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Re: [Synoptic-L] Mark's ending

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  • Ron Price
    ... Bruce, Or it could be that you don t really understand its reasoning. ... This is your right, though I m not sure it s possible to discuss the
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 3, 2005
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      Bruce Brooks wrote:

      > If the current consensus holds that Mk 16:8 was meant to be the
      > ending of Mark, then the current consensus is out of its mind,

      Bruce,

      Or it could be that you don't really understand its reasoning.

      > and I don't feel compelled to engage it.

      This is your right, though I'm not sure it's possible to discuss the
      interpolations without taking a stance on the ending.

      > As is also the case with the interpolative
      > nature of Mk 14:28 and 16:7, a point on which Ron and I are in better
      > agreement. To pursue the latter point: Can Ron cite a recent commentary on
      > Mark (by recent, I mean within the last 25 years) which even acknowledges
      > the problem of these two passages, let alone concludes that they are
      > interpolated? I can't. I bet a shiny shilling he can't either (reprints not
      > allowed).

      Your bet looks quite safe. What a strange discipline this is, when an
      insight gained in one generation can be lost in the next!

      > (1) If Mark at one time existed in a state without 14:28 and 16:7, then in
      > that state it anticipated no personal appearances of the risen Jesus, to
      > anyone at all, and in any place. That is, there was at that time a doctrine
      > of the Resurrection, but no doctrine holding that the Resurrection itself
      > was guaranteed by eyewitnesses to the risen Jesus.

      I must stop you there. The original uninterpolated Mark was written ca. 70
      CE, 15 years or so after Paul had penned 1 Cor 15:3-7. This does not prove
      you are wrong, but it does seem to prove that your argument as stated above
      is wrong.

      > The interpolated Mk is anterior to Mt and Lk. But it is posterior,
      > as we seem to agree, to the uninterpolated Mk.

      Agreed.

      >> Mark is the subtlest of the synoptic authors.

      > A modern opinion. My own suspicion (at second hand, to be sure) is
      > that he (or is it they) writes clunky Greek, and interpolates clumsily;
      > there is a whole recent book on Clumsy Constructions in Mark. Give the lit
      > people enough time, and they can make anything seem wonderful; this is the
      > primary skill in which lit people are trained. Very nice, but they have no
      > business intruding their skill into what ought to be a philological
      > discussion.

      One doesn't have to be highly skilled in a language in order to convey
      subtlety in meaning.

      >> His picture of an empty tomb is quite enough to suggest the
      >> resurrection of Jesus.

      > I doubt that any believer of today or any other day would find it
      > "quite enough," or would find any other form of subtle suggestion "quite
      > enough." Do preachers find it adequate, in presenting the Resurrection to
      > their flock, to read to the end of GMk and then stop? I venture to doubt it.

      I think we're basically in agreement here. "He has risen" in 16:6 is clear.

      > The Resurrection is not something to be coyly hinted at. It is a big deal.
      > It is something people want to see in front of their eyes. No?

      Most Christians want to see that. But Mark has his own agenda .......
      >> He avoids presenting any of the original disciples as seeing the risen
      >> Jesus, for this would add to their status, contravening his persistent
      >> denigration of Peter et al..

      > There were other options available to Jesus for Appearances,
      > including his own mother.

      Mark's agenda included a requirement to explain why no one had heard of this
      story about an empty tomb which he had just composed. He hit on the idea of
      presenting the women as not saying anything to anyone. That's why (he was
      implying) no one had heard this story before. But it did limit his scope for
      describing resurrection appearances.

      > And as far as poor Peter is concerned, I think
      > that the weight of even contemporary opinion is in favor of the idea (at
      > least I have seen it expounded at length) that the command to tell the
      > disciples *and Peter* is favorable to Peter,

      Of course it is. But we agree that this verse wasn't present in the original
      Mark. So, far from disproving my statement about Mark denigrating Peter et
      al., it provides a motive for the interpolation, namely the rehabilitation
      of Peter!

      > I can't quite see Mk 16, either with or without the interpolations, as
      > intending to keep Peter (or the rest of them) at arm's length forever.

      Then you don't seem to have perceived the depth of Mark's opposition to
      Peter. He has Jesus call Peter "Satan" (Mk 8:33). He invents the story of
      Peter's denial (see _The Acts of Jesus_, p.149), thus showing Peter as the
      very antithesis of what Jesus demanded in his disciples ("let him deny
      himself" Mk 8:34). Without 14:28 and 16:7, Mark's Peter is left thoroughly
      discredited. Why was Mark so critical? Because he accepted Paul's theology
      of Jesus as the Son of God (15:39) and rejected the Petrine theology of
      Jesus as merely the Jewish Messiah (8:29). To put it another way, Mark's
      gospel was the first ever written apologia for the superiority of
      Christianity over Judaism.

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron Price On: Date of Mark From: Bruce RON: I must stop you there. The original uninterpolated Mark was written ca. 70 CE, 15
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 3, 2005
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        To: Synoptic
        In Response To: Ron Price
        On: Date of Mark
        From: Bruce

        RON: I must stop you there. The original uninterpolated Mark was written ca.
        70 CE, 15 years or so after Paul had penned 1 Cor 15:3-7. This does not
        prove you are wrong, but it does seem to prove that your argument as stated
        above is wrong.

        BRUCE: The c70 dating for Mk, as far as I can see, rests wholly on
        identifying Mk 13 with the rest of Mk, and of dating Mk 13 to the
        destruction of the Temple. I have previously noted that Kloppenborg's
        argument (latest JBL) for the latter link strengthens an already strong
        case. But it doesn't follow that Mk 13 implicates the rest of Mk. On the
        contrary, Mk 13 is very likely to be an Anhang, hung onto a rather specious
        "by the way" narrative link at Mk 13:1. Then the date of the rest of Mk,
        apart from Mk 13, is an open question. It is surely earlier, but how much
        earlier we don't automatically know.

        But Ron's mention of 1 Cor 15:3-7 may help. That passage lists among core
        beliefs the ideas that interpolated Mk possessed: not only Resurrection, but
        Appearances. Paul manages to get himself on the list of the Appearances. The
        date of 1 Cor is usually taken as c55. I think it unlikely that Mark copied
        the doctrine from Paul (rather, Paul uses the Appearances clause of the
        doctrine to authenticate and authoritize himself). Then the doctrines
        reflected in the interpolated Mk (that is, Mk with 14:28 and 16:7, but
        without Mk 13, which I take to be an update of the year c71) must have
        crystallized sometime before the year 55. How far before is a question that
        does not appear from the 1 Cor evidence.

        What I think the 1 Cor evidence does show is that the theology reflected by
        Mk plus 14:28 and 16:7 was well established before the year 55. That's good
        to know. It also establishes that the Little Apocalypse was added to Mk
        after the Appearances prediction. That's good to know too. Beyond adding
        specificity, for which I am grateful, I don't think that it unseats the
        scenario I earlier offered.

        With that clarification, the picture now looks like this:

        Early Mk (no Apocalypse, no Appearances)
        Before 55
        Interpolated Mk (adding Mk 14:28, 16:7, with Appearances)
        Later than previous, but still before 55
        The Original Markan community later withered
        Updated Mk (adding Mk 13, Apocalypse)
        Probably 71; the text of Mk alone survived

        On a further point of Markan agenda:

        RON: So, far from disproving my statement about Mark denigrating Peter et
        al., it provides a motive for the interpolation [of 16:7], namely the
        rehabilitation of Peter!

        BRUCE: I would rather see Mk as ending in a mode of reconciliation
        generally, not least that of reconciling God and Man through the sacrifice
        of Jesus. That Peter would be left out seems unlikely to me. 16:7 to my eye
        (others read it otherwise) simply acknowledges that Peter had a special
        place in the disciple group. What real world situation that refers to would
        take more work than would be appropriate for this short message.

        I find persuasive the idea that Mk is generally opposed to everyone who
        later had a high role in the Jerusalem church, including Peter. That is, it
        was originally a Galilean gospel and also (what does not follow
        automatically) an anti-Jerusalemite gospel. Just how far church history had
        gone, and what degree of abandonment of that position might have transpired,
        when 14:28 and 16:7 were added, would require the separation of more early
        layers of Mk, if there are any, and if they can be detected. I save any such
        attempt for a future occasion.

        Except to note that the Confession of Peter, and a few other passages in Mk,
        which were probably part of Mk before 14:28 and 16:7 were added, are
        distinctly favorable to Peter (with Jacob and John, no way). They might then
        show a rapprochement of AMk with the idea of Peter, sometime relatively
        early in the sequence. Time will perhaps tell.

        For now, thanks to Ron for his alert reading of my previous suggestions. It
        all helps.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • Tony Buglass
        Bruce wrote: What I think the 1 Cor evidence does show is that the theology reflected by Mk plus 14:28 and 16:7 was well established before the year 55.
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 3, 2005
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          Bruce wrote:
          What I think the 1 Cor evidence does show is that the theology reflected by
          Mk plus 14:28 and 16:7 was well established before the year 55.

          Joachim Jeremias (Eucharistic Words of Jesus, p.102f) argues that the paradosis in 1 Cor.15:3f is of Aramaic origin, modified in a Hellenistic environment. If that is so, it takes the appearances tradition back into a much earlier strata, which would show that such theology was well established by perhaps the end of the 40s or even earlier. If the Little Apocalypse refers to the so-called Caligula crisis, it is possible therefore to argue for a much earlier dating of (completed) Mark.

          Cheers,
          Rev Tony Buglass
          Superintendent Minister
          Upper Calder Methodist Circuit
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        • Ron Price
          ... Bruce, Here I must disagree. Mk 13 is no interpolation. Is it the KAI that concerns you? Many new pericopae are introduced by KAI in Mark. Anyway your
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 3, 2005
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            Bruce Brooks wrote:

            > ....... Mk 13 is very likely to be an Anhang, hung onto a rather specious
            > "by the way" narrative link at Mk 13:1.

            Bruce,

            Here I must disagree. Mk 13 is no interpolation. Is it the KAI that concerns
            you? Many new pericopae are introduced by KAI in Mark. Anyway your comment
            above is not enough evidence for an interpolation.

            > ....... I would rather see Mk as ending in a mode of reconciliation
            > generally, not least that of reconciling God and Man through the sacrifice
            > of Jesus. That Peter would be left out seems unlikely to me.

            But not to me. Mark knew that Peter had been (and had remained) a Jew, in
            theology, worship and culture. Mark wanted his readers to leave the old
            wineskin of Judaism behind (2:22) and follow the gentile-welcoming gospel of
            Paul. Therefore he believed that Peter had to be discredited.

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
          • E Bruce Brooks
            To: Synoptic In Response To: Tony Buglass On: Date of Mark From: Bruce Tony suggests, following Joachim Jeremias, that the theology of Mk may be from the end
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 3, 2005
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              To: Synoptic
              In Response To: Tony Buglass
              On: Date of Mark
              From: Bruce

              Tony suggests, following Joachim Jeremias, that the theology of Mk may be
              from "the end of the 40s or even earlier." I am much inclined to agree (55
              was merely a terminus ante quem). The barrier to doing so is Mk 13, which is
              hard to get rid of as a reference to the events of 70. I think Kloppenborg's
              additional argument (latest JBL; let me know if you find a refutation) makes
              this inescapable. I thus don't think that Jeremias's Caligula scenario for
              this passage, which I earlier found attractive also, will now work.
              (Refutations of Kloppenborg welcome; I still like the Caligula
              interpretation myself).

              Pending such refutation, this means that the idea can only be saved by
              distancing Mk from Mk 13. That was precisely the opinion of several of the
              earlier commentators. Rawlinson, for example, after long reflection,
              acknowledged that the chapter had to be regarded as composite. Branscomb
              said of the whole, "Isolated from its setting, it makes complete sense -
              better sense, in fact, that in its present position." Grant (following
              Taylor and others) attempted to separate the Jewish Apocalypse source
              document ("not necessarily to be attributed to Jesus") from material more
              directly relevant to the Jesus tradition, and later concludes "This
              apocalyptic warning was later incorporated by Mark in his gospel. . ." To
              avoid begging the question, we might depersonalize that, as "This
              apocalyptic warning was later incorporated in GMk."

              Against Mk 31 are the slenderness of its attachment to the main narrative,
              the consecutiveness of that narrative without it (in the sense that neither
              the end of Mk 12 nor the end of Mk 13 provides a narrative transition to Mk
              14:1), the fact of its length, far beyond any other presumptive speech unit
              in GMk, its close relation to Jewish apocalyptic literature, and its
              intended, if cryptic, contemporary reference ("let the reader understand").
              This is not Jesus talking to his disciples in the past, it is AMk talking to
              his audience in the present day. Compare the ostensible Jesus remark to his
              disciples, "I say it to you, and I say it to all." This is without precedent
              in the rest of Mk. The text at all levels, the editorial voice and the
              purported Jesus voice, is here directly addressing the people of a later age
              than that of Jesus. The whole stance seems to me presentist rather than, as
              in the rest of Mk, conventionally retrospective.

              Bruce
            • Ron Price
              ... Bruce, In the NT I ve identified 16 foreign interpolations which have virtually no textual support (half of them in John s gospel). By foreign I mean
              Message 6 of 9 , Oct 4, 2005
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                Bruce Brooks wrote:

                > .......the idea can only be saved by
                > distancing Mk from Mk 13. That was precisely the opinion of several of the
                > earlier commentators. Rawlinson, for example, after long reflection,
                > acknowledged that the chapter had to be regarded as composite.

                Bruce,

                In the NT I've identified 16 foreign interpolations which have virtually no
                textual support (half of them in John's gospel). By 'foreign' I mean penned
                by someone other than the author and who had a different viewpoint.

                Every one of these is a literary unity apart from the stitching visible in a
                couple of cases. Thus in my experience NT interpolations are not composite.

                > ..... Grant (following
                > Taylor and others) attempted to separate the Jewish Apocalypse source
                > document ("not necessarily to be attributed to Jesus") from material more
                > directly relevant to the Jesus tradition, and later concludes "This
                > apocalyptic warning was later incorporated by Mark in his gospel. . ." To
                > avoid begging the question, we might depersonalize that, as "This
                > apocalyptic warning was later incorporated in GMk."

                So what? This apocalyptic material was not the whole of Mk 13. It consisted
                of verses 7-8, 14-20 and 24-27. Moreover such scholars never regarded these
                verses as having been interpolated. They saw them as sources which AMk had
                utilized. In other words their evidence weighs against your case, not for
                it.

                > Against Mk 31 are the slenderness of its attachment to the main narrative,
                > the consecutiveness of that narrative without it (in the sense that neither
                > the end of Mk 12 nor the end of Mk 13 provides a narrative transition to Mk
                > 14:1),

                So you admit that removing ch.13 doesn't improve the transition.

                > ..... the fact of its length, far beyond any other presumptive speech unit
                > in GMk,

                But it includes characteristic terms such as "gospel", "fig tree", and a
                reference to cock crowing.

                > its close relation to Jewish apocalyptic literature,

                Not surprising for a document with a Jewish background produced in the
                aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple.

                > and its
                > intended, if cryptic, contemporary reference ("let the reader understand").
                > This is not Jesus talking to his disciples in the past, it is AMk talking to
                > his audience in the present day.

                Indeed it is. So ch.13 can't be an interpolation, at least not a 'foreign'
                interpolation as defined above.

                > Compare the ostensible Jesus remark to his
                > disciples, "I say it to you, and I say it to all." This is without precedent
                > in the rest of Mk.

                Hardly. It's not at all dissimilar to the saying(s): "He who / If any man /
                has ears to hear, let him hear" in Mk 4:9,23.

                > The text at all levels, the editorial voice and the
                > purported Jesus voice, is here directly addressing the people of a later age
                > than that of Jesus. The whole stance seems to me presentist rather than, as
                > in the rest of Mk, conventionally retrospective.

                Not so. Apart from the Mk 4 references above, there is, e.g. 2:22 where AMk
                presents the old wineskin of Judaism as being incapable of holding the new
                wine of Christianity - quite inconceivable as a statement of the historical
                Jesus.

                Ron Price

                Derbyshire, UK

                Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
              • E Bruce Brooks
                To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron Price On: Mk 13 From: Bruce This corner of the discussion does not look like it is going to emerge in an agreement among the
                Message 7 of 9 , Oct 4, 2005
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                  To: Synoptic
                  In Response To: Ron Price
                  On: Mk 13
                  From: Bruce

                  This corner of the discussion does not look like it is going to emerge in an
                  agreement among the principals, but it may be useful to clarify alternatives
                  for those listening in, not least myself.

                  RON: In the NT I've identified 16 foreign interpolations which have
                  virtually no textual support (half of them in John's gospel). By 'foreign' I
                  mean penned by someone other than the author and who had a different
                  viewpoint. / Every one of these is a literary unity apart from the stitching
                  visible in a couple of cases. Thus in my experience NT interpolations are
                  not composite.

                  BRUCE: I would feel that most "interpolations" in the Gospels, the Pericope
                  Adulterae always excepted, are actually text growth under the original
                  auspices, not additions from outside that process (which is what I take Ron
                  to mean by "foreign"). That they are not on the whole composite, but
                  seemingly through-composed, I would entirely agree.(By the way, Ron, if you
                  would care to share your current list either on or off-list, I would be most
                  interested to see it). It then follows that Mk 13 (as a proposed
                  interpolation) is exceptional. I think it IS exceptional, and that its tone
                  and character are exceptional too.

                  RON: This apocalyptic material was not the whole of Mk 13. It consisted of
                  verses 7-8, 14-20 and 24-27. Moreover such scholars never regarded these
                  verses as having been interpolated. They saw them as sources which AMk had
                  utilized. In other words their evidence weighs against your case, not for
                  it.

                  BRUCE: As for my "case," I am content for the moment to make it on the
                  evidence, rather than dip into the library, or Neirynck, for a history of Mk
                  13 criticism. The division of Mk 13 into two strands has been variously
                  attempted, with results which seem to diverge around a pretty well agreed
                  core. I rather like Taylor's (in an appendix to his commentary), since he
                  seems to find a difference of Semitic character between the strands he
                  separates. He himself is somewhat disconcerted to find that his proposed
                  original stratum is less Petrine than the other. I don't have a Petrine
                  scenario, and am prepared to look with equanimity on the idea of a Jesuine
                  adaptation of some current bit of Jewish Apocalyptic literature, the result
                  being cemented into TMK (the text of Mk as of that moment, not yet our GMk)
                  for a particular reason.

                  RON: So you admit that removing ch.13 doesn't improve the transition.

                  BRUCE: I am not sure that "admitting" is the right verb, since opposing
                  counsel at the Synoptic Bar had not demanded it. I had noticed it
                  voluntarily. There is no transition between Mk 12 and Mk 14, either with or
                  without Mk 13 in place. It just jumps to the next thing. Mk is written in
                  blocks, and anything stuck in between two blocks will give that result. Only
                  an interpolation into a flow, such as 14:28 and 16:7, will (in the less
                  skillful cases) interrupt that flow sufficiently to provide evidence of its
                  extraneousness. I would call these latter two passages classic cases of
                  interpolation, in that the interpolator has made all the mistakes possible
                  in adding them. Thus they are easy to find. More skillful interpolations,
                  with literary smoothing at one or both ends, or those placed between blocks
                  of prior narrative, are going to be harder to find, and harder to argue. But
                  we can't expect interpolators to be always unskillful. My Sinological
                  colleagues and I are engaged at this moment (and I admit that I am stealing
                  this moment from them, for a topic way beyond the Gobi, which is
                  reprehensible on my part) in tweezing out the additions of known author B
                  from the original writings of known author A in a gigantic text, the
                  earliest comprehensive Chinese history. As far as we have gone (and assuming
                  our identifications so far to be correct), B is not always equally careful.
                  He will interpolate a line, or a paragraph, or add a whole chapter. Those,
                  except the last, can usually be detected in the hoped-for classic way. But B
                  will also rewrite, or partially rewrite, the historian's evaluation at the
                  end of an A chapter, and that is harder to detect, other than thematically.
                  So it goes. It just happens, a matter of my ill luck, that authors A and B
                  were both highly trained elite readers and writers, skilled in text assembly
                  and conflation, working within the Palace precincts of the Emperor's
                  establishment; the best there was. Author B in particular is venerated to
                  this moment as a master of Chinese literary style. He knows his business,
                  and sometimes his addenda are quite adroit. It raises the bar quite a bit.
                  But such things do happen.

                  Whoever added John 21 to the previous TJN also did his work well, not
                  interrupting a flow,but instead fixing on a clear break (in fact, the end of
                  the previous text) for his location. He not only imitated, he improved on,
                  the ending of Jn 20. He left a very satisfying construct indeed. I would
                  consider that the interpolation is still manifest, but not with the classic
                  evidences, and thus doubtless not convincing even to the philologically
                  attuned. How many NT-engaged people at this moment really dispense with Jn
                  21, in teaching or preaching John? I would guess, very few. And the
                  adroitness of the join probably helps produce that wide acceptance.

                  RON [in response to the unusual length of Mk 13]: But it includes
                  characteristic terms such as "gospel", "fig tree", and a reference to cock
                  crowing.

                  BRUCE: Sure. Those are among the reasons why I wouldn't call it "foreign."
                  It is Jewish Apocalyptic boilerplate, but customized for the position into
                  which it was meant to be inserted. The interpolator knew the rest of Mk very
                  well. He may well have written part of it, and was here concerned to update
                  it. Not to sabotage it.

                  RON [on the Jewish Apocalyptic motif]: Not surprising for a document with a
                  Jewish background produced in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem
                  and its temple.

                  BRUCE: I agree entirely. I think it is very expectable under the most
                  readily imaginable circumstances. But this is only to say that the
                  interpolation was responsive to the times in which it was crafted and
                  inserted. I should suppose that the same was true of every interpolation, in
                  any text. Interpolations are not idle, they are done for reasons, and the
                  reasons are always contemporary, and the materials used tend to be in part
                  contemporary also.

                  RON [to the idea that MK 13 is not Jesus talking, but AMk addressing his
                  readers in the present day]: Indeed it is. So ch.13 can't be an
                  interpolation, at least not a 'foreign'
                  interpolation as defined above.

                  BRUCE: I have already agreed that it is not foreign. I see it as an integral
                  interpolation, and as part of a larger process by which the proprietors of a
                  closely held text updated that text to be responsive to current needs. One
                  thing that is salient about Mk 13 is that it steps out of the usual Markan
                  pattern of narrating events in the past, and openly addresses the present.
                  To the extent that this is different from the texture of the rest of the
                  book, it helps to mark it as atypical, and thus as possibly extraneous. An
                  add-on. It's well done, but in this feature it displays a failure to sustain
                  the previous rhetorical position of the text. That is part of its intensity,
                  but it is also one of the traits by which its special textual character can
                  be recognized.

                  RON [on the thought that "I say it to you and I say it to all" in Mk 13 is
                  different in kind from Jesus's remarks elsewhere]: Hardly. It's not at all
                  dissimilar to the saying(s): "He who / If any man / has ears to hear, let
                  him hear" in Mk 4:9,23.

                  BRUCE: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear" can be plausibly taken as
                  addressed to the crowd within the story. It is congruent with the thought,
                  which is the burden of more than one parable in GMk, that the Word will be
                  offered to many, but not accepted by all. Only those able to comprehend it
                  will accept it. We modern readers may well decide to take it as addressed to
                  us (and we may make a similar decision with respect to nearly every other
                  speech in GMk), but this is not rhetorically necessary in the original, or
                  explicitly warranted by the original. I think that the Mk 13 case is
                  different in kind, since there are no hearers narratively present in Mk 13
                  who might constitute the balance of Jesus's "all" here, and so the "all"
                  *must* in Mk 13 be construed as "everybody." It is this narratively
                  unexcused "everybody" that, to my eye at least, is the point of difference.
                  The point of manifest presentism, the thing that cannot be rhetorically
                  accounted for within the narrative. And I would thus put it with the
                  narrator's aside "Let the reader understand" elsewhere in Mk 13. But the
                  latter passage, in a pinch, ought by itself to adequately attest the
                  presentism of Mk 13.

                  RON [on the claimed "presentist" stance of Mk 31 in contrast to the rest of
                  GMk]: Not so. Apart from the Mk 4 references above, there is, e.g. 2:22
                  where AMk presents the old wineskin of Judaism as being incapable of holding
                  the new wine of Christianity - quite inconceivable as a statement of the
                  historical Jesus.

                  BRUCE: My sense of it is roughly the same as in the previous point, but
                  perhaps with a difference. In Mk 2:22, the new doctrine is being seen as new
                  *to the other people within that story.* It is, so to speak, historically
                  new. The crowds several times refer to Jesus's preaching as "a new
                  teaching," not as the standard textbook admirably expounded. The question at
                  2:22 is how compatible this teaching is with the standard textbook. This (as
                  it seems to me) is a point on which our extant GMk is not wholly at one with
                  itself. In the Greatest Commandment question, entire compatibility with
                  previous tradition is asserted. In the many "conflict stories," the
                  conclusion is different. Mk 2:22 would seem to go with the "clean break"
                  strand in the text, rather than with the "no difference" strand. My personal
                  guess is that these groups or stories represent different strata in the
                  text, all of them being earlier than anything we have been recently
                  concerned with.

                  I wouldn't go so far as to say that 2:22 is historically inconceivable, but
                  I do suspect (as of this moment) that it represents a later stage in the
                  evolution of the idea of Jesus than some of the rest of its neighbors. It is
                  somewhat getting ahead of things to say so here, but my private guess is
                  that Strauss and Schweitzer were pretty near right, and that the Gospels,
                  even Mk, don't take us very close to the historical Jesus. They represent,
                  and especially Mk represents, an onion-like process of adding layers of
                  interpretation on top of any remembered Jesus words or events. They are, and
                  Mk especially is, an anthology of early theology. It is only by asking: What
                  is all this theology operating with? that we can hope (in my completely
                  uncertified opinion) to get a clue as to what actually went on, in the
                  Galilee and Jerusalem of times long gone.

                  This is a complicated way of saying that I agree in a way with Ron about Mk
                  2:22, but feel that this doesn't necessarily support his side of our current
                  disagreement about Mk 13. I will end on that note, and with a word of thanks
                  to Ron for his carefully put points. It is a pleasure to have an opportunity
                  to engage a text as a text, with someone who has considered that text
                  carefully. In my case, a guilty pleasure, but I still want to express my
                  appreciation to Ron, Leonard, and a few others in recent weeks for the
                  opportunity to incur that guilt.

                  Back now to work at my proper desk, in the hope of assuaging a little of the
                  guilt. (Our international conference on the other matter I mentioned
                  convenes in just 48 hours and 6 minutes, and but for this conversation I
                  would be somewhat further along with my contribution to it).

                  Bruce

                  E Bruce Brooks
                  Warring States Project
                  University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                • E Bruce Brooks
                  To: Synoptic In Response To: Dave Gentile On: Mark s Ending From: Bruce Dave has raised some interesting points. I diverge somewhat in how I see the logic of
                  Message 8 of 9 , Oct 4, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                    To: Synoptic
                    In Response To: Dave Gentile
                    On: Mark's Ending
                    From: Bruce

                    Dave has raised some interesting points. I diverge somewhat in how I see the
                    logic of the question, and it may be helpful to offer that view as part of
                    the conversation.

                    DAVE: I don't think that the current ending of Mark is original, but it may
                    not be that Mark originally ended at 16:8 either.

                    BRUCE: By "current ending" I take it Dave means Mk 16:9f, which is omitted
                    or italicized in most recently critical editions. Let's start by agreeing
                    that Mk 16:9f is not part of the discussion.

                    DAVE: An earlier version of Mark may have contained an ending which is now
                    totally lost. For some theological reason, it was removed very early, and
                    then much later the current ending was added.

                    BRUCE: That is, there was originally something in the place now occupied by
                    Mk 16:9f, and that this was removed. The current MK 16:9f (if I understand
                    Dave rightly) would be a later suppletion, posterior to the time Mk was (I
                    conclude on other evidence) seen by Mt and Lk. I go back to this in a
                    moment. First, the remainder of Dave's position:

                    DAVE: But just because we don't believe Mark's current ending is original,
                    does not mean we must automatically conclude that it originally ended with
                    the empty tomb. The only argument I can see that one might make in the way
                    of evidence for such a lost ending is that the later authors certainly
                    seemed to agree that a key narrative event was missing.

                    BRUCE: I think, and have previously urged, that the later attempts to supply
                    an ending for Mk (the traditional Mk 16:9f, the Freer Ending) are excellent
                    evidence for a sense that Mk ought not to end so up in the air as it does;
                    the sense among people not that far removed from the Gospel formative period
                    that Mk 16:8 is a funny way to end a Gospel.

                    Accepting that early agreement as a welcome support for some modern
                    impressions, including my own, we next need to ask: Assuming the original
                    end of Mk, the thing originally in the place now occupied by Mk 16:9f, was
                    intentionally and not accidentally removed from an earlier state of Mk, is
                    16:8 a credible artifact of that process? I would think that it is
                    excessively abrupt, and that an intentional deletion would have left a more
                    complete sentence.

                    If so, then the possibility of accidental damage re-emerges. This is where I
                    think the scenario which I earlier proposed makes sense. If the damage was
                    accidental, why was not the missing material at once supplied? My suggestion
                    was: because Mk, at the point it came to be used by Mt and/or Lk,, was no
                    longer part of a live tradition, but instead a relic of a formerly live
                    tradition. Neither the [most recent] author of the book, nor the community
                    whose beliefs the book either reflected or inculcated, was available to
                    provide the missing information. The physical GMk was all there was. My
                    suggestion for filling out that scenario (there may well be other
                    possibilities) was that Mk was the Gospel of an early Galilean Christian
                    group, perhaps suppleted with Mk 13 as late as 71 by someone anxious to
                    update the work's prophetic power, but that what was left of the group and
                    of the text-proprietor set within that group was eliminated by the
                    repressions in conjunction with the years 70-73. Pella. What might credibly
                    have been imagined to have survived that disaster would be just a slightly
                    damaged text of GMk, with its ending torn off by circumstance (rather than
                    theological odium), and supplied as an unprovenanced object to the later
                    Synoptists, its original community being no longer able to be queried about
                    what might have lain beyond Mk 16:8, or about any other matter.

                    If intentional, why was not the nature of the intention known to the
                    Synoptists operating only a few years later? If accidental, well, that seems
                    to me to offer possibilities if we are thinking of the years of the early
                    70's.

                    Just a suggestion. But it does seem to me to meet what I take to be the
                    data, the situational givens, in the problem.

                    On the other hand, if it can be shown that Mk 13 can after all be entirely
                    construed as responsive to the Caligula situation, rather than to the Titus
                    situation, then even Mk 13 can be old within Mk, and there is no necessity
                    to posit an addition much later, in the 70's. Then all the more, GMk might
                    be an old, and uncontexted, object as of the Synoptic composition fervor
                    following the events of 70-73.

                    Myself, I like it better, and would be glad to see a strong Caligula
                    argument for Mk 13. To that end: Would someone care to summarize and refute
                    Kloppenborg's latest argument (his chief contribution is the Evocatio Deorum
                    motif)? Or for that matter, to summarize and support Hendrika Roskam's? (see
                    JBL v124 #3, 553f). I agree with the JBL reviewer that she has the better of
                    it as against Incigneri's Roman scenario for Mk, but I also agree that her
                    position needs a little more work.

                    Bruce

                    E Bruce Brooks
                    Warring States Project
                    University of Massachusetts at Amherst




                    BRUCE:
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