Re: [Synoptic-L] A case for pMark
- "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?"
I am taken aback that you have to ask this. The evidence of redaction was
given in the first post in this thread.
What hinders you from coming to a conclusion based upon this evidence?
Do you find it somehow coincidental that I have listed eight examples where
the narrative flow is interrupted and then resumes across the flow of an
alleged insertion? It appears to me that you are arbitrarily pulling back
from a most probable conclusion regarding the existence of pMark. Rather
than being overly credulous upon inadequate evidence, you making the
opposite error of irrational skepticism in the face of strong evidence for
the thesis. Nor am I alone in adopting this position. As noted, pMark is a
thesis embraced by many scholars who have dealt with PN.
The proper amount of skepticism is determined by what evidence would warrant
a conclusion or refrain from making one. In this case, I think that
evidence pMark is such that your skepticism is not warranted. Perhaps you
might go back to those examples I offered and address each specifically to
justify your skepticism. Otherwise, it would seem that your skepticism is
excessive and irrational as is your failure to recognize what is obvious
evidence for the existence of pMark.
As it is, it does not seem that you are able to properly assess objectively
the probability of the thesis let alone recognize what is the evidence in
favor of it. So while conveying the impression that you are being cautious
and judicious, you are in fact in a state of academic denial.
Such a reaction is entirely expected. First, from conservative scholars who
because of some dogmatism, do not want to admit to redactional activity as
it threatens to "destabilize" a sacred text. Second, form anyone with a
vested interest in Markan scholarship that presumes a unified document and
thus do not want to admit that such research is vulnerable to the conclusion
that it is fatally flawed. Needless, to say, it makes a great exegetical
different if the Gospel of Mark is unified or of composite authorship. The
issue if fundamental to the interpretation of the Gospel on every level. As
it turns out, from my perspective, an crucial oversight has been committed,
even though the issue should be considered in the face of PN research. It
is rather like trying to interpret the Pentateuch without recourse to the
From: Ronald Price
Date: 01/05/13 09:04:10
Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] A case for pMark
> I chose these two motifs ['immediately' and 'amazement'] because of theirdoes
> excessive repetition and thus indicate an aspect of authorial style. It
> proceed from the evidence of a redaction of an underlying narrative, whichI
> find to be quite compelling.LM,
> Would you not agree?
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.)
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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