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Re: [Synoptic-L] Evolution in Christianity 2

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  • Ron Price
    ... Bruce, Genius does not guarantee infallibility, especially in biblical studies, where most commentators in the past have been to some extent constrained by
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 23, 2010
      Bruce Brooks wrote:

      > ..... The Parable of the Sower is also marked as early
      > by the fact that it is followed, in Mk, by a long explanation by Jesus
      > himself, supposedly given to the disciples privately, but egregiously
      > interrupting the narrative sequence of Mk 4 (such as that is). Then
      > the Sower too was regarded, already within the composition period of
      > gMk, as opaque and requiring reinterpretation to make it fit for later
      > use. It did not require the genius of the giants of our subject,
      > Rawlinson and Wellhausen, to detect this sign that the explanation is
      > late, and the parable itself by implication relatively early, but I
      > welcome their company.

      Bruce,

      Genius does not guarantee infallibility, especially in biblical studies,
      where most commentators in the past have been to some extent constrained by
      the narrow outlook of their contemporaries. In general, the further back one
      goes in the history of biblical interpretation, the greater the constraints
      that will be found.

      On the one hand, Mark's narrative sequence is no more fluent than his
      handling of the Greek language.

      On the other hand I think you have underestimated the versatility of Mark as
      an author. He was quite capable of creating a parable and its explanation
      with the dual purpose of illustrating the spread of the "gospel" (which goes
      back to Paul, not to Jesus) and having another dig at the original
      disciples. For the latter, c.f. 3:31-35, 8:33. 14:30 etc..

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • brooks@asianlan.umass.edu
      To: Synoptic Cc: GPG, WSW In Response To: Ron Price On: Mk 4:10-20 (in: Evolution in Christianity 2) From: Bruce I had been pleased to accept the verdict of
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 23, 2010
        To: Synoptic
        Cc: GPG, WSW
        In Response To: Ron Price
        On: Mk 4:10-20 (in: Evolution in Christianity 2)
        From: Bruce

        I had been pleased to accept the verdict of Rawlinson and Wellhausen,
        to mention no other giants among the scholarship of a century ago,
        that this passage is a later addition to the Parable of the Sower (Mk
        4:1-9), which it explains. Ron, casting doubt on the value of early
        scholarship in general, offered to defend the originality of the
        passage. Thus:

        RON: On the one hand, Mark's narrative sequence is no more fluent than his
        handling of the Greek language.

        BRUCE: Maybe a little worse. Let us see what would be involved if we
        take Mk 4:11f as narratively consequent with the Parable proper. (1)
        Jesus delivers the parable from an offshore boat. The colloquy with
        the disciples necessarily takes place on land, and there is no boat-to
        land transition. (2) The colloquy is necessarily private, for reasons
        including the fact that it includes an egregious insult to the crowd,
        but there is no narrative transition from the crowd scene, whether
        imagined as taking place on land or on water, to the private scene.
        (3) Following this intimate scene with the disciples, the narrative
        continues with the Parables of the Seed Growing Secretly and the
        Mustard Seed, each linked to the preceding parable by "and he said."
        Then comes a manifest passage of narrative conclusion, 4:33 "With many
        such parables he spoke the Word to them, as they were able to hear it,
        [34] He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his
        own disciples he explained everything." Here, after 4:34, if anywhere,
        was the tag on which to hang a private session with the disciples,
        "explaining everything." But no, the session, though (if one like)
        countenanced by 4:34, takes place instead interuptively after 4:9.
        Finally, (5) there is no provision for getting Jesus out of his
        on-land private explication or help session and back into the boat,
        where he resumes his preaching (and the crowd, all ignorant of how -
        as he has just said to the disciples - he despises their capacity of
        understanding, resumes its welll-behaved listening.

        I think it is far more likely that a later writer (by which I mean to
        include the possibility of the same writer at a later date) has taken
        his cue from 4:34 but inserted his explanation at the point of danger
        for him, namely directly after the Parable of the Sower (4:9). Both
        actions make sense for a later explainer (or explainer-away). But the
        two together strike me as nonsense for a single writer, however
        halting his Greek.

        RON: On the other hand I think you have underestimated the versatility
        of Mark as
        an author. He was quite capable of creating a parable and its explanation
        with the dual purpose of illustrating the spread of the "gospel" (which goes
        back to Paul, not to Jesus) and having another dig at the original
        disciples.

        BRUCE: Now we get the opposite tack: Mark was a clumsy writer. But
        also he was a brilliant and versatile writer. This looks to me like a
        smorgasbord of convenience. I think a scenario of one writer should
        make up its mind about what kind of writer it is envisioning. There
        are people in Sinology who maintain that the Han Feidz, a long series
        of tough Legalist writings, which takes a bewilderingly different
        series of positions vis-a-vis such view as those of the rival
        statecraft Dauists, was written by one man, with no doctrinal
        predispositions whatever, but concerned only to demonstrate the
        versatility of his writing skill. I have never met a convincing case
        of an author who behaved that way, unless you count some Six Dynaties
        poets for whom the whole game was the successful imitation of the
        styles of different earlier poets (one thinks of poor Scaliger,
        hoodwinked by a colleague who showed him some Old Latin verses which
        the colleague had himself composed). Stylistic virtuosity as a merit
        in itself comes at a certain point in an evolving literary tradition.
        I don't think Han Fei was in such a tradition, nor can I easily so
        situate the author or authors of gMk.

        As for "goes back to Paul," how so? I should think there is evidence
        throughout the text, including what for me are its earliest layers,
        that Jesus was concerned for the spread of the Word. Which term in
        gMk, by the way, has an interesting distribution within gMk, and does
        not necessarily mean the Resurrection Doctrine.

        RON [illustrating "digs at the disciples"]: on For the latter, c.f.
        3:31-35, 8:33. 14:30 etc..

        BRUCE: In the first place, I don't see 4:10f as a dig at the
        disciples. I see it as a dig at the crowd, plus a concern to impart an
        esoteric meaning to a parable whose exoteric meaning (crowd meaning)
        had become unacceptable, or at minimum exegetically unfruitful, to the
        later Markan community. There are many such touches in Mk, where the
        post-Crucifixion practices of the group, such as baptism and fasting,
        are taken up for explanation. Neither of these was practiced in the
        Jesus movement in the lifetime of its founder, but both grew up later.
        The still early community had to somehow regularize these contrasts,
        and they did so by putting legitimating passages into their authority
        text, namely gMk.

        So how about Ron's examples of digs at disciples?

        3:31f is Jesus's rejection of his blood kin in favor of his real
        family, "whoever does the will of God," presumably including the
        disciples. This is pro-disciple and anti-family. Strike one.

        8:33 is Jesus's rebuke of Peter for Peter's protest against the
        doctrine of Jesus's necessary death, which is introduced at this point
        in gMk. That is not a dig at anybody, and certainly not at any group,
        it is a rejection of Peter's solicitude for Jesus. The issue is
        whether Jesus must die to achieve his purpose on earth. We have here
        an adjustment of previous doctrine, which was that Jesus would survive
        his own attempt to purify Israel and secure the return of God to his
        now repentant nation. Strike two.

        14:30 "Verily, I say unto you, this very night, before the cock crows
        twice, you will deny me thrice." Again, not disciples collectively
        (for which Ron has missed the better example in 8:21, but it's not my
        job to hold up his end of the conversation too), but just Peter, and
        not so much a rebuke as a prediction. Peter here is portrayed, not as
        misunderstanding Jesus, but as cowardly in the crisis that was
        presently to present itself to Jesus. What is the point of Jesus's
        predictions of this sort? Largely, it is to legitimate, or to take
        credit for foreknowledge of, specific circumstances in the actual
        history of the Jesus group. Peter's cowardice at the Crucifixion
        (capitalized on by the coy author of gJn, by the way, as a vindication
        of another disciple at Peter's expense) was nothing to his credit in
        the eyes of the later movement, but if Jesus himself had predicted it,
        then it acquired the aura of a foreknown and thus predetermined event,
        and the courage of Peter before the event at least put him in the best
        light possible, vis-a-vis later community members who might be
        disposed to snicker at, or even to challenge, Peter's leadership. The
        purpose of this piece, then, is not a "dig" at the disciples, or even
        at Peter, but a charter of forgiveness for Peter as a later leader.
        Strike three.

        I have above parenthetically noted a Ball One on this count, but I
        think that on balance, the position strikes out. The description does
        not well characterize the passages cited in its support.

        Still, waiving that, what about 8:21 and company (for there are
        others)? The claim that Jesus's disciples did not understand him was
        necessary to the later movement's claim that Jesus's message was not
        what he had said it was at the time (and which many will still have
        remembered), but rather something else. The something else was the
        Resurrection Doctrine, at the first appearance of which in the text of
        gMk (as we have just seen) stout Peter so greatly rebelled. That
        doctrine does indeed appear, in the larger narrative of gMk, as though
        it were a second thought of Jesus. (We may here usefully remember that
        this fault, for fault it was, is cured in gJn, where Jesus from the
        first preaches, incredibly as it may seem, the Doctrine of the
        Resurrection). But what was his first thought? Meaning, what did his
        original actual historical followers think he was going to do? Luke
        gives the answer as clearly as may be, in thus describing the puzzled
        disillusionment of one follower, on the road away from Jerusalem after
        the event: "We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel" (Lk
        24:21). Exactly.

        Everything about the Resurrection doctrine, as it appears in the
        earliest textual witness to the movement, namely gMk, implies that it
        was an afterthought of the early community, a rationalization, if you
        will, and not a preachment of Jesus.

        Background Issue: As witnesses to earlier instalments of this
        conversation, going back some years, will know, Ron holds to a view of
        Mk in which a very few interpolations are acknowledged (the pair I
        remember are the linked two: 14:28 and 16:7), but others must be
        disallowed if his scenario for the text is to stand. We have of course
        had very much this conversation before, and I have to say again, with
        all respect for Ron's labors and the ingenuity of elements of his
        construction, that for the reader with philological instincts, the
        traits that identify Mk 14:28 and 16:7 as interpolations speak just as
        loudly for other passages in Mk; the same conditions apply, and the
        same conclusion is indicated.

        So it looks from here.

        RESEARCH POSSIBILITIES

        If so, then what would be a productive next step? I think one tempting
        avenue of thought is to ask: What in the Parable of the Sower needed
        to be reinterpreted to suit later community needs and/or perceptions?
        Most of us, and especially most of us in our impressionistic early
        teens, will have thought that the secret explanation was very much
        what we had thought the parable meant without it, so why all this
        labor (and this arranging of meetings in and out of boats, with all
        the attending hazards of falling in, etc) to make that point? The
        answer can only be that the original meaning of the parable, as
        probably still remembered by people from the crowd who were still
        present in the later movement, was something else: it did not speak of
        the vicissitudes of the later converts to the movement, but of
        something different.

        What? That, from where I sit, is the relevant question. I am not about
        to scour the twenty commentaries to see if anyone has had a suggestion
        (the patched-up and jury-rigged setup from which I am writing this
        note will shut down on me in a couple more minutes), but perhaps
        someone in the present tense has a suggestion. One place to look for
        inspiration is the following parable, the untouchable parable of the
        Seed Growing Secretly, which has defied orthodox interpretation from
        the beginning of time until now. Perhaps, like its mates in the
        original Markan series of parables, it was not addressed to the later
        community, but to the community of Jesus's lifetime, the small band
        who, as Luke's character puts it, were setting out "to redeem Israel."

        All suggestions welcome.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • Ron Price
        ... Bruce, The transition is indicated by When Jesus was alone with the twelve ... (Mk 4:10a, REB). ... They get back into a boat in 4:35-36. ... You have
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 24, 2010
          Bruce Brooks wrote:

          > ..... Let us see what would be involved if we
          > take Mk 4:11f as narratively consequent with the Parable proper. (1)
          > Jesus delivers the parable from an offshore boat. The colloquy with
          > the disciples necessarily takes place on land, and there is no boat-to
          > land transition. (2) The colloquy is necessarily private, for reasons
          > including the fact that it includes an egregious insult to the crowd,
          > but there is no narrative transition from the crowd scene, whether
          > imagined as taking place on land or on water, to the private scene.

          Bruce,

          The transition is indicated by "When Jesus was alone with the twelve ..."
          (Mk 4:10a, REB).

          > Finally, (5) there is no provision for getting Jesus out of his
          > on-land private explication or help session and back into the boat,
          > where he resumes his preaching (and the crowd, all ignorant of how -
          > as he has just said to the disciples - he despises their capacity of
          > understanding, resumes its welll-behaved listening.

          They get back into a boat in 4:35-36.


          > ..... Now we get the opposite tack: Mark was a clumsy writer. But
          > also he was a brilliant and versatile writer.

          You have added the word "brilliant" here. Mark's versatility exceeded his
          fluency. It's all about ideas versus presentation. Surely you have come
          across people who have original ideas but cannot present them fluently?

          > As for "goes back to Paul," how so? I should think there is evidence
          > throughout the text, including what for me are its earliest layers,
          > that Jesus was concerned for the spread of the Word. Which term in
          > gMk, by the way, has an interesting distribution within gMk, and does
          > not necessarily mean the Resurrection Doctrine.

          You appear to be admitting that Mark's presentation of Jesus added the
          Resurrection Doctrine. I would go further. To me, 8:29 indicates that Peter
          (and therefore presumably Jesus also) got no further in Christology than
          seeing Jesus as the "Messiah". It was Paul who first referred to the
          Christian mission as the "gospel", with its connotation of Son of God,
          Saviour etc.. Jesus' mission was based on the proclamation that the kingdom
          of God was imminent.

          > ... In the first place, I don't see 4:10f as a dig at the
          > disciples.

          The dig is in 4:13. The disciples had failed to understand Jesus.

          > So how about Ron's examples of digs at disciples?
          >
          > 3:31f is Jesus's rejection of his blood kin in favor of his real
          > family, "whoever does the will of God," presumably including the
          > disciples. This is pro-disciple and anti-family. Strike one.

          You've missed the subtlety of Mark's treatment of the disciples. The
          'Christologically-defective' Peter is openly denigrated in several places in
          Mark. But the even more despised leading disciple, James the brother of
          Jesus, is simply air-brushed out of the Markan history as if he were some
          out-of-favour Soviet leader. 3:31-35 is an insult to James because James was
          part of Jesus' family.

          > 8:33 is Jesus's rebuke of Peter for Peter's protest against the
          > doctrine of Jesus's necessary death, which is introduced at this point
          > in gMk. That is not a dig at anybody ...

          You would be right if it were a historical record, but it is not.

          > 14:30 "Verily, I say unto you, this very night, before the cock crows
          > twice, you will deny me thrice." .....
          > and the courage of Peter before the event .....

          Where's the courage? I don't see it.

          > ..... The claim that Jesus's disciples did not understand him was
          > necessary to the later movement's claim that Jesus's message was not
          > what he had said it was at the time (and which many will still have
          > remembered), but rather something else. The something else was the
          > Resurrection Doctrine .....

          If the original disciples had accepted the new (Pauline) message when it
          came on the scene, Mark could easily have adapted his narrative to avoid the
          insult.

          > Everything about the Resurrection doctrine, as it appears in the
          > earliest textual witness to the movement, namely gMk, implies that it
          > was an afterthought of the early community, a rationalization, if you
          > will, and not a preachment of Jesus.

          Surely you should also include the predictions of suffering, and the
          rejection by the Jewish leaders, for these also appear in e.g. 8:31.

          > ..... for the reader with philological instincts, the
          > traits that identify Mk 14:28 and 16:7 as interpolations speak just as
          > loudly for other passages in Mk; the same conditions apply, and the
          > same conclusion is indicated.

          Philology is not an exact science. So it has to be balanced against other
          considerations, such as the aims and the capabilities of the author, and the
          inherent structure of the document.

          > ..... the original meaning of the parable, as
          > probably still remembered by people from the crowd who were still
          > present in the later movement, was something else: it did not speak of
          > the vicissitudes of the later converts to the movement, but of
          > something different.

          Mark's 70 CE Roman audience was far separated in time and place from anyone
          who might have heard Jesus speak. In any case, the parable of the sower
          should no more be attributed to Jesus than the obviously late parable of the
          vineyard with its allegory of Jesus' rejection.

          The teaching of the historical Jesus has been transmitted to us not in
          lengthy parables but in aphorisms, and even these have survived not via oral
          tradition but by being written down by a group which included eyewitnesses,
          namely the Jesus movement in Jerusalem.

          Ron Price

          Derbyshire, UK

          Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
        • brooks@asianlan.umass.edu
          To: Synoptic Cc: GPG, WSW In Response To: Ron Price On: Mk 4:10f From: Bruce I had said that the session with the disciples, where Jesus explains the meaning
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 24, 2010
            To: Synoptic
            Cc: GPG, WSW
            In Response To: Ron Price
            On: Mk 4:10f
            From: Bruce

            I had said that the session with the disciples, where Jesus explains
            the meaning of the previous parable, is narratively interruptive and
            thus open for interpretation as an interpolation.

            RON: The transition is indicated by "When Jesus was alone with the twelve ..."
            (Mk 4:10a, REB).

            BRUCE: That would be sufficient if the explanation (4:10f) were the
            end of the series. But it isn't. The explanation is followed at 4:26
            by the next parable in the series, and the next after that, and
            finally a series closer, at 4:33f. Given the series opener in 4:1, we
            are presumably to imagine all the parables as being delivered from the
            boat, that is, in the same setting as was defined for us in 4:1-2. For
            Ron's theory of original composition to work, we would thus need a
            more specific transition to a non-boat locale than 4:10 presently
            gives us. As for getting back into the boat after this private
            explanatory interlude. . .

            RON: They get back into a boat in 4:35-36.

            BRUCE: Yeah, but unfortunately, this comes after the series closer in
            4:33 ("With many such parables he spoke the Word to them . . ."). It
            begins a new series, the Stilling the Waves incident. It reads:

            4:35 "On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, Let us go
            across to the other side." [36] "And leaving the crowd, they took him
            with them, just as he was, in the boat."

            If this were the transition Ron's reading is looking for, the private
            colloquy would then follow directly. But it doesn't, it has already
            appeared. 4:35-36 will thus not do service as a transition to 4:10f
            "And when he was alone . . ."

            I'm sorry, but it just won't work. There is no such thing in
            literature as a retrospective transition, least of all with the
            supposed transition actually transits to something else aotogether: a
            thrilling storm scene which allows no time, and has no narrative logic
            to justify, a quiet expository scene.

            [I add that the REB, quoted by Ron at the beginning of this note,
            seems to smooth over the many, and usefully indicative, roughnesses in
            the narrative of Mk. I think that this is dangerous for the critical
            reader. RSV has, for 4:10, "And when he was alone, those who were
            about him with the Twelve asked him concerning the parables."That
            seems to me to fit the Greek much more closely, and to present much
            more clearly the problems in the text, the places where, so to speak,
            the new paint has dried on top of the old paint. On this showing, I
            can't in conscience recommend REB to the critical reader.]

            Ron likes to say, this year as in years gone by, that I am missing the
            subtleties of Mark. I am entirely satisfied if I can grasp the
            obviosities of Mark. I repeat my earlier suggestion that the above
            failure of narrative concinnity at Mk 4:10 is one of the obviosities.
            And that it has obvious implications for the way the text of Mark grew
            into the form that we see before us.

            Bruce

            E Bruce Brooks
            Warring States Project
            University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          • brooks@asianlan.umass.edu
            To: Synoptic Cc: GPG, WSW Again On: Mk 4:10f PS From: Bruce I had recently argued that Mk 4:10-25 are an interpolation, essentially because they are a
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 26, 2010
              To: Synoptic
              Cc: GPG, WSW
              Again On: Mk 4:10f PS
              From: Bruce

              I had recently argued that Mk 4:10-25 are an interpolation,
              essentially because they are a narrative interruption in the preaching
              sequence 4:1-34. Of course the worst crux in this area is 4:11-12, by
              far the most terrible statement in the entire NT. It comes to this:
              Jesus's preaching is intentionally obscure (in riddles, Hb meshalim),
              lest the people he is preaching to understand his message and be
              forgiven, and thus be saved. That is, everyone in the audience except
              the disciples (and them only by the narrowest of margins and narrative
              interventions) is damned to hell forever.

              This has caused some little consternation among the exegetes.
              Archibald M Hunter, Interpretating the Parables (Westminster 1960)
              devotes a whole Appendix to it. He lists in ascending order of
              personal approval three solutions previously offered:

              (1) C H Dodd takes the saying "as a later church construction, not a
              saying of Jesus." He notes words reminiscent of Paul, and "thinks the
              saying reflects the doctrine of the early Church, that the Jews were
              providentially blind to the significance of Christ's coming. In other
              words, this explanation of the purpose of the parables is an answer to
              a question which arose after Jesus's death and the failure of his
              followers to convert the Jewish people." Hunter comments, "A simple
              solution but a drastic one."

              (2) T W Manson thinks that v12 "conceals a mistranslation from the
              Araramaic," partly because Mk 4:12 quotes not the Hebrew, or the LXX,
              but the [Aramaic] Targum: Aramaic de can mean "that" (Gk hina, as in
              our text) but "can also mean "who." This makes the sentence
              descriptive, not intentional. Jesus does not intend that the crowd
              shall fail to understand, but simply describes the condition of "those
              outside." Hunter comments,
              This view seems to us more satisfactory than Dodd's." I respond: It is
              not. It leaves the idea of the parable teaching, which it is evidently
              the purpose of the passage to comment on, uncommented on. The reading
              is palliative rather than successful.

              (3) Jeremias accepts Manson's Targum point, but does not believe that
              the saying originally referred to teaching by parables. He translates:
              "To you God has given the secret of the Kingdom of God, but to those
              who are outside everything is obscure, in order that they (as it is
              written) 'may see and yet not see, may hear and yet not understand,
              unless they turn and God will forgive them." Jeremias notes that
              "various features show v11 to be an insertion into an older context.
              Since this is so, we must, when interpreting, ignore its present
              context," also "The saying is early, Palestinian, and probably
              authentic, since it agrees with the Targum and contains several
              Aramaisms. Hunter continues: "The Aramaic dilema underlying mepote
              ('lest') here means 'unless,' as the rabbinical exegesis of the
              passage proves. Mark, misled by the catchword parabole, inserted the
              saying into his parable chapter, but originally it did not refer to
              the parables, as it affords no criterion for their interpretation."
              And Hunter concludes, "This seems to us the best solution."

              I disagree. Mark probably knew enough Aramaic to display what modern
              scholars detect as Aramaisms, but for that reason, is unlikely to have
              misinterpreted an Aramaic original. The passage means what it has
              always seemed to mean. Jeremias' acknowledgement of the secondarity of
              Mk 4:10f, with which (as will have been seen) I strongly agree,
              supports Dodd's point, that we likely have here a saying arising in
              the post-Crucifixion community, and not a saying of Jesus. His
              interpretation of the hostility of 4:12 to the audience makes sense of
              they were symbolically regarded as typifying Jews in general, rather
              than those eager to hear his own message.

              The Markan community, as of the composition and insertion of this
              passage, had written off the Galilee followers en bloc, an attitude
              which is carried a step further in the Second Tier Gospels, both of
              which curse the key Galilean centers, Capernaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin.
              The other effect of the intrusive explanation of the Sower parable is
              to transfer it from the time of Jesus to the time of the later
              community, and to make it portray the vicissitudes of later attempts
              to convert the populace.

              IMPLICATION

              The corollary, if one works this conclusion back along the veins and
              tendons of one's theory of Markan formation, is that the Markan
              community could not have been located in Galilee. I happen to regret
              this implication, since I always liked the idea of a Galilee locale,
              but evidently it will not work. Like so much other early lit,
              including the Didache, we are probably going to have to accept a
              Syrian locale.

              The church dynamic that this Syrian text then reflects, as of the
              intrusion of Mk 4:10f, is the one in which Jerusalem has become the
              dominant center of what I may call Palestinian Christianity, and the
              conservative (and nationalistic) Jewish communities of Syria are
              beginning to rid themselves of the Galilean embarrassment.
              Retrospectively, and by manupilating of previous authority text, as
              seems to be the standard way with these things in much of antiquity.
              Chinese antiquity included (see The Original Analects, Appendix 3, for
              the question of Confucius's House).

              I am not by and large a fan of C H Dodd, but still, sometimes the
              simple solution, "drastic" or no (drasticity is a matter of the eye
              and Sitz im Leben of the beholder), is the best.

              Respectfully postscripted,

              Bruce

              E Bruce Brooks
              Warring States Project
              University of Massachusetts at Amherst

              Louis Martyn (whose marginalia to Hunter I happen to be watching out
              of a corner of my eye), a propos Jeremias' comment "various features
              show v11f to be an insertion into an older context," has added, and in
              red yet, "not if one BEGINS with Mark!!"

              Not so. It turns out that there are Marks and Marks, and by the
              standard rules of evidence, v11f are indeed an insertion into "an
              older context [within Mark]."

              The first question to ask of any text one wishes to use in historical
              research is, Do we have here one text or more than one? The answer for
              this prerequisite query for Mark is, More than one. That gained, we
              can begin to look productively at otherwise tough conundrums like Mk
              4:10f. To everything there is a season, and the fun of autumnal
              interpretation can only come after an energetic spring of philological
              toil.
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