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8599Re: [XTalk] Dating of GMark

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  • Michael A. Turton
    Dec 1, 2001
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      > Clearly he is telling us that Alexander and Rufus fit into the mold
      > of "legendary characters", yet he has no evidence at all that they
      > are legendary. In fact, the scanty evidence we have on these
      > individuals (found entirely in Mark 13:21) is that they are not
      > legendary. Therefore his speculation is unfounded, and the most
      > plausible conclusion is that the brothers are incidental figures
      > inteded to help the reader identify who Simone of Cyrene happens to
      > be.
      >

      There are at least three plausible conclusions about these characters:

      1) they are historical characters that Mark is properly citing (both
      clauses must obtain for Brian's claim about them to be plausible).

      2) they are characters, perhaps in the common/local pool of Christian
      legend Mark borrowed to lend his story truthfulness (or some variation
      on the borrowing/inventing theme).

      3) they are later interpolations, not in the Gospel of Mark that Matt
      and Luke used, which is why they don't mention Rufus and Alexander.

      There are other logical possibilities. Given the evidence we have,
      there is no way to choose between them. It is simply too scanty.

      > And this is a red herring. Concerning the question being discussed,
      > it makes no difference if John is true or not. At most you are trying

      The question being discussed is whether Simon of Cyrene is a historical
      character! If he is a historical character and Mark is properly using
      him, why isn't he in John? You bet this basic contradiction is relevant
      to the discussion at hand. Which account is the correct account, and how
      can you choose between them?

      Some commentators argue that Simon cannot be historical because Mark
      says he was "coming in from the fields/country" and a Jew would not be
      working on a high holy day. How do you respond to that?

      Michael
      --
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