Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Messianic Secret

Expand Messages
  • townsendgm
    Persuasive explanations for Mark s Messianic Secret are rather thin on the ground, but one has occurred to me which appears to make perfect sense. By the
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 22, 2004
      Persuasive explanations for Mark's Messianic Secret are rather
      thin on the ground, but one has occurred to me which appears to
      make perfect sense.

      By the mid-eighties, when Matthew and Luke were probably
      written, there can have been very few people still alive who were
      adults in the late twenties. But a person who was twenty years
      old in 30 c.e. would only have been sixty years old in 70 c.e.
      when Mark was probably written.

      Even given the fact that life expectancies were far shorter in the
      first century than they are today, there still would have been a
      significant number of people in Mark's earliest audiences who
      were alive at the time of, and were living in the locations of, the
      miracles Mark recounts in his Gospel.

      Now, miracles of the sort that Mark attributes to Jesus would
      have been fairly memorable, and a person who was a young
      adult living at or near the site of one or more of Jesus's miracles
      would have had no difficulty remembering such a remarkable
      occurrence even forty years later.

      And such a person might reasonably be inclined to dismiss
      Mark's claims as nonsense if he did not himself remember this
      person being raised from the dead, or that one being
      miraculously restored to sight in his own back yard.

      The Messianic Secret allows Mark to finesse this difficulty. The
      miracles really did happen, you see, but nobody knew about
      them because Jesus ordered that his miracles, as well as his
      identity as the Messiah, be kept secret.

      By the time the Gospels of Matthew and Luke came to be
      penned, another decade and a half had passed. Mark had laid
      the groundwork for the acceptance of Jesus the person, the
      Messiah, and the miracle worker, and precious few people were
      still alive to protest that they did not remember this miracle or
      that miracle taking place--and even if one of the few geezers still
      living DID express such thoughts, those thoughts could easily be
      dismissed as the blitherings of an old and failing mind.

      In other words, by the time of Matthew and Luke, the necessity of
      the Messianic Secret (so far as it related to the miracles) had
      passed, so Matthew and Luke simply dropped it.

      And, of course, when John is written a decade or two or three
      later, no potential witnesses were still living, so John could
      safely reject the secrecy angle entirely and assert that Jesus
      performed his miracles expressly to be seen, as signs.

      My queries, then, are: 1) whether (and, if so, where) this
      explanation for the Messianic Secret has ever been posited; and
      2) what logical or factual arguments can be adduced to explain
      why Mark's Messianic Secret was not just a smokescreen to
      hide the fact that Jesus's miracles--if not Jesus himself--were
      simply inventions intended to ensnare the credulous?

      Guy M. Townsend
    • Bob Schacht
      ... Guy, I ll get to work on that right after I finish working on why you stopped beating your wife. Your last sentence discloses your agenda, around which you
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 22, 2004
        At 03:11 PM 1/22/2004 +0000, Guy M. Townsend wrote:
        >Persuasive explanations for Mark's Messianic Secret are rather
        >thin on the ground, but one has occurred to me which appears to
        >make perfect sense....
        >My queries, then, are: 1) whether (and, if so, where) this
        >explanation for the Messianic Secret has ever been posited; and
        >2) what logical or factual arguments can be adduced to explain
        >why Mark's Messianic Secret was not just a smokescreen to
        >hide the fact that Jesus's miracles--if not Jesus himself--were
        >simply inventions intended to ensnare the credulous?

        Guy,
        I'll get to work on that right after I finish working on why you stopped
        beating your wife.
        Your last sentence discloses your agenda, around which you propose to shape
        your explanations, and which also presents a non-fact as
        fact. Furthermore, your agenda is based in impugning the motives of the
        writers of the Gospels, and motives are often not directly ascertainable.

        *Your* logic seems to go something like this: Unless someone can prove that
        Mark's Messianic Secret was NOT just "a smokescreen to hide the fact that
        Jesus's miracles--if not Jesus himself--were simply inventions intended to
        ensnare the credulous," then it was in fact such an invention. You propose
        putting the shoe on the wrong foot. This kind of logic has been tried on
        this list before. [Where is Mike Grondin when we need him?]

        You seem to suppose that merely by proposing a plausible just-so story
        consistent with your desired conclusion, you have proved your case unless
        someone can prove you wrong. The problem is that there are dozens of other
        plausible just-so stories that have been proposed to explain our texts.
        What evidence is there that yours is more historical?

        Bob


        Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D., Research Associate
        Northern Arizona University
        Flagstaff, AZ
        (928) 527-4002



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jim West
        ... Clarity of thought and persuasiveness of expression often belong more to mature minds than immature. That you characterize theologians whose writings have
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 22, 2004
          At 03:11 PM 1/22/04 +0000, you wrote:

          >that miracle taking place--and even if one of the few geezers still
          >living DID express such thoughts, those thoughts could easily be
          >dismissed as the blitherings of an old and failing mind.

          Clarity of thought and persuasiveness of expression often belong more to
          mature minds than immature. That you characterize theologians whose
          writings have been around for nearly 2000 years as "blithering" (though you
          probably meant blathering since that is a real word) and from "failing
          minds" says far more about you and your preconceptions than it does about
          Mark and Matthew and the rest. In 2000 years if what you have written (and
          what would that be) is still around then perhaps you can deride them.

          I would take a "blathering" Mark over a postpubescent egocentrist any day.

          Best

          Jim

          +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
          Dr Jim West
          Pastor, Petros Baptist Church
          http://biblical-studies.org -- Biblical Studies Resources
          http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com --- Biblical Theology Weblog

          "Ecclesia reformata et semper reformanda"
        • Jeffrey B. Gibson
          ... I wonder if, besides the fact that since you haven t stated what your criteria for persuasive are , it s impossible to evaluate your claim, this is not
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 22, 2004
            townsendgm wrote:

            > Persuasive explanations for Mark's Messianic Secret are rather
            > thin on the ground,

            I wonder if, besides the fact that since you haven't stated what your
            criteria for "persuasive" are", it's impossible to evaluate your
            claim, this is not an example of the argument from personal
            incredulity. -- i.e., "I'm not familiar with any "persuasive"
            explanations, so there aren't any to be had."?

            May I ask what works on the MS you've actually read?

            Yours,

            Jeffrey Gibson
            --

            Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

            1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
            Chicago, IL 60626

            jgibson000@...



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Wieland Willker
            He can kill with a smile. he can wound with his eyes. And he can win your faith with his casual lies. He only reveals what he wants you to see. He hides like a
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 23, 2004
              He can kill with a smile.
              he can wound with his eyes.
              And he can win your faith with his casual lies.
              He only reveals what he wants you to see.
              He hides like a child,
              but he's always the Messiah to me.
              (Billy Joel, quite)

              I am wondering why people react so aggressive?
              There has never been an entirely satisfactory answer to this question.
            • Mike Grondin
              ... Off behind that Markan smokescreen having a quick puff, and contemplating the motivation of spammers, who seem to believe that if they can sneak through my
              Message 6 of 14 , Jan 23, 2004
                --- Bob Schacht wrote:
                > At 03:11 PM 1/22/2004 +0000, Guy M. Townsend wrote:
                > >Persuasive explanations for Mark's Messianic Secret are rather
                > >thin on the ground, but one has occurred to me which appears to
                > >make perfect sense....
                > >My queries, then, are: 1) whether (and, if so, where) this
                > >explanation for the Messianic Secret has ever been posited; and
                > >2) what logical or factual arguments can be adduced to explain
                > >why Mark's Messianic Secret was not just a smokescreen to
                > >hide the fact that Jesus's miracles--if not Jesus himself--were
                > >simply inventions intended to ensnare the credulous?
                >
                > [Where is Mike Grondin when we need him?]

                Off behind that Markan smokescreen having a quick puff, and
                contemplating the motivation of spammers, who seem to believe
                that if they can sneak through my email filters by deliberately
                misspelling sexual words (including 'sexual' as 'seksual') that -
                perhaps impressed by their cleverness - I'll buy their product.
                Sheesh.

                But what can I say? You've pointed out the logical fallacy as well
                as I could have. Wieland Willker wonders why people have reacted so
                aggressively. True, Jim West was two wild, and misunderstood part
                of the message, but then there's Guy's inflamatory and superfluous
                suggestion that Jesus himself was an invention. I've had it up to
                here with that nonsense myself - and as you know I'm no fan of
                miracles. Thankfully, on Crosstalk2 we do not engage in those
                endless and futile debates about whether the man existed that fill
                other lists.

                Two points: one, that Guy's suggestion fails to be convincing for
                the simple fact that some of the supposed miracles were so public
                (here I'm thinking of the feeding of the 5000) that they could not
                have been covered under the rubric of the Messianic Secret - nor did
                Mark try to do so. Nevertheless (and this is point two), it does
                seem plausible to me that the MS might have been an explanatory
                device rather than (or in addition to) being a literary one. Not to
                explain the fact that no one claimed to have witnessed the miracles
                (the feeding was too big to have missed and the healings probably
                did in fact occur), but to explain the more general happenstance
                that the view of Jesus during his lifetime was not so exalted as
                the one Mark was proclaiming. "Tell no one" can thus be seen as of
                a piece with "but still they didn't understand" in hinting that Mark
                was aware that a radical revision of the view of Jesus had taken
                place after his death. There may even have been folks still around
                who might have testified that only post-Easter had they finally come
                to a correct "understanding".

                Regards,
                Mike Grondin
              • Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab)
                Hi Guy, For Wrede the messianic secret motif entailed a number of things: the injunctions to silence to the demons and certain recipients of healing, a
                Message 7 of 14 , Jan 23, 2004
                  Hi Guy,

                  For Wrede the messianic secret motif entailed a number of things: the
                  injunctions to silence to the demons and certain recipients of healing, a
                  particular theory about the parables, and Jesus¹ injunctions to his
                  disciples about his messianic status. Wrede¹s key point is that they all
                  belong to the one stereotypical program. I think it has been shown that such
                  a comprehensive approach is invalid.

                  1. the injunctions to the demons: on the only occasion this is described in
                  detail it happens after a demon has already spoken, so in this instance the
                  silence is already broken. The public both hears the demon¹s cry and is
                  amazed at Jesus¹ authority‹and his fame spreads. Furthermore, it is not
                  clear that the demons¹ attributions of Jesus are in fact typically
                  messianic. As a sideline, it might be instructive that W. starts here. As a
                  child of his time W could hardly have accepted the possibility of such
                  things as ³exorcisms.² They must be artificial constructions... and so too
                  the concern for silence. Things have changed.

                  2. the injunctions to recipients of healings are likewise problematic: e.g.
                  in 1.44-45 the recipient disobeys. In numerous other cases there is no
                  attempt to silence and Jesus¹ reputation grows‹²secret² seems hardly
                  appropriate‹while in the case of Jairus¹ daughter such a request seems more
                  than a little ridiculous (unless something else is going on). More
                  importantly W assumes that Jesus¹ healings are somehow related to his
                  messianic status. But where is the evidence that first century Jewish folk
                  expected the Messiah to perform the kinds of deeds that Mark attributes to
                  Jesus? In not one instance in Mark¹s narrative does any of Jesus¹ healings
                  cause the on-lookers or participants to acclaim him as Messiah. If there is
                  a ³silence² motif here‹and it is surely not thorough-going‹it is highly
                  doubtful it has anything to do with Jesus¹ messianic status.

                  3. Wrede included the parables, finding Mark¹s theory incredible because
                  Jesus never used parables to obscure but to explain. Apart from the latter
                  being mere assertion on W¹s part, I think he seriously misunderstands this
                  passage, not least because he doesn¹t pay enough attention to the function
                  of Isa 6. But even so when Jesus does explain the parables in which
                  instances do they explicitly relate to his identity as the Messiah? Mark 12
                  might be close but then Jesus¹ opponents understand the parable enough to
                  know it was told against them.

                  4. and finally there are Jesus¹ responses to Peter¹s messianic confession
                  (tell no one) and most important of all to his transfiguration (silence
                  until after the resurrection). The latter is key for W. since it shows that
                  the early Christian claim that Jesus was the Messiah emerged from the
                  ³resurrection² not from Jesus. The problem here of course as Sanday very
                  early recognized is that the resurrection simpliciter has nothing to say
                  about Jesus¹ messianic status (though it would certainly constitute a fairly
                  emphatic confirmation if Jesus had already made such a claim whether
                  explicitly, implicitly, or both).

                  5. Wrede recognized some of these problems (noteably 2. above and that in
                  12.1ff Jesus¹ opponents do understand the parable‹which should have perhaps
                  alerted him to some problems with his understanding of Mark 4), but
                  countered that such Œbreaches¹ were because the secrecy motif arose before
                  Mark and since Jesus¹ life was of considerable interest to people the veil
                  of secrecy could not have been drawn over everything. Well, this is one
                  explanation, but it looks suspiciously like a wax nose since evidence that
                  one might have regarded as negative can be neatly ascribed to ³well, it
                  wasn¹t a perfect secret.² Perhaps a more parsimonious explanation is that
                  there was no such unified ³messianic secret² at all and that several
                  phenomena are at work each one needing to be treated in its own right. (I
                  wonder how much W. was influenced by Hegelian attempts to provide
                  over-arching theories of everything‹hence his insistence that all the above
                  must have the one explanation‹and whether he might have been helped by
                  Kirkegaard¹s little jibe (on his tombstone): ³that individual² :) ).

                  6. My guess? I think in Mark¹s account Jesus silences the demons not because
                  they think he is the Messiah but because they know that in him Israel¹s God
                  is somehow mysteriously present (remember Mark¹s opening verses are not
                  about the coming of a Messiah but of the very presence of Yahweh; cf. Jesus¹
                  forgiving sins ‹ Vermes¹ explanation notwithstanding‹ and commanding the
                  sea). The occasional silences re the healings are perhaps a combination of
                  Jesus¹ concern that his healings do not compromise his ability to preach
                  widely and his concern that his deeds not be seen as a means of building his
                  own honor. The parables are less about Jesus¹ deliberately excluding as they
                  are about an act of divine Œjudgment¹ in revealing the secrets of his
                  hearers¹ hearts resulting in them either being outside or inside. Regarding
                  the explicitly messianic issues: I think the old explanation is still the
                  best: Jesus¹ understanding of Messiahship was very different from the
                  potentially disastrous popular view.

                  If I¹ve missed some things, my apologies.

                  Blessings

                  Rikk

                  (PS: at the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me note again that
                  Wrede himself abandoned his theory just before his death; so said the German
                  editor of a collection of letters exchanged between W. and Harnack during
                  his presentation at SBL in California some years ago).


                  On 22/1/04 7:11 AM, "townsendgm" <townsendgm@...> wrote:

                  > Persuasive explanations for Mark's Messianic Secret are rather
                  > thin on the ground, but one has occurred to me which appears to
                  > make perfect sense.
                  >
                  > By the mid-eighties, when Matthew and Luke were probably
                  > written, there can have been very few people still alive who were
                  > adults in the late twenties. But a person who was twenty years
                  > old in 30 c.e. would only have been sixty years old in 70 c.e.
                  > when Mark was probably written.
                  >
                  > Even given the fact that life expectancies were far shorter in the
                  > first century than they are today, there still would have been a
                  > significant number of people in Mark's earliest audiences who
                  > were alive at the time of, and were living in the locations of, the
                  > miracles Mark recounts in his Gospel.
                  >
                  > Now, miracles of the sort that Mark attributes to Jesus would
                  > have been fairly memorable, and a person who was a young
                  > adult living at or near the site of one or more of Jesus's miracles
                  > would have had no difficulty remembering such a remarkable
                  > occurrence even forty years later.
                  >
                  > And such a person might reasonably be inclined to dismiss
                  > Mark's claims as nonsense if he did not himself remember this
                  > person being raised from the dead, or that one being
                  > miraculously restored to sight in his own back yard.
                  >
                  > The Messianic Secret allows Mark to finesse this difficulty. The
                  > miracles really did happen, you see, but nobody knew about
                  > them because Jesus ordered that his miracles, as well as his
                  > identity as the Messiah, be kept secret.
                  >
                  > By the time the Gospels of Matthew and Luke came to be
                  > penned, another decade and a half had passed. Mark had laid
                  > the groundwork for the acceptance of Jesus the person, the
                  > Messiah, and the miracle worker, and precious few people were
                  > still alive to protest that they did not remember this miracle or
                  > that miracle taking place--and even if one of the few geezers still
                  > living DID express such thoughts, those thoughts could easily be
                  > dismissed as the blitherings of an old and failing mind.
                  >
                  > In other words, by the time of Matthew and Luke, the necessity of
                  > the Messianic Secret (so far as it related to the miracles) had
                  > passed, so Matthew and Luke simply dropped it.
                  >
                  > And, of course, when John is written a decade or two or three
                  > later, no potential witnesses were still living, so John could
                  > safely reject the secrecy angle entirely and assert that Jesus
                  > performed his miracles expressly to be seen, as signs.
                  >
                  > My queries, then, are: 1) whether (and, if so, where) this
                  > explanation for the Messianic Secret has ever been posited; and
                  > 2) what logical or factual arguments can be adduced to explain
                  > why Mark's Messianic Secret was not just a smokescreen to
                  > hide the fact that Jesus's miracles--if not Jesus himself--were
                  > simply inventions intended to ensnare the credulous?
                  >
                  > Guy M. Townsend
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
                  >
                  > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > * To visit your group on the web, go to:
                  > * http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2/
                  > *
                  > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > * crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > <mailto:crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
                  > *
                  > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service
                  > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .
                  >




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • townsendgm
                  ... Rikk-- Thank you so much for your informative reply. My puzzlement related specifically to Jesus s demands of secrecy in matters which obviously could not
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jan 23, 2004
                    --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab)"
                    <rwatts@i...> wrote:
                    > Hi Guy,
                    >

                    >
                    > If I1ve missed some things, my apologies.
                    >
                    > Blessings
                    >
                    > Rikk
                    >

                    Rikk--

                    Thank you so much for your informative reply.

                    My puzzlement related specifically to Jesus's demands of
                    secrecy in matters which obviously could not be kept secret--as
                    in the case of Jairus's daughter, of which you yourself make
                    mention--and it came into my prosecutor's mind (in my sleep, in
                    fact; I woke up yesterday morning with the idea bouncing around
                    inside my head) that "Mark" might possibly have used the device
                    for the purpose I suggested in my post.

                    Your suggestion that "there was no such unified 'messianic
                    secret' at all and that several phenomena are at work exch one
                    needing to be treated in its own right" seems quite likely to me.
                    And your observation that "If there is a 'silence' motif here
                    [regarding the miracles]--and it is surely not thorough-going--it is
                    highly doubtful it has anything to do with Jesus' messianic
                    status" seem to me to be spot on. But if it has nothing to do with
                    Jesus's messianic status, I ask myself, what purpose did it
                    serve? And the answer which popped into my suspicious little
                    mind was the one I posited in my initial post, the purpose of
                    which post was to enquire whether (and, if so, where) that
                    possibility had been considered.

                    Again, my sincere thanks for your thoughtful response.


                    Guy M. Townsend
                  • Karel Hanhart
                    Mark did not write a biography, but an extended Passover story. He wrote either just before or during the Judean War or after the fall of Jerusalem (I hold
                    Message 9 of 14 , Apr 15, 2004
                      Mark did not write a biography, but an extended Passover story. He wrote
                      either just before or during the Judean War or after the fall of Jerusalem
                      (I hold the latter). Might it be helpful to consider the so-called
                      Messianic Secret passages as a Markan device to explain to his readers IN
                      HINDSIGHT the TRUE IMPACT of Jesus' teaching and acts. The true
                      consequences were to Mark's mind, for instance,. that Jesus' teaching Torah
                      was not only meant for the 5000 (meaning Israel) but also for the 4000 ( the
                      nations). His readers still had first or second hand knowledge of the
                      historical Jesus, his teachings and the progression of his messianic
                      movement through oral or written traditions They thus knew to some extant
                      what he actually taught and the historical immediate impact of his teachings
                      (what we do not know). He had not taught in foreign countries Mark in his
                      Gospel tries to bridge the gap between what was known of the 'historical
                      Jesus' and the weal and woes of the ecclesia and of his people as a whole
                      after 'Pentecost', including the mission to the Samaritans and "to the
                      Gentiles".
                      One may apply this theory to the healing of the leper who was to say
                      "nothing to anyone", but show himself to the priests, "as a testimony to
                      them". Mark seems to create here in advance a diastasis between the temple
                      clergy and Jesus, which came into the open at the end of Jesus' life. The
                      lines of confrontation were drawn at the outset (cf also 1,24). The state
                      of leprosy - a person shunned by the community in the extreme -, was of
                      course a prime metaphor for the state of a person discriminated on religious
                      grounds by temple authorities. A third example is Jesus' teaching about the
                      future in chpt 13. It was only meant for the ears of the three intimi and
                      (this time) also of the Greek named Andrew, 13,4). No one else had heard
                      this. This third example is, of course, known as a vaticinium ex eventu. The
                      motif of secrecy is analogous to this phenomenon.
                      In other words the motif of secrecy, announced in 9,11-13, was needed to
                      underline for his readers that Jesus had known all along what effect God's
                      Rule and his mission would have in Israel and beyond in the coming decades,
                      including the destruction of the temple. Jesus had tried to make his
                      disciples (in vain) to see such consequences, which in hindsight Mark's
                      ecclesia knew all too well. In other words, I too believe that there was not
                      just one secret as Wrede believed. I also believe that this proposal may set
                      many of his miracle stories in clearer light.

                      cordially

                      Karel

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                      To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Friday, January 23, 2004 3:51 PM
                      Subject: Re: [XTalk] Messianic Secret


                      > --- Bob Schacht wrote:
                      > > At 03:11 PM 1/22/2004 +0000, Guy M. Townsend wrote:
                      > > >Persuasive explanations for Mark's Messianic Secret are rather
                      > > >thin on the ground, but one has occurred to me which appears to
                      > > >make perfect sense....
                      > > >My queries, then, are: 1) whether (and, if so, where) this
                      > > >explanation for the Messianic Secret has ever been posited; and
                      > > >2) what logical or factual arguments can be adduced to explain
                      > > >why Mark's Messianic Secret was not just a smokescreen to
                      > > >hide the fact that Jesus's miracles--if not Jesus himself--were
                      > > >simply inventions intended to ensnare the credulous?
                      > >
                      > > [Where is Mike Grondin when we need him?]
                      >
                      > Off behind that Markan smokescreen having a quick puff, and
                      > contemplating the motivation of spammers, who seem to believe
                      > that if they can sneak through my email filters by deliberately
                      > misspelling sexual words (including 'sexual' as 'seksual') that -
                      > perhaps impressed by their cleverness - I'll buy their product.
                      > Sheesh.
                      >
                      > But what can I say? You've pointed out the logical fallacy as well
                      > as I could have. Wieland Willker wonders why people have reacted so
                      > aggressively. True, Jim West was two wild, and misunderstood part
                      > of the message, but then there's Guy's inflamatory and superfluous
                      > suggestion that Jesus himself was an invention. I've had it up to
                      > here with that nonsense myself - and as you know I'm no fan of
                      > miracles. Thankfully, on Crosstalk2 we do not engage in those
                      > endless and futile debates about whether the man existed that fill
                      > other lists.
                      >
                      > Two points: one, that Guy's suggestion fails to be convincing for
                      > the simple fact that some of the supposed miracles were so public
                      > (here I'm thinking of the feeding of the 5000) that they could not
                      > have been covered under the rubric of the Messianic Secret - nor did
                      > Mark try to do so. Nevertheless (and this is point two), it does
                      > seem plausible to me that the MS might have been an explanatory
                      > device rather than (or in addition to) being a literary one. Not to
                      > explain the fact that no one claimed to have witnessed the miracles
                      > (the feeding was too big to have missed and the healings probably
                      > did in fact occur), but to explain the more general happenstance
                      > that the view of Jesus during his lifetime was not so exalted as
                      > the one Mark was proclaiming. "Tell no one" can thus be seen as of
                      > a piece with "but still they didn't understand" in hinting that Mark
                      > was aware that a radical revision of the view of Jesus had taken
                      > place after his death. There may even have been folks still around
                      > who might have testified that only post-Easter had they finally come
                      > to a correct "understanding".
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      > Mike Grondin
                      >
                      >
                      > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
                      >
                      > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
                      crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      > List managers may be contacted directly at:
                      crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      > To visit your group on the web, go to:
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2/
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                      > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      >
                      >
                    • Gordon Raynal
                      Hi Karel ... A helpful note. Another thought or few about Mark s use of the Messianic Secret and the wonder stories: When I think about this several things
                      Message 10 of 14 , Apr 16, 2004
                        Hi Karel

                        >In other words the motif of secrecy, announced in 9,11-13, was needed to
                        >underline for his readers that Jesus had known all along what effect God's
                        >Rule and his mission would have in Israel and beyond in the coming decades,
                        >including the destruction of the temple. Jesus had tried to make his
                        >disciples (in vain) to see such consequences, which in hindsight Mark's
                        >ecclesia knew all too well. In other words, I too believe that there was not
                        >just one secret as Wrede believed. I also believe that this proposal may set
                        >many of his miracle stories in clearer light.

                        A helpful note. Another thought or few about Mark's use of the Messianic
                        Secret and the wonder stories: When I think about this several things come
                        to mind-

                        1. In I Cor. Paul has these words, "For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire
                        wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and
                        foolishness to Gentiles." (NRSV I Cor. 1:22-23). Notably in Mark, wonders
                        arouse questions about wisdom in such as Mk. 1:27 and 6:2, but in the end
                        they have no positive effect at the time! From the beginning of the Markan
                        plotting Jesus is "silencing" and "sternly warning" folks to "tell no one."
                        In the stories no one pays attention to Jesus' command, but rather there is
                        all sorts of gibber-jabbing by all involved. Everyone, save in 4 scenes
                        (and the last two scenes have a group of 3 women), pay **no** heed to Jesus
                        command. Everyone, save in these 4 scenes, in other words are painted as
                        fools. Only one in Jesus' life "get's it"... the woman who silently
                        annoints Jesus' head in Bethany (the Christos moment, if you will). As
                        Crossan emphasizes, it is she who is the model disciple for Mark, from his
                        ministry. He emphasizes believing Jesus' words about the coming
                        crucifixion, but I want to emphasize her silence and the royal annointing.
                        The other two scenes are the one at the foot of the cross where the Roman
                        soldier finally and appropriately in Markan plotting, speaks: "Truly this
                        man was God's Son!" (Mk. 15:39) Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and
                        Joses (Jesus' mom?) and Salome (?? possibly Jesus' sister???) silently
                        witness the crucifixion, then go and do the post-mortem duties of annointing
                        only to be confronted with the heavenly news of Jesus' glorification and
                        command to tell the disciples to gather in Galilee to see him. Crossan and
                        others want to see this in terms of a putdown as compared with the
                        annointing woman in Bethany. Their "fear" and silence are often thought
                        about in a negative light, but as regards the Pauline affirmation and the
                        Markan plotting, this is the perfect ending. These women are silent and on
                        the run out into the world. This is a wisdom literary device (see such as
                        Proverbs I about Fear and wisdom) that has the function of arousing, if you
                        will, "silencing awe" that is precisely faithful to Jesus' command at every
                        turn in the Markan plotting. Far from being a putdown, these 3 women at the
                        cross and grave, yes, come as fools, but are silenced. As opposed to the
                        Greek wisdom and flashy signs, it is the silencing awe where one "can get
                        the secret." Contra Paul, Mark wants to show this happened in Jesus'
                        ministry and by a woman no less! (Paul won't name any women in I Cor. 15!)
                        Contra any notion of "gnosis" as some esoteric secret or some high
                        abstraction, the wisdom is Jesus' wisdom found in his very direct ethical
                        parables and aphorisms (another high commendation is Jesus' observation of
                        the poor widow and her mites). But in agreement with Paul it is the cross,
                        death and burial that evokes the "outloud" breaking of "the secret" wisdom,
                        and yet the appropriate end is not "mouthy running around;)!," but rather
                        awestruck silent running around. (Maybe another wee jab at Paul:)???)

                        2. Wisdom is feminine in personification in the Hebrew heritage. And
                        practically in life schooling it was the mom's who inculcated the
                        foundations of wisdom in their children. Per Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the
                        Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."
                        This "secret motif" is not from apocalyptic resources, but from the
                        Israelite wisdom heritage. Psalm 78 is a good place to look for "the
                        parabling of God" in relation to God's rule, Israel's ingratitude and the
                        final affirmation about David as "the shepherd of his people." Such as
                        Proverbs 1 and Psalm 78 stand behind the Markan imagination in this
                        plotting. One way to read Mark also is in relationship to Jesus embodying
                        Israel's ancient story, but as a parable of faithfulness that is meant to
                        evoke in the congregation the silence and awe that makes it possible to "get
                        it" (to borrow from Lukan terminology... "to grow in wisdom and in stature
                        and in favor with God and man.") Mark's ecclesia is a mother figure who
                        nurtures wisdom by telling the story to get folks, as Crossan nicely
                        translates it,"You have heads, use them." (found in "The Essential Jesus" p.
                        29.)

                        3. The Bethany meal scene is where, in Jesus' life, the annointing (messiah
                        making) occurs. And this affirms that "the awe silencing" experience is had
                        at the meals. This meal and not "the Last Supper" is where faithfulness is
                        experienced in Mark. It is interesting to note what John does with all of
                        this. The server in John and the first one that is mention that Jesus loves
                        is Martha. She's the cook! Her sister Mary is named as the annointer. In
                        the chapter before (11), it is Martha who has the pow-wow over the
                        resurrection with Jesus before he raises her brother Lazarus. Martha
                        believes in the resurrection and when Jesus says that he is "the
                        resurrection and life," she verbalizes belief in in Jesus' presence, "Yes,
                        Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming
                        into the world." (Jn. 11:27) And so in the next chapter... she's the cook.
                        John doesn't use the secret motif, but connects Jesus' "Signs" in this way
                        to Christological confession (wisdom). (Just as an aside, this is another
                        reason for thinking Luke comes after John, for he up's the authority of
                        "Peter and the 12," he displaces this story, erases the town name and
                        royally puts Martha down. All of this fits with Luke's liturgical and
                        ecclesiastical ordering, but both Mark and John, each through their own form
                        of plotting, connect wisdom, signs and meals to "silent" (Mark) or
                        "confessing in the presence of Jesus who is THE WORD and SIGN" (John) women
                        witnesses.

                        4. Lastly, ever since Schweitzer and his reading of Mark as presenting Jesus
                        as an apocalyptic figure, that interpretation has held sway for many
                        readers. But I'd suggest that this is a fundamental error. Yes, Mark
                        utilizes apocalyptic resources in the creation of his plot and creation of
                        scenes, but Mark's Jesus is a wisdom figure. I'd suggest the better way to
                        read Mark is in terms of Mark intentionally making the parabler into "THE
                        PARABLE." (Torah, Royal, Classical Prophetic, Apocalyptic and Wisdom
                        resources are used in this creativity.) In light of this thread and what
                        Karel is suggesting, the community listens to the performance of this
                        extended parable at the celebration of the Passover holiday meal. If one
                        thinks of a listening silent community sitting after the Seder to a reading
                        of this (and perhaps an acting it out sometimes), then the processes of
                        identification with all the fools and the example of the wise are for "the
                        ears to hear."( i.e. one experiences repentence and belief in the euangelion
                        of God). Silent annointing (like the woman), simple affirmation (like the
                        soldier) and then finally awesome silence readying those gathered not be be
                        "blabbers" (like the fools), but those who run out into the world in silence
                        is "the way of faithfulness" celebrated in this "new Passover." "Fearful,
                        silent fleeing," again, is not faithlessness, but **precisely** what Mark's
                        Jesus is commanding. Back to Paul... it's not eloquent words or flashy
                        signs that reveal Kingdom faithfulness, but awe and showing in one's life
                        and the community's life the things that Jesus parabled and aphorized about.
                        This is very wise advice, considering the Roman world:)! It is very smart
                        plotting. And it is a very dramatic form of worship experience that
                        connects not with acting like Greek "know-it-alls" or those who want "flashy
                        deeds," but with regular folk who can go about seeking to be a wise moral
                        presence in the places where they live and work. Worship experience, for
                        which this sort of creative writing was created, and "Kingdom living, "which
                        the story commends" are tied together. And so, I'd suggest that it is Mark
                        that makes the case for the Historical Jesus, being understood as a wisdom
                        figure. If we didn't or don't have Q and if folks only want to say the G.
                        Th. is a whole that comes from the 2nd century, then Mark makes the case for
                        understanding Jesus as a wisdom, parable speaking, rabbi. Q1 and early
                        Thomas are just icing on the cake:)! And, of course, this coheres with Paul
                        in I Cor. I where the very first thing he says about Jesus Christ is that he
                        was the one "who became for us wisdom for God." (1 Cor. 1:30). In brief,
                        Mark's Jesus is the Parable of God. Paul's "became for us" is based in life
                        and not simply by a death.

                        Gordon Raynal
                        Inman, SC
                      • Joseph Weaks
                        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Some reactions to your prolegomena just to assist you in clarifying your thesis: ... If by this you mean Mark did not write
                        Message 11 of 14 , Apr 16, 2004
                          Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Some reactions to your prolegomena
                          just to assist you in clarifying your thesis:

                          On Apr 15, 2004, at 3:26 PM, Karel Hanhart wrote:
                          > Mark did not write a biography, but an extended Passover story.

                          If by this you mean Mark did not write the generic Greco-Roman Bioi,
                          then your proof is not sufficient. There are other Bioi that are just
                          glorified tellings of someone's death. See Koester and Burridge.

                          > He wrote
                          > either just before or during the Judean War or after the fall of
                          > Jerusalem
                          > (I hold the latter). Might it be helpful to consider the so-called
                          > Messianic Secret passages as a Markan device to explain to his readers
                          > IN
                          > HINDSIGHT the TRUE IMPACT of Jesus' teaching and acts. The true
                          > consequences were to Mark's mind, for instance,. that Jesus' teaching
                          > Torah
                          > was not only meant for the 5000 (meaning Israel) but also for the 4000
                          > ( the
                          > nations). His readers still had first or second hand knowledge of the
                          > historical Jesus, his teachings and the progression of his messianic
                          > movement through oral or written traditions

                          You need to do alot of calisthenics to argue that not just a writer but
                          also the original READERS of Mark who wrote 67-70 had first or even
                          second hand knowledge of Jesus. Those who had ever seen or cared about
                          Jesus while he was actually alive is much smaller than the gospel
                          accounts hyperbolically state, of course. Plus, 40+ years have gone by.
                          Plus, Mark would have had to have been written somewhere between
                          Jerusalem and Tiberias for this theory to make any sense whatsoever.
                          Very few argue a Judean sitz im leben for Mark.
                          Wrede missed the point a good bit, too. But what Wrede got right, was
                          that the secrecy motif had to explain Jesus' earthly small-impact and
                          ultimate failure. The answer... it was Jesus' choice to keep it all
                          hush hush.

                          Cordially,
                          Joe Weaks
                        • Karel Hanhart
                          Hello Gordon, There is much to answer but I ll try (in vain) to be as brief as possible. See below ... From: Gordon Raynal To:
                          Message 12 of 14 , Apr 18, 2004
                            Hello Gordon,

                            There is much to answer but I'll try (in vain) to be as brief as possible.
                            See below

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Gordon Raynal" <scudi1@...>
                            To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                            Cc: "Michael Ensley" <mensley@...>
                            Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 5:55 PM
                            Subject: Re: [XTalk] Messianic Secret


                            Karel wrote
                            >
                            > >In other words the motif of secrecy, announced in 9,11-13, was needed to
                            > >underline for his readers that Jesus had known all along what effect
                            God's
                            > >Rule and his mission would have in Israel and beyond in the coming
                            decades,
                            > >including the destruction of the temple. Jesus had tried to make his
                            > >disciples (in vain) to see such consequences, which in hindsight Mark's
                            > >ecclesia knew all too well. In other words, I too believe that there was
                            not
                            > >just one secret as Wrede believed. I also believe that this proposal may
                            set
                            > >many of his miracle stories in clearer light.

                            Karel's further elucidation:
                            The most important info Mark's readers needed to hear in HINDSIGHT was
                            the unexpected and total destruction of the temple and the suffering it
                            brought about with it.,

                            Gordon's reply
                            > A helpful note. Another thought or few about Mark's use of the Messianic
                            > Secret and the wonder stories: When I think about this several things come
                            > to mind-
                            > 1. In I Cor. Paul has these words, "For Jews demand signs and Greeks
                            desire
                            > wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and
                            > foolishness to Gentiles." (NRSV I Cor. 1:22-23). Notably in Mark, wonders
                            > arouse questions about wisdom in such as Mk. 1:27 and 6:2, but in the end
                            > they have no positive effect at the time!

                            Karel's interruption:

                            The parallel 1,27 // 6,2 is helpful! It underlines that Jesus taught in
                            "ethical parables and aphorisms"
                            as you put it; he was no worker of magic miracles. The link to a teacher of
                            sophia and its "powerful" effect is quite possible.
                            Contrary to your remark, however, Mark wanted with his miracle stories to
                            illustrate key points in Jesus' championing (- what today would be
                            called -) human rights. Because he championed human rights his 'ministry'
                            or movement was quite upsetting toan authoritarian religious leader like
                            Caiaphas. After all, the popular description of Jesus as a simple, wandering
                            Galilean wisdom teacher is much too meek. It doesn't explain by itself the
                            undoubted historical fact that Jesus was condemned as a rebel and crucified
                            by the authorities. To say the least, Jesus taught his followers to put the
                            adagio 'love your neighbor AS yourself' in concrete action with regard to
                            burning issues. As confirmed and illustrated in our own times, the
                            thoroughgoing defence of human rights, when put into practice, often leads
                            to violent reaction of leaders who want to avoid the confrontation.

                            Incidentally, the people reacted to Jesus' teaching with the exclamation
                            "What is this" (1,27)? In Hebrew that would be "MAN HU"? in the Septuagint
                            "ti esti"? (Exod 16,15) or "manna" (Dt 6,6). It is also the question the
                            first son asks at the Seder meal. This response to Jesus' action casting out
                            an ïmpure spirit, is therefore an appropriate response in a Passover story,
                            or haggadah, like Mark's gospel. In the second multiplication or manna
                            story, Mark illustrates the revolutionary nature of Jesus 'new' 'teaching'
                            by stating that the multiplication of this 'manna' from heaven was meant as
                            much for the Gentile nations as for Israel, a thorn in the side of ultra
                            nationalists.

                            Analysing the miracles stories with the help of midrash, certain key points,
                            characterizing Jesus' human rights movement are illustrated in specific
                            'wondrrs'' : The touching and healing of the 'leper' illustrate the
                            breakthrough of the walls of discrimination (being ímpure') in whatever
                            form. This first great miracle in 1,40 is, as it were, a summary, of all
                            subsequent 'wonders', Jesus' teachings worked in the lives of his hearers.
                            Jesus taught his audience here to radically identify with the victims of
                            unjust discrimination - touch the leper! Furthermore, there is deep and
                            tragic irony with Jesus' telling the man not to tell anyone but show himself
                            to the priests (reference to Lv 13,49; 14,2-4). The reader knows through
                            hindsight that the highpriest of the day would feel threatened in the end by
                            Jesus and his movement and become instrumental in his death.
                            Another illustration of a key point in Jesus is the healing of the
                            paralytic (2,1-10). As I have argued in the Festschrift for prof Neyrinck,
                            the paralytic on his krabbatos is a 'repentant' Roman soldier brought to
                            Jesus by four Judean 'friends' a retelling of Daniel's vision, as it were
                            in a rearview mirror. The vision concerns the 'huios tou anthropou', or
                            Human One and the Four Beasts stand for four worls empires that subjugated
                            the nation, including Rome. The term huios tou anthropou is used here for
                            the first time in Mark! The teaching of the paralytic in a rearview mirror?
                            Jesus assumed the stance of non-violent resistance to Israel's arch enemy,
                            Rome, implying his most difficult challenge to humankind: to love even one's
                            enemy (!) and believe in the power of forgiveness. That was new; it wasn't
                            taught in Dan 7!
                            The third illustration - a miracle leading to a conspiracy (!) to have Jesus
                            murdered (3,6) - is the healing of the man with the 'withered' hand or arm.
                            The 'withered' arm is a phenomon occurring just once in Tenakh, 1 Ki 13,4, a
                            'hapax'. It deals with the curse on the Northern kingdom of Jeroboam, whose
                            arm also 'withered. Transfered to the Sitz im Leben of Jesus'days - the
                            Northern Kingdom was Samaria. Another 'new'teaching: to become friends with
                            Samaritans was a hot political and religious issue, contravening long
                            established tradition.

                            Gordon continued:
                            > From the beginning of the Markan
                            > plotting Jesus is "silencing" and "sternly warning" folks to "tell no
                            one."
                            > In the stories no one pays attention to Jesus' command, but rather there
                            is
                            > all sorts of gibber-jabbing by all involved. Everyone, save in 4 scenes
                            > (and the last two scenes have a group of 3 women), pay **no** heed to
                            Jesus
                            > command. Everyone, save in these 4 scenes, in other words are painted as
                            > fools. Only one in Jesus' life "get's it"... the woman who silently
                            > annoints Jesus' head in Bethany (the Christos moment, if you will). As
                            > Crossan emphasizes, it is she who is the model disciple for Mark, from his
                            > ministry. He emphasizes believing Jesus' words about the coming
                            > crucifixion, but I want to emphasize her silence and the royal annointing.
                            > The other two scenes are the one at the foot of the cross where the Roman
                            > soldier finally and appropriately in Markan plotting, speaks: "Truly this
                            > man was God's Son!" (Mk. 15:39).

                            Karel's reaction:
                            To me, the anointing scene (rightly named the Christos moment) emphasizes
                            not the crucifixion but the coming true 'burial' of Jesus (followed by
                            resurrection), a reverse picture of the futile burial of Joseph, who came
                            from Ramah, ëlthon apo Ramathaim ,15,43). The woman of Bethany (like the
                            women at the opened tomb) represents the true daughters of Zion. Next to the
                            confession of this 'daughter of Zion' , representing all Christian Judeans
                            who confess Jesus to be Messiah of God, stands the Gentile confession of the
                            centurion. Indeed, two defining moments in the Gospel.

                            Gordon concludes:
                            > These women are silent and on
                            > the run out into the world. This is a wisdom literary device (see such as
                            > Proverbs I about Fear and wisdom) that has the function of arousing, if
                            you
                            > will, "silencing awe" that is precisely faithful to Jesus' command at
                            every
                            > turn in the Markan plotting.

                            In this explanation of the Secret we differ fundamentally, Gordon. The last
                            illustrative miracle, the opened tomb midrash, offers the definitive clue to
                            Mark's revised gospel, a testimony to faith IN SPITE OF the horrors,
                            accompanying the Fall of Jerusalem. The women are frightened... they flee!
                            The open tomb story is a vaticinium ex eventu.
                            Mark is drawing his symbolism from specific prophetic passages in Isaiah 22
                            and 33 concerning the destruction of the first temple implying God's
                            faithfulness throughout the first exile. Mark's existential dilemma in about
                            72 CE was that the Fall of Jerusalem spelled a new exile for his own people.
                            The destruction of the Temple was part of the Secret, that could not be told
                            in Jesus' lifetime, because no one, neither Peter nor Paul, could have
                            foreseen in their days that this catastrophe would one day hit the nation.
                            Nevertheless, "he will go before you into Galilee", is the haggadic ending
                            of God who (through the risen) Jesus would lead his people through the
                            coming exile, as once JHWH led the people through the desert in the pillars
                            of cloud and fire. It is a Judean narrative!.

                            Why do exegetes continually differ?

                            your
                            Karel
                          • Gordon Raynal
                            Hi Karel, ... First, I think differing can be and often it a very good thing. Mark is a genius piece of literature and differing exegetical models/ approaches
                            Message 13 of 14 , Apr 19, 2004
                              Hi Karel,

                              Thanks for the post. A few comments below:
                              >
                              >In this explanation of the Secret we differ fundamentally, Gordon. The last
                              >illustrative miracle, the opened tomb midrash, offers the definitive clue to
                              >Mark's revised gospel, a testimony to faith IN SPITE OF the horrors,
                              >accompanying the Fall of Jerusalem. The women are frightened... they flee!
                              >The open tomb story is a vaticinium ex eventu.
                              >Mark is drawing his symbolism from specific prophetic passages in Isaiah 22
                              >and 33 concerning the destruction of the first temple implying God's
                              >faithfulness throughout the first exile. Mark's existential dilemma in about
                              >72 CE was that the Fall of Jerusalem spelled a new exile for his own people.
                              >The destruction of the Temple was part of the Secret, that could not be told
                              >in Jesus' lifetime, because no one, neither Peter nor Paul, could have
                              >foreseen in their days that this catastrophe would one day hit the nation.
                              >Nevertheless, "he will go before you into Galilee", is the haggadic ending
                              >of God who (through the risen) Jesus would lead his people through the
                              >coming exile, as once JHWH led the people through the desert in the pillars
                              >of cloud and fire. It is a Judean narrative!.
                              >
                              >Why do exegetes continually differ?

                              First, I think differing can be and often it a very good thing. Mark is a
                              genius piece of literature and differing exegetical models/ approaches can
                              mine this hardy piece of literature for different kinds of treasures. I
                              like your approach and I think it helps bring focus to the midrashic
                              process, the Hebrew Scriptural connections/ allusions, and to the
                              connections in the past Hebrew theology. If Mark were not so rich, then
                              **an** exegetical model/approach could be worked out. I think Mark is
                              richer than that and happily so

                              Second, as regards how you read this kerygmatic work in relation to HJ. I
                              agree that the implications of what Jesus and friends were up to ca. 28 to
                              30 CE is rich fodder for thinking about "human rights." In the modern era
                              such as Gandhi and MLK,Jr. and many others have surely been correct to focus
                              on those implications. Your exegetical approach highlights that and I think
                              that's a very good thing! And yet to HJ I'm not as sure as you are that we
                              can place all those implications in the years of his activity. As I can
                              only come up with a minimal amount of data from that time I see that data of
                              parables and aphorisms and a praxis of table fellowship very much in light
                              of the circumstances then and there. "Human rights and dignity" is our
                              modern language that surely is a piece of the effects of making alive the
                              Hebraic heritage in a way that connected village and town homes. Then and
                              there I think the realities of the endemic violence related to such as the
                              mess of Roman violence, the nation rent asunder by imperial decree, the joke
                              of Herodian rule, the ineptitude and collaborative spirit of the Priestly
                              heirarchs, the outburts of "bandit" violence, the brewing spirit of
                              "zealotry," and what I like to call "multi-party mayhem" (namely the
                              official parties per Josephus: Pharisees, Saducees, Essenes and the Fourth
                              Philosophy) not offering any unity, but only sectarian squabbling which did
                              nothing to effect any coordinated response to quell the mayhem. That, I
                              believe, is what Jesus and his friends were really dealing with first and
                              foremost, then and there. I won't spend time in this post citing all the
                              text sources for this conclusion, but will only note Mark as we're dealing
                              with that. The whole of the Galilean ministry comes to an end on Jesus'
                              aphorism about "salt" and the Markan redaction is "have salt in yourselves
                              and be at peace with one another." Then and there I think Jesus, poetically
                              speaking, was a salt merchant of that kind:)! I think this has a lot of
                              implications for later thoughts on the subjects of violence and
                              divisiveness. But then and there I think it was really the immediate
                              practicalities of safety and providing a different sort of community that
                              bred that, that was most sharply at issue.

                              Third, as regards how we see midrash and Markan plotting. I like your
                              careful making connection between all these TANAK sources and Markan
                              stories. We are entirely in agreement that the wonder stories are not
                              historical remembrances, but rather fictive creations meant to, in my terms,
                              to show Jesus as "the PARABLE of God." From the first point I'm not for
                              posing either "you are right" or "I am right," but rather suggesting you
                              consider also consider another frame of investigation/ analysis regarding
                              Markan plotting. In the one I'm suggesting as regards the wonders and the
                              messianic secret, the wonders show Jesus' wisdom dramatically demonstrated
                              in chasing off demons, healing practially everyone in the Galilee and
                              surrounding region, quelling hunger (that new manna), stilling the raging
                              primordial chaos, etc. But as the first generation of those who fled Egypt
                              received God's word via Moses, were fed all those 40 years... they were
                              nevertheless "the faithless generation" that had the task of raising up a
                              new generation, but who themselves were doomed to die in the wilderness, so
                              in Jesus' wonder ministry the wonders **do not** lead to an army of united
                              folks healthy, fed, happy and grateful, rather to blabbing, disbelieving,
                              betraying, denying, running away, and at the end turning to mob violence.
                              Jesus pleads from the start for "silence" and "sternly warns" his followers
                              to "tell no one." This is a wisdom literary device and it functions in this
                              dramatic theological story telling for the gathered worshipping community to
                              identify with the blabbers, deniers, betrayer, etc. and then also see in the
                              silent woman and the silent soldier who only speaks **after** Jesus' death
                              models of those **who got** Jesus' command. The end shows silent witnesses
                              who came to the tomb as "disbelieving fools," but who in the end are stuck
                              with "silencing wondrous awe." Back to the end of Mark 9... the experience
                              here is about getting some of that "salt" and it's effects.

                              Your exegesis focuses heavily on the grief over the loss of the temple. I
                              do think Mark's plotting deals with that, but I don't think it is so primary
                              as you do. We will surely disagree about that, but whatever that, my
                              response to your last question is to **also** consider this exegetical
                              approach. I'm not after "either/or"... you're right or I'm right... but
                              rather "both/and"... consider both of these approaches **and yet others,
                              still!** I simply want to end on the point I made in my post to you. Ever
                              since Schweitzer the focus by the most has been on Mark as a work that
                              emphasizes apocalyptic theology. Al was a very smart man! In his writing
                              he dealt with the sorry state of exegesis and then in his life went off and
                              rather showed in his medical work the implications of the Gospels! But I
                              think Al was wrong about the Markan genre. Mark utilizes apocalyptic
                              resources, along with those from Torah, the Classical Prophets and the Royal
                              materials. But I think the plotting... and this applies to both your
                              exegetical frame and mine... shows that Mark is rooted in the Hebrew Wisdom
                              tradition. One last time to Mark 9: Markan Jesus ends his Galilean career
                              "in a house," "with a community gathered to listen," and at last with words
                              about courage and peace. This commendation to the Markan hearers in the
                              Roman world was sage recommendation and empowering of an alternate form of
                              community. So, I'm really for "both/and... and more" exegetical patterns of
                              investigation. But I'm really for all of us getting over Al's definition of
                              the Markan theology. I understand that choice from the era that Al was
                              writing from. I understand it, "and how," so to speak. But I think it's
                              past time to leave that behind based both in your and my exegetical
                              frameworks.

                              So... indeed... the more frameworks and investigations that help us
                              elucidate Mark, the better. And I do want us to think of the many
                              implications that have modern consequence. So, I read your question as not
                              one of despair, but as part of what makes this literature so very
                              interesting!

                              thanks again for your work and this note,

                              Gordon Raynal
                              Inman, SC
                            • Karel Hanhart
                              ... From: Gordon Raynal To: Cc: Michael Ensley Sent: Monday, April 19, 2004 3:28
                              Message 14 of 14 , Apr 20, 2004
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "Gordon Raynal" <scudi1@...>
                                To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                                Cc: "Michael Ensley" <mensley@...>
                                Sent: Monday, April 19, 2004 3:28 PM
                                Subject: Re: [XTalk] Messianic Secret

                                Gordon:
                                > Hi Karel,
                                >
                                > Thanks for the post. A few comments below: "....."

                                Karel:

                                > >In this explanation of the Secret we differ fundamentally, Gordon. The
                                last illustrative miracle, the opened tomb >> midrash, offers the
                                definitive clue to Mark's revised gospel, a testimony to faith IN SPITE OF
                                the horrors,
                                > >accompanying the Fall of Jerusalem. The women are frightened... they
                                flee!
                                > >The open tomb story is a vaticinium ex eventu. Mark is drawing his
                                symbolism from specific prophetic passages in >> Isaiah 22 and 33 concerning
                                the destruction of the first temple implying God's faithfulness throughout
                                the first exile. >> Mark's existential dilemma in about 72 CE was that the
                                Fall of Jerusalem spelled a new exile for his own people.
                                > >The destruction of the Temple was part of the Secret, that could not be
                                told in Jesus' lifetime, because no one, >> neither Peter nor Paul,
                                could have foreseen in their days that this historic catastrophe would one
                                day hit the nation.
                                > >Nevertheless, "he will go before you into Galilee", is the haggadic
                                ending of God who (through the risen) Jesus >> would lead his people
                                through the coming exile, as once JHWH led the people through the desert in
                                the pillars
                                > >of cloud and fire. It is a Judean narrative!.> >
                                > >Why do exegetes continually differ?

                                Gordon:
                                > First, I think differing can be and often it a very good thing. Mark is a
                                genius piece of literature and differing > exegetical models/
                                approaches can mine this hardy piece of literature for different kinds of
                                treasures .....
                                > I like your approach and I think it helps bring focus to the midrashic
                                process, the Hebrew Scriptural connections/ > allusions, and to the
                                connections in the past Hebrew theology. If Mark were not so rich, then
                                **an** exegetical > model/approach could be worked out. I think Mark
                                is richer than that and happily so

                                Karel:
                                True. However, there is but ONE goal of any approach: to uncover the
                                intention of the author and the message he wished to convey to the implied
                                reader. In our trade we can reach that goal only by approximation and
                                through fallible analogy. The degree of nearness to that goal, however, is
                                determined by the text. Our question should be which theory about the
                                intended meaning of the message corresponds best with the letter and wording
                                of the text. My (- admittedly irritating -) insistence to listers is,
                                therefore, that they should either accept or deny Mark is referring to
                                these passages in Tenach. If the answer is ÿes" or "may be", the next step
                                is to determine why Mark did refer to them - might the proposed exegesis
                                indeed approximate the intention of the author? It is the first step toward
                                achieving that goal.

                                One more word about my irritating insistence. My true aim of a lifelong
                                research on this question was to uncover the roots of Christian anti-Judaism
                                which - like a poisonous vein - has coursed through the tradition of the
                                ecclesia. I concluded that one of its roots is the wrong interpretation of 1
                                Cor 15, "raised on the third day" with the puzzling addition "ACCORDING
                                TO THE SCRIPTURES". The crucial confession implied indeed that Jesus
                                crucified, was nevertheless the living 'kurios'. The outcome of my research
                                was that the addition probably verbalized a flaming protest against the
                                temple hierarchy, who had manipulated the Scripture, namely Lv 23,11.15.
                                Part of my conclusion is that the Pentecostal calendar was willfully altered
                                under Herod Agrippa I (40-44 CE) less than a decade after the crucifixion.
                                This alteration of the official calendar, observed in the Temple under
                                auspices of the high priest, was accompanied by a wave of bloody persecution
                                of the Christian Judean community, which Luke reports.in Acts 12, 1ff. Its
                                aim must have been to disqualify the Jesus'movement. The formulation of this
                                earliest creed, a protest, would date, if I am right, about 42 CE.
                                Both Jewish and Christian scholars agree that the Pentecostal calendar has
                                indeed been changed. The question is when these new dates (proposed in
                                Pharisaic circles) was put into effect by the high priest. On the new
                                calendar the first of the fifty days was forever fixed on Nisan 16, this
                                first day after Pesach was declared from then on to be Day One of the fifty
                                days of the Pentecostal harvest according to the Talmud. In Mark's tomb
                                narrative Nisan 16 is the day of the burial. Before 40 CE the first day of
                                the harvest fell still on the "day after the Sabbath" following Pesach,
                                hence a Sunday (Lv 23,11.15)! In Mark this is 'Day One of the (seven)
                                Sabbaths) of Pentecost' (en 'miai ton sabbaton', 16,2), when the women saw
                                their vision. The question then is what does the burial in a "tomb" have to
                                do with the "tomb" in Isaiah 22,16 if one doesnot accept the story should be
                                taken literally.
                                There are good reasons to assume that the apostle Peter had proclaimed
                                Jesus' resurrection on the temple square soon after the crucifixion. Luke
                                timed his preaching on the day of Pentecost. The Passover/Pentecostal season
                                must have highlighted annually the commemoration of Jesus' ministry, his
                                cruel death and his being raised "at the right hand". In view of I Cor 16,1
                                the ecclesia celebrated the resurrection on "the first day of the week", but
                                only within the framework of the 'counting of the Omer' according to Lv
                                23,11.15 in defiance of the authorities. Jesus was the 'first fruits' of
                                them that were asleep, as Paul put it in ! Cor 15, 20 (cf 1 Cor 16.2.8).
                                Fundamentalists insist on the historicity of the empty tomb. For centuries
                                it has provided the foundation of the abrogation of Sabbath observance in
                                favour of the Sunday. In the authoritative Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible
                                (1963 ed) I read under the heading Lord's Day ..."before long the Church
                                felt no difficulty in adopting the heathen title of 'Sunday' realizing that
                                as on that day light was created, and the Sun of Righteousness arose on it,
                                there was to them a
                                peculiar fitness in the name". (KH then follows a theological, not a
                                historical argumentation. .."For [the] weekly gathering [of the Christian
                                Church] the Sabbath was unsuitable (sic), as being then observed in a
                                spirit radically different from the joy and liberty of the new faith;
                                doubtless also the restrictions as to length of a Sabbath day's journey
                                would prove a bar to the gathering together of the little body....To it [the
                                Sunday] our LORD had granted a certain APPROVALl (sic!) ; for on it he
                                rose from the dead".
                                No wonder, fundamentalists feel sure. A stone rolled away from Jesus'
                                supposed grave by a heavenly hand; it provided sufficient grounds for
                                literalists to abrogate the Sabbath and regard the synagogue as apostate.
                                The idea of 'divine approval' provided the needed arguments for those who on
                                the one hand profess love for Israel, the people of the Covenant, but who
                                believe at heart Jews should acknowledge the historicity of the "empty tomb"
                                and with it that Jesus was Messiah.

                                Thanks Gordon for what you wrote further. Time prevents me to comment on
                                them. As you see, my research focused on the meaning of Jesus' resurrection
                                and my refusal to dismiss the open tomb story as merely a myth or to
                                interpret the contranatural miracle stories as literally true. It has far
                                reaching consequences for those like myself who not only repeat the
                                confession but try to fathom its meaning.

                                cordially,

                                Karel.

                                I
                                > like your approach and I think it helps bring focus to the midrashic
                                > process, the Hebrew Scriptural connections/ allusions, and to the
                                > connections in the past Hebrew theology. If Mark were not so rich, then
                                > **an** exegetical model/approach could be worked out. I think Mark is
                                > richer than that and happily so
                                >
                                > Second, as regards how you read this kerygmatic work in relation to HJ. I
                                > agree that the implications of what Jesus and friends were up to ca. 28 to
                                > 30 CE is rich fodder for thinking about "human rights." In the modern era
                                > such as Gandhi and MLK,Jr. and many others have surely been correct to
                                focus
                                > on those implications. Your exegetical approach highlights that and I
                                think
                                > that's a very good thing! And yet to HJ I'm not as sure as you are that
                                we
                                > can place all those implications in the years of his activity. As I can
                                > only come up with a minimal amount of data from that time I see that data
                                of
                                > parables and aphorisms and a praxis of table fellowship very much in light
                                > of the circumstances then and there. "Human rights and dignity" is our
                                > modern language that surely is a piece of the effects of making alive the
                                > Hebraic heritage in a way that connected village and town homes. Then and
                                > there I think the realities of the endemic violence related to such as the
                                > mess of Roman violence, the nation rent asunder by imperial decree, the
                                joke
                                > of Herodian rule, the ineptitude and collaborative spirit of the Priestly
                                > heirarchs, the outburts of "bandit" violence, the brewing spirit of
                                > "zealotry," and what I like to call "multi-party mayhem" (namely the
                                > official parties per Josephus: Pharisees, Saducees, Essenes and the Fourth
                                > Philosophy) not offering any unity, but only sectarian squabbling which
                                did
                                > nothing to effect any coordinated response to quell the mayhem. That, I
                                > believe, is what Jesus and his friends were really dealing with first and
                                > foremost, then and there. I won't spend time in this post citing all the
                                > text sources for this conclusion, but will only note Mark as we're dealing
                                > with that. The whole of the Galilean ministry comes to an end on Jesus'
                                > aphorism about "salt" and the Markan redaction is "have salt in yourselves
                                > and be at peace with one another." Then and there I think Jesus,
                                poetically
                                > speaking, was a salt merchant of that kind:)! I think this has a lot of
                                > implications for later thoughts on the subjects of violence and
                                > divisiveness. But then and there I think it was really the immediate
                                > practicalities of safety and providing a different sort of community that
                                > bred that, that was most sharply at issue.
                                >
                                > Third, as regards how we see midrash and Markan plotting. I like your
                                > careful making connection between all these TANAK sources and Markan
                                > stories. We are entirely in agreement that the wonder stories are not
                                > historical remembrances, but rather fictive creations meant to, in my
                                terms,
                                > to show Jesus as "the PARABLE of God." From the first point I'm not for
                                > posing either "you are right" or "I am right," but rather suggesting you
                                > consider also consider another frame of investigation/ analysis regarding
                                > Markan plotting. In the one I'm suggesting as regards the wonders and the
                                > messianic secret, the wonders show Jesus' wisdom dramatically demonstrated
                                > in chasing off demons, healing practially everyone in the Galilee and
                                > surrounding region, quelling hunger (that new manna), stilling the raging
                                > primordial chaos, etc. But as the first generation of those who fled
                                Egypt
                                > received God's word via Moses, were fed all those 40 years... they were
                                > nevertheless "the faithless generation" that had the task of raising up a
                                > new generation, but who themselves were doomed to die in the wilderness,
                                so
                                > in Jesus' wonder ministry the wonders **do not** lead to an army of united
                                > folks healthy, fed, happy and grateful, rather to blabbing, disbelieving,
                                > betraying, denying, running away, and at the end turning to mob violence.
                                > Jesus pleads from the start for "silence" and "sternly warns" his
                                followers
                                > to "tell no one." This is a wisdom literary device and it functions in
                                this
                                > dramatic theological story telling for the gathered worshipping community
                                to
                                > identify with the blabbers, deniers, betrayer, etc. and then also see in
                                the
                                > silent woman and the silent soldier who only speaks **after** Jesus' death
                                > models of those **who got** Jesus' command. The end shows silent
                                witnesses
                                > who came to the tomb as "disbelieving fools," but who in the end are stuck
                                > with "silencing wondrous awe." Back to the end of Mark 9... the
                                experience
                                > here is about getting some of that "salt" and it's effects.
                                >
                                > Your exegesis focuses heavily on the grief over the loss of the temple. I
                                > do think Mark's plotting deals with that, but I don't think it is so
                                primary
                                > as you do. We will surely disagree about that, but whatever that, my
                                > response to your last question is to **also** consider this exegetical
                                > approach. I'm not after "either/or"... you're right or I'm right... but
                                > rather "both/and"... consider both of these approaches **and yet others,
                                > still!** I simply want to end on the point I made in my post to you.
                                Ever
                                > since Schweitzer the focus by the most has been on Mark as a work that
                                > emphasizes apocalyptic theology. Al was a very smart man! In his writing
                                > he dealt with the sorry state of exegesis and then in his life went off
                                and
                                > rather showed in his medical work the implications of the Gospels! But I
                                > think Al was wrong about the Markan genre. Mark utilizes apocalyptic
                                > resources, along with those from Torah, the Classical Prophets and the
                                Royal
                                > materials. But I think the plotting... and this applies to both your
                                > exegetical frame and mine... shows that Mark is rooted in the Hebrew
                                Wisdom
                                > tradition. One last time to Mark 9: Markan Jesus ends his Galilean career
                                > "in a house," "with a community gathered to listen," and at last with
                                words
                                > about courage and peace. This commendation to the Markan hearers in the
                                > Roman world was sage recommendation and empowering of an alternate form of
                                > community. So, I'm really for "both/and... and more" exegetical patterns
                                of
                                > investigation. But I'm really for all of us getting over Al's definition
                                of
                                > the Markan theology. I understand that choice from the era that Al was
                                > writing from. I understand it, "and how," so to speak. But I think it's
                                > past time to leave that behind based both in your and my exegetical
                                > frameworks.
                                >
                                > So... indeed... the more frameworks and investigations that help us
                                > elucidate Mark, the better. And I do want us to think of the many
                                > implications that have modern consequence. So, I read your question as
                                not
                                > one of despair, but as part of what makes this literature so very
                                > interesting!
                                >
                                > thanks again for your work and this note,
                                >
                                > Gordon Raynal
                                > Inman, SC
                                >
                                >
                                > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
                                >
                                > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:
                                crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                >
                                > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                >
                                > List managers may be contacted directly at:
                                crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
                                >
                                >
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.