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21470Re: Praised woman in Mark

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  • sdavies0
    Aug 28, 2006
      > As I read the story in Mark, I have never received the impression
      that 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
      it.
      Is this a common way of reading this story?
      >
      > John C. Poirier

      Well, it says: "8 She has done what she could. She has anticipated
      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.

      Steve Davies
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