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Mark's attitude towards Peter

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... I don t think that Weeden s extensively posted thesis about GMark said that Mark s purpose was to turn Peter into a villain, and I don t think anyone s
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 14, 2001
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      At 01:35 AM 1/14/01 +0100, Jan Sammer wrote:
      >... Had Mark's purpose been to turn Peter into a villain, he would surely
      >have chosen more effective ways.

      I don't think that Weeden's extensively posted thesis about GMark said
      that Mark's purpose was to turn Peter into a villain, and I don't think
      anyone's really arguing that.

      >Perhaps Peter's reputation was such that Mark was unable to attack Peter
      >directly, and could only afford to put a negative spin on some of his
      >But on balance it is apparent that Mark did not wish to make a
      >frontal attack on Peter, though he did want to take him to task for his

      This sounds closer to Weeden's thesis, as I understand it.

      >For reasons I have explained in a previous message, it would
      >appear that the Mark's real target was James the Just. The most effective
      >way to reduce James' authority was to refer to him as little as possible,
      >and if at all, in a collective manner, as one of the members of Jesus
      >family, whom Jesus himself rejected.

      Can you remind me of the date of this message? And is your analysis based
      on evidence in GMark itself, or on external evidence? How do you refute
      Weeden's evidence that Peter was the target? (It is not sufficient to
      merely express the opinion that Mark's target was someone else.)

      > I do agree that Mark has an anti-Petrine spin, but only to the extent
      > necessary for his pro-Pauline bias. I would suggest that it is Peter's
      > wavering on the Gentile mission that is held up to ridicule and in a way
      > excused by pointing to Peter's failings on previous occasions. Peter is
      > on the right side (i.e., Paul's side), but sometimes his courage fails him.

      Peter was also the man in the middle: with James and the circumcision party
      on his right, and Paul on his left, he was in a difficult spot: He could
      never satisfy one without bringing scorn from the other. So he gets hit in
      various ways from both sides.

      > Furthermore, (Mark seems to be implying) Peter's interpretations of
      > Jesus' message are not necessarily authoritative, because on many
      > occasions Peter had failed to understand the master's meaning.

      Peter is hardly unique among the disciples in this respect.

      >But all in all, Peter was one of the inner circle and Jesus' rebukes of
      >him not made in a hostile spirit. In sum, as far as Mark is concerned,
      >Peter was an important part of the gentile mission and a useful ally
      >against James, though not beyond criticism and not to be taken at his word.

      I'd like to see more evidence to support your opinions. If you've presented
      the *evidence* before, I'd appreciate learning the date(s) of your post(s).


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