Cc: Synoptic; WSW
In Response To: Dave G
On: Predictions in Mark
DAVE G [after some qualified agreement with previous suggestions]: . . . On
the other hand, the predictions in Mark 10, for me, are part of a layer
which includes the tomb scene and sees Jesus as "Lord of the whole world"
and thinks that Jesus came for both Jews and Gentiles.
BRUCE: The Davidic Jesus was for Israel alone, almost by definition. The
tradition of that limitation is still reflected explicitly in Matthew, as is
well known, and the Messianic aspect (not apocalyptic aspect) of the
original Jesus sense of mission is equally clearly acknowledged in Luke,
when Jesus's follower says after his Crucifixion, "We thought he was the one
to redeem Israel."
I would also agree with Dave, or anyway my results agree with Dave's
suggestions, in that Mark, though he does not begin there, certainly does
reach the point of expounding Resurrection theology, and that some
predictions in Mk 10 are at the level where that theory is taken for granted
as part of the background.
That is to say, in my view Mark early reached the stage in the evolution of
doctrine (the Resurrection-based theology) with which the initially hostile
Paul made contact with it. I thus find that the early evolution of doctrine
was relatively rapid. As in all human probability I think it could not but
be. Some gaps are going to get filled one way or another, without waiting
any forty years for something - and at that, something external - to turn
The Resurrection does not necessarily imply salvation for all, though it is
probably the critical step in that evolution.
Where does Mk unambiguously proclaim an extension of salvation to the
Gentiles, not (as with the Syrophoenician Woman) as a tolerable
irregularity, but as policy? Luke's Sending of Seventy certainly nails it
down, as well Luke might, given his or someone's second volume, but Mark??
Previous discussion on GPG has suggested the second Feeding Miracle, with
its 7 vs an earlier 12 baskets of leftovers, as a coded reference to this
idea. The image would be that the movement has enough mana (pun there, I
guess) to support all Israel - no, to support everybody. Seven being the
emblem of completeness (and seventy, its multiple, being the conventional
number of the nations of the world, a notion surprisingly close to one in
Confucius theory of an earlier period (and it even has the same 70/72
ambiguity that we find in text variants in the Gospels, mentioned by Metzger
as the most evenly balanced of all NT textual adjudications).
Does anything else occur to anyone?
If these two are right, then the two Feeding Series in Mark are not separate
and pre-existing miracle catenae, as Achtemeier urged in two nevertheless
very interesting articles (JBL 1970, 1972; there is 70/72 again), but early
and late versions of Markan community acceptance of Gentile converts:
Gerasene Demoniac: The pork person is refused discipleship
First Feeding (code: 12): The benefits are really meant for Jews
Syrophoenician Woman: Trickle-down benefits for Gentiles are OK
Second Feeding (code: 7): The benefits are for everyone.
There is no space to elaborate on these puzzling sequences here, but I note
by way of preliminary that the Woman with the Flow of Blood must be removed
from the first column of Achtemeier's table on 1970 p291: As I have tried to
argue earlier, she is an interpolation. For that matter, is the
Syrophoenician Woman in Column 2 also an interpolation? Or does she more
closely parallel the Jairus Daughter healing in Column 1? (Both healed
persons are daughters, and the Syrophoenician case is the more miraculous,
since it is a healing at a distance, and if more miraculous, then probably
later). I leave the question until a more leisurely moment.
Achtemeier has proceeded correctly in first removing what he calls "Markan
redaction" from the material; I now propose that it may get still clearer if
we further distinguish Early Markan Composition from Later Markan
[E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst]