Re: [Synoptic-L] A Reconstruction of the Pre-Markan Passion Narrative
- Bruce Brooks wrote:
> Alexander and Rufus. That struck me too, and my feeling is also that ifBruce,
> there is an earliest form of this part of Mark, those names don't belong in
> it. I have a suggestion to make, but it will take me a moment.
> (1) Both names were common enough at the time, and would be possible for
> Jews, though probably Jews from a Hellenistically assimilated family. From
> other evidence, those people (cf "James of Alphaeus") were perhaps
> especially susceptible to early Jesus preaching, whatever exactly its
> content might have been. Relatively Hellenized Jews, who would have been not
> scarce in Galilee and the nearby Diaspora (and later Hellenized non-Jews in
> those same locations). Old Jerusalem inhabitants, evidently less so.
> (2) Simon is said to be from Cyrene (that is, Libya), but at the same time,
> he is not described as just getting off the boat from Libya; he is described
> as just coming in from the country, so though he was originally from Cyrene,
> he was probably living in the vicinity of Jerusalem at this time. Being from
> Libya, he will have been a Septuagint Jew, just like Paul.
> (3) Alexander and Rufus are identified by some, perhaps many, as identical
> with persons whom Paul refers to in his letters. .......
I don't think it's possible to build a 'Pre-Markan Passion Narrative' on
data which appears to be nothing more than informed speculation.
More to the point, you surely underestimate Mark's superb narrative skills.
You are in good company, for so do the commentaries on Mark on the bookshelf
behind me. In a refreshing contrast to these, the JSem's "The Acts of Jesus"
sees the names in Mk 15:21 not as history but as part of Mark's narrative
plot. Thus the name "Simon" in "Simon of Cyrene" is taken as having been
invented by Mark as a deliberate contrast to Simon Peter who denied Jesus
and therefore did *not* take up his cross and follow Jesus (c.f. Mk 8:34).
"Alexander" and "Rufus" are taken as created simply in order to add
verisimilitude to the story.
To me, Nineham and Hooker look naive here and the JSem's explanation looks
much more credible.
Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm