Re: [Synoptic-L] A look at J. Gibsons citations from the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs
- Richard Richmond wrote:
> As I said before and restate now. Exploring theseI'm surprised that you say that in the light of the facts that
> references does nothing to advance the notion that
> Mark had them in mind at all.
(1) we have at Mk. 1:13 a concatenation of elements -- wild beats,
angels, and demons/ the Devil -- that appears no where else in Jewish
literature except in Ps. 91 and in these particular passages from the
Testament of the 12 Patriarchs,
(2) that Mark seems to allude to the Testament of the 12 Patriarchs in
his baptism story,
(3) that just as in Ps. 91 and the Testament texts, beasts and angels
are also said in Mk. 1:13 to stand over against one another, and perhaps
(4) that we find in Mk. 1:13 the same ideas that in Ps. 91 and the
Testament texts the theme of being `with' `beasts' and angels is
employed to emphasize, underscore, and point out -- namely
(a) that those who are confronted by `beasts' and angels stand in a
covenant relationship with God. and
(b) that the manner in which those so confronted are `with' the `beasts'
and angels is something that is wholly determined by whether or not,
when under trial, they are faithful to God's covenant and obey its
(In Ps. 91 the angels protect, and the `beasts' (and demons) are subject
to, those who, despite the danger and distress brought on by trusting
God, still cling to him in love. In the Testament of Naphtali it is
promised on, the one hand, that the angels will bless and cleave to, and
the `beasts' (and demons) fear, those who imitate the example of the
Patriarch's devotion and `work that which is good', but that, on the
other, the angels will curse and the `beasts' (and the Devil) master the
sons of the covenant who turn their backs on God and, in spite of clear
directives to the contrary, `do that which is evil").
In other words, in these texts the conceptual background of the theme
of "being with the wild beasts" is specifically the "`testing of
faithfulness and obedience of a commissioned person to his covenantal
And this is **exactly** what Mark says is the background to his
reference to Jesus "being with wild beasts".
How in the light of this anyone could deny that Mark had these texts (or
the ideas they embody) in mind in Mk 1:13b is beyond me.
In any case, they certainly show that "being with the wild beasts" was a
known part of the theme of "testing" (indeed, it seems to be shorthand
for it) and, more importantly, mitigate any claim that such an
expression is alien to, or an interpolation into, the context in which
it is now found in GMark.
And yes, the Greek word QHRION, along with AGGELOS and the Greek word
for the Satan are in the Testament texts -- something that cannot be
said of Ps. 79 LXX.
Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
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