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Accretional Mark Handout

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG Mentioning: Accretional Mark Handout (for SBL) From: Bruce I often find that in introducing an interpolation hypothesis before an
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 19, 2008
      To: Synoptic
      Cc: GPG
      Mentioning: Accretional Mark Handout (for SBL)
      From: Bruce

      I often find that in introducing an interpolation hypothesis before an
      audience, I have to begin at Square One, with the question, What is an
      interpolation, and How does one validly identify one? I have prepared a
      handout for the Accretional Mark session at SBL, namely

      Session SBL AM 24-4
      Sheraton Conference Room SH [Exact number not known]
      NT Quest 1: Accretional Mark
      Monday 11/24 2008
      7:00-8:30 AM, Bring your own coffee and bagel
      Advance Discussion Material at:

      It runs to three pages, introduces the tests of an interpolation, shows how
      separate interpolations may be identified as a layer, and then outlines some
      structural features of the first three layers of Mark which are presently
      distinguished in the Accretional Model. Copies of the handout will of course
      be available at the session next Monday, but it may save time if those
      thinking of attending will download them now, at the URL listed above.


      It isn't necessary to approach all this via the AYC Pre-Markan Passion
      Narrative reconstruction. But it can be convenient. Notice, in that
      reconstruction, how the Three Prayers of Jesus at Gethsemane are omitted
      from the earliest narrative, and note the suggestion that there may be a
      resonance with the Three Announcements of Jesus in the middle of Mark
      (8:31f, 9:31f, 10:32f). I think that those are cogent suggestions. I also
      think that they together suggest a stratum of Mark which had the Three
      Prayers as one of its prominent endpieces, and the Three Announcements as
      its centerpoint. We note that in one of the Three Announcements, Peter
      attempts to dissuade Jesus, and is called "Satan," presumably for supplying
      temptation. This in turn may remind us of the actual Temptation of Satan, Mk
      1:12-13. The structure of that set of added materials, in which, and not
      prior to which, Jesus is referred to as the Son of Man, would then be
      highlighted by these major points:

      Thematic Prologue: Temptation by Satan Mk 1:12-13
      Central Proclamation: Announcement by Jesus Mk 8:31 etc
      Resonance: Temptation Resisted by Jesus Mk 14:33f
      Coda: Vindication by Resurrection Mk 15:40-16:8

      I find that rather neat, and thus probably intentional. I will add that the
      two previous layers (the Son of David layer and the Son of God layer, the
      above being the third or Son or Man layer) also seem to have a
      three-highlight structure. For a bare outline, see the third page of the

      As mentioned, a few copies of the full reconstruction in its current form,
      for comment and return to me, will be available at SBL.

      See you there,


      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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