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Re: [Synoptic-L] Karel Hanhart's Mark I

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  • Karel Hanhart
    Dear Bruce, It appears that you do not wish to discuss the question of Mark I with me personally. You rather make known that you haven t read my book
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 24, 2008
      Dear Bruce,

      It appears that you do not wish to discuss the question of "Mark I" with me personally. You rather make known that you haven't read my book thoroughly and you wish you had been on the committee supervising my thesis.
      1) This book is not my thesis. I wrote my thesis on Life after Death in connection with Cullmann's Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead? under prof. J. Sevenster and prof M.A. Beek of the Univ of Amsterdam way back. The book is rather the result of a lifetime Gospel study. I am now 81 years old. I did discuss matters with persons like prof Walter Harrelson, prof van Iersel, prof S Safrai and several other prominent scholars.

      2) You are right the book is long. In fact it consists of three books. I read the resurrection narrative (a) from the perspective of space: what does 'mnemeion', 'Rock', 'door'. 'here and there' etc mean?. (b) from the perspective of time: why on the third day AND after three days, "late on Saturday night" (Mt) or early in the morning (Mc), the use of sabbaton and sabbata - and especial the socalled Boethusian dispute which takes up an important place in Talmudic discussions on the harvest festival or Pesach and Pentecost. (c) Important are the discussions on the persons involved: the youth in the tomb, the women, Peter, 'the twelve" etc. But most important and riddlesome is the identity of "Joseph who came from Ramah" (usually called Arimathea).
      3) the book is a detailed reply to all the arguments William Craig put forth in defence of a literal "empty" tomb discovery. (the adjective "empty" is by itself strange for the tomb was not empty; a young man was sitting in it)
      4) If you had been "on the committee" of my assumed thesis, you should have focussed on the aim of my book; namely, to write an exegesis of Mark's epilogue, the opened monument narrative, as we have it in Nestle. A member of your assumed committee should at least have read the book thoroughly including the notes before making written comments on it.
      5) Indeed I do posit Mark. used pre-70 material and I hesitantly proposed that he himself wrote an earlier 'gospel' which he had to revise in the wake of 70. This would explain we cannot find sections from a hand different from the author;s. However, I emphasized that we cannot recover this Mark I. One cannot discuss the matter at any depth before one first establishes with a degree of certainty the meaning of the present epilogue and its provenance.

      It appears to be the aim of your project to explore the content of this pre-70 material. A laudable aim, but my book was not written for that purpose. So please, do not write (a bit condescendingly?) about "Hanhart's Mark I".
      Allow me, please, to make some interlinear remarks

      You wrote in irritation (were you hastily trying to deal with my thesis just before before the SBL meeting ?)

      "[...This game with the reader should cease, and I
      herewith beg authors, present and future, not to let their publishers
      inflict it on their manuscripts. It is an insult to every single serious
      reader, and how many frivolous readers, how big a sale among the
      teeny-boppers, can a book of this type validly expect to have? Give us all a
      break. At present prices, we deserve it].

      Indeed, locating the notes is somewhat cumbersome. It was the publishers choice, however, as you rightly say and I received apologies from the person concerned. I made for my self a list, linking sections, chapters, notes and pages more clearly, I am happy to scan that list and send it to any one interested. K.hanhart@... However, my request not to use "Hanhart's Mark I" stands.

      You wrote, " Of the readers who get this far..."

      Now honestly, Bruce, did you read that far? Other members of your fuctional thesis committee would chide you, since you apparently had not.

      You continued "And in part because the whole process smacks too much
      of co-authorship; it goes beyond the proper roles of author and reader."

      It shows you didnot read my book thoroughly and follow its logic I do posit one author and one reader's circle throughout!. What are yours?

      You wrote:
      "Lectionary or other seasonal-coordinated theories of some Biblical text are
      popular in our day, and indeed Carrington's Primitive Christian Calendar
      does figure in the Bibliography of the present work. It is quite reasonable
      to suppose that this or that Gospel, or maybe a series of extracts from it
      or them, was systematically read around the Church year.""

      And at the end:

      "Which in turn seems to have been not some out
      of the way cow corner, but somehow influential; it ends where orthodox
      opinion also ended. I don't need a Rome or Alexandria hypothesis to account
      for this; Antioch will do just fine for me, or even Damascus as far as that
      goes.

      The present impasse in Marcan studies is due to the varying and contradictory answers to the problems of provenance and authorship. I wanted at the time to go beyond the opposing approaches of Bultmann and K. Barth. Both failed miserably to deal with the Judean background of the Gospel, its historical matrix. However, looking for a new approach we better start with the oldest info on provenance and authorship. John Mark was a Judean, born in Jerusalem. It implies he attended the synagogue and knew the official rituals in the Temple. He participated in the readings during the great festvals. Because we know the Boethusians - Pharisaic disputes dealt precisely with what you call "Lectionary or other seasonal-coordinated theories" and because Carrington and Goulder had not found a reference to the harvest 50 days of Pentecost, I knew I had better pay attention, as Jan van Goudoever (Biblical Calendars) insisted.. For the Boethisians held firmly Pentecost should begin and end on SUNDAY while the Pharisees introduced Nisan 16, the day after Pesach, precisely the day of Jesus' burial by Josepg who came from Ramah!.

      cordially,

      Karel Hanhart
      .






      ----- Original Message -----
      From: E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic
      Cc: GPG
      Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 12:43 AM
      Subject: [Synoptic-L] Karel Hanhart's Mark I


      To: Synoptic
      Cc: GPG
      On: Karel Hanhart's Mark I
      From: Bruce

      I guess I should complete my previous partial attempt to pick out Karel's
      Mark I from amidst his 868-page book The Open Tomb (Liturgical Press 1995).
      I here attempt to do so, having in the meantime reached the end of the Index
      listings of references to Mark I. First a general reaction.

      The real problem I have with this book is that I was not on its committee.
      It's hard to sort out the author's thesis. After going a considerable way
      with the author, on p103 we finally get a look at the far end of the
      hypothesis, and it is this:

      "After the Letter to the Romans was received in the capital and Paul himself
      had arrived in Rome as a prisoner, Mark wrote the first draft of a Haggadah
      for liturgical use in the Passover season. We do not know the extent or
      content of Mark I - Clement's report is too general to judge the matter - or
      if this first Markan composition was written in Rome or in Alexandria."

      "Clement's report" seems to refer to the Secret Mark letter, which in the
      interim has proved to be a weak reed to conjecture from, hence this
      restraint turns out to have been well and wisely considered.

      [There are some footnotes in there, but I have failed to locate them. The
      book is arranged so that the notes are at the back, keyed to chapter
      numbers, whereas the book running heads are in terms of chapter names, not
      to mention section names. This game with the reader should cease, and I
      herewith beg authors, present and future, not to let their publishers
      inflict it on their manuscripts. It is an insult to every single serious
      reader, and how many frivolous readers, how big a sale among the
      teeny-boppers, can a book of this type validly expect to have? Give us all a
      break. At present prices, we deserve it].

      In any case, continuing with the book's main text for another 400 pages, we
      get another hint of Mark II on p519, thus:

      "But obvious redactional phrases in the body of the Gospel lead to the
      conclusion that it is indeed a revision of an earlier Haggadah. However, I
      have refrained from outlining this earlier work in detail. Such a detailed
      inquiry is hardly worthwhile before the nature and purpose of the revision
      have been established."

      Sure, but once they *have* been established, the other leg of the hypothesis
      is to check whether the earlier text, as conjectured, makes sense as a real
      object. If not, then there is no plausible object to have been later
      revised, and accordingly, there cannot be a plausible revision thesis. The
      author on p519 proceeds to list many Markan passages which are judged "to be
      important features of the revision." Of the readers who get this far, I
      suspect that very few are going to sit down at their computers and run those
      numbers in and see what is left, in part because there is no guarantee that
      this is all of them. And in part because the whole process smacks too much
      of co-authorship; it goes beyond the proper roles of author and reader.

      Further, on p546, and near the end, we have this:

      "In a pre-70 version of the Passover Haggadah, passages on Jesus' Galilean
      ministry together with parables on the sower, the seed, and the harvest,
      which we now find in the beginning of the Gospel, were probably used for a
      harvest cycle of readings that *followed* the Passover-passion story. By
      placing this harvest sequence in the opening of his Haggadah and alluding to
      the ominous Temple prediction in Malachi 3:1 ["Behold, I send my messenger
      to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come
      to his temple" - EBB], the word euaggelion ("good news," 1:1) acquired a
      paradoxical meaning, an ironic but not cynical flash-forward to the trauma
      of 70."

      Lectionary or other seasonal-coordinated theories of some Biblical text are
      popular in our day, and indeed Carrington's Primitive Christian Calendar
      does figure in the Bibliography of the present work. It is quite reasonable
      to suppose that this or that Gospel, or maybe a series of extracts from it
      or them, was systematically read around the Church year. It remains to be
      established (a) when a "Church year" in that precise a sense came into
      being, and (b) whether Mark in particular was composed *for that purpose.*

      So far my general suggestions. What specifics can we collect?

      INVENTORY

      The passages which I have found to be directly identified in one place or
      another as belonging to Mark I, here arranged in Markan order, are the
      following:

      2:21f [new vs old; p88]
      4:8 [p513f]
      4 parables as a series [p100]
      2:21f (new and old, p88)
      6:42-44 [p513f]
      8:31 [not the other two Announcements, p88, 291f]
      9:2-8 [transfiguration; originally at end; p100]
      13:27 [513f]
      15:36 as the final passage [p103]
      [The "transfiguration" in 9:2-8 originally here]

      I am sure Karel can easily supplement this, and I would be glad if he would,
      since it would give all present a better idea of his Revision model. If I
      compare this list of putative early material with my own several-layer
      scheme, the Accretional model, it looks like this:

      COMPARISON

      2:21f [new vs old]. Original Mark
      4:8 [seeds on varying soil]. Original Mark
      4 [parables as a series]. Original Mark
      6:42-44 [feeding 5000]. Layer 2 (Son of God, nonhealing miracle)
      8:31 [prediction of death]. Layer 3 (Son of Man, Resurrection theology)
      9:2-8 [transfiguration]. Layer 2 (Son of God)
      13:27 [apocalypse]. Layer 5, Delayed Last Days, c40
      15:36 [Jesus dies on the cross]. Original Mark

      But I would end Original mark not here, but with the Temple Curtain, 15:38.
      The following verse, 15:39, the testimony of the Roman soldier, obviously
      belongs to, and I suggest that it was meant to conclude, the Son of God
      layer. It gave that layer a sonorous and effective framing conclusion.

      What is the general tenor of these comparisons? (1) I agree with many of
      Karel's conclusions as to what is early material. (2) Where we differ,
      chiefly, is in the Markan Christologies. Many have pointed out that Mark
      mixes Son of David, Son of God, and Son of Man Christologies, and Karel too
      seems to refer at least elements of them equally to his Early layer. I think
      more precision is possible. I believe I am the first to suggest that they
      are not simply a jumble in Mark, but were introduced one after the other,
      keeping pace with the thinking about Jesus in the Markan community.

      I can express that in more detail if desired, but will conclude for now.

      CONCLUSION

      My own sense of Mark, after approaching it according to my own best
      analytical lights, is that it was from the beginning a Gospel, not a
      liturgical script, and that it maintained that character throughout its
      subsequent process of augmentation. That process, however, decisively
      changed its theological import. In fact, the Markan community seems to have
      kept pace pretty well with the shifts of theological thinking in the
      community which it reflected. Which in turn seems to have been not some out
      of the way cow corner, but somehow influential; it ends where orthodox
      opinion also ended. I don't need a Rome or Alexandria hypothesis to account
      for this; Antioch will do just fine for me, or even Damascus as far as that
      goes.

      Offered for comment.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst






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