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

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  • mgrondin@tir.com
    ... The difficulty with this view of John is Mk10:39, where Jesus is made to tell BOTH Zebedee brothers, The cup that I drink, you will drink; and with the
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 31, 2001
      --- Frank McCoy wrote:
      > Since James died in 44 CE, while John had a longer career, James
      > was more famous than John only during his lifetime and while his
      > memory was still fresh in the minds of the people. Thus, that James
      > was more famous than John when Mark was written suggests that it
      > was written about 50 CE or earlier.

      The difficulty with this view of John is Mk10:39, where Jesus is
      made to tell BOTH Zebedee brothers, "The cup that I drink, you will
      drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be
      baptized." The John who's alive in Acts, and who died a natural
      death at a ripe old age seems to be unknown to the author of this
      Markan passage. Rather, he seems to have bought into the Eastern
      tradition that both Zebedee brothers were martyred at the same time
      at the hands of Herod Agrippa. Or does he _assume_ that John will
      also be martyred? Would he really have had the chutzpah to commit
      such an assumption to writing?

      Mike
    • FMMCCOY
      ... From: Bob Schacht To: Cc: Ted Weeden Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 8:55
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 1, 2001
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
        To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        Cc: "Ted Weeden" <weedent@...>
        Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 8:55 PM
        Subject: Re: [XTalk] The Little Apocalypse--Part I


        > >However, this passage does not regard the destruction of the temple. It
        > >begins with Jesus leaving the temple: meaning that he was facing out to
        > >the city of Jerusalem. Hence, in it, (1) the remark of the disciples,
        > >"Teacher, see!--what wonderful stones and buildings!!!", and (2) the
        reply
        > >of Jesus, "See you these great buildings? Not at all shall be left one
        > >stone upon stone which shall not be thrown down.", refer to the buildings
        > >of Jerusalem Jesus was facing rather than to the temple complex out of
        his
        > >sight. Therefore, in Mark 13:1-2, Jesus predicts the total destruction of
        > >Jerusalem rather than the destruction of the temple....
        >
        > Let us accept for the moment your interpretation that Jesus (and his
        > audience) were facing Jerusalem rather than the Temple during this
        > dialogue, and that Mark has intentionally framed the dialogue with that in
        > mind. Are you then claiming that the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by 50
        > C.E.? And on what basis would you make such a claim? Furthermore, the text
        > does explicitly mention "great buildings" and "wonderful stones", so
        > they're not exactly referring to residential districts of Jerusalem, but
        > rather to some concentration of civic architecture near the Temple. What
        > evidence do you have to date the destruction of these buildings this
        early?
        >
        > Bob
        >
        Your line of reasoning appears to be this: If (1) Jesus and his disciples
        were facing Jerusalem during their dialogue, then (2) Jerusalem was
        destroyed by 50 CE. However, I don't see where (2) necessarily follows from
        (1). Is there, perhaps, a missing premise to your argument?

        In any event, to set the record straight, I do not think that Jerusalem was
        destroyed c. 50 CE.

        For people from rural Galilee, many of the buildings in Jerusalem would have
        appeared to have been "wonderful" and "great" and even the massive stones
        comprising the three walls of Jerusalem would have been "wonderful".
        Therefore, I see no problem with the idea that Jesus and his disciples were
        facing Jerusalem when his disciples said, "Teacher, see!--what wonderful
        stones and buildings!!!",

        Also, as Jesus and his disciples gazed out at Jerusalem, their eyes might
        have been especially focused on this complex of wonderful and great
        buildings and wonderful stones that is thusly described by Josephus in Wars
        (Book 5, Chapter 4, Section 4), "Now as these towers were so very tall, they
        appeared much taller by the place in which they stood; for that very old
        wall wherin they were was built on a high hill, and was itself a kind of
        elevation that was still thirty cubits taller; over which were the towers
        situated, and thereby were made much higher to appearance. The largeness
        also of the stones was *wonderful*; for they were not made of common small
        stones, nor of such large ones only as men could carry, but they were of
        white marble, cut out of the rock; and each stone was twenty cubits in
        length, and ten in breadth, and five in depth. They were exactly united to
        one another, that each tower looked like one entire rock of stone, so
        growing naturally, and afterward cut by the hand of the artificers into
        their present shape and corners; so little, or not at all, did their joints
        or connexions appear. Now as these towers were themselves on the north side
        of the wall, the king had a palace inwardly thereto adjoined, which exceds
        all my ability to describe it; for it was so very curious as to want no cost
        nor skill in its construction, but was entirely walled about to the height
        of thirty cubits, and was adorned with towers at equal distances, and with
        large bed-chambers, that would contain beds for a hundred guests apiece, in
        which the variety of stones is not to be expressed; for a large quantity of
        those that were rare of that kind was collected together....But indeed it is
        not possible to give a complete description of these palaces; and the very
        remembrance of them is a torment to one, as putting one in mind what vastly
        rich buildings that fire which was kindled by the robbers hath consumed; for
        these were not burnt by the Romans, but by these internal plotters, as we
        have already related, in the beginning of their rebellion."

        Thank you for the questions!

        Frank McCoy
        1809 N. English Apt. 17
        Maplewood, MN 55109
      • FMMCCOY
        ... From: To: Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 1:33 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] The Little Apocalypse--Part I ...
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 1, 2001
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: <mgrondin@...>
          To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 1:33 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] The Little
          Apocalypse--Part I


          > --- Frank McCoy wrote:
          > > Since James died in 44 CE, while John had a longer career, James
          > > was more famous than John only during his lifetime and while his
          > > memory was still fresh in the minds of the people. Thus, that James
          > > was more famous than John when Mark was written suggests that it
          > > was written about 50 CE or earlier.
          >
          > The difficulty with this view of John is Mk10:39, where Jesus is
          > made to tell BOTH Zebedee brothers, "The cup that I drink, you will
          > drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be
          > baptized." The John who's alive in Acts, and who died a natural
          > death at a ripe old age seems to be unknown to the author of this
          > Markan passage. Rather, he seems to have bought into the Eastern
          > tradition that both Zebedee brothers were martyred at the same time
          > at the hands of Herod Agrippa. Or does he _assume_ that John will
          > also be martyred? Would he really have had the chutzpah to commit
          > such an assumption to writing?
          >

          Mike:

          The interpretation you give of Mk 10:39 is plausible and, so, and might be
          correct. However, conversely, this passage might look forward to the Last
          Supper, when all the disciples drank from the cup drunk by Jesus and to the
          "baptism" of the Spirit experienced by Jesus' disciples at Pentecost in
          imitation of the "baptism" by the Spirit experienced by Jesus at his baptism
          by John. Other plausible interpretations are possible as well. This
          passage is ambiguous, and deliberately so!

          You are correct in saying that there were some early Christian traditions in
          which *both* James and John were martyred about the same time. However,
          they are contrary to the opinions of Luke and Eusebius. Luke only specifies
          that James got the axe (so to speak!) and Eusebius endorsed the early
          Christian traditions in which John lived to a ripe old age.

          If you are correct, in which case both James and John were executed c. 44
          CE, then their prominent role in Mark (second only to that of Peter) is in
          full accord with the hypothesis that Mark wrote his gospel c. 50 CE--when
          the memories of their martyrdom would still have been relatively fresh in
          people's minds.

          Frank
          1809 N. English Apt. 17
          Maplewood, MN USA 55109
        • mgrondin@tir.com
          ... But note that Eusebius also reports (in Eccl.2:9) that Clement (in Outlines, Bk. VII) tells a story of a second man being executed with Jacob. In Clement s
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 1, 2001
            --- Frank McCoy wrote:
            > You are correct in saying that there were some early Christian
            > traditions in which *both* James and John were martyred about the
            > same time. However, they are contrary to the opinions of Luke and
            > Eusebius. Luke only specifies that James got the axe (so to speak!)
            > and Eusebius endorsed the early Christian traditions in which John
            > lived to a ripe old age.

            But note that Eusebius also reports (in Eccl.2:9) that Clement (in
            Outlines, Bk. VII) tells a story of a second man being executed
            with Jacob. In Clement's account, this second man is one of those
            who brought Jacob into court, and is so moved by Jacob's testimony
            that he, too, confesses to being a Christian! It's hard to know
            what to make of this, except that it seems there was a tradition
            of a double execution. But aside from what actually happened, the
            question may be: what did the author of Mk10:39 _believe_ had
            happened? It's possible (especially given your dating, and the
            possibility that Johann went into hiding) that he believed that
            the second man was Jacob's brother. Whether he was right or wrong
            about that, it would explain the special status he gave to both
            Zebedee brothers in the Transfig scene and elsewhere.

            Mike
          • Bob Schacht
            ... The argument is yours. In your series on the Little Apocalypse, your arguments follow a predictable pattern: 1. The text says X 2. The Jesus Seminar
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 1, 2001
              At 07:45 AM 9/1/01 -0500, you wrote:

              >----- Original Message -----
              >From: "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
              >To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
              >Cc: "Ted Weeden" <weedent@...>
              >Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 8:55 PM
              >Subject: Re: [XTalk] The Little Apocalypse--Part I
              >
              >
              > > >However, this passage does not regard the destruction of the temple. It
              > > >begins with Jesus leaving the temple: meaning that he was facing out to
              > > >the city of Jerusalem. Hence, in it, (1) the remark of the disciples,
              > > >"Teacher, see!--what wonderful stones and buildings!!!", and (2) the
              >reply
              > > >of Jesus, "See you these great buildings? Not at all shall be left one
              > > >stone upon stone which shall not be thrown down.", refer to the buildings
              > > >of Jerusalem Jesus was facing rather than to the temple complex out of
              >his
              > > >sight. Therefore, in Mark 13:1-2, Jesus predicts the total destruction of
              > > >Jerusalem rather than the destruction of the temple....
              > >
              > > Let us accept for the moment your interpretation that Jesus (and his
              > > audience) were facing Jerusalem rather than the Temple during this
              > > dialogue, and that Mark has intentionally framed the dialogue with that in
              > > mind. Are you then claiming that the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by 50
              > > C.E.? And on what basis would you make such a claim? Furthermore, the text
              > > does explicitly mention "great buildings" and "wonderful stones", so
              > > they're not exactly referring to residential districts of Jerusalem, but
              > > rather to some concentration of civic architecture near the Temple. What
              > > evidence do you have to date the destruction of these buildings this
              >early?
              > >
              > > Bob
              > >
              >Your line of reasoning appears to be this: If (1) Jesus and his disciples
              >were facing Jerusalem during their dialogue, then (2) Jerusalem was
              >destroyed by 50 CE. However, I don't see where (2) necessarily follows from
              >(1). Is there, perhaps, a missing premise to your argument?

              The argument is yours. In your series on the Little Apocalypse, your
              arguments follow a predictable pattern:
              1. The text says X
              2. The Jesus Seminar explains X with respect to the War of 66-70 C.E.
              3. But a better explanation for X can be found in the years immediately
              preceding 50 C.E.
              4. Therefore the text can be dated ca. 49 C.E.

              But in the case of these verses (Mark 13:1-2) you leave out steps 3 & 4;
              you only claim that the Jesus Seminar is wrong. You do not give us a better
              explanation. There are two alternatives:
              1. That Jesus' prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem (as you put it) was
              wrong and was never fulfilled; or
              2. That the prophecy refers to some event other than the destruction that
              occurred during the War of 66-70 C.E.

              According to the ABD, Titus destroyed not only the Temple in 70 C.E., but
              "most of Jerusalem." Specifically, he also destroyed the Antonia, Herod's
              huge fortress on the NW corner of the Temple Mount. So I think your
              argument is quite weak here. If vss. 1-2 do not refer to 70 C.E., what does
              it refer to?

              Besides, you are making quite a lot of Jesus' body posture on exit from the
              temple. But Jesus is not the first speaker-- instead, "one of his
              disciples" speaks first. If you want to make so much of body posture, this
              disciple could have turned around to face Jesus before speaking, thereby
              turning his face towards the Temple (or, perhaps, the Antonia.) So the
              framing of the dialogue depends not on what Jesus was looking at, but what
              this disciple was looking at. And I think your suggestion that the disciple
              as a simple Galilean would place residential construction in Jerusalem on
              the same par with the civic architecture of the Temple Mount, including the
              Antonia, seems ludicrous to me.

              So it seems here that your argument is rather weak, even though I would
              like to see your date of 49 C.E. for GMark confirmed.

              Bob




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • FMMCCOY
              ... From: Bob Schacht To: Cc: Ted Weeden Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2001
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 3, 2001
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
                To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                Cc: "Ted Weeden" <weedent@...>
                Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2001 12:44 AM
                Subject: Re: [XTalk] The Little Apocalypse--Part I


                > > > Bob
                > > >
                > >Your line of reasoning appears to be this: If (1) Jesus and his disciples
                > >were facing Jerusalem during their dialogue, then (2) Jerusalem was
                > >destroyed by 50 CE. However, I don't see where (2) necessarily follows
                from
                > >(1). Is there, perhaps, a missing premise to your argument?
                >
                > The argument is yours. In your series on the Little Apocalypse, your
                > arguments follow a predictable pattern:
                > 1. The text says X
                > 2. The Jesus Seminar explains X with respect to the War of 66-70 C.E.
                > 3. But a better explanation for X can be found in the years immediately
                > preceding 50 C.E.
                > 4. Therefore the text can be dated ca. 49 C.E.
                >
                > But in the case of these verses (Mark 13:1-2) you leave out steps 3 & 4;
                > you only claim that the Jesus Seminar is wrong. You do not give us a
                better
                > explanation. >

                Bob:

                As respects 13:1-2, where Jesus and his disciple are in dialogue, you
                initially state, "The (four step) argument is yours". However, you close by
                stating that, as respects my argument regarding 13:1-2, "you leave out steps
                3 & 4". Please make it clear, as respects 13:2, whether you think that I
                use the four step argument (which entails that I use steps 3 & 4) or whether
                you think that I do not use steps 3 & 4 (which entails that I do not use the
                four step argument), so that I know how to respond.


                > There are two alternatives:
                > 1. That Jesus' prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem (as you put it)
                was
                > wrong and was never fulfilled; or
                > 2. That the prophecy refers to some event other than the destruction that
                > occurred during the War of 66-70 C.E.

                My position is that Jesus' prophecy of the total destruction of Jerusalem is
                an as yet unfulfilled prophecy which isn't necessarily wrong and which, if
                true, won't be fulfilled until the coming of the Son of Man.
                .


                > According to the ABD, Titus destroyed not only the Temple in 70 C.E., but
                > "most of Jerusalem." Specifically, he also destroyed the Antonia, Herod's
                > huge fortress on the NW corner of the Temple Mount. So I think your
                > argument is quite weak here. If vss. 1-2 do not refer to 70 C.E., what
                does
                > it refer to?
                >

                It refers to what will happen to Jerusalem when comes the Son of Man--see
                the discussion in Part IV.

                How can the prophecy that no stone will be left unturned refer to the events
                of 70 CE? The destruction of *most* of Jerusalem means that, while most of
                the stones of the city were overturned by the Romans, a lot of them were
                left unturned. One can't even say that the temple complex was completely
                destroyed with no stone left unturned for one part of the temple complex,
                i.e., the wailing wall, is still in existence with its stones unturned.

                > Besides, you are making quite a lot of Jesus' body posture on exit from
                the
                > temple. But Jesus is not the first speaker-- instead, "one of his
                > disciples" speaks first. If you want to make so much of body posture, this
                > disciple could have turned around to face Jesus before speaking, thereby
                > turning his face towards the Temple (or, perhaps, the Antonia.) So the
                > framing of the dialogue depends not on what Jesus was looking at, but what
                > this disciple was looking at.

                If one wants to engage in speculation as to the body posture of the
                disciple, then perhaps he was walking beside Jesus, and holding up one of
                his arms and pointing, with his index finger, towards the city when he made
                his statement.

                The bottom line, though, is this: The disciple's remark begins with
                "Teacher, see what..." and, without any clarification from Mark, the most
                natural interpretation is that the disciple is referring to what Jesus is
                seeing as he leaves the temple and faces outward to the city of Jerusalem.

                >And I think your suggestion that the
                disciple
                > as a simple Galilean would place residential construction in Jerusalem on
                > the same par with the civic architecture of the Temple Mount, including
                the
                > Antonia, seems ludicrous to me.
                >
                > So it seems here that your argument is rather weak, even though I would
                > like to see your date of 49 C.E. for GMark confirmed.
                >
                This is a mis-representation of my position. To set the
                record straight, my position is that Jesus and the disciple, as rustic
                rubes, would have deemed the buildings of the Herodian castle-complex and
                the mansions of the high priestly aristocracy to be great buildings. They
                also would have deemed the buildings of the temple complex to be great
                buildings. It does not necessarily follow from this, nor do I mean to imply
                this, that they would have found the great residential buildings to be just
                as great as the great buildings of the temple complex. Indeed, this is
                patently false since the temple was the greatest building in Jerusalem. If
                Jesus had said, "See you the greatest building in Jerusalem?", then it would
                be clear that he had been referring to the temple. However, what he
                actually said is, "See you these great buildings?" As he states this while
                going forth out of the temple and, so, is apparently facing the city, I
                think it most likely that he is referring to the great residences in the
                city.

                I deeply appreciate your taking the time to respond to my posts
                and I hope that you and some of the
                other XTalk listers will ask some further questions and/or make some
                further criticisms on the intepretation of the Little Apocalypse I have
                suggested in the six posts. The implications of the hypothesis that Mark
                wrote his gospel c. 49 CE are revolutionary in nature, so I think it
                warrants further discussion.


                Frank McCoy
                1809 N. English Apt. 17
                Maplewood, MN USA 55109
              • Jim Bacon
                ... Frank, How do you account for early Christian tradition (Papias as quoted by Eusebius) that Mark based his gospel on the teachings of Peter? Conventional
                Message 7 of 10 , Sep 4, 2001
                  Frank McCoy said:
                  >
                  > I deeply appreciate your taking the time to respond to my posts
                  > and I hope that you and some of the
                  > other XTalk listers will ask some further questions and/or make some
                  > further criticisms on the intepretation of the Little Apocalypse I have
                  > suggested in the six posts. The implications of the hypothesis that Mark
                  > wrote his gospel c. 49 CE are revolutionary in nature, so I think it
                  > warrants further discussion.
                  >
                  >
                  Frank,

                  How do you account for early Christian tradition (Papias as quoted by
                  Eusebius) that Mark based his gospel on the teachings of Peter? Conventional
                  scholarship place Mark and Peter together in Rome in the 60s C.E.

                  Jim Bacon
                • mgrondin@tir.com
                  ... This is a test, right? To see if anyone was paying attention? Good one, Frank! I love the juxtaposition of scholarly caution ( if true ) with patently
                  Message 8 of 10 , Sep 4, 2001
                    --- Frank McCoy wrote:
                    > My position is that Jesus' prophecy of the total destruction of
                    > Jerusalem is an as yet unfulfilled prophecy which isn't necessarily
                    > wrong and which, if true, won't be fulfilled until the coming of
                    > the Son of Man.

                    This is a test, right? To see if anyone was paying attention?
                    Good one, Frank! I love the juxtaposition of scholarly caution
                    ("if true") with patently absurd religious doctrine! Well done! LOL

                    Mike
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