• ## Starting Out: Interpolations in Mk [M1]

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• To: GPG [Cc: Synoptic] On: Interpolations in Mk From: Bruce [I am copying this note to Synoptic, in case there are still a few discontented erudite persons
Message 1 of 1 , Jan 28, 2009
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To: GPG
[Cc: Synoptic]
On: Interpolations in Mk
From: Bruce

[I am copying this note to Synoptic, in case there are still a few
"discontented" erudite persons who have not yet made themselves known to us,
and as a way of following up on the part of this list which was previously
posted there. / Bruce]

Folks,

Okay, eleven years in the wilderness will have to be enough. Ready or not,
here we go.

My investigation is premised on Markan Priority, as having been sufficiently
demonstrated in previous notes, and indeed in previous scholarship
generally. The Trajectory argument alone (and there are others) seems to be
sufficient to get us to that point. There may be unresolved spots and
patches in the scenario

Mk > Mt > Lk > Jn

but if so, they will have to be worked out locally. I do not think that the
major sequence is in doubt, and I propose to take the indicated next step.
Which has never been done before (or if it has, I would appreciate a
reference).

ON TO MARK

The next step is to analyze Mark, and the first step in analyzing Mark is to
see if it is coherent and integral, or if instead there are signs of
composite structure, of whatever kind. In other words, the basic question
is, Are we dealing with one text here, or with many? I find that there are
several place where the signs suggest an interpolated passage. The chief
sign of interpolation is local discontinuity which cured if the passage is
excised. In such cases, we infer that the interpolated passage is later then
the main passage, since unless the main passage existed previously, there
would have been nothing for the interpolation to be interpolated into.

Mark is so choppy, in spots, that it is relatively easy to intrude a new
segment between two previous segments, without producing any insupportable
discontinuities at the edges. There may be disharmony of content, between
the new material and some of the old, but the criterion of interruption is
stronger, and where it can be met, I think the argument for interpolation is
therefore also stronger. Including dislocation of setting as a local
discontinuity, I find that there are about ten such unambiguously
interruptive passages in Mark; I say "about" because people's threshold of
perceived discontinuity may vary.

Three of the ten I expounded at length on Synoptic. There seems no point in
continuing that series, and I will be briefer here. The ten passages in
question, as I see them, are, in Markan order:

1:23-28. The Capernaum Demoniac
2:5b-10. The Capernaum Paralytic
3:22-30. Possession by Beelzebul
4:10-20. Esoteric Explanation of Parable
5:24-34. The Woman With a Flow of Blood
6:7-13. Sending of the Twelve
9:39-41. The Rival Exorcist
14:3-9. The Woman of Bethany
14:28. 1st Prediction of Galilee Appearance
16:7. 2nd Prediction of Galilee Appearance

Exposition if desired, but I think the interruptive quality will be mostly
self-evident. At least they may do to be going on with, and if further study
should indicate an error, I will go back and fix the error.

These, then, are passages which are later than their immediate context, but
how late they may be in absolute terms does not directly appear. I file them
for the moment, for later reference. But if anybody sees a problem with the
analysis so far, do let us hear from you.

Bruce

[E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst]
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