Re: [Synoptic-L] A case for pMark
I don't think I asked my question with enough clarity. I wasn't asking how much of Mark is historical, nor was I asking what facts he may have picked up along the way (oral material). I was curious about your comment that Mark had a written source only for the aphorisms. You did answer my question, though.
Rev. Chuck Jones
From: Ronald Price <ron-price@...>
To: Synoptic-L <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 2:38 PM
Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] A case for pMark
Chuck Jones wrote:
> Are you saying that Mark free-composed everything in his gospel except for theChuck,
> (handful of) aphorisms?
> I'd appreciate hearing more about your thoughts on this.
Not quite. Mark would have picked up a few simple facts from Paul (if, as I
believe, the author can be equated with the Mark of Phm 24), and perhaps by
conversation with others in the church at Rome, e.g. that Peter was a
prominent apostle, that Jesus was crucified in or near Jerusalem, that
Pilate was the governor at the time.
> He composed the parables, for example?Not the aphoristic (short) parables: Lamp, Mustard Seed, Salt, Eye of
Needle, but most of the others, and certainly the two long parables: the
parable of the Sower and the parable of the Vineyard, both of which seem to
have been composed specifically with the Christian mission in mind.
> And all of the scenes, characters and dialogue in the passion narrative?The dialogue, yes, apart from the Last Supper dialogue which I think is
close to what Mark got from Paul. The scenes as presented, yes. But 14:3-9
was probably based on an actual anointing of Jesus as Messiah, and the trial
by Pilate and the crucifixion may include a few genuine details (e.g. the
inscription on the cross?). Also at least two of the characters, namely
Judas the betrayer (here I follow Hyam Maccoby), and Joseph of 'Arimathea'.
Of course the existence of Jesus, Peter and Pilate does not depend solely on
the testimony of Mark's gospel. They are historical characters.
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- To: Synoptic
In Response To: L M Barré
LMB: I have to say that I think you err not to conclude that we have in
euthus and marker of the Markan redaction.
EBB: Euthus is characteristic of Mark, but whether of redaction (editing of
prior material) or composition (authorial material) I think we cannot say.
There is also the question, not separately examined, of whether euthus is
equally typical of the later material in Mark. The answer according to my
own investigation is: not as much so. But there are also themes and modes in
what I take to be original mark where euthus (immediacy in narrative) would
not apply in any case, and if late Mark is turning to those questions (eg,
how soon will the Second Coming be), then the style change is simply an
artifact of the topic change. The continuing authorship or proprietorship of
the single author (call him Mark or whatever) is not precluded.
LMB: . So also is the much repeated "amazement" motif, which I take as
another indicator of Markan redaction.
EBB: Again, I sort of agree, and have used that test myself, following Dwyer
1996 (though I think it is possible to refine his data set). But again,
there are types of material in Mark that do not invite that motif. It would
take more precision to make "amazement" an indicator of Markan vs
LMB: but also with typical repetition (another Markan stylistic marker), the
thrice predicted passion, death and resurrection.
EBB: I agree with Yarbro Collins that the triplets (and I would add,
including the Passion Predictions) are late in Mark. I would not call them
non-Markan, but they are a device of style which occurred to the late Mark,
and were not present in the relatively straightforward early Mark.
LMB: Let me here add that I think that the ending of Mark is indeed lost and
that the current ending in 16:8 is not deliberate. The reason why it is
noted that the women said nothing, is to prepare for the Great Astonishment,
that Jesus was alive. This would be all the more shocking because they were
unaware of the empty tomb "information" due to the women's silence.
EBB: I agree that 16:8 was not meant to be the end of Mark, and that our
text is artificially abbreviated. Matthew's supplied ending owes details to
other texts, and does not come from his seeing a more complete version of
Mark (there was none in his time), but is a good normal guess at what the
ending might have contained, at least on the circumstantial level.
LMB: In the logic of the story of Mark's redaction, the predicted appearance
in Galilee is not particularly freighted. Where else would they go but home?
Where more appropriate for Jesus to meet up with them?
EBB: I think weight must be given to the pair of interpolations I mentioned
earlier: 14:28 and 16:7. These predict that the disciples will see Jesus in
Galilee. What if the story had continued without those predictions?
Evidently in the way that the insertions predict: they would see Jesus in
Galilee. What then do the predictions add? Simply this: Jesus's
foreknowledge of that event. Without that element, Jesus's appearance would
have been a surprise, not only to the disciples, but to Jesus himself. The
prediction puts him back in control, has him fully anticipating, and thus
fully accepting, the end of his life and its sequel.
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst