RE: [Synoptic-L] Re: The Measure You Give (Mk 4:24-25)
- Bruce mentions other OT passages involving a lamp, and I would concede
that an earlier version of Mark might have contained a lamp and might
have referred to one or more of these, but I still contend in its
current form it is a reference to Zach.
Bruce: Does (c) work? Tastes will differ, but to my eye, the idea of
references (separate passages in one text together constituting an
to another text) is simply too complex. Each passage alone should carry
share of the text being echoed.
Dave: "should" might be taken to imply a value judgment. Unless this is
a universal moral "Should", we need to ask "for what purpose?" Each
passage should carry its own weight if we desire what? If we desire an
unaided reader to catch our meaning with relative ease, then yes the
passage would fail.
If instead with this version of the document we intend a teaching aid,
accompanied by oral commentary, then it does not fail. The oral
commentary would make the point that "See this is references is obscure,
so the disciples missed it, but once you read it in light of this OT
passage, the intent is clear. Jesus is the Lord of the whole world based
on his own words even though the disciples missed this!"
In order to accomplish this, the reference must be something that would
plausibly have been missed by the disciples. Surely it succeeds on this
point. It would also have to be something that was clear once pointed
out by oral commentary. Again, it succeeds.
In Mark 4:21-23 the lamp is almost personified. Rather that being
brought in, the Lamp "comes". Then in Mark 10:35-40 the sons of Zebedee
ask about places at Jesus's right and left, but are informed that they
are reserved for the ones anointed. In Mark 15:27 we then have the
bandits placed "one on his right and one on his left".
This combination of passages uniquely identifies Zach, it could be
nothing else. The only alternative is that this apparent reference to
Zach is coincidental. This alternative can be demonstrated to be quite
improbable. The only way to salvage the coincidence argument would be to
show that the intentional design argument was even more implausible. And
while it might not be one's very first guess about how the author of
this passage intended it to be used, the idea that it was a supposed to
be a teaching aid, accompanied by oral commentary does not strike me as
- To: Synoptic
In Response To: Dave Gentile
On: OT and the Design of Mark
I am glad Dave has set up his own shop in the Roadside of Ideas; I don't
feel comfortable representing other people's theories to a shared audience.
As to the specific Lamp question,
DAVE: Bruce mentions other OT passages involving a lamp, and I would concede
that an earlier version of Mark might have contained a lamp and might have
referred to one or more of these, but I still contend in its
current form it is a reference to Zach.
BRUCE: A reference to or invocation of the Zc 4:2 "lampstand" would probably
do best if it included the word "lampstand," whereas Mk 4:21 instead has
"lamp." Does Dave assume that the original passage had "lampstand," and was
overwritten later? If so, what was the motive of the overwriting? If not,
what is the scenario?
But my major hesitation here is with the phrase "it is a reference to Zc."
In rhetorical terms, I don't think that there can realistically be a
reference to the whole of Zc, any more than the many echoes of this or that
Psalm in Mk together constitute an invocation of the whole repertoire of
Still, it is always possible that Dave is seeing something which, in my
cruder way, I am missing. I can think of one way to explore the
possibilities without adjudicating the present point to a finish.
It is this. Dave, like some other investigators, is assuming early and late
states of Mark. Me too. One obvious question to ask of any such theory (and
I recall that Ron Price has already answered it for his view of Mk) is, What
is the earliest state of Mark like? What does it consist of? What is its
idea of Jesus?
If Dave can conveniently give, or compactly characterize, his version too,
his Oldest Mark, that might advance Synoptic discourse.
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst