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Re: [Synoptic-L] A Reconstruction of the Pre-Markan PassionNarrative

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic In Response to: Ron Price On: Passion Narrative in JSem From: Bruce RON: I suggest you read The Acts of Jesus more carefully. The fact of the
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 1, 2008
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      To: Synoptic
      In Response to: Ron Price
      On: Passion Narrative in JSem
      From: Bruce

      RON: I suggest you read "The Acts of Jesus" more carefully. The fact of the
      crucifixion of Jesus is indicated by *red* in Mt 27:26bc // Mk 15:15c and Mt
      27:35a // Mk 15:24a // Lk 23:33b (five places in all in the synoptics).

      BRUCE: I can't at this moment find exactly the page I want, in the back of
      the book, but this will do, from p532, sv Passion narrative:

      "The assertion that the Romans were innocent of Jesus' death and the Jews
      responsible is pure Christian propaganda, in the judgment of the Seminar.
      The conspiracy against Jesus and the role of Judas, as well as Judas
      himself, are probably fictions. The story of Peter's denial is a fiction.
      The two trials are fictions; Luke has added a third trial before Herod,
      which is also a fiction. The mocking may be a fiction. Simon of Cyrene is a
      fiction. The burial of Jesus is a fiction carried out by a fictional
      character, Joseph of Arimathea."

      That is pure PC. I realize how much post-Holocaust liberal guilt is running
      around out there, but this complete denial of what is deeply woven into the
      Gospel accounts seems to be ill-judged philologically, and to have instead a
      basis in contemporary emotion. I think it has no place in scholarly
      discourse.

      AYC, in her stratification of the Markan Passion Narrative, finds that some
      responsible reductions can be done, one of which is to eliminate, not as
      emotionally undesirable, but as philologically dispensable, much of the
      Jewish Trial scene. That elimination also removes a problem that has puzzled
      scholars for centuries, since there seems to be little foundation for such a
      trial in either law or the calendar. But that there was no Jewish
      establishment collaboration in the arrest of Jesus does not follow. For if
      we seek to eliminate further elements from the Markan Passion Narrative, we
      find that (a) there is no cogent philological reason for doing so, and (b)
      doing so anyway leaves an incoherent shambles of the story. That is, there
      could never have been a prior state of what became our Markan Passion
      Narrative which contained only Roman persecutions, and no Jewish/Quisling
      collaborations. I think that AYC has gone just as far in this direction as
      there is warrant for, and she reaches a narrative whose Jewish Guilt
      component has indeed been much elaborated in later layers, but an element of
      which was nevertheless present in the earliest recoverable stage.

      RON: I've reconstructed the archetype of Mark, and I can assure you that the
      denials [of Peter] were in there. They are far too substantial for my method
      not to be able to distinguish between their presence and their absence.

      BRUCE: I've reconstructed much of it too, and I am equally confident that
      the denials were *not* originally in there. They are a later elaboration in
      the direction of prediction fulfilment, which in turn is in there (at this
      and several other places, the most sentimental of which is the Woman of
      Bethany) to exaggerate the divine predictive powers of Jesus, a late
      theological idea, but very powerful when it gets going, and it has left many
      traces (all of them philologically detectable) in the text of Mark.

      Of course everyone likes their own stuff, but I'm quite willing to consider
      Ron's. Is there an online, or other accessible, version of his reconstructed
      archetype of Mark?

      Bruce
    • Ron Price
      ... Bruce, Whether or not it is politically correct is irrelevant unless you are accusing the JSem of reaching these conclusions via historically irrational
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 11, 2008
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        Bruce Brooks wrote:


        > I can't at this moment find exactly the page I want, in the back of
        > the book, but this will do, from p532, sv Passion narrative:
        >
        > "The assertion that the Romans were innocent of Jesus' death and the Jews
        > responsible is pure Christian propaganda, in the judgment of the Seminar.
        > The conspiracy against Jesus and the role of Judas, as well as Judas
        > himself, are probably fictions. The story of Peter's denial is a fiction.
        > The two trials are fictions; Luke has added a third trial before Herod,
        > which is also a fiction. The mocking may be a fiction. Simon of Cyrene is a
        > fiction. The burial of Jesus is a fiction carried out by a fictional
        > character, Joseph of Arimathea."
        >
        > That is pure PC.

        Bruce,

        Whether or not it is 'politically correct' is irrelevant unless you are
        accusing the JSem of reaching these conclusions via historically irrational
        reasoning.

        > I realize how much post-Holocaust liberal guilt is running
        > around out there, but this complete denial of what is deeply woven into the
        > Gospel accounts seems to be ill-judged philologically,

        What the JSem are saying is that Mark's account is largely the author's
        imaginative elaboration of a small historical core. This is a well-known
        technique which probably goes back at least as far as Homer.

        > ..... and to have instead a basis in contemporary emotion. I think it has
        > no place in scholarly discourse.

        Surely what has no place in scholarly discourse is discussion of another
        scholar's motive.

        I happen to agree with these particular conclusions in the above paragraph
        quoted from "The Acts of Jesus", and my agreement is based on rational
        historical arguments arrived at independently of the JSem. I have no axe to
        grind. I am merely curious about what actually happened.

        > AYC, in her stratification of the Markan Passion Narrative, .......

        Response forthcoming when I've found out exactly what this stratification
        entails.

        Ron Price

        Derbyshire, UK

        Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
      • Ron Price
        ... No. So here it is, based on the NA27 Greek text less 9:12b; 14:28; 14:61b-64 and 16:7, all of which have the hallmarks of interpolations. The structure is
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 11, 2008
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          Bruce Brooks wrote:

          > Is there an online, or other accessible, version of his reconstructed
          > archetype of Mark?

          No. So here it is, based on the NA27 Greek text less 9:12b; 14:28; 14:61b-64
          and 16:7, all of which have the hallmarks of interpolations.

          The structure is a hierarchy with up to 3 levels. Indentations in the
          section titles are intended to indicate levels in the hierarchy, but the
          levels can be worked out from the chap:vers range after each title.

          Lets pp

          1235 1 Introduction to the "gospel" 1:1-15 framed
          The Galilean ministry 1:16-8:26
          5561 4 The call to break with old ways 1:16-3:6 framed
          9578 7 The multitudes hear about Jesus 3:7-6:6a framed
          9517 7 The mission to feed the multitudes 6:6b-8:26 framed
          The way of the cross 8:27-15:39 framed
          On the way 8:27-10:52 framed
          1349 1 Caesarea Philippi: 1st prediction 8:27-9:1
          3971 3 In Galilee: 2nd prediction 9:2-50
          2896 2 Beyond the Jordan: 3rd prediction 10:1-34
          1479 1 What shall I do for you? 10:35-52
          The coming of the Lord 11:1 - 13:37 framed
          2751 2 Jesus comes to Jerusalem 11:1-33
          4135 3 The exemplars of Judaism condemned 12:1-13:2
          2720 2 The signs of the end 13:3-37
          Chief priests cause the death of Jesus 14:1-15:39 framed
          1443 1 Preparations for the Passover 14:1-16
          2703 2 Betrayal 14:17-52
          1423 1 Denial 14:53-72
          1382 1 The trial before Pilate 15:1-20a
          1354 1 The crucifixion 15:20b-39
          1334 1 Conclusion: the experience of the women 15:40-16:8

          Total 54831 Greek letters; 40 pages; mean 1371 letters per page
          Mean deviation of 17 base sections from 40-page model is 60 letters.
          When the mathematics is done, it is clear that in the case of this book the
          author/scribe did not use the page boundaries as mere guidelines, but
          actually fitted the material for each section exactly onto the number of
          pages allocated to it.

          Notes

          1. The fact that the total number of pages is a whole multiple of 40
          strongly suggests that the gospel was planned for a codex. This brings added
          meaning to Mk 2:22 : "new wine is for fresh skins". The Jews used scrolls,
          but Mark thought Christianity deserved a new medium.
          2. It has long been recognized that anyone composing a document for a codex
          would have to plan carefully in order to fit the intended material into it
          (c.f. e.g. Aland & Aland; Elliott). For it is not possible to add a sheet or
          two at the end, as it is with a scroll. It is proposed here that the author
          first decided how many sheets to use, then divided his material into
          sections and allocated one or more pages to each section.
          3. The word "framed" indicates that the section has an 'inclusio'. This
          lends additional support to the originality of the section.
          4. The structure is symmetrical up to the second level. The originality of
          this part of the division into sections is further supported by word stem
          analysis (finding the stem which best characterises each section, which can
          be done objectively using a relatively simple mathematical formula). But
          this is way beyond the scope of this email.
          5. The author's structure has greater detail towards the end, which is just
          what we would expect from someone wishing to ensure that the crucial climax
          of the story fits properly onto the codex.

          Ron Price

          Derbyshire, UK

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