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Re: [Synoptic-L] Why did Mark end his account with an empty tomb?

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  • Ronald Price
    ... Bruce, Let me rephrase this. A writer is unlikely to *compose* a promise by his hero which is clearly not fulfilled. (a) Mk 13:14 I take this verse to
    Message 1 of 15 , Jul 22, 2013
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      I had written:

      > It is most unusual to see a promise of Jesus ("there you will see him")
      > unfulfilled, . . .

      Bruce Brooks replied:

      > Oh really? What about Mk 13:14, the Caligula prediction that did not
      > come off because Caligula died? What about Mk 13:30, the most conspicuously
      > unfulfilled prediction in the history of religions, including the Buddhist?
      > They were still razzing the Christians about it as late as 2 Peter 3:3-10.
      > And if that can be explained away, what about Mk 9:1? Mark's record of
      > unfulfilled predictions is a rich one.

      Bruce,

      Let me rephrase this. A writer is unlikely to *compose* a promise by his
      hero which is clearly not fulfilled.

      (a) Mk 13:14
      I take this verse to refer to the desecration of the temple by the
      soldiers of Titus in 70 CE, and not to Caligula. Thus the more perceptive of
      Mark's original readers (71 CE onwards) may have seen it as a prophecy
      fulfilled.

      (b) Mk 9:1
      This was not composed by Mark, but was a genuine saying of Jesus.
      Unfortunately Jesus was wrong. Mark felt the embarrassment, so he composed
      the story of the transfiguration with a hint ("six days later") that it
      somehow fulfilled the promise.

      (c) Mk 13:30
      According to "The Five Gospels", this verse is taken by most JSem Fellows
      as Mark's remark to his own audience, though how Mark expected his readers
      to realize this is not clear. If the JSem are correct in their
      interpretation, then it would only have been Mark who would have been wrong
      if the prophecy was shown to be false.

      Ron Price,

      Derbyshire, UK

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



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Greg Crawford
      In response to my suggestion that the earliest forms of Mark s Gospel approached the resurrection with the same strategy as Paul in 1 Corinthians . . Bruce
      Message 2 of 15 , Jul 22, 2013
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        In response to my suggestion that "the earliest forms of Mark's Gospel
        approached the resurrection with the same strategy as Paul in 1 Corinthians .".
        Bruce replied: "This is the conventional (that is, the post-70) dating of Mark,
        but that dating cannot stand. ."



        Greg replies: No, this suggestion does not depend on either *dating* Mark later
        than Paul, nor of any *influence* from Paul to Mark in terms of strategy, which
        might depend on relative dating. It simply suggests a common strategy which may
        have arisen from a cultural dependence on witnesses. In fact, the earlier the
        dating of Mark's Gospel, the better supported the notion that Mark's ending
        leaps to witnesses, who would have been more abundant with an earlier dating.



        Greg Crawford

        Morisset, Australia



        From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of E
        Bruce Brooks
        Sent: 22 July 2013 18:03
        To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Why did Mark end his account with an empty tomb?





        To: Synoptic
        In Response To: Greg Crawford
        On: Mark
        From: Bruce

        Greg: I have speculated that the earliest forms of Mark's Gospel approached
        the resurrection with the same strategy as Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, namely,
        through appeal to witnesses who are still living.

        Bruce: This is the conventional (that is, the post-70) dating of Mark, but
        that dating cannot stand. It is a misreading of the Caligula prediction in
        Mk 13:14. The latest datable reference in Mark is the one to Agrippa's
        killing of Jacob Zebedee, which was in 44. Nothing in Mark thus requires a
        later completion date than 45. That is, Mark in its finished state is
        exactly a generation earlier than is usually thought. I cannot explain this
        error, except as a collective wish to privilege Pauline theology over the
        Gospels generally.

        On this understanding, Paul in 1 Cor, if that bit is by him, is about a
        decade later than the latest layer in Mark. It was earlier found, eg in
        Koester Ancient Gospels, that most of the attributable dominical material in
        Paul is Markan in character. This is why. That result now needs reassessment
        in light of recent work on interpolations in Paul, but my impression is that
        the general position still holds.

        Greg: Mark's "historic present" suggests a story-telling context, maybe in
        a single-sitting.

        Bruce: Indeed it does, as I have earlier suggested, though whether in a
        single sitting might depend on which stage of Mark we are talking about. The
        present canonical version, by actual test before paying audiences, takes
        about an hour onstage. As far as my own research has gone, the original
        Markan narrative (and I may remark that the historical presents in Mark
        cluster around the earliest one or two layers) was about half that size.
        Meaning, about half an hour. That is still rather long for repeated use,
        though not for exceptional use. But I would look, if anywhere, to segmental
        performance for children.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst





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      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron On: Predictions in Mark From: Bruce Ron: Let me rephrase this. A writer is unlikely to *compose* a promise by his hero which
        Message 3 of 15 , Jul 22, 2013
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          To: Synoptic
          In Response To: Ron
          On: Predictions in Mark
          From: Bruce

          Ron: Let me rephrase this. A writer is unlikely to *compose* a promise by
          his hero which is clearly not fulfilled.

          Bruce: Whether composed or reported, we would expect that no writer who
          knows his stuff would put unfulfilled predictions into his text, or allow
          them to remain if they were there already. But as Ron himself acknowledges,
          there they are nevertheless. (Thus, at Mk 9:1, " Unfortunately Jesus was
          wrong. Mark felt the embarrassment . . .").

          If we see Mark doing things we would not expect him to do, then it may be
          time to recheck our expectations.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst

          (The use of the word "hero" brings up again the tricky question of the genre
          of Mark. That too might be due for a recheck. If, as Kirby and Yarbro
          Collins have independently suggested, Mark originally ended with Mk 15:38,
          what is its genre? What was its point? With whom was it trying to make that
          point? Are we losing complexity here?).
        • David Mealand
          Bruce argues that Mark was complete by 45CE. He also argues that Mark’s account of a rock-cut tomb is the third and latest of the traditions about the
          Message 4 of 15 , Jul 22, 2013
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            Bruce argues that Mark was complete by 45CE. He also argues that
            Mark’s account of a rock-cut tomb is the third and latest of the
            traditions about the burial.

            A burial place had to be outside a city. The site identified by
            Constantine’s mother, and presumably by a tradition prior to
            that much later era, located a place which was by then inside the city.
            The site in question would have become part of the city when the
            latter was enlarged by Herod Agrippa (41-44CE). At least two
            Jewish rock cut tombs from before that date survive nearby, and
            can readily be seen (if one takes a torch and avoids the burial pit).

            I personally would date Mark much later than 45CE, but there
            does seem to be some evidence for the tomb tradition starting prior
            to 44CE.

            David M.


            ---------
            David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


            --
            The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
            Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
          • Chuck Jones
            David, I too would date Mk much later than 45.  I may have missed it, but what is the evidence for the tomb tradition prior to 44 CE? Chuck Rev. Chuck Jones
            Message 5 of 15 , Jul 22, 2013
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              David,

              I too would date Mk much later than 45.  I may have missed it, but what is the evidence for the tomb tradition prior to 44 CE?

              Chuck

              Rev. Chuck Jones
              Atlanta, Georgia


              ________________________________
              From: David Mealand <D.Mealand@...>
              To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Monday, July 22, 2013 5:16 PM
              Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Age of tomb tradition



               

              Bruce argues that Mark was complete by 45CE. He also argues that
              Mark’s account of a rock-cut tomb is the third and latest of the
              traditions about the burial.

              A burial place had to be outside a city. The site identified by
              Constantine’s mother, and presumably by a tradition prior to
              that much later era, located a place which was by then inside the city.
              The site in question would have become part of the city when the
              latter was enlarged by Herod Agrippa (41-44CE). At least two
              Jewish rock cut tombs from before that date survive nearby, and
              can readily be seen (if one takes a torch and avoids the burial pit).

              I personally would date Mark much later than 45CE, but there
              does seem to be some evidence for the tomb tradition starting prior
              to 44CE.

              David M.

              ---------
              David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

              --
              The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
              Scotland, with registration number SC005336.




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • David Mealand
              I said “some evidence” i.e. our current evidence tends in that direction rather than settles the matter conclusively. That there was a burial is in a
              Message 6 of 15 , Jul 25, 2013
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                I said “some evidence” i.e. our current evidence tends in that direction
                rather than settles the matter conclusively.

                That there was a burial is in a tradition available to Paul prior to
                54CE, that it was a rock tomb is Mark c.65-75, that it
                was at a site 250m NW to NNW from the Gennath gate was a
                tradition known later which puts it in the area into which the city
                expanded in 41-44CE. However the tradition arose, it reflects the
                details of the topography prior to 44CE.

                Two carefully argued discussions of the relevant sites can be found on
                the web:

                The first is by Dan Bahat who was the Jerusalem city archaeologist.
                See http://www.bib-arch.org/online-exclusives/easter-06.asp

                The second is the revision of her earlier more sceptical view of the
                matter by Joan E. Taylor.
                See
                http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2010/01/11/Golgotha-A-Reconsideration-of-the-Evidence-for-the-Sites-of-Jesuse28099-Crucifixion-and-Burial.aspx#Article
                (Those with access to NTS 44.2 will find a better version there with
                the correct scripts.)

                David M.




                ---------
                David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


                --
                The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
              • Chuck Jones
                David, Thanks for the follow up.  I would add that in addition to was buried, and rose on the third day was part of the pre-Pauline tradition also.
                Message 7 of 15 , Jul 25, 2013
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                  David,

                  Thanks for the follow up.  I would add that in addition to "was buried," "and rose on the third day" was part of the pre-Pauline tradition also.

                  Chuck 

                  Rev. Chuck Jones
                  Atlanta, Georgia


                  ________________________________
                  From: David Mealand <D.Mealand@...>
                  To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 7:07 AM
                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Age of tomb tradition



                   

                  I said “some evidence” i.e. our current evidence tends in that direction
                  rather than settles the matter conclusively.

                  That there was a burial is in a tradition available to Paul prior to
                  54CE, that it was a rock tomb is Mark c.65-75, that it
                  was at a site 250m NW to NNW from the Gennath gate was a
                  tradition known later which puts it in the area into which the city
                  expanded in 41-44CE. However the tradition arose, it reflects the
                  details of the topography prior to 44CE.

                  Two carefully argued discussions of the relevant sites can be found on
                  the web:

                  The first is by Dan Bahat who was the Jerusalem city archaeologist.
                  See http://www.bib-arch.org/online-exclusives/easter-06.asp

                  The second is the revision of her earlier more sceptical view of the
                  matter by Joan E. Taylor.
                  See
                  http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2010/01/11/Golgotha-A-Reconsideration-of-the-Evidence-for-the-Sites-of-Jesuse28099-Crucifixion-and-Burial.aspx#Article
                  (Those with access to NTS 44.2 will find a better version there with
                  the correct scripts.)

                  David M.

                  ---------
                  David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

                  --
                  The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                  Scotland, with registration number SC005336.




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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