21470Re: Praised woman in Mark
- Aug 28, 2006
> As I read the story in Mark, I have never received the impressionthat the woman knew that Jesus was going to die soon, or that she
intended her anointing of his body in the way that Jesus explained
Is this a common way of reading this story?
>Well, it says: "8 She has done what she could. She has anticipated
> John C. Poirier
anointing my body for burial. 9 Amen, I say to you, wherever the
gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be
told in memory of her."
I assume that when J says that "she has anticipated anointing my
body for burial" and that, therefore, she deserves uniquely high
praises, that indeed must be what she intended to do and it wasn't
some sort of accident. Anointing people for burial some days before
they actually die is unusual, and whenever I've done it a cascade of
global praises has not come forth.
Assuming that Jesus just stays dead, like so many others have, and
that his body is later anointed in the normal course of events, then
what the woman does has no particular importance at all. But in
Mark's narrative the other women quite specifically are said to have
brought spices so that they might go and anoint him. What to their
wondering eyes doth appear but some guy who tells them that Jesus
has gone off to Galilee and they get to return and cash in their
spices for treats.
So, who anoints Jesus' body for burial and when seems to be a
crucial narrative point, one woman is praised for doing it, but in
order to do it must do so ahead of normal time, and the women who
don't do it presumably should have known better. I'd like to know
more about the guy in the tomb; the revised Mark versions denote the
guy as an angel but in Mark he's just a guy. The guy is in a
contrasted narrative pair with the women who came to anoint Jesus,
I'd say. The guy and the praised woman both are anonymous and, I
think, fully aware of The Truth, to be contrasted with, first, the
men disciples who represent the Social Gospel, and then the women
disciples. I think it is literarily a neat bit of business. Jesus'
named guys contrasted with anonymous woman; Jesus' named women
contrasted with anonymous guy.
As for nard being used by a woman to anoint Jesus as Christ, I think
that point of view is mistaken.
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