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Re: [Synoptic-L] Cutting off the High Priest's Slave's Ear

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  • Stephen Carlson
    That s a great reference, Jack. Just what I was looking for. The reference for my vagueness is that I don t know what to make of the detail that his man was
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 20, 2013
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      That's a great reference, Jack. Just what I was looking for.
       
      The reference for my vagueness is that I don't know what to make of the detail that his man was the high priest's servant/slave. Did they participate in cultic duty too?
       
      Stephen


      On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM, poirier <poirier@...> wrote:
       

      Stephen,

      I think the answer is "yes". Cutting off priests' ears is a
      practice known from elsewhere, where disqualification from
      cultic duty appears to be the intended effect -- see
      Josephus. *Ant.* 14.365-66. Viviano interprets the incident
      in the gospels along those lines ("The High Priests'
      Servant's Ear: Mark 14:47," *RevB* 96 (1989) 71-80). Raymond
      Brown thinks Viviano's interpretation is wrong, but his
      counterarguments are very weak (*Death of the Messiah*,
      1.273-74).

      I see that your question focuses more precisely on whether
      he could "visit" all the parts of the Temple where he was
      previously allowed to visit, which is a little different
      from asking whether he could continue to do his job. I can't
      give you a definitive answer at the moment.

      John C. Poirier

      ----- Original Message Follows -----
      From: Stephen Carlson <stemmatic@...>
      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Synoptic-L] Cutting off the High Priest's Slave's
      Ear
      Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 11:16:38 +0200



      > Matt 26:51 // Mark 14:47 // Luke 22:50 // John 28:10
      > There is a striking incident at Jesus's arrest where one
      > of those with him takes out his sword and chops off the
      > ear of the high priest's slave (identified as Peter and
      > Malchus, respectively, in John).
      >
      > Would anyone know if this wound would have had
      > ramifications for this slave in visiting parts of the
      > temple?
      >
      > Stephen
      > --
      > Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
      > Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
      >




      --
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
      Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
    • poirier
      Stephen, My guess is that the high priest s servant would have been a priest -- that way he could have accompanied the high priest to more places within the
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 21, 2013
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        Stephen,

        My guess is that the high priest's servant would have been a
        priest -- that way he could have accompanied the high priest
        to more places within the Temple.

        I looked in VanderKam's *From Joshua to Caiaphas: High
        Priests after the Exile*, to see if he had any information
        or guesses about this servant, but he barely mentions him.


        All best,

        Jack




        ----- Original Message Follows -----
        From: Stephen Carlson <stemmatic@...>
        To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Cutting off the High Priest's
        Slave's Ear
        Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 13:30:48 +0200

        > That's a great reference, Jack. Just what I was looking
        > for.
        >
        > The reference for my vagueness is that I don't know what
        > to make of the detail that his man was the high priest's
        > servant/slave. Did they participate in cultic duty too?
        >
        > Stephen
        >
        >
        > On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM, poirier
        > <poirier@...> wrote:
        >
        > > **
        > >
        > >
        > > Stephen,
        > >
        > > I think the answer is "yes". Cutting off priests' ears
        > > is a practice known from elsewhere, where
        > > disqualification from cultic duty appears to be the
        > > intended effect -- see Josephus. *Ant.* 14.365-66.
        > > Viviano interprets the incident in the gospels along
        > > those lines ("The High Priests' Servant's Ear: Mark
        > > 14:47," *RevB* 96 (1989) 71-80). Raymond Brown thinks
        > > Viviano's interpretation is wrong, but his
        > > counterarguments are very weak (*Death of the Messiah*,
        > 1.273-74). >
        > > I see that your question focuses more precisely on
        > > whether he could "visit" all the parts of the Temple
        > > where he was previously allowed to visit, which is a
        > > little different from asking whether he could continue
        > > to do his job. I can't give you a definitive answer at
        > the moment. >
        > > John C. Poirier
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message Follows -----
        > > From: Stephen Carlson <stemmatic@...>
        > > To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: [Synoptic-L] Cutting off the High Priest's
        > > Slave's Ear
        > > Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 11:16:38 +0200
        > >
        > >
        > > > Matt 26:51 // Mark 14:47 // Luke 22:50 // John 28:10
        > > > There is a striking incident at Jesus's arrest where
        > > > one of those with him takes out his sword and chops
        > > > off the ear of the high priest's slave (identified as
        > > > Peter and Malchus, respectively, in John).
        > > >
        > > > Would anyone know if this wound would have had
        > > > ramifications for this slave in visiting parts of the
        > > > temple?
        > > >
        > > > Stephen
        > > > --
        > > > Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
        > > > Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        > --
        > --
        > Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
        > Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
        >
      • Stephen Carlson
        Interesting. Thanks, Jack. I ll be able to get Viviano s article on Monday once the journal issue is pulled from storage. I consulted Brown about it, and he s
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 21, 2013
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          Interesting. Thanks, Jack.

          I'll be able to get Viviano's article on Monday once the journal issue is pulled from storage. I consulted Brown about it, and he's skeptical about V.'s identification of the high priest's servant as a *sagan* and the deliberateness of the auricular mutilation. Brown doesn't do much with the effect of the multilation, though.

          I'm really intrigued by the use of the article out-of-the-blue in the phrase τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ ἀρχιερέως. It's as if the man was important somehow.

          Stephen


          On Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 3:32 PM, poirier <poirier@...> wrote:
           

          Stephen,

          My guess is that the high priest's servant would have been a
          priest -- that way he could have accompanied the high priest
          to more places within the Temple.

          I looked in VanderKam's *From Joshua to Caiaphas: High
          Priests after the Exile*, to see if he had any information
          or guesses about this servant, but he barely mentions him.

          All best,

          Jack



          ----- Original Message Follows -----
          From: Stephen Carlson <stemmatic@...>
          To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Cutting off the High Priest's
          Slave's Ear
          Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 13:30:48 +0200


          > That's a great reference, Jack. Just what I was looking
          > for.
          >
          > The reference for my vagueness is that I don't know what
          > to make of the detail that his man was the high priest's
          > servant/slave. Did they participate in cultic duty too?
          >
          > Stephen
          >
          >
          > On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM, poirier
          > <poirier@...> wrote:
          >
          > > **

          > >
          > >
          > > Stephen,
          > >
          > > I think the answer is "yes". Cutting off priests' ears
          > > is a practice known from elsewhere, where
          > > disqualification from cultic duty appears to be the
          > > intended effect -- see Josephus. *Ant.* 14.365-66.
          > > Viviano interprets the incident in the gospels along
          > > those lines ("The High Priests' Servant's Ear: Mark
          > > 14:47," *RevB* 96 (1989) 71-80). Raymond Brown thinks
          > > Viviano's interpretation is wrong, but his
          > > counterarguments are very weak (*Death of the Messiah*,
          > 1.273-74). >
          > > I see that your question focuses more precisely on
          > > whether he could "visit" all the parts of the Temple
          > > where he was previously allowed to visit, which is a
          > > little different from asking whether he could continue
          > > to do his job. I can't give you a definitive answer at
          > the moment. >
          > > John C. Poirier
          > >
          > > ----- Original Message Follows -----
          > > From: Stephen Carlson <stemmatic@...>
          > > To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
          > > Subject: [Synoptic-L] Cutting off the High Priest's
          > > Slave's Ear
          > > Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 11:16:38 +0200
          > >
          > >
          > > > Matt 26:51 // Mark 14:47 // Luke 22:50 // John 28:10
          > > > There is a striking incident at Jesus's arrest where
          > > > one of those with him takes out his sword and chops
          > > > off the ear of the high priest's slave (identified as
          > > > Peter and Malchus, respectively, in John).
          > > >
          > > > Would anyone know if this wound would have had
          > > > ramifications for this slave in visiting parts of the
          > > > temple?
          > > >
          > > > Stephen
          > > > --
          > > > Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
          > > > Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          > --
          > --
          > Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
          > Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
          >




          --
          --
          Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
          Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
        • David Hindley
          If one takes the account literally (the ear of a slave of the high priest was cut off in a struggle to arrest Jesus in a memorial garden), it would depend on
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 21, 2013
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            If one takes the account literally (the ear of a slave of the high priest was cut off in a struggle to arrest Jesus in a memorial garden), it would depend on whether the slave was an Israelite or a gentile. Two problems though: 1) An Israelite should not properly be the slave of another Jew. 2) both maimed Israelites and gentiles would be restricted to the court of the Gentiles.

            Of course there are ways to wiggle out of these problems. The term "slave" could have been used in the ANE sense of "temple slave," which is a title and not always indicative of the true status of the "slave" (i.e., they were all so thoroughly Hellenized and no different than Asians and Egyptians, even in their hiring policies and job descriptions). Powerful people routinely circumvent legal restrictions, and so we should not be surprised that the evil/corrupt/sell-out High Priest forced illegal Israelite slaves to do his bidding (Jew bashing). The slave was just a low-level slave on "goon" duty. (Jesus cares about all men, no matter how lowly, and routinely stops in the middle of a divinely orchestrated ritualized play to do good things like this, showing how Christian ethics is miles above Jewish ethics). Etc.

            John is correct, this has something to do with the story of Hyrcanus. It is difficult to determine what purpose the story of the ear severing served (pun was not intended) and for whom, as we are likely looking at the end of a fairly long rhetorical development. The criterion of embarrassment might suggest that the disciples of Jesus had at some point actually severed a man's ear during an altercation involving swords, then what do we make of Jesus and his disciples? Etc. Unfortunately, that problem may even be harder to deal with than the former ones.

            David C. Hindley
            That Insurance Fellow
            Youngstown, Ohio

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com]
            Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2013 6:03 AM
            To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: Cutting off the High Priest's Slave's Ear
            From: Stephen Carlson


            Message
            ________________________________________________________________________
            1a. Re: Cutting off the High Priest's Slave's Ear
            Posted by: "Stephen Carlson" stemmatic@... scarlson_mindspring
            Date: Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:30 am ((PDT))

            That's a great reference, Jack. Just what I was looking for.

            The reference for my vagueness is that I don't know what to make of the detail that his man was the high priest's servant/slave. Did they participate in cultic duty too?

            Stephen


            On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM, poirier <poirier@...> wrote:

            > **
            >
            >
            > Stephen,
            >
            > I think the answer is "yes". Cutting off priests' ears is a practice
            > known from elsewhere, where disqualification from cultic duty appears
            > to be the intended effect -- see Josephus. *Ant.* 14.365-66. Viviano
            > interprets the incident in the gospels along those lines ("The High
            > Priests'
            > Servant's Ear: Mark 14:47," *RevB* 96 (1989) 71-80). Raymond Brown
            > thinks Viviano's interpretation is wrong, but his counterarguments are
            > very weak (*Death of the Messiah*, 1.273-74).
            >
            > I see that your question focuses more precisely on whether he could
            > "visit" all the parts of the Temple where he was previously allowed to
            > visit, which is a little different from asking whether he could
            > continue to do his job. I can't give you a definitive answer at the
            > moment.
            >
            > John C. Poirier
            >
            > ----- Original Message Follows -----
            > From: Stephen Carlson <stemmatic@...>
            > To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [Synoptic-L] Cutting off the High Priest's Slave's Ear
            > Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 11:16:38 +0200
            >
            >
            > > Matt 26:51 // Mark 14:47 // Luke 22:50 // John 28:10
            > > There is a striking incident at Jesus's arrest where one
            > > of those with him takes out his sword and chops off the
            > > ear of the high priest's slave (identified as Peter and
            > > Malchus, respectively, in John).
            > >
            > > Would anyone know if this wound would have had
            > > ramifications for this slave in visiting parts of the
            > > temple?
            > >
            > > Stephen
            > > --
            > > Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
            > > Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
            > >
            >
            >
            >



            --
            --
            Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
            Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala




            Messages in this topic (3)



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          • David Mealand
            That the slave of the High Priest lost an ear seems to be the one point on which the varying accounts agree most. The assailant is vaguely described, and only
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 22, 2013
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              That the slave of the High Priest lost an ear seems to
              be the one point on which the varying accounts agree most.

              The assailant is vaguely described, and only identified as
              Simon Peter in the Fourth Gospel. The people effecting the arrest
              are said to be “from” the chief priests and elders in Mark and
              Matthew (Mark also has scribes involved), Luke additionally mentions
              commanders of the Temple guard, whereas the FG adds a speira
              (cohort) and a chiliarch (military tribune) suggesting a
              combined operation.

              As well as the question of whether the loss of the ear caused a
              cultic disqualification, there is the question of why this character
              was present at all. Might the Temple guard and its commander(s)
              have been considered not enough, and a personal agent also sent?
              Or was the agent sent with a group of irregulars? Some states and
              some institutions do work in one or other of these ways.

              David M.




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


              --
              The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
              Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
            • Stephen Carlson
              I ve had a chance to read the Viviano article in Revue Biblique. It is on point. Thanks, Jack, for the cite. Some pluses: + It is nice to see Viviano address
              Message 6 of 16 , Sep 23, 2013
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                I've had a chance to read the Viviano article in Revue Biblique. It is on point. Thanks, Jack, for the cite.
                 
                Some pluses:
                 
                + It is nice to see Viviano address the assumption that theology and history are incompatible. Here, V. takes what had been thought to be a historical detail merely because it lacked a theological motive and shows that there is a theological import behind the act.
                 
                + I think he develops well the first-century currency of the notion that mutilation of the ear is somehow disqualifying for cultic service, though many details remain obscure.
                 
                + He is right to call attention to the importance of the high priest's servant but his actual proposal of a segan remains speculative, perhaps necessarily so in light of the slimness of the evidence.
                 
                Some minuses:
                 
                - I don't agree that WTARION means an earlobe. Yes, the form is a (double) diminutive, but Mark's (and John's) register often uses diminuative forms without diminuative import. I think it just means the (outer) ear, and that's how BDAG goes.
                 
                - Because I don't buy into the earlobe interpretation, it doesn't follow to me that the ear mutilation is intentional. In fact, it is hard for me to imagine that the person with the sword/large knife would have had the time to pin down the victim, hold the earlobe, and slice off the end. Rather, I agree with Brown that it's the kind of wound that would happen in a swordfight.
                 
                Nevertheless, the mutilation need not be intentional to work for Mark's literary purposes. There is a certain sense of Markan irony here: in the very act of arresting Jesus, which the audience knows to be going against God's will, the arrestor renders himself unfit for serving God.
                 
                Stephen Carlson
                --
                Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
                Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
              • Ronald Price
                I wonder whether much of this discussion of the high priest s slave and his ear is missing the point, for the incident is unlikely to be historical. Nineham
                Message 7 of 16 , Sep 23, 2013
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                  Re: [Synoptic-L] Cutting off the High Priest's Slave's Ear I wonder whether much of this discussion of the high priest's slave and his ear is missing the point, for the incident is unlikely to be historical. Nineham observes that the action looks pointless after the arrest had been accomplished. Also aggression by a "bystander" looks odd, for the arrest scenario described by Mark up to v.46 included only an armed crowd sent by the religious authorities and a presumably unarmed group of disciples.

                  One of the few certain facts in Mark's narrative is that Jesus must have been arrested at some point prior to his crucifixion. This arrest, together with the crucifixion, may have given rise to rumours that Jesus was a LHSTHS (bandit, v.48), a term which Brandon says was used by the Romans as a contemptuous label for zealots. Indeed one of the original disciples of Jesus appears to have been a Zealot (SIMWNA TON KANANAION, Mk 3:18).

                  It seems to me that Mark probably created the episode Mk 14:47-49 in order to counter such rumours. Mark was arguing for the benefit of his Roman readers that if Jesus taught day after day in the temple, he could not have been a LHSTHS, for the authorities did not lay hands on him then. And incidentally (Mark was arguing) the arrest in this case did not indicate the guilt of the person arrested, for the scriptures had to be fulfilled (v. 49).

                  Ron Price,

                  Derbyshire, UK

                  http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                • Stephen Carlson
                  ... For me, the question of historicity is jumping the gun. Whether or not it happened, Mark s thought the account meant something to the immediate audience of
                  Message 8 of 16 , Sep 23, 2013
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                    On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM, Ronald Price <ron-price@...> wrote:

                    I wonder whether much of this discussion of the high priest's slave and his ear is missing the point, for the incident is unlikely to be historical.

                     
                    For me, the question of historicity is jumping the gun. Whether or not it happened, Mark's thought the account meant something to the immediate audience of the gospel. I want to know what that something is. For example, then Mark introduces the high priest's servant with the (definite) article, what would that have meant? When he narrates the mutilation of the ear, is that detail a big deal at the time or a minor bit of narrative color?
                     
                    Stephen
                    --
                    Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
                    Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
                  • E Bruce Brooks
                    To: Synoptic On: Cut Off Ear From: Bruce Given the Markan narrative, Luke as usual corrects tiny inconcinnities. Readers of Mark might well ask, Hey. where is
                    Message 9 of 16 , Sep 23, 2013
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                      To: Synoptic

                      On: Cut Off Ear

                      From: Bruce

                       

                      Given the Markan narrative, Luke as usual corrects tiny inconcinnities. Readers of Mark might well ask, Hey. where is this sword coming from all of a sudden? Luke answers that question, or rather prevents it from being asked, by inserting something further up in the story (Lk 22:35-38), when he has Jesus order his disciples (sic, this also deals with Mark’s ambiguous “one of those who stood by”) to sell their mantle and buy a sword. It turns out that there are two swords in the party, so that the instruction is actually superfluous, but anyway, we now know where the swords came from.

                       

                      This solves the question of how that sword came to be, and it also prevents puzzlement about whether it was some onlooker or one of the disciple group who entered the fray.

                       

                      Of course, narrative patches can do only so much. Luke leaves behind questions like, Why start swordfighting, if Jesus will immediately rebuke it, and order it to stop, and (nice Beloved Physician touch here) heal the damaged ear?

                       

                      In the end the episode remains puzzling. I should suspect that this is because it was not a mere piece of narrative in the first place, but at least in part a historically given datum: Jesus was arrested, but not after a scuffle, from which all those with Jesus managed to escape. Mark, who, as some of us including Loisy think, was on the scene when it happened, is probably doing what he can with it, but compared to free imagination, actual memories are somewhat resistant material.

                       

                      Bruce

                       

                      E Bruce Brooks

                      Warring States Project

                      University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                       

                       

                    • Ronald Price
                      ... Stephen, I ve already stated what I think Mark meant by the story. I suppose I could have added that his original audience probably accepted Mark s
                      Message 10 of 16 , Sep 23, 2013
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                        Re: [Synoptic-L] Cutting off the High Priest's Slave's Ear Stephen Carlson wrote:

                        For me, the question of historicity is jumping the gun. Whether or not it happened, Mark's thought the account meant something to the immediate audience of the gospel. I want to know what that something is. For example, then Mark introduces the high priest's servant with the (definite) article, what would that have meant? When he narrates the mutilation of the ear, is that detail a big deal at the time or a minor bit of narrative color?

                        Stephen,

                        I've already stated what I think Mark meant by the story. I suppose I could have added that his original audience probably accepted Mark's argument that Jesus was not a bandit/zealot.

                        But the original audience of the gospel would have been mostly uneducated Christians who surely would not have cared two hoots about how many servants the high priest had, and even less about whether the mutilation would debar the servant from further priestly duties. Mark himself may not have known (or cared about) the answers to these questions.

                        Thus I side firmly with the 'minor bit of narrative color' interpretation of TON DOULON and AFEILEN AUTOU TO WTARION.

                        Ron Price,

                        Derbyshire, UK

                        http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                      • Ken Olson
                        Stephen, I m not sure we can assume the reference was ever meaningful to anyone other than the author of Mark. I think he might be narrating the fulfillment of
                        Message 11 of 16 , Sep 23, 2013
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                          Stephen,

                          I'm not sure we can assume the reference was ever meaningful to anyone other than the author of Mark. I think he might be narrating the fulfillment of Zechariah 13.7 and possibly using that as jumping off point to bring in other OT texts (Zech. 11.17? Amos 3.12? Others?) through word associations that we can't entirely follow. Or at least I haven't been able to. 

                          Best,

                          Ken

                          Ken Olson
                          PhD Candidate, New Testament
                          Duke University


                          To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                          From: stemmatic@...
                          Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 14:14:37 +0200
                          Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Cutting off the High Priest's Slave's Ear

                           

                          On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM, Ronald Price <ron-price@...> wrote:
                          I wonder whether much of this discussion of the high priest's slave and his ear is missing the point, for the incident is unlikely to be historical.
                           
                          For me, the question of historicity is jumping the gun. Whether or not it happened, Mark's thought the account meant something to the immediate audience of the gospel. I want to know what that something is. For example, then Mark introduces the high priest's servant with the (definite) article, what would that have meant? When he narrates the mutilation of the ear, is that detail a big deal at the time or a minor bit of narrative color?
                           
                          Stephen
                          --
                          Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
                          Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala

                        • Stephen Carlson
                          ... It s not important to me whether anyone actually understood Mark, but the article generally means that the reference is expected to be somehow meaningful
                          Message 12 of 16 , Sep 23, 2013
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                            On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 6:17 PM, Ken Olson <kenolson101@...> wrote:
                            I'm not sure we can assume the reference was ever meaningful to anyone other than the author of Mark. I think he might be narrating the fulfillment of Zechariah 13.7 and possibly using that as jumping off point to bring in other OT texts (Zech. 11.17? Amos 3.12? Others?) through word associations that we can't entirely follow. Or at least I haven't been able to. 

                            It's not important to me whether anyone actually understood Mark, but the article generally means that the reference is expected to be somehow meaningful to his audience, as he conceives of them. To hold otherwise is to assert that he was incompetent in conveying what he wanted to convey. That is certainly a real possibility, but as three other writers also use the article to refer to this person, I don't think it can be chalked to an idiosyncrasy on Mark's part.

                            Stephen
                            --
                            Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
                            Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
                          • David Mealand
                            A while back David Hindley made several shrewd points including ... The criterion of embarrassment might suggest that the disciples of Jesus had at some point
                            Message 13 of 16 , Sep 23, 2013
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                              A while back David Hindley made several shrewd points including
                              this one:

                              -----
                              The criterion of embarrassment might suggest that the disciples of
                              Jesus had at some point actually severed a man's ear during an
                              altercation involving swords, then what do we make of Jesus and his
                              disciples? Etc. Unfortunately, that problem may even be harder to
                              deal with than the former ones.
                              -----

                              I agree that it is well worth asking what Mark thought the consequences
                              were for the casualty, but it might also be worth not letting go of the
                              fact that he narrates something with such inconvenient implications.
                              I don't think I have read anything on this which offers a satisfactory
                              resolution of the problem.

                              David M.


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


                              --
                              The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                              Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                            • Greg Crawford
                              Perhaps the meaning of the event is much closer to the surface. It would seem a recurrent theme along the road to Jerusalem was that the disciples could not
                              Message 14 of 16 , Sep 23, 2013
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                                Perhaps the meaning of the event is much closer to the surface. It would seem a recurrent theme along the road to Jerusalem was that the disciples could not come to terms with the fact that Jesus was not a military messiah. After all, what messiah had not been a military leader until Jesus? If Jesus is travelling to Jerusalem for a showdown, the disciples would naturally think in military terms. Surely the power of the one who exercised a ministry in Galilee would enable them to overcome any kind of military deployment.

                                As for the failure to identify Peter as the culprit, I would not be grateful in his shoes if anyone did that before I had died.

                                Greg

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