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Re: [XTalk] The Pre-Markan Passion Narrative

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  • Jan Sammer
    I would like to make a few comments to Peter Kirby s reconstruction of the pre-Markan passion narrative in light of an analogous reconstruction that I have
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 14, 2001
      I would like to make a few comments to Peter Kirby's reconstruction of the
      pre-Markan passion narrative in light of an analogous reconstruction that I
      have attempted following in the footsteps of the late Livio C. Stecchini.
      The work in question, to which I have drawn attention on one or two previous
      occasions in this forum, is entitled Nazarenus and is to be found at
      www.nazarenus.com, the thesis being that prior to Mark's gospel there was in
      circulation a passion play styled on an ancient drama, on which Mark and the
      other gospel writers drew in compiling their narratives.

      On the mentioned website I do not depart from Stecchini's thesis that the
      author of the hypothesized play was Seneca. Even though I find the thesis
      that the pre-Marcan narrative had the form of a drama persuasive, I am
      increasingly convinced that its author could not have been Seneca, and I
      intend to develop this thesis separately. In any case, taking the
      reconstructed play as a starting point, it is interesting to note that
      Peter's reconstruction starts at the same place as the hypothetical
      Nazarenus play, with the agony in the garden. In terms of the play, the
      agony serves as the Prologue to the play, the arrival of the chorus being
      identified as the arrival of the Temple guard. The major difference is the
      ending. The play as reconstructed had five acts, plus the mentioned
      prologue. As said, the Prologue would correspond to the agony in the garden,
      with the arrival of the chorus (the Temple guard) marking the inception of
      the first act. Act One would correspond to the hearing before the Temple
      authorities, Act Two to the trial before Pilate, Act Three to the
      Crucifixion, Act Four to the Burial and Act Five to the Resurrection.

      And here is the main point I would like to raise in this message. Would the
      pre-Markan passion narrative omit the resurrection which was the foundation
      stone of the Christian faith, as the letters of Paul, presumably
      contemporary with this narrative, indicate? In terms of the postulated play
      Act Five, or Resurrection is an integral and necessary part of it and in
      some ways reflects Act One, as explained on the mentioned website. (Acts II,
      III and IV require the background of a palace, common in ancient plays,
      whereas a country scene is indicated as the background in Acts I and V). My
      question for Peter would be if he can detect any literary structure to his
      reconstruction of the pre-Markan narrative and if such a structure is
      compatible with the omission of any allusion to the resurrection.


      Jan Sammer
      Prague, Czech Republic
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