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11011Re: [XTalk] Mark

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  • Eric Eve
    Oct 7, 2002
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      Bill Foley wrote:

      > 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
      [much snipped]

      > 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
      > scene).

      > 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)

      I broadly agree with you in relation to gMt and gLk, but I do have one
      problem with this. Once you propose (quite rightly, IMHO) that aLk knew gMt,
      the problem is not why Q disappeared but why we should think it ever existed
      in the first place. Or this that what you're intending to express by the
      phrase "or Q-like document"? If aLk knew gMt it surely no longer makes much
      sense to reconstruct Q largely on the basis of the double tradition, and
      even if aMt had access to other sources besides gMk (and I would agree with
      you that he probably did), how "Q-like" can we suppose it or they to have
      been?

      Eric:
      << Mark seeks to persuade his audience that Jesus' death
      wasn't some ghastly accident or terrible failure. I think Mark may be doing
      other things besides, but it does seem to me that one thing he may be doing
      is to provide a narrative legitimation for a movement with an embarrasingly
      crucified founder (if one may put it that way), although I suspect that the
      legitimation is aimed at insiders rather than outsiders as a way of keeping
      them on board rather than with any apologetic intent.>>

      Bill:
      > But the movement is already about forty years old, growing wildly, and
      does
      > not seem to need this at such a late date.

      Yes, but around this time many Jews were busily telling and retelling
      stories of their founder figures (e.g. Moses) and they'd been around a lot
      longer that 40 years! Moreover, by the time Mark was written the first
      generation of Jesus' followers would mainly have died away, along with their
      memories and, perhaps, the first flush of enthusiasm. Of course one may also
      want to look to external events that could have precipitated a crisis, such
      as the Jewish War, in which having a founder of Jewish origins crucified as
      a rebel by the Romans might suddenly start looking like a freshly sensitive
      issue!

      Best wishes,

      Eric
      ----------------------------------
      Eric Eve
      Harris Manchester College, Oxford
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