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10979Re: [XTalk] Mark

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  • DaGoi@aol.com
    Oct 5, 2002
      Mark was written to tell about the significance of Jesus. I assume the
      existence of Q (or a Q-like document) and the existence of a zillion
      questions constantly to be answered by preachers like Mark; these are the
      answers that were honed down by the preachers.

      Mark has little teaching material; mainly parables, the Jesus apocalypse, and
      apothegms (teachings in narrative settings). It is meant to travel or
      coexist with a fuller document of the teachings and that must have already
      existed in use among the cult (that is, gMk is not a document complete unto
      itself because it does not have a full teaching), and that teaching source
      was already being quoted and read in the fellowship gatherings of the cult.
      Mark gives a fuller and written interpretation of the fulfilled prophesies
      from the scriptures common to the other parties of the Jews, and means to
      write not a modern biography but only the 'ministry', the cult significant
      story, as many of the characters are presented in the OT. He is writing the
      book of the Messiah for the new cult, to travel in the same package with Q.

      He also writes in order to justify himself; Paul at one point had thought
      Mark was a good for nothing - the issue separated Paul and Barnabas - and a
      reconciliation of sorts was effected only by Peter shoving Mark down Paul's
      throat, but some readers of the letters of Paul may still have mixed feelings
      about Mark. Mark writes to show that the apostles too were merely human, and
      time and again had let Jesus down.
      Mark of course does not equate the significance of Paul, who is merely a
      preacher and writer, with Jesus the messiah, but probably figures Paul is
      contentious and self-righteous; nevertheless Paul's personal and
      philosophical influence on the church as writer and theologian is a fait
      accompli. Mark probably does not get out from under the dark cloud Paul put
      him in until he manages to send Revelations to the seven churches (assuming
      that the gMk is not truncated because of his death before he finished his

      gMt's author writes to conflate the two documents into one and to provide a
      fuller 'biography'. He values both works (gMk and Q) but sees that the
      combination of the two that he writes will be a better document, and he is
      successful; gMk and Q both go into a period of decline and disuse in favor of
      gMt (maybe how the ending of gMk disappears). For a while gMt is the sole
      book of the Messiah in use in the cult.

      Luke is not as impressed with gMt as the cult both before and after Luke is.
      Luke gathers some further data and writes what to him is a better account.
      He has read gMt, unimpressed, and uses much the same genre (birth narratives,
      genealogies, gMk/Q mixture) as gMt does - that is, he writes in more the
      fuller genre of gMt than of gMk - he writes (so he thinks) a better gMt;
      dividing the long speeches into a more polished narrative (so he thinks).
      Luke may also be writing in answer, mainly disagreement, to the discrepancies
      of gJn though there are also indications that gJn is written partly to
      harmonize some things in gMt/gMk/gLk (as for example in the gJn Anointing

      It is not a problem why Q disappeared so much as the problem of the
      survivability of gMk, but my hypothesis of that gets even further afield and
      is best left for another time - the above I assume is enough irritation for
      you now. :0)

      Peace and Joy,

      Bill Foley

      In a message dated 10/02/2 12:50:25 PM, Bill Arnal wrote:

      <<Hey all:

      *WHY* was Mark written? Why write a "biography" of Jesus at all?

      (And how's that for a question out of the blue?)

      William Arnal
      Department of Religious Studies
      University of Regina
      Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2>>
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