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Re: [Synoptic-L] Sequencing Early Christologies

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Karel Hanhart On: Interpolations in Mark From: Bruce [My heartfelt thanks to the List Managers, for the newly luxurious
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 23, 2008
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      To: Synoptic
      Cc: GPG
      In Response To: Karel Hanhart
      On: Interpolations in Mark
      From: Bruce

      [My heartfelt thanks to the List Managers, for the newly luxurious
      conditions under which one now posts to Synoptic. The mere Reply button now
      suffices to reach the list, as nearly all Replyers will tend to desire. It
      is a great kindness, and a sovereign facilitation. / Bruce]

      I had suggested (1) that recognizing interpolations, as establishing earlier
      and later segments within the text of Mark, and (2) then further recognizing
      that the early segments tend to cohere Christologically (as, but on their
      own separate and distinct basis, do also the later segments), can lead to
      (3) a clarification of the Gospel of Mark, which is widely recognized to be
      Christologically composite as it stands. They offer the possibility of
      reducing the composite into its elements. I had offered this as a useful
      possibility for the future.

      KAREL: You may be right that the two sections you discussed, 14,1-11 and
      5,22-43, were inserted by a redactor. They are part of a sandwich
      construction, however.

      BRUCE: No, they aren't. A sandwich construction, in the sense meant by
      Edwards (and by Carrington et al long before him) is a *single-author
      construct,* whose middle element, in Edwards' view, gives the
      interpretational key to the surrounding matter. I have tried to show that
      the center element in these two samples is not organic, *not authorially of
      a piece* with the surrounding matter, but rather a later insertion. The
      center is thus of later date than the surround. This makes all the
      difference in the world. I welcome Karel's agreement that the two sections
      in question represent subsequent insertions. But this automatically voids
      the "sandwich" option. In a sandwich, whether free or franchised, the burger
      is the same age as the bun.

      Also, the term "redactor" prejudices the situation by removing all but one
      of its options. I don't know whether the person who inserted the intrusions
      into these interrupted sequences was the same as the person who wrote the
      prior text, and at this stage of the investigation, I don't have a way of
      making a guess. All I know from the text evidence is that there are at least
      two stages in the *formation* of the text. That is all I plan to make use of
      in following up these possibilities. I don't need to preassign the functions
      of the people who produced the several stages. That will come out in the
      wash, maybe. I plan to let it do just that.

      KAREL. My question pertains to the identity of the redactor and of the
      author who wrote the original. One must decide, I think, between roughly (a)
      the classic tradition: the author of Mark is the John Mark of Scripture or
      (b) he is an unknown Gentile. Those who opt for position his identity is
      unknown (b), must at least make clear why they reject (a) since the Mark of
      the epistles and of Acts is prominently mentioned.

      BRUCE: Here comes the old "burden of proof" ploy. It's of dubious validity
      in court, and of no use at all outside of court. I decline to rise to the
      bait. (Also, there is a logical fallacy of the enforced doublet. There are
      more possibilities than two. What about "an unknown Jew?").

      More generally, I venture to suggest that all this author speculation is
      merely a distraction. As with most ancient texts, so also (as it seems to
      me) with gMk: the title is the least solid thing about it. And why? The
      general case in antiquity seems to be that many of the titles we now have
      were supplied by librarians, and were not part of the original text. This
      seems particularly likely with gMk, since "According to Mark" is
      intrinsically contrastive, that is, it is meant to distinguish this Gospel
      from other Gospels that are also before eye or mind of the reader. Such a
      situation could not have arisen before the arrival, and more or less general
      knowledge, of at least one of the second tier gospels, Matthew and/or Luke.
      Up to that point, the present title of gMk would have met no reader need of
      disambiguation, and thus would have made no textual sense. Ergo, that title
      is posterior to the completed text. If so, it is surely valueless for any
      deductions, authorial or other, *about* the original text.

      The only thing resembling a title that is at all likely to be intrinsic to
      the text is not KATA MARKON, but something about the Gospel of Jesus. It
      does not advertise itself as relating the experiences of some particular
      observer, but rather as presenting something observed. The authority of the
      author is not one of the devices used by the text to convince its readers.
      (Compare gJn for a completely opposite strategy).

      I thus don't have to say why I reject "the Mark of Acts." I reject everybody
      in sight. Especially at the beginning of an investigation, which is where I
      am just now. Maybe later, when we might know a little more about the several
      textual layers, we will have a basis for proposing new possibilities for
      authorship, or evaluating old ones. I decline to embark on that topic at
      this stage, since doing so would be little more than speculation. We don't
      yet know even what is in the earliest layer of the text; so even if we were
      inclined to speculation, we really don't have anything yet to speculate
      about.

      (Though I plan to make a tentative Urtext available for the previously
      mentioned Monday morning session at SBL; it runs to a couple of pages).

      [Karel continues with his own solution. He may be right. But at this stage
      of things, I have no real basis for either agreeing or disagreeing. I have
      only the text, and the beginnings of what I hope is a careful process of
      tweezing apart some of its different archaeological strata. I thus rejoin
      the conversation a little further down].

      KAREL (concluding): "In other words. - in exegetical parlance ! - , the
      revision was needed because the parousia was delayed."

      BRUCE: That Mark at some points deals with the delayed Return of Jesus - and
      we may yet discover that those points are all contained within a single,
      philologically defined, layer of the text - is more or less obvious. My
      discovery, if such it proves to be, is that other parts of the text do NOT
      deal with any such problem; they confidently expect something to happen (I
      prefer to leave that something undefined for the moment; the early community
      may themselves have redefined it). Here is one radical and manifest
      difference between early and late within Mark. I think the difference is
      worth following up.

      Did the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 have any effect on people's
      impatience about the appearance of that event? Whatever that event was? I am
      not sure that this is a necessary inference. Nor, if we are looking for
      possible theologically drastic events, is Jerusalem 70 the only one. Plenty
      of people think that the terms of the Apocalyptic segments of Mk
      (essentially, Mk 13) are much more closely matched with the approaching
      defilement of the Temple in 40 than by its accomplished destruction in 70.
      The difference between the two is a little over a generation. And a
      difference of a generation, in where we imagine the text to be situated in
      real time, is very likely to have an effect on any author calculations we
      may undertake, as well as on context calculations in general. Here is
      another reason not to rush in to author speculations.

      Delay. The distance between 30 and 70 is 40. Would it take a generation and
      a half for people to notice that their expected event had not occurred? I
      have addressed this problem before, but seemingly without effect on this
      conversation. To recapitulate: I feel that a generation-plus gap between the
      expectation and the realization of its nonfulfilment is extraordinarily
      unlikely. For consider. If you have sold all you have to join the Jesus
      movement, and the Jesus movement suddenly lacks its leader, so that your
      fellow followers have dispersed to their villages, and no new contributions
      are coming in, you are going to have to look around for something else,
      perhaps including a somewhat modified expectation, in about eight hours at
      the outside. Not finding an alternate arrangement, you will sit down on the
      curb beside the bag ladies with your hat out (hopefully it isn't raining),
      and wait for some still affluent nonmember of the movement to happen by and
      be moved by your hunger. As Peter says at one point (in one or another
      layer; I will get to that presently), We have given up all and followed you.
      If we believe this, then we must also believe that the followers possessed
      nothing of their own, up to and including a change of tunic. They were
      sustained, one gathers, by the movement itself. And when the movement in its
      original form faltered, these people would probably have felt their suddenly
      untenable position very keenly.

      Then. Right away. Not forty years afterward. Did some elderly and emaciated
      beggar on the curb in Bethany look up at the destruction of the Temple in 70
      and say, Oh, and by the way, wasn't there something I was expecting to
      happen?"

      Others are free to form their own ideas. For myself, I think this scenario
      unlikely.

      People make a big deal of Jerusalem 70. I don't doubt it was highly
      perceptible at the time, as a civic disruption and a personal inconvenience.
      But theologically? I would prefer to have a citation of just one place in
      the NT where this event is openly and unambiguously mentioned as itself
      creating a theological crisis, not for Judaism but for Christianity, before
      placing my bet on that square.

      KAREL (last word): I grant anyone that one cannot offer solid proof
      concerning the identity of author and / or redactor, but frankly solid proof
      is nowhere to be had.

      BRUCE: Another methodological crux, and again I find myself taking the other
      path. To me, that is not a reason to choose among alternative authors, it is
      a reason NOT to choose, and instead, to hold the whole thing in suspension
      until further evidence becomes available. And if it never does become
      available, then the personal name of the writer of Layer A (and of Layer B,
      and so on upward) will be forever unknown.

      So?

      The library cataloguers hate this sort of thing, since there is a spot on
      their MARC record that demands to be filled by an author name. That's their
      problem. I don't propose to complicate my life by borrowing their problem. I
      am quite content (and even if I were not, I feel methodologically
      constrained) to leave the author thing undecided and even undiscussed,
      unless and until the impossibility of discussing it profitably somehow
      changes.

      Who wrote the Copa Surisca? We know it wasn't Vergil. But as for a
      substitute name, well, that's asking a lot. It may be that one day, in some
      monastery dumpster southwest of Lyon, the signed original will come to
      light, and be saved from the monastery oven flames by some modern
      Tischendorf. Two suppositions, which by the way must coincide in time.
      Probabilities of sequential events multiply, and so do their
      improbabilities. I am not about to hold my breath on this one.

      Meanwhile, we have the poem. We can enjoy it if so inclined, without
      necessarily inventing a romantic goliardish name to stick onto it. No?

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • Jeffrey B. Gibson
      ... How can you distinguish what is Markan redaction of a Markan work. let alone determine that there has been Markan redaction of GMark, if in terms of
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 23, 2008
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        Karel Hanhart wrote:
        > My own solution is that the "redactor" is John Mark, native of Jerusalem (Acts 12). As a vald hypothesis I believe, John Mark - helper of Peter- was ALSO the author of the document that was revised. My reason is that it is impossible to detect a specific non-Markan style and vocabulary in the gospel. So a question remains. Why would an author revise his own work so radically as the "redactor" (John Mark himself) apparently did.
        How can you distinguish what is Markan redaction of a Markan work. let
        alone determine that there has been Markan redaction of GMark, if in
        terms of Markan style and vocabulary the work is entirely and
        consistently homogeneous?

        Jeffrey

        --
        Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
        1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
        Chicago, Illinois
        e-mail jgibson000@...
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic Cc: GPG, WSW In Response To: Jeffrey Gibson On: Layers in Mark From: Bruce Karel Hanhart at one point in his earlier message had applied his
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 24, 2008
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          To: Synoptic
          Cc: GPG, WSW
          In Response To: Jeffrey Gibson
          On: Layers in Mark
          From: Bruce

          Karel Hanhart at one point in his earlier message had applied his specific
          author hypothesis for the Gospel of Mark to the topic under discussion. In
          my reply, I had passed over that part of because I doubt the wisdom of
          author hypotheses at the start of an investigation. Of the several passages
          which we agree were probably later added to the Gospel, Karel had said that
          he thought that "John Mark" had added them, because "it is impossible to
          detect a specific non-Markan style and vocabulary in the gospel."

          Jeffrey Gibson came forward to challenge that suggestion in this way:

          JEFFREY: How can you distinguish what is Markan redaction of a Markan work.
          let alone determine that there has been Markan redaction of GMark, if in
          terms of Markan style and vocabulary the work is entirely and
          consistently homogeneous?

          BRUCE: I think Jeffrey means to imply that we have here an impossible
          circularity. I suggest that this is because the questions are being asked in
          the wrong order, and on the wrong basis. I will take a moment to clarify,
          and my apologies herewith for reverting to philological basics, but I can't
          think of any other clarification than by reliance on the basics:

          The first thing we have to do with a text which is before us for the first
          time (if we memorized it in childhood, we somehow have to bracket that
          information off for the present) is ask:

          1. It this one text or many?

          To answer the question, we scan the text for discontinuities of whatever
          sort. It's not all that arcane. For instance, I was dining with a group of
          college teachers yesterday evening, and the problem of student plagiarism
          came up. How do you detect it, asked one. Answered the other, "If you find
          that one paragraph is coherent and relevant but the next paragraph is
          careless and disorganized, or if one paragraph uses American spellings in
          the rest of the paper (the speaker was referring to her days at Manchester)
          uses British ones, you know there is something wrong." I remarked, "This is
          exactly what we philologists spend our time doing, 24 hours a day." The
          whole table laughed. Apparently they recognized not only the problem, but
          the technique for dealing with it.

          That technique is one way that one detects interpolations.

          What the technique in that case spotted was a paragraph purloined from
          Wikipedia and sliced into the middle of an essay of which the student had
          less competently written the beginning and end. I have earlier given
          examples, not, as it happens, of *stylistic* discontinuity, but of
          *narrative* discontinuity in Mark. Cases in which a certain segment causes
          problems in what we envision as happening (a crowd vs a few disciples
          following Jesus to the house of Jairus, etc), and where the problem vanishes
          if that segment is removed. By this sort of scanning and determination, with
          no presuppositions but simply being alert to detect bumps in the narrative
          road, we find that there are in fact interpolations in Mark.

          Then the answer to Question 1 is, "Mark is not a simple text, but rather
          composite."

          Proceeding in this way, we find that several of the interpolations, though
          intrusive in their respective immediate contexts, are coherent WITH EACH
          OTHER. That is, the interpolations are not isolated whims of some graffiti
          vandal, they are a more systematic attempt to change the text.

          Proceeding thus, and using only objective "same and different" criteria as
          our tools (never mind, for the moment, about John Mark's mom's house in
          Jerusalem; never mind that we even know the name of the doormaid; we are not
          there yet), we arrive at the conclusion that gMark is not only *composite,*
          but more precisely *layered.* It has apparently undergone an update of one
          sort or another.

          (In fact, several, but I am trying to keep this note below book length).

          The order of the material is given by the fact, which any archaeologist will
          recognize as basic ABC, that the intrusive material is younger than the
          material into which it intrudes. The spade left behind by the grave robber
          is a more recent thing than the grave goods proper. So now we not only have
          two layers, we know which one is the earlier and which the later.

          NOW, as it seems to me, we are in a position to deal with Jeffrey's
          question. Since so far we have not used stylistic differences (but only
          concinnity breaks) as our identification criterion, we can WITHOUT
          CIRCULARITY ask,

          2. Is the style of these layers the same, or different?

          I don't wish to anticipate all discussion at the NT Quest session at the
          coming SBL, but it is fair to say that this question also came up in the
          discussion of my Mark paper at SBL/NE last spring. Those who happened to be
          there would have heard my report on this, and so I share it with the rest.
          It was:

          The style of the layers is different. For instance, take the adverb EUQUS,
          which most people regard as a signature trait for this text, occurs often in
          the first layer, but only moderately in the second (meaning, all subsequent
          layers taken together). That is, EUQUS in Mark is overused in the early
          layer, and subsides to what one might call a normally mild Synoptic level
          thereafter. Furthermore, the instances of EUQUS in the later material tend
          to be in close conjunction with a EUQUS in the material in which that
          particular passage was interpolated. So to speak, the interpolator was not
          himself (or herself, if it was the housemaid, but I am not getting into that
          yet) much addicted to EUQUS, but was aware of it as a characteristic of the
          text he was working on, and when, so to speak, reminded of it by working in
          the vicinity of a EUQUS, he might use another as a style smoother.

          Take another point that people tend to notice in Mark: the high level of
          initial KAI. If you want to write a Markan style in English (I have in mind
          the Fables of Oscar Wilde), you put in a lot of initial "ands." The other
          Gospels also use initial KAI, but again, not so often as gMk. The
          conspicuousness of KAI and EUQUS go far to define what I like to call the
          "breathless" style of gMk. So KAI is another thing to check, and we find a
          similar result: the incidence of sentence initial KAI is notably less in the
          later material than it was in the original narrative. Initial KAI is not
          *absent* in the later material, mind you, it just recedes to a more Synoptic
          level of initial KAI usage.

          Those are *lexical* aspects of style. There are other types as well. Timothy
          Dwyer did an interesting study a few years back, called The Motif of Wonder
          in the Gospel of Mark (JSNT Supplement Series #128, 1996). If I had been on
          his committee, I would have suggested not including so many different kinds
          of "wonder," but even so, the outcome was a sufficiently worthy monograph.
          We may then ask, with that book in one hand and my text of Primitive Mark in
          the other, are these motifs equally prominent in both layers? Again, the
          answer is No. Especially is it No if we subdivide the categories Dwyer has
          somewhat mixed together. But even as things stand in Dwyer's data, the
          "incidence of wonder" is notably higher in the primitive layer than in the
          rest of Mark taken together.

          We now have three style differences. We may pause at this point to ask: Is
          there any common tendency among them? Can we sum up their literary tendency
          in a single sentence? Do they suggest the stylistic profile of an imaginable
          individual?

          Yes, we can. That sentence might run this way: "The style of Primitive Mark
          is more authorially headlong, and more tinged with wonder in the persons
          described, than is the style of the remaining material."

          Some statistically savvy person will ask: Are the two halves about the same
          size? Because if not, the comparison of mere wordcounts is invalid, we have
          to use relative and not absolute frequency to get a comparable result. The
          answer is, Yes, they are of about the same size. Everything that was later
          added to Mark, taken together, amounts to as much again as the size of the
          primitive narrative. The comparisons reported above are thus in proper form,
          and the conclusion seems to stand.

          COMMENT

          This is interesting, or so it seems to me, in a couple of different ways.

          First, in Mark we are dealing not with a conflation of several previous
          texts (as several from Meyer to Crum have ingeniously supposed), but with a
          single text that was theologically updated, and in the process also
          stylistically somewhat diluted, in the years following.

          Second, the literary and depictive style, the emotional tone of both the
          describer and the described, is notably more excited in the primitive layer
          than in the second (even though the most majestic miracles, that might seem
          likely to call forth the most extreme expressions of amazement, are all in
          the second layer). We don't know the name of the author of the primitive
          narrative, but we are getting a little better sense of his personality. And,
          by subtraction, a little better sense of the later contributors to the text,
          who seem to have, collectively, a somewhat different personality. Calmer in
          representation.

          Of course that of itself doesn't yet prove that a different person took
          charge of the formative process of gMk after its initial launch. It could
          have been the same person only a little older, wouldn't you think?

          QUESTIONS

          At this point, it might occur to somebody to ask, Who would have been the
          possible informants for the material in the primitive layer, as distinct
          from those for the later layers? That's a rather clever thought, and why?
          Because it lets us test the notion that gMk somehow derives from the
          preaching, and thus the reminiscences, of somebody like, as who should say,
          Peter. And before we can deal with that, somebody else might have their hand
          up to ask, Does the primitive narrative show a high degree of acquaintance
          with the city of Jerusalem? (having in mind a certain house in the city, the
          one with the doormaid whose name we know).

          But this is already too long a letter, and I guess I should close here for
          the time being.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst

          [Reminder: Accretional Mark is the topic of this year's NT Quest session at
          SBL, 7-8:30 AM on Monday 24 Nov 08, in the Sheraton Conference Room]

          http://www.umass.edu/wsp/biblica/quest/index.html
        • Karel Hanhart
          Bruce, Thank you for the long answer in which you explain the modus operandi of your research. (1) I admire your desire to start so to speak from scratch
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 25, 2008
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            Bruce,

            Thank you for the long answer in which you explain the modus operandi of your research.
            (1) I admire your desire to start so to speak from scratch without any regard for tradition including the text tradition of Mark - which as far as I know always had "kata Markon" and the numerous times a certain Markos or Joannes Markos is mentioned in Acts and in the epsitles. However, author, time and place of the provenance of a gospel are a priori requirements for studying a manuscript.
            I have learned from my peers to respect the letter of the text and the tradition unless the textual evidence leads me to believe otherwise.

            (2) You begin by saying that late in the game a librarian invented the catalogue listing of this gospel 'Kata Markon'. But why this indifferent librarian? Isn't it more logical that early on when the manuscript was copied within the chrisrian community it was marked 'kata Markon' to distinguish it from the others? In your desire to start from scratch you place yourself above tradition and above the text we have. That is an admirable stance from it eliminates two or three of the requirements to study a document: its provenance. I for one ask myself: does the identity of John Mark writing either from Rome or from Alexandria as tradition has it, seem plausible?. And does the Farrar theory about the sequence of the gospels seem reasonable or not?

            (3) I donot admire your hints that my position would be speculative implying that yours is not. Believe me all interpretations are theory and the desire to make sense of the documents we have is our common motivations. All theories on our subject are largely speculative.

            (4) I furthermore note your belittling of the well established position that the dating of the gospels are dependant on the question whether or not a document displays a knowedge of the Judean War of 66 - 70. Paul's letters do not; Matthew and Luke do, as most agree. The sticker is precisely Mark. "Just before or just after the war" exegetes say.

            At my old age, - having gone through the misery of Word War II in a country that experienced cruelties and hungre under the Nazi regime -, I have often wondered about the ease and disinterest with which my younger colleagues (listening to BBC's World Service or Fox) write about the reasons why 'delay of the parousia' is an important criterion.
            "Did the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 have any effect on people's impatience about the appearance of that event? Whatever that event was? I am not sure that this is a necessary inference."

            For a first century Jew - Pharisee or christianos - the destruction of the temple was catastrophic!! The future of the nation was radically altered, the suffering widespread, the persecutions before and after intense. .

            (5) Finally, you argue at length why you are disinterested in the questions of provenance. But you do not deem it necessary to answer my exegetical notes on the opened tomb narrative.

            " [Karel continues with his own solution. He may be right. But at this stage
            of things, I have no real basis for either agreeing or disagreeing. "

            My notes are based on the literal text of the narrative. In effect you are saying: "I don't want to listen to someone's arguments" I go my own way. That's your privilege, Bruce. Good luck to you. Frankly I wonder if you will stumble on any surprising discovery or "new basis" which others didn't notice.

            cordially,

            Karel Hanhart







            .

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: E Bruce Brooks
            To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: GPG
            Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 12:26 PM
            Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Sequencing Early Christologies


            To: Synoptic
            Cc: GPG
            In Response To: Karel Hanhart
            On: Interpolations in Mark
            From: Bruce

            [My heartfelt thanks to the List Managers, for the newly luxurious
            conditions under which one now posts to Synoptic. The mere Reply button now
            suffices to reach the list, as nearly all Replyers will tend to desire. It
            is a great kindness, and a sovereign facilitation. / Bruce]

            I had suggested (1) that recognizing interpolations, as establishing earlier
            and later segments within the text of Mark, and (2) then further recognizing
            that the early segments tend to cohere Christologically (as, but on their
            own separate and distinct basis, do also the later segments), can lead to
            (3) a clarification of the Gospel of Mark, which is widely recognized to be
            Christologically composite as it stands. They offer the possibility of
            reducing the composite into its elements. I had offered this as a useful
            possibility for the future.

            KAREL: You may be right that the two sections you discussed, 14,1-11 and
            5,22-43, were inserted by a redactor. They are part of a sandwich
            construction, however.

            BRUCE: No, they aren't. A sandwich construction, in the sense meant by
            Edwards (and by Carrington et al long before him) is a *single-author
            construct,* whose middle element, in Edwards' view, gives the
            interpretational key to the surrounding matter. I have tried to show that
            the center element in these two samples is not organic, *not authorially of
            a piece* with the surrounding matter, but rather a later insertion. The
            center is thus of later date than the surround. This makes all the
            difference in the world. I welcome Karel's agreement that the two sections
            in question represent subsequent insertions. But this automatically voids
            the "sandwich" option. In a sandwich, whether free or franchised, the burger
            is the same age as the bun.

            Also, the term "redactor" prejudices the situation by removing all but one
            of its options. I don't know whether the person who inserted the intrusions
            into these interrupted sequences was the same as the person who wrote the
            prior text, and at this stage of the investigation, I don't have a way of
            making a guess. All I know from the text evidence is that there are at least
            two stages in the *formation* of the text. That is all I plan to make use of
            in following up these possibilities. I don't need to preassign the functions
            of the people who produced the several stages. That will come out in the
            wash, maybe. I plan to let it do just that.

            KAREL. My question pertains to the identity of the redactor and of the
            author who wrote the original. One must decide, I think, between roughly (a)
            the classic tradition: the author of Mark is the John Mark of Scripture or
            (b) he is an unknown Gentile. Those who opt for position his identity is
            unknown (b), must at least make clear why they reject (a) since the Mark of
            the epistles and of Acts is prominently mentioned.

            BRUCE: Here comes the old "burden of proof" ploy. It's of dubious validity
            in court, and of no use at all outside of court. I decline to rise to the
            bait. (Also, there is a logical fallacy of the enforced doublet. There are
            more possibilities than two. What about "an unknown Jew?").

            More generally, I venture to suggest that all this author speculation is
            merely a distraction. As with most ancient texts, so also (as it seems to
            me) with gMk: the title is the least solid thing about it. And why? The
            general case in antiquity seems to be that many of the titles we now have
            were supplied by librarians, and were not part of the original text. This
            seems particularly likely with gMk, since "According to Mark" is
            intrinsically contrastive, that is, it is meant to distinguish this Gospel
            from other Gospels that are also before eye or mind of the reader. Such a
            situation could not have arisen before the arrival, and more or less general
            knowledge, of at least one of the second tier gospels, Matthew and/or Luke.
            Up to that point, the present title of gMk would have met no reader need of
            disambiguation, and thus would have made no textual sense. Ergo, that title
            is posterior to the completed text. If so, it is surely valueless for any
            deductions, authorial or other, *about* the original text.

            The only thing resembling a title that is at all likely to be intrinsic to
            the text is not KATA MARKON, but something about the Gospel of Jesus. It
            does not advertise itself as relating the experiences of some particular
            observer, but rather as presenting something observed. The authority of the
            author is not one of the devices used by the text to convince its readers.
            (Compare gJn for a completely opposite strategy).

            I thus don't have to say why I reject "the Mark of Acts." I reject everybody
            in sight. Especially at the beginning of an investigation, which is where I
            am just now. Maybe later, when we might know a little more about the several
            textual layers, we will have a basis for proposing new possibilities for
            authorship, or evaluating old ones. I decline to embark on that topic at
            this stage, since doing so would be little more than speculation. We don't
            yet know even what is in the earliest layer of the text; so even if we were
            inclined to speculation, we really don't have anything yet to speculate
            about.

            (Though I plan to make a tentative Urtext available for the previously
            mentioned Monday morning session at SBL; it runs to a couple of pages).

            [Karel continues with his own solution. He may be right. But at this stage
            of things, I have no real basis for either agreeing or disagreeing. I have
            only the text, and the beginnings of what I hope is a careful process of
            tweezing apart some of its different archaeological strata. I thus rejoin
            the conversation a little further down].

            KAREL (concluding): "In other words. - in exegetical parlance ! - , the
            revision was needed because the parousia was delayed."

            BRUCE: That Mark at some points deals with the delayed Return of Jesus - and
            we may yet discover that those points are all contained within a single,
            philologically defined, layer of the text - is more or less obvious. My
            discovery, if such it proves to be, is that other parts of the text do NOT
            deal with any such problem; they confidently expect something to happen (I
            prefer to leave that something undefined for the moment; the early community
            may themselves have redefined it). Here is one radical and manifest
            difference between early and late within Mark. I think the difference is
            worth following up.

            Did the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 have any effect on people's
            impatience about the appearance of that event? Whatever that event was? I am
            not sure that this is a necessary inference. Nor, if we are looking for
            possible theologically drastic events, is Jerusalem 70 the only one. Plenty
            of people think that the terms of the Apocalyptic segments of Mk
            (essentially, Mk 13) are much more closely matched with the approaching
            defilement of the Temple in 40 than by its accomplished destruction in 70.
            The difference between the two is a little over a generation. And a
            difference of a generation, in where we imagine the text to be situated in
            real time, is very likely to have an effect on any author calculations we
            may undertake, as well as on context calculations in general. Here is
            another reason not to rush in to author speculations.

            Delay. The distance between 30 and 70 is 40. Would it take a generation and
            a half for people to notice that their expected event had not occurred? I
            have addressed this problem before, but seemingly without effect on this
            conversation. To recapitulate: I feel that a generation-plus gap between the
            expectation and the realization of its nonfulfilment is extraordinarily
            unlikely. For consider. If you have sold all you have to join the Jesus
            movement, and the Jesus movement suddenly lacks its leader, so that your
            fellow followers have dispersed to their villages, and no new contributions
            are coming in, you are going to have to look around for something else,
            perhaps including a somewhat modified expectation, in about eight hours at
            the outside. Not finding an alternate arrangement, you will sit down on the
            curb beside the bag ladies with your hat out (hopefully it isn't raining),
            and wait for some still affluent nonmember of the movement to happen by and
            be moved by your hunger. As Peter says at one point (in one or another
            layer; I will get to that presently), We have given up all and followed you.
            If we believe this, then we must also believe that the followers possessed
            nothing of their own, up to and including a change of tunic. They were
            sustained, one gathers, by the movement itself. And when the movement in its
            original form faltered, these people would probably have felt their suddenly
            untenable position very keenly.

            Then. Right away. Not forty years afterward. Did some elderly and emaciated
            beggar on the curb in Bethany look up at the destruction of the Temple in 70
            and say, Oh, and by the way, wasn't there something I was expecting to
            happen?"

            Others are free to form their own ideas. For myself, I think this scenario
            unlikely.

            People make a big deal of Jerusalem 70. I don't doubt it was highly
            perceptible at the time, as a civic disruption and a personal inconvenience.
            But theologically? I would prefer to have a citation of just one place in
            the NT where this event is openly and unambiguously mentioned as itself
            creating a theological crisis, not for Judaism but for Christianity, before
            placing my bet on that square.

            KAREL (last word): I grant anyone that one cannot offer solid proof
            concerning the identity of author and / or redactor, but frankly solid proof
            is nowhere to be had.

            BRUCE: Another methodological crux, and again I find myself taking the other
            path. To me, that is not a reason to choose among alternative authors, it is
            a reason NOT to choose, and instead, to hold the whole thing in suspension
            until further evidence becomes available. And if it never does become
            available, then the personal name of the writer of Layer A (and of Layer B,
            and so on upward) will be forever unknown.

            So?

            The library cataloguers hate this sort of thing, since there is a spot on
            their MARC record that demands to be filled by an author name. That's their
            problem. I don't propose to complicate my life by borrowing their problem. I
            am quite content (and even if I were not, I feel methodologically
            constrained) to leave the author thing undecided and even undiscussed,
            unless and until the impossibility of discussing it profitably somehow
            changes.

            Who wrote the Copa Surisca? We know it wasn't Vergil. But as for a
            substitute name, well, that's asking a lot. It may be that one day, in some
            monastery dumpster southwest of Lyon, the signed original will come to
            light, and be saved from the monastery oven flames by some modern
            Tischendorf. Two suppositions, which by the way must coincide in time.
            Probabilities of sequential events multiply, and so do their
            improbabilities. I am not about to hold my breath on this one.

            Meanwhile, we have the poem. We can enjoy it if so inclined, without
            necessarily inventing a romantic goliardish name to stick onto it. No?

            Bruce

            E Bruce Brooks
            Warring States Project
            University of Massachusetts at Amherst





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          • Karel Hanhart
            Jeffrey, That is a very important question, difficult to answer. I will not go into all the reasons why Neyrinck and others have found plausibly some traces of
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 25, 2008
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              Jeffrey,

              That is a very important question, difficult to answer. I will not go into all the reasons why Neyrinck and others have found plausibly some traces of a redactional hand. I myself believe the introduction of "the twelve" into the text and with it the figure of Iscariot, "one of the twelve", is redactional. However, it remains difficult to prove. One cannot detect in some place a passage with a deviating style or vocabulary. My theory is that John Mark radically revised his own gospel in the aftermath of the catastrophe of the Judean war. The entire Gospel is written by one hand. John Mark revised his own work meant for the post-70 Passover celebration of his christian Judean community.

              cordially,

              Karel Hanhart
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Jeffrey B. Gibson
              To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:16 PM
              Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Sequencing Early Christologies


              Karel Hanhart wrote:
              > My own solution is that the "redactor" is John Mark, native of Jerusalem (Acts 12). As a vald hypothesis I believe, John Mark - helper of Peter- was ALSO the author of the document that was revised. My reason is that it is impossible to detect a specific non-Markan style and vocabulary in the gospel. So a question remains. Why would an author revise his own work so radically as the "redactor" (John Mark himself) apparently did.
              How can you distinguish what is Markan redaction of a Markan work. let
              alone determine that there has been Markan redaction of GMark, if in
              terms of Markan style and vocabulary the work is entirely and
              consistently homogeneous?

              Jeffrey

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





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            • E Bruce Brooks
              To: Synoptic Cc: GPG; WSW In Response To: Karel Hanhart On: The Philology of Mark From: Bruce I think we may be reaching a methodological impasse, but I
              Message 6 of 9 , Oct 25, 2008
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                To: Synoptic
                Cc: GPG; WSW
                In Response To: Karel Hanhart
                On: The Philology of Mark
                From: Bruce

                I think we may be reaching a methodological impasse, but I thought it might
                be useful to at least indicate where I think the impasse lies, and then to
                suggest where it might be resolved. And I wish to suggest at the end that
                the results I get are reasonable on their face, respectful of all the
                evidence as far as I know it, and deserving of Karel's reconsideration.

                KAREL: I admire your desire to start so to speak from scratch without any
                regard for tradition including the text tradition of Mark - which as far as
                I know always had "kata Markon" and the numerous times a certain Markos or
                Joannes Markos is mentioned in Acts and in the epistles.

                BRUCE: KATA MARKON is an exterior label. The book happens to have an
                interior label also, a noun phrase which now counts as Mk 1:1. If titles are
                going to be part of the evidence, I suggest that this is the earlier one,
                and that accordingly it deserves precedence in our thoughts. As for Acts and
                Epistles, it seems to me that those are, respectively, the pseudo-Pauline
                and Pauline traditions. Start with the more genuine of the two; the
                Epistles. How much did Paul know, according to his own writings, about the
                daily doings of Jesus or his followers? Exactly zero, and why? Because he
                himself emphatically tells us, in completely clear terms, that he is not
                concerned to know Jesus "after the flesh;" it is his personal vision of the
                Resurrected Jesus - his mandate from Jesus - that is the basis of his
                Christianity. Paul knows of someone called John Mark, and seemingly didn't
                get on too well with him. Nothing Paul says, positive or negative, about
                this John Mark, invites the inference that John Mark had anything to do with
                the tradition of Jesus "after the flesh," or that he had any special
                knowledge of, or interest in, that tradition. For Paul, John Mark was just
                one of those involved in the missionary effort. That adequately establishes
                John Mark as a real person. But I don't think that this is much of a basis
                for attribution statements about the so-called Second Gospel.

                That leaves Acts. By general agreement of those who specialize in things
                Pauline, the second part of Acts is a less than wonderful source for Paul.

                As for the first part, which deals with Christian history before Paul, I
                myself get from it a weird sense like that in no other NT writing: a
                symbolical world that it is hard to get hold of, populated by African queens
                and Roman officials, and Peter fading away in a cloud of smoke, and James
                the Brother coming on in another cloud of smoke. Disturbing. And is early
                Acts really consistent with the end of Luke? Some have raised doubts,
                especially about the double narrative of the Ascension, not to mention the
                seeming reuse of Gospel material in constructing the supposed post-Gospel
                narrative (Stephen being constructed partly out of the Markan Jesus). Is
                Acts then really by the author of gLk? It says it is. And that is the common
                scholarly judgement too, but as far as I know the common judgement isn't
                really based on any close study of the texts in question, apart from their
                lexical aspects, and I want to point out that, for someone at the time with
                a reason to do so, few things can have been easier to imitate, up to a
                point, than the lexical style of an extant document. I find none of this so
                convincing as to preclude further study.

                If there was an early tradition that John Mark was the author of our gMk,
                then Luke will probably have known of that tradition. Is there anything in
                the mentions of John Mark in either Luke or (waiving all objections) Acts
                that implies that the author saw John Mark as the author of the text on
                which, above all others, be based his own Gospel? I don't see any, but I am
                very available to the reports of those who do.

                KAREL: However, author, time and place of the provenance of a gospel are a
                priori requirements for studying a manuscript.

                BRUCE: Sorry, but I think this is simply wrong. The requirement for studying
                a text is to possess that text. I admit that it would also be very handy to
                know, at the outset and from solid evidence, who wrote it, and when, and
                why, but in the ancient world as far as I am aware, this is rarely the case.
                The plays of Seneca that once packed the Roman theaters? Mostly fake. The
                epistles of Plato? Good luck. The sayings of Confucius? You need to pick
                your spot with extraordinary care, your chance of coming up with a genuine
                one at random are, by actual count, about 1 in 30. The economic philosophy
                of Mencius? Ditto, squared. Homer? Don't get me started on Homer. "Mark?"
                Well, you see the pattern. Why should "Mark" be a privileged exception to
                the frequent weakness of author statements in ancient times?

                KAREL: I have learned from my peers to respect the letter of the text and
                the tradition unless the textual evidence leads me to believe otherwise.

                BRUCE: Well, it is perhaps possible to learn too much from others. The
                Chinese have a saying, "The blue dye comes from the indigo plant, but it is
                bluer than the indigo plant." Meaning, it is a poor student who does not
                excel his teacher. Against this sensible and forward-looking advice,
                deference to one's Doktor Vater, or to contemporaries in general, or to
                one's own childhood memories, admirable as these may be in their proper
                spheres (respectively, public deportment and private sentiment), have no
                methodological place in philology or history. The evidence is what should
                count. Privileging past experiences, whether one's own or that of one's
                teachers, simply prevents the evidence from operating on one's mind. I
                strongly advise against it.

                It is true that in real life one must also make one's terms with other
                people's opinions. I merely point out that the most honorable terms may not
                be those of intellectual surrender. At least some of the powder should be
                kept dry for possible future use.

                KAREL: You begin by saying that late in the game a librarian invented the
                catalogue listing of this gospel 'Kata Markon'.

                BRUCE: All this is pejorative terminology. There is no "game," there is only
                what happened, and we are trying our best, I like to think, to determine
                what that might have been. There is no "invented," there is just an
                imaginable bibliographic need to distinguish between several texts
                purporting to be "the Gospel," but differing at many points.

                KAREL: But why this indifferent librarian? Isn't it more logical that early
                on when the manuscript was copied within the Christian community it was
                marked 'kata Markon' to distinguish it from the others?

                BRUCE: Precisely. But *what* others? What kind of Christian community would
                have possessed several Gospels? Presumably not some simple house church with
                a little local tradition of its own, but some more omnivorous entity. We
                don't need to call it a library, in the sense of Alexandria. But it would
                appear to be something bigger than the common community experience. And in
                any case, that experience, whether unusual or not, could not arise before
                competing Gospels actually existed. During the lull before the appearance of
                Matthew and/or Luke, there would have been no need for any such label as
                KATA MARKON. The title of the work standing as Mk 1:1 would probably have
                sufficed nicely. I suggest that attention be redirected to it.

                KAREL: In your desire to start from scratch you place yourself above
                tradition and above the text we have. That is an admirable stance from it
                eliminates two or three of the requirements to study a document: its
                provenance.

                BRUCE: I do indeed recommend putting tradition aside in beginning to study a
                text. And I recommend ignoring provenance when we do not in fact know what
                the text's provenance actually was. I do this not to exalt myself, as seems
                here to be implied, but to center the text in my study of the text. I want
                to know what the text seems to be up to, not what somebody else (for
                whatever reason) *thinks* or *once thought* it was up to. There is a time
                and place to look at what is said about a text, whether by old tradition or
                by modern opinion. But I think that, heuristically, it is wrong to place
                this step at the beginning. Opinion prejudices observation. It does not
                matter whether the opinion is one's own or someone else's; it prejudices
                observation. I think it not only fair, but necessary, to exclude at the
                outset factors that are known to prejudice observation.

                KAREL: I for one ask myself: does the identity of John Mark writing either
                from Rome or from Alexandria as tradition has it, seem plausible?

                BRUCE: I can't imagine how one could begin to answer this question without
                having previously looked at the text onself. By "previously" I mean before
                one considers the tradition of John Mark, and/or Rome, and/or Alexandria. Or
                anything else.

                KAREL: And does the Farrar theory about the sequence of the gospels seem
                reasonable or not?

                BRUCE: Same answer. And same answer for Griesbach. And for Augustine. And I
                add that once we start considering specific scholarly notions, there is
                literally no end to it. NT in our time has such a large (and sometimes
                contentious) literature that the survey of previous opinion routinely
                demanded as the first chapter of a thesis can easily wind up being the whole
                book. Just a *listing* (never mind an evaluation) of the literature on Mark
                occupies, in Neirynck's version, a very thick volume. To begin by weighting
                each of those entries (and if not all, to begin by deciding *which* to
                weight) very quickly adds up to enormous time. It thus does not seem
                "reasonable" to me to begin with Farrer, or Weiss, or Harnack Before and
                Harnack After, or Joel Marcus, or anybody else. It seems to me reasonable to
                begin with the text. The text, I venture to suggest, is the best possible
                orientation to the *literature on*the text.

                KAREL: (3) I do not admire your hints that my position would be speculative
                implying that yours is not. Believe me all interpretations are theory and
                the desire to make sense of the documents we have is our common motivations.
                All theories on our subject are largely speculative.

                BRUCE: In that case, they are all largely worthless, and the enterprise of
                trying to understand the texts is a waste of time. That position exists, and
                has its advocates. They are welcome to it. I don't myself agree with it. I
                think there are firmer and less firm places where the student of the text
                might begin to put a foot down. See above.

                KAREL: I furthermore note your belittling of the well established position
                that the dating of the gospels are dependant on the question whether or not
                a document displays a knowledge of the Judean War of 66 - 70.

                BRUCE: Whether that position is "well established" is precisely the
                question, is it not? And how do we answer that question? By counting heads?
                Then all will depend on which heads we elect to count. It's surely too
                risky. I can think of no other way to answer the question than by examining
                the text. And what do we find on examining the text? The claim that aMk was
                aware of the Jewish War of 70 rests solely on Mk 13, nothing else. No other
                part of Mk breathes the slightest hint of a suspicion that the Temple is not
                standing, and that it constitutes a vital center for whatever Jesus is
                trying to bring off. Mk 13 itself is not necessarily original in gMk, and in
                any case, it can also be read - and by reputable persons has been read - as
                referring to the threatened profanation of the Temple in 40, rather than to
                something 30 years later. So which is the more convincing reading? That
                deserves discussion, and it has received discussion in the literature. I
                think the discussion is proper, and may acceptably continue. I don't think
                it should be foreclosed by claiming a consensus on one side or another, and
                then electing to enshrine that consensus as beyond further dispute.

                KAREL: Paul's letters do not; Matthew and Luke do, as most agree. The
                sticker is precisely Mark. "Just before or just after the war" exegetes
                say.

                BRUCE: So they do, or some of them, but consider for a moment the pattern
                here implied, bearing in mind the possibility that Mk 13, or its original
                core, may refer to the year 40.

                If Mark *does* have in mind something around 40, and the second tier
                Gospels, Matthew and Luke, adapt that part of Mark in the direction of
                making it a prediction of the Destruction of Jerusalem, as anyone after 70
                might well feel a need to do, where is the problem? I think there is no
                problem. We are simply saying what is indeed the majority view, that Mark
                precedes Matthew/Luke. The remaining question is, By how much?

                Paul, as Karel rightly notes, does not mention the Jewish War, as well he
                might not, since he died a couple of years before it began. Mark, as some
                have argued, does not necessarily mention the Jewish War either. If we
                interpret Mk 13 as referring to the threat of the year 40, we would have
                this pattern:

                (1) Mark = Paul. Events up to 40 responded to in Mk, later ones in Paul

                (2) Matthew. Rewrites Mk, in part by clearly alluding to the Jewish War.

                (3) Luke. Further rewrites early Christian history, and adds a history of
                Paul.

                I don't see anything "a priori" impossible here. I see an intelligible
                sequence. I see a particular version of relative date relationships for
                which there is ample evidence, as well as wide (though not universal)
                acceptance. Does it self-destruct? Surely not; it hangs together rather
                well. For a start, it includes all the facts which Karel recently mentioned,
                which is surely one test of an adequate theory of the NT texts.

                KAREL: (5) Finally, you argue at length why you are disinterested in the
                questions of provenance. But you do not deem it necessary to answer my
                exegetical notes on the opened tomb narrative. . . . My notes are based on
                the literal text of the narrative. In effect you are saying: "I don't want
                to listen to someone's arguments" I go my own way.

                BRUCE: I put the Open Tomb aside for the moment because I think, as several
                others including Dibelius have thought before me, that Mk 15:39-16:8 did not
                form a part of the original text of Mark. That the Open Tomb later became
                important to the Christians of whom aMk was aware, and whose views he
                reflected in his text, is obvious. I think it is also obvious, from the
                results of the stratification survey, that this was indeed "later." If so,
                then nothing in the Resurrection layer of Mark can constrain interpretation
                of the earlier layers of Mark.

                Karel's view of Mark, at the risk of oversimplifying an 867-page book, is
                that Mark was composed all at once, and with a single purpose, namely as a
                "response to the destruction of the Temple in the wake of the revolt against
                Rome in 66-70 CE. This new Haggadah was meant to be read during Passover. .
                . From this perspective the open tomb story is not a timeless myth but a
                post-70 midrash."

                But perhaps the "myth" and the "midrash" are not the only alternatives
                available to us. Lectionary theories of Mark have their own history within
                the field. One early proponent was Philip Carrington (mentioned in Karel's
                bibliography), who based himself on certain seeming lectionary dividers
                within the Vaticanus text of gMk. Carrington succeeded in arranging Mark so
                as to match the seasons of one year, which would be an ideal lectionary
                routine. That someone in the Age of Vaticanus read the text this way, or
                proposed to have it read this way, is very possible. That someone in the
                wake of the Jewish War proposed to read Mark all at one go (it takes about
                an hour), is also possible. The question for me, in both cases, is, Was the
                text designed *in the first instance* to be read in this way?

                Without contemporary videotape, my only way of beginning to answer this is
                to look at the text. What I find is that the text is stratified, and that
                the whole of our present text was not written for *any* single purpose,
                whether lectionial or Haggadic. I find also that the Open Tomb story, and
                with it the Resurrection Christology which it serves to introduce, were not
                part of the original text of Mark, and thus were not within the theological
                purview of the first author of Mark. That somewhat challenges the idea that
                Mark as we have it, whether or not Haggadic, was written with any single
                design. It was written with one design, and then rewritten (largely by
                interpolation) to convey another design. The Resurrection story was not part
                of the first design, it was instead the thrust of a later layer of the
                design.

                That conclusion sounds strange to many, including evidently Karel, for whom
                (as he says near the beginning of the book), "The heart of the Christian
                faith concerns Jesus' passion, his crucifixion and resurrection."

                For some, yes. For others, not. I mention again that Paul in his lifetime
                contended with opponents who denied the Resurrection, and/or the general
                Resurrection in which other Christian believers expected to participate.
                Some shreds of preserved early Christian hymns mention the Resurrection as
                the center of their future hopes, but other hymns skip that part, and see
                Jesus as Glorified, indeed, but not specifically as having reached Heaven
                via a previous detour through Hell.

                If the early Christians differed this much, and we have Paul (not to mention
                1-2 Peter and Jude) to witness that they did, is it not acceptable to keep
                in mind the possibility that the Resurrection was not always, and for all
                persons, the center of Christian faith? I would think so, and even if I
                didn't, there are those who hold to a non-Resurrection view of things, right
                there in the Pauline record. If this variety *did* exist in the early days
                of the Christian movement, then the theology of Mark is not predetermined in
                this respect, and the question of whether Mark believed in the Resurrection
                or not becomes a real one.

                The answer, of course, as has been noticed since Branscomb, is both Yes and
                No. The theology of Mark is not something with one voice, it is a Babel of
                voices. What is going on? One thing that I find is going on is that Mark is
                a text with a time depth; it took its first shape at one period, and then
                was adapted at one or more later periods, not just in a literary way, but
                chiefly in a theological way. The many Christologies of Mark are
                *successive.* In the original document as interpolation tests define it,
                there was no Resurrection theology. Later on, thanks to addenda and extenda
                and other improvements, there *came to be* a Resurrection theology. The text
                of Mark, then, seems on its face to have lived through an early period in
                which the reigning view was that of Paul's opponents in Corinth, and then to
                have reversed itself so as to be in closer agreement with Paul's theories.
                Bacon, at two-book length, has called Mark "Pauline." My response would be,
                Yes, eventually.

                I thus don't find the question "What was the theology of Mark" either
                gratuitous or disrespectful, and I suggest that the answer I have recently
                proposed, that the theology of Mark is a moving quantity, which evolves in
                the same general direction as early Christian orthodoxy generally, has at
                least some historical plausibility. That it has *philological* plausibility,
                at least at several of the specific passages previously discussed as
                interpolations, Karel has already agreed. That would seem to leave the
                historical question as the only remaining possible ground of difference. I
                invite Karel to reconsider the matter.

                Bruce

                E Bruce Brooks
                Warring States Project
                University of Massachusetts at Amherst
              • E Bruce Brooks
                To: Synoptic Cc: GPG, WSW In Response To: Karel On: The Twelve From: Bruce In responding to Jeffrey Gibson s inquiry (about how you distinguish interpolations
                Message 7 of 9 , Oct 25, 2008
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                  To: Synoptic
                  Cc: GPG, WSW
                  In Response To: Karel
                  On: The Twelve
                  From: Bruce

                  In responding to Jeffrey Gibson's inquiry (about how you distinguish
                  interpolations when the style is consistent, to which I earlier gave a
                  different reply), Karel said in part:

                  KAREL: I myself believe the introduction of "the twelve" into the text and
                  with it the figure of Iscariot, "one of the twelve", is redactional.
                  However, it remains difficult to prove.

                  BRUCE: Maybe not so difficult to prove. Meyer proposed a "Twelve Source" for
                  Mark. I cannot find that the Twelve passages together form any sort of
                  coherent independent text. They consist of three longer passages and a few
                  tipped-in phrases. I find instead a *Twelve Layer* in Mark.

                  FIVE

                  As those who can call the text up in memory will not need to be informed,
                  gMk recounts individually the calling of exactly *five* disciples: Peter,
                  Andrew, James and John the sons of Zebedee, and Levi. Every disciple who
                  figures by name, anywhere else in that Gospel, utterly without exception
                  (unless you count Judas, and I agree with Karel that Judas is better left
                  out of the reckoning for now) is one of those Five. Here, I would suggest,
                  is the early tradition of the disciple circle of Jesus. They accompany him.
                  They or a subset of them are present at his healings. Rabbinic tradition
                  also (as summarized by Klausner) also speaks of five disciples, not twelve.
                  That seems to be a pretty stable situation. It has a few rough edges, but
                  the general congruence of numbers is not unencouraging.

                  TWELVE

                  In addition to this Five tradition, we have the snippets aforementioned,
                  which are superfluous ("he called his disciples, with the Twelve" - exactly
                  why are not the Twelve included in the Disciples?), plus three longer
                  passages, where the Twelve are chosen, where they are sent out, and where
                  they return. All this is phony on its face. The Twelve have no other
                  preaching function (and no nonpreaching function) anywhere else in the
                  Gospel, apart from these highly confined places, it is always and only Jesus
                  who preaches. One can readily imagine that the Twelve are there to
                  regularize the conduct of twelve who emerged as leading figures after
                  Jesus's death, but their superfluity *during the story of his life* is
                  manifest.

                  INTERPOLATION

                  That's in general. Is there anything more specific? Yes, the latter is an
                  especially clear interpolation. Remember how the women in 16:8 behave as
                  though the assurance in 16:7 had never been given? Remember how Peter in
                  14:29 responds to 14:27, as though 14:28 with its identical reassurance were
                  not there in between? I think the likely supposition in both cases is that
                  those passages were NOT originally present, and that when they were added,
                  they created the inconcinnities just mentioned. That is why 14:28 and 16:7
                  are plausibly judged to be interpolations.

                  OK. Now we turn to the Sending of the Twelve, and this is what we find:

                  6:6b. And he went about among the villages teaching.

                  6:7-13. Sending of the Twelve. "So they went out and preached that men
                  should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many
                  that were sick and healed them.

                  6:14. King Herod heard of it; for Jesus's name had become known. Some said,
                  John the Baptizer has been raised from the dead, that is why these powers
                  are at work in him. . . ."

                  Now, question on the weekly quiz: To which of these preachings is Herod
                  responding? To the contiguous Twelve preaching? Not in a million years. It
                  is to the noncontiguous Jesus preaching, as the text clearly states: "for
                  Jesus' name had become known." He completely ignores the seemingly much more
                  threatening whole army of preachers, out there exorcising demons over the
                  countryside. As though they were not there. It is my conclusion that in fact
                  they WERE NOT there when this passage was originally written. Mentally
                  eliminate 6:7-13 and read from 6:6b straight on to 6:14, and you will see
                  what I mean. The road has been fixed; there is no more bump of inconcinnity.

                  That fact, that the text of Mk 6 reads more consecutively without the
                  Sending of the Twelve passage, is independent of the fact that the Twelve
                  are *substantively* anomalous in gMk generally. The two facts together
                  support each other, and constitute a very strong case for judging the Twelve
                  here to be an interpolation.

                  How about the Calling of the Twelve? The case there is not quite as
                  clearcut, but it is certainly possible. I will give the passage as it would
                  be without the Calling present, and ask if anyone would really see a problem
                  with the text that way:

                  7:11. And whenever the unclean spirits beheld him, they fell down before him
                  and cried out, You are the Son of God. Then he went home, and the crowd came
                  together again, so that they could not even eat. And when his friends heard
                  it, they went out to seize him, for they said, he is beside himself . . .

                  See? Jesus attracts a crowd by his healing in one place, and goes home
                  afterward, but the crowd assembles again and gives him no peace. His friends
                  start to worry about him, his family come to plead with him, and you know
                  the rest. It is completely consecutive.

                  So the tiny "and the Twelve" phrases are mere flyspeck annoyances, and the
                  two major Twelve passages are something that the consecutivity of the text
                  would be much better off without. How much clearer a case do we need? I
                  think that the secondarity of the Twelve mentions in Mark is very strongly
                  evidenced, at all points.

                  JUDAS

                  So much for the Twelve. I further agree with Karel that Judas is a later
                  insertion within the Twelve; this one is a little more complicated to
                  demonstrate, and I defer that demonstration for now. But the Twelve proper,
                  technically speaking, is a pushover.

                  RETROSPECT

                  What does this tell us about Mark? That it is a historical account of Jesus?
                  That is certainly what it purports to be. But here as in the other places so
                  far mentioned, we can see that it is also functioning as an authentication
                  document. Practices mentioned in gMk are OK for the Markan community to
                  follow. Leaders certified by mention in gMk are OK to accept as guides.
                  Doctrines that gMk embraces, even if a little late in the day, are cleared
                  for general belief. The theory of Jesus that gMk conveys, albeit that the
                  gMk theory keeps mutating in line with rapidly evolving post-Crucifixion
                  attempts to make sense of it all, are OK theories, each in its turn. If the
                  community, having first been in the Glorification camp, shift instead (under
                  what influences, we need not here inquire) to the Resurrection persuasion,
                  gMk is right on the button and shifts with them. It both leads and follows
                  the evolution of thinking in at least one segment of the early Christian
                  community.

                  PROVENANCE

                  Where that segment was located, I would be happy to know. Who exactly the
                  author or series of authors was, ditto. What dates subtend the beginning and
                  ending of this evidently protracted text formation process, ditto. But I can
                  wait on those. Indeed, I have little choice, since I am not yet quite where
                  I would like to be, before I take up the evidence in any new light which the
                  stratification of the text - a new factor in NT calculations as far as I
                  know - may throw on the aetiology of the text.

                  Iscariot next time. Meanwhile, I am happy to support Karel's suggestion on
                  intrusive nature of the Twelve, even if I have had to end by differing with
                  him as to its supposed undemonstrability.

                  Bruce

                  E Bruce Brooks
                  Warring States Project
                  University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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