Ron and Joe,
Last night my wife and I watched the movie "Hurricane." It started with this disclaimer: "While this is a true story, some composite characters and representative scenes have been created."
The empty tomb scene was a literary device needed by Mk because of the way he decided to craft his gospel.
One of the key decisions Mk made as a story teller was that he would have virtually no narrator's voice (the equivalent to a film's voiceover). In Mk there is no parallel to Jn's prologue ("In the beginning was the word") or epilogue ("Jesus did many other things...."), or even Lk's brief prologue. The most we get from Mk is the occasional cultural or linguistic footnote ("Jews wash their dishes...," "'talitha cum' means 'little girl, get up'").
How, then, can Mk predict the appearances in Galilee? The only method available to Mk is placing the predictions on the lips of characters in dialogue within scenes in the story. So, Jesus at 14:27-28 "‘You will all become deserters.... But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.’" And the young man at 16:7 "'But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’"
The literary purpose of the empty tomb scene is for Mk to remind the reader that while his story ends here (it's the story of the life of Jesus), it's not the end of the Jesus movement, which will continue when the disciples see Jesus in Galilee.
Was there really an event at an empty tomb or was it a "representative scene"? The answer to that is found, I think, in the complete confusion of the accounts. Starting with the fact that the two above quotes preclude the possibility of Jesus appearing to the disciples on that Sunday in Jerusalem, contra the three other accounts!
Rev. Chuck Jones
--- On Tue, 5/18/10, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:
Joe Weaks wrote:
> ..... It seems certain to me that Mark believed what he wrote of the
> core narrative. He believed Jesus to have been raised from the dead.
He probably believed this as a consequence (directly or indirectly) of
Paul's preaching. Therefore his belief that Jesus had been raised does not
constitute independent testimony.
> He believed the women found an empty tomb.
I don't see how you could know this. For my part, I'm confident that Mark
invented the story of the empty tomb, probably in order (if you'll excuse
the pun) to put flesh on the belief in Jesus' resurrection.
Of course it is possible that Mark simply deduced that if, as Paul had said,
Jesus had been raised from the dead, then there must have been an empty
tomb. In this sense Mark could have "believed" that there was an empty tomb
even though he himself had invented the story.
As for the women's role: I think it was introduced to add further insult to
the disciples. Did Mark actually believe they found the tomb empty? It would
seem unlikely if he invented the story. But perhaps it is possible to kid
one's emotional side that something is true when one's rational side
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