Re: [Synoptic-L] Date of Mark
----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Swain" <theswain@...>
To: "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@...>
Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2008 11:28 PM
Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Date of Mark
>> > Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@...> wrote:
>> >> The foundation of the claim that Clement's letter to Theodore is a
>> >> fake lies
>> >> in Morton Smith being a con man. I don't believe it and it gains
>> >> purchase
>> >> because Smith is dead making him a tad unresponsive to the charge.
>> > Smith died seventeen years ago. How long should critical scholarship
>> > ignore the problems with Secret Mark out of respect for his memory?
>> Until such time as the original fly leaves are produced for forensic
>> analysis. Sorry for the delay in response, Stephen. I was carted off to
>> the dadburn hospital.
> Sorry to hear about this, but I think that's irresponsible, particularly
> since you've concluded on the basis of photographs that its genuine, but
> deny the possibility of someone else on the basis of the photographs
> proving it a hoax, forgery, or fake. So the photographs are good enough
> for you to prove one side of the case, but not admissible for study of the
> other? Such an approach seems suspect to me.
Wait a minute! I do not deny the possibility that Stephen's use of the
photographs is just as valid for his perspective showing SM to be a forgery,
only that MY use suggests to me...so far...that it is not...uh...my going to
the hospital was irresponsible? It was an inconvenience though.
>> >> My
>> >> examination of the fly leaves show a very rapidly...almost
>> >> urgent...copying
>> >> of an exemplar manuscript (probably in an uncial Greek) into a
>> >> Phanariot
>> >> Greek minuscule with all of the flourishes and ligatures peculiar to
>> >> the
>> >> 18th century.
>> > The conclusion that it was copied very rapidly...almost urgent[ly]" is
>> > inconsistent with the numerous signs of hesitation at unnatural places
>> > in the penning of the strokes. These signs of hesitation include not
>> > only the "forger's tremor" but also blunt ends, blobs of ink, and the
>> > retouching of letters. Even with all this work, the scribe, for some
>> > letters, failed to reproduce the proper 18th cen. Mar Saba shapes of
>> > some of the letters -- shapes, which just so happen to match Smith's
>> > own
>> > Greek handwriting.
>> I will go backand reread that sectionof your book with Theodore in hand.
>> my first read I could think of other explanations. In my second read I
>> consider the probabilities of other explanations versusforgery.
> Or in other words, you will reread Stephen's case with an a priori
> conclusion in hand that he is wrong and will consider how to best claim he
> is wrong rather than simply consider his arguments on their own merits?
Nope...that's not the way I work, Larry. I will go over it again with a
fine tooth comb and remain open minded. SM is not a sacred cow. My
opinion, up to this point, is an honest one.
>> >> Unless it can be demonstated to me that a few flow tremors do
>> >> not appear in genuine 18th century minuscule manuscripts which were
>> >> copied
>> >> from an exemplar and written similarly hurried AND if it can be
>> >> demonstrated
>> >> to me that there are non primarily Greek speaking scholars who can
>> >> write
>> >> 18th century Phanariot minuscule very hurriedly, Secret Mark can still
>> >> be
>> >> genuine.
>> > My book has published samples of genuine manuscripts copied at Mar Saba
>> > in the 18th cen. that do not exhibit the signs of hesitation that are
>> > found in Smith's text.
>> Yes, I know, but those other manuscripts were not copied under the same
>> unique circumstances.
> He who asserts must prove. I think that at the very least it is equally
> incumbent on you to demonstrate that such hurried copying would produce
> the results seen in Secret Mark esp in mss copied at Mar Sarba in the
> claimed time frame.
That is why I will take another look.
> Larry Swain
> Independent Scholar
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- To: Synoptic
In Response To: Jeff Peterson
On: Paul and Jesus
JEFF: ) The Pauline testimonia to Jesus' ministry don't exhibit the degree
of verbal agreement with the Synoptic parallels that commends a literary
explanation of inter-Synoptic agreements.
BRUCE: I would agree that Paul's Epistle is not here being copied from
Mark's Gospel. We do not have a scriptorium situation. But I think it is
still open that Paul may be expressing in his own words tradition that
ultimately comes from Mark. Not that this is the only option, but neither
does it seem to be eliminated.
JEFF: Seems to me at least equally plausible to hold that Paul and Mark
both derived their knowledge of Jesus' teaching and activity from oral
tradition (as Luke's preface suggests was the norm in the first generation).
BRUCE: I think there are other factors which may help us here. First, it is
notable (and Koester duly noted it) that Paul accepts none of Jesus's
ethical principles; only his sayings on church order. That is, whatever he
knew of, he is apparently being selective with. Second, he himself says that
he has no interest in Jesus "after the flesh," which I take to mean, the
teachings and deeds of Jesus during his lifetime. Why not? I presume,
because others had superior access to those details. It is only in the
revelation department, the spiritual department, that he can hope to rank
even with the other Apostles; to compete with them on a level basis.
Third, take miracles. Mark tells of several miracles of Jesus, obviously
thinking that they will add to readers' impressment with Jesus, and their
acceptance of Jesus as bringing a message, along with healing power, from
God. The demand for a "sign" in Mark assumes that supernatural deeds are the
best proof of Jesus's qualification for what he was doing. All this is
consistent with itself, and with the extreme emphasis on miracles in the
Apostolic literature. Did Paul have any knowledge of Jesus's miracles? I
defy anyone to spend a week in Peter's company, as Paul tells us he had
done, without getting an earful of Jesus's miracles. Presumably in a
Galilean twang which, I have suggested, led a Jerusalem hearer like Mark to
get the name Gerasa wrong; he had misheard Peter's Gergesa (so Origen, I
believe correctly). Likely though it is that Paul was exposed in one way or
another to such stories, he rigorously excludes them from his Epistle
teaching. The only signs he invokes are his own miraculous performances:
healings, speaking in tongues, and other evidence of indwelling spirit.
Somebody else's spiritual feats or doings have no authenticating power, or
other interest, for Paul. The only miracle of Jesus that interests Paul is
the Resurrection, and this is really a miracle of God. The only part of
Jesus's life that Paul can use is Jesus's death. I think the filter here is
in Paul, and not in what was available to him.
(I have earlier said why I find "oral tradition" so vague as to be
analytically meaningless. The question is: Who said what to whom? I have
tried to keep to that more realistic standard in the above).
As for Mark, Peter used to come to his house, and he will have had more than
Paul's opportunity to acquaint himself with what Peter knew, or claimed to
know, as an eyewitness. This seems to me to be a good deal more direct than
the phrase "oral tradition" tends to suggest. And does not Mark himself
slyly claim to have been in at the beginning? Like every other Evangelist,
he seems to contrive to put himself into his own story, in his case as the
youth who fled naked at the Gethsemane Arrest scene. No one has ever
suggested a plausible alternative for this otherwise absurd detail
(including Mt and Lk, who omit it). Luke has his We section (in Acts), with
its implicit claim of accompaniment of Paul for many of his journeys. John,
as is well known, has his teasingly introduced Beloved Disciple figure, who
is validated in the superadded Jn 21 as the real source of that Gospel. It
then seems that staid Matthew is the exception. But is it really? Is our
version the original, or is the original better reflected in the Gospel of
the Ebionites (Epiphanius, Adv Haer 30/13:3), "And you, Matthew, sitting at
the tax office, I called and you followed me." Note the direct address. I
get the sense of Evangelists reaching for something better than indirect
tradition, whether oral or otherwise. Doesn't mean they are right, but I
think their implied opinion deserves to be considered as reflecting the
dynamic of the times.
Nearly every NT text seems to be concerned with authentication. In the case
of the spurious 2 Thess, also with disauthentication. (Compare Paul's own
bitter comments about the Pillars, the Super-Apostles).
E Bruce Brooks
University of Massachusetts at Amherst