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RE: [XTalk] Any responses to Article on Mark by Focant?

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  • Joseph Codsi
    Thank you, David, for your enticing post. I ll read Focant s article and get back to you. The topic is of particular interest to me. Joseph Codsi Seattle
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 26, 2010
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      Thank you, David, for your enticing post. I'll read Focant's article and get back to you. The topic is of particular interest to me.

      Joseph Codsi
      Seattle

      ________________________________

      From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Mealand
      Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 3:43 PM
      To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [XTalk] Any responses to Article on Mark by Focant?





      I would like to know if anyone has come
      across any kind of response or further discussion
      of a 2009 NTS article by Focant. It has some
      very intriguing comments on the tensions in Mark
      and the way the text proceeds, its use of
      aposiopesis esp. at the end, and the paradoxical
      and enigmatic nature of the revelation in the text.
      The article supports this view with discussion
      of specific passages.
      It focuses on the baffling and surprising elements
      in the text, and the sense that the disciples
      (and the readers) are awakened to a mystery which
      somehow eludes their grasp and cannot be fully
      captured. It is this last point, I think, which
      gives rise to the wording of the title of the article.

      I would be interested to know what others
      make of this piece. Details are:

      Focant, Camille. "Une christologie de type 'mystique'
      (Marc 1.1-16.8)." _New Testament Studies_ 55.1
      (2009) 1-21.

      David M.

      ---------
      David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

      --
      The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
      Scotland, with registration number SC005336.






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Joseph Codsi
      Here is my comment on Camille Focant, Une christologie de type mystique (Marc 1.1-16.8). _New Testament Studies_ January 2009. 1-21. About the author.
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 27, 2010
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        Here is my comment on

        Camille Focant, "Une christologie de type 'mystique' (Marc 1.1-16.8)." _New Testament Studies_ January 2009. 1-21.


        About the author.

        Camille Focant is professor of New Testament at the Catholic University of Louvain.

        He published two works about the Gospel of Mark.

        L'évangile selon Marc (Commentaire biblique: Nouveau Testament 2), Paris, Cerf, 2004. 662 p.

        Marc, un évangile étonnamt. Receuil d'essais (Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicaru Lovaniensium, 194), Leuven, Peeters - University Press, 2006, XIV, 402 p.



        Title of the article:

        A Christology of the 'mystical' kind

        I read the 21 pages of the article but I am still to find out what a Christology of the mystical kind is. It seems to me that not only Mark wrote a gospel that is enigmatic and full of surprises, but that Focant is fond of the impressionist style, which suggests rather than defines, confuses rather than clarifies.



        Part 1

        He has the great merit, however, of recognizing the strange nature of the Markan gospel. He begins with the study of how the gospel begins (1:1-13) and ends (16:1-8). I see here a good literary analysis of the text. But the most interesting parts of the article are the second and third one.

        Parts 2 and 3

        They are entitled "Intrigue de situation" and "Intrigue de révélation."

        If you find the titles intriguing, you are right. What remains to be seen is whether they are revealing.

        Focant explains that he is borrowing the first title from Adolphe Gesché, a Louvain theologian who passed away in 2003. He refers to Gesché's article "Pour une identité narrative de Jésus" (Revue Théologique de Louvain, 30, 1999.) He explains that Gesché wanted to avoid the impasse between 'le Jésus de l'histoire' and 'le Christ de la foi.' The missing link, according to him, was 'le Jésus du récit' (the Jesus of the narrative). He goes on explaining that 'the Jesus of the narrative' which is the Jesus of the Markan text is "the product of a crossbreeding between history and fiction."

        I am going to stop here my reading of Focant and make a few comments on the Christological question.

        Christology is an integral part of theology. It is based on the doctrinal definitions of the ecumenical councils, namely the council of Chaledon (451) which declared that Christ was one person not two persons. The recognition of two Jesuses in the gospel of Mark is therefore highly problematic. This is why a good theologian would avoid it.

        The problem, as I see it, is that the gospel of Mark does not follow the definitions of orthodoxy. This is the most baffling and surprising element of that gospel. Focant recognizes many other such elements except this one.

        Let us stop for a moment at the Jesus of the narrative as the text speaks of him in the context of the first exorcism that took place in the synagogue of Capernaum (Mark 1:21-27). In that story, the impure spirit reveals the secret identity of Jesus. This implies that Jesus had two identities and two personalities. The first identity is recognized by the demon as that of 'Jesus of Nazareth.' ("What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?") The second identity is revealed by the demon, when he says, 'I know who you are, the Holy One of God.' The entire gospel of Mark is a series of tentative epiphanies the purpose of which is to reveal the secret identity of Jesus.

        Consequently the distinction between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of the faith is an integral part of the gospel's narrative. Any attempt at overcoming or eliminating this dichotomy will do violence to the Markan narrative.

        (To be continued)

        Joseph Codsi

        Seattle
      • Joseph Codsi
        An interesting statement by Focant. He says in substance that Mark wanted to hide the fact that during his life Jesus was not perceived as the Messiah. (18) In
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 13, 2010
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          An interesting statement by Focant. He says in substance that Mark wanted to hide the fact that during his life Jesus was not perceived as the Messiah. (18)
          In order to hide this embarrassing fact, Mark used 'literary devices'(artifice littéraire)with which he reveals in his narrative what was not perceived then.
          I find this interpretation very interesting. It can be used to identify the events that were created by Mark and are not historical. This will cover all the epiphanies and mini revelations that can be found all over his Gospel.

          Joseph Codsi
          Seattle
          ________________________________


          Camille Focant, "Une christologie de type 'mystique' (Marc 1.1-16.8)." _New Testament Studies_ January 2009. 1-21.
        • jgibson000@comcast.net
          ... Does he think he is original in this claim? Has he -- or you, for that matter -- not read (the 100 year old work of) Wrede? Jeffrey -- Jeffrey B.
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 13, 2010
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            On 11/13/2010 12:20 PM, Joseph Codsi wrote:
            > An interesting statement by Focant. He says in substance that Mark wanted to hide the fact that during his life Jesus was not perceived as the Messiah. (18)
            > In order to hide this embarrassing fact, Mark used 'literary devices'(artifice littéraire)with which he reveals in his narrative what was not perceived then.
            > I find this interpretation very interesting. It can be used to identify the events that were created by Mark and are not historical. This will cover all the epiphanies and mini revelations that can be found all over his Gospel.
            >
            > Joseph Codsi
            > Seattle
            > ______________________
            Does he think he is original in this claim? Has he -- or you, for that
            matter -- not read (the 100 year old work of) Wrede?

            Jeffrey

            --
            Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
            1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
            Chicago, Illinois
            e-mail jgibson000@...
          • Rikk Watts
            Hmm.. sounds like a re-run of Wrede to me.. Rikk
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 13, 2010
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              Hmm.. sounds like a re-run of Wrede to me..

              Rikk




              > From: Joseph Codsi <jcodsi@...>
              > Reply-To: xtalk <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
              > Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2010 10:20:15 -0800
              > To: xtalk <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
              > Subject: RE: [XTalk] Any responses to Article on Mark by Focant?
              >
              > An interesting statement by Focant. He says in substance that Mark wanted to
              > hide the fact that during his life Jesus was not perceived as the Messiah.
              > (18)
              > In order to hide this embarrassing fact, Mark used 'literary devices'(artifice
              > littéraire)with which he reveals in his narrative what was not perceived then.
              > I find this interpretation very interesting. It can be used to identify the
              > events that were created by Mark and are not historical. This will cover all
              > the epiphanies and mini revelations that can be found all over his Gospel.
              >
              > Joseph Codsi
              > Seattle
              > ________________________________
              >
              >
              > Camille Focant, "Une christologie de type 'mystique' (Marc 1.1-16.8)." _New
              > Testament Studies_ January 2009. 1-21.
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
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            • Joseph Codsi
              Jeffrey, You are right. I was too hasty in my reading of Focant. He was discussing Wrede s view. Joseph Codsi Seattle ________________________________ From:
              Message 6 of 12 , Nov 13, 2010
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                Jeffrey,
                You are right. I was too hasty in my reading of Focant. He was discussing Wrede's view.
                Joseph Codsi
                Seattle

                ________________________________

                From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jgibson000@...
                Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2010 10:26 AM
                To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [XTalk] Any responses to Article on Mark by Focant?




                On 11/13/2010 12:20 PM, Joseph Codsi wrote:
                > An interesting statement by Focant. He says in substance that Mark wanted to hide the fact that during his life Jesus was not perceived as the Messiah. (18)
                > In order to hide this embarrassing fact, Mark used 'literary devices'(artifice littéraire)with which he reveals in his narrative what was not perceived then.
                > I find this interpretation very interesting. It can be used to identify the events that were created by Mark and are not historical. This will cover all the epiphanies and mini revelations that can be found all over his Gospel.
                >
                > Joseph Codsi
                > Seattle
                > ______________________
                Does he think he is original in this claim? Has he -- or you, for that
                matter -- not read (the 100 year old work of) Wrede?

                Jeffrey

                --
                Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
                1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
                Chicago, Illinois
                e-mail jgibson000@... <mailto:jgibson000%40comcast.net>
              • jgibson000@comcast.net
                ... What bothers me most here is not only that you thought the idea was new, but that it was insightful. It means that you are not all that familiar with the
                Message 7 of 12 , Nov 13, 2010
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                  On 11/13/2010 1:33 PM, Joseph Codsi wrote:
                  > Jeffrey,
                  > You are right. I was too hasty in my reading of Focant. He was discussing Wrede's view.
                  > Joseph Codsi
                  > Seattle
                  >
                  >
                  What bothers me most here is not only that you thought the idea was
                  new, but that it was insightful. It means that you are not all that
                  familiar with the answers that have been given by scholars to Swede's
                  claim that show that it is entirely wanting.

                  May I suggest that you have a look at, e.g, Lewis S. Hay, "Mark's Use
                  of the Messianic Secret", /Journal of the American Academy of
                  Religion/, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Mar., 1967) 16-27 and especially WC
                  Robinson, "The Quest for Swede's Secret Messiah," /Interpretation / 27
                  (1973)10-30 among the many articles and monographs on the topic that you
                  curiously seem not to be aware of.

                  Jeffrey

                  --
                  Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
                  1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
                  Chicago, Illinois
                  e-mail jgibson000@...
                • Jack Kilmon
                  ... From: Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2010 12:25 PM To: Subject: Re: [XTalk] Any responses to Article
                  Message 8 of 12 , Nov 13, 2010
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                    --------------------------------------------------
                    From: <jgibson000@...>
                    Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2010 12:25 PM
                    To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                    Subject: Re: [XTalk] Any responses to Article on Mark by Focant?

                    > On 11/13/2010 12:20 PM, Joseph Codsi wrote:
                    >> An interesting statement by Focant. He says in substance that Mark wanted
                    >> to hide the fact that during his life Jesus was not perceived as the
                    >> Messiah. (18)
                    >> In order to hide this embarrassing fact, Mark used 'literary
                    >> devices'(artifice littéraire)with which he reveals in his narrative what
                    >> was not perceived then.
                    >> I find this interpretation very interesting. It can be used to identify
                    >> the events that were created by Mark and are not historical. This will
                    >> cover all the epiphanies and mini revelations that can be found all over
                    >> his Gospel.
                    >>
                    >> Joseph Codsi
                    >> Seattle
                    >> ______________________
                    > Does he think he is original in this claim? Has he -- or you, for that
                    > matter -- not read (the 100 year old work of) Wrede?
                    >
                    > Jeffrey

                    The 1901 German pub was published in English (The Messianic Secret) in 1971
                    and is still available. Of course, I read it because my position is that it
                    was also a "secret" to Jesus who did not consider himself the Messiah. I
                    think that because his followers continued to insist, out of their
                    expectation fervor, it got him killed.

                    Jack

                    Jack Kilmon
                    San Antonio, TX
                  • David Cavanagh
                    ... Hmm....I think Paula Fredriksen s thesis (that it was the enthusiasm of the crowds that sealed Jesus fate) is more likely.... David Cavanagh Major (The
                    Message 9 of 12 , Nov 13, 2010
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                      On 13/11/2010 21:53, Jack Kilmon wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > The 1901 German pub was published in English (The Messianic Secret) in
                      > 1971
                      > and is still available. Of course, I read it because my position is
                      > that it
                      > was also a "secret" to Jesus who did not consider himself the Messiah. I
                      > think that because his followers continued to insist, out of their
                      > expectation fervor, it got him killed.
                      >
                      Hmm....I think Paula Fredriksen's thesis (that it was the enthusiasm of
                      the crowds that sealed Jesus' fate) is more likely....

                      David Cavanagh
                      Major (The Salvation Army)
                      Florence (Italy)


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Jack Kilmon
                      ... From: David Cavanagh Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2010 3:15 PM To: Subject: Re: [XTalk] Any
                      Message 10 of 12 , Nov 13, 2010
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                        --------------------------------------------------
                        From: "David Cavanagh" <davidcavanagh@...>
                        Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2010 3:15 PM
                        To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                        Subject: Re: [XTalk] Any responses to Article on Mark by Focant?

                        > On 13/11/2010 21:53, Jack Kilmon wrote:
                        >>
                        >>
                        >> The 1901 German pub was published in English (The Messianic Secret) in
                        >> 1971
                        >> and is still available. Of course, I read it because my position is
                        >> that it
                        >> was also a "secret" to Jesus who did not consider himself the Messiah. I
                        >> think that because his followers continued to insist, out of their
                        >> expectation fervor, it got him killed.
                        >>
                        > Hmm....I think Paula Fredriksen's thesis (that it was the enthusiasm of
                        > the crowds that sealed Jesus' fate) is more likely....
                        >
                        > David Cavanagh
                        > Major (The Salvation Army)
                        > Florence (Italy)


                        I think we are saying the same thing, Dave, albeit I am very skeptical of
                        the "crowds" reactions in the passion narratives. I think the entire
                        Barabbas story is a fiction designed to set up the Jewish crowds for "Then
                        answered all the people, and said, His blood [be] on us, and on our
                        children."

                        My only question is whether the Matthean author, an apostate Hellenistic Jew
                        who "came over" to Gentile Christianity, probably in Antioch, did this or
                        some later redactor.

                        Jack


                        Jack Kilmon
                        San Antonio, TX
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