RE: [Synoptic-L] Early interpolations
- To: Synoptic
In Response To: Ron
On: Mk 9:12
Ron had suggested, a propos the idea of GEGRAPTAI referring to something
else written in the same document, " Curiously the possible gloss in Mk
9:12b also includes word GEGRAPTAI, and again the crux is whether it is
original and refers to scripture (or some other authoritative text) or
whether it is a gloss and refers to something in the text under
investigation. When taken as a gloss, the GEGRAPTAI in Mk 9:12b appears to
refer to what we now know as Mk 8:31, which I have reason to believe would
have been on the opposite page when the codex was opened at its centre. Thus
a comment in the central margin close to 8:31 would also have been fairly
close to 9:12b, which could help to explain why the scribe located the gloss
in the latter position!"
BRUCE: This has its intriguing aspects. For orientation, I list the cases of
GEGRAPTAI in Mark:
1:2 "As it has been written in Isaiah the Prophet, [q Isaiah etc]
7:6. Well has Isaiah prophesied concerning you hypocrites, as it has been
written, [q Isaiah]
9:12. And how has it been written concerning the Son of Man, that he must
suffer many things? [no q]
11:17. Has it not been written, My house will be called a house of prayer .
. . (q Isa)
14:21. For the Son of Man goes as it has been written of him (q Psa 41:9, re
14:27. For it is written, I will strike the shepherd (q Zec 13:7)
"What is written" here does not mean the Law (as it seems to in Paul), it
means prophecy, with David counted among the prophets (on which, and
specifically on Jesus's seemingly defective Messiah qualifications, see Mk
12:36, quoting the words of Psa 110:1). This of course is also how, and
exclusively how, Matthew regards the scriptures. It seems to be an important
difference. Among these examples, Mk 9:12 stands out for seeming to demand a
Scriptural warrant for Jesus's coming sufferings, a demand which does not
seem to be directly answered.
[As Farrer somewhere remarks, Matthew is Mark's first commentator, and it is
interesting to see what he does with 9:12. Simply put, he struggles with it,
by putting it, or a pale echo of it, at the end of the passage (Mt 17:12b,
with a sort of gloss of his own at 17:13].
Mk 8:31 is undoubtedly relevant: "And he began to teach them that the Son of
Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief
priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
 And he said this plainly."
This would seem to be Jesus's own prophecy, not one derived from Scripture.
Then the demand of Mk 9:12 might be a response to this passage. It might in
fact express something like the feeling of Peter, whose rebuke (rejection)
follows next after 8:32 - a protest against the prediction, and against the
idea of Jesus's necessary death. Would it be possible for some like-minded
reader to pen this protest into his copy of Mark? Perhaps so, and this is
part of the appeal of Ron's suggestion. What is hard to see is how a
personal copy (necessarily not the author's copy) could have supplanted the
author's copy, which was presumably in time the archetype from which other
copies later began to be multiplied.
So I am not fully clear how the pieces could be fitted together, or what
commentarial and transmissional scenarios they might imply, but the
possibility that 9:12 is in origin a response to 8:31 should surely be kept
on the table. As for reconstructing a physical Mark in which 8:31 stands
physically adjacent to Mk 9:12 or its immediate context, there is probably
no problem. I must remember to look up my own physical reconstruction, and
see how it comes out in that version.
E Bruce Brooks
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
- Out of curiosity I tried this search on Google Books
interpolation OR interpolated OR interpolate
subject:"Gospels" or "New Testament
I got about 10 hits - far fewer than I expected. On looking at
these (where that was possible) I noted a considerable variety
of usage. One or other of the terms is used (in the books located)
in relation to Mat.27.16; Mk.1.2; Lk 9-18; Jn 1.6-8 & 15; 3.22-30;
Jn 19.35, 21.24; Rom 15-16;1 Cor.1.2-16;Josephus Apion Bk.2,or the
Gospel of Nicodemus
Some are "editorial" interpolations, some are interpolations with
textual evidence, but I think one or two may be neither of these.
As it would seem that writers of the available books don't use the term
much I then turned to the ATLA database of journal articles
with a similar search for
"interpolation OR interpolated OR interpolate" (in full text) AND
subject:"Gospels" Date 1950-2011
This got 44 hits from a shorter span of time, most of them from items
available in pdf, but not showing where the hits are, or what they include.
(To check these one would need to do a lot of downloads and pdf searches.)
Tentative conclusion: it would seem that articles use the term more
than books do, but the snippet results from Google Books provide a
handy list of varied examples from the NT of three different types of
David Mealand, University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.