Re: [XTalk] The Markan Sanhedrin's view of Israel in exile
- Bob Schacht wrote:
> I'm getting rather confused here, but my point is this: Your openingNote please that I am NOT dealing with historical questions. I'm dealing
> on this subject seems to write about the Sanhedrin as if it were some
> and known quantity that did not change significantly from the time of
> to the time when Mark was writing his gospel. What I am encouraging
> you to
> do is to think about how the two may have evolved over that span of
> and furthermore how the class of "Scribes" had themselves evolved, and
> relationship the scribes had with the Sanhedrin, in both generations.
with what Mark presents in his story of Jesus. And in his story, scribes
(along with elders and chief priests) are constituent members of a
judicial body that he presents as condemning Jesus and that he calls
(accurately or not) the Sanhedrin.
Does this help?
In any event, it's obvious that for Mark (whatever the historical
reality may have been) John believes that Israel is in exile. It's
obvious too that for Mark, Jesus believes that Israel is in exile. The
question I'm asking is whether or not **Mark** presents those he
presents as members of the (imagined?) body that he calls the Sanhedrin
as sharing this view.
> Bob Schacht
> Northern Arizona University
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
Chicago, IL 60626
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- -----Original Message-----
From: Bob Schacht [mailto:bobschacht@...]
Sent: 07 October 2003 22:56
Subject: Re: [XTalk] The Markan Sanhedrin's view of Israel in exile
Of course, Mark may have written ambiguously, referring to both the early
historical proto-Sanhedrin at the same time that he was addressing (in
other passages?) the Sanhedrin as it existed in his own day, without
differentiating between them. Yet obviously, the Sanhedrin of Jesus' day
would not have been much concerned with the Israel in Exile theme.
Consequently, in this context, Mk 12:35-37 is rather confusing. These
verses, as many others, are doing double duty, both as a quasi-historical
account taking place in the 30s, and as Markan interpretation in the light
of the issues of his day.
Would you amplify what you mean by the double duty of Mk.12:35-37? I am
particularly interested in the possible interpretations of verse 37.
- At 01:10 PM 10/9/2003 +0100, you wrote:
>From: Bob Schacht [mailto:bobschacht@...]
>Sent: 07 October 2003 22:56
>Subject: Re: [XTalk] The Markan Sanhedrin's view of Israel in exile
>Of course, Mark may have written ambiguously, referring to both the early
>historical proto-Sanhedrin at the same time that he was addressing (in
>other passages?) the Sanhedrin as it existed in his own day, without
>differentiating between them. Yet obviously, the Sanhedrin of Jesus' day
>would not have been much concerned with the Israel in Exile theme.
>Consequently, in this context, Mk 12:35-37 is rather confusing. These
>verses, as many others, are doing double duty, both as a quasi-historical
>account taking place in the 30s, and as Markan interpretation in the light
>of the issues of his day.
>Would you amplify what you mean by the double duty of Mk.12:35-37? I am
>particularly interested in the possible interpretations of verse 37.
First of all, my comment requires the assumption that Mark is actually
writing about an historical incident-- which is by no means certain. In
fact, the Jesus Seminar rates the saying as Black (not historical.) The
text contains a reference to Psalm 110, vs. 1 (NRS):
1 The LORD says to my lord, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies
Mark 12 (NRS):
35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, "How can the scribes
say that the Messiah is the son of David?
36 David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared, 'The Lord said to my
Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet." '
37 David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?" And the large
crowd was listening to him with delight.
The first possible ambiguity comes in vs. 35: was it the scribes of Jesus'
day who were making the claim about the Messiah, the scribes of Mark's day,
or both? Or was it Mark putting words in the mouth of the scribes without
regard for anything they had actually said?
Vs. 36 contains the quote from Psalm 110:1
Vs. 37, which you ask about, refers only secondarily to something allegedly
said by the scribes, referring to Vs. 35, and seems to hold no new
information about the scribes, so I wonder why you want to focus on it.
Vs. 35 is interesting because in a way it is an unsurprising claim that
might be made by any Jew of the First Century, whether a contemporary of
Jesus, or a contemporary of Mark. But it might contain a hidden argument
against Jesus as Messiah, the missing part of the argument being that Jesus
was not the son of David. Indeed, historically, one might envision a
progression something like the following:
(a) The disciples put forward the claim that Jesus is the Messiah.
(b) The scribes counter that whereas the Tanakh proclaim that the Messiah
will be the son of David, Jesus was not. In fact, if you want to stretch
things here, some of them may have thrown in the added calumny that Jesus
was a Mamzer.
(c) Mark counters the scribes by reporting, modifying, or making up this
pericope about Jesus that is intended to deflate the importance of the
lineage of the Messiah. Note that if correct, this would then mean that
Mark was indulging in psuedo-history at this point.
(d) Matthew and Luke each use a different tactic, reconstructing a Davidic
geneology of Jesus (accurately or not).
There is an added element here that builds on the confusing opening clause
of Psalm 110, which leaves unexplained who the two Lords in question were.
Since the psalm's author is presented as David (see superscription to the
psalm), "my Lord" would then seem to be David's Lord, but the psalm seems
to describe the messiah. If so, the conundrum as described by Mark in his
words attributed to Jesus leads to contradictions. But this opens more
possible ambiguities: were the authorship of Psalm 100 and the association
of the person described in the Psalm as the messiah known to be positions
held by the scribes of Jesus' day, by the scribes of Mark's day, or both?
What any of this might have to say regarding "Israel in exile" (Jeffrey's
original question), I have no clue.
Does this answer your question?
Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
Northern Arizona University
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