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Re: [XTalk] Croy and Mark's Ending (McGrath)

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  • Ken Olson
    ... This is precisely the issue I raised in the opening post of this thread. Acts promises that Paul will stand trial before the emperor (27.24 et al.) but
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 16, 2006
      On February 15, James McGrath wrote:

      >>Having reviewed Croy's book for _Teaching Theology and Religion_recently, I am aware of the book's shortcomings, but on its basic pointI feel that a couple of the list members have simply engaged in special pleading rather than listen to what Croy (and many others before him) have said. Mark's Gospel, right at the "end", promises that Jesus will be seen, but it does not happen.<<

      This is precisely the issue I raised in the opening post of this thread. Acts promises that Paul will stand trial before the emperor (27.24 et al.) but this does not happen. Why is this not a problem for Acts, but Jesus predicted-but-not-narrated appearance is a problem for Mark?

      >>The women are also told to speak (and not to keep silent), and yet we're told that they did not say anything to anyone. This leaves the question in the mind of the reader of how the author can be telling a story about something that no one was told about!<<

      And does the omniscient narrator of Mark make a point of telling us how he knows what he knows? Won't the same reader, or hearer, wonder how he knows what happened to Jesus when he was alone in the wilderness (1.2), or how he knew what the scribes questioned in their hearts (2.6; unless he inferred this from Jesus question), or how he knew what Jesus said on Gethsemane while the disciples were asleep in 14.32-42?

      >>I have nothing against making sense of a text in the form that it stands, but on what basis would one do that if there is much early evidence (two different endings added by scribes, and two more by other Evangelists, as was pointed out) to suggest that even early readers were aware that something was missing?<<

      On the basis that we have spurious endings for several works of literature and that, while this may show that some would have liked a different ending, it does not show that there ever was an earlier and more satisfying one. Croy's objections are quite answerable on the basis of the text as it stands.

      >>On the same grounds one could argue that the Gospel of Peter should be treated as beginning "But of the Jews" and explain why the author consciously began that way.<<

      If one were to argue that extant manuscripts, of which there is only one noticeably fragmentary one for Peter, were the sole criteria by which the original extent of the work of literature, one could. I do not know that any one has, either in the case of Peter or of Mark.



      Kenneth A. Olson
      MA, History, University of Maryland
      PhD Student, Religion, Duke University

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