Re: [XTalk] where they laid him
----- Original Message -----
From: Jan Sammer <sammer@...>
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 12:39 AM
Subject: Re: [XTalk] where they laid him
> >> > 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.
> > I'm afraid you are taking my exegesis too lightly. I have analysed
> > Mark's temple/tomb story verse by verse and interpreted his cryptic
> > account of his indomitable faith in the risen Messiah in a 600 pp book,
> > summarized in the 15 theses.
> I admittedly have not read your book but have been relying on your summary
> of its principal arguments.
> > I think you still owe our readers your own explanation why Mark did
> > not write in Greek 'idete ton topon' but 'ide ho topos'. I explained
> > that if Mark had intended his mature readers to believe literally in an
> > EMPTY grave, from which Jesus' dead body disappeared, the angel would
> > have said 'idete', for he addressed three women, hence a plural, and
> > 'ton topon' for in that case he was pointing them literally to an empty
> > shelf in that grave. However, he deliberately used a Hebraism which
> > his bilingual adult readers - used to midrash - would have readily
> > translated in their mind into the Hebrew "re'eh ha-maqom!" - "Behold,
> > the (holy) Place", i.e. the temple. The women saw in a future vision
> > the temple that would be destroyed.
> > You may not agree with this exegesis. However, I did offer an exegesis
> > of the socalled mistake in Greek by Mark which in reality was a
> > midrashic hint. It is now up to you to offer a better one and please,
> > not that Mark did not know Greek, be it what I like to call 'immigrant
> > Greek'.
> Mark's Greek may not be very elegant, but it is competent and my argument
> was not based on his poor knowledge of the language. I did criticize as
> far fetched the notion that Mark was hinting at the destroyed holy place,
> since this notion is negated by the second half of the sentence. In my
> view Mark used Ide instead of Idete deliberately because he was rendering
> the words of a stage character.
Isn't the idea of a "stage character" far fetched?
I presume that the so-called young man at
> the tomb was never actually visible to the audience
> he was understood to
> be in front of the tomb entrance, which was turned in the direction facing
> away from them. The reason for this arrangement was that as the scene
> progressed this young man would gradually reaveal his true identity as the
> resurrected Jesus, a glowing angelic being whose precise appearance was
> better described by the women, who could see him from center stage, than
> actually shown. When the young man said: "Behold the place where they laid
> him" he was addressing the audience as much as the women.
to which audience besides the women? Are you suggesting Mark wrote his
epilogue to be performed as a play?
> > Moreover, Jan, do you really believe Mark wanted to write a
> > journalistic eyewitness report of what he believed the women saw? I
> > would respect your view that this was the case. It is not mine.
> That is certainly not my position, however the element of eyewitness
> reporting is there due to the pre-gospel passion narrative being a drama;
> the eywitnesses were the members of the audience.
Was this "pre-gospel drama" also a kind of passion play in your view? Where
would this play have been performed?
My main argument is that Mark wrote an eppilogue for his post-70
Passover Haggadah in terms of a midrash. It was not a play.John Mark
himself and the core of his ecclesia were most likely 'ioudiaoi' judging
from the frequent biblical references and the subject of the Gospel itself.
Every year they, of course, remembered Jesus' death, crucified on Passover
and were in need of a haggadah that offered a contemporary
interpretation of the Torah.
> Some grammatical
> elements of this previous dramatic form carried over into the gospel
> accounts. I find this to be a satisfactory explanation of the Ide vs.
> Idete issue.
Wouldn't that make Mark a sloppy author? I would ask you, moreover,
was Montefiore, a respected Jewish scholar, wrong in suggesting
that Mark with the "tomb hewn from the rock" was citing LXX Isa 22,16
(a hapax in the Hebrew Bible and in the LXX)? and with the "very
large stone - rolled away" was citing Gn 29,2.10 (again a hapax)?
I felt obliged to interpret Mark's own literary signals to his intended
readers. These signals can only be ignored, in my view, at the risk of
loosing the intended meaning of this all important epilogue.
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