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Re: [XTalk] Re: A Question about the phrase "AT HAND"

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  • Ted Weeden
    Dear Mark, ... go ... not ... My response: No, not proleptically present. I think there is an important difference in meaning between the statement, the
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 3 7:30 AM
      Dear Mark,

      You wrote on March 31:
      > On 28 Mar 00, at 18:52, Ted Weeden wrote:
      > > For this I draw upon Daryl Schmidt's analysis of Mark's use of
      > > HGGIKEN in a paper ("Finding a Non-Apocalyptic Jesus") which he
      > > presented at the recent meeting of the Jesus Seminar. I quote from
      > > Daryl's paper: "The statement in Mark 1:15 is often taken to be
      > > self-evidently about temporal imminence. Yet Mark's chosen opening
      > > summary of Jesus' message is formulated with two perfect tense verbs
      > > [PEPLHRWTAI and HGGIKEN].... The perfect tense use of...[HGGIKEN] in
      > > the synoptic gospels is ... limited.... The only other use in Mark is
      > > 14:42, where it prepares the narrative for the arrival of Judas. As
      > > soon as Jesus says, 'My betrayer is at hand,' the narrative continues,
      > > 'immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas...arrived.' Thus,
      > > HGGIKEN in Mark 14:42 truly means 'has arrived'-- just not in the way
      > > most people expected. Read with this understanding, the statement is
      > > not about apocalyptic imminence, but the narrator's announcement to
      > > the reader that this narrative intends to present God's imperial rule
      > > as 'having arrived.' ...Mark is claiming that the first generation of
      > > Jesus' followers saw that God's imperial rule 'had come with >
      > power.'"
      > This sounds like an interesting rehabilitation of the famous translation
      > by C. H. Dodd -- this was a key element in his cased for realized
      > eschatology in Jesus' message. I look forward to seeing Schmidt's
      > paper but to convince me it is going to have to provide a good and full
      > rebuttal of R. H. Fuller's careful critique of Dodd, _The Mission and
      > Achievement of Jesus_ (Studies in Biblical Theology, 12; London:
      > SCM, 1954), Chapter 2, "The Kingdom of God in the Preaching of
      > Jesus", specifically his patient analysis of meaning of HGGIZW in the
      > Gospels & the LXX.
      > I have to say for myself that though many have taken the mickey out
      > of the "future but proleptically present" formulation, you still have to
      > along way to improve on that as a description of the view of kingdom
      > in the gospel kerygma. e.g. Ted concluded his post with the statement:
      > > To say that the Empire "has arrived"
      > > does not mean that it has been fully actualized. It just means it
      > > has *arrived.*
      > Even this is not far from "future but proleptically present". If it has
      > yet been "fully actualized", that's what we normally call the future
      > element: it's not yet here. But there's something breaking into the
      > present, so it's "proleptically present". No?

      My response:

      No, not "proleptically present." I think there is an important difference
      in meaning between the statement, "the Empire of God is *at hand*" and the
      statement, "the Empire of God has arrived"-- that is *here, but not fully
      actualized.* The analogy I would draw to make the point is the installation
      of a US president as president in the act of him (unfortunately we have not
      had any "hers") taking the oath of office. As soon as the oath of office is
      taken, a new administration *has* arrived. It is not an administration *at
      hand,*-- that is, elected but its leader as yet not installed. The oath of
      office is the act of empowerment which means the new administration is a
      present reality. It is *here.* But the actualizating of the character and
      the implementing of the vision of that administration is an on-going process
      of transformation. The old order gives way to the new order over a period of
      time. Moreover, the final actualization of any president's administration
      is not a full reality until the very last act of that administration prior
      to its end and its replacement with another administration.

      So, also in a somewhat similar vein, the same is true of the Empire of God
      for Mark. With the advent of Jesus' ministry in Mk. 1:15, the Empire of God
      is here. Jesus is the manifestation of its divine empowerment. However,
      from Mark's point of view, the successful actualization of God's Empire is
      only fully realized in that final end-time event when (1) the "powers" are
      fallen and destroyed (13:24f.), (2) Jesus is exalted, enthroned and fully
      vindicated, and (3) Jesus' elect are gathered to him "from the ends of the
      earth to the ends of the heavens" (13:27). Of course, there is an ultimate
      difference between the actualization of an administration of a president and
      the actualization of the Empire of God. From Mark's point of view, as well
      as the whole NT, once the Empire of God is fully actualized, its vision will
      be fully implemented and its reality is eternal. It will never give way or
      be replaced by any other future reality.

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