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Re: [Synoptic-L] Markan Triplet (3:10 etc)

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  • Dennis Dean Carpenter
    But the author of Mark said that the power had left him. I wasn t exaggerating... His energizer bunny ran down. I meant that was one mighty touch the author
    Message 1 of 25 , Nov 12, 2008
      But the author of Mark said that the power had left him. I wasn't exaggerating... His energizer bunny ran down. I meant that was one mighty touch the author has her making! I think Morton Smith said something about this, but I'm too busy to grab the book and look for it.
      Dennis Dean Carpenter
      Dahlonega, Ga.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Horace Jeffery Hodges
      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 5:48 PM
      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Markan Triplet (3:10 etc)


      That's the dynamic power of holiness that the Gospel of Mark portrays Jesus having as the Holy One of God -- as the title given him in Mark. I wouldn't say that he's being 'drained', by the way, merely that he notices the flow of power.

      Both holiness and impurity are dynamic powers, and they are in dynamic opposition to each other, and the holy power within Jesus is being shown as more powerful than the impurity within the woman.

      At least, that's what I think is going on in Mark's Gospel as a whole -- given encounters with the unclean spirits, for example.

      Jeffery Hodges

      --- On Wed, 11/12/08, Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...> wrote:

      From: Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...>
      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Markan Triplet (3:10 etc)
      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 4:38 PM

      For goodness sakes! The unclean woman drained his power from him! What do you
      think! :)
      Dennis Dean Carpenter
      Dahlonega, Ga.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Horace Jeffery Hodges
      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 4:39 PM
      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Markan Triplet (3:10 etc)

      Thanks for the citation, but are you certain that I'm wrong? Here's
      Leviticus 15:19-24:

      'If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood,
      she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean
      until evening. Everything that she lies on during her impurity shall be unclean;
      also everything that she sits on shall be unclean. Whoever touches her bed shall
      wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. And whoever
      touches anything that she sat on shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and
      be unclean until evening. If anything is on her bed or on anything on which she
      sits, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. And if any man lies
      with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days;
      and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.'
      Jesus doesn't touch the woman, and she doesn't directly touch him but
      merely the hem of his garment. So . . . I'd say that there's some doubt,
      technically, about his having been rendered unclean.

      Jeffery Hodges

      --- On Wed, 11/12/08, Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...> wrote:

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    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
      I am working from memory, but as far as I recall, he felt the power go out of him, but we should be cautious about the Gospel of Mark implying that Jesus had
      Message 2 of 25 , Nov 12, 2008
        I am working from memory, but as far as I recall, he felt the power go out of him, but we should be cautious about the Gospel of Mark implying that Jesus had less power afterwards.

        Jeffery Hodges

        --- On Wed, 11/12/08, Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...> wrote:

        From: Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...>
        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Markan Triplet (3:10 etc)
        To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 5:22 PM

        But the author of Mark said that the power had left him. I wasn't
        exaggerating... His energizer bunny ran down. I meant that was one mighty touch
        the author has her making! I think Morton Smith said something about this, but
        I'm too busy to grab the book and look for it.
        Dennis Dean Carpenter
        Dahlonega, Ga.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Horace Jeffery Hodges
        To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 5:48 PM
        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Markan Triplet (3:10 etc)


        That's the dynamic power of holiness that the Gospel of Mark portrays
        Jesus having as the Holy One of God -- as the title given him in Mark. I
        wouldn't say that he's being 'drained', by the way, merely that
        he notices the flow of power.

        Both holiness and impurity are dynamic powers, and they are in dynamic
        opposition to each other, and the holy power within Jesus is being shown as more
        powerful than the impurity within the woman.

        At least, that's what I think is going on in Mark's Gospel as a whole
        -- given encounters with the unclean spirits, for example.

        Jeffery Hodges

        --- On Wed, 11/12/08, Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...> wrote:

        From: Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...>
        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Markan Triplet (3:10 etc)
        To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 4:38 PM

        For goodness sakes! The unclean woman drained his power from him! What do you
        think! :)
        Dennis Dean Carpenter
        Dahlonega, Ga.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Horace Jeffery Hodges
        To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 4:39 PM
        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Markan Triplet (3:10 etc)

        Thanks for the citation, but are you certain that I'm wrong? Here's
        Leviticus 15:19-24:

        'If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood,
        she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean
        until evening. Everything that she lies on during her impurity shall be
        unclean;
        also everything that she sits on shall be unclean. Whoever touches her bed
        shall
        wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. And
        whoever
        touches anything that she sat on shall wash his clothes and bathe in water,
        and
        be unclean until evening. If anything is on her bed or on anything on which
        she
        sits, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. And if any man
        lies
        with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven
        days;
        and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.'
        Jesus doesn't touch the woman, and she doesn't directly touch him but
        merely the hem of his garment. So . . . I'd say that there's some
        doubt,
        technically, about his having been rendered unclean.

        Jeffery Hodges

        --- On Wed, 11/12/08, Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...> wrote:

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      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Dennis Dean Carpenter On: Jairus Daughter From: Bruce DENNIS: Bruce, I think we are not going anywhere with this. I was
        Message 3 of 25 , Nov 12, 2008
          To: Synoptic
          Cc: GPG
          In Response To: Dennis Dean Carpenter
          On: Jairus' Daughter
          From: Bruce

          DENNIS: Bruce, I think we are not going anywhere with this. I was preparing
          a reply to your other post and saw the one that began, "In response to
          Jeffery Hodges, Dennis had said, in part..." You seemed to be trying to
          look at individual parts to determine some kind of early versus late
          construction of parts of Mark.

          BRUCE: I am looking at the text to see what it up to. One of the signs I try
          to be alert to, in Mark or in any other text, is incongruity of content or
          doctrine. That is no great stretch; to take only the most prominent and
          worrisome instance, many commentators have pointed out that the Christology
          of Mark is inconsistent; that no one theme can represent it. Another sign,
          independent of the first, is indications of narrative inconcinnity. Such
          places deserve attention to see if an insertion hypothesis will account for
          the difficulty. The classic cases of interpolation are probably the ones Ron
          Price agrees with me (and with scores of earlier commentators) in
          recognizing, namely Mk 14:28 and 16:7. To repeat the former case yet again:

          14:27. And Jesus said to them, You will all fall away, for it is written, I
          will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.

          14:28. But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.

          14:29. Peter said to him, Even though they all fall away, I will not. . .

          The point here is that the very remarkable assurance of Jesus in 14:28 is
          utterly ignored by Peter; instead, he responds with indignation to the
          prediction in 14:27. He behaves as though 14:28 were simply not there, and
          the implication is that when this passage was written, it was in fact not
          there, but was added later, presumably to give extra point to the
          Resurrection, and to show that it, like the Denials, was known in advance.
          That is the pattern that interpolated texts have, in any language. They
          interrupt the context, the context takes no note of them, and the context is
          made more consecutive when they are removed. Exactly the same pattern is
          found in 16:7, try it and see. Of course it is something of a clincher that
          16:7 *refers* to 14:28; the implication is that these two short passages
          were planted in the previous text at the same time, and for the same
          purpose.

          DENNIS: In lieu of an autograph, I'd need more.

          BRUCE: Assuming that our good friends the textual critics have done their
          work well, the autograph would look exactly like the archetype, and both
          would be indistinguishable from the thing in front of us. It is only
          reasonable to suppose that Mark VI (like me after making corrections on my
          conference paper) would make a clean copy before declaring the job done.
          What we have is that clean copy, and all we have to go on are not Mark VI's
          marginalia notes (they have been incorporated into the text), but simply the
          indications in the substance of the text.

          DENNIS: I'm looking at the gospel as a whole, thematically. I'm looking to
          see if those pieces fit. They do.

          BRUCE: If we take the many themes in Mark, and grant them equal standing as
          legitimating authorities, then any given passage will probably be
          reconcilable with one or another of them, and thus will be certified as part
          of Mark. But this evades the prior question. The prior question is whether
          the themes themselves fit each other. Do the Son of Man passages really
          cohere with the Son of God passages? That question and similar ones have
          been argued repeatedly, and at book length. I take those books as a symptom
          that there is something there to discuss.

          The (almost) two thousand years of intense hermeneutic attention to Mark
          have produced various results which are satisfactory to many. It would be
          surprising if they hadn't. Harmonization is the typical task of a commentary
          literature, in all cultures of which I have any experience. It's just that
          the efforts to harmonize and rationalize Mark haven't convinced all of us
          that there is no problem there in the first place. The evidence of
          inconcinnity and inconsistency in the text continues to weigh with some of
          us.

          And theoretically, what right have we to look at any text "as a whole"
          before we determine that it really IS a whole? The kind of philological
          tests I am proposing are how one makes that determination. To proceed
          without that step is what Yau Ji-hvng (recently quoted) disapproved of. We
          can't know how to make use of a text until we know what sort of text it is,
          and whether it is in one layer or in several. The job of making that
          determination cannot be referred to interpretation; that comes later. The
          preparatory work of seeing whether we have one text or seven, or no text at
          all (in the case of a mediaeval forgery), belongs not to history but to what
          I have called philology. It is a separate step, a necessary if admittedly a
          humble one.

          Take an example from the other end of the Mediterranean. Are the carmina of
          Horace "a whole?" He certainly regarded them as such, as witness his
          peroration at the end of Book III. But then he came back to the job, after
          ten years and a little pressure from Augustus, and wrote more poetry, our
          Book IV. This we know because we know it (the correspondence of Augustus was
          supposedly preserved). But suppose we didn't? Could we still detect anything
          from the text alone? I think we could get at least a hint of the situation,
          starting with the manifest overridden ending that once closed Book III
          (exegi monumentum aere perennius), and continuing, at the deep analysis
          level, with a slightly different way with the Sapphic meter in Book IV than
          is seen in Books I-III. These are not impressions, and not prior agendas,
          they are facts about the text that anyone can rediscover for themselves with
          sufficient application. Those observational facts tend to suggest what, in
          this case, we know from outside evidence to be true.

          DENNIS: The onus on you is to show how they don't fit within the basic book,
          within the themes found in the book. To consider them as interpolations
          because they don't seem logical to you doesn't mean they are interpolated.

          BRUCE: Sorry, that's not how I proceed. If we're going to talk, let's at
          least be talking about the same thing. For what I actually do, please go
          back to the above.

          The nature miracles in Mark don't seem to me "logical," meaning that I
          consider them impossible. That's my personal judgement. But it has nothing
          to do with how the author of Mark regarded them, and it is Mark's take on
          them that I am interested in recovering, to the extent possible. I already
          know what *I* think. What I don't know is what *Mark* thinks (or the several
          Marks successively think).

          But I am working on it.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • Dennis Dean Carpenter
          14:27. And Jesus said to them, You will all fall away, for it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. 14:28. But after I am
          Message 4 of 25 , Nov 13, 2008
            "14:27. And Jesus said to them, You will all fall away, for it is written, I
            will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.

            14:28. But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.

            14:29. Peter said to him, Even though they all fall away, I will not. . .

            The point here is that the very remarkable assurance of Jesus in 14:28 is
            utterly ignored by Peter; instead, he responds with indignation to the
            prediction in 14:27. He behaves as though 14:28 were simply not there, and
            the implication is that when this passage was written, it was in fact not
            there, but was added later, presumably to give extra point to the
            Resurrection, and to show that it, like the Denials, was known in advance.
            That is the pattern that interpolated texts have, in any language. They
            interrupt the context, the context takes no note of them, and the context is
            made more consecutive when they are removed."

            Dennis: Not necessarily interpolated, if one looks at the attitude of the author toward Peter. (8:32-33, 9:5, 10:28, 14:37, 14:66-72). Then, we have the youth sitting at the tomb, having to remind the women to "tell the disciples, including Prock, he is going ahead of you to Galilee!" In the Gospel of Mark, the author's opinion of Peter is negative - he is portrayed among other things as rather stupid and forgetful. (I think that's the main reason he is nicknamed "Rock," as in "thick as a brick." Is 14:27-29 within the scope of the author's portrayal of this "sidekick?" I believe it is. While it may be an interpolation, Peter's behavior, forgetting what was just said, is very much characteristic of Peter, and pretty much the disciples as a group. Remember, after the first story of the feeding the multitudes, the author portrays them as having forgotten that the protagonist has already magically made the bread and fish multiply. So why is it odd that Peter doesn't "get it?" He rarely does.

            Dennis Dean Carpenter
            Dahlonega, Ga. .





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • David Cavanagh
            ... My understanding of this and related issues is slightly different. I think we find it all too easy to see the disciples as foolish and slow of
            Message 5 of 25 , Nov 13, 2008
              Dennis Dean Carpenter wrote:
              >
              > "14:27. And Jesus said to them, You will all fall away, for it is
              > written, I
              > will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.
              >
              > 14:28. But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.
              >
              > 14:29. Peter said to him, Even though they all fall away, I will not. . .
              >
              > The point here is that the very remarkable assurance of Jesus in 14:28 is
              > utterly ignored by Peter; instead, he responds with indignation to the
              > prediction in 14:27. He behaves as though 14:28 were simply not
              > there...........
              >











              My understanding of this and related issues is slightly different. I
              think we find it all too easy to see the disciples as foolish and slow
              of understanding. In doing so, we forget that Jesus was essentially
              speaking in "code" or that we have the benefit of hindsight. The Passion
              and Resurrection predictions have undoubtedly been sharpened in the
              light of Easter. When Jesus spoke of the "Son of Man" it would not have
              been clear to the disciples that he was speaking of himself, and in this
              instance it should be remembered that resurrection was expected at the
              end of time......so Peter might have taken Jesus' statement as the
              equivalent of the modern "one day God will set things to rights"
              (expecting that day to still be a long way off). Simplistic? Maybe.......

              David Cavanagh
              Major (The Salvation Army)
              Florence (Italy)



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Horace Jeffery Hodges
              Dennis, you state, In the Gospel of Mark, the author s opinion of Peter is negative -- he is portrayed among other things as rather stupid and forgetful, and
              Message 6 of 25 , Nov 13, 2008
                Dennis, you state, "In the Gospel of Mark, the author's opinion of Peter is negative -- he is portrayed among other things as rather stupid and forgetful," and you add, "I think that's the main reason he is nicknamed 'Rock,' as in 'thick as a brick'."
                 
                It's true that Peter doesn't give a very good impression in the Gospel of Mark, but that gospel gives no account of him receiving the nickname "Rock," and as you also note, his thickheadedness characterizes "pretty much the disciples as a group." In Matthew, of course, Peter is called "Rock" for a different reason than the one that you give.
                 
                At any rate, do you have some evidence for your speculation about the nickname in Mark? Did the nickname "Rock" carry the implication in first-century Judaism that you suggest?
                 
                Jeffery Hodges
                 

                --- On Thu, 11/13/08, Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...> wrote:

                From: Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...>
                Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Markan Triplet (3:10 etc)
                To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008, 11:16 AM

                "14:27. And Jesus said to them, You will all fall away, for it is written,
                I
                will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.

                14:28. But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.

                14:29. Peter said to him, Even though they all fall away, I will not. . .

                The point here is that the very remarkable assurance of Jesus in 14:28 is
                utterly ignored by Peter; instead, he responds with indignation to the
                prediction in 14:27. He behaves as though 14:28 were simply not there, and
                the implication is that when this passage was written, it was in fact not
                there, but was added later, presumably to give extra point to the
                Resurrection, and to show that it, like the Denials, was known in advance.
                That is the pattern that interpolated texts have, in any language. They
                interrupt the context, the context takes no note of them, and the context is
                made more consecutive when they are removed."

                Dennis: Not necessarily interpolated, if one looks at the attitude of the
                author toward Peter. (8:32-33, 9:5, 10:28, 14:37, 14:66-72). Then, we have the
                youth sitting at the tomb, having to remind the women to "tell the
                disciples, including Prock, he is going ahead of you to Galilee!" In the
                Gospel of Mark, the author's opinion of Peter is negative - he is portrayed
                among other things as rather stupid and forgetful. (I think that's the main
                reason he is nicknamed "Rock," as in "thick as a brick." Is
                14:27-29 within the scope of the author's portrayal of this
                "sidekick?" I believe it is. While it may be an interpolation,
                Peter's behavior, forgetting what was just said, is very much characteristic
                of Peter, and pretty much the disciples as a group. Remember, after the first
                story of the feeding the multitudes, the author portrays them as having
                forgotten that the protagonist has already magically made the bread and fish
                multiply. So why is it odd that Peter doesn't "get it?" He rarely
                does.

                Dennis Dean Carpenter
                Dahlonega, Ga. .





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              • E Bruce Brooks
                To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Dennis Dean Carpenter On: Mk 14:28 From: Bruce Dennis, you are not engaging my point. Instead, you are explaining the
                Message 7 of 25 , Nov 13, 2008
                  To: Synoptic
                  Cc: GPG
                  In Response To: Dennis Dean Carpenter
                  On: Mk 14:28
                  From: Bruce

                  Dennis, you are not engaging my point. Instead, you are explaining the
                  passage by reference to a holistic interpretation.

                  Which is fine with me. You have previously indicated that you are satisfied
                  with your holistic view of Mark, and it's not my intention to disturb
                  anyone's equanimity. Those who are satisfied with Mark are perfectly
                  welcome, as far as I am concerned, to go on being satisfied with Mark. These
                  little notes of mine meant only for those who think that Mark may contain
                  difficulties of one sort or another which have not so far been
                  satisfactorily resolved by previous scholarship. Others are warmly
                  encouraged to ignore them.

                  I reply below pro forma, in case any Markanly dissatisfied persons on the
                  list may be interested.

                  Bruce

                  ---------------

                  I will do the rest of this as a Q and A on my immediately previous diagram
                  of Mk 14:28 in context.

                  Q: Not necessarily interpolated, if one looks at the attitude of the author
                  toward Peter. (8:32-33, 9:5, 10:28, 14:37, 14:66-72).

                  A: The interpolation is signaled simply by the fact that Peter in 14:29 does
                  not respond to 14:28 (the promise of Resurrection, which one would expect
                  might engage his attention) but rather to 14:27. He ignores 14:28.

                  As for the position of Peter in the text of Mark, it is sometimes very
                  positive (as at 8:30, where Peter is the only one to recognize Jesus as the
                  Messiah) and sometimes very negative (as at 8:33, where Jesus calls him
                  "Satan"). Peter in Mark runs the gamut from +10 to -10. Can't the author of
                  this text, assuming the text to be a unitary production and thus to *have* a
                  single author, can't that author make up his mind whether Peter is a good
                  guy or a bad guy?

                  Nor is Peter the only hard case for Markan consistency. Take Herod. We hear
                  in Mark fulminations against the Herodians, and warnings about "the leaven
                  of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod," and what this means we don't
                  know, but obviously it is bad. Herod killed John, and he has his agents
                  watching Jesus; and the Pharisees are conspiring with the Herodians how to
                  kill Jesus. So far, we have no trouble identifying the guys in the bad hats.
                  But then in addition to all this, we have an extended narrative of John in
                  prison, and Herod in that narrative is portrayed this way: "for Herod feared
                  John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When
                  he heard him, he was much perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly." (Mk
                  6:20). Reminds me (doesn't it you?) of the appearances of Paul before
                  various sympathetic governors, who as the story has it, would have released
                  him, or been converted by him, save for the opposition of this or that
                  discontented and hostile party.

                  Anyway, here is Herod, the confused but willing listener to the Gospel. Does
                  Mark know which side he is on, or does he not? Is he a blithering idiot, or
                  is something else going on here? I have seen enough of the world not to rule
                  out the Blithering Idiot option incontinently, but perhaps the other
                  possibility deserves exploration first. I have been trying to conduct just
                  that sort of exploration.

                  Q: Then, we have the youth sitting at the tomb, having to remind the women
                  to "tell the disciples, including Prock, he is going ahead of you to
                  Galilee!"

                  A: I don't know about "having to." The youth, appearing miraculously, and
                  being supernaturally well informed about what Jesus has previously said (in
                  14:28!) to his disciples, tells the women that Jesus has risen, and then he
                  goes on to add that they should let the disciples and Peter know that Jesus
                  will be waiting for them in Galilee. To this second bit of rather remarkably
                  good news, they respond not with joy (unless you go with the Matthean
                  rewrite, which I do not recommend, but with fear and awe, at the evidence
                  and the confirming report that Jesus has risen from the dead, and is no
                  longer in the realm of the dead. That is, they react to the youth's words
                  *up to and including 16:6.* With the 16:7 Galilee detail, as has been
                  repeatedly mentioned and endlessly hashed over, they do nothing. This may be
                  their stupidity, though nothing in the previous narrative makes them
                  anything other than solicitous and devoted, or it may be that the 16:7
                  comment about Galilee was never made to them, in the narrative in which they
                  originally figured.

                  Suppose we elect to try out the latter option, just as a mental exercise.
                  Then there immediately vanishes, dare I suggest, the old problem of the
                  women's "disobedience." The women, on that assumption, are not disobedient.
                  They react perfectly appropriately to the cosmic event which they have just
                  come up against.

                  Q: In the Gospel of Mark, the author's opinion of Peter is negative - he is
                  portrayed among other things as rather stupid and forgetful. (I think that's
                  the main reason he is nicknamed "Rock," as in "thick as a brick." Is
                  14:27-29 within the scope of the author's portrayal of this "sidekick?" I
                  believe it is.

                  A: No. See next.

                  Q: While it may be an interpolation, Peter's behavior, forgetting what was
                  just said, is very much characteristic of Peter, . . .

                  A: Unfortunately, not all the time (see above). The portrait of Peter in
                  Mark is radically inconsistent. Where he is seen as stupid, we may be
                  reminded of his other stupid moments. Where is is insightful, we may be
                  reminded of his general leadership among the group. In general, I think it
                  is methodologically unsound to use an inconsistent whole to justify the
                  inconsistent details. As to this particular detail (to repeat once again),
                  the problem with Peter and 14:28 is not that he misunderstands it, it is
                  that he does not react to it at all. It is not a source of confusion to him,
                  it simply doesn't exist for him.

                  Q: . . . and pretty much the disciples as a group.

                  A: We have now changed the subject, but I am willing to admit that the
                  disciples as a group also have consistency problems.

                  Q: Remember, after the first story of the feeding the multitudes, the
                  author portrays them as having forgotten that the protagonist has already
                  magically made the bread and fish multiply.

                  A: That particular passage gets us into the famous "doublet" problem with
                  the Two Feedings (not to mention the Two Spit Healings, and other seeming
                  duplications that cluster in this part of the text. It would be a long
                  digression to take up that problem now, and I ask leave to defer it to a
                  separate message. Instead, let's return to Peter.

                  Q: So why is it odd that Peter doesn't "get it?" He rarely does.

                  A: The point of 14:28 is not that Peter does not understand about the
                  Appearance in Galilee, but that he does not even hear the sentence in which
                  that Appearance is announced. The narrative fails to connect with itself.
                  This is what folks mean by the word "inconcinnity."

                  When the striking 14:28 (which Peter does not misunderstand, but simply
                  ignores) is removed, we have a perfectly coherent and consecutive narrative,
                  in which Peter *does* respond to what Jesus says, and with a rather likeable
                  indignation at the prediction of his later defection. That restored
                  narrative goes like this:

                  RESTORATION
                  And Jesus said to them, You will all fall away, for it is written, I will
                  strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. Peter said to him,
                  Even though they all fall away, I will not. And Jesus said to him, Truly, I
                  say to you, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me
                  three times. But he said vehemently, If I must die with you, I will not deny
                  you. And they all said the same.

                  Isn't that simple, dramatic, effective, and narratively consistent? Wouldn't
                  it be nice if all the Markan story were this straightforward and coherent?

                  Well, maybe it was, at one time, before some of these interruptions and
                  insertions and geographically haywire meanderings were stuck into the text.

                  It is that possibility that I am pursuing with this series of notes. For
                  those who may be interested. To the others, my apology for the interruption,
                  and my best wishes of the season.

                  Bruce

                  E Bruce Brooks
                  Warring States Project
                  University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                • Chuck Jones
                  I m not sure how this fits in, but I would like to point out that the two miracles we are discussing are numbers 2 and 3 in a set of 4 miracles that Mark
                  Message 8 of 25 , Nov 13, 2008
                    I'm not sure how this fits in, but I would like to point out that the two miracles we are discussing are numbers 2 and 3 in a set of 4 miracles that Mark has placed within a single day.
                     
                    In Mk, chs 4 and 5 create "A Day in the Life of Jesus," starting with an entire day of teaching.  Jesus wants to get away and rest, but is interrupted 4 times.  First, he stops a sea storm, second, he is confronted with a legion of demons, third a multi-decade chronic illness, and, fourth, death itself.
                     
                    This is a series of power encounters against the great fears and uncontrollables of the pre-modern world in which Jesus prevails in every case.  (The construct of a single day ends with the begining of ch. 6.  Jesus never did get to rest.)
                     
                    Rev. Chuck Jones
                    Atlanta, Georgia

                    --- On Wed, 11/12/08, Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...> wrote:

                    From: Dennis Dean Carpenter <ddcanne@...>
                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Markan Triplet (3:10 etc)
                    To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 5:31 PM






                    Bruce, I think we are not going anywhere with this. I was preparing a reply to your other post and saw the one that began, "In response to Jeffery Hodges, Dennis had said, in part..." You seemed to be trying to look at individual parts to determine some kind of early versus late construction of parts of Mark. In lieu of an autograph, I'd need more. I'm looking at the gospel as a whole, thematically. I'm looking to see if those pieces fit. They do. The onus on you is to show how they don't fit within the basic book, within the themes found in the book. To consider them as interpolations because they don't seem logical to you doesn't mean they are interpolated.

                    Let's use this interpolation logic in the Markan story of the fig tree. He curses it, then he leaves to have a temple incident, then he comes back and it has withered. A logic of interpolation would have the temple incident as an interpolation. Of course, I don't know of anyone who believes that. We look at it symbolically.

                    We have a ruler of a synagogue with a dying 12 year old daughter. On his way to heal her, he is touched by a woman with a 12 year discharge. She is healed. The daughter has died. Jesus touches her and she is now alive. He tells them to feed her. We have the number twelve, we have touching of the unclean, we have healing in both stories. More importantly, we have a synagogue ruler who wasn't concerned about ritual purity. We have a Jewish believer who is a "ruler." That is indeed not that common. Maybe this part was interpolated. How often are the priests and scholars dealt with favorably in Mark? No, it seems to me that this whole section, as a block, was an example of the enlightenment of the believers (Jairus and the woman).

                    Actually, there is another way to present your case, if you look at the Greek in the block. There seems to be an important difference, though I'm just beginning my Greek "voyage."

                    Dennis Dean Carpenter
                    Dahlonega, Ga.



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


















                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Dennis Dean Carpenter
                    Yeah, and in the section just before four, he can not even get a bite to eat. Interpolation or another one of those darned interruptions! Dennis Dean
                    Message 9 of 25 , Nov 13, 2008
                      Yeah, and in the section just before four, he can not even get a bite to eat. Interpolation or another one of those darned interruptions!
                      Dennis Dean Carpenter


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Chuck Jones
                      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 2:37 PM
                      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Markan Triplet (3:10 etc)


                      I'm not sure how this fits in, but I would like to point out that the two miracles we are discussing are numbers 2 and 3 in a set of 4 miracles that Mark has placed within a single day.

                      In Mk, chs 4 and 5 create "A Day in the Life of Jesus," starting with an entire day of teaching. Jesus wants to get away and rest, but is interrupted 4 times. First, he stops a sea storm, second, he is confronted with a legion of demons, third a multi-decade chronic illness, and, fourth, death itself.

                      This is a series of power encounters against the great fears and uncontrollables of the pre-modern world in which Jesus prevails in every case. (The construct of a single day ends with the begining of ch. 6. Jesus never did get to rest.)

                      Rev. Chuck Jones
                      Atlanta, Georgia


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                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • E Bruce Brooks
                      To: Synoptic Cc: GPG; WSW Not Quite In Response To: Chuck Jones From: Bruce I am not going to interlineate this one (for which nevertheless thanks); I am going
                      Message 10 of 25 , Nov 13, 2008
                        To: Synoptic
                        Cc: GPG; WSW
                        Not Quite In Response To: Chuck Jones
                        From: Bruce

                        I am not going to interlineate this one (for which nevertheless thanks); I
                        am going to repeat it and then reflect on it. Here is what Chuck said:

                        "I'm not sure how this fits in, but I would like to point out that the two
                        miracles we are discussing are numbers 2 and 3 in a set of 4 miracles that
                        Mark has placed within a single day. / In Mk, chs 4 and 5 create "A Day in
                        the Life of Jesus," starting with an entire day of teaching. Jesus wants to
                        get away and rest, but is interrupted 4 times. First, he stops a sea storm,
                        second, he is confronted with a legion of demons, third a multi-decade
                        chronic illness, and, fourth, death itself. / This is a series of power
                        encounters against the great fears and uncontrollables of the pre-modern
                        world in which Jesus prevails in every case. (The construct of a single day
                        ends with the beginning of ch. 6. Jesus never did get to rest)."

                        MEDITATION I

                        There is a classical Chinese book called Jwangdz; fans of Thomas Merton and
                        perhaps some others will have heard of it. It is very funny, very
                        antigovernmental, very agreeable in parts to certain aspects of our modern
                        sensibility. The prevailing view is that the lower-numbered chapters are
                        earlier, and the higher-numbered ones later, maybe even Han Dynasty (the
                        Empire; the postclassical period). So what parts of it do the Han literary
                        folks like, and thus regard as unquestionably authentic? The lower-numbered
                        chapters? Not in a million years. Rather: the higher-numbered chapters. The
                        ones closest to them in time, and thus the ones closest to their own
                        philosophical sensibilities. The ones that speak most directly to their
                        concerns and condition.

                        It is very natural, once you think of it. The most recent thing, the most
                        evolved, is what most appeals to posterity, whether proximal or remote. I
                        don't quite want to make it a rule, but it is at least a regularity, one
                        that we should not be surprised to meet again.

                        I seem to meet it again in Chuck's appreciation of the miracles in Mk 4-5,
                        and his disinterest in the Sermon By The Sea parables. And why? My a priori
                        suspicion (coming out of a good deal of watching texts and readers at work
                        together, in different parts of the world) would be: Maybe because the
                        miracles are later than the parables. That is Suspicion 1, not yet a proof,
                        but perhaps actionable as a suspicion. Let us entertain it, and see what
                        happens. We can always go back and push the UNDO button and return to the
                        status quo ante, if we find it gets us nowhere.

                        MEDITATION II

                        Suspicion 2 is that in the Four Gospels taken together, we can see a process
                        of progressive divinization of Jesus, through the miraculous birth of
                        Matthew and Luke to the cosmic identity of John. There is thus a perfectly
                        visible and verifiable tendency, over time, for the Jesus community to
                        promote Jesus into the top position. Suspicion 2a is that this process may
                        apply, not just *between* the Four Gospels, but *within* the Earliest
                        Gospel, namely Mark. The accretional theory of Mark, on which I seem to have
                        a copyright as well as sole possession, is also a theory that Mark, the
                        text, was progressively upgraded so as to keep pace with developing ideas in
                        the community to which that text was somehow responsive. (Just like
                        Microsoft automatically upgraded my antivirus software last night, while I
                        wasn't looking, to keep pace with the bad people who think up the viruses.
                        Our modern version of Controversy Stories).

                        I look at those miracles in Mk 4-5, and I see a conspicuous mixture. There
                        are rather humble healings (with mutterings in Aramaic, and a personal
                        touch, and advice to the parents to see that the patient gets something to
                        eat). There are also grand exorcisms, where Jesus is not besought, but
                        actually worshipped (Mk 5:6) by the sufferer, and where the possession is
                        not by one demon, no, that would be piddling, but by Two Thousand Demons,
                        who after a fully reported contest of wills are sent into an equal number of
                        pigs, and are ironically drowned in the sea. Here Jesus is not picking the
                        wax out of some hard of hearing person's ear, he is mastering supernatural
                        beings with his own superior supernatural power. And that is not enough to
                        wow the audience? Very good, we can improve on it. Over here is Jesus
                        speaking words of rebuke, not to demons, but to Nature Itself, and Nature
                        Itself meekly obeying, so that the dazzled disciples ask, What sort of a guy
                        IS this, anyways?

                        I trust that the steady ratcheting up of the power level will be obvious. If
                        Jesus can command Nature, what is he doing in the same chapter bringing
                        little girls out of comas, when a command to Nature will so much more
                        dazzlingly make his point? Let him call down fire and rain, or if they are
                        already there, let him bid them cease. Never mind this aches and pains
                        stuff. Answer, he would NOT be doing so, any more than the Dean of the
                        Medical School still takes Saturdays off from his job to prescribe aspirins
                        for the neighborhood children. No, the human probability is that we are here
                        confronted with several additive (but haphazardly placed) layers of
                        successively more grandiose persona construction.

                        MEDITATION III

                        People seem not to get the hang of the idea of using textual signs of
                        interpolation as a guide to layering in a text. 100 years ago, it would have
                        been second nature for anyone humanistically educated, but apparently it is
                        no longer 100 years ago. Tsk. Julius Wellhausen, thou shouldst be living at
                        this hour. We therefore have no empirical, fine-grained evidence to support
                        our previous suspicions, or at least no empirical, fine-grained evidence
                        that is evident to all parties. There, as it might be, is the end of our
                        imaginings.

                        But wait: sooner or later it is going to occur to somebody with an hour and
                        a half and a pencil on their hands (say, in the airport, in these ever more
                        difficult days) to ask, What if we separate out on paper all the Really
                        Cosmic Miracles, and on another sheet the Masterful Exorcisms, and on still
                        another the Country Doc Healings? Would each of those three bodies of
                        material, thus arbitrarily defined, have ANY OTHER DISTINCTIVE FEATURES? CAN
                        THEY BE CODEFINED?

                        They would. They can. But I am not saying how. Not until Monday the 24th, at
                        7 AM in the Sheridan Conference Room. See you there, and bring your sheets
                        of airport paper with you. AND your pencil.

                        MEDITATION IV

                        Meanwhile, as a final note of sympathy for the working man: If we take out
                        the aggrandizing additions to these two chapters, does Jesus have a more
                        nearly normal day? The very question assumes that Mark meant to represent it
                        as a day, and I think this may be doubted. Look at the end of the Sermon By
                        The Sea, 4:33 "With many such parables he spoke the Word to them, as they
                        were able to hear it." I think this suggests that the foregoing parables are
                        after all not a transcript of a single sermon, but a sample of Jesus's
                        preaching, conveniently collected into one place. As though to say, "Here is
                        the kind of thing Jesus used to say tpo the crowds when he was speaking to
                        them." Mark likes to group things: teaching parables, conflict stories, and
                        the like. It is this characteristic, I suspect, which gets people like
                        Papias down on him for having no real time sequence, over much of his
                        Gospel, just a sort of arrangement of material classified by type.
                        Convenient, and usable, but without narrative force.

                        Papias, as I understand from Eusebius, was one of history's all-time
                        weirdos, but not even weirdos are wrong all the time. Some of them have a
                        rather developed, even an acute, literary sense. Their hints are thus
                        sometimes worth taking, just like everybody else's.

                        Bruce

                        E Bruce Brooks
                        Warring States Project
                        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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