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Re: [GPG] Mk 7:32-37 - The Deaf Man

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  • Dave Gentile
    Bruce, First of all I did not challenge the idea of pericopes, I challenged our modern pericope boarders. When I open a modern bible I see nicely headlined
    Message 1 of 1 , May 24, 2009

      First of all I did not challenge the idea of pericopes, I challenged our modern pericope boarders. When I open a modern bible I see nicely headlined little sections. But choices have been made here. Sometimes they could have been made differently. Clearly even in ancient times there were individual story units in the text. However, theses story units are joined on occasion by a small bit of connecting text, sometimes just a sentence, to move the action from one place to another. If a sentence says "They left point A and arrived at point B.", does this belong with the previous story or the subsequent one? I would say neither. It is a bit of connecting material between individual story units. Our modern pericope boundaries, however, need to place this sentence in one pericope or the other, but an ancient reader need not have done so. The ancient reader could have viewed it as a sequence of story:connector:story:connector:etc.

      Regarding joining 6:56 to 7:32. Perhaps at one point in the text's development these were linked. But me personally, I at least need to keep separate large clues and small clues here. We need the large scale structure of things before we can get into smaller developments. For example, we need to know that Matthew and Luke both used Mark. Once this is established (and it is, at least to my satisfaction), then any more detailed conclusions we arrive at must be consistent with this. In a similar way, the idea that Luke had an earlier copy of Mark where at least much of Luke's great omission had not yet been added is at least currently established to my satisfaction. Thus any more minor details must be consistent with this. Thus if 6:56 and 7:32 were joined at one point, what we have found is layers within the material added after Luke's copy of Mark had been written. And thus the deaf man can not be part of the very early material. Rather, just like the story of the 5000 is earlier than the 4000, and the calming the storm is earlier than the walking on water, I would suggest this healing of a deaf man is just modeled on the healing of the blind man (which was very early text).

      Here is something consistent with that idea:

      In 6:53-6:56 we have people healed by touching his cloak. This brings to mind 5:28. But this material surrounding 5:28 is intrusive in the material around it, the material restoring the man's daughter to life. This indicates to me that healing by touching his clothing may not have been part of the earliest healing miracles but was an idea that came along later. 6:53-6:56 just talks about this healing as if it is routine. So I see a sequence where the material around 5:28 is added early enough to make it into Luke's copy of Mark, then this idea, already being established, is available to be considered routine when at a later date the material at 6:53-6:56 is added.

      Also, besides your observation that there is a smooth join between 6:56 and 7:32, there is another reason to believe that this material in this section was added in stages. I had proposed that the Luke's text of Mark read something like:

      Those who had eaten the loaves numbered 5000. After saying goodbye to them he went off into the hills to pray. That evening they came to Bethsaida and some people brought him a blind man…[blind man periscope]…Jesus and his disciples left for the villages around C.P. On the way he put this question to his disciples, "Who do people say I am?"

      When the editor comes in he adds the sentence "And at once he made his disciples get into the boat and go to the other side near Bethsaida while he himself sent the crowd away." This added text follows "5000" in the older text. This is a sensible thing for the editor to do since he wants to set up the water miracle he plans to add and the next place the group show up in the older text is at Bethsaida. This action on the part of the editor would make even more sense if the initial edit only involved adding a relatively small piece of text. Thus we have another reason to suspect that this section continued to evolve in stages, even after Luke's copy had been written.

      In conclusion, I don't see any problems with the idea that 6:56 and 7:32 may have joined at some point in the texts history, but I would place this development after Luke's text of Mark already exists. Also, the healing of the deaf man I would not place with the oldest text, rather it just imitates the healing of the blind man, which is old text. Nor would I place 6:53-6:56 in the oldest text, but rather subsequent to Luke's copy of Mark being written and subsequent to 5:28 being added (which itself is subsequent to the material around it).

      Dave Gentile

      Riverside IL
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