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Re: [Synoptic-L] Minimal and Maximal pMark

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  • Ronald Price
    LM, Thanks for your answers to my queries. Just a few observations: It is not clear why you have chosen immediately , amazement and duplication as the
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 4, 2013
      LM,

      Thanks for your answers to my queries. Just a few observations:

      It is not clear why you have chosen 'immediately', 'amazement' and
      duplication as the crucial characteristics of redacted Mark (as opposed to
      pMark). You admit that the Latinisms occur "in all stages of the
      composition". There is also a theme of authority (EXOUSIA) which occurs in
      both parts. I'm wondering whether there is any reason why Latinisms and
      'authority' are not regarded as crucial characteristics for the purpose of
      positing the boundaries of pMark.

      The resulting distribution of references to miracles is curious. It appears
      that all the specific miracles are allocated to redacted Mark, yet in pMark
      there remain several references to unspecified miracles, together with the
      refusal to perform a sign (= miracle?). It is strange to contemplate a
      document which claims lots of miracles, but doesn't detail a single one of
      them. It would not have been very effective, for it's the colourful details
      which stick in people's minds. (I remember learning the value of being
      specific, many years ago in connection with sermon preparation.) Thus it
      seems we would have to posit a peculiarly incompetent author for pMark.

      I did spot one case where you don't appear to have stuck to your formula of
      using the three characteristics as criteria for (pericope?) selection,
      namely 11:15-19 in pMark, where you have omitted part of a sentence in v.18
      which refers to amazement (EKPLHSSW). Shouldn't this pericope have been
      allocated to redactional Mark? However I admit it would have caused a
      problem because the "Again they came to Jerusalem ..." in 11:27 does not
      make sense without the previous visit mentioned in 11:15.

      Ron Price,

      Derbyshire, UK

      http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron Price On: Accretional Mark From: Bruce Taking Ron s recent comment (on a proposal about Mark which I have not yet had leisure
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 4, 2013
        To: Synoptic
        In Response To: Ron Price
        On: Accretional Mark
        From: Bruce

        Taking Ron's recent comment (on a proposal about Mark which I have not yet
        had leisure to examine as such) as applying to any proposed stratification
        of Mark:

        RON: The resulting distribution of references to miracles is curious. It
        appears that all the specific miracles are allocated to redacted Mark, yet
        in pMark there remain several references to unspecified miracles, together
        with the refusal to perform a sign (= miracle?).

        BRUCE: I agree that it is probably more convincing if an accretional text,
        from any given point, has a consistent view of miracles. It is however the
        nature of any accretional text that it may, cumulatively, contradict or at
        least depart from itself. That is one of the ways we recognize accretions
        (adterpolations, interpolations, whatever).

        Take a couple of possibilities. If, for example, there were a Historical
        Jesus who took a firmly rational Later Prophets line, and abjured
        supernatural stunts, and then there later arose a Post-Historical or
        constructed Jesus who performed such stunts, we would seem to have, in real
        life, the kind of situation to which Ron refers. It is not necessarily
        "strange" either in real life or in a text which faithfully follows that
        development in real life. Neither would the opposite distribution be
        "strange," in the sense of unlikely to arise through a natural formation
        process. It would merely imply a charlatan wonder-working Historical Jesus,
        whose followers later rationalized him as refusing to perform such stunts
        when asked to by a superstitious, uncomprehending public. Such a text
        (either of the above supposed texts) would contradict itself if read as a
        single account. But as a sequence, reflecting advancing ideas of the Founder
        held by earlier and then by later Followers, either would make perfect
        sense. The sense they make, and the sense many accretional texts make, is
        that of an authority document continuously responding to, and keeping itself
        current with, the felt interests and needs of its public. The quirks and
        concerns of that public are not in principle predictable.

        RON: It is strange to contemplate a document which claims lots of miracles,
        but doesn't detail a single one of them. It would not have been very
        effective,

        BRUCE: As far as that goes, it is not required of a document, or of a
        political speech, that it be effective. It is sufficient if its composer
        thought, rightly or wrongly, that, in the circumstances of the time, it
        would do what was intended of it. That judgement (whether rightly or wrongly
        made by the original writer) will depend in part on what the writer imagined
        his audience as already knowing, or needing to know, or needing to be
        corrected about. Again we come to the question of the audience of the work,
        which should always be part of our meditations about the implied strategy of
        the work.

        Much of what accretional texts seem to do may look to us ineffective, yet in
        retrospect at least some of it seems, after all, to been highly effective.
        Take the Analects of Confucius (see The Original Analects, Columbia 1998) as
        a familiar and detailed example. The shift to a ritual-based and not an
        ethical-based proprietorship around the year 0400, in the successor School
        of Confucius, produced many changes in the text of that school, some of them
        appearing as new material, and some of them as interpolations added to the
        previous material. A few of the new chapters were added at the head, not the
        tail, of the previous material, so that of the 20 chapters of the present
        text, chapters 3, 2, and 1 were actually added, in that order, to the
        original head (and core) of the material. This may seem like a gossamer
        gesture, putting ritualist and individualist material ahead of the older
        dedicated public-service material. How, one might wonder, could mere
        pre-position ever overcome the force of the retained older material? How
        could the writers (in this case, the pre-posers) ever have expected it to
        work?

        But it did. The reading order of a text turns out to be enormously
        important, and stuff at the beginning tends to be much more prominent, in
        the minds of expert and amateur readers alike, than anything coming later.
        In Appendix 5 of the above work, there is a detailed explanation of how the
        sayings that are now earlier occupy the mind of the reader, to the effective
        exclusion of those that come later.

        So to all interested in accretional texts, and in which features of them may
        be effective or not effective in their own time, I venture to recommend that
        Appendix. In addition, as a holiday bonus, those who peek at the earlier
        pages of the book will find, on p90, right at the top, a thought that they
        may have been in the habit of ascribing to Luke, but (as it seems)
        conceivably has an earlier provenance.

        The most intense and expert and sustained scrutiny of Luke, behind closed
        doors, is unlikely to reveal that possibility. Which is simply another
        excuse for taking an occasional walk outside, beyond the edges of one's own
        garden, breathing the wider air.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • lmbarre@gmail.com
        ... From: Ronald Price Date: 1/4/2013 11:36:57 AM To: Synoptic-L Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Minimal and Maximal pMark Ron, Thank you for your pertinent
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 4, 2013
          -------Original Message-------

          From: Ronald Price
          Date: 1/4/2013 11:36:57 AM
          To: Synoptic-L
          Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Minimal and Maximal pMark

          Ron,

          Thank you for your pertinent comments. They are precisely what I am looking
          for.


          "It is not clear why you have chosen 'immediately', 'amazement' and
          Duplication as the crucial characteristics of redacted Mark (as opposed to
          PMark). "
          I chose these two motifs because of their excessive repetition and thus
          indicate an aspect of authorial style. It does proceed from the evidence of
          a redaction of an underlying narrative, which I find to be quite compelling.
          Would you not agree?
          Having come to this prior conclusion, then it is a matter of trying to
          demarcate the two levels of composition by some sort of literary strategy.
          The safest procedure would be to work out from those texts which form the
          context of the insertions, thus a minimal pMark Here, the alleged
          pre-Markan PN would supply the most Information simply because it has the
          most material of the underlying narrative. But it is also of some
          Importance at getting at this narrative that it ended in Mark 15:39. This
          then Identifies the subsequent material as Markan, being the episodes of the
          burial and the empty tomb. In the latter, the motif of "amazement" is in
          evidence. So from this point, I work back into the material where the same
          motif occurs. As it turns out, the motif, like the use of the adverb, is
          also excessive. Thus, noting the execessive repetition of the two motifs
          begins to build a profile and an index of the Markan redaction. It does
          show, I think, that the redactor was Indeed fond of repetition.
          Also, note that in the insertion of the Baptizer's death, we have what I
          think is a very clear instance of a redactional insert in which the adverb
          also occurs twice. So here the evidence of insertion by an interruption and
          resumption of a narrative flow is "confirmed" by bringing two criteria to
          bear on the question of what is likely Markan redaction. They "line up."
          The same situation obtains in the episode of the arrest of Jesus.
          Contextual evidence of an expansion is "confirmed" by the presence of the
          adverb, here also occurring twice within the alleged expansion. And again,
          in Peter's denial and Pilate's interrogation, the adverb occurs, again
          within the context of an alleged expansion based upon contextual grounds.
          Also, Pilate is amazed over Jesus. Of course, it is possible the pMark also
          used the adverb, but as I have said, I am applying multiple criteria so see
          to what extend they together provide evidence of redaction. In terms of
          literary genre, I find that pMark is a hellenistic artology of the exploits
          of a Hebrew theious aner, one Jesus of Nazareth.
          There is also the working assumption that pMark, when providing a background
          for PN, remained consistent with PN's "non-Christian" view of Jesus and that
          those texts which do actually belong to the Markan level of redaction. So I
          am proceeding with an awareness of certain assumptions that may In
          themselves not be strictly convincing. Still, I am trying to make a case
          for what is a probable thesis. For example, based upon the premise that
          Markan additions are identified by the use of repetition also contains the
          same doubt that pMark also used repetitive motifs. But I am finding that we
          have a confluence of repetition and Christainizing texts working together,
          as in the thrice repeated prediction of Jesus' passion, death, and
          especially, his resurrection, which as I have said, on the grounds the the
          empty-tomb episode, is a Markan addition, and which also contains the
          amazement " motif. Indeed, the amazement at the empty-tomb seems to
          function as a climax for amazement over Jesus. So in a sense, my strategy
          is something of a common sense approach. If evidence of pMark is probable,
          and I think it definitely is, how should one preceed to demarcate pMark and
          Mark? My answer is the application of multiple criteria; 1) contextual
          evidence; 2) the use of excessive repetiton of certain motifs; 3) a
          non-Christian portrayal of Jesus that is consistent with PN's portrayal.
          You admit that the Latinisms occur "in all stages of the
          composition". There is also a theme of authority (EXOUSIA) which occurs in
          both parts. I'm wondering whether there is any reason why Latinisms and
          'authority' are not regarded as crucial characteristics for the purpose of
          Positing the Boundaries of pMark.

          As I said, the use of the same motif in both alleged levels of composition
          of course cannot be excluded and is in evidence in some cases as you point
          out. This is to be expected. However, as I said, I bring together multiple
          critera to get a probable demarcation of pMark and Mark.

          The resulting distribution of references to miracles is curious. It appears
          that all the specific miracles are allocated to redacted Mark, yet in pMark
          There remain several references to unspecified miracles, together with the
          Refusal to perform a sign (= miracle?). It is strange to contemplate a
          Document which claims lots of MIracles, but doesn't detail a isngle one of
          Them. It would not have been very effective, for it's the colourful details
          which stick in people's minds. (I REMember learning the value of being
          Specific, many years ago in connection with sermon preparation.) Thus it
          Seems we would have to posit a peculiarly incompetent author for pMark.
          Yes, I think that "curious" is a relevant observation, but I do not think
          that we can insist that pMark had to include an account of a miracle or
          exorcism. In this regard, is appears to be relevant that with the sending
          out the Twelve, the text is content to state that the Twelve performed
          exorcisms without describing such. Note that in this case, the conclusion
          is quite tight in noting both what the apostles taught and did.
          12 They went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they were
          casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and
          healing them.
          30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus ; and they reported to Him all
          that they had done and taught.
          "had done"=exocisms and healings and "taught"= preaching that men should
          repent.. Indeed, in all of the contexts of alleged insertions I find the
          same sort of tight verbal conrrepondences across the alleged Markan
          expansions.
          In terms of assessing my thesis and its evidence, one needs first to settle
          on the question of whether pMark In evidence. Once that is decided, then
          any reasonable strategy to get at it would be appropriate and helpful. But
          I do not think that one can just forget the evidence of expansion and go on
          to think that there is probable way to get at them. So the issue moves
          beyond the question of pMark to that of demarcating the two levels of
          compoisition. So my question to you would be, do you think that a theory of
          pMark is in evidence? If so, then how would you suggest that one should
          proceed to isolate the two levels of composition. They are actually two
          separate issues.

          I did spot one case where you don't appear to have stuck to your formula of
          using the three characteristics as criteria for (pericope?) selection,
          Namely 11:15-19 in pMark, where you have omitted part of a sentence in v.18
          Which refers to amazement (EKPLHSSW). Shouldn't this pericope have been
          Allocated to redactional Mark? However I admit it would have caused a
          problem because the "Again they came to Jerusalem ..." in 11:27 does not
          Make sense without the previous visit mentioned in 11:15.
          Cleansing the Temple
          11:15 Then they came to Jerusalem. Jesus entered the temple area and began
          to drive out those who were selling and buying In the temple courts. He
          TUrned over the tables of the Money changers and the chairs of those selling
          doves, 11:16 and he would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the
          temple courts. 11:17 Then he began to teach them and said, “Is it not
          written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But
          you have turned it into a den of robbers!”
          11:18 The chief priests and the experts in the law heard it and they
          considered how they could assassinate him, for they feared him, because the
          whole crowd was amazed by his teaching. 11:19 When evening came, Jesus and
          his disciples went out of the city.
          Yes, this is a case where multiple entrances into Jerusalem seems to
          indicate that the redactor has created the repeated entrance and that 11:15
          has the one entrance of the underlying narrative, pMark. So here the
          evidence is ambiguous. To resolve it, I am inclined to think that vv 18-19
          is a Markan addition to the episode, especially because v 19 has Jesus
          repeatedly coming in and out of Jerusalem, which allowed Mark to insert his
          additional material. The method of expansion reminds me of the boat trips
          mentioned earlier in the Gospel. Also, by suspecting that vv18-19 is an
          addition, we have a complete pericope regarding Jesus' attack upon the
          temple moneychangers. So yes, your objection is valid, but not unresolvable
          It does call for a closer inspection of the content of these verses in
          terms of composition and redaction.
          I would add that it is pertinent that the analysis of the composition of PN
          by several find that it has received Markan expansions. However, it does
          not seem to be, and here I need to do more research, that this position has
          not be extended to the pre-PN material as I have done. It is unwarranted to
          think that the Gospel has only been expanded in the PN as I think I have
          shown.
          LMB


          Ron Price,

          Derbyshire, UK

          http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Ronald Price
          ... LM, At this stage I can neither agree nor disagree. You have pointed to certain stylistic features common in Mark s gospel and said that they are secondary
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 5, 2013
            LM wrote:

            > I chose these two motifs ['immediately' and 'amazement'] because of their
            > excessive repetition and thus indicate an aspect of authorial style. It does
            > proceed from the evidence of a redaction of an underlying narrative, which I
            > find to be quite compelling.
            > Would you not agree?

            LM,

            At this stage I can neither agree nor disagree. You have pointed to certain
            stylistic features common in Mark's gospel and said that they are secondary
            to ("proceed from") the evidence of redaction. So what exactly is the
            evidence for redaction of an underlying narrative? Quoting examples is not
            the same as supplying evidence. If you have set out evidence for redaction
            which is independent of these stylistic features, I must have missed it.
            (The page you pointed to on the 'Early Christian Writings' web site provides
            evidence of what certain scholars believed about the extent of a supposed
            pre-Markan passion narrative, but not why they believed in its historicity.)

            Ron Price,

            Derbyshire, UK

            http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm



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