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Re: [XTalk] The Little Apocalypse--Part VI

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  • FMMCCOY
    Post #6 of 6 posts CAMEO ESSAY: A FALSE CHARGE BY THE JESUS SEMINAR According to the Jesus Seminar, the Little Apocalypse was fabricated by Mark out of units
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2001
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      Post #6 of 6 posts

      CAMEO ESSAY: A FALSE CHARGE BY THE JESUS SEMINAR

      According to the Jesus Seminar, the Little Apocalypse was fabricated by Mark
      out of units of oral tradition known to him: with some of them being
      contradictory. So, in The Five Gospels (p. 107), they state, "Mark has
      constructed two lengthy discourses in his gospel: Mark 4:1-34 on parables,
      and 13:1-37 on the events that will bring history to a close. In so doing,
      he has, of course, made use of materials that came down to him in the oral
      tradition or which he knew from common Christian or Judean lore. A close
      reading of the discourses permits scholars to discern where Mark has joined
      various traditions together in creating the longer complex. In Mark 13, for
      example, it is often observed that Jesus' long reply does not actually
      answer the question posed by the disciples in v. 4: 'When will these things
      take place?' Or, more accurately, Jesus is represented as giving more than
      one answer to the question. In vv. 32 and 33-37, Jesus tells the disciples
      that no one knows when these things will take place. Yet earlier in the
      discourse, he has laid out a detailed list of signs and protents that signal
      the end. These discrepencies suggest that Mark has compiled the apocalyse
      out of disparate materials, some parts of which contradict other parts."

      However, as we have seen, the Little Apocalypse is
      internally coherent. In vv. 5-23, a number of "birth pangs" in the 30s and
      40s are predicted, the latest being the great pressing of people at
      Jerusalem in early 48 CE. Then, in vv. 24-27, we have the answer to the
      question: The buildings in Jerusalem will be totally destroyed when comes
      the Son of Man. Finally, in vv. 28-37, we have a closing section in which,
      it is emphasized, the coming of the Son of Man will be soon, but at an
      unexpected time, so we must try to always be ready for it.

      What this means is that Mark knew the rough outline of Jesus' discourse and,
      so, knew how to put together the oral traditions regarding it in a logical
      and coherent order.

      Thus, the fact that the Jesus Seminar's method of interpreting the Little
      Apocalypse leads to it being internally contractory does not mean that the
      Little Apocalypse is, itself, contradictory. Rather, it means that their
      method of interpreting the Little Apocalypse is fatally flawed. There is no
      greater indictment of the theory that the Little Apocalypse was written by
      Mark c. 70 CE than this: It wrongfully transforms an internally coherent
      discourse into a welter of contradictory verses without logical order.


      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt. 17
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
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