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Sanders 2 (Mk 1:29 par)

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic On: Sanders 2 (Mk 1:29 par) From: Bruce Moving right along, I come to the second item on the Sanders list (Bellinzoni p200). 2. Mk 1:29, cf Mt
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2005
      To: Synoptic
      On: Sanders 2 (Mk 1:29 par)
      From: Bruce

      Moving right along, I come to the second item on the Sanders list
      (Bellinzoni p200).

      "2. Mk 1:29, cf Mt 8:14 and Lk 4:38. Mark's "Andrew with James and John" is
      secondary. J Weiss, Evangelium 148n, R Bultmann, Die Geschichte der
      synoptischen Tradition (ET, 212)."

      The RSV versions are:

      Mk 1:29. And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of
      Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

      Mt 8:14. And when Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law
      lying sick with a fever;

      Lk 4:38. And he arose and left the synagogue, and entered Simon's house. Now
      Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they besought him for

      Again, I have not seen the argument of Weiss. Bultmann p212 (translating the
      Greek quotations): "Mk 1:29-31 par: Peter's Mother-in-law. This passage is
      woven into its context by the introductory formula. It is very simply told:
      the healing gesture . . . and the demonstration of the consequent healing .
      . . are stylistic elements. Luke adds, for explanatory purposes, "He rebuked
      the fever." It is a noteworthy fact that Matthew and Luke simply refer to
      the "house of Peter (or Simon), and do not reproduce either "and Andrew" or
      "with [Jacob] and John" from our Mark text. Actually our Mark text seems to
      have been edited under the influence of 1:16-20 [the calling of Simon and
      Andrew, and Jacob and John]."

      Bultmann notwithstanding, there are three kinds of Jesus miracles (healing,
      exorcism, nature), and in Mark the word "rebuke" is never used of the first
      kind, only of the second and third. Luke's addition therefore amounts to an
      extension of usage as against Mark, who envisions a different toolkit for
      the healing miracles (a mixture of faith and spit, or other body contact).
      This is more likely a development than an original envisionment. Of other
      contrasting details, Taylor well says, ad loc, "The parallel accounts in Mt
      and Lk heighten the miraculous element and omit details which seemed of
      secondary importance, although, in reality, it is these which give the story
      its lifelike character." Just so.

      Nor is Bultmann's idea of editorial corruption from the previous Calling of
      the Four passage notably convincing. The house may well have been owned
      jointly by Simon and Andrew (thus most commentators), just as they were
      obviously partners in the export fishing business (Mk 1:16, two guys with
      one net), hence we need not see Andrew as extraneous here. And there is no
      narrative reason why Jacob and John, having just been called to the circle
      of Jesus' regular companions, should not accompany him to their colleagues'
      house after the synagogue events. They play no narrative role, but they add
      a touch of verisimilitude. Gundry ad loc: "The addition of James and John as
      going with Jesus implies the continued effectiveness of his calling all four
      to follow him (vv 16-29)." As they are also included in the Healing of
      Jairus' Daughter, where again they are present but play no narrative role.
      The inclusion of the sons of Zebedee in otherwise private faith healing
      scenes may be a Markan topos, and thus a literary invention, but there is
      nothing requiring an assumption of subsequent editorial interference. The
      subtraction of Mark's typical vivid but narratively nonfunctional details in
      Mt and Lk would seem to be standard procedure for all three Synoptics. I see
      nothing here to require that the Mk version be secondary to either of the
      others, or to suggest the existence of an outside source earlier than all,
      and drawn upon by all.

      Comment always welcome.


      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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