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Mark and Jesus

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic (Ron Price) / GPG. On: Mark and Jesus. In response to my suggestion that the Second Tier Gospels are the second best source for Jesus s teaching,
    Message 1 of 47 , Jul 2 10:34 AM
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      To: Synoptic (Ron Price) / GPG. On: Mark and Jesus. In response to my
      suggestion that the Second Tier Gospels are the second best source for
      Jesus's teaching, Ron said, " But Mark is not the best source for the
      teaching of Jesus. This is because the authors of the gospels of Matthew
      (ca. 90 CE) and Luke (ca. 95 CE) were more historically dependable than Mark
      in their copying of the aphorisms recorded (as Papias noted) by the apostle
      Matthew." BRUCE: Not proved, and in any case, on that dating, Mt and Lk are
      60 or so years after the fact. Papias (still later) seems at best to be
      inferring from what he knows, and everything he knows is hearsay. Further,
      any link between the Apostle Matthew and the author of our Gospel of Matthew
      is conjectural, and the most obvious such link, that the Apostle wrote the
      Gospel, is self-refuting (the Apostle would not have used Mark as a primary
      source). Comparison of gMt's Jesus sayings and gMk's Jesus sayings is surely
      required before giving our assent to a voice from 2c Hierapolis, or to an
      original idea of someone still later. I compared a set of those sayings in
      my last post, and found that the Mt/Lk "few" pieces are much more easily
      referred to a problem of the early church (that is, a post-Jesus problem)
      than are the Mk explicit or implicit "few," which can, with what seems like
      greater plausibility, be taken as addressed to Jesus's audiences in his
      lifetime. That is, the Problematik of the Mt sayings seems to be later than
      that of the Mk sayings. This confirms the impression, easily gained from
      other evidence, that Mt is not only later, but is derivative from Mk, and is
      concerned to rewrite Mk in various ways. This does not speak well for him as
      preserving intact any matter he has from any other source. I think that, on
      all the evidence before us, Mark is earlier. Of course, the trouble with
      Mark is that the more interpolations you take out (including the Empty Tomb,
      see again Yarbro Collins), the more Jesus gets to resemble a Davidic
      Pretender. Luke, in his presentation of the crowd around Jesus, does not
      shrink from this. On the contrary, he is much concerned to emphasize the
      Zealotry of these followers, and (in the Emmaus scene) to have Jesus himself
      disabuse them of their Davidic Messiah expectation of him ("We had thought
      he was the one to redeem Israel" - how else are we to explain this?). That
      is, Luke knows what Jesus's original followers *thought* he was, and he
      wishes to correct the record. I admire his nerve, and historically speaking,
      I value his candor. But I think it is his candor about the disciples, and
      not his correction of their expectation, that tells the tale. Here, in all
      probability, is the Historical Jesus, in the opinion of those who believed
      in him while he was alive. Ever since he died in a failed attempt to bring
      off the Return of God to Israel, Christianity (not at all surprisingly) has
      been trying to read him as something different. Reifying the Mt/Lk common
      new matter (the socalled "Q") as the original Jesus is only one of the ways
      this is done. (The Gospel of Thomas enthusiasm is another approach. Yet
      another is Matthean Priority, as with Farmer and Company (see his last book
      for a very revealing account of what was in this for him, emotionally). I
      understand and indeed sympathize, but from where I sit, the history is what
      it was, and Mark gives us a less adulterated and re-spun glimpse at it. / E
      Bruce Brooks, UMass Amherst
    • David Inglis
      David Mealand wrote: So for instance to step aside from Q and M, let us consider the special Lukan material. It would be useful there to review and update
      Message 47 of 47 , Jul 26 10:08 AM
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        David Mealand wrote:

        So for instance to step aside from Q and M, let us consider the special Lukan material. It would be useful there to review and update existing studies to see if the "L" material is a) internally consistent or not and b) differs from the editorial style of the author of Gospel number 3. Could this be an issue on which 2SH and FGT adherents might proceed in unison? Or am I being unduly optimistic here?

        David, some information can be gleaned from the stylistic analyses of the categories in the HHB concordance performed by both Dave Gentile and myself. The following 4 collections of words (HHB categories) are useful here, I think:

        · 002 – Words used in passages unique to gLk (i.e. sondergut Lk)

        · 012 – Words used in gLk in passages shared with gMk but not gMt, where the words are not in gMk

        · 102 – Words used in gLk in passages shared with gMt but not gMk, where the words are not in gMt (i.e. double tradition words not in gMt)

        · 112 – Words used in gLk in passage shared with both gMt and gMk, where the words are not in either gMt or gMk (i.e. triple tradition words not in gMt or gMk)

        Both Dave G and I have similar findings: The frequencies with which specific words are used (profiles) are similar in 002, 012, and 112, while the profile of 102 is different. In particular, I find that the similarity between the profiles of 002 and 112 is one of the greatest in my analysis, i.e. sondergut Lk is stylistically similar (at least, so far as word frequencies are concerned) to the unique Lukan parts of the triple tradition. From this I infer that 002 is unlikely to contain passages from different sources, or, if it does, that aLk has generally ‘massaged’ the text from the different sources into his own style.

        David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA



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