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RE: [XTalk] Mark's community

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  • Barlow, James C. DOC
    Who is this that even wind and wave obey him (more in poetical alignment with the psalmist anyway) would have been a dandy response, too? I can t see it
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 31, 2001
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      "Who is this that even wind and wave obey him" (more in poetical alignment
      with the psalmist anyway) would have been a dandy response, too? I can't
      see it likely Mark chose the geographical designation 'sea' over 'lake'
      simply for the sake of emphasizing a point about the grandeur of the power
      of Jesus, as if people did not know there was only one Mare Nostrum
      throughout the world, as its center!

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Eric Eve [mailto:eric.eve@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 4:49 AM
      To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [XTalk] Mark's community


      Jan Sammer wrote:


      > This particular argument has no merit in my opinion, since Aramaic and
      > Hebrew does not distinguish between large and small bodies of water, e.g.,
      > sea and lake, designating both as yam. Mark is evidently rendering into
      > Greek a Hebrew or Aramaic designation of this body of water, correctly
      > translating yam as thalassa. Generally he simply refers to this body of
      > water as "he thalassa." This designation thus cannot be ascribed to Mark's
      > ignorance of what a real sea looks like and no conclusions can be drawn
      from
      > it with respect to Mark's provenance or the location of his community.

      Moreover, Mark may have good theological/narrative/symbolic reasons for
      referring to the Galilean lake as a sea. For example, the conclusion of the
      Stilling of the Storm would hardly look so impressive if the disciples had
      ended up declaring, "Who then is this that even wind and lake obey him?"
      (note how Luke, who does refer to this body of water as a LIMNH [e.g. Lk
      8.22,23] is obliged to change Mark's 'sea' to 'water' here). Likewise the
      walking on the sea alludes to a number of OT passages, e.g. Job 9.8 which
      describes God as walking on the sea (LXX PERIPATWN ... EPI QALASSHS), which
      contribute to this story functioning as an epiphany miracle. Both miracles
      represent Jesus as embodying Yahweh's power over the sea, perhaps going back
      to the myth of Yahweh's defeat of the waters of chaos. Yahweh's power over a
      lake would be a bit anticlimactic. Again, Mark may well be wanting to play
      with the contrast land/sea in a number of ways throughout Mark 4-8. I
      suspect that for Mark's narrative this body of water is more importantly (or
      at least just as importantly) a symbolic 'sea' as a geographical 'lake', and
      for this reason I would agree that "This designation thus cannot be ascribed
      to Mark's ignorance of what a real sea looks like and no conclusions can be
      drawn from it with respect to Mark's provenance or the location of his
      community".

      Regards,

      Eric
      ---------------------------
      Eric Eve
      Harris Manchester College, Oxford
      email: mailto:eric.eve@...
      Home page: http://users.ox.ac.uk/~manc0049




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