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the sources of Matt 4:1-11 according to Griesbachians

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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    Can anyone here tell me what the Griesbachian position is (let alone if there here is one, or only one) on the origin of Matt. 4:1-11? What source or sources,
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 10, 2008
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      Can anyone here tell me what the Griesbachian position is (let alone if
      there here is one, or only one) on the origin of Matt. 4:1-11? What
      source or sources, if any, do Griesbachians claim Matthew employed in
      constructing his Wilderness testing story? What are the arguments that
      Griesbachian's use to show that their position on this matter is valid?

      Yours,

      Jeffrey

      --
      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
      1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
      Chicago, Illinois
      e-mail jgibson000@...
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      Sorry, I forgot to send this reply all. ... From: maluflen@aol.com To: jgibson000@comcast.net Sent: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 5:07 pm Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] the
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 10, 2008
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        Sorry, I forgot to send this "reply all."


        -----Original Message-----
        From: maluflen@...
        To: jgibson000@...
        Sent: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 5:07 pm
        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] the sources of Matt 4:1-11 according to Griesbachians


        Speaking for myself, I pretty much accept the work of Birger Gerhardsson on this pericope. It is a kind of midrash on Deut 6, reflecting the life of Jesus and its major challenges, in a thoroughly Jewish perspective of the obedience son of God, Jesus being identified as the new Israel. Thoroughly compatible with Matthew's genealogy, and with the theology of Matthew as a whole (particularly the passion narrative).

        Leonard Maluf
        Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
        Weston, MA


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Jeffrey B. Gibson <jgibson000@...>
        To: NewSynoptic <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 4:59 pm
        Subject: [Synoptic-L] the sources of Matt 4:1-11 according to Griesbachians



        Can anyone here tell me what the Griesbachian position is (let alone if
        there here is one, or only one) on the origin of Matt. 4:1-11? What
        source or sources, if any, do Griesbachians claim Matthew employed in
        constructing his Wilderness testing story? What are the arguments that
        Griesbachian's use to show that their position on this matter is valid?

        Yours,

        Jeffrey

        --
        Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
        1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
        Chicago, Illinois
        e-mail jgibson000@...


        ------------------------------------

        Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links





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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic Cc: GPG, WSW In Response To: Leonard M (and thus Jeffrey G) On: Matthew s Temptation Narrative (Mt 4:1-11) From: Bruce It seems to me that
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 11, 2008
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          To: Synoptic
          Cc: GPG, WSW
          In Response To: Leonard M (and thus Jeffrey G)
          On: Matthew's Temptation Narrative (Mt 4:1-11)
          From: Bruce

          It seems to me that Leonard's suggestion (the thesis of Gerhardsson about
          this passage) is very much in the right direction, though it might do with
          some supplementation, and I suggest some in what follows.

          First, I note that Davies and Allison (1988) mention Gerhardsson's (1966)
          thesis about the Deuteronomic and indeed rabbinic origin of Matthew's
          Temptation Narrative, but feel he goes too far in seeing "haggadic
          exposition of the Shema" behind this and several other Matthean bushes. That
          the temptations of Jesus in Matthew are generally patterned on the Exodus of
          Israel seems however very convincing; D & A instance respectively Deu 8:3,
          6:16, and 6:13 as the sources for the respective stages of the Temptation
          dialogue, and add: "This is the key to the narrative; we have before us a
          haggadic tale which has issued forth from reflection on Deut 6-8. Jesus, the
          Son of God, is repeating the experience of Israel in the desert (cf
          Tertullian, De Bapt 20). All important for a right understanding of our
          pericope is Deu 8:2-3 . . ."

          Notice that the order of the Deuteronomic passages does not determine that
          of the Matthean temptations, which, as I would put it, are given in a
          climactic order, from low to high ending with a vision of the entire world,
          but in Deuteronomic terms also a reverse order. Mt 4:1-11 is a schematic
          construction made by someone very familiar with OT texts and with the
          rabbinic way of handling them, but also with freedom to give the new
          construction narrative force of its own. As has now and then been pointed
          out, Lk may convincingly be seen as altering the Matthean sequence in order
          to have, not an altitude climax as in Matthew, but rather a Jerusalem
          climax, in keeping with the Galilee > Jerusalem, Jerusalem > Rome groundplan
          of Luke-Acts as a whole. The Lukan changes are thus explainable in terms of
          Luke's overall design. As for the Matthean prototype, it would seem to be
          intelligible in terms of Matthew's pervasive tendency to Scripturalize the
          life, or anyway the deeds, of Jesus. The order of the two, Mt > Lk, agrees
          with the overall Trajectory sequences among the four Gospels and Acts, whose
          implication is that the order of these five texts, in terms of increasing
          development and divinization of Christian theory, is Mk > Mt > Lk > Ac > Jn.
          I don't see any great trouble with any of this.

          It seems to me that the moral of this exercise is that in working up the
          Markan hint in his own way, Matthew had no usable historical tradition to
          operate on, and is here freely inventing on a Scripture basis. The result is
          controlled to quite an extent by the specific Scripture, or it would not
          have the intended Exodic resonance for its audience, but it is not
          *narratively constrained* by that scripture. It would seem to follow that,
          as far as Matthew invites us to suppose, there existed in the previous
          traditions of the church no fuller narrative of the Temptation interlude
          than Mark's, which, narratively, is as near as you can get to blank. The
          "source" for the Matthean Temptations is then not a text at all, it is a
          rabbinically informed creative effort by Matthew. Matthew is not a
          historian, nor the heir of an earlier historian, but a mythographer. (See
          below for previous suggestions along this line).

          Q

          So far so good. I then turn to my IQP TOC, and find that the 6th of the 102
          items in that inventory is "The Temptations of Jesus, which are defined as
          "Q 4:1-4, 9-12, 5-8, 13." So also Fleddermann. The Q people thus assert that
          there was a written narrative prior to Matthew (they apparently concede that
          the Lukan version which they generally favor for their Q stood in Matthean
          order). I do not think that the Q claim can stand. The Matthean version is
          the precedent for the Lukan version, and is thus indeed primary in that
          relationship, but the Matthean version is not copied from a verbally close
          previous text; it is an emblematic new invention by Matthew out of
          Deuteronomy.

          THE ORIGINAL INQUIRY

          In terms of the six scholarly solutions so far catalogued by Jeffrey Gibson
          in his original query, it would seem that the fifth, namely

          "Luke's version is derived from Matthew's version which is something that
          Matthew himself composed as midrash on the Biblical stories of Israel's
          Wilderness testing (a position advocated by )"

          has the most going for it. Perhaps Leonard's offer of Gerhardsson, with the
          further if partial support of Davies and Allison, and (what the heck) a nod
          to Tertullian, will help to fill in Jeffrey's parenthesis. Awareness of the
          Deuteronomic parallels is of course wider than that, among recent
          commentaries going at least as far back as:

          1907 Allen (3ed 1912). A few other partial or total dissents from the pure Q
          solution, or a few useful if tacit departures from that solution, are:

          1951 Johnson (in IB v7). ". . . therefore it is usually supposed to be from
          Q. But its theology is not identical with that of other Q material, and some
          form of the incident is known to Mark (see Intro, p237). Similar stories are
          told of the testing of founders of religions and prophets, eg Zoroaster (H P
          Houghton, Anglican Theological Review v26 [1944]; Mary E Andrews ibid v24
          [1942]). This highly stylized anecdote, in which each temptation is answered
          by a quotation from the LXX, could easily be derived from Christian
          preaching."

          1981 Beare. "The story of the temptation continues to move in the realm of
          myth which was introduced in the aftermath of the baptism. Apart from Jesus,
          there are no human actors. . . What we have before us is a dramatic dialogue
          in three acts. The dialogue is central; the scenery is nothing more than a
          setting for the debate. It would be absurd to think of the discussion
          between Jesus and the devil as the record of an actual conversation . . . "
          And if not, then it has no place in a "sayings source" as the genre "sayings
          source" is usually conceived.

          1974. Michael Goulder, Midrash and Lection in Matthew p245ff cites Farrer,
          but without accepting Farrer's chiastic suggestion ("I know of no other
          instance of Matthew reversing the order of scripture by intent"). Goulder
          cites three of Gerhardsson's NT studies (of date 1964, 1968, 1972), but
          appears not to know the 1966 study abovementioned. Goulder's discussion
          brings in other OT sources, including Exodus, whose order of presentation
          Goulder feels is dominant in the Matthean construction.

          I like Goulder's comment on p245, "The midrash virtually writes itself."
          Well, maybe it does once you are far enough into the tradition on which
          Matthew here seems to have been drawing. But I think Goulder is right. The
          idea that Matthew was here not struggling and striving, with bookmarks
          sticking out of two or three Scripture scrolls, and stuff falling off the
          other end of the table, to get this portion of his commentary on Mark
          written down, seems to be to be a salutary one. We in the here and now may
          have trouble recovering a given Evangelist's compositional process, but it
          does not follow that in our troubles we are replicating that compositional
          process itself.

          All in all, in the Temptation Narrative in Mt and soon after in Lk, I think
          we may clearly see the tradition, not remembering itself, but expanding
          itself to accommodate more adequately the larger-than-life Jesus which was
          at the center of current theological thinking at the time they wrote. This
          particular instance of the myth process is not "wild;" it has a basis in
          Scripture and it expects its recipients to recognize and to accept as
          validational its echoes from Scripture. But however impressive and even
          edifying the result may be (and Goethe would probably be the first to
          acknowledge both traits), it is still a myth process.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • Maluflen@aol.com
          I know most of you think of Mark 1:12-13 as a source for Matt 4:1-11, which makes eminent sense if you assume Markan priority. I would like you, if
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 11, 2008
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            I know most of you think of Mark 1:12-13 as a source for Matt 4:1-11, which makes eminent sense if you assume Markan priority. I would like you, if possible,?to suspend that presupposition for a moment, and acknowledge that Mark 1:12-13 works very well also as a summary allusion to the Matthean text, presumed to be known to Mark's readers. Matt 4:3-10 would represent precisely the type of specifically Hebrew-Bible-based Christological pedantry that Mark's audience can do without, or at least do without a repetition of -- in Mark's fast-moving drama of the Son of God on the way from Baptism to martyrdom. In the meantime, before Jesus begins his?ministry to?men in Mark 1:14ff (preaching to them in 1:14-15, calling them in 1:16-20, etc. etc.) the allusion to the Matthean "temptation" story enables Mark to highlight Jesus' importance by?flashing his cosmic connections: he is driven into the desert by God's Spirit, is tempted by Satan, associates with beasts, and is ministered to by angels. Here is an epiphany of the Son of God -- not now in the sense of a new Israel, but in the sense of a cosmically important and powerful divine being whose deeds and words will exhibit their power (and modeling force for the Markan community) in the remainder of the story. It goes without saying too that the story in Matt 4:1-11 does not require Mark 1:12-13 as a?source. The "Markan" elements in the Matthean account are integral to the Matthean story.

            Leonard Maluf
            Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
            Weston, MA


            -----Original Message-----
            From: E Bruce Brooks <brooks@...>
            To: synoptic@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: GPG <gpg@yahoogroups.com>; WSW <wsw@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 6:39 am
            Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] the sources of Matt 4:1-11 according to Griesbachians



            To: Synoptic
            Cc: GPG, WSW
            In Response To: Leonard M (and thus Jeffrey G)
            On: Matthew's Temptation Narrative (Mt 4:1-11)
            From: Bruce

            It seems to me that Leonard's suggestion (the thesis of Gerhardsson about
            this passage) is very much in the right direction, though it might do with
            some supplementation, and I suggest some in what follows.

            First, I note that Davies and Allison (1988) mention Gerhardsson's (1966)
            thesis about the Deuteronomic and indeed rabbinic origin of Matthew's
            Temptation Narrative, but feel he goes too far in seeing "haggadic
            exposition of the Shema" behind this and several other Matthean bushes. That
            the temptations of Jesus in Matthew are generally patterned on the Exodus of
            Israel seems however very convincing; D & A instance respectively Deu 8:3,
            6:16, and 6:13 as the sources for the respective stages of the Temptation
            dialogue, and add: "This is the key to the narrative; we have before us a
            haggadic tale which has issued forth from reflection on Deut 6-8. Jesus, the
            Son of God, is repeating the experience of Israel in the desert (cf
            Tertullian, De Bapt 20). All important for a right understanding of our
            pericope is Deu 8:2-3 . . ."

            Notice that the order of the Deuteronomic passages does not determine that
            of the Matthean temptations, which, as I would put it, are given in a
            climactic order, from low to high ending with a vision of the entire world,
            but in Deuteronomic terms also a reverse order. Mt 4:1-11 is a schematic
            construction made by someone very familiar with OT texts and with the
            rabbinic way of handling them, but also with freedom to give the new
            construction narrative force of its own. As has now and then been pointed
            out, Lk may convincingly be seen as altering the Matthean sequence in order
            to have, not an altitude climax as in Matthew, but rather a Jerusalem
            climax, in keeping with the Galilee > Jerusalem, Jerusalem > Rome groundplan
            of Luke-Acts as a whole. The Lukan changes are thus explainable in terms of
            Luke's overall design. As for the Matthean prototype, it would seem to be
            intelligible in terms of Matthew's pervasive tendency to Scripturalize the
            life, or anyway the deeds, of Jesus. The order of the two, Mt > Lk, agrees
            with the overall Trajectory sequences among the four Gospels and Acts, whose
            implication is that the order of these five texts, in terms of increasing
            development and divinization of Christian theory, is Mk > Mt > Lk > Ac > Jn.
            I don't see any great trouble with any of this.

            It seems to me that the moral of this exercise is that in working up the
            Markan hint in his own way, Matthew had no usable historical tradition to
            operate on, and is here freely inventing on a Scripture basis. The result is
            controlled to quite an extent by the specific Scripture, or it would not
            have the intended Exodic resonance for its audience, but it is not
            *narratively constrained* by that scripture. It would seem to follow that,
            as far as Matthew invites us to suppose, there existed in the previous
            traditions of the church no fuller narrative of the Temptation interlude
            than Mark's, which, narratively, is as near as you can get to blank. The
            "source" for the Matthean Temptations is then not a text at all, it is a
            rabbinically informed creative effort by Matthew. Matthew is not a
            historian, nor the heir of an earlier historian, but a mythographer. (See
            below for previous suggestions along this line).

            Q

            So far so good. I then turn to my IQP TOC, and find that the 6th of the 102
            items in that inventory is "The Temptations of Jesus, which are defined as
            "Q 4:1-4, 9-12, 5-8, 13." So also Fleddermann. The Q people thus assert that
            there was a written narrative prior to Matthew (they apparently concede that
            the Lukan version which they generally favor for their Q stood in Matthean
            order). I do not think that the Q claim can stand. The Matthean version is
            the precedent for the Lukan version, and is thus indeed primary in that
            relationship, but the Matthean version is not copied from a verbally close
            previous text; it is an emblematic new invention by Matthew out of
            Deuteronomy.

            THE ORIGINAL INQUIRY

            In terms of the six scholarly solutions so far catalogued by Jeffrey Gibson
            in his original query, it would seem that the fifth, namely

            "Luke's version is derived from Matthew's version which is something that
            Matthew himself composed as midrash on the Biblical stories of Israel's
            Wilderness testing (a position advocated by )"

            has the most going for it. Perhaps Leonard's offer of Gerhardsson, with the
            further if partial support of Davies and Allison, and (what the heck) a nod
            to Tertullian, will help to fill in Jeffrey's parenthesis. Awareness of the
            Deuteronomic parallels is of course wider than that, among recent
            commentaries going at least as far back as:

            1907 Allen (3ed 1912). A few other partial or total dissents from the pure Q
            solution, or a few useful if tacit departures from that solution, are:

            1951 Johnson (in IB v7). ". . . therefore it is usually supposed to be from
            Q. But its theology is not identical with that of other Q material, and some
            form of the incident is known to Mark (see Intro, p237). Similar stories are
            told of the testing of founders of religions and prophets, eg Zoroaster (H P
            Houghton, Anglican Theological Review v26 [1944]; Mary E Andrews ibid v24
            [1942]). This highly stylized anecdote, in which each temptation is answered
            by a quotation from the LXX, could easily be derived from Christian
            preaching."

            1981 Beare. "The story of the temptation continues to move in the realm of
            myth which was introduced in the aftermath of the baptism. Apart from Jesus,
            there are no human actors. . . What we have before us is a dramatic dialogue
            in three acts. The dialogue is central; the scenery is nothing more than a
            setting for the debate. It would be absurd to think of the discussion
            between Jesus and the devil as the record of an actual conversation . . . "
            And if not, then it has no place in a "sayings source" as the genre "sayings
            source" is usually conceived.

            1974. Michael Goulder, Midrash and Lection in Matthew p245ff cites Farrer,
            but without accepting Farrer's chiastic suggestion ("I know of no other
            instance of Matthew reversing the order of scripture by intent"). Goulder
            cites three of Gerhardsson's NT studies (of date 1964, 1968, 1972), but
            appears not to know the 1966 study abovementioned. Goulder's discussion
            brings in other OT sources, including Exodus, whose order of presentation
            Goulder feels is dominant in the Matthean construction.

            I like Goulder's comment on p245, "The midrash virtually writes itself."
            Well, maybe it does once you are far enough into the tradition on which
            Matthew here seems to have been drawing. But I think Goulder is right. The
            idea that Matthew was here not struggling and striving, with bookmarks
            sticking out of two or three Scripture scrolls, and stuff falling off the
            other end of the table, to get this portion of his commentary on Mark
            written down, seems to be to be a salutary one. We in the here and now may
            have trouble recovering a given Evangelist's compositional process, but it
            does not follow that in our troubles we are replicating that compositional
            process itself.

            All in all, in the Temptation Narrative in Mt and soon after in Lk, I think
            we may clearly see the tradition, not remembering itself, but expanding
            itself to accommodate more adequately the larger-than-life Jesus which was
            at the center of current theological thinking at the time they wrote. This
            particular instance of the myth process is not "wild;" it has a basis in
            Scripture and it expects its recipients to recognize and to accept as
            validational its echoes from Scripture. But however impressive and even
            edifying the result may be (and Goethe would probably be the first to
            acknowledge both traits), it is still a myth process.

            Bruce

            E Bruce Brooks
            Warring States Project
            University of Massachusetts at Amherst


            ------------------------------------

            Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • E Bruce Brooks
            To: Synoptic Cc: GPG; WSW In Response To: Leonard On: Markan Priority From: Bruce Leonard: I know most of you think of Mark 1:12-13 as a source for Matt
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 11, 2008
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              To: Synoptic
              Cc: GPG; WSW
              In Response To: Leonard
              On: Markan Priority
              From: Bruce

              Leonard: I know most of you think of Mark 1:12-13 as a source for Matt
              4:1-11, which makes eminent sense if you assume Markan priority. I would
              like you, if possible, to suspend that presupposition for a moment,

              Bruce: We have had this line before. But I venture to remark again: People
              do not always "assume" or have a "presupposition" about Markan priority.
              Some actually hold it as a conclusion from personally examined evidence. I
              explicitly mentioned one part of my own evidence in my earlier note: the
              Trajectory arguments. But perhaps I should yet again spell out what I mean
              by that phrase. Here goes.

              One of the Gospel Trajectories is the progressive divinization of Jesus in
              the Gospels:

              Mk: indwelt by the Spirit only from his Baptism to his Crucifixion,
              inclusive
              Mt: conceived by the Spirit
              Lk: ditto, and John the B also has a miraculous origin
              Jn: Jesus exists in Heaven prior to his human manifestation

              These make a graded sequence; a progression. But in which direction does the
              progression progress? To me it is very difficult to imagine the early church
              progressively *limiting* the span of time in which Jesus can be said to
              possess divine qualities. I think that the church (like every other sacred
              or secular movement, East or West, for which we have adequate documentation)
              is far more likely to have extended the time and aggrandized the powers. I
              note the Gnostic developments as growths in just this direction, about 37
              degrees SSW of orthodox, but still a development whose direction is relevant
              to the present purpose. From this consideration, and not from any
              "assumption," or for that matter as part of any Farmer-style evil
              conspiracy, I conclude that Mark is the earliest of the Gospels.

              That's one. Take now John the B:

              Mk: Jesus is baptized, and receives the Spirit
              Mt: John is reluctant to baptize his superior Jesus, but Jesus insists it is
              proper
              Lk: Does not even narrate the baptism as such (it is only mentioned after it
              is over)
              Jn: JB reports the descent of the spirit, but he never baptizes Jesus. John
              from the moment he comes onstage continually and abjectly insists that not
              he, but Jesus, is the One people have been waiting for. Never for a moment
              does John appear as anything other than Jesus's inferior.

              We seem to have here either a progressive diminution, or a progressive
              augmentation, of the importance of the Baptism. But which? It may easily
              have seemed to early Christians (and John B in Matthew says it explicitly)
              that it was undignified and spiritually subordinating to have Jesus receive
              anything of spiritual consequence from anyone else, John perhaps especially
              included. I find it very difficult to imagine the trend of early Christian
              thinking running the other way, namely, to make Jesus increasingly
              subordinate to John, and indebted to him in any way for the initial gift of
              the Spirit from Heaven. Hence I conclude, not as an "assumption" but as a
              reading of the evidence, that the trajectory runs in the diminution
              direction, eg Mk > Mt > Lk > Jn.

              Then we have, dare I repeat for about the third time on this list, Mary. She
              is rejected by Jesus in Mk (along with her other sons, his brothers). She
              (and not John B, so to speak) becomes the channel for God's begetting of
              Jesus in Mt (merely mentioned) and Lk (greatly and poetically elaborated).
              Of course in John, Jesus pre-exists his human self, so there is once again
              no Conception narrative. Again, is it seriously to be imagined that the
              early Church conceived an animus against Mary, and from an original position
              (contemporary with Mt/Lk) which honored her, subsequently reduced her to a
              rejected mother (in Mk)? Not, I should have thought (and surely nobody who
              has ever listened to Rossini's Stabat Mater, whether the vocal version of
              the wind version whose revival was sponsored some years ago by Pope John
              Paul II, is likely to disagree with me) in approximately a million years.
              The Marian cult is alive and well at the present time (and on the way to the
              present time, it generated some of the loveliest flowers of mediaeval Latin
              Christian culture), so we know, with what I would call a reasonable degree
              of historical assurance, which end of the Mary trajectory is the nearer end.
              Then the hostile end, the end represented by Mk, can only be the further
              end. Meaning: Mk is the earliest Gospel, with Mt (incipient) and Lk (fully
              blown) following afterward, in the increasing early adulation of Mary.

              There are other Trajectory arguments, but I hope to suggest by mentioning
              these few that there may be more than a wishful, absentminded, capricious,
              or arbitrary reason for some students of the NT to consider Mark the
              earliest of the Gospels.

              Leonard: " . . . and acknowledge that Mark 1:12-13 works very well also as a
              summary allusion to the Matthean text, presumed to be known to Mark's
              readers."

              Bruce: Only if you presume, as Leonard explicitly does, that the fuller
              story of the Temptations was already known to Mark's readers. But if it was,
              what was the need for Mark to be written at all? To show off that he can
              write a Gospel by leaving out everything that is widely popular with
              everyone? Somehow an inadequate motive. As an aide-mémoire? But it seems to
              me to contain too little detail, at too many points of vital doctrinal
              importance, to have served that purpose. As a baptismal catechism? But it is
              about forty minutes too long in performance for that function. As a
              lectionary? That has been suggested, but I am not greatly convinced by the
              version of that theory I have seen (Carrington), despite its seeming basis
              in the Vaticanus manuscript; Vaticanus, however good its text, is after all,
              in the scribal sense, only from the 4th century. And if one wants a
              lectionary version of some small segment of a Gospel, why not choose Matthew
              itself as a thing to condense from, rather than the Markan version of the
              incidents they both recount, since the Markan version of specific scenes or
              anecdotes is not infrequently longer than the Matthean one, and is often
              full of talky and narratively superfluous bits of realistic detail, none of
              which would seem to serve the purpose of a lectionary creator. And would any
              serious lectionary, in the days when Matthew was available as an alternate
              basis, and indeed (as Leonard's suggestion requires) an established and
              familiar basis, leave out the Christmas story? What would the lectionary
              reader do at Christmas season? Hum along? Try as I will, I somehow just
              can't visualize it.

              All in all, I would need to see the theory of Mark the Summarizer worked out
              in more detail before considering it seriously. A small segment would do;
              say Mark 1 or Mark 2. Here, whether with small portions or with large, is a
              task that still seems to await its Michael Goulder.

              Leonard: "It goes without saying too that the story in Matt 4:1-11 does not
              require Mark 1:12-13 as a source. The "Markan" elements in the Matthean
              account are integral to the Matthean story."

              Bruce: The Markan elements may be integral to the Matthean story, but that
              may mean no more than that Matthew has integrated them successfully. It
              wouldn't take much doing; they are the scene to which Mt has added a good
              deal of Deuteronomic dialogue. They are pretty integral in Mark also; in
              fact they are the whole deal in Mark. I don't see anything directional in
              these two general statements taken together.

              But let's consider the case more closely. If Mark is epitomizing Matthew in
              the Temptation story (and I am willing to toss in Luke for good measure),
              where exactly does Mark get "and he was with the wild beasts?" That sentence
              has been ridiculed, including on this or a similar E-list, since there are
              apparently no really scary beasts in the Johannine wilderness. And given
              that Mark's two prototypes both have Jesus gently "led by the Spirit . .
              into the wilderness," what moves Mark get to substitute the more violent and
              question-raising statement, "The Spirit immediately drove him out into the
              wilderness?" And why does Mk omit the common Mt/Lk detail that Jesus
              "fasted" (Mt) or "ate nothing in those days" (Lk), and that at the end of
              those days, "he was hungry?" I get the sense that modern exegetes like to
              exegeticize on this hunger, having much to say about hunger of the spirit
              and Goodness known what else, so if Mark is being crafted for the
              convenience of exegetes, its omission of these details, so useful to hang a
              moral on, is surely somewhat puzzling.

              The common narrative ground of Mt/Lk, in a word, would have been a very
              plausible text for an epitomizing Mark to come up with, but the common
              narrative ground of Mt/Lk is precisely what Mark does not give us in this
              section.

              And there are other little suggestive points of difference. I regret to say
              (since it seems to me a rather clever observation) that I am apparently not
              the first to notice that the more Semitic form Satan for the name of Jesus's
              tempter in Mark is given some of the time as "the devil" in Matthew and Luke
              generally; it is exclusively "devil" in the Mt/Lk Temptation stories. If
              Mark is epitomizing Mt/Lk, why does he not follow their agreed usage of
              "devil?" Why does he Semiticize it as Satan? Do we have a Trajectory of
              increasing Semiticization? If so, its other evidences are not readily
              visible. On the contrary:

              The term "devil" is also used, though not of the Tempter in this scene, in
              John. I pointed out earlier that if we survey the whole NT literature, this
              transition between the exclusive use of the Semitic "Satan" and the
              substitute or joint use of its Greek counterpart "devil" cuts across the
              Pauline literature, and in so doing, separates early and genuine epistles
              from late and deutero ones. Thus "devil" NEVER occurs in the genuine
              Paulines (just as it never occurs in Mk). It is found only in the spurious
              Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Hebrews. Paul himself, and this we know from
              his own testimony, was a student of Gamaliel at Jerusalem, and thus was
              thoroughly versed in the learned Jewish tradition in its most authentic
              form. This background Paul seems to reflect at many points of usage, "Satan"
              quite possibly being one of them. It is only in the post-Pauline writings of
              the Pauline school that the Greek term "devil" makes its appearance, along
              with a few retained "Satan" uses which are largely explicable as due to a
              spurious epistle using a genuine one as a model (eg, the spurious 2 Thess
              having in mind the genuine 1 Thess).

              So neither on the micro level (words), the midi level (common phrases in
              Mt/Lk), nor the macro level (grand doctrinal trajectories), does Mark seem
              to stand forth as the lackey, the towel holder, of Mt and Lk. He seems in
              these and other ways to make better sense as their somewhat rude and violent
              and uncouth predecessor.

              Respectfully resuggested,

              Bruce

              E Bruce Brooks
              Warring States Project
              University of Massachusetts at Amherst
            • Jeffrey B. Gibson
              ... You might want to note that much of what was being said in 1907 had already been said and articulated some 75 years earlier Strauss in his /The Life of
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 11, 2008
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                E Bruce Brooks wrote:
                > In terms of the six scholarly solutions so far catalogued by Jeffrey Gibson
                > in his original query, it would seem that the fifth, namely
                >
                > "Luke's version is derived from Matthew's version which is something that
                > Matthew himself composed as midrash on the Biblical stories of Israel's
                > Wilderness testing (a position advocated by )"
                >
                > has the most going for it. Perhaps Leonard's offer of Gerhardsson, with the
                > further if partial support of Davies and Allison, and (what the heck) a nod
                > to Tertullian, will help to fill in Jeffrey's parenthesis. Awareness of the
                > Deuteronomic parallels is of course wider than that, among recent
                > commentaries going at least as far back as:
                >
                > 1907 Allen (3ed 1912). A few other partial or total dissents from the pure Q
                > solution, or a few useful if tacit departures from that solution, are: 1951 Johnson (in IB v7). ". . . therefore it is usually supposed to be from Q. But its theology is not identical with that of other Q material, and some
                > form of the incident is known to Mark (see Intro, p237). Similar stories are
                > told of the testing of founders of religions and prophets, eg Zoroaster (H P
                > Houghton, Anglican Theological Review v26 [1944]; Mary E Andrews ibid v24
                > [1942]). This highly stylized anecdote, in which each temptation is answered
                > by a quotation from the LXX, could easily be derived from Christian
                > preaching."
                >
                You might want to note that much of what was being said in 1907 had
                already been said and articulated some 75 years earlier Strauss in his
                /The Life of Jesus Critically Examined/ -- who notes there that he is
                not the first to have noted these things..

                Jeffrey

                --
                Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
                1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
                Chicago, Illinois
                e-mail jgibson000@...



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Maluflen@aol.com
                Bruce, you miss the point of my opening sentence. The background of my comment would be clear to regular readers of this list. I have been arguing for a long
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 11, 2008
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                  Bruce, you miss the point of my opening sentence. The background of my comment would be clear to regular readers of this list. I have been arguing for a long time (and of course everyone is free to counter-argue against this position, properly understood) that, in general, adherence to Markan priority is accepted by scholars (not on the basis of no evidence at all, but) on the basis of evidence derived from macro-considerations of Mark's Gospel with respect to the other Synoptics. Much of your post illustrates this point, rather than countering it. I have further argued that if Synoptic parallels were approached, pericope by pericope, with the methodological stipulation of no pre-assumed (or pre-argued) theory of Gospel relations, and with attention simply to arguments of priority or non-priority that emerge from evidence in the individually examined parallel pericopes, there would be no strong cumulative argument for Markan priority, and considerable argument against it, by the time this exercise was complete. You may disagree with this position, but please don't misunderstand it to imply a charge that Markan priorists hold their theory without evidence, and as a mere presupposition of further interpretive work, etc.

                  I did not want to deal with your individual arguments, partly because most of them fall outside of the methodology I am advocating (they rove elsewhere and yonder for killer arguments in favor of Markan priority), but since your first argument (below) is at least related to material proximate to the temptation of Jesus parallels, I will deal with it briefly.

                  In a nut shell, it is weak and unconvincing -- not as an overall argument based on trajectory (here it obviously has some appeal)-- but as a specific argument in favor of Mark's priority to Matthew in this part of his Gospel. The problem as I see it lies in the implied argumentum ex silentio in the way you formulate Mark's supposed low Christology: "indwelt by the Spirit only from his Baptism to his Crucifixion."  There is no way this is derived from the text of Mark except through an absolutely unacceptable implied argument from silence. We have no idea (from the text) what Mark thought of Jesus' conception and birth, because he tells us nothing about them. In Mark the Spirit comes upon Jesus at his baptism, in connection with (and preparation for) his mission (just as he does in Matt, who does have a conception by the spirit!). If I were compelled to guess what Mark's view was of the time prior to this incident in the life of Jesus, I would find it difficult to imagine that Mark thought of Jesus as exactly like every other human being that ever lived up until this time. Much more likely is that he knew and believed the stories of Jesus' conception by the spirit. He simply chose to begin his story with the baptism of Jesus. And, yes, there are numerous plausible reasons why he might have chosen this particular starting point.

                  If there is any argument from Christological trajectory to be made from this part of the Gospel story, it arguably works in favor of Matthean priority. As Gerhardsson rightly notes, Jesus in Matt 4:1-11 is God's son in the sense that he is Israel, God's son. Mark does not go there (or at least, if he does, the equation of Jesus with Israel is so implicit in Mark as to be implausibly intended, and probably derived from remembering Matthew) and I would argue that Mark's account suggests a divine sonship that is more unique, mysterious, and elevated.

                  Leonard Maluf
                  Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                  Weston, MA



                  Leonard: I know most of you think of Mark 1:12-13 as a source for Matt
                  :1-11, which makes eminent sense if you assume Markan priority. I would
                  ike you, if possible, to suspend that presupposition for a moment,
                  Bruce: We have had this line before. But I venture to remark again: People
                  o not always "assume" or have a "presupposition" about Markan priority.
                  ome actually hold it as a conclusion from personally examined evidence. I
                  xplicitly mentioned one part of my own evidence in my earlier note: the
                  rajectory arguments. But perhaps I should yet again spell out what I mean
                  y that phrase. Here goes.
                  One of the Gospel Trajectories is the progressive divinization of Jesus in
                  he Gospels:
                  Mk: indwelt by the Spirit only from his Baptism to his Crucifixion,
                  nclusive
                  t: conceived by the Spirit
                  k: ditto, and John the B also has a miraculous origin
                  n: Jesus exists in Heaven prior to his human manifestation




                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: E Bruce Brooks <brooks@...>
                  To: synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 10:33 am
                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] the sources of Matt 4:1-11 according to Griesbachians



                  To: Synoptic
                  c: GPG; WSW
                  n Response To: Leonard
                  n: Markan Priority
                  rom: Bruce
                  Leonard: I know most of you think of Mark 1:12-13 as a source for Matt
                  :1-11, which makes eminent sense if you assume Markan priority. I would
                  ike you, if possible, to suspend that presupposition for a moment,
                  Bruce: We have had this line before. But I venture to remark again: People
                  o not always "assume" or have a "presupposition" about Markan priority.
                  ome actually hold it as a conclusion from personally examined evidence. I
                  xplicitly mentioned one part of my own evidence in my earlier note: the
                  rajectory arguments. But perhaps I should yet again spell out what I mean
                  y that phrase. Here goes.
                  One of the Gospel Trajectories is the progressive divinization of Jesus in
                  he Gospels:
                  Mk: indwelt by the Spirit only from his Baptism to his Crucifixion,
                  nclusive
                  t: conceived by the Spirit
                  k: ditto, and John the B also has a miraculous origin
                  n: Jesus exists in Heaven prior to his human manifestation
                  These make a graded sequence; a progression. But in which direction does the
                  rogression progress? To me it is very difficult to imagine the early church
                  rogressively *limiting* the span of time in which Jesus can be said to
                  ossess divine qualities. I think that the church (like every other sacred
                  r secular movement, East or West, for which we have adequate documentation)
                  s far more likely to have extended the time and aggrandized the powers. I
                  ote the Gnostic developments as growths in just this direction, about 37
                  egrees SSW of orthodox, but still a development whose direction is relevant
                  o the present purpose. From this consideration, and not from any
                  assumption," or for that matter as part of any Farmer-style evil
                  onspiracy, I conclude that Mark is the earliest of the Gospels.
                  That's one. Take now John the B:
                  Mk: Jesus is baptized, and receives the Spirit
                  t: John is reluctant to baptize his superior Jesus, but Jesus insists it is
                  roper
                  k: Does not even narrate the baptism as such (it is only mentioned after it
                  s over)
                  n: JB reports the descent of the spirit, but he never baptizes Jesus. John
                  rom the moment he comes onstage continually and abjectly insists that not
                  e, but Jesus, is the One people have been waiting for. Never for a moment
                  oes John appear as anything other than Jesus's inferior.
                  We seem to have here either a progressive diminution, or a progressive
                  ugmentation, of the importance of the Baptism. But which? It may easily
                  ave seemed to early Christians (and John B in Matthew says it explicitly)
                  hat it was undignified and spiritually subordinating to have Jesus receive
                  nything of spiritual consequence from anyone else, John perhaps especially
                  ncluded. I find it very difficult to imagine the trend of early Christian
                  hinking running the other way, namely, to make Jesus increasingly
                  ubordinate to John, and indebted to him in any way for the initial gift of
                  he Spirit from Heaven. Hence I conclude, not as an "assumption" but as a
                  eading of the evidence, that the trajectory runs in the diminution
                  irection, eg Mk > Mt > Lk > Jn.
                  Then we have, dare I repeat for about the third time on this list, Mary. She
                  s rejected by Jesus in Mk (along with her other sons, his brothers). She
                  and not John B, so to speak) becomes the channel for God's begetting of
                  esus in Mt (merely mentioned) and Lk (greatly and poetically elaborated).
                  f course in John, Jesus pre-exists his human self, so there is once again
                  o Conception narrative. Again, is it seriously to be imagined that the
                  arly Church conceived an animus against Mary, and from an original position
                  contemporary with Mt/Lk) which honored her, subsequently reduced her to a
                  ejected mother (in Mk)? Not, I should have thought (and surely nobody who
                  as ever listened to Rossini's Stabat Mater, whether the vocal version of
                  he wind version whose revival was sponsored some years ago by Pope John
                  aul II, is likely to disagree with me) in approximately a million years.
                  he Marian cult is alive and well at the present time (and on the way to the
                  resent time, it generated some of the loveliest flowers of mediaeval Latin
                  hristian culture), so we know, with what I would call a reasonable degree
                  f historical assurance, which end of the Mary trajectory is the nearer end.
                  hen the hostile end, the end represented by Mk, can only be the further
                  nd. Meaning: Mk is the earliest Gospel, with Mt (incipient) and Lk (fully
                  lown) following afterward, in the increasing early adulation of Mary.
                  There are other Trajectory arguments, but I hope to suggest by mentioning
                  hese few that there may be more than a wishful, absentminded, capricious,
                  r arbitrary reason for some students of the NT to consider Mark the
                  arliest of the Gospels.
                  Leonard: " . . . and acknowledge that Mark 1:12-13 works very well also as a
                  ummary allusion to the Matthean text, presumed to be known to Mark's
                  eaders."
                  Bruce: Only if you presume, as Leonard explicitly does, that the fuller
                  tory of the Temptations was already known to Mark's readers. But if it was,
                  hat was the need for Mark to be written at all? To show off that he can
                  rite a Gospel by leaving out everything that is widely popular with
                  veryone? Somehow an inadequate motive. As an aide-mémoire? But it seems to
                  e to contain too little detail, at too many points of vital doctrinal
                  mportance, to have served that purpose. As a baptismal catechism? But it is
                  bout forty minutes too long in performance for that function. As a
                  ectionary? That has been suggested, but I am not greatly convinced by the
                  ersion of that theory I have seen (Carrington), despite its seeming basis
                  n the Vaticanus manuscript; Vaticanus, however good its text, is after all,
                  n the scribal sense, only from the 4th century. And if one wants a
                  ectionary version of some small segment of a Gospel, why not choose Matthew
                  tself as a thing to condense from, rather than the Markan version of the
                  ncidents they both recount, since the Markan version of specific scenes or
                  necdotes is not infrequently longer than the Matthean one, and is often
                  ull of talky and narratively superfluous bits of realistic detail, none of
                  hich would seem to serve the purpose of a lectionary creator. And would any
                  erious lectionary, in the days when Matthew was available as an alternate
                  asis, and indeed (as Leonard's suggestion requires) an established and
                  amiliar basis, leave out the Christmas story? What would the lectionary
                  eader do at Christmas season? Hum along? Try as I will, I somehow just
                  an't visualize it.
                  All in all, I would need to see the theory of Mark the Summarizer worked out
                  n more detail before considering it seriously. A small segment would do;
                  ay Mark 1 or Mark 2. Here, whether with small portions or with large, is a
                  ask that still seems to await its Michael Goulder.
                  Leonard: "It goes without saying too that the story in Matt 4:1-11 does not
                  equire Mark 1:12-13 as a source. The "Markan" elements in the Matthean
                  ccount are integral to the Matthean story."
                  Bruce: The Markan elements may be integral to the Matthean story, but that
                  ay mean no more than that Matthew has integrated them successfully. It
                  ouldn't take much doing; they are the scene to which Mt has added a good
                  eal of Deuteronomic dialogue. They are pretty integral in Mark also; in
                  act they are the whole deal in Mark. I don't see anything directional in
                  hese two general statements taken together.
                  But let's consider the case more closely. If Mark is epitomizing Matthew in
                  he Temptation story (and I am willing to toss in Luke for good measure),
                  here exactly does Mark get "and he was with the wild beasts?" That sentence
                  as been ridiculed, including on this or a similar E-list, since there are
                  pparently no really scary beasts in the Johannine wilderness. And given
                  hat Mark's two prototypes both have Jesus gently "led by the Spirit . .
                  nto the wilderness," what moves Mark get to substitute the more violent and
                  uestion-raising statement, "The Spirit immediately drove him out into the
                  ilderness?" And why does Mk omit the common Mt/Lk detail that Jesus
                  fasted" (Mt) or "ate nothing in those days" (Lk), and that at the end of
                  hose days, "he was hungry?" I get the sense that modern exegetes like to
                  xegeticize on this hunger, having much to say about hunger of the spirit
                  nd Goodness known what else, so if Mark is being crafted for the
                  onvenience of exegetes, its omission of these details, so useful to hang a
                  oral on, is surely somewhat puzzling.
                  The common narrative ground of Mt/Lk, in a word, would have been a very
                  lausible text for an epitomizing Mark to come up with, but the common
                  arrative ground of Mt/Lk is precisely what Mark does not give us in this
                  ection.
                  And there are other little suggestive points of difference. I regret to say
                  since it seems to me a rather clever observation) that I am apparently not
                  he first to notice that the more Semitic form Satan for the name of Jesus's
                  empter in Mark is given some of the time as "the devil" in Matthew and Luke
                  enerally; it is exclusively "devil" in the Mt/Lk Temptation stories. If
                  ark is epitomizing Mt/Lk, why does he not follow their agreed usage of
                  devil?" Why does he Semiticize it as Satan? Do we have a Trajectory of
                  ncreasing Semiticization? If so, its other evidences are not readily
                  isible. On the contrary:
                  The term "devil" is also used, though not of the Tempter in this scene, in
                  ohn. I pointed out earlier that if we survey the whole NT literature, this
                  ransition between the exclusive use of the Semitic "Satan" and the
                  ubstitute or joint use of its Greek counterpart "devil" cuts across the
                  auline literature, and in so doing, separates early and genuine epistles
                  rom late and deutero ones. Thus "devil" NEVER occurs in the genuine
                  aulines (just as it never occurs in Mk). It is found only in the spurious
                  phesians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Hebrews. Paul himself, and this we know from
                  is own testimony, was a student of Gamaliel at Jerusalem, and thus was
                  horoughly versed in the learned Jewish tradition in its most authentic
                  orm. This background Paul seems to reflect at many points of usage, "Satan"
                  uite possibly being one of them. It is only in the post-Pauline writings of
                  he Pauline school that the Greek term "devil" makes its appearance, along
                  ith a few retained "Satan" uses which are largely explicable as due to a
                  purious epistle using a genuine one as a model (eg, the spurious 2 Thess
                  aving in mind the genuine 1 Thess).
                  So neither on the micro level (words), the midi level (common phrases in
                  t/Lk), nor the macro level (grand doctrinal trajectories), does Mark seem
                  o stand forth as the lackey, the towel holder, of Mt and Lk. He seems in
                  hese and other ways to make better sense as their somewhat rude and violent
                  nd uncouth predecessor.
                  Respectfully resuggested,
                  Bruce
                  E Bruce Brooks
                  arring States Project
                  niversity of Massachusetts at Amherst

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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Dave Gentile
                  ... argument based on trajectory (here it obviously has some appeal)-- but as a specific argument in favor of Mark s priority to Matthew in this part of his
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 12, 2008
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                    --- In Synoptic@yahoogroups.com, Maluflen@... wrote:
                    >
                    > In a nut shell, it is weak and unconvincing -- not as an overall
                    argument based
                    on trajectory (here it obviously has some appeal)-- but as a
                    specific argument
                    in favor of Mark's priority to Matthew in this part of his Gospel.
                    The problem
                    as I see it lies in the implied argumentum ex silentio in the way
                    you formulate
                    Mark's supposed low Christology: "indwelt by the Spirit only from
                    his Baptism to
                    his Crucifixion."Â There is no way this is derived from the text of
                    Mark except
                    through an absolutely unacceptable implied argument from silence. We
                    have no
                    idea (from the text) what Mark thought of Jesus' conception and
                    birth, because
                    he tells us nothing about them. In Mark the Spirit comes upon Jesus
                    at his
                    baptism, in connection with (and preparation for) his mission (just
                    as he does
                    in Matt, who does have a conception by the spirit!). If I wereÂ
                    compelled to
                    guess what Mark's view was of the time prior to this incident in the
                    life of
                    Jesus, I would find it difficult to imagine that Mark thought of
                    Jesus as
                    exactly like every other human being that ever lived up until this
                    time. Much
                    more likely is that he knew and believed the stories of Jesus'Â
                    conception by
                    the spirit. He simply chose to begin his story with the baptism of
                    Jesus. And,
                    yes, there are numerous plausible reasons why he might have chosen
                    this
                    particular starting point.

                    If there is any argument from Christological trajectory to be made
                    from this
                    part of the Gospel story, it arguably works in favor of Matthean
                    priority. As
                    Gerhardsson rightly notes, Jesus in Matt 4:1-11 is God's son in the
                    sense that
                    he is Israel, God's son. Mark does not go there (or at least, if he
                    does, the
                    equation of Jesus with Israel is so implicit in Mark as to be
                    implausibly
                    intended, and probably derived from remembering Matthew)Â and I
                    would argue that
                    Mark's account suggests a divine sonship that is more unique,
                    mysterious, and
                    elevated.


                    Leonard,

                    I don't find the argument from silence invalid. If we have two urns
                    containing marbles one of which is unsampled and one of which has
                    produced a few red marbles, I feel justified in considering red
                    marbles to be the more probable contents of one urn compared to the
                    other the other. If I were placing urns in order based on the
                    probable frequency of red marbles they contain, I would place the
                    sampled urn after the unsampled one. This seems to be an objective
                    induction.

                    I also note that elsewhere we have Mark telling us that the family
                    of Jesus thinks he's nuts. This seems incompatible with miraculous
                    conception narratives, and is evidence that Mark didn't know of them
                    or accept them.

                    Leonard: If I were compelled to
                    guess what Mark's view was of the time prior to this incident in the
                    life of
                    Jesus, I would find it difficult to imagine that Mark thought of
                    Jesus as
                    exactly like every other human being that ever lived up until this
                    time.

                    Dave: Why?

                    Dave Gentile
                    Riverside, IL
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