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11366Re: [XTalk] Jesus, James et al and Their Observant Parents

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  • Ron Price
    Nov 1, 2002
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      Ted Weeden wrote:

      >I. Jesus' Family: Basic Facts
      > .....
      >(1) Jesus had a mother ...

      Ted,

      O.K. so far. ;-)

      > whose name was Mary (Mk. 6:3; ...

      But we only have Mark's word for this. In first century Judaism the
      usual identification of a person was in the form "x son of y". So I
      doubt whether Mark would have known the name of Jesus' mother, in which
      case he could easily have invented a name. You may think it *probable*
      that her name was Mary, but I don't see how you can label it as a "basic
      fact".

      >(5) Jesus, at one point, severed ties with his family or at least
      >disassociated himself from his family (Mk. 3:31-35; GTh 99; voted pink by
      >Jesus Seminar [FJS, _Acts_, 73]; ...

      Most of the Jesus Seminar folk appear to be under the impression that
      GTh was independent of Mark, and no doubt their pink vote reflects the
      consequent belief that the disassociation is multiply attested. I have
      challenged GTh's independence on this list (3 Aug 2001). If GTh is
      discounted, we only have Mark's word for the disassociation. Also there
      is a clear motive: Mark was a supporter of Paul, and Paul had been at
      loggerheads with James, Jesus' brother.

      >(6) Jesus' family, at one point, thought that he, because of his conduct in
      >his public ministry, was out of his mind, i.e. demon-possessed (Mk. 3: 21;
      >voted pink by the Jesus Seminar [FJS, _ Acts_, 73]; and see Werner Kelber,
      >_The Kingdom in Mark_, 25f., and Steve Davies' XTalk post, "Mk 3:21"
      >[Crosstalk2, April 19, 2002]), and moved to intervene against him. Mahlon
      >Smith ("Israel's Prodigal Son,"453, n. 63) cites the fellows of the Jesus
      >Seminar voting pink on the issue of "Jesus' brothers . . . not [being] in
      >sympathy with him." That particular dimension of the family's view of
      >Jesus, however, may perhaps be a Markan motif created by Mark as part of
      >Mark's polemic against the family .....

      Yes, Mark conducted a polemic against Jesus' family. What baffles me
      is why, having seen this possibility, you seem happy to take material
      which plausibly belongs to this polemic (see the paragraph below), class
      it as a "basic fact", and build an intricate argument on top of it.

      > ..... It does appear that Jesus' family,
      >for whatever reason, chose not to be associated with Jesus or have anything
      >to do with his public ministry, at least there is no indication in the
      >Synoptic Gospels that the family aligned itself with Jesus' vision or
      >kingdom-cause;

      The other synoptic writers were strongly influenced by Mark. They toned
      down Mark's polemic, e.g. by omitting: "When his family heard it they
      went out to restrain him" (Mk 3:21), but they stopped short of writing
      Jesus' family back into active involvement in his ministry. This would
      have introduced a fundamental and blatant contradiction of Mark which
      would have undermined the reliability of the synoptics in the eyes of
      their first century readers. Instead Matthew and Luke rehabilitated
      Jesus' family in more subtle ways such as presenting birth stories in
      which Mary and Joseph are heroes.

      > and the evangelist John, if his comment is historically
      >accurate, states explicitly that Jesus' brothers did not believe in him
      >(7:5).

      I don't believe this comment is historically accurate. The
      'Evangelist' John (though not the author of John 21) was, in Goulder's
      terminology, an "ultra-Pauline". He followed Mark in painting a negative
      picture of the original disciples.

      Ron Price

      Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

      e-mail: ron.price@...

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