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10933Arnal Re: [XTalk] Mark

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  • Robert M. Schacht
    Oct 3, 2002
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      At 12:39 PM 10/03/02, you wrote:

      >...I do think that no one so far has even come close to answering the
      >I had in mind, but that's at least partly due to the vagueness of my

      ...which is why I was seeking a clarification.

      >What I meant was, why THAT, why THAT WAY, why THEN? In other words,

      Good clarification! Thanks.

      >I was not asking at all "why write about Jesus?" to which the various
      >responses serve as adequate amswers (i.e., because he was impressive,
      >because someone asked him to, because memory was fading or deemed unreliable
      >in the long term, etc.). Folks wrote about Jesus before Mark: Paul does, Q
      >does, Thomas does, and so do the various sources that MUST be postulated
      >behind Mark (miracle catenae, etc.). But I am assuming that Mark was the
      >first to write a connected, more or less sequential, "story of Jesus" that
      >tried to embrace and mingle the various ways of viewing him; and I am
      >assuming that in doing so, he created the pattern which subsequent "stories
      >of Jesus" followed.
      >So my question was: why did he do *when* he did it (as opposed to it having
      >been done earlier, or later, or not at all)? Why this form as opposed to
      >some other form (e.g., a compilation of lists of sayings, lists of miracles,
      >etc.)? Why include a passion narrative and why give it such prominence? And
      >so on. I want to stress that the way GMark talks about Jesus (and I mean in
      >broad outline, not just in terms of redactional niceties) is not the only
      >way possible. So again, simply citing motives to "preserve" the Jesus
      >traditions does not at all explain Mark -- it only explains why some
      >Christians may have written *something*. I hope this is clear.

      Much more so. Thanks!

      > >Mark did not set out to write a biography, if we take him at his word:
      > > * 1:1 identifies Mark as "the beginning of the gospel" of Jesus Christ.
      > >It does not say "the biography" of JC.
      >But I doubt very much that "gospel" is here intended as a literary generic

      Me, too. I don't think Mark meant "gospel" as a genre, but rather as a
      simple description of what he intended to write about.

      > The "gospel" is presumably ANY announcement about Jesus and
      >salavtion through/from him. Why would "the gospel" take the form of a
      >sequential narrative?....

      Good question. Maybe part of the message was the messenger?

      > >being forgotten, or distorted. I note with interest that Mark >identified
      > >his subject as the "beginning" of the gospel. Do you suppose he meant >the
      > >*original* gospel?
      >This is an interesting point -- "arche" in v.1 makes it sound like
      >"euangelion" is indeed intended as a genre, but I think it can't be. So to
      >what does "arche" refer? In a way, it places the sequential or chronological
      >element front and centre from the very first word of the text.

      Thanks. Nice point.
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