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Mark's Epilogue (15,42 - 16,8)

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  • Karel Hanhart
    Dear listers, As I announced earlier you ll find attached a first instalment of a number of theses concerning Mark s open tomb narrative. As far as I know, no
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 11, 2003
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      Dear listers,

      As I announced earlier you'll find attached a first instalment of a number of theses concerning
      Mark's open tomb narrative. As far as I know, no alternative to William L.Craig's able defence of a literal
      understanding of Mark 15,42 - 16,8 has thus far been offered (see New Testament Studies 30.2 and 31.1), based on a text by text exegesis. However, did Mark want his readers to believe that the three women discovered Jesus' grave to be empty that Sundaymorning? If the text does not warrant a literal interpretation, what message did Mark want to convey?
      In these theses I am offering an alternative. The numbered theses may help to focus the debate on a specific issue as part of the entire argumentation concerning Mark's witness to the resurrection. I am referring especially to the argumentation in my "The Open Tomb, a New Approach", Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1995. This first instalment is related to the text.itself of Mark's ending. Off-list correspondence is also welcomed.

      cordially,

      Karel Hanhart

      K.Hanhart@...





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Karel Hanhart
      Dear listers, This is a repeat of my earlier contribution to the List. Jeffrey Gibson set me kindly straight on procedures. As I have come to the Internet
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 13, 2003
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        Dear listers,

        This is a repeat of my earlier contribution to the List. Jeffrey Gibson set me kindly straight on procedures.
        As I have come to the Internet rather late in life I'm not always sure of thew intricacies of this phenomenal; means of communication. So here goes again:

        As I announced earlier you'll find below a first instalment of a number of theses concerning
        Mark's open tomb narrative. As far as I know, no alternative to William L.Craig's able defence of a literal
        understanding of Mark 15,42 - 16,8 has thus far been offered (see New Testament Studies 30.2 and 31.1), based on a text by text exegesis, that is . But the question is, did Mark really want his readers to believe that the three women discovered Jesus' grave to be empty that Sundaymorning? If the text itself does not warrant a literal interpretation, what message did Mark want to convey?
        In these theses I am offering an alternative. The numbered theses may help to focus the debate on a specific issue as part of the entire argumentation concerning Mark's witness to the resurrection. I am referring especially to the argumentation in my "The Open Tomb, a New Approach", Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1995. This first instalment is related to the text.itself of Mark's ending. Off-list correspondence is also welcomed.

        The original open tomb story (Mark 15,42 - 16,8)

        1. Soon after the traumatic fall of Jerusalem, John, surnamed Mark, native
        of Jerusalem (Acts 12,12) wrote his euaggelion for the ecclesia of Rome (and
        Alexandria?). Trained in Greek rhetorica, he chose the form of a tragedy
        (Standaert) for his account of Jesus' heavenly mission and tragic death on a
        Roman cross. In the prologue (1,1-13) two protagonists are introduced, scl.
        the Baptist and Jesus, the latter holding center stage in the narrative
        itself with its climax on Golgotha. In the epilogue, - the first original
        open tomb story -, a window to the future is opened after this dramatic
        denouement, in which Jesus' victory over death and his continued mission to
        Israel and the nations is prophesied.

        2. The only source references, omitted in Nestle's margin, are precisely the
        ones concerning this 'monumental tomb' of Jesus [mnemeion]. These references
        are LXX Isa 22.16; LXX Isa 33,16; LXX Gn 29,3 (Montefiore). They constitute
        a midrash. The 'grave hewn from the rock' (LXX Isa 22,16), a hapax in
        Tenach, is a metaphor for the doomed temple (Rashi, van der Kooij).

        3. Since Mount Zion is often simply referred to as the holy 'Place', (Hb.
        maqom, LXX topos') and every pilgrim was seeking the maqom that "JHWH had
        chosen to put his name there" (Dt 12,5; cf. Ps 25,8), the reader would
        readily associate ho topos in Mk 16,6 with the temple. The angel is not
        pointing the women (plur.!) to a shelf (accus.!) in a memorial grave, where
        Jesus body had literally lain (- requiring idete ton topon -); he rather
        reveals to them in a vision (anablepsasai-looking up!, cf Mk 6,4} the future
        destruction of the temple! Hence the Hebraism ide (sing.!), ho topos
        (nomin.!), [Hb re'eh ha-maqom].

        4. With the harsh wordplay body - corpse (soma - ptoma) in 15,43.45 Mark
        distinguishes between the actual burial of the dead body of Jesus and Paul's
        metaphor of the ecclesia as the living body of Christ. Arimathea's attempt
        to 'bury' the.ecclesia of Jerusalem proved to be in vain. The Romans, in the
        epilogue represented by Pilate, were only able to present him with a dead
        body. Arimathea's vain attempt to 'bury Jesus' for good symbolizes the
        persecution of the apostles in Jerusalem, barring them from preaching on the
        temple square (esp. Acts 12,1ff). The stone before the door of the
        monumental tomb stands for the Nicanor gate of the temple giving access to
        the "Holy". On the first day of the Pentecostal harvest the women see the
        future destruction of the temple - the stone was removed, the entrance to
        the Shekinah secured. Thus Mark cited Isaiah's prophetic judgment of Sebna,
        a high priest, in 15,46 to shed a heavenly light on the present disaster

        5. This exegesis of the above cross references is bolstered by (a) the
        previous references to the temple's destruction in 13,2; 14,58; 15,29 and
        38 - the torn veil!.and by (b) the emphatic here and there in LXX.Isa
        22,16.18 paralleled by here (hode - scl Mt Zion) and there in Mk 16,7 (ekei,
        scl in the Galil ha-goyim). Cmp.Dt 12,5 "to put his name there" (ekei) in
        contrast to the Samaritan Mt Gerizim.

        6. "Midrash means the searching of the Scriptures (Tenach), whereby "a text
        is read..through the lens of a specific event and/or special concern that
        may or may not be explicitly referred to in the text. In the relationship
        between the original text and the focussing event and/or concern, the
        meaning of the original text is expanded and the significance of the
        focussing event and/or concern is underscored" (Eron).


        7. According to content the gospels's unique genre is not that of a sacred
        biography, nor of a Greek tragedy; it is best defined as a messianic
        Passover Haggadah. Its theme is Israel's 'pass-over' into exile (16,7) led
        by its Messiah, thereby introducing the last phase in history (13,10; cf.
        Rm. 11,25). Mark does not describe a counter-natural miracle. The angel
        rather reminds the women that Jesus was raised and exalted "to the right
        hand of power" (9,1; 14,62) and announces the post-70 consequences thereof
        for themselves and for the nations: he will lead his own during the coming
        exile (16,7).

        8. In a lost pre-70 version the euaggelion (Urmarkus) was read in the
        ecclesia for the Pesach - Pentecost season. In the present post-70 version
        it is retold, now in the shadow of the doomed temple. It concerns Jesus'
        journey through the Land ending on Zion (cmp. the Way of JHWH, 1,3 and
        hodos, passim). The following features confirm Mark writing a Messianic
        Passover Haggadah in the wake of the trauma of 70 CE. (I) the parallels
        between Joshua's conquest of the Land (Josh 3,16ff; 4,20; 5.2-15 ) and Jesus
        ' principle deeds (Mk 1,9-12; 3,14, Bowman); (II) the three main midrashim
        in Mk 1,2f.; 9,2-11; 15,46; (III) the depiction of the Baptist as Elijah
        redivivus (1,6; 8,28; 9,5.11f.; 15,36); (IV) the references to the sacrifice
        of Isaac (1,11; 9,7; 14,32-36, Vermes, Le Déaut); (V) the haggadic order of
        the four questions on the temple-square, a parallel of the order in the
        Jewish Passover Haggadah in Mk 12 (Daube); (VI) the Pesach setting of the
        last supper (14,12); (VII) the Shabuoth terminology in 16,2: " on Day One
        (en miai hemerai)" of the fifty days of the Pentecostal harvest (ta
        sabbata), on Nisan 17 (16,2); (VIII) the 'frustrated' burial is timed at the
        onset of the Sabbath, Nisan 16, the Pharisaic dating of Day One of Shabuoth
        (Mk 15,42). The 'black' date Nisan 16 reminded the reader of the bloody
        persecution of the ecclesia in Jerusalem, when the new Pharisaic calendar
        for the harvest festival was probably introduced under Herod Agrippa I
        (40-44 CE).


        cordially yours

        K.Hanhart@...



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Karel Hanhart
        This is a repeat of my earlier contribution to the List. Mark Goodacre set me kindly straight on procedures. As I have come to the Internet rather late in life
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 13, 2003
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          This is a repeat of my earlier contribution to the List. Mark Goodacre set me kindly straight on procedures.
          As I have come to the Internet rather late in life I'm not always sure of the intricacies of this phenomenal means of communication. : I've sent this first instalment of the theses also to the Crosstalk.2 list
          as the topic is of interest to both groups

          So here goes again.

          As I announced earlier you'll find below a first instalment of a number of theses concerning
          Mark's open tomb narrative. As far as I know, no alternative to William L.Craig's able defence of a literal
          understanding of Mark 15,42 - 16,8 has thus far been offered (see New Testament Studies 30.2 and 31.1), based on a text by text exegesis, that is . But the question is, did Mark really want his readers to believe that the three women discovered Jesus' grave to be empty that Sundaymorning? If the text itself does not warrant a literal interpretation, what message did Mark want to convey?
          In these theses I am offering an alternative. The numbered theses may help to focus the debate on a specific issue as part of the entire argumentation concerning Mark's witness to the resurrection. I am referring especially to the argumentation in my "The Open Tomb, a New Approach", Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 1995. This first instalment is related to the text.itself of Mark's ending. Off-list correspondence is also welcomed.

          The original open tomb story (Mark 15,42 - 16,8)

          1. Soon after the traumatic fall of Jerusalem, John, surnamed Mark, native
          of Jerusalem (Acts 12,12) wrote his euaggelion for the ecclesia of Rome (and
          Alexandria?). Trained in Greek rhetorica, he chose the form of a tragedy
          (Standaert) for his account of Jesus' heavenly mission and tragic death on a
          Roman cross. In the prologue (1,1-13) two protagonists are introduced, scl.
          the Baptist and Jesus, the latter holding center stage in the narrative
          itself with its climax on Golgotha. In the epilogue, - the first original
          open tomb story -, a window to the future is opened after this dramatic
          denouement, in which Jesus' victory over death and his continued mission to
          Israel and the nations is prophesied.

          2. The only source references, omitted in Nestle's margin, are precisely the
          ones concerning this 'monumental tomb' of Jesus [mnemeion]. These references
          are LXX Isa 22.16; LXX Isa 33,16; LXX Gn 29,3 (Montefiore). They constitute
          a midrash. The 'grave hewn from the rock' (LXX Isa 22,16), a hapax in
          Tenach, is a metaphor for the doomed temple (Rashi, van der Kooij).

          3. Since Mount Zion is often simply referred to as the holy 'Place', (Hb.
          maqom, LXX topos') and every pilgrim was seeking the maqom that "JHWH had
          chosen to put his name there" (Dt 12,5; cf. Ps 25,8), the reader would
          readily associate ho topos in Mk 16,6 with the temple. The angel is not
          pointing the women (plur.!) to a shelf (accus.!) in a memorial grave, where
          Jesus body had literally lain (- requiring idete ton topon -); he rather
          reveals to them in a vision (anablepsasai-looking up!, cf Mk 6,4} the future
          destruction of the temple! Hence the Hebraism ide (sing.!), ho topos
          (nomin.!), [Hb re'eh ha-maqom].

          4. With the harsh wordplay body - corpse (soma - ptoma) in 15,43.45 Mark
          distinguishes between the actual burial of the dead body of Jesus and Paul's
          metaphor of the ecclesia as the living body of Christ. Arimathea's attempt
          to 'bury' the.ecclesia of Jerusalem proved to be in vain. The Romans, in the
          epilogue represented by Pilate, were only able to present him with a dead
          body. Arimathea's vain attempt to 'bury Jesus' for good symbolizes the
          persecution of the apostles in Jerusalem, barring them from preaching on the
          temple square (esp. Acts 12,1ff). The stone before the door of the
          monumental tomb stands for the Nicanor gate of the temple giving access to
          the "Holy". On the first day of the Pentecostal harvest the women see the
          future destruction of the temple - the stone was removed, the entrance to
          the Shekinah secured. Thus Mark cited Isaiah's prophetic judgment of Sebna,
          a high priest, in 15,46 to shed a heavenly light on the present disaster

          5. This exegesis of the above cross references is bolstered by (a) the
          previous references to the temple's destruction in 13,2; 14,58; 15,29 and
          38 - the torn veil!.and by (b) the emphatic here and there in LXX.Isa
          22,16.18 paralleled by here (hode - scl Mt Zion) and there in Mk 16,7 (ekei,
          scl in the Galil ha-goyim). Cmp.Dt 12,5 "to put his name there" (ekei) in
          contrast to the Samaritan Mt Gerizim.

          6. "Midrash means the searching of the Scriptures (Tenach), whereby "a text
          is read..through the lens of a specific event and/or special concern that
          may or may not be explicitly referred to in the text. In the relationship
          between the original text and the focussing event and/or concern, the
          meaning of the original text is expanded and the significance of the
          focussing event and/or concern is underscored" (Eron).


          7. According to content the gospels's unique genre is not that of a sacred
          biography, nor of a Greek tragedy; it is best defined as a messianic
          Passover Haggadah. Its theme is Israel's 'pass-over' into exile (16,7) led
          by its Messiah, thereby introducing the last phase in history (13,10; cf.
          Rm. 11,25). Mark does not describe a counter-natural miracle. The angel
          rather reminds the women that Jesus was raised and exalted "to the right
          hand of power" (9,1; 14,62) and announces the post-70 consequences thereof
          for themselves and for the nations: he will lead his own during the coming
          exile (16,7).

          8. In a lost pre-70 version the euaggelion (Urmarkus) was read in the
          ecclesia for the Pesach - Pentecost season. In the present post-70 version
          it is retold, now in the shadow of the doomed temple. It concerns Jesus'
          journey through the Land ending on Zion (cmp. the Way of JHWH, 1,3 and
          hodos, passim). The following features confirm Mark writing a Messianic
          Passover Haggadah in the wake of the trauma of 70 CE. (I) the parallels
          between Joshua's conquest of the Land (Josh 3,16ff; 4,20; 5.2-15 ) and Jesus
          ' principle deeds (Mk 1,9-12; 3,14, Bowman); (II) the three main midrashim
          in Mk 1,2f.; 9,2-11; 15,46; (III) the depiction of the Baptist as Elijah
          redivivus (1,6; 8,28; 9,5.11f.; 15,36); (IV) the references to the sacrifice
          of Isaac (1,11; 9,7; 14,32-36, Vermes, Le Déaut); (V) the haggadic order of
          the four questions on the temple-square, a parallel of the order in the
          Jewish Passover Haggadah in Mk 12 (Daube); (VI) the Pesach setting of the
          last supper (14,12); (VII) the Shabuoth terminology in 16,2: " on Day One
          (en miai hemerai)" of the fifty days of the Pentecostal harvest (ta
          sabbata), on Nisan 17 (16,2); (VIII) the 'frustrated' burial is timed at the
          onset of the Sabbath, Nisan 16, the Pharisaic dating of Day One of Shabuoth
          (Mk 15,42). The 'black' date Nisan 16 reminded the reader of the bloody
          persecution of the ecclesia in Jerusalem, when the new Pharisaic calendar
          for the harvest festival was probably introduced under Herod Agrippa I
          (40-44 CE).


          cordially yours

          K.Hanhart@...



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Geoff Hudson
          ... William L.Craig s able defence of a literal ... New Testament Studies 30.2 and 31.1), based on a text by text exegesis, that is . But the question is, did
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 13, 2003
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            --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Karel Hanhart" <K.Hanhart@n...>
            wrote:

            > Mark's open tomb narrative. As far as I know, no alternative to
            William L.Craig's able defence of a literal
            > understanding of Mark 15,42 - 16,8 has thus far been offered (see
            New Testament Studies 30.2 and 31.1), based on a text by text
            exegesis, that is . But the question is, did Mark really want his
            readers to believe that the three women discovered Jesus' grave to be
            empty that Sundaymorning? If the text itself does not warrant a
            literal interpretation, what message did Mark want to convey?


            Karel,

            Simply by changing "for" to "at" in Mk.16:6, the verse makes better
            sense, i.e. the women were "alarmed" because they were looking AT the
            body of their dead prophet HJ. It also makes more sense in the
            context of the common Jewish belief in the immortality of the spirit,
            i.e. "his spirit has risen!". In verse 5, the young man (not
            identified, but possibly a disciple, and the same man who put the
            body in the tomb) was "sitting on the right side" of what? - probably
            right side of the body. So I would go for something that approached
            the literal rather than the figurative interpretation. The women were
            bewildered and afraid because the young man had told them the
            disciples were to embark on a journey to a place "Galilee" away from
            Jerusalem. That journey was to be kept secret, presumably from
            others who could do the disciples harm.

            Geoff
          • Geoff Hudson
            ... wrote: Karel wrote (in her post dated 6/14/2003): My main question to you, however, concerns the reference to LXX Isa 22,16 in Mk 15,46 concerning the
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 17, 2003
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              --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Karel Hanhart" <K.Hanhart@n...>
              wrote:

              Karel wrote (in her post dated 6/14/2003):

              My main question to you, however, concerns the reference to LXX Isa
              22,16 in Mk 15,46 concerning "the tomb hewn out of the rock". Do you
              not agree that Mark was purposely citing Isa 22, as it refers
              to a monumental tomb and a 'burial;' of Jesus?
              ********

              Karel,

              Compared to the other gospels, it is interesting to note that the
              accounts of the execution and burial of HJ in Mark are the least
              elaborate, leading one to think that Mark is more original.

              I am not sure that one could prove that the writer of Mk.15:46 was
              purposely citing Isa. 22:16 – "What are you doing here and who gave
              you permission to cut out a grave for yourself here, hewing your
              grave on the height and chiselling your resting place in the rock."
              The parallels are obvious and striking - Mk.16:4 has the women
              looking up to the tomb location which implies it was high up in a
              rock face. These words in Is. 22 have some meaning to me following a
              visit to the Tombs of the Kings in Paphos, Cyprus during April of
              this year. There I saw the innumerable chisel marks laboriously cut
              into the tomb faces. These family tombs were not just for rulers but
              also for the wealthy from the locality.

              The monumental tomb is essential to the resurrection account.
              Without it, there could be no empty tomb to prove the rising of HJ's
              body from the dead. If the writer of Mk.16:4 is deliberately citing
              Isa. 22:16, one could infer that he was fabricating his resurrection
              account. If the monumental tomb is dispensed with, then the visit by
              the women to the tomb to anoint the body, the young man dressed in
              white like an angelic character, and the alarm at his appearance are
              spurious (Mk.16:1-6). Tombs were left unsealed for three days after
              a burial for relatives to pay their last respects and to see if the
              dead revived. So the immediate sealing by a stone (Mk.15:46) could
              be an error made by a writer who was unaware of tomb burial practice
              (Jewish Encylopedia.com – BURIAL). For an individual to transport a
              body any distance, and especially to take it up a rock face is
              difficult.

              The alternative is immediate burial in the ground in a special
              cemetery for executed criminals (JE.com – CAPITAL PUNISHMENT),
              probably adjacent to the site of execution. As it was a preparation
              day for the Sabbath, it was unlikely that anyone, apart from a
              relative or a close associate, would have touched the corpse and
              incurred corpse impurity. In this scheme, the important disciple
              referred to as Joseph simply took the body, wrapped it in linen (to
              be buried without garments was considered a disgrace – JE.com –
              BURIAL) and "placed" (buried) it in a grave (Mk. 15:46). The women
              were with him and saw where he was "laid" (buried) (Mk.15:47).
              Skipping the empty tomb scene (Mk.16:1-5), then the disciple says to
              the women, "Don't be alarmed" (Mk.16:6), when there was a real need
              to calm the women's nerves at the graveside because they had lost
              their leader. I would argue (under a separate topic) that amongst
              Jews at the time of HJ, there was a commonly (widely) held belief in
              the immortality of the soul or spirit. With a body in the ground,
              the idea of the spirit rising to God or (going to an intermediate
              place) for judgement assumes greater significance. So the disciple
              reassures the women that "he" (meaning the spirit of HJ) has risen.
              Since the three disciples knew that the body of HJ was buried before
              them, one can regard the sentence: "You are looking for Jesus the
              Nazarene, who was crucified" as belonging to the scheme for the
              monumental tomb. The same can be said for: "See the place where
              they laid him".

              If it was a leading disciple speaking, the sentence "But go, tell his
              disciples" (Mk.16:7) should be "But go, tell the others". In the same
              verse, "He is going ahead of you into Galilee" is highly significant,
              alluding to an exile and an exodus somewhat in the style of Israel's
              from Egypt when God showed his presence in the pillar of smoke by day
              and the pillar of fire by night. These words were undoubtedly spoken
              by a leader who now saw himself in a Moses-like role. God (the
              Spirit of God) would go before the disciples into exile
              in "Galilee". After the death of its leader the church was to leave
              Jerusalem, ostensibly contradicting the command in Acts 1:4, "Do not
              leave Jerusalem." My suggestion is that the person who buried HJ,
              was none other than the leader elect of the disciples, and that
              Joseph of Arimathea is a pseudonym and possibly close to a homophone.

              Geoff
            • Geoff Hudson
              ... homophone. ... I would like to thank everyone who has posted on this subject. This post follows on from my previous post. Three words in the passage that
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 20, 2003
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                --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Geoff Hudson" <geoff.hudson@n...>
                wrote:
                > My suggestion is that the person who buried HJ,
                > was none other than the leader elect of the disciples, and that
                > Joseph of Arimathea is a pseudonym and possibly close to a
                homophone.
                >

                I would like to thank everyone who has posted on this subject.

                This post follows on from my previous post.

                Three words in the passage that intrigue me, are: "WAITING FOR"
                (Mk.15:43 and Lk.23:51), and "SURPRISED" (Mk.15:44). Mark is the
                only gospel with this notion of surprise.

                It seems a late stage in the story (Mk.15:42) to tell us that it was
                Preparation Day. One might have expected to be told so at the
                apparent start of the day (Mk.15:1), rather than the evening. We
                are also told (Mk.15:1) that it was "very early in the morning"
                that "the whole Sanhedrin had reached a decision", presumably of
                conviction. This would seem to be in agreement with Mishnah
                Sanhedrin 4.1 which requires that a verdict for a capital offence be
                given on the day following the day of trial. Again, according to
                Mishnah 4.1, the trial for a capital offence was to be in the
                daytime. The trial (in Mark and Matthew) had taken place illegally at
                night. I would suggest that the "very early in the morning" of Mk.
                15:41 was originally "very late in the evening". The nod and wink
                agreement of Pilate was obtained, and the execution occurred that
                same night. There had been a period of darkness (Mk.15:33) during
                the execution. The Preparation Day was the next day, and
                the "evening" of Mk.15;42 was in fact the "morning", the start of the
                day.

                Now consider that Mark had just removed the lead disciple "Peter"
                from the frame, making him a coward in denying that he was with
                the "Nazarene" (Mk.14:67) and that he was "one of them", a so-
                called "Galilean" (Mk.14:70,71). This was the man who previously had
                promised HJ, that "even if all fall away, I will not" (Mk.14:29).
                There is no reason to suppose, apart from the editor's desire to
                remove him from the action, that "Peter" cracked under the pressure.
                If anyone had a reputation for sticking to his guns it was "Peter".

                As someone on the list has already stated, Matthew 27:57 and John
                19:38 agree that Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple of Jesus. So, I
                would suggest that it was not Joseph of Arimathea (the
                undertaker/embalmer according to Jan) who went "boldly" to Pilate
                (Mk.15:43), but "Peter" who went boldly to the temple. He went
                because he was "WAITING FOR" the verdict, which he was expecting to
                hear on the day after the trial. So he was "SURPRISED" (to say the
                least) "to hear that he (HJ) was already dead", because the verdict
                had been reached and the sentence carried out, all illegally.

                Needless to say, it would have been no surprise for Pilate to hear of
                HJ's death because he had given the OK for the execution. He knew
                what was afoot. Mark has to make Joseph of Arimathea "a prominent
                member of the Council" (the Sanhedrin) that decided HJ's fate. He
                would then know about the verdict and the progress of the execution,
                and could therefore inform Pilate of HJ's death. The person who was
                a "prominent member" of a recognised group (the "Galileans")
                was "Peter" who was able to gain access to the courtyard of the high
                priest (Mk.14:54) in the temple.

                "Peter" (bold as ever, and by now all guns blazing), summoned
                the "centurion" (presumably the captain of the temple guard) to hear
                him confirm that the sentence had been carried out, and to gain
                permission to retrieve the body (Mk.15:44,45). The "centurion" does
                not hesitate to grant that permission. He had observed the rough
                justice illegally meted out to someone he thought was innocent, and
                really was the "Son" (prophet?) of God. He no doubt held his head in
                shame (Mk.15:39) as he made his report.

                It would have been almost impossible for an individual to take a
                corpse down from a gallows without causing severe damage, such as
                hacking off hands and feet which would have been held with huge crude
                nails embedded deeply in heavy timbers. The gallows with the body
                would have had to be lowered before any extraction of nails could
                begin. The total weight would have been more than one could manage.
                Then what would the nails have been extracted with? One would have
                needed special tools. Heads of nails could hardly be sawn off
                without hours of sweaty labour (and a dozen iron saws with hardened
                teeth). The famous skeleton of a crucified person with a nail
                remaining through the heals is testimony to the security of the nails
                in a body, let alone timber. (Incidentally, that body was probably
                buried for a time and the bones dug up later for burial in the tomb
                in which they were found).

                So J of A (imo "Peter") "took down" the body (as in Mk.16:46, and
                Lk.23:53) – one is left to presume from the gallows, but the text
                doesn't say what he took it down from. It could have been a high
                place where the body was left. In Mt.27:59 and Jn.19:38, he
                simply "took" the body presumably from where it had been left. He
                then buried it in the graveyard designated for convicts.

                Geoff
              • Karel Hanhart
                ... Dear listers, Here follows the complete and slightly revised conclusions from my book The Open Tomb. A New Approach, Mark s Passover Haggadah ± 72 CE,
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 28, 2003
                • 0 Attachment
                  ----- Original Message ----- > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: Karel Hanhart <k.hanhart@...>
                  > To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 5:36 PM
                  > Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: Mark's Epilogue (15,42 - 16,8)

                  Dear listers,

                  Here follows the complete and slightly revised conclusions
                  from my book The Open Tomb. A New Approach, Mark's Passover Haggadah ± 72
                  CE,
                  Liturgical Press, 1975.
                  It offers an alternative to a literal interpretation of the ending of Mark's
                  gospel
                  Please, disregard previous postings of this summary.

                  THE ORIGINAL OPEN TOMB STORY (MARK 15,42 - 16,8)

                  1. Soon after the traumatic fall of Jerusalem, John, surnamed Mark, native
                  of Jerusalem (Acts 12,12) wrote his euaggelion for the ecclesia of Rome (and
                  Alexandria?). Trained in Greek rhetoric, he chose the FORM of a tragedy
                  (Standaert) for his account of Jesus' heavenly mission and tragic death on a
                  Roman cross. In the prologue (1,1-13) the two protagonists are introduced,
                  namely,. the Baptist and Jesus, the latter holding center stage in the
                  narrative itself with its climax on Golgotha. In the epilogue, - the
                  original open tomb story -, a window to the future is opened after this
                  dramatic denouement, in which Jesus' victory over death and his continued
                  mission to Israel and the nations is prophesied.

                  2. According to its CONTENT, the gospels' unique genre is not that of a
                  sacred biography, nor of a Greek tragedy, but a Messianic Passover Haggadah
                  concerning the last phase in history (13,10; cf. Rm. 11,25). Its theme is
                  Israel's 'pass-over' into exile led by its Messiah, who is seated at the
                  right hand of Power (14,62). The epilogue (15,42 - 16,8) was not written to
                  convince the adult readers of a contranatural miracle. It is a timely
                  post-70 prophecy in narrative form announcing to the educated and the
                  uneducated that the risen Messiah is able to continue his mission to Israel
                  and the nations which he began in Galilee: he will lead his own during the
                  coming exile (16,7).

                  3. The only source references, which Nestle omits in the margin, are
                  precisely the ones concerning the 'monumental tomb' of Jesus [mnemeion].
                  These references are lxx Isa 22.16; lxx Isa 33,16; lxx Gn 29,3 (Montefiore).
                  They constitute a midrash. The 'grave hewn from the rock' (lxx Isa 22,16),
                  cited by Mark, is a metaphor for the doomed temple (Rashi, van der Kooij).
                  It is.a hapax in Tenach.

                  4. Since Mount Zion is often simply referred to as the holy 'Place', (Hb.
                  maqom, lxx topos') and every pilgrim was seeking the maqom that "JHWH had
                  chosen to put his name there" (Dt 12,5; cf. Ps 25,8), the reader would
                  readily associate ho topos in Mk 16,6 with the temple. The angel is not
                  pointing the women (plural!) to a shelf (accusative!) in a memorial grave,
                  where Jesus' body had literally lain (- requiring idete ton topon -); he
                  rather reveals to them the future destruction of the temple in a vision!
                  (anablepsasai -looking up!, cf lxx Isa 22,1 "valley of vision"; Mk 6,4}.
                  Hence the Hebraism "Behold, the Place.": ide (singular.!), ho topos
                  (nominative.! = Hb. re'eh ha-maqom !.

                  5. The destruction of the temple casts its shadow over the Gospel. The first
                  section ends with the insipid salt (of the templecult, 9,49f). Jesus'
                  pilgimage for the Passover in Jerusalem is the leading motif of the
                  following chapters (10,32). At the entry he accuses the hierarchy of the
                  temple, ("you have turned it into a rebels' den" (11,11.17.20). The
                  withered fig tree is a dark omen of the coming catastrophe. Follow the
                  disputes on the temple square, introduced by the parable of the vineyard
                  "given to others" (12,9), while the unfaithful tenants, the high priests,
                  will perish. But seated opposite the treasury. Jesus praises the widow, who
                  put in the box everything she had (12,41ff). Leaving the temple he turns
                  around and prophecies - a vaticinium ex eventu? -. "Not one stone will be
                  left here (!) up on another". Afterwards, seated on the Mt of Olives
                  opposite the temple, with just four of his disciples, he foretells future
                  wars and the imminent desecration of the temple (13,8.14). At the trial he
                  is falsely accused, "we heard him say: I will destroy this temple" (14,58).
                  The same charge is leveled at the foot of the cross, "Aha, you would destroy
                  the temple". Finally, when breathing his last, the curtain of the temple is
                  torn in two (15,28.37). This temple background is thus integrated in the
                  dramatic plot of the narrative.
                  The emphatic here and there in lxx Isa 22,16.18 is paralleled by here (hode)
                  in 16,6 , namely, on Mount Zion and there (ekei ) in Mk 16,7, namely, in the
                  Galil ha-goyim. Cmp. Dt 12,5 "to put his name there" (ekei) in contrast to
                  the Samaritan Mount Gerizim. By citing lxx Isa 22,16, Mark left no doubt of
                  his reference to 70 CE.

                  6. "Midrash means the searching of the Scriptures (Tenach), whereby "a text
                  is read through the lens of a specific event and/or a special concern that
                  may or may not be explicitly referred to in the text. In the relationship
                  between the original text and the focussing event and/or concern, the
                  meaning of the original text is expanded and the significance of the
                  focussing event and/or concern is underscored" (Eron). The temple's
                  destruction by a foreign army and the unlawful acts by a temple priest
                  contributing to the disaster, constitute the relationship between Mark's
                  epilogue and the texts from Tenach.

                  7. With the harsh wordplay body - corpse (soma - ptoma) in 15,43.45, Mark
                  distinguishes between the actual burial of the dead body of Jesus and Paul's
                  metaphor of the ecclesia as the living body of Christ. Joseph's attempt to
                  'bury' the.'body of Jesus' proves in the end to have been in vain. Pilate,
                  who in this Passover drama represents the Roman overlord, is only able to
                  present him with the corpse. The rolling of the stone before "the door"
                  symbolizes the persecution of the apostles in Jerusalem. It was the
                  frustrated attempt to bury Jesus for good, because the apostles were barred
                  from preaching in the temple square (passim, esp. Acts 12,1ff). "The door"
                  of the monumental tomb stands for the Nicanor gate of the temple that gave
                  access to the "Holy" (cmp 'door' in 1,33; 2,2; 11,4; 15,46; 16,3).
                  'On the first day of Shabuoth, the Pentecostal harvest (tei miai ton
                  sabbaton, 16,2), the women see in a vision the future destruction of the
                  temple. It signifies, now the stone has been removed, that the access to the
                  Shekinah is secured (cmp. 15,38). Thus Mark cited Isaiah's prophetic
                  judgment of Sebna, a (high?) priest, in 15,46 to shed a heavenly light on
                  the present disaster and the new exile.

                  8. Earlier, in a lost pre-70 version, the euaggelion (Urmarkus) was read in
                  the ecclesia for the Pesach/Pentecost season. In the present post-70 version
                  it is retold, now in the shadow of the doomed temple. It concerns Jesus'
                  journey through the Land ending on Zion (cmp. the Way of JHWH, 1,3, and the
                  frequent occurrence of hodos).The following features confirm that Mark wrote
                  for his ecclesia a revised Messianic Passover Haggadah in the wake of the
                  trauma of 70 CE:
                  (a) The Pesach setting of the last supper (14,12) introduced by the theme of
                  'handing over' (14,17-21; 9,31; 10,33f)
                  (b) the Shabuoth terminology in 16,2: "on Day One of Shabuoth" - the days
                  were counted! (Lv 23, 15.16). The Messianic harvest was already definitively
                  brought to fruition in Galilee (Mk 1,1.14.21 (tois sabbasin!).35-39; 2,23
                  (plucking grain en tois sabbasin!); 3.6.7-12; chp. 4 on the harvest);
                  (c) the parallels between Joshua (Josh 3,16ff; 4,20; 5.2-15 ) and Jesus (Mk
                  1,9-12; 3,14, Bowman);
                  (d) the depiction of the Baptist as Elijah redivivus (1,6; 8,28; 9,5.11f.;
                  15,36);
                  (e) the haggadic order of the four questions on the temple-square, a
                  parallel of the order in the Jewish Passover Haggadah in Mk 12 (Daube);
                  (f) the ominous timing of the 'frustrated' burial. It takes place at the
                  onset of the Sabbath, Nisan 16 (Mk 15,42, cmp Mt 28, 1, opse, at the onset
                  of Sunday, Nisan 17). In Mark's day the Pharisaic dating of Day One of the
                  fifty days of Shabuoth on Nisan 16 prevailed, while the ecclesia clung to
                  the old priestly calendar. The 'black' date, Nisan 16, reminded the readers
                  of the bloody persecution of the ecclesia in Jerusalem, when this new
                  Pharisaic calendardate for the harvest festival was introduced under Herod
                  Agrippa I (40-44 CE
                  (g) The liturgical order (taxis): Pesach - Pentecost, was purposely reversed
                  by Mark for his post-70 revision thus creating a parallel between Jesus'
                  ministry in Galilee and that of the ecclesia in the Galil ha-goyim
                  (Papias).

                  9. I concluded from Mark's epilogue and Luke's Acts 1 and 2
                  (a) that the earliest creedal formula "he was raised on the third day and
                  appeared to Peter" probably capsulized theologically the historic event of
                  Simon Peter addressing the multitude of pilgrims in the temple square on
                  the Day of the First Fruits (cf. 1Cor 15,20) In pre70 Jerusalem that day
                  was a highly festive occasion. But Simon accused the temple authorities,
                  proclaiming Jesus' exaltation into heaven and calling for repentance. The
                  ecclesia was born.
                  (b) As a result, Judeans, sympathetic to the Jesus' movement from various
                  walks of life, f.i. Essenes and diaspora Judeans, joined Jesus' Galilean
                  followers. Twelve apostles were elected (cmp Acts 1,15-26 being a post-70
                  substitute). [The leadership of twelve, representing the twelve tribes of
                  Israel was an Essene notion]. The original twelve were headed by (1) James,
                  Jesus' brother, (2) Simon Peter and (3) John of Jerusalem, probably an
                  Essene (Acts 3,1.11; 4,19; 8,14; 13,5.13). In that historical context
                  "raised on the third day" would refer theologically to the earthly
                  manifestation of Jesus' exaltation on Good Friday (cf Lk 23,43; Phil 2,9).
                  Christian Judeans hallowed the Sabbath, but ANNUALLY celebrated the Sunday,
                  the 'first day' of the Messianic harvest, in defiance of Agrippa's new
                  calender dates for the harvest festival.. In Mark a distinction is made
                  between 'egerthe' (Mk 16,7) referring to this Pentecostal event of the birth
                  of the ecclesia and the 'anastenai' or 'anastesetai' in Mk 8,31; 9,31; 10,33
                  refering not to Jesus' triumph after the crucifixion,, but to his continued
                  heavenly authority after the trauma 70 CE (s. thesis 11).
                  (c) Thus the Spirit, who had inspired the Messiah, lived on in his followers
                  (cmp Acts 2). At baptism the Spirit like a dove (Hb yonah} had entered "into
                  Jesus" (Mk 1,10). As Jonah was once sent to Nineveh, the archenemy, so
                  through his followers Jesus would "go before" into the Galilee of the
                  Gentiles with its capital Rome (Mk 16,7; cf. 4,35- 41; 6,48, 42-56).
                  (d) The "third day" was the first of the fifty days of the harvest period,
                  Shabuoth (Mk 16,2). In pre-Agrippa years this 'Day One' fell always on a
                  Sunday (Lv 23,11.15). Farmers would then bring the first sheaves of barley
                  for the 'weave offering'; hence the metaphor of Jesus' exaltation as "the
                  first fruits of those who have died" (1 Cor 15,20). Acts 1 contains an
                  expanded post-70 narrative including an ascension after 40 days, being the
                  formative period in Jerusalem between the crucifixion (± 30 CE) and the
                  destruction of the temple (70 CE). Mark compared the two generations of
                  Jesus and the apostles to the desert generations of the Exodus
                  (8,12.38;9,1.19; 13,30).

                  10. The creedal formula, " raised on the THIRD" and Mark's opened tomb
                  story, set on Sunday, clashes seemingly with the thrice repeated "..and
                  AFTER THREE days rise again (8,31; 9,31; 10,33f). It is, however, the 'Son
                  of Man' who rises after three days. The meaning of ho huios tou anthropou is
                  best paraphrased with the (promised) 'Human One' because of its
                  eschatological gist. This expression, only in the mouth of Jesus, is a
                  CORPORATE term (Manson, Higgins). The thrice repeated predictions of the
                  passion of the Human One form the plot of his Haggadah with the key verb
                  paradidomi, 'to hand over' (not 'to betray', thesis 15). These two-layered
                  predictions deal (1) with Jesus' own suffering, and exaltation/resurrection
                  and (2) with those of his people "after three days". (1) Caiaphas will 'hand
                  over' Jesus to Pilate (15,1; cmp 15,15) and (2) the high priests (plur!)
                  will 'hand over' the Human One to the Gentiles (ethnesin, 10,33). The three
                  predictions expound a theodicy, derived from the musterion of Rom 11,25. The
                  plot of the story is worked out by means of the Messianic Secret (cf Mk
                  4,11, musterion). God turns the evils of crucifixion (± 30) and temple
                  destruction (70 CE to good "after three days". Mark scheduled in
                  apocalyptic fashion the various stages in the Messianic Age according to the
                  seven days of the week, as in Gn 1. (1) The first stage beginning with Jesus
                  ' birth issues in the all important Passover of ± 30 CE, designated "after
                  two days", 14,1. (2) The 'after three days' refers to Jesus' power to rise
                  again (14,62) to complete his Messianic mission through the Spirit in spite
                  of his gruesome death ànd of the trauma of 70 (13,14.27; 14,26-28; 16,7)..
                  (3) The last stage of the Messianic Age, which in real time Mark is now
                  facing, will end "after six days" (9,2). It is the glorification or
                  transfiguration. Originally this glorification probably constituted the end
                  of Ur-Markus (cmp. Mt 28,16), but in Mark's post-70 revision, the
                  glorification is placed in story time at the very centre of his Gospel.

                  12. The vision of Da 7 about. the 'Human One', written in the subversive
                  'language of the persecuted' (J.Straus), deeply influenced Mark. Jesus is to
                  Mark the Man of Promise par excellence. Wherever Jesus comes, salvation
                  flourishes. But also the 'saints' may be called the people of the promise.
                  In baptism they have risen to become new beings (Rm 6,4; Col 2,12).
                  Mark composed the theme or plot of his post-70 Haggadah (8,31; 9,31;
                  10,33f) by elaborating on an authentic saying. Those not 'ashamed' of Jesus
                  would be acknowledged by the bar nash .at his coming (8,38, cmp. the 'saints
                  ' in Da 7,27). In Mark the theme concerns the passion and rising of the
                  present Human One, not only of Jesus, for his followers will share in the
                  Messianic weal and woes of the basileia tou theou (Mk 10, 28-44). In 1,13
                  Jesus sojourns with the 'wild beasts' for forty days, a reference to the bar
                  nash in Dan 7, symbolic of the 40 years until the Roman conquest in 70 CE.
                  But he heals the paralytic, a Roman soldier on a camp-bed (krabattos, Lat.
                  gravatus), paralysed by remorse. For Jesus saw the faith of the 'four
                  friends' ready to bring the cripple to Jesus. These friends represent 'the
                  saints' of Da 7, 'human ones', now with authority to forgive sins (2,1-12).
                  Mark used this subversive, apocalyptic language especially when referring to
                  the Empire (10,33f; 12,13-16; 13,14-23; epilogue).
                  Before the Fall in lxx Gn 2,16ff). created man is simply called ho
                  anthropos (+ definite article!, but afterwards he is named 'Adam'
                  J.Marcus). This explains the enigmatic definite article in ho huios TOU
                  anthropou (lit. the son of the man'). It should be attributed to Mark's
                  combining the anarthrous huios anthropou of Da 7 with the Adam speculation
                  in the Wisdom literature (Ps 8; Jubilees; t. Abr 12,13; Goulder). Paul's
                  silence of the term huios anthropou and his use of ho eschatos Adam, support
                  this thesis. The proposal of a non-apocalyptic origin of the term ho huios
                  tou anthropou has a dead end (contra Vermes).

                  13. Aramaic Daniel (2 - 7) was originally a pre-Maccabean prophetic, but
                  subversive, pamphlet, urging the population to offer, like Daniel, spiritual
                  resistance to the temptation to become an apostate ( J. Soetendorp). After
                  the Maccabean triumph, it was preserved in Aramaic, but framed in a Hebrew
                  commentary. In Da 7 the bar nash coming "on the clouds" is a foil to the
                  'bestial' suppression by successive superpowers, at the time of writing by
                  the Hellenic Syrian occupier, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The beasts represent
                  the four realms, contemporaneously situated around the Mediterranean Sea, as
                  if encircling the Land, namely, Egypt, the lion, to the South; Parthia, the
                  bear, to the East; the burgeoning republic of Rome, the panther, to the West
                  (Rev 13,2) and the anonymous monster, to the North, the Syrian empire of
                  Antiochus. The geographic layout in this vision is counter balanced in
                  Nebuchadnessar's statue in Da 2 by the imagery of several successive
                  superpowers in diachronic order that suppressed the people (Gressmann,
                  Erdmans, Beek). But in both cases the ironic wrath of the author is directed
                  against Antiochus (Da 2,33: "kingdom "of clay"; 7,8: "mouth full of boasts).
                  The anonymous monster represents probably the battle elephant, used by
                  Antiochus against the Maccabeans (1 Macc 3,34; 8,6). Coins demonstrate that
                  this battle elephant served as emblem of the Syrian empire (Staub). In Mark
                  the huios tou anthropou is confronted by the powers of evil, in particular
                  by (1) the high priest Caiaphas and his successors from the house of Annas
                  and (2) by foreign suppressors like Nero and Vespasian.

                  14. In the epilogue of this timely post-70 Passover drama, Pilate represents
                  the suppression by the Empire and Arimathea (lit. "Joseph who came from
                  Ramah"!) the suppression by Caiaphas and by succeeding high priests, who
                  'excommunicated' the apostles. In Greek the oddly phrased ioseph apo
                  harimathaias, wrongly translated as Joseph of Arimathea, probably suggests
                  his true Aramaic name: Joseph bar-Matthias. Through a cumulative argument
                  this circumlocution may well refer to Josephus!, the son of Matthias, a most
                  prominent Judean priest/general in Rome protected by the emperor. He is the
                  Sebna in Mark's midrash, while Peter, the Rock man, last named in the
                  Gospel, serves as the Eljakim in Isa 22,15-15). In his important Peter
                  passage, Matthew appears to confirm this new approach to Mark's epilogue (Mt
                  16,18-18).
                  Joseph is not a secret disciple of Jesus, but a "respected member of the
                  council (or conspiracy)" 15,43). The proposal he stands for Josephus is not
                  fanciful. Mark notes with heavy irony that Joseph was "also himself waiting
                  expectantly for the 'rule of God' (43). He "dared" to ask Pilate for the
                  "body - soma - of Jesus" and bought (priestly) linen on the sabbath! (46).
                  His evil undertaking to bury the body of Christ at the onset of the sabbath,
                  Nisan 16, proved to have been in vain. Pilate was only able to give him a
                  "corpse".
                  The father of Josephus was probably Matthias, high priest of the house of
                  Annas, serving under Agrippa I, who persecuted the 'saints' (Acts 15,1).
                  Josephus' complete silence on the influential Jesus' movement and their
                  persecution makes him an unreliable source. He was deliberately vague on the
                  true identity of his father and his involvement in the persecution (cmp Acts
                  1,23.26; 12,1ff). If so, Mark's wrath was directed at the seven (?) high
                  priests of the House of Annas serving in pre-70 Jerusalem: esp. Caiaphas,
                  Matthias and Joseph bar Matthias. Historically Joseph did not live at the
                  time of Caiaphas, (in real time); but in the story time of his epilogue, he
                  represents a number of high priests (plur!). Luke corrects Mark, specifying
                  that in real time Joseph "had not participated in the conspiracy" of
                  Caiaphas 23,51).
                  The defeated attempt by Joseph to bury Jesus' body is a metaphor for the
                  continued high priestly harasment and persecution of the apostles (Acts
                  4,23; 5,25; 7,1; 9,1.14.21; 22,30; 23,2 (!).5.15; 24, 1(!); 25,2.5.15;
                  26.10). Their Judas' role was acted out in the Passover drama.with the Judas
                  ' kiss in Gethsemane. Judas is a fictive character whose symbolic act in
                  story time describes the high priests' role in the Passover drama. Iscariot
                  is derived from the Hb iesh sheqer, the man of 'deceit', cf Ps 69, 4, the
                  perennial adversaries of God (Gärtner, Qumran).
                  The "door (thura) of the monument" is a metaphor for the great Nicanor
                  gate, giving access to the "Holy" of the temple. The "rolling" of the "stone
                  before the door" refers to the 'excommuication' by the high priests. The
                  stone rolled away, a reference to Gn 29,2.3.10, symbolizes that access to
                  the Holy Presence was restored; the flock could be nourished. The wordplay
                  soma-ptoma is deliberate. Pilate representing the Empire, was, of course,
                  not able to give Joseph the body, for Jesus had "long" (cmp. palai, 44) been
                  exalted to the "right hand of Power" as "head" of his body. The ± 40 hours
                  between Jesus' death and the women's vision (15,33; 16,2) symbolize the
                  appr. 40 years between the crucifixion (± 33) and the temple destruction
                  (70 CE), that is one generation (cf. 9,1)

                  15. Mark introduced "the twelve" into the story time of his haggadah (3,14),
                  although in real time they were elected after the crucifixion. The
                  inconsistencies in the list of twelve apostles can be explained by Mark's
                  post-70 revision of the haggadah. He left out James and John from the
                  original list of the twelve so that he could introduce two fictive
                  apostles: Iscariot and the Greek named Andreas. Judas, as "one of the
                  twelve" plays a key role in the 'handing over' of the Human to the Gentiles
                  (14,17-21). Andrew, representing the Gentiles was already at the outset
                  called on the seashore together with his 'spiritual' brother, the Judean
                  Simon. Mark needed these fictive apostles for his 'handing-over' drama in
                  terms of a theodicy: (1) in a positive way: the Gospel will be preached to
                  the Gentiles (13,3.10). and (2) negatively: Jesus was 'handed over' to
                  Gentiles and the people forced into exile in 70 (14,17-22). . The young
                  man in the temple/tomb is dressed in a white stola, worn by neophytes at
                  their baptism. For immediately after the reading of the euaggelion,
                  neophytes were baptized early on Sunday morning. He represents any convert,
                  "buried with Christ".. "to live with him" (Rm 6,4; Col 2,12 Neophytes were
                  called 'first fruits' of the harvest (cf. Rm 11,16; 16,5; 1 Cor 15,20.23;
                  16,15; Rev 14,4). But he is more than a convert. In 16,5 this young man
                  probably represents the angel of the apostle Paul. (he appears as an angel
                  because in the vision of the trauma of 70, Paul had died). In 14,51f he is
                  designated as the thirteenth disciple (sunekolouthe) who in the time of
                  testing narrowly escapes loosing the linen worn by the temple clergy. The
                  two scenes thus symbolize Paul's conversion.
                  The women in this dramatic representation are not "eyewitness' of an empty
                  tomb. Their terror, amazement and fear (16,8) is governed by the literary
                  model of the daughters of Zion in lxx Isa 32,9 ff. Their flight and silence
                  are caused by the vision of temple's future destruction, the denouement of
                  the messianic secret. Mark calls them by name as the most prominent leaders
                  in the early ecclesia. Two of them 'served' Jesus throughout his own
                  diakonia. The Greek diakonein (to mediate) was used to indicate their
                  authority. They were honored as the first disciples to hear the message of
                  the resurrection: Mirjam, the mother of Jesus, Mirjam of Magdala (migdal
                  means tower), and Salome.

                  Your comments will be appreciated
                  Respectfully submitted by K.Hanhart@...






                  .



                  > THE ORIGINAL OPEN TOMB STORY (MARK 15,42 - 16,8)
                  >
                  > 1. Soon after the traumatic fall of Jerusalem, John, surnamed Mark, native
                  > of Jerusalem (Acts 12,12) wrote his euaggelion for the ecclesia of Rome
                  (and
                  > Alexandria?). Trained in Greek rhetorica, he chose the form of a tragedy
                  > (Standaert) for his account of Jesus' heavenly mission and tragic death on
                  a
                  > Roman cross. In the prologue (1,1-13) two protagonists are introduced,
                  scl.
                  > the Baptist and Jesus, the latter holding center stage in the narrative
                  > itself with its climax on Golgotha. In the epilogue, - the first original
                  > open tomb story -, a window to the future is opened after this dramatic
                  > denouement, in which Jesus' victory over death and his continued mission
                  to
                  > Israel and the nations is prophesied.
                  >
                  > 2. The only source references, omitted in Nestle's margin, are precisely
                  the
                  > ones concerning the 'monumental tomb' of Jesus [mnemeion]. These
                  references
                  > are LXX Isa 22.16; LXX Isa 33,16; LXX Gn 29,3 (Montefiore). They
                  constitute
                  > a midrash. The 'grave hewn from the rock' (LXX Isa 22,16), a hapax in
                  > Tenach, is a metaphor for the doomed temple (Rashi, van der Kooij).
                  >
                  > 3. Since Mount Zion is often simply referred to as the holy 'Place', (Hb.
                  > maqom, LXX topos') and every pilgrim was seeking the maqom that "JHWH had
                  > chosen to put his name there" (Dt 12,5; cf. Ps 25,8), the reader would
                  > readily associate ho topos in Mk 16,6 with the temple. The angel is not
                  > pointing the women (plur.!) to a shelf (accus.!) in a memorial grave,
                  where
                  > Jesus body had literally lain (- requiring idete ton topon -); he rather
                  > reveals to them in a vision (anablepsasai-looking up!, cf Mk 6,4} the
                  > future destruction of the temple! Hence the Hebraism ide (sing.!), ho
                  > topos (nomin.!), [Hb re'eh ha-maqom].
                  >
                  > 4. With the harsh wordplay body - corpse (soma - ptoma) in 15,43.45 Mark
                  > distinguishes between the actual burial of the dead body of Jesus and
                  Paul's
                  > metaphor of the ecclesia as the living body of Christ. Arimathea's
                  attempt
                  > to 'bury' the.ecclesia of Jerusalem proved to be in vain. The Romans, in
                  the
                  > epilogue represented by Pilate, were only able to present him with a dead
                  > body. Arimathea's vain attempt to 'bury Jesus' for good symbolizes the
                  > persecution of the apostles in Jerusalem, barring them from preaching in
                  the
                  > temple square (esp. Acts 12,1ff). The stone before the door of the
                  > monumental tomb stands for the Nicanor gate of the temple giving access to
                  > the "Holy". On the first day of the Pentecostal harvest the women see the
                  > future destruction of the temple - the stone was removed, the entrance to
                  > the Shekinah secured (cmp. 15,38). Thus Mark cited Isaiah's prophetic
                  > judgment of Sebna, a high priest, in 15,46 to shed a heavenly light on the
                  > present disaster
                  >
                  > 5. This exegesis, supported by the above cross references, is bolstered by
                  > (a) the previous references to the temple's destruction in 13,2; 14,58;
                  > 15,29 and 38 - the torn veil!.and by (b) the emphatic here and there in
                  > LXX.Isa 22,16.18 paralleled by here (hode - scl Mt Zion) and there in Mk
                  > 16,7 (ekei, scl in the Galil ha-goyim). Cmp.Dt 12,5 "to put his name
                  there"
                  > (ekei) in contrast to the Samaritan Mt Gerizim.
                  >
                  > 6. "Midrash means the searching of the Scriptures (Tenach), whereby "a
                  text
                  > is read..through the lens of a specific event and/or special concern that
                  > may or may not be explicitly referred to in the text. In the relationship
                  > between the original text and the focussing event and/or concern, the
                  > meaning of the original text is expanded and the significance of the
                  > focussing event and/or concern is underscored" (Eron). The relationship
                  > between the original text and Mark's ending is in this case focussed on
                  the
                  > temple's destruction by a foreign army and unlawful acts by temple priests
                  > contributing to the disaster.
                  >
                  > 7. According to content the gospels's unique genre is not that of a
                  sacred
                  > biography, nor of a Greek tragedy; it is best defined as a messianic
                  > Passover Haggadah. Its theme is Israel's 'pass-over' into exile led by
                  its
                  > Messiah (16,7), thereby introducing the last phase in history (13,10; cf.
                  > Rm. 11,25). Mark does not describe a counter-natural miracle. The angel
                  > rather reminds the women that Jesus was raised and exalted "to the right
                  > hand of power" (9,1; 14,62) and announces the post-70 consequences thereof
                  > for themselves and for the nations: he will lead his own during the coming
                  > exile (16,7).
                  >
                  > 8. In a lost pre-70 version the euaggelion (Urmarkus) was read in the
                  > ecclesia for the Pesach - Pentecost season. In the present post-70 version
                  > it is retold, now in the shadow of the doomed temple. It concerns Jesus'
                  > journey through the Land ending on Zion (cmp. the Way of JHWH, 1,3 and
                  > hodos, passim). The following features confirm Mark writing a Messianic
                  > Passover Haggadah in the wake of the trauma of 70 CE. (I) the parallels
                  > between Joshua's conquest of the Land (Josh 3,16ff; 4,20; 5.2-15 ) and
                  Jesus
                  > ' principle deeds (Mk 1,9-12; 3,14, Bowman); (II) the three main midrashim
                  > in Mk 1,2f.; 9,2-11; 15,46; (III) the depiction of the Baptist as Elijah
                  > redivivus (1,6; 8,28; 9,5.11f.; 15,36); (IV) the references to the
                  sacrifice
                  > of Isaac (1,11; 9,7; 14,32-36, Vermes, Le Déaut); (V) the haggadic order
                  of
                  > the four questions on the temple-square, a parallel of the order in the
                  > Jewish Passover Haggadah in Mk 12 (Daube); (VI) the Pesach setting of the
                  > last supper (14,12); (VII) the Shabuoth terminology in 16,2: " on Day One
                  > (en miai hemerai)" of the fifty days of the Pentecostal harvest (ta
                  > sabbata), on Nisan 17 (16,2); (VIII) the timing of the 'frustrated'
                  burial
                  > at the onset of the Sabbath, Nisan 16, the Pharisaic dating of Day One of
                  > Shabuoth (Mk 15,42). The 'black' date Nisan 16 reminded the readers of
                  the
                  > bloody persecution of the ecclesia in Jerusalem, when the new Pharisaic
                  > calendar for the harvest festival was probably introduced under Herod
                  > Agrippa I (40-44 CE).
                  >
                  > 9. Mark's post-70 ending and Luke's presentation of the days after the
                  > crucifixion in Acts 1 and 2 lead to the following conclusions: (I) that
                  the
                  > earliest creedal formula "he was raised on the third day and appeared to
                  > Peter" probably capsulized theologically the historic event of Simon Peter
                  > addressing the pilgrims gathered in the temple square "on the third day"
                  > after the crucifixion. He proclaimed Jesus' exaltation into heaven and
                  > called for repentance. (II) As a result Judeans, sympathetic to the
                  Jesus'
                  > movement from various walks of life, f.i. Essenes and diaspora Judeans,
                  > joined Jesus' Galilean followers. Twelve apostles then were elected (cmp
                  > Acts 1,15-26 being a post-70 substitute). The leadership of twelve,
                  conform
                  > the twelve tribes of Israel was an Essene notion. These twelve were headed
                  > by (a) James, Jesus' brother, (b) Peter and (c) John of Jerusalem,
                  probably
                  > an Essene (Acts 3,1.11; 4,19; 8,14; 13,5.13). Thus the ecclesia was born.
                  In
                  > that historical context "raised on the third day" would refer to the
                  earthly
                  > manifestation of Jesus' exaltation on Good Friday (cf Lk 23,43; Phil
                  2,9).
                  > In Mark a distinction is made between (a) 'egerthe' (Mk 16,7) referring to
                  > this Pentecostal event of the birth of the ecclesia on the Day of the
                  First
                  > Fruits (cf. 1Cor 15,20) and (b) 'anastenai' or 'anastesetai' in Mk 8,31;
                  > 9,31; 10,33 referring to a different moment in history (see the third
                  > instalment). (III) Thus the Spirit, who had inspired the Messiah, lived
                  on
                  > in his followers (cmp Acts 2). At baptism the Spirit like a dove (Hb
                  yonah}
                  > had entered "into Jesus" (Mk 1,10). As Jonah was once sent to Nineveh, the
                  > archenemy, so through his followers Jesus would go before into the Galilee
                  > of the Gentiles with its capital Rome (Mk 16,7; cf. 4,35- 41; 6,48,
                  42-56).
                  > (IV) The "third day" was the first of the fifty days of the harvest
                  period,
                  > Shabuoth (Mk 16,2). In pre-Agrippa years this 'Day One' fell always on a
                  > Sunday (Lv 23,11.15). Farmers would then bring the first sheaves of barley
                  > for the 'weave offering'; hence the metaphor of Jesus' exaltation as "the
                  > first fruits of those who have died" (1 Cor 15,20). Acts 1 contains an
                  > expanded post-70 narrative including an ascension after 40 days, being the
                  > formative period in Jerusalem between the crucifixion and the destruction
                  of
                  > the temple
                  >
                  > 10. The destruction of the temple cast its shadow over the Gospel. The
                  > first section ends with the
                  > insipid salt (of the templecult, 9,49f). Jesus' pilgimmage for the
                  Passover
                  > in Jerusalem is the leading motif of the following chapters (10,32). At
                  the
                  > entry he accuses the hierarchy of the temple, ("you have turned it into a
                  > rebels' den" (11,11.17.20). The withered fig tree is a dark omen of the
                  > coming catastrophe. Follow the disputes on the temple square, introduced
                  by
                  > the parable of the vineyard "given to others" (12,9), while the unfaithful
                  > tenants, the high priests, will perish. But seated opposite the treasury
                  > Jesus praises the widow, who put in the box everything she had (12,41ff).
                  > Leaving the temple he turns around and prophecies - a vaticinium ex
                  > eventu? -. "Not one stone will be left here (!)
                  > upon another". Afterwards. Seated on Mt. Of Olives opposite the temple,
                  > with just four of his disciples, he foretells future wars and the imminent
                  > desecration of the temple (13,8.14). At the trial he is falsely accused,
                  "we
                  > heard him say: I will destroy this temple" (14,58), The same charge is
                  > leveled at the foot of the cross, "Aha, you would destroy the temple .
                  > Finally, when breathing his last, the curtain of the temple is torn in two
                  > (15,28.37). This temple background forms an integral part of the
                  > dramatic plot of the narrative.
                  >
                  > cordially
                  >
                  > Karel
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                • Mike Grondin
                  ... Not only the twelve, but the triadic leadership as well, reflects the Council of Community in 4QSe=4Q259: In the Council of Community, there shall be
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 28, 2003
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                    --- Karel Hanhart wrote:
                    > Twelve apostles were elected (cmp Acts 1,15-26 being a post-70
                    > substitute). [The leadership of twelve, representing the twelve
                    > tribes of Israel was an Essene notion]. The original twelve were
                    > headed by (1) James, Jesus' brother, (2) Simon Peter and (3) John
                    > of Jerusalem, probably an Essene ...

                    Not only the twelve, but the triadic leadership as well, reflects
                    the "Council of Community" in 4QSe=4Q259:

                    "In the Council of Community, there shall be twelve men and three
                    priests, perfect in all that has been revealed from the whole Law..."

                    Regards,
                    Mike
                  • Mike Grondin
                    ... But isn t it the case that the James and John in question would not have been members of the twelve, since they were of the triad of priests that
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 28, 2003
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                      --- Karel Hanhart wrote:
                      > 15. Mark introduced "the twelve" into the story time of his
                      > haggadah (3,14), although in real time they were elected after the
                      > crucifixion. The inconsistencies in the list of twelve apostles
                      > can be explained by Mark's post-70 revision of the haggadah. He
                      > left out James and John from the original list of the twelve so
                      > that he could introduce two fictive apostles: Iscariot and the
                      > Greek named Andreas.

                      But isn't it the case that the "James" and "John" in question would
                      not have been members of the twelve, since they were of the triad
                      of "priests" that ruled over the twelve? If so, it wouldn't have
                      been those two that were "left out" to make room for Iscariot and
                      Andreas, but two others, right? Or do you suppose that the "sons of
                      Thunder" might have served as stand-ins for this other "James/John"
                      combo (in which case, *four* real names would have been left out).

                      Also (please excuse my ignorance), is 'Andreas' the only Greek name
                      of any of the twelve? If not, why invent a Greek name when there was
                      another one already? Secondly, are you suggesting that Simon had no
                      real brother, or that that brother wasn't one of the twelve, or that
                      Mark changed the brother's name to 'Andreas', or what?

                      On a related matter to which you didn't address yourself directly:
                      what do you make of the special importance given to the first five
                      named disciples? How much midrash, how much real-time there?

                      Finally, since you believe that Iscariot was a fictional, symbolic
                      character, why not Thomas as his (fictional, symbolic) antithesis?
                      There'd have been a nice symmetry to that, wouldn't you say? (Thomas
                      wasn't made to do much, but then neither was Andreas; if the name
                      was the thing in the one case, why not in the other?)

                      Regards,
                      Mike Grondin
                      Mt. Clemens, MI
                    • Mike Grondin
                      ... Had I been more familiar with the DSS, I would have referred instead to 1QS - the Community Rule . In searching the archives for 1QS , I discovered that
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jun 30, 2003
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                        [me to Karel]:
                        > Not only the twelve, but the triadic leadership as well, reflects
                        > the "Council of Community" in 4QSe=4Q259:
                        >
                        > "In the Council of Community, there shall be twelve men and three
                        > priests, perfect in all that has been revealed from the whole
                        > Law..."

                        Had I been more familiar with the DSS, I would have referred instead
                        to 1QS - the "Community Rule". In searching the archives for '1QS',
                        I discovered that Karel engaged Frank McCoy on this issue back in
                        September. I must not have been paying attention at the time, but
                        Frank had also suggested that the structure of the Jerusalem
                        leadership reflected that of 1QS. Karel responded in part:

                        "Simon Peter, however, was not a priest; neither James, Jesus'
                        brother, as far as we know, James and Peter were naturally regarded
                        as leaders from the beginning. It seems to me that John (of
                        Jerusalem) may well have been a chassidic leader. We may not
                        conclude, therefore, that the election was modeled precisely after
                        that Qumran structure."

                        This position strikes me as excessively cautious - and somewhat
                        mysteriously so, coming as it does from a person (Karel) who has
                        himself made a good many leaps from data to hypothesis. But aside
                        from that, I think that the objection is satisfactorily answerable.

                        With respect to Jacob, he was purported to have been a Nazarite from
                        birth. If so, that might well have been good enough for him to be
                        considered a "priest" (without knowing exactly what that meant to
                        the 1QS folks).

                        With respect to Peter, there's a good many reasons for him to have
                        been included in the leadership triad, not least of which was the
                        political clout deriving from his having been a leader of the
                        original Galilean disciples. "Reasons for him to have been
                        included", yes, but that still doesn't make him a "priest", one
                        might argue. One response might be to suggest that Peter may not
                        have been the illiterate fisherman portrayed in the gospels, but an
                        argument from speculation isn't really satisfying, and I think
                        there's a better response anyway. I would suggest that - perhaps out
                        of necessity as much as anything else - the Yeshuines adopted a
                        modified "Community Rule" leadership model in which the nature of
                        the top three followed the ancient model of a king (James/Jacob) and
                        his "rod and staff" - i.e., his priest (John) on the one hand and
                        his "military commander" (Peter) on the other. Seems to me that this
                        model corresponds pretty well with what we about the three.

                        But if the Jerusalem leadership structure differed significantly
                        from that of 1QS in the way I suggest, is it correct to say that the
                        Yeshuines were influenced by the leadership model in 1QS? Or might
                        it have been just a coincidence that the two structures resembled
                        each other? On that question, I'm inclined to believe that the
                        purpose of "the fifteen" in "preparing the way of the Lord" was very
                        much the same between the Jerusalem leadership and the "Community
                        Rule", and thus that the similarities were probably not due to
                        coincidence.

                        Regards,
                        Mike Grondin
                        Mt. Clemens, MI
                      • Mike Grondin
                        ... (Fitzmeyer suggests that the missing verb-phrase might have been what we wish we knew , but that seems unlikely.) Some mss have the pillars in place of
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jun 30, 2003
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                          > Seems to me that this
                          > model corresponds pretty well with what we about the three.

                          Most ms witnesses correct this to read:

                          > Seems to me that this
                          > model corresponds pretty well with what we KNOW about the three.

                          (Fitzmeyer suggests that the missing verb-phrase might have
                          been "what we wish we knew", but that seems unlikely.)

                          Some mss have "the pillars" in place of "the three". Not only is the
                          wording of these later copies more elegant, but, ironically, they
                          seem to more accurately reflect the intentions of the author than
                          his own autograph.

                          Mike <g>
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