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Re: [XTalk] Re: Mark's Epilogue (15,42 - 16,8)

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  • Jan Sammer
    Sorry for inadvertently sending a reply message without any contribution of mine a few minutes ago. I was preparing to respond to Karl s point about the
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 14, 2003
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      Sorry for inadvertently sending a reply message without any contribution of
      mine a few minutes ago.

      I was preparing to respond to Karl's point about the grammatical form of the
      "ide ho topos".
      Of course the expression is not (just) "ide ho topos" but "ide ho topos
      hopou eqhkan autou", meaning "Behold the place where they laid him." Thus
      Mark is not directly instructing the women to look at the place where
      Jesus's body had been placed but rather citing the empty place as evidence
      of the fact that he was risen. Taking this as a reference to the Temple
      requires a stretch of the imagination that I am unable to accomplish, though
      I have given it a fair try. Analyzing a fragment of a sentence in isolation
      is seldom helpful to its interpretation.

      The entire passage is intended to reinforce Christian belief: The young
      man's statement that precedes the words we have been discussing is: "You are
      looking for Jesus of Nazareth the crucified one. He has risen, he is not
      here." What follows is a statement of the evidence for the foregoing. A
      somewhat interpretive translation would be: "The place where he was laid is
      right there!"

      The women encounter a young man, whose identity the gospel writer does not
      reveal, who tells the women what they are looking for. Thus the writer
      sacrifices some of the realism of the scene he is narrating to catechistic
      needs. John's narrative is more effective, and probably closer to the
      original, in that it is the apparition (two angels) that asks Mary why she
      is crying and whom she is looking for. (Ti klaieis? Tina zhteis?) Luke's
      narrative takes up the story in reporting a further hint dropped by the
      apparition at the tomb (two men in bright shining clothes). The apparition
      asks the women why they are looking for a living one among the dead. Since
      Karl referred to the literary for of a tragedy, I feel free to cite in
      comparison a passage from Sophocles' Electra. Electra carries an urn which
      she believes contains the ashes of her brother Orestes, when she is met by a
      young man (whom she does not yet identify as Orestes). It would be rather
      anticlimactic if Orestes had simply told her something like "You might as
      well throw that urn away. I am your brother Orestes." That would be an inept
      piece of drama. Rather he takes an indirect approach and reveals himself to
      Electra in a more subtle way. As he does so he uses almost precisely the
      same words as the apparition at the tomb in Luke: He first informs her that
      the body she thinks she is giving honor to is not really there. She does not
      understand yet, and asks, where then is Orestes buried? (Similarly to Mary
      asking the "gardener" in John's gospel where he had placed the body.) To
      this Orestes drops an even stronger hint: "The living have no tomb". These
      words are sometimes translated as: "There is no grave for living men." The
      idea is practically identical to Luke's "Why are you looking for a living
      one among the dead?"

      The point I am trying to make is that taken together, as is legitimate if we
      postulate a lost passion narrative as an antecedent to the versions given in
      the gospels, the gospel accounts of the empty tomb indicate a progressive
      self-revelation of the apparition at the tomb. What we have in the
      postulated lost passion narrative is a classic recognition scene, an
      essential element of ancient tragedy (as well as comedy and epic poetry: cf.
      the progressive self-revelation of Odysseus to his wife Penelope). What this
      implies is that in the lost passion narrative Mary and the women were led to
      the recognition of the identity of the young man by a series of hints, and
      that the the hints pointed in one direction only: the young man at the tomb
      a.k.a. gardener, was none other than the risen Jesus. This was the climax of
      the tragedy which the gospel writers exploited for their narrative. However,
      since the ending of the tragedy involved an immediate ascension by the risen
      Jesus, it became unacceptable for the gospel writers for theological
      reasons--it would have negated the rock on which the Christian faith was
      based, the apparitions of the risen Jesus to his disciples. It was in order
      to satisfy the theological requirement of an ascension after 40 days that
      the gospel writers had to fudge the true identity of the young man at tomb.
      At the point where the recognition should have occurred, we have the young
      man sending the women to Galillee, where the canonical appearances shall
      take place. Thus the abrupt ending of Mark mainly served the function of
      avoiding a theological pitfall. It cut off the climax of the tragic
      narrative he had been following in order to allow the appearances to occur.

      Jan Sammer
      Prague, Czech Republic


      > However, in what way would you respond to my thesis re. Mark's references
      to
      > LXX Isa 22,16; 33,16
      > and LXX Gn 29.3? And would you not agree that Mark should have written
      > "idete (plur) ton topon (accus)".
      > in 16,6, if he had wanted to convey a literal meaning. But he wrote
      > instead
      > "ide ho topos [Hb r'eh ha-maqom];
      > see the Holy Place".
      >
    • Anthony Buglass
      Just a point of clarification. My first post in this thread began by quoting Geoff s post, but everything from the beginning of the second paragraph The
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 14, 2003
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        Just a point of clarification. My first post in this thread began by quoting Geoff's post, but everything from the beginning of the second paragraph "The prior question is..." is mine. Karel's reply makes me think he is reading it all as Geoff's. So for example the 'backward methodology' is a comment on Geoff's suggestion that the text of Mark ought to be changed to fit his idea, rather than basing his idea on the existing text.

        I hope that makes it all clear. I will take responsibility for my own mistakes, and let Geoff defend his :-)!

        Cheers,
        Rev Tony Buglass
        Pickering Methodist Circuit



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      • Eric Eve
        ... Just to reinforce this point, the change in reading Geoff Hudson was proposing would require not a change of preposition, but a change of verb in 16.6 from
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 16, 2003
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          Tony Burglass wrote:

          > The prior question is why you think Mk.16:6 should have "at" instead
          > of "for". If there is linguistic or manuscript evidence for your thesis,
          > it is worth considering. If there is none, then you are working
          > methodologically backwards- you have a theory, and you wish to shape the
          > evidence to fit. Proper method begins with the evidence, and then sees
          > what shape the theory becomes.

          Just to reinforce this point, the change in reading Geoff Hudson was
          proposing would require not a change of preposition, but a change of verb in
          16.6 from ZHTEITE to, say, QEWREITE. Not only is there no textual support
          for this (that I know of, at any rate), but the proposed emendation would
          make the text read very strangely, since it would occur, not it the
          narrator's account of the women's actions, but in the young man's words to
          the woman, which would become:

          "Don't be alarmed; you are looking at Jesus the crucified Nazarene; he isn't
          here; behold the place where they put him."

          Even if one could stretch "he isn't here" to mean that, whereas the women
          can see the corpse, his spirit has risen (which does seem quite a stretch),
          the invitation to look at the place where they put him seems
          incomprehensible if the women are already looking at his body. It's also far
          from clear to me why the women should be alarmed by discovering a corpse
          they'd come looking for.

          Best wishes,

          Eric
          ----------------------------------
          Eric Eve
          Harris Manchester College, Oxford
        • Anthony Buglass
          Geoff wrote: If the writer of Mk.16:4 is deliberately citing Isa. 22:16, one could infer that he was fabricating his resurrection account. Possibly. There is
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 18, 2003
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            Geoff wrote:
            If the writer of Mk.16:4 is deliberately citing
            Isa. 22:16, one could infer that he was fabricating his resurrection
            account.

            Possibly. There is an underlying question, which concerns the function of midrash. It is usually argued (Crossan, Spong, et all) that a narrative which is a midrash is therefore a non-factual account, based on and referring to another scripture. In Karel's thesis, Mk.16:6 refers back to Isa.22:16 LXX through the word 'mnemeion'. The original passage in Isaiah is a criticism of Shebna's presumption in cutting himself a monumental tomb - is a midrash on this a criticism of those who presume to bury God's anointed one? Why, apart for the single key word, should this text be the foundation for a midrash of a tomb which (allegedly) will become empty?

            My question concerns the assumption that midrash is always non-factual or non-historical. Is it not possible that a factual event (in this case, a tomb which was found to be empty) can then become the core for literary treatment in the style of midrash? My analogy is in the understanding of myth and mythology. Following Bultmann, it was usually assumed that if something was mythological, it must therefore be non-historical. However, Pannenberg argued that Hebrew thought used historical events (particularly the Exodus from Egypt) in a mythological way, therefore a mythological function did not preclude a historical event. In this case, I raise the question whether a similar issue may arise with midrash. If for the sake of argument there was an empty tomb, why could Mark not have developed his account in a midrashic style, as opposed to fabricating it in Geoff's inference?

            Cheers,
            Rev Tony Buglass
            Pickering Methodist Circuit




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          • Jan Sammer
            From: Geoff Hudson ... If the gospel accounts had a common source in a pre-gospel passion narrative, Mark may have had reasons
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 18, 2003
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              From: "Geoff Hudson" <geoff.hudson@...>

              >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.

              If the gospel accounts had a common source in a pre-gospel passion
              narrative, Mark may have had reasons for abbreviating this narrative more
              drastically than the other gospel writers. Your assumption that Mark is more
              original because of the brevity of his account is only valid if the other
              gospel writers were merely editorializing Mark. That is a legitimate
              position to take, but there are other equally legitimate alternatives, such
              as the given above.

              >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.

              anablhpsasai does not necessarily mean "looking up"; it more likely means
              "looking once more" based on the context. After all, a few verses earlier
              the women had been seen the stone rolled over the entrance to the tomb and
              witnessed the place where Jesus' body was laid. Now coming back to the tomb
              they looked once more and saw that the stone had been rolled away. Thus
              there is no more to the alleged parallel than a rock-cut tomb, a common
              enough phenomenon around the ancient Mediterranean.

              ....

              >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".

              You make no serious attempt to show why any notion of exile should be
              involved in the instruction to go to Galilee; in fact, Mark lays the ground
              for this Galilean appearances already in 14:28. The unidentified young man's
              reference to the Galilean appearances appearas to be simply Mark's way of
              integrating his source, a pre-gospel passion narrative, with established
              Christian dogma, the core of which were the appearances, as we know from
              Paul's listing of the same (I Corinthians). Earlier, the Markan Jesus had
              informed the disciples that he would go to Galilee after he is resurrected
              (Mk 14:28) and now the young man merely asks the women to remind Peter of
              this. From Paul we know that the appearances to specific individuals and
              groups were the basis of authority in the early church. Mark had to link up
              to them and he did so at the cost of what is clearly an abrupt and
              unsatisfactory ending. Had he continued any further in drawing on the
              pre-gospel passion narrative, he would have had to reveal the identity of
              the young man at the tomb (i.e., the resurrected Jesus) which would have
              been fatal to the notion of the resurrected Jesus having left for Galilee to
              make the obligatory appearances. Mark realized that he just couldn't have it
              both ways and opted for the appearances in Galilee, rather than following
              his source any further. The other gospel writers adopted different solutions
              for integrating portions of the pre-gospel passion narrative into their
              respective works, without violating accepted dogma.

              >After the death of its leader the church was to leave
              >Jerusalem, ostensibly contradicting the command in Acts 1:4, "Do not
              >leave Jerusalem."

              Oh, but that was *after* the resurrection. They had not been issued any such
              instruction by their leader before his death. On the other hand, the
              pre-resurrection Jesus of GMark 14:28 tells Peter exactly where he will be
              after the resurrection: Galilee.


              Jan Sammer
              Prague, Czech Republic
            • Jan Sammer
              ... up ... to ... it ... The main reason why Mark ceased following his source and cut off his account before the identity of the young man as the resurrected
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 18, 2003
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                A few further remarks to my post of yesterday. I wrote:

                > From Paul we know that the appearances to specific individuals and
                > groups were the basis of authority in the early church. Mark had to link
                up
                > to them and he did so at the cost of what is clearly an abrupt and
                > unsatisfactory ending. Had he continued any further in drawing on the
                > pre-gospel passion narrative, he would have had to reveal the identity of
                > the young man at the tomb (i.e., the resurrected Jesus) which would have
                > been fatal to the notion of the resurrected Jesus having left for Galilee
                to
                > make the obligatory appearances. Mark realized that he just couldn't have
                it
                > both ways and opted for the appearances in Galilee, rather than following
                > his source any further.

                The main reason why Mark ceased following his source and cut off his account
                before the identity of the young man as the resurrected Jesus was
                definitively established (in his source this was done on the basis of a
                question and answer exchange between the young man and the women involving a
                crescendo of hints, with recognition occurring at the moment that the young
                man addressed Mary directly by name, cf. John 20:16) is that a first
                appearance of the resurrected Jesus to the women would have changed the
                pecking order of appearances and given these women authority in the early
                church greater than that of Peter and the other male witnesses. That was
                probably his main concern since Jesus' appearance to the women, as in the
                other gospels, could have been combined with the appearances in Galilee. But
                Mark preferred to play it safe and have the women only witness the empty
                tomb; unlike the other three gospels, he did not want them to encounter the
                resurrected Jesus--for reasons that are not difficult to fathom. John (or
                his interpolator) preserves the priority of the male disciples by the rather
                clumsy insertion of verses 20:2-10.

                Jan Sammer
                Prague, Czech Republic
              • Karel Hanhart
                ... From: Geoff Hudson To: Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 1:06 PM Subject: [XTalk] Re: Mark s Epilogue
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 19, 2003
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Geoff Hudson <geoff.hudson@...>
                  To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 1:06 PM
                  Subject: [XTalk] Re: Mark's Epilogue (15,42 - 16,8)


                  --- 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?
                  ********


                  Geoff:
                  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.

                  Karel:
                  Mark's Gospel is indeed the oldest extant Gospel.

                  Geoff,:
                  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."

                  Karel:
                  The reason for my research was 1) that the wording of Mark' version
                  agrees with LXX Isaiah on several counts a): monument - hew - rock
                  b) the expression "hewing a monumental tomb from the rock" occurs
                  just once in de Hebrew Bible and the LXX, a hapax, bolstering. the
                  supposition
                  that Mark wrote a midrash; c) the same (b) holds true for Gn 29,3, rolling
                  away the stone;
                  2) The second reason was (a) the context in both passages of an attack on
                  Jerusalem
                  (b) in both cases the metaphors are placed within the framework of prophetic
                  vision.
                  3) In combination with the term 'skene' - tabernacle, used for the Shechinah
                  ( Presence) in the period before the temple was built, the metaphor
                  'monumental grave'
                  stands for the doomed temple of Jerusalem.

                  Geoff,

                  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.

                  Karel:
                  I for one do not speak of an "empty tomb", but of an
                  "opened momument' . I still take Mark's resurrection message of the angel
                  seriously. Markwas not fabricating. I do believe, however, that faith in
                  Jesus' resurrection
                  is something different from faith that a stone was removed by
                  counterphysical force.
                  I repeat, one must primarily ask what message Mark wanted to convey. If he
                  wrote a midrash - thus far this hasn't been not explored -what are the
                  implications of
                  Mark's references to Isaiah and Genesis here?

                  Re. the remainder of your post, I too went through the multitude of comments
                  on this passage. comments that take the passage literally. Your exposé tells
                  me that
                  you are well versed in this literature. I maintain however, that first
                  things
                  must come first: Mark's own words. .

                  cordially,

                  Karel
                • Karel Hanhart
                  Dear Tony, My apologies for wrongly attributing your remarks to Geoff and vice versa. And thank you for setting matters straight. E-mail correspondence does
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 19, 2003
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                    Dear Tony,

                    My apologies for wrongly attributing your remarks to Geoff
                    and vice versa. And thank you for setting matters straight.

                    E-mail correspondence does create problems at times.

                    Your
                    Karel

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Anthony Buglass <TonyBuglass@...>
                    To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2003 4:11 PM
                    Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: Mark's Epilogue (15,42 - 16,8)


                    > Just a point of clarification. My first post in this thread began by
                    quoting Geoff's post, but everything from the beginning of the second
                    paragraph "The prior question is..." is mine. Karel's reply makes me think
                    he is reading it all as Geoff's. So for example the 'backward methodology'
                    is a comment on Geoff's suggestion that the text of Mark ought to be changed
                    to fit his idea, rather than basing his idea on the existing text.
                    >
                    > I hope that makes it all clear. I will take responsibility for my own
                    mistakes, and let Geoff defend his :-)!
                    >
                    > Cheers,
                    > Rev Tony Buglass
                    > Pickering Methodist Circuit
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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                  • Karel Hanhart
                    ... From: Jan Sammer To: Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2003 12:03 PM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: Mark s Epilogue
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 19, 2003
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                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Jan Sammer <sammer@...>
                      To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2003 12:03 PM
                      Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: Mark's Epilogue (15,42 - 16,8)


                      > Sorry for inadvertently sending a reply message without any contribution
                      of
                      > mine a few minutes ago.
                      >
                      > I was preparing to respond to Karl's point about the grammatical form of
                      the
                      > "ide ho topos".
                      > Of course the expression is not (just) "ide ho topos" but "ide ho topos
                      > hopou eqhkan autou", meaning "Behold the place where they laid him." Thus
                      > Mark is not directly instructing the women to look at the place where
                      > Jesus's body had been placed but rather citing the empty place as evidence
                      > of the fact that he was risen. Taking this as a reference to the Temple
                      > requires a stretch of the imagination that I am unable to accomplish,
                      though
                      > I have given it a fair try. Analyzing a fragment of a sentence in
                      isolation
                      > is seldom helpful to its interpretation.

                      Jan,

                      I well understand your remarks. One must, however, distinguish between the
                      miracle story itself that Mark tells and the meaning of the mesaage he wants
                      to convey to his adult hearers. The setting is liturgical. The passover
                      haggadah
                      was meant to be read in worship in the Pesach season and the miracle stories
                      were told in the first place on behalf of the children., the 'little ones of
                      10,15, who were sitting, so to speak, in the front row of the ecclesia
                      eagerly
                      listening.to the Passover story of Messiah Jesus. " Das Wunder ist des
                      Glaubens verhätcheltes Kind" (Goethe), For the children should know most of
                      all, that God would not forsake his beloved son but would rescue him from
                      death. Religious
                      language is metaphorical language; faith in God's saving deeds can only be
                      expressed through a miracle story. This is true for the miracles in the
                      original Passover Haggadah of the Exodus. Moses mighty deeds, for instance,
                      performed in front of Pharaoh were not meant to be taken literally: the
                      plagues in Egypt, the parting of the waters, the mannah in the desert. These
                      stories were a suitable means in rhe liturgy to put the children (and the
                      uneducated hearers) on the right track of perceiving the divine Presence in
                      life. The local presbyter could explain these midrashic stories to the
                      children in school or catechism. So Mark did not want to convince his adult
                      hearers that Jesus was a magician, literally able to walk on water,
                      although he did
                      want to convey his faith that in greatest danger and in similar
                      circumstances Jesus' Spirit was able to see his own through, thus making
                      them able to fulfill their mission among the Gentiles. The context of Mark
                      4,35ff shows that Jesus ordered his disicples to go to heathen territory "on
                      the other side (35). When this story was read. the hearers actually were "on
                      the other side" in heathen territory, in an ecclesia somewhere in Rome or
                      Alexandria. They had heard the news of history that the beloved city had
                      fallen and that the temple had been destroyed and they were listening to the
                      tale about the Messiah who was cruelly crucified by the Romans. Moreover,
                      the apostles had themselves gone "on the other side". However, not Caesar,
                      nor a corrupt Caiaphas would hold the destiny of humanity, but the One, who
                      was now deated "at hew right hand" of God.
                      Thus the story of crossing the sea has a two fold thrust.
                      (a) It is a vehicle to clarify Jesus' teaching and his mission in life. It
                      tells in a vivid manner in what way his own teaching had overcome the evil:
                      discrimination of the poor, the lepers, the Samaritans - how he even had
                      taught to love an enemy..Upon arrival "to the other side" :Jesus heals Legio
                      (a Latin word for a Roman legion) casting out the demons that possessed the
                      man.
                      (b) To an audience faced with adversity, even persecutions, the miracle
                      story thus expresses in a marvelous way the faith in the person of Jesus
                      that prevailed in the community and in the power of the Spirit that had
                      guided him.fulfill his divine mission

                      So, yes, on a primary level the children were told that Jesus should not be
                      sought in a grave. God had raised him to life and went before his people
                      into exile.
                      On a deeper level, however, adults were.addressed in their precarious
                      situation and confronted by the seemingly inexplicable facts of the
                      crucifixion of Messiah Jesus and destruction of the temple of God. Mark
                      found in his bible the answers he needed to awaken faith in God working his
                      purpose out. It explains why Mark referred to LXX Isa 22, with its context
                      of the Babylonian attack on Jerusalem, the doomed temple and Isaiah's
                      prophecy condemning a corrupt priest.

                      In this setting the exegete must try to interpret the midrash. Why did Mark
                      refer to LXX Isa 22,16 , Isa 33,16 and LXX Gn 29,3 in their context.

                      cordially yours,

                      Karel
                    • Jan Sammer
                      From: Karel Hanhart ... stories ... of ... The suggestion that the resurrection accounts were tailored to an audience of children is
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 20, 2003
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                        From: "Karel Hanhart" <K.Hanhart@...>

                        ...
                        > The setting is liturgical. The passover haggadah
                        > was meant to be read in worship in the Pesach season and the miracle
                        stories
                        > were told in the first place on behalf of the children., the 'little ones
                        of
                        > 10,15, who were sitting, so to speak, in the front row of the ecclesia
                        > eagerly listening.to the Passover story of Messiah Jesus.

                        The suggestion that the resurrection accounts were tailored to an audience
                        of children is new to me; you are using it as a working assumption, without
                        stating the reasons why it should be so.


                        " Das Wunder ist des
                        > Glaubens verhätcheltes Kind" (Goethe), For the children should know most
                        of
                        > all, that God would not forsake his beloved son but would rescue him from
                        > death. Religious
                        > language is metaphorical language; faith in God's saving deeds can only be
                        > expressed through a miracle story. This is true for the miracles in the
                        > original Passover Haggadah of the Exodus. Moses mighty deeds, for
                        instance,
                        > performed in front of Pharaoh were not meant to be taken literally: the
                        > plagues in Egypt, the parting of the waters, the mannah in the desert.
                        These
                        > stories were a suitable means in rhe liturgy to put the children (and the
                        > uneducated hearers) on the right track of perceiving the divine Presence
                        in
                        > life.

                        What is the evidence that the Exodus narratives were not meant to be taken
                        literally? The prophets never give an indication of anything of the sort.
                        The Exodus was the formative experience of ancient Israel. It does sound
                        like a fairytale to modern ears, but to retroject this impression into the
                        past seems unwarranted.


                        > The local presbyter could explain these midrashic stories to the
                        > children in school or catechism.

                        That is what often happens today, but were young children in Isaiah's time
                        told the Exodus events were not to be taken literally? Any evidence of that
                        at all?

                        > So Mark did not want to convince his adult
                        > hearers that Jesus was a magician, literally able to walk on water,
                        > although he did
                        > want to convey his faith that in greatest danger and in similar
                        > circumstances Jesus' Spirit was able to see his own through, thus making
                        > them able to fulfill their mission among the Gentiles.The context of Mark
                        > 4,35ff shows that Jesus ordered his disicples to go to heathen territory
                        "on
                        > the other side (35). When this story was read. the hearers actually were
                        "on
                        > the other side" in heathen territory, in an ecclesia somewhere in Rome or
                        > Alexandria. They had heard the news of history that the beloved city had
                        > fallen and that the temple had been destroyed and they were listening to
                        the
                        > tale about the Messiah who was cruelly crucified by the Romans. Moreover,
                        > the apostles had themselves gone "on the other side". However, not
                        Caesar,
                        > nor a corrupt Caiaphas would hold the destiny of humanity, but the One,
                        who
                        > was now deated "at hew right hand" of God.
                        > Thus the story of crossing the sea has a two fold thrust.
                        > (a) It is a vehicle to clarify Jesus' teaching and his mission in life. It
                        > tells in a vivid manner in what way his own teaching had overcome the
                        evil:
                        > discrimination of the poor, the lepers, the Samaritans - how he even had
                        > taught to love an enemy..Upon arrival "to the other side" :Jesus heals
                        Legio
                        > (a Latin word for a Roman legion) casting out the demons that possessed
                        the
                        > man.
                        > (b) To an audience faced with adversity, even persecutions, the miracle
                        > story thus expresses in a marvelous way the faith in the person of Jesus
                        > that prevailed in the community and in the power of the Spirit that had
                        > guided him.fulfill his divine mission.
                        > So, yes, on a primary level the children were told that Jesus should not
                        be
                        > sought in a grave. God had raised him to life and went before his people
                        > into exile.
                        > On a deeper level, however, adults were.addressed in their precarious
                        > situation and confronted by the seemingly inexplicable facts of the
                        > crucifixion of Messiah Jesus and destruction of the temple of God. Mark
                        > found in his bible the answers he needed to awaken faith in God working
                        his
                        > purpose out. It explains why Mark referred to LXX Isa 22, with its context
                        > of the Babylonian attack on Jerusalem, the doomed temple and Isaiah's
                        > prophecy condemning a corrupt priest.
                        >
                        > In this setting the exegete must try to interpret the midrash. Why did
                        Mark
                        > refer to LXX Isa 22,16 , Isa 33,16 and LXX Gn 29,3 in their context.
                        >
                        You do not address any of the points of my email in which I question the
                        notion that Mark refers to Isaiah. This notion depends on the rock cut tomb
                        in both passages being high up; since Mark's anablepsasai (16:4) most likely
                        should be understood not as "looked up" but "looked again", the only point
                        of reference is a rock-cut tomb, a common cultural artifact around the
                        ancient Mediterranean, and insufficient grounds for inferring a reference to
                        Isaiah. How is Isaiah's priest hewing a tomb for himself high up in a rock
                        face alluded to in the story of Joseph "of Arimathea" (i.e., Joseph "de
                        Aromatis", i.e., an undertaker/embalmer in contemporary parlance) burying
                        Jesus in his own tomb?
                        On the other hand there is compelling evidence that the pre-gospel
                        resurrection account was of a common type of literary form--a recognition
                        scene in which the women gradually come to the realization that the figure
                        they consider the gardener or an angel is none other than the resurrected
                        Jesus. That is the key fact for understanding the story of the empty tomb
                        and its relation to the Galilean appearances.
                        What I find hard to understand is that the most far-fetched allusions to
                        Isaiah are given much credence and endlessly debated, while quite specific
                        parallels with Sophocles' Electra are seemingly beyond the pale--judging by
                        their being so studiously ignored on this list--even though we can safely
                        assume that Sophocles' Electra was commonly performed in Jesus' time in the
                        numerous outdoor theaters of the Hellenized cities of the Decapolis.

                        Besdies, what in the resurrection accounts refers to the destroyed temple?
                        The closest allusion is Luke's torn curtain of the holy of holies (24:45) at
                        the death of Jesus. In fact there is considerable evidence in the the
                        gospels and acts to indicate that the Temple was still standing at the time
                        of the closing of the NT canon. But this is for a whole different debate.

                        Jan Sammer
                        sammer@...
                      • Karel Hanhart
                        ... Karel replies: You are right, Jan, the aor of anablepo, taken by itself, might mean having looked once more . I already indicated, however, that the
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 20, 2003
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                          Jan wrote:
                          > anablhpsasai does not necessarily mean "looking up"; it more likely means
                          > "looking once more" based on the context.

                          Karel replies:

                          You are right, Jan, the aor of anablepo, taken by itself, might mean
                          'having looked once more'. I already indicated, however, that the
                          reference to Isa 22, the appearance of various midrashim in Mark
                          and Mark's style in general demand the translation "having looked up"
                          in the sense of looking up into heaven. This meaning is parallel
                          to Jesus' looking up to heaven to utter the prayer of blessing, before
                          breaking the loaves (Mk 6,41), the only other occurrence of the verb
                          in Mark. Three verbs of seeing are carefully chosen.
                          The setting of Isa 22 is a "the valley of vision!" and in Isa 32,9 the
                          'daughters of Zion' receive a vision of the future fall of Jerusaalem.
                          The careful choice and repetition of key words is typical for
                          the Hebrew language and may also be observed in Semitic Greek. Take
                          for example the book of Jonah, a compositional jewel. One feature of
                          its structure is this repeating of key words and verbs. It can be verified
                          with the help of any Hebrew concordance, f.i. Jonah 3, the 'renouncing'
                          of evil by the Ninevites and the 'renouncing' of his burning wrath by God
                          (3x in 3,8.9.10); the stark contrast in chpts 1 and 2 between 'sea' (11x)
                          and 'dry land' (3x); Jonah's.'going down' to Joppa and 'going down' into
                          the ship (1,3) and 'going down' to the roots of the mountains (2,6)
                          illustrating
                          the depth of his fall; etc.
                          Mark too uses this method of communicating truth thus imitating his Hebrew
                          Bible. His use of 'euthus' and 'palin' and his use of 'paradidomi' are
                          famous examples.
                          I also referred to Mark's writing a midrasj at important junctures of his
                          narrative, including in the opening verses (1,2.3), the centre (9,2-4), and
                          the end
                          (15,46). Ignoring the fact that the author was a Christian 'ioudaios',
                          writing to a mixed
                          audience of Judeans and Gentiles, and that he definitely was not a Greek or
                          Roman
                          author makes all the differeence in the world!.

                          Jan wrote:

                          > You make no serious attempt to show why any notion of exile should be
                          > involved in the instruction to go to Galilee; in fact, Mark lays the
                          ground
                          > for this Galilean appearances already in 14:28.

                          Karel's reply:

                          The reference to Isa 22,15-20 implies a context of the Fall of Jerusalem
                          and the following exile (certainly of Sebna). This is underlined
                          by the contrast between "here" in the temple and "there" in "a wide
                          land" 22,17. This contrast between "here" and "there' is parallelled in Mark
                          16,6
                          and 7. Matthew's well known references to Scripture in 4,13 confirms the
                          double meaning of Galilee (as the place where Jesus taught) and
                          the "Galilee of the Gentiles" (the region where Judeans and Gentiles were
                          living side by side in contrast to the Holy Place on Zion). In Mark the
                          language
                          of 'holy geography' is also found elsewehre f.i. with the emphatic
                          mentioning of
                          "a boat", "the sea of Galilee" in stead of "the lake Kinnereth" ; so also
                          Jesus' crossing over
                          several times into heathen territory, performing healing deeds, and then
                          returning
                          to Judean villages. They all serve to remind the readers of their own
                          situation and
                          mission.. The "going before" of the risen Jesus in Mk 16,7 (into the
                          diaspora)
                          is foreshadowed f.i. in 6,48; 7,31 and 14,27.28; the latter with the
                          scriptural
                          terminology for the Dispersion "the sheep will be scattered!".

                          Jan wrote:
                          > The unidentified young man's reference to the Galilean appearances
                          appearas
                          > to be simply Mark's way of integrating his source, a pre-gospel passion
                          narrative,
                          > with established Christian dogma, the core of which were the appearances,
                          > as we know from Paul's listing of the same (I Corinthians).

                          Karel's reply:

                          Here we fundamentally disagree. You imply that Paul (and those who
                          formulated
                          the earliest tradition concerning the resurrection) had taken it for granted
                          that Paul
                          and his audience not only knew a tradition that Jesus' grave was discovered
                          empty,
                          but also believed that the term "resurrection" or "being awakened" to life
                          by God,
                          involved the literal disappearance of a corpse. Appearances in this line of
                          thought
                          would have been impossible if not a dead body of the appearing person would
                          first
                          have disappeared from the grave. Such assumptions precisely are not found in
                          the
                          text of 1 Cor 15. Some Corinthians evidently doubted the proclamation that
                          Jesus
                          was raised. Paul would have certainly used this supposedly widely known
                          tradition
                          of the rolled away stone as 'proof' for these would be uninformed doubters.
                          In Judean writings, moreover, the various terms for resurrection have a
                          wider semiotic
                          field than the magical removal of a gravestone and the disappreance of a
                          body. Besides,
                          the gripping imagery of opened tombs is used positivelky as a fitting
                          metaphor for God's
                          saving initiative in the Hebrew Bible:. Ezekiel 37,12. It is therefore
                          perfectly legitimate
                          to regard also Mark'siamgery as a metaphor. His audience knew this metaphor.
                          In the early the confession , the proclamation 'egerthe' ("he was raised" to
                          life by God) was
                          emphatically underlined by the phrase "ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURES). After the
                          confession
                          "he died for our sins ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURES" and after "he was buried"
                          followed again this condition of the confession "raised". They believed it
                          because their faith
                          ACCORDED WITH SCRIPTURES.
                          This early tradition is certainly basic; but the interpertration of the
                          removal of a stone and
                          removal of Jesus' body on the other hand is highly questionable.

                          Jan wrote:

                          ... The other gospel writers adopted different solutions
                          > for integrating portions of the pre-gospel passion narrative into their
                          > respective works, without violating accepted dogma.

                          Karel's reply:

                          We do not know what this pre-gospel narrative looked like -
                          nor may we base a preconceived notion of an "accepted dogma"
                          bolstering the interpretation of a literal "empty grave". with regard to
                          the undoubedly earliest confession that God raised Jesus to life.
                          Eegetes are bound, however, to rhyme his/her exegesis of
                          the ending of the other gospels with their interpretation of Mark's
                          opened monument epilogue no matter which option, the literal
                          or the metaphorical one, they have chosen.

                          cordially

                          Karel
                        • Karel Hanhart
                          ... account ... Karel s reply: You are right, Jan, bringing the identity of the young man into play. Both (a) the identity of Joseph (who came from Ramathaim
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 20, 2003
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                            Jan Sammer wrote:

                            >
                            > The main reason why Mark ceased following his source and cut off his
                            account
                            > before the identity of the young man as the resurrected Jesus.....

                            Karel's reply:

                            You are right, Jan, bringing the identity of the "young man" into play. Both
                            (a) the
                            identity of Joseph (who came from Ramathaim or Rama), a member of the
                            Council that condemned Jesus, and (b) the identity of the young man dressed
                            in a white stola, are part of Mark's message
                            (b) that Mark suggested that this angelic young man in the tomb, dressed in
                            white and addressing the women, might have been your "resurrected Jesus"
                            has indeed been suggested by some. Other say that he stands for a baptized
                            neophyte (buried with Jesus in order to rise with him). But as Neirynck well
                            pointed out, Mark clearly referred already to this young man in Gethsemane.
                            There the young man, dressed in linen, is fleeling naked from the scene. Our
                            imagination is stretched too far assuming this to be a picure of the Jesus
                            of history and also not any baptized neophyte. Baptism and a struggle with
                            swords clashing have little in common with him.
                            That young man is now dressed in a white stola while in Getsemane
                            was wrapped in a precious linen cloth, used by the rich, especially
                            by priests.
                            This young man. moreover, is uttering the resurrection message to the women
                            and in a positive way he is fulfilling a role of conveying a heavenly
                            message similar
                            to that of the prophet Isaiah in Isa 22, 15-20. Any attempt to identify this
                            cryptic
                            young man must fit these data.

                            (a) .In my haggadic approach Mark the literal description of Joseph
                            "having come from Rama", "also looking for the kingdom" and "being
                            a member of the Council" are cryptic and partly ironical hints pointing to
                            an individual well known to his audience (but alas, to us unknown).
                            Close reading of the story leads to the conclusion that Joseph's acts were
                            frustrated by God because this frustrated attempt to bury the "body of
                            Jesus"
                            was seen by Mark as an hostile act. So this "enemy" must have been a well
                            known
                            Judean personality both to the community in Rome and to Mark himself and
                            hostile
                            to the Jesus' movement.
                            The attempt at identifying this well known individual must remain in the
                            area
                            of speculation. I have ventured the suggestion that it concerned Josephus
                            (Joseph
                            bar-Matthias !), who indeed was a well known member of the Council,
                            a priest-general in the Roman war and after his surrender to Vespasian,
                            turned out to be a prominent and privileged person in Caesarean Rome.
                            Admittedly, Josephus functioned during and after the destrcution of th
                            Temple
                            bu his role would fit into an epilogue precisely dealing with the trauma of
                            70.

                            Jan wrote:
                            ... > that a first appearance of the resurrected Jesus to the women would
                            have changed the
                            > pecking order of appearances and given these women authority in the early
                            > church greater than that of Peter and the other male witnesses. That was
                            > probably his main concern since Jesus' appearance to the women, as in the
                            > other gospels, could have been combined with the appearances in Galilee.

                            Karel:

                            Mark was writing at times in the 'language of the persecuted' (Leo Straus),
                            certainly so in the Golgota and epilogue episodes. Cryptic descriptions that
                            would clearly indicate that Mark was addressing Judean friends concerning
                            hostile persons in the aftermath of the war won by the foreign power. Hence
                            our problem at identifying Joseph.
                            In a former post I already noted that "appearance of Jesus" do not imply
                            the necessity of an empty tomb; they do attempt to convey the experience
                            of faith in the risen Messiah. The apperances told in following gospels
                            are certainly in need of separate interpretation in line with Mark's tale.

                            cordially

                            Karel
                          • Karel Hanhart
                            ... From: Geoff Hudson To: Sent: Friday, June 20, 2003 11:07 PM Subject: [XTalk] Re: Mark s Epilogue
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jun 21, 2003
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                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Geoff Hudson <geoff.hudson@...>
                              To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Friday, June 20, 2003 11:07 PM
                              Subject: [XTalk] Re: Mark's Epilogue (15,42 - 16,8)


                              --- 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.

                              Geof,

                              Reading the story as if it were the end of a biography of Jesus, one
                              is bound to look for solutions to enigmatic features of the text that
                              would fit into a historically possible plot. Isn't that what you are
                              trying to do in your post? You have come up with a plot in which
                              a man named Joseph was in reality Simon Peter.
                              The result of this approach is that the author was either misinformed or
                              a bungling writer.
                              Determining the genre and date of Mark's "good news" remains i.m.o.
                              essential to unraveling its meaning. What then is wrong with the genre
                              Passover Haggadah? The subject is a Jewish one throughout. It
                              is focussed on events on Passover Day: The epithets of the main
                              protagonist are Messiah and son of God. So the genre Passover
                              Haggadah, told in liturgical surroundings, seems to me, better
                              suited than a biography. Read as a Passover Haggadah within the framework
                              of First Century Judaism the difference between the feast calender in
                              the synagogue and in the ecclesia demands an explanation. In the synagogue
                              the first of the fifty days of the Pentecostal harvest always falls on
                              Nisan 16.
                              In Mark's story this happens to be the sabbath of the burial. Or pinpointing
                              it
                              more precisely, the burial takes place at the onset of the sabbath (the
                              evening
                              of the christian Good Friday). In the ecclesia the first of the fifty days
                              of
                              the Pentecostal harvest, however, always falls on a Sunday
                              (the christian Easter Sunday). The latter is in accord with the old priestly
                              calendar.

                              cordsially

                              Karel
                            • Karel Hanhart
                              ... From: Jan Sammer To: Sent: Friday, June 20, 2003 11:09 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: Mark s Epilogue
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jun 22, 2003
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                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: Jan Sammer <sammer@...>
                                To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Friday, June 20, 2003 11:09 AM
                                Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: Mark's Epilogue (15,42 - 16,8)


                                > From: "Karel Hanhart" <K.Hanhart@...>
                                >
                                > ...
                                > > The setting is liturgical. The passover haggadah
                                > > was meant to be read in worship in the Pesach season and the miracle
                                > stories
                                > > were told in the first place on behalf of the children., the 'little
                                ones
                                > of
                                > > 10,15, who were sitting, so to speak, in the front row of the ecclesia
                                > > eagerly listening.to the Passover story of Messiah Jesus.

                                Jan wrote:
                                > The suggestion that the resurrection accounts were tailored to an audience
                                > of children is new to me; you are using it as a working assumption,
                                without
                                > stating the reasons why it should be so.

                                Karel answered:

                                Statements of faith are meant for children and adults alike and should be.
                                They are expressed in religious language which of necessity is metaphorical
                                language as it unreservedly takes divine wisdom and action beyond human
                                wisdom and action into account.
                                Next to passages as 10,15 (the little ones) and I Cor 13,11.12, I would
                                mention Deut 13,8. The children do play an important role at the Passover
                                meal.
                                And Paul well expressed the distinction adult - child, "childish things"
                                could well stand for a literal interpretation by adults while they should
                                know better ( f.i. conclusions that historically the waters of Nile turned
                                into
                                blood.
                                If this 'evidence' does not suffice, I am afraid we would be engaged in a
                                'dialogue des sourds or a dialogue of the deaf.

                                Jan wrote:

                                > You do not address any of the points of my email in which I question the
                                > notion that Mark refers to Isaiah.

                                Our postings crossed. I tried to answer you on the points below in a
                                separate posting.

                                cordially,

                                Karel
                              • Karel Hanhart
                                Dear listers: Below I have added the second instalment, namely, thesis 9 and 10; a third instalment will soon follow. If exegetes believe Mark s epilogue is a
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jun 23, 2003
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                                  Dear listers:

                                  Below I have added the second instalment, namely, thesis 9 and 10; a third
                                  instalment will
                                  soon follow. If exegetes believe Mark's epilogue is a post-70 midrash on the
                                  temple's destruction,
                                  they should offer an interpretation of the pre-70 creedal formula., "raised
                                  on the third day
                                  according to the Scriptures".


                                  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 c
                                  ontributing 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).
                                  One should distinguish between 'egerthe' (Mk 16,7) or 'egegerthe' (1Cor
                                  15,20, referring to the exaltation and 'anastenai' or 'anastesetai' (Mk
                                  8,31; 9,31; 10,33) as the earthly manifestation thereof..(III) Thus the
                                  Spirit, who had inspired the Messiah, lives 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 'Day One' of Shabuoth (Mlk 16,2) still fell on a Sunday
                                  (Lv 23,11.15), hence the "third day" after Good Friday. Farmers would then
                                  bring the first sheaves of barley for the 'weave offering'; hence the
                                  metaphor for Jesus' resurrection 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.
                                • Karel Hanhart
                                  ... From: Karel Hanhart To: Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 5:36 PM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: Mark s Epilogue
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jun 23, 2003
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    ----- 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)


                                    CORRECTION !
                                    Dear listers:

                                    By accident I sent the wrong summary of thesis 9 and 10. One quickly
                                    bypasses
                                    important details of an argumentation in a summary. I was trying to
                                    summarize the work
                                    of Klaus Berger and accidentally sent it off while in the process of
                                    correction.
                                    So, please, ignore the E-mail of June 23, 2003 at 5.36 pm.

                                    Below I have added the second instalment, namely, thesis 9 and 10; a third
                                    instalment will soon follow. If exegetes believe Mark's epilogue is a
                                    post-70 midrash on the
                                    temple's destruction,
                                    they should offer an interpretation of the pre-70 creedal formula., "raised
                                    on the third day
                                    according to the Scriptures".

                                    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
                                  • Karel Hanhart
                                    ... From: Mike Grondin To: Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2003 11:40 PM Subject: [XTalk] Re: Mark s Epilogue
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jul 3, 2003
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: Mike Grondin <mwgrondin@...>
                                      To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2003 11:40 PM
                                      Subject: [XTalk] Re: Mark's Epilogue (15,42 - 16,8)


                                      > --- 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..."

                                      Mike,

                                      I was and still am aware of the difference between Mark's "twel;ve'
                                      and the 'Counci of the Community".
                                      For that reason I wrote
                                      ".. an Essene notion".
                                      Since James, Jesus' brother and Simon Peter were not priests,
                                      I believe, only twelve were elected. James, Simon and
                                      John belonged to the group and were regarded as the "pillars".
                                      Of course, this can be no more than a historical reconstruction. There are
                                      good reasons,
                                      however, that Mark himself introduced Judas and Andrew for the plot of his
                                      story..

                                      cordially,

                                      Karel



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                                      > Mike
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