.

                    [Mk 16:7. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you
                    to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you].

                    16:8. And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and
                    astonishment had come upon them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they
                    were afraid

                    Again the same pattern: the women ignore the Galilee assurance, and react
                    with astonishment to the astonishing fact of the Empty Tomb: Jesus is no
                    longer there.

                    So both these passages are exiguous in context. They *have no effect* on the
                    context; the people in the story in that point react as they might if these
                    things were not there. The inference is that both are interpolations, made
                    at the same time, and intentionally designed to reinforce each other. They
                    do indeed predict a Galilee appearance.

                    But the text of Mark, up to the time when these passages were inserted, DID
                    NOT make that prediction, or have that belief. What did it have instead?
                    Don't ask me; see for example Fitzmyer on the Philippians Hymn and related
                    materials, which testify to an early belief that Jesus was taken directly up
                    to Heaven (just like, ahem, Moses and Elijah in some traditions, and these
                    traditions are explicitly evoked elsewhere in Mk), and never saw the
                    corruption of death and burial as do other mortals.

                    We then have two stages in the growth of conceptions of Jesus. The first
                    stage is the one attested in Philippi and encountered by Paul in Corinth;
                    that is, a geographically widespread pre-Pauline tradition, which did not
                    base itself on the Resurrection Jesus (but rather on the Glorified Jesus in
                    Heaven). The second stage is the more familiar, because more Pauline,
                    Resurrection Jesus. It is in the second stage that we get arguments about
                    where the Appearances occurred, which is now a secondary issue. Dividing
                    Mark into two strata, one of which witnesses to the first stage, and the
                    other to the second, we then have a still strong but now more comprehensive
                    trajectory:

                    Mark A: No appearances, and indeed no Resurrection-centered Christianity
                    Mark B: Appearances predicted in Galilee, not shown.
                    Matthew: Hostility to Galilee; first appearance near Jerusalem; Galilee
                    appearance shown.
                    Luke: Same hostility to Galilee; all appearances near Jerusalem; Disciples
                    ordered to remain in Jerusalem; church history now begins immediately and
                    exclusively in Jerusalem, and the Pauline view of both theology and church
                    history is entirely in place.

                    Respectfully suggested,

                    Bruce

                    E Bruce Brooks
                    Warring States Project
                    University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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