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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 of 11 , Jun 28, 2003
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                ----- 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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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