Re: [Synoptic-L] The Time Depth of Mark
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Gentile" <gentile_dave@...>
Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 8:15 PM
Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] The Time Depth of Mark
> Without examples, I have no way to convince you, so this discussion is
> probably not going to be productive at this time. The most that could be
> established is the general plausibility of the idea, assuming that
> supporting evidence could later be produced.
> But, one point would be that Mark does show a lot of document wide
> planning, that is, it is not just an assembly of pericopes thrown
> together. It shows a plan. However, this plan, it seems, changes with
> time. New beginning points, highlights, and end points are added. With old
> material integrated sometimes a bit roughly into the new plan. So in a
> way, Mark does use written sources. He uses his previous version, and
> merges it with his newly created text. And while there is an occasional
> marker of a layer, the style does stay rather consistent.
> Secondly, the layers, once put in order, with intrusive material later
> than the material intruded upon tell a reasonable story of the development
> of earliest Christianity. This is an important point. The intrusive
> material is thematically later in the expected development of things than
> the material intruded upon.
> Another point would be that we are looking at many and varied types of
> insertions. Sometimes it might be a free-standing pericope. Othertimes a
> new story interrupts an old one. Sometimes a story is just expanded. This
> would be an odd way to integrate a number of sources sitting before you,
> and a very difficult process to imagine being completed with any degree of
> success - unless of course the sources were already very similar. So are
> we to propose a multitude of gospel accounts prior to Mark then? Certainly
> one author over time is a simpler solution.
> Turning it around, how would you justify a statement like "Mark shows no
> signs of being the first written account?" Where Mark overlaps with the
> proposed saying source, I have good reasons to believe the sayings
> originated in Mark's context. And while there certainly may be signs of
> Aramaic behind Mark at points, that need not be a written account. And I
> don't doubt Mark is partially a product of the fluid oral environment
> surrounding the author, combined with the author's response to that.
> Dave Gentile
> Riverside IL
I think the bilingual Aramaic-Greek author of Mark was indeed the
John/Yohanan Mark mentioned in Acts. The lexical and syntactic underlying
Aramaic convinces me of an early 1st century origin. My position, which is
unique, is that Mark took down notes in Aramaic when he traveled with Peter
and interpreted Peter's Aramaic speeches to Greek for the Greek speaking
audiences town after town. I think there were two "notebooks," one of
"Jesus saids..." and one of "Jesus dids..."
At what time Mark used hisAramaic notes to compose the first edition of his
gospel is difficult to determine. I tend to follow Casey in part. On the
basis of theAramaic content, Casey poses in "Aramaic Sources of Mark's
Gospel" P. 259 that it was before 40 CE. I differ from Casey in that I
think Mark composed his Greek gospel after the death of Peter (64-69 CE) but
he wrote the Aramaic notes that he used as a source before 40 CE.
Although I have an pinion on what becameofboth notebooks, here I will
discuss the notes of "Jesus saids.." ot "Yesua amar..."
The notes of "Jesus saids..." may have taken on a life of their own to
become the Gospel of Thomas apart from the "Jesus saids..." of putative "Q"
and Matthew's "Logia." This sayings gospel may have became attached to
Thomas' name rather than Mark since Thomas may have used a copy in Syria and
Since Mark used his notes of "Jesus saids..." in the composition of his
gospel, that is why we find the following GoT Logia material in Mark:
Thomas logia in order of appearance in Mark:
THOMAS104 They said to Jesus, "Come, let us pray today, and let us fast."
Mar 2:18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to
fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of
the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?
Mar 2:19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the
bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have
the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
Mar 2:20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken
away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
Matthew (9:15) and Luke (5:35) get this from MARK rather than also using
Thomas. Mark uses Thomas because Mark WROTE Thomas.
THOMAS47 Jesus said, "A person cannot mount two horses or bend two bows. And
a slave cannot serve two masters, otherwise that slave will honor the one
and offend the other.
"Nobody drinks aged wine and immediately wants to drink young wine. Young
wine is not poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and aged wine is
not poured into a new wineskin, or it might spoil.
Again Mark uses this for his Gospel, redacting it from the notes, and
Matthew and Luke get it from Mark with their own treatment. Mat 6:24;
9:16-17; Lk 16:13, 5:39, 5:36-38.
Mar 2:22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new
wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will
be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.
THOMAS47e An old patch is not sewn onto a new garment, since it would create
Mar 2:21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old
garment:else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and
the rent is made worse.
The Aramaic interference here, which I believe traces a path from Mark to
Asyndeton. Omission of article from sxisma. Swete; Gospel acc. To St. Mark
Greek rendering of Aramaic status emphaticus wrongly understood as
indefinite noun. Anarthrous in Aramaic yet definite (Black p95-95).
Asyndeton is contrary to Greek spirit and usage. Most greek sentences
connected by particle. Asyndeton is highly characteristic of Aramaic. One
the striking features of 4G (E. A. Abbott Johannine Grammar) attributed
By C. F. Burney to an Aramaic original (Aramaic Orgin.)p49. That's a
THOMAS35 Jesus said, "One can't enter a strong person's house and take it by
force without tying his hands.Then one can loot his house."
Mar 3:27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his
goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his
Matthew picks this up from Mark (Mt 12:29) and Luke gets it from either Mark
also or from Matthew (Lk11:21-22)
THOMAS44 Jesus said, "Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be
forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but
whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, either on
earth or in heaven."
Mar 3:28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the
sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
Mar 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath
never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
amarthmatoj is another sense of xwbh j.t. marshall Expositor ser iv, iii,
Mar 3:30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
Matthew again gets it from Thomas (Mt. 12:31-32) and Luke 12: 10 from either
Mark or Matthew (depending on your synoptic problem bent)
THOMAS 99 The disciples said to him, "Your brothers and your mother are
outside." He said to them, "Those here who do what my Father wants are my
brothers and my mother. They are the ones who will enter my Father's
Mar 3:31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing
without, sent unto him, calling him.
Mar 3:32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him,
Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
Mar 3:33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my
Mar 3:34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and
said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
Mar 3:35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my
brother, and my sister, and mother.
Again the Markan "Jesus said.." note which is Thomas 99 is expanded in Marks
gospel and picked up from Mark by Matthew (12:46-50) and Luke (8:19-21).
THOMAS9 Jesus said, Look, the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and
scattered (them). Some fell on the road, and the birds came and gathered
them. Others fell on rock, and they didn't take root in the soil and didn't
produce heads of grain. Others fell on thorns, and they choked the seeds and
worms ate them. And others fell on good soil, and it produced a good crop:
it yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure.
Mar 4:3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
Mar 4:4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way
side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
Mar 4:5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth;
and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
Mar 4:6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it
had no root, it withered away.
Mar 4:7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and
choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
Mar 4:8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that
sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and
some an hundred.
Mar 4:9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him
Here Matthew (13: 3-8) gets this from Mark as does Luke (8: 5-8) and, IMO,
all started as Mark's Aramaic "Jesus said.." notes.
Not one incidence of hypotactic aorist participle yet in Greek aorist
participle describing events anterior to action of verb is regular. In Lk
xv 11-32 (prod son) the subordinating aorist participle occurs 11 times.
Its absence in par. of sower (mk 4:3-9) is characteristic of translation
Greek.. Literally translated Greek version of an Aramaic story by Jesus.
Wellhausen Einl. P13.
THOMAS62 Jesus said, "I disclose my mysteries to those [who are worthy] of
[my] mysteries. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is
Mar 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the
mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these]
things are done in parables:
In Mark 4:11, 12 the saying is not a simple translation of the Aramaic but
the authors greek literary Interpretation of material from his original
Aramaic "Jesus said.." source.
Matthew (13:11, 13-15) and Luke (8:10) get this from Mark because they both
follow Mark's redaction of his note (Thomas).
THOMAS33 Jesus said, "What you will hear in your ear, in the other ear
proclaim from your rooftops.
After all, no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, nor does one put
it in a hidden place. Rather, one puts it on a lampstand so that all who
come and go will see its light."
Mar 4:21 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under
a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
Matthew (5:15;10:27) and Luke (8:16;12:3) get this from Mark and Mark
truncates his Thomas note rather than expand it.
THOMAS5 Jesus said, Know what is in front of your face and what is hidden
from you will be disclosed to you for there is nothing hidden that will not
THOMAS6 His disciples asked him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast?
How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?"
Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are
disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be
revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed."
Mar 4:22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested;
neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.
Here I think Logion 5 is the original Markan/Thomas note that became Mark
4:22 and used by Matthew and Luke (Mt 10:26, Lk 12:2, Lk 8:17). I think
Logion 6 is a later Gnostic "tweaking" using Logion 5 (hence the
juxtaposition) and redacting back the Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31 Golden
THOMAS21f When the crop ripened, he came quickly carrying a sickle and
harvested it. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!
Mar 4:23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
an anash ith laych iDENeh d'yiSHEMo yiSHEMo
Apparantly commonly used by Jesus passed to Mark from Peter who wrote it in
his "Jesus saids..." (Thomas) as a conclusion to parables (as in Logion 8,
21, 24, 65, 96) and used by Mark in his Gospel for the sower parable (4:9)
and the "hidden and revealed" aphorism (4:23) and picked up by Matthew and
Luke to conclude the sower parable (another strong indicator of Matthew and
Luke using Mark).
THOMAS41 Jesus said, "Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and
whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have."
Mark uses this in his gospel:
Mar 4:25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath
not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
...with little change in style and syntax.
Now this is interesting....both Matthew (25:29) and Luke (19:26) pick this
up from Mark with little redaction but both Matthew (13:2) and Luke (8:18)
use it earlier in their gospels somewhat embellished. Two separate sources?
THOMAS21e When the crop ripened, he came quickly carrying a sickle and
harvested it. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!
This sickle and harvest aphorism is found ONLY in Thomas and Mark, another
indicator to me that Thomas IS Mark.
Mar 4:26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should
cast seed into the ground;
The Aramaic paronomasia which we recentlydiscussed:
w)mr hw): hkn) hy mlkwt) d)lh), )yk )n$ dnrm) zr() d)r()
wa'amar hoa hakana hy malkutha d'aloho ayk anash denarmeh zara d'ara
seed zar'a ground 'ar`a
Mar 4:27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed
should spring and grow
up, he knoweth not how.
Mar 4:28 For the earth 'ar`a bringeth forth fruit par`a of
herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
Mar 4:29 But when the fruit is brought forth,
Kadh yehibha 'ibbah
immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
Shallah magla dah'sadha 'abbibh
...is very Markan to me.
THOMAS20 The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is
He said to them, It's like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but
when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a
shelter for birds of the sky.
Mar 4:30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God?
or with what comparison shall we compare it?
Mar 4:31 [It is] like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is
sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
Mar 4:32 But when it is sown (zera) , it groweth (rabhi) up,
Key sounds layryngal and sonant resh form the paronomasia. No paranomasia
is more certain in the gospels and it is recoverable only from Mark.
.... and becometh greater (rabba) than all herbs, (zeroin) and shooteth out
great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of
Matthew 13:31-32; Luke 13:18-19 get this from Mark and Mark got it from his
notes (Thomas). Of course, Luke could have taken it from Matthew but the
original source was Mark's notes of "Jesus saids..." in Aramaic which he
copied into his gospel in Greek.
THOMAS31 Jesus said, "No prophet is welcome on his home turf; doctors don't
cure those who know them."
Mar 6:1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country;
and his disciples follow him.
Mar 6:2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the
synagogue: and many hearing [him] were astonished, saying, From whence hath
this [man] these things? and what wisdom [is] this which is given unto him,
that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
Mar 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of
James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with
us? And they were offended at him.
Mar 6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour,
but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
Mar 6:5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his
hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them].
Mar 6:6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went
round about the villages, teaching.
Note that the "Jesus said.." is at Mark 6:4 and the rest is a story around
it...a story probably developed by Mark to fit the logion. The story then
passes from Mark to Matthew (13:57) and Luke (4:24) with some redaction
THOMAS14c After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather,
it's what comes out of your mouth that will defile you."
Mar 7:14 And when he had called all the people [unto him], he said
unto them, Hearken unto me every one [of you], and understand:
Mar 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into
him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they
that defile the man.
Matthew uses this at 15:11 but Luke omits it which I find interesting. In
the Aramaic idiom, food....bread and wine...are used for teachings and
eating and drinking, taking in those teachings. Poison represents bad
teachings. You can hear all sorts of bad stuff and it will not defile you
unless you repeat it to others. Very Yeshuine and, I believe, in the
original "Jesus saids.."
Good persons produce good from what they've stored up; bad persons produce
evil from the wickedness they've stored up in their hearts, and say evil
things. For from the overflow of the heart they produce evil."
This is related to logion 14 and appears to be midrashed by Matthew
(7:16-20; 12:33-35) and Luke (6:43-45) and also by Mark himself:
Mar 7:17 And when he was entered into the house from the people,
his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
Mar 7:18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding
also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into
the man, [it] cannot defile him;
Mar 7:19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the
belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
Mar 7:20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that
defileth the man.
Mar 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil
thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
Mar 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness,
an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
Mar 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the
THOMAS48 Jesus said, "If two make peace with each other in a single house,
they will say to the mountain, 'Move from here!' and it will move."
Mar 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto
this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not
doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall
come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Matthew (17:20; 21:21) and Luke (17:6 both pick this up.
THOMAS65 He said, A [...] person owned a vineyard and rented it to some
farmers, so they could work it and he could collect its crop from them. He
sent his slave so the farmers would give him the vineyard's crop. They
grabbed him, beat him, and almost killed him, and the slave returned and
told his master. His master said, "Perhaps he didn't know them." He sent
another slave, and the farmers beat that one as well. Then the master sent
his son and said, "Perhaps they'll show my son some respect." Because the
farmers knew that he was the heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him and
killed him. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!
Mark allegorizes this parable when he writes the gospel:
Mar 12:1 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A [certain]
man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about [it], and digged [a place
for] the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went
into a far country.
Mar 12:2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant,
that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.
Mar 12:3 And they caught [him], and beat him, and sent [him] away
Mar 12:4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him
they cast stones, and wounded [him] in the head, and sent [him] away
Mar 12:5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many
others; beating some, and killing some.
Mar 12:6 Having yet therefore one son, his well beloved, he sent
him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
Mar 12:7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the
heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.
Mar 12:8 And they took him, and killed [him], and cast [him] out of
Mar 12:9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will
come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
And Matthew (21:33-39) and Luke (20:9-15) again show their dependence on
Mark appending the Vineyard story with Logion 66:
THOMAS66 Jesus said, "Show me the stone that the builders rejected: that is
Mark does not change his note:
Mar 12:10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the
builders rejected is become the head of the corner:
Matthew (21:40-43) and Luke (20:15-18) follow Mark closely.
We already know that Matthew and Luke are revised versions of a
pre-canonical Mark whether Luke copied and redacted Mark or copied the
Markan material from Matthew. Mark's "Jesus said.." notes later becomes the
foundation for Thomas and laterThomas rescensions. Mark still contains the
original "proto-Thomas" Logia which will be passed on to...and redacted
by...Matthew and Luke. The opinion of some Markan scholars is that Mark
used an early version of Thomas. My position is that Mark didn't USE
Thomas...Mark WROTE Thomas (proto-Thomas, that is). I hope this was worth
the length of the post.
But there might be something of a common selection factor at work in what Luke would choose to use and what might survive. If Luke thinks a written account is important enough to copy, then he and others might think this account is worth preserving. On the other hand, if Luke thinks another existing account is trivial nonsense worth ignoring, then others may also be so inclined in which case we are not surprised that it failed to survive 2000 years of history.
So the question is not so much about contemporary accounts. We know for example that some later non-canonical accounts exist, and anybody can take pen to paper and write something, if they are so inclined, at any time. The question is really about accounts that from Luke's point of view are historical or at least of value enough to Luke that he would think them worthy of being copied, but yet are lost to us.
Returning to a point from a previous note:
New jokes are composed everyday. Old ones get passed around, but every so often you hear a new one. Could not the same be true of stories of Jesus? If this were the case the collection would be larger each time someone wrote them down. I think we can see this process at work. Early Mark has a small collection. This collection grows as Mark grows. Down the road we see a larger collection in Matthew, and a little farther along a still larger collection in Luke.
P.S. While I am also enjoying the conversation, I now have actual work to do. Thus at some time soon expect me to either drop out of conversation for awhile, or at least have diminished output
--- In Synoptic@yahoogroups.com, Chuck Jones <chuckjonez@...> wrote:
> I mention Lk's reference to make a single, narrow point. Many accounts existed, new or old. Whether Lk used them or not, almost all of these accounts *did not survive and are no longer extant.* This means that *most* of the written accounts of Jesus did not survive. Which means one is taking no leap at all--quite the opposite--if one concludes there was a Q, or an M source, or an L source, or a Mk source.
> I hope this makes sense.
> Rev. Chuck Jones
> Atlanta, Georgia
> --- On Wed, 6/10/09, Dave Gentile <gentile_dave@...> wrote:
> From: Dave Gentile <gentile_dave@...>
> Subject: [Synoptic-L] Re: The Time Depth of Mark
> To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
> Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2009, 12:26 PM
> Chuck wrote: Also, separately, how do you square your model with Lk's own mention that many have produced written accounts of Jesus? His comment has been, in fact, fundamental to me in my thinking on this stuff.
> Dave: I think the question of how many accounts Luke is aware of and how many accounts Luke thinks are wroth considering enough to copy are two separate questions. If Luke thinks the guy in the rival congregation in the next town just wrote a gospel yesterday, this will count towards those "many" who have undertaken this but won't count as a written source for Luke.
> I see this in his attitude towards Matthew and Mark. He sees Mark as an old source that has been around for awhile and he will largely copy it. Matthew? Well, that's a newcomer on the scene. He would not even bother with it except for the fact that it has a claim to a providence of an interview with the disciple Matthew. Thus the gospel of Matthew will be worth extracting things from, but not copying. The proto-John guys who just wrote their gospel yesterday? They will be ignored.
> At least that would be my account of Luke's environment and thought process.
> Dave Gentile
> Riverside, IL
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]